While I don't feel like I need to explain myself, I got a little flack on facebook a couple of days before the party because I said something to the extent of how I was a little stressed out because Cody's birthday party was 48 hours away and I hadn't done anything for it yet. I don't know why I say anything on facebook sometimes. Generally, my status updates are something silly the kids have done that I share to try to make others laugh. But with this one simple status out come a few comments to which I just want to say, shut it. First, when I say I'm stressed, that's like someone else saying they're breathing. I'm stressed. It's what I do. I live at a comfortable anxiety level of about 6. Me saying I'm stressed is no where the same as what you feel as stress, or maybe it is, do you have high anxiety too? Second, I can't STAND it when people say things like, "oh bla bla bla if you go overboard when they are 2 they are going to expect it when they are older." Or "oh bla bla bla if you do a big party now what are you going to do when they are 8, 12, 16..." To which I want to say, none of your business. That's my problem and I will deal with it when they are 8 (taking them to Disney), 12 (letting the girls get their ears pierced, long fishing/camping trip with dad for the boys), or 16 (I may drive them to the dmv to get a permit/license we'll see). But either way, it's none of your concern so BACK UP OFF!
So when you glance at the pictures from Cody's party I realize that without really knowing me or the situations that lead to his party it might look a little over the top. To which I must give a warm and hearty thanks to my brother-in-law David who missed the party but upon seeing pictures/hearing about it from Em, said something about how I did manage to keep it simple this year. Thank you, David for realizing this was actually quite a simple party to put together.
I did a crazy pinterest type party for Cody and Henry for their 1st Birthday last year. I learned a lot from that party. Mostly that I don't enjoy really doing that type of thing. But I also learned that I do like paper party packs from Etsy. With a quick download and then some printing, cutting, and taping you can put together a party that looks well organized and cute with very minimal effort. So that's what I did this year. If it didn't come in the party pack, it wasn't used to decorate. I didn't even bother buying balloons. I also did the party between meal times so that I could just serve store bought snacks with a few handmade add ins. I asked Cody what he wanted to eat and that's mainly what I served with a few things for the adults.
I also realized that Cody's party is probably going to be big every year just because of the nature of it. His birthday falls during nice weather so it's easy to cookout and entertain outside. And quite frankly once I start crunching the numbers the party is already too big to fit in my house after I've invited the family that lives in town. 13 Schwartzes don't fit in my house already, add in 4 Nuckolls, and we're at a party of almost 20 before I invite friends. I can't fit 20 people in my house so we have to move it outside right there. As long as we're outside I might as well invite some friends and easily the guest list swells to 40+ people. I like it. If you're going to take the time to do stuff for a party, you might as well have your friends over to tell you you did a good job. Right?
So with all that being said, here's a photo recap of Cody's party.
Cody is really into trains right now. Except that about a week before his party all of a sudden he was really into planes and wanted a plane party. Thankfully we just ignored him because I'd already bought the etsy party pack and had started printing things.
Invitation, sorry if you didn't get one.
The main reason I was a little stressed 2 days before the party was because instead of doing my cutting and taping like I usually do a couple weeks before the party. I instead reread the Hunger Games Trilogy and that ate up my free time when Chris was working late. Whoops. So my dear sweet husband did the wall decorations while he sent Sarah and me to Disney on Ice.
Snack table, you can't really tell but all the food is in train cars. And it's being pulled by a train toy that we slipped Cody's picture into so that it looks like he's driving the train.
Yeah, I asked my parents to center the table in front of the white table cloth. Now looking at this picture it really bugs me they failed at the "centering" assignment.
I asked Cody what he wanted to eat at his party and he said, "goldfish and nem-im-nems." So we got cheeze-its, M&Ms. Then we also served his 2 favorite fruits, apples and grapes with some fruit dip. Added some carrots and celery with ranch dip. And some vanilla waffers for good measure. Like I said I also bacon pinwheels and buffalo chicken dip and Em brought over some delicious homemade bruschetta for the grown folks pallet to enjoy.
