Monday, March 4, 2013

Inadequacy on Display (My Stint as a Party Planner)

Yikes.  It's been a long hiatus for me again. I was first trapped in party planning central, and now I'm deeply immersed in solo parenting week. Both can be fairly overwhelming on their own, but when they back directly into each other (as in, Adam left the party before about half the guests so he could make his flight) it becomes truly overwhelming. 

By the way, hats off to all the single moms/military moms out there. It is TOUGH when I am outnumbered by toddlers for more than a day.

I hate planning parties.

Don't get me wrong, I want my kids to have fabulous parties.  I just hate planning them.

No, wait, maybe that's not right either. I hate planning parties that show off my lack of craftiness, creativity, and culinary skills.  And having them out the house, which means that I have to pretend that our house is clean and organized.

I'm a big fan of outsourcing.  We all have our skills, and since this isn't one of mine, I'm ok with farming it out. We had Madison's second birthday party at Gymboree, and I was a huge fan. I could really enjoy her party, because I wasn't worried about tiny details, getting the house cleaned, or providing a meal that appealed to adults and children.  I loved it so much I swore that this was the way to have a child's birthday party. 

However, that doesn't work as well for a first birthday party.  Like Madison's, Reagan's first birthday was held here, at home, with a small group of family and friends. 

Two key differences:

1. Madison's birthday is in July. Reagan's was in February.

2. Madison's first birthday had no theme (assuming that "first birthday" doesn't count). Reagan's did.

That means:

1. We had no outdoor option for Reagan's party (which caused the guest list to shrink sizeably - in case you were wondering where your invite was).

2. Once I started, I was stuck with a theme. That I ended up having a really hard time with.

I was so proud that I came up with a theme that wasn't "One" or "Birthday". It wasn't even generic!  My theme is so cute!  Leap Baby = Leap Frogs!

In the future, if I ever get the urge to plan a "themed" party, please remind me that I should first see what kind of decorations are available, and then choose the theme. If I wanted a princess party, I'd be golden. Ladybugs? No problem. But cute little first birthday frogs? Nope.

Therefore, because of my own procrastination and thriftiness (because, yes, I could probably source everything from Esty if I were willing to pay and had started pulling things together 6 weeks ago), this party turned into much more of a DIY event than I am comfortable with.

And thanks to Pinterest, and some very talented and creative family and friends, I put all this pressure on myself to make everything adorable.  I am a Type A perfectionist and I don't like feeling inadequate.

In the end though, as usual, things ended up working out beautifully. It turned into more of a pink/green with frog accent, but the theme came across and it was adorable.  Through some very creative persuasion and meal shifting, I managed to get both girls napping (or at least in their beds) for the 2 hours preceding the party, which was just enough time to get the house cleaned and decorated.

I painted this, since the easel wasn't going anywhere. It only LOOKS like Madison painted it.

Otherwise known as "we still have a snow covered front walk, so don't use this door".

Slightly bothered that it's not even...still wasn't worth stressing over.

Birthday Princess/Leap comes across, right?

At first I was disappointed that the bakery didn't do the cupcakes in the right shade of pink and green. Then I remembered that I didn't have to make the cupcakes, and I got over it.

Most importantly, Reagan was celebrated and surrounding by friends and family who love her, and she had a great time showing off her running and climbing skills. 

No time for posing...she's got places to go!

What? They're for me, right? So what's the problem?

Now it's time to put the house back to normal, stop Madison from stealing all the new toys, and catch up on all the writing/cleaning/laundry/bill paying/general household maintenance that I put off while trying to channel my inner party planner. The party planner has gone back underground, seven loads of laundry have been washed, dried, folded, and put away, and I am catching up on writing again.  Reagan's new toys have been integrated (and controlled).  I think I'm back on track! 

Because I basically went social media silent for the last five days, I'm extending the book giveaway an additional week. Leave me a comment on Facebook letting me know who you'll share Manner-Man with for a chance to win! Winner will be selected Sunday!

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