She Says… The Big 2

Well, technically he’s not 2 until tomorrow at 12:33pm, but since we had the big birthday bash this past weekend, in his mind, the exciting part of turning 2 is already over.

It was AWESOME.

The morning of the party I got inspired to make Owen a birthday tee shirt. It was surprisingly easy, and though I probably should have been concentrating on things like icing the cake and cupcakes and making appetizers, everything got done and the shirt turned out pretty darn cute (if I do say so myself).

The “cars, trucks and things that go” theme was so much fun. I got constructions hats and noise makers for the kids when they came in the front door. The noisemakers were a huge hit!

We had about 25 people and over 10 kids… so it was a full house! We continued the party outside where the kiddos splashed in a little wading pool (with construction themed rubber duckies) and burned off the sugar from all of the treats.

Even the adults got in on the fun!

And then there was cake. Oh yes, TRUCK CAKE. As I mentioned before, Owen was fixated on having a truck cake (hence the entire party theme). I found some inspiration on Pinterest and then went to work creating my own.

I was so proud of myself! It is only the 2nd cake I’ve ever made. (This one, at least year’s party, was the first). I know everyone said, “Take it easy. Buy the cake.”, but I got SO MUCH JOY out of making this cake for Owen. And a little joy is just what the doctor ordered, even if it meant a few hours of extra work.

The truck theme continued to cupcake toppers and signs and decorations. I love a theme party!

Owen loved every minute of the party. He kept saying, “So many friends over!” and “TRUCK CAKE”. He played so nicely with everyone, shared his toys like a champ and no one had any meltdowns or major altercations. An all-around success, I would say.

Check out this grin! I would say Owen’s favorite part of the party was when everyone sang “Happy Birthday” to him. He looked around smiling and said, “Happy Birthday to me!”. Attention hog, much?! Don’t know WHERE he got that…

I love throwing parties!

We didn’t have Owen open presents at the party because I think it’s a lot of pressure for a) him to give a good reaction, b) other kids to sit while he gets to open presents and c) everyone to “share” after a new toy has just been opened. I opted to save them all for a quieter time when we could appreciate opening each one. I felt a little guilty that people wouldn’t get to see their gift opened and appreciated, though.

What do you do at birthday parties? Is there a certain age at which present-opening can be done without drama? Is it a good idea/bad idea?

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8 responses to “She Says… The Big 2

  1. what a cute party!!! and you look so happy, glad to see that after what you’ve been through.

    we didn’t have Clara open gifts (or blow out candles/have a smash cake/etc) at her 1 yr party and won’t at her 2 yr party either. I understand that now that I have a child, though it used to bum me out a bit before.

  2. I love that you got up early to freaking iron a special birthday shirt. I would maybe try to squeeze in a run, but iron? Now that’s just nuts. :)

    Happy birthday Owen!

  3. You are amazing. That shirt is too cute and it sounds like everything went really well. The cake is awesome! I’ll bet Owen was over the top excited :)

  4. Happy birthday to Owen! Glad he had such a great time.

    We always wait until after the party to open gifts. It’s just too hard for all the kids (especially the younger ones) to just watch one kid open and receive everything. And there’s usually so much excitement and chaos that it’s too hard to keep track of who gave which gift (so my thank you notes always end up saying “thanks for the great gift!”). Also it saves the gift-givers any embarrassment if the birthday boy or girl exclaims loudly, “oh, we have that book/toy already!” or “this isn’t the one I wanted!”
    I had a joint birthday party last year for my boys (5 and 3), and we just asked people not to bring presents. It was fine (they had already gotten a ton of stuff from family), they got lots of cards, and they had a blast.

    I have never been able to throw a party as cute as Owen’s – you are Superwoman for pulling it off so well! Happy birthday again to the big boy!

  5. Love the cake! And the shirt – totally impressed with it all. I really wish I had that “love to throw a party” gene. I can envision it all in my minds eye, but when it comes to execution, I get overwhelmed by it all and just stress myself out. Something to work on.

    We don’t “do” presents for the boys…yet. I know we won’t be able to get away with it much longer, but right now cake and an empty box makes them happy enough, and they really don’t need anything. Of course, the grandparents can’t help themselves, so there is always something special. I figure there is plenty of time for presents later! I think you are on to something opening the presents later, especially for a little one. Happy Birthday Owen!

  6. Well done! That all looks awesome! I think you’re brave for having all the kids! Cameron’s 2nd birthday will mostly be family & friends and their little ones, if any. The birthday invites aren’t flying around the day care just yet, so I’m happy to defer that for the years to come. Your cake was AWESOME! Adding the figurines on top is the way to go! I’m currently trying to finalize our theme which I think might be “barn yard animals” since Cameron is completely smitten in love with his “sheepie.” He’s also completely in love with Diego, but I’m not as supportive of that one, so I’d rather go in another direction if possible! lol

    The birthday gift thing is a tough call. We will definitely play it by ear and if it ends up being mostly adults, opening them might go over better than if there were lots of kids. It’s a tricky age!

  7. everything about the party looks awesome! we pretty much had the same theme; with the yellow hats and everything! and my MIL made the excavator cake with fake little candy rocks and everything. very similar idea to yours. great job!

  8. Awww what an awesome party!! And grats on the cake!! I am just amazed at the talent :)

    As for presents, I think you made the right call. I have witnessed some world-class meltdowns at young kiddo parties, over having to share presents they don’t want to yet! I don’t know that the reaction is important, I don’t know a single parent that would be offended even if the child appeared to hate the gift (I mean I personally would have to laugh). But I totally think it was a good decision. I also can’t imagine the disappointment being too severe, I think most adults would completely understand why you chose to wait.

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