The first couple of birthdays he didn't seem to mind. We did small family celebrations, and last year we even went to Sea World, just the four of us. But as we continued going to birthday parties for friends, he wanted to have a party more than ever. With the baby coming any day now I thought it would be nice to give him a special day before he loses his spot as baby of the family forever.
I have to admit that I sometimes get caught up in the birthday party madness. Who can throw the most fun, creative and cutesy party? Truth is, the kids don't always care about all that. So I dialed it back and decided to go with the easiest theme of all: simple.
I chose the park across the street from our house as our party location. It's fairly shady, with plenty of picnic tables, and a really fun play structure to keep the kids from getting bored. We didn't think to bring sand toys, but some of our friends did, and of course we had some red Solo cups which are always a fun toy in any situation.
For our entertainment, I covered one of the picnic tables with Kraft paper and laid out some of our favorite RoseArt products. We had big and small markers, regular and neon metallic crayons, neon and metallic colored pencils, and even white and colored chalk. It was quite the mixed media project.
I wrote "Happy 1/2 Birthday Jackson" on the table, and then let the rest of the guests write and draw their own birthday messages and pictures. The parents even joined in too. It's hard not to when there's all that fun stuff just sitting there in front of you.
I kept the food choices simple as well. Keeping in mind that we do have some friends with allergies, I went with very basic kid-friendly food. Rolled up turkey, cheese sticks, strawberries and blueberries, animal crackers, and a veggie tray with carrots, broccoli, cucumber, and yellow squash. For drinks I filled the cooler with water bottles and 100% juice. It was the first time I threw a party without soda, and nobody seemed to mind at all!
Of course, there were cupcakes to be had! My friend Kristin of Meringue Bake Shop provided the treats. Mini confetti cupcakes for the guests, and a special big cupcake for Jackson. Carrot cake, his favorite flavor! Although it was difficult, I managed to talk him into letting me try it, and it was the best carrot cake I've ever had. I've been craving it ever since!
It was a great party! Thanks to all of our friends who came out!