This weekend we partied like rock stars... short, little Disney rock stars.
My child has been in love with Snow White since her first Disney Days...
Let me stop you right there...
(Give me a second while I get on my Momma-defending-self-justification Soapbox...)
Yes, we took our child to Disney World when she'd just recently turned 2. And I'd do it all over again. Yes, we heard everyone as they told us she might be too young. Yes, there were moments in the trip I wish I could have reasoned with her (have you ever tried to reason with a 2 year old?) But overall we had an amazing trip. And she still remembers tons about it. Seriously, she does.
We returned to Disney World when she'd just turned 3. She remembers even more about that trip:
(Here they were comparing dresses...)
I'm not sure why she loves this princess so much, but she's been OBSESSED with her for over 2 years now. The irony is, back in the day when I bought my Halloween costume from Eckerd Drugs, I *had* to be Snow White because of my dark hair. And now, E can't get enough of her.
So we invited her (Snow White) to E's birthday party. From the moment Snow White "confirmed" she could come, E was ecstatic. The morning I knew for sure Snow White could come, I went to wake her up and our conversation went like this:
me: Guess who I invited to your birthday party and who said they could come?
me: SNOW WHITE!
E: HOW did you get back from Disney World SO FAST?
me: No, I just emailed her.
E: Cool. (Because, of course, her mom would have Snow White's email addy, right?)
Hey, remember me... up here on my Momma-defending-self-justification Soapbox? Let's talk about this whole kids birthday party thing while we're at it...
I am NOT into parties that are made to impress the parents. I am NOT into parties that are trying to one-up each other, or even your own kid's last birthday party. I am NOT into making your 2 year-old's party look like My Super Sweet Sixteen.
But I AM into throwing parties. I would throw a party for Halloween, Christmas, Arbor Day, Tuesday, Noon... basically give me an occasion and I'll throw a party. I love hosting Bunko, Happy Hour, Supper Club, Bible Study... give me a reason to have people over and I'll do it. My house is nearly never spotless, the preparations are nearly never perfect, but I love it. Like, love it so much I could marry it.
Since I love throwing parties so much, and I love this little miracle of mine so much, you better believe I'll have a good time throwing her birthday party.
Her first birthday party was at McDonald's and the kid's who came donated to the RMH instead of bringing gifts. (Try that with my gift-obsessed 4 year old... riiiiiiiight. We're working on it, people, but we're not there yet.)
Her cute bday cake was a hamburger! (And from Harris Teeter!)
Her second birthday we had a Halloween Carnival in the backyard. (This is one I'd gladly do again and again... so easy, so fun, and all those kids in their costumes!)
We borrowed a popcorn machine and rented a cotton candy machine... and a dunk tank. So fun!
Her third birthday we went to the Children's Museum. She'd gotten hooked on the book Pinkalicious, and since the Museum is all about reading, it was a perfect Pinkalicious party-combo.
Dewey's made the cupcakes that I still dream about... mmm....
This year's party kind of was kind of a no-brainer. We owned the dress. We loved the princess. Why not do a Snow White theme? I printed the invitations, enlisted the help of my friend Lindsay who makes cakes, bought a bag of Cheetos, and we were off...
We had 3 rooms of things for the kids to do:
A wishing well...
The messy dwarves house that the girls cleaned up...
The diamond mine where the girls "mined" for diamonds.
All of those events lasted about 20 minutes. Then... the main event.
Snow White arrived.
They sang and danced.... and were entranced.
Then there was this amazing cake:
-it tasted as good as it looked. Along with it there were these:
"poisoned apple" cupcakes.
And you know what? All of it? Best. Birthday. Money. I've. Spent. Yet.
A. I'll go ahead and make this shameless plug: Get "Snow White" (or her alternate friends) to come to your child's gig. It's worth the money.
B. I'm happy to get you Lindsay's info for cakes, too. Holla at a sista....
C. Now I'll tell you this: mock if you will, but I'm down with throwing parties for my girl. I never seek to be the biggest, the best, the most elaborate, the most expensive, or even the most creative... but I do seek to celebrate my girl and have fun- both for her and me- while doing it.
I love the idea of how-many-is-enough kids at a party (their age + one extra friend... so this year we should have had 5 friends), and how-much-is-enough to spend (I don't have a formula for this one)... but let's be honest... I can't do it. I am looking forward to the days where E wants to have slumber parties. I can't wait for Skate-A-Round USA type parties. I won't lie, Chuck E. Cheese doesn't make me cringe. (Unless it's a weekend night, then I'd rather pry my fingernails off with a rusty nail... that, my friends, is pure hell.) I love parties- big kid ones, little kid ones, whatever.
My kid loved it, and so did I... even if I have a wee bit of a Snow White Hangover.
Or, maybe you should just call me "Sleepy".
Disclaimer #1: I am fully aware of the need in this world... big and small. Please don't hear my justification of my child's birthday parties as a way that I am saying spending this silly money is more important than doing "bigger" things. It's not. It's silly, and it's fun. It's not the most important thing we spend our money on at all... let me make that clear.
Disclaimer #2: No, this is not directed at YOU. After this post, I got several private messages about childcare... my bad. I know that there are lots of you who have your parents keep your kids and it's a healthy arrangement. I TOTALLY respect that. I do not live in the same city as my parents or maybe I'd have a similar arrangement. My beef is the EXPECTATION that people put on their parents to keep their children- as if they don't have lives of their own. That's all. My bad.
Disclaimer #3: Thanks to all who celebrate our child's life with us- whether you were at the party or not. And, in advance, I'm sorry if any of you were offended that you were not included. Again, my bad.
And now, we're off to find our happily ever after. It's what you do when you're 4, you know.