Thursday, November 3, 2016

Jude & Sloane's 4th Birthday Party

After Jude & Sloane's first birthday we decided we'd only do parties on odd years and let even years be family only (at least while they were still young).  That was the plan and we stuck to it... until this year.  Turns out when you have a baby on the way you start considering the sweet moments you have left with your current kiddos.

Michael wasn't excited about this new arrangement so I promised him a few things.  1. The party would be simple.  2. The party would be inexpensive.  Neither of these have applied to their previous parties so I knew it would be a challenge.  I'm usually pretty good at sticking to a budget until the week before when suddenly there are 8,000 items we need for the party and all 8,000 items cost way more than I would ever consider paying had I found them one month prior.

Challenge accepted.

The theme was easy.  Jude & Sloane adore pajamas.  Sloane adores pizza.  I didn't think "Hummus and Pajamas" would bring in the masses so Jude didn't get his say in the food category.  I designed the invitations on PicMonkey and texted them to party-goers.  If that isn't cheap and easy, I don't know what is.  Point for Merd.

They already had plenty of adorable pajamas so I didn't need to buy new birthday outfits.  Once again, Michael would tilt his head and say, "Need?" but let's be honest.  I ordered their cake from Market Street  - if you live in Texas and are near a Market Street, I can't recommend them enough.  They are cheap and delicious.  We picked up the pizzas from Dominos, using coupons to keep the cost down.

Cake topper by Ladada Designs
Biggest splurge: Fruit (isn't it always?) and popcorn from Uptown Popcorn.  Michael grabbed the Dill flavor (YUM) and Confetti (meh).  We popped our own butter popcorn at the house.

We still had plates, napkins, straws, and cups from last year's party so we were all set there!  We always have a giant number balloon so I kept with that tradition and added six more basic balloons to the order last minute.  Come on, I'm no saint.  Since the party was at night, I grabbed glow sticks for favors.

And that was it!  Pizza, fruit, popcorn, and cake.  Seven balloons.  Glow sticks.  DONE.

The kids had a blast.  The weather was perfect so we spent a good portion of the party in our backyard.  I don't think Jude & Sloane stopped moving the entire time (except when we sang to them).

Going overboard in the past with food or decorations or party favors or birthday outfits... our kids didn't care.  In fact, I think we all had a better time this year because I was far less stressed and far more present, which I know they pick up on as well.  Good lesson for me.  :)

One other thing I feel I must disclose.  Sloane.  Oh my goodness.  She talked about her presents the entire time.  We always open them after the guests leave, which I told her before the first guest arrived.  So what did she do?  Waited until I was chatting with approximately seven moms before blurting out, "Are they going to leave soon so I can open my presents?"  And that wasn't it.  She went up to my friend Elizabeth and waved at her.  Elizabeth asked, "Oh, are you ready for me to leave?"  "Yes!  Bye!"  She also brought Ryan her kids' shoes toward the end of the night (without Ryan asking).  Needless to say, we had a long talk about patience and gratitude the next day.  Fortunately everyone found it funny, but her dad and I did not.

And so wraps up their 4th birthday party!  I'm so glad we did it and am so grateful for the sweet friends who came.  I can only hope we're all still close when these kids are celebrating their 14th birthday!


The Joiners said...

Super cute idea and props to you for keeping it low-key! Also, I would totally go to a hummus & pajamas party, so maybe you've given me a theme for my next birthday party for myself? Ha!

Emily said...

1. Absolutely totally love this low-key pizza & PJs party and may totally copycat for my son's birthday. It's genius and looks like a ton of fun.
2. Can you please elaborate on this current trend where presents are opened after guests leave? Every single party we've been to does it and I'm just baffled. One of the things I love is watching kids open presents so I like seeing kids reactions. Additionally, I was totally Sloane as a kid (presents presents presents) so the concept of not opening defeats the purpose of the party.
I'm sorry for the lengthy comment but I'm just baffled and no one has been able to explain it to me!

Meredith said...

Hey Emily! Thanks so much for the sweet comments - copy away, it was so easy! And it's a great question. I don't know why others do it but these are my main reasons. 1. It can take FOREVER and I'm always self-conscious of guests who want to leave by a certain time. Once the presents start, the guests are kind of stuck there until the end, which gives me anxiety. Ha! 2. I've been to parties where the child opened the gifts and then other kids got upset because they wanted to play with the gift, wanted to take home the gift they brought, or wanted to know where their own gifts were. I think by four they're old enough to understand the concept a little better so we'd probably be safe by this point but who knows? :) Maybe next year?

Lori said...

I agree with Emily too. I understand when they are little guests it is hard to watch others open presents and they don't. I do love to see all the gifts, some people are so creative and imaginative. Yes, maybe next year or as the guest lists gets smaller, it can be an option. Opening during the party teaches patience for the guests who have to sit and watch and it teaches how to extend immediate gratitude for the birthday kids. I definitely think if a guest wants to see their gift opened, they should ask to and maybe open it before they leave in a separate room?? You are right too, Market Street cakes are amazing! Such a cute, fun party.


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