I know some people don't do parties for children who are very young, and I'm still not sure where I stand on the issue. I do think gifts at toddler parties aren't necessary, IMHO. Kids this age don't expect it. We didn't do more than a family get-together for Lo's first birthday. But he has so many cute friends in this area, and celebrating with them would be exciting for Lo with his social personality. Plus also, I like parties. =) As Jerry kept reminding me, the party is as much for the child in me as it is for our child Lo. I'm ok with that.
For Lo's birthday we intended to do a "Things That Go" party since he loves trains, trucks, airplanes, etc. Months in advance, I started making a helicopter pinata (with the gleeful help of Little Hands Lo of course). Cakes got baked and sat in the freezer for weeks, decorations and party favors piled up in the closet...and then as the time drew near for Lo's birthday I got intimidated. A few reasons for my hesitation: the schedule seemed FULL right around his birthday--Halloween parties and hayrides, and the beginning of November full of church events that couldn't be held later in the month because of Thanksgiving. Furthermore, location stymied me: it happens to be freezing most days in early November, so we couldn't hold the party at a park, renting locations is more expensive than we wanted to spend on a toddler's party, and our apartment is too small to have more than a handful of preschoolers running around. To top it all off, by the time his birthday hit, Lo was about a week into healing from a cough/cold. So we mulled over not doing the party at all. But Lo was kinda asking about that pinata he'd seen sitting on top of our fridge for months...and we had a mountain of Halloween candy to get rid of via said pinata...So we hijacked the weekly church playgroup for Lo's birthday celebration. He'd caught his cold at playgroup to begin with, so I rationalized the other kids wouldn't mind a little additional exposure. ahem. I had a little too much fun doing that train cake. The engine is a pound cake, made from scratch and super delicious if you ignore the gallons of food coloring in its frosting layer. The coal car is actually rather healthy, again made-from-scratch banana nut bread with whole wheat flour. Crushed oreos for the "coal." The third car in the lineup was the most popular for eating; gingerbread with homemade lemon ginger frosting. The kids at the party were jumping up and down with excitement when they saw the train cake. And I had lofty dreams of adding another car or two plus a caboose to this train cake lineup. Thank goodness Jerry convinced me to rein it in, lol.
I am yelling like a crazy woman in that pinata clip because I could envision all too clearly the possibility of some kid getting whacked in the face with the pinata stick. Yes, chaotic. Yes, lots of fun. We'll probably do a pinata for Lo's birthday every year as I cannot imagine a better way to disperse the leftover Halloween candy. At home we kept things simple, singing the Happy Birthday song to Lo myriad times throughout the day in several different languages, opened a gift. Didn't have birthday hats, which Lo kept asking about. He must have learned about birthday hats from watching Signing Time birthday episode. Something to include next year.