My darling daughter is turning 5 next week. To celebrate, but how? We could have a party at her preschool as we did the past two years (yes, she attends preschool full-time with her sister). We could have a separate birthday party for 'home' as we did the past four years. Each year, the preparation has been a pain, but the parties have been fun.
This year, I am nixing the 'grand' birthday party at school. I despise goodie bags. I have made 'bags' featuring paints and watercolor paper, but they were 'too nice' and age inappropriate. I hate spending $100-$200 for food from Costco or the caterer's, disposable balloons, disposable drink cartons, etc. Instead, the girls will have a mom & dad play-day with stops at Peekaboo (an indoor playground in Eagle Rock), Chuck e. Cheese (fyi, $2 in tokens is excess for toddlers) and pony riding at Griffith Park. I offered Disneyland like last year, but daughter preferred this as her trifecta.
Last week, we went to a birthday party for a darling little girl. There was a jumper, catered food from two places for adults and kids, a two-tiered cake, an amazing dessert buffet of cupcakes, petits fours, chocolate candies, scones, cookies, hand-made marshmallows and ice-cream. The theme was 'fairy princess.' The mother did an outstanding job of creating 'play-stations': fairy drawing, face painting and dressing-up as fairies with wings, tiaras and tutus. The boys played in the jumper and a train table. Her yard was decorated with enormous tissue paper flowers, butterflies and handmade signs. (I would include a picture but I don't want to give away my identity!) It was gorgeous, but I am freeing myself from recreating this for my daughter.
My rule is to not compare myself to others. My passion is to hone my intelligence and creative powers to impart a less waste and memorable birthday.
Today is Friday. My daughter's birthday is on Wednesday. Maybe...
Saturday: Dim sum at Elite in Monterey Park and a kid's movie with one other family. Remember to bring cloth napkins and to go containers from home! Sorry, no popcorn.
Sunday: Brunch at our place for whoever can show up (as the invites go out today), followed by a visit to LACMA or Franklin canyon duck pond. Take out Xmas lights for decoration? Eat in the backyard with a 'picnic' setup like in my earlier post? Request BOOKS or a 'coupon' promising to spend time with daughter.
Tuesday: A little something at school... After the kids' nap, near 3:30pm. Happy Birthday song played by dad in person on his violin and cake bites like these by mom. And maybe a toy/fruit run for the kids: a blanket topped with our kids' excess new art/craft supplies (a decluttering moment!) and peelable fruit like tangerines and bananas. Make an invisible starting line and say Go! The kids can take whatever they want. I'm nixing bags since they have backpacks. I'm not wrapping the craft toys since I want the kids to be selective of their loot.
Wednesday: The big day. No school. Eat breakfast at home. Go to Peekaboo. Hang out for an hour or two. Then have lunch, probably at Oinksters, although since they use disposable (but 'green') plates, I may seek elsewhere. Then go to Chuck E. Cheese. And then sleep in the car. Option to go pony riding if the girls want it.