Friday, May 18, 2012

The Birthday PARTY

A couple of months ago I asked Liam if he wanted a “truck” party or a “baseball” party for his birthday – I assumed these options would both be pretty appealing to him, since trucks & baseball are his favorite things in the world. Being the true fan that he is, he unwaveringly chose a baseball party.

  So, for the past couple of months I’ve been pinning baseball party ideas on Pinterest (you can see the board here) and slowly collecting supplies. A few weeks ago we decided that, since I’d be just over 7 weeks from my due date, we would keep things simple(r) and cheap(er), and just invite family to the party. I know this will sound really silly, but this birthday party really made me feel like I’m progressing as a grown-up. I tend to get WAY too carried away … wanting to plan too many details, making everything too much work, and not planning enough time to accomplish it all without getting stressed out. This 2nd birthday party, though, included none of those things. I truly enjoyed working on the details, I felt that I scaled back my initial ideas reasonably, it was NOT stressful, and it still felt really special.

  So, here are some pics of the fun …

The only décor in the living room were these red tissue paper poms that I made and the “baseball” lanterns. I found the lanterns at Target for a dollar a piece a few weeks ago and picked up a bunch because I’m thinking of using them for something in Cora’s room (have I mentioned how much I LOVE the dollar aisle at Target? I always find the greatest stuff there). Per modified Pinterest inspiration, I just used some cheap red curling ribbon and scotch-taped a baseball stitching design onto them.

Our dining room table was the gift table, and we had a little station set up for our guests to “autograph” a 2nd birthday baseball for him, as a keepsake from the day.

And here’s the party table

It was so fun to put together some of my favorite ideas. The baseball rice krispy treats were a big hit and really easy to make, but the baseball glove cake was my favorite part. I made Liam’s birthday cake last year, as well, but I wasn’t crazy about it. It looked a lot like someone who knows nothing about cake decorating and has no experience had decorated it. So, it was a pretty accurate depiction of my skills. This year, though, I made a few key choices that helped greatly: I had a photo I was trying to copy, I did not make my own frosting, and I bought some slightly better tools to work with.

 Yay! I was so pleased with my glove cake and baseball cupcake for the birthday boy, and most importantly, he was, too!

 Sadly, I only got a picture of Liam with Josh and I (and Cora!), but forgot to get any pictures of him with the party attendees.

Gratefully, we get to see grandparents at least once a week, so we have plenty of opportunities to take pics with them. I do have a few pics of him enjoying some of his favorite gifts. Of course, he received another baseball bat - a Toy Story one that he loves (but what bat does he not love?) - but in this pic you can also see his new kitchen & work bench. Josh and I found a great deal on the kitchen, so that was his big present from us (which I'm sure Cora will be enjoying as well a year from now); and the cool work bench was from Uncle Zach.  You know, just to make sure he doesn't become too domestic from all the cooking :)

Grandad & Nana (my parents) gave him this awesome front-end loader (or "bulldoder", as he refers to it). He's still a bit too small to pedal it, but he loves sitting on it, piling toys in the bucket, and lifting the bucket up and down. Every morning since he has gotten it he has asked me, "Yellow bulldoder? New one?", just to make sure it is still at our house.


His Papa & Grammy gave him this cute turtle sandbox & sand. He's still figuring out his digging technique, but he's very excited about it. Up until last weekend our backyard had nothing in it, except for our grill, doghouse, and dog dishes; so I am very thankful that he now has some things to entertain him back there, since it will be a bit tricky to go many places this summer once Cora arrives.

  His Aunt Abbie has nannied for a family of 3 kiddos for years now, the youngest of whom is just a couple of years older than Liam, so she is always in the know regarding cool toys for toddler crowd. She gave Liam this Play-Doh Cookie Monster set. You can use little stamps to make the alphabet out of play-doh, and then feed him. Liam was fascinated that the play-doh disappeared after he closed Cookie Monster's mouth.

 The final gift, that was really a surprise for all of us, was a used outdoor playset. Earlier this spring I had my heart absolutely set on getting one for Liam's birthday, but it just didn't seem financially feasible this year. I was really disappointed, because I've worried more than I should about how I'm going to keep a two year old entertained with a newborn in the house. I had finally let the idea go and stopped being overly dramatic (at least about that) about a month ago. The day before Liam's birthday we got a text from a couple in our community group letting us know that their neighbors are moving and were selling their playset for a GREAT price. We went by to see it, and on Mother's Day, Josh (with the help of my bro, dad, and our friend, Nick) brought home our $75 playset. It needs new canopies and to be restained, but I couldn't believe we were able to get something that will provide so many hours of entertainment for just $75! God is such a sweet and generous Father.


  It was a fantastic day of celebrating the blessing that is Liam, and I'm so thankful his birthday was far enough from my due date that I still had the energy to do some extra special things for him!


Devi said...

The cake looks great - out of curiosity, what tools did you buy/use? I'm thinking.. thinking... about making J's cake next week.. Sigh.

Devi said...

The cake looks great - out of curiosity, what tools did you buy/use? I'm thinking.. thinking... about making J's cake next week.. Sigh.

Stefanie said...

Devi, I just bought several Wilton brand products ... I bought a starter set of disposable decorating bags and a few different shapes of metal tips. I think the main difference, though, was not making my own frosting. I bought this Wilton frosting base that you could buy a flavor packet to mix into, which is what colored it. Caramel frosting was not the tastiest, but it was the color I needed for a ball glove. I also bought pre-made clear gel from the cake decorating aisle and some brown dye. I don't know what you can easily access in Switzerland, but I'm sure it will be a wonderful cake and your son will love it! The best part is seeing it smeared on their faces, anyway!