So technically Owen turned 3 on July 24th. But, let’s be honest, with a one-week old at home on that date, the most we could really coordinate was bringing pudding to school as a treat for Owen and his little buddies. (That’s not entirely true, I guess we also had a nice dinner and a cupcake that night after school).
And we all know that it’s not REALLY your birthday until your BIRTHDAY PARTY. Am I right? At least that’s the way it always felt to me.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — I adore birthdays. I love the excitement of planning the party, the anticipation of waiting for the party and the thrill of the actual party day. I have clearly passed this love on to my first born, because he has been scheming his 3rd birthday since the day he turned 2. Mostly the cake. He’s not even an out-of-control cake fan, but he just likes thinking about what his cake will look like. I can relate!
His first birthday cake was a rainbow cake. He was too little to have any idea about the theme, but he certainly enjoyed the colors. And I was very proud of my cake creation (especially since I only make cake once a year… for his birthday! Baking is not my strong suit). His second birthday he picked the theme — CONSTRUCTION. The truck cake was such a hit that as soon as he took his first bite he began planning what cake he was going to have when he turned 3. All year long I heard, “I’m going to have a ___ cake!”. He would tell random people on playgrounds and old ladies at the grocery store. They’d have no idea what he was talking about, and whatever filled in that blank was news to me at the time, as his ideas changed daily.
A few weeks before the party I started helping him narrow down his cake ideas. Based on the fact that I knew I’d have a newborn and wanted everyone OUTSIDE, I came up with the idea of a bubble themed party. Owen’s Backyard Bubblepalooza, to be exact.
I may have come up with the party theme, but the cake theme was entirely up to Owen. He very clearly told me (after I carefully steered him away from a few other totally out-there ideas), “I want a bumble bee cake for me, and cupcakes for my friends”.
Done and done.
Many people told me I was totally crazy to attempt a birthday party with a brand new baby at home. But there is something about this second child that has pushed me to get back to our “normal” as soon as possible. And our normal isn’t necessarily doing what is easy if that means a sad 3 year old who doesn’t get a party that he has been looking forward to for the last year. Frankly, it felt GOOD to put my mind and hands to work on a little project other than Emmett for a few days. I gave myself a few little projects and outsourced the rest (like the adorable invitation and printables from my lovely and talented friend Stef — check out her Etsy shop!).
It was low-stress and high-reward.
Benjamin and I made a bazillion gallons of bubble stuff the night before the party and filled up tupperware containers and a kiddie pool for various bubble crafts/projects I had found on the wonderful world wide web (thank goodness for Pinterest!). Bubble painting was the biggest hit! Messy, but oh so fun.
It was a morning party, so I kept the snacks light and vaguely bubble-themed (POPcorn, pretzels, watermelon, lemonade and seltzer). Everything was gluten free so that no one (aka Owen) had to be told he couldn’t eat something. So naturally he ate his weight in pretzels.
The kiddie pool was filled with bubble stuff so we could use a hula hoop to make huge bubble tunnels around the kids. But apparently Owen had other plans. While dancing around and telling some story, gesturing wildly, as he tends to do, he tripped and fell backwards into the pool. Instead of getting upset or crying that he was covered in soapy bubbles, he got up, laughed, and said, “Can someone get me some new clothes?” while stripping the wet ones off.
Everyone at the party was in stitches watching him parade around the yard naked and singing “Happy Birthday” to himself into a toy microphone.
What can I say? The kid knows how to party.
So, all in all the party was a huge success. Emmett spent the entire time sleeping in the arms of various friends and family and Owen got his bumblebee cake and a day of bubbles surrounded by his friends.
And now, I officially have a 3 year old.