I hate baking cupcakes with a fiery passion. From trying to stuff the stupid paper cups in the tin to figuring out what 2/3 full is I HATE THEM. I had planned on outsourcing this task but my wonderfully talented baking friend had her hands full so sucked it up and made some cupcakes for Cody's party. Again, cute wrappers and picks came out of the paper pack. Print, cut, tape and voila adorable cupcakes.
And then since I was on a roll I made a cake too. I thought surely a 2lb bag of powder sugar will make enough butter cream for all this. Nope. Not even close. I ran out, twice. Chris had to run to the store and buy more powdered sugar the morning of the party so I could finish the cupcakes. Between these two pictures you are looking at 4 lbs of frosting my friends. Let the diabetes begin!
Cody's train from Disney world on the cake. So cute!
We also wrapped the water bottles with personalized wrappers again, because it's not a party without a personalized bottle of water.
The big beverage hit this year was a flat of glass bottle Cokes made in Mexico I picked up at Costco. Those things were devoured and well received.
For the entertainment I was really blessed with great friends and good luck. I tried to find an affordable kiddie train to rent when I first decided to do a train themed party. I was a little bummed when I couldn't find one. Thankfully, my wonderful brother in law who is an impressive business man just started a new company. Adam has got one of the most amazing enterprising minds I've ever seen in action. He was born to be an entrepreneur and is quite successful in all his endeavors. He was so generous to donate one of his new inflatables for Cody's party. So really, this party was awesome because of The Inflatables. Otherwise, this party would have just been me and some friends hanging out in my drive way because the yard was so wet from the rain on Friday. Seriously check out The Inflatables on facebook link here: The Inflatables.
Bouncy house slide castle
Cody loved the bouncy house. He kept saying, "blue bouncy house, fun!" Even the next day after it was gone he's point to where it was and remind us, "blue bouncy house, fun!" (He just saw the picture over my shoulder and said "bouncy house!") The bigger kids loved it too. We've started having kids a little later that most of our friends; a lot of our friends already have tweens in their home! So having a bouncy house is a nice way to make sure everyone has a great time.
Sarah loved it.
Proof I got in and had a good time.
When I got in my mom felt the need to shove the camera in through the little crawl slot and take pictures. They were mostly of my butt. Thanks mom! This is the only one that wasn't of my back side.
Even Grandma Schwartz loved it.
A couple of weeks before the party I was chatting with my neighbor who's son is about a month older than Cody. They love to play together. And her son is also a big fan of trains. We were invited to his party but couldn't make it because some family came to town. I was asking her how it went and she mentioned her friend from church brought over their kiddie train and her son loved it. I jumped for joy and asked her to ask her friend how much he would charge me for 30-45 minutes at Cody's birthday party.
This guy was so generous he said he'd be glad to do it and I didn't need to worry about a fee. But if I wanted to I could donate for the cost of the gas. So of course I gave the man gas money. And a lot of thank yous and a big smile. As well as all the big smiles from the kids.
I hate that I didn't get a picture of the look on Cody's face when he saw this little train coming down the street. He loved it!
Loading into the Choo Choo
Sarah and Cody
Sarah and Jessie
Cody and Houston
Cody and Henry
Pretty much as long as the train was there, Cody was on it. He rode in every color barrel and had a great time.
Even the big kids rode the train.
Time for cake!
Cody got his fingers in the icing while Chris was lighting the candle.
I love his smile in this picture. It's like he's saying, "y'all are singing...to me!"
And then opening presents
A new matchbox car storage case from Grandma and Grandpa Schwartz
Like a good sister, Sarah is trying to help, or steal the present not quite sure which.
Cody's party was a blast. Everyone had a great time and the weather was gorgeous. I'm really grateful for the entertainment that was donated. I'm not quite sure what I'll do next year. Probably just have a cookout. But like I said at the beginning, that's my problem no one else's. =)
Of course, my biggest problem right now is that Sarah is convinced she's going to have a big ballerina birthday party. Sorry sweetie, with a December birthday you are just getting your traditional dinner with the 4 of us, and then trip to the movies with your Auntie Cam, Auntie Susan, and Auntie Steffanie. It's a hard knock life for you Christmas baby. But I love you.