June 29, 2010

Something's gotta give.

As it turns out, folks tend to give their daddies gift cards for Happy Pappy's Day.  And, as it so happens, we sell gift cards on Snapgifts.com, our site (the one that I shill.  Endlessly.)  Holy crap on toast, folks. That week was cuh-razy.  Add in a dash of gross time-mismanagement on my part and the week devolved into a complete and utter mush of mayhem.

It does not help that this summer schedule is not working.  I tweaked it last week, and that worked so much better.  This week, some Interesting and Major Decisions are being made, so the schedule will get switched around further.  I believe, for the better.  

I hate it when I let too much time pass on ye olde blog here.   I never know how to peek back in and hop back on the Hamster Wheel o' Innocuous Musings.   I am going to write a few more posts this week, be warned, a tidal wave of pith shall be forthcoming.

In the meantime, we are in Full-On Birthday Party Planning here - Anjali turns 3 next week and has been planning her party since January.  I do keep things uncomplicated, though.  When the kids were little, I had house parties, but I quickly realized the value of shooting $60 to a worthy organization willing to open its arms to a gaggle of screaming children.  For now, I have both kids convinced that a birthday party at our local nature center is Totally!Rad!  Like, DUDE.

I throw out some cupcakes, ice cream and water (yes, water! Not juice or punch - many of the parents of these kids are my friends and I would like them to remain my friends)  The nature center provides an animal-based activity (the Birthday Princess has selected the Snakes Demonstration)  I emphatically request no gifts - a few family members attend, they bring gifts and that is just the right amount of gift opening.    It is just enough presents to give the party that special sort of birthday flavor, but it does not drag on, either.  The guest list is straightforward - if we have hung out with you in the past few months or we share some genetic material, you are invited. I used to stress about the guest list, now I do not and I realize that it will change from year to year. Normally, I don't do gift bags, but I am taking a cue from my friend Susan this year and providing the materials for a silly craft that the kids can take home to do later.

What I have found with these Simple Simon birthday parties is that the kids simply have fun playing with each other and then stuffing their pieholes with cake.  The equation is quite easy:

Kids + Easy Activity + Cake = Birthday Party

I do not see us doing any birthday extravaganzas.  No magicians, no ponies, no balloon artists, no bouncy princess castles.  Well....maybe.....I am thinking that each kid maybe can have ONE Birthday Blow-Out, say for the Lucky Seven birthday? 

Kristen had a post the other day about the birthday parties and we certainly agree on our mutual hatred of kiddie birthday parties.  Also, the comments got me thinking that I really, really like how we do things.  Laidback, yet still has an aura of "birthday".

What do you think?  Am I a Scrooge McGrinch O'Bailey when it comes to birthday parties?


Tabby said...

Not a Grinch at all! If the kids love it, keep it going :) I on the other hand am one of those mothers you would HATE :) I spend months planning, crafting and searching for our birthday parties - actually, for any party I throw! I don't spend a lot of money, that's really why it takes me so long to put them together :) I scour the clearance aisles and dream up my creations. I make the invitations, decorations, most of the activities/crafts and all the food. But, I enjoy it :) It's my creative outlet. I'm not a big scrapbooker. I sew for necessity. I cook b/c we need to eat and I bake b/c I need to earn money :) So far, all seven kid b-day parties for our two kids, I've had have been in our back yard. The latest b-day party we did rent a bounce house, but we found it for $60 for the entire weekend (quite a steal!). Other than that, my husband and I have become quite handy at making structures to coordinate w/ the theme using cardboard :)
So, I'm sure you may see me as going overboard, but I still see myself as holding back :) At the same time, I envy your low key approach!

Melanie said...

gosh if you are a scrooge about birthdays then I am whatever is worse!! I so far only do family birthday parties (my kids are 5 and 2)....partly because my husbands side of the family is largish (he is one of 5 kids).... and we have to celebrate each b-day here in KC and then again in Iowa with the hubs family... so I feel like they are already getting TWO opportunities to party... so why fuss over it? We do go to other kids parties now and then, but my son has never wondered why he attends their parties and they do not attend his... I figure though I probably wont get away with this forever.

Dee said...

I'm definitely a fan of the low-key birthday party. We just had Zach's party last Saturday. Since he has a summer birthday, we go to a park that has a playground, have cake and ice cream, open gifts, and let the kids play. I do give out a small goodie bag, but don't spend a lot on it. I also don't bother with the fees to reserve a shelter. In the past we've lucked out, but this year we ended up just setting up under a shady tree since the shelter was being used.

Evie, so far, has only had family parties at the house. We may invite a few friends for her 3rd birthday if she wants to.

Monkey McWearingChaps said...

Just wait until they want sleepover birthday parties when they're older. My parents started popping the pepcid about two weeks in advance. They also refinished the basement after the first time we had one!

Those are some of my favourite memories though.

Unknown said...

I like low key birthday parties, but Bob has convinced me to step it up a notch now that Henry is old enough to remember these parties. This year we had a pool party at the rec center where we are members. We invited everyone to swim from 10 am to 11:30, then we provided pizza, cupcakes, salad, and drinks in a community room. I mostly invite MY friends' kids still but I'm sure Kindergarten will change that.

Bob turns 36 in 2 1/2 weeks and I can't figure out what the heck to do for him. He's such a mensch he claims to never want a fuss. So I'm thinking partyboat. ;-0

Cara said...

My childhood birthday parties were either at the zoo or such (just like you described) or were the same backyard party our group of friends had most every weekend, except there was a cake and they sang to me. I have the best memories of those birthdays. Mom also always did a special breakfast on our actual birthday (flowers, waffles with fruit and whip cream, and a birthday crown to wear) and you got to pick out dinner. There was some sort of dinner or gathering with the family, where you got gifts, that day or near it. We believed in birthday weeks and pushed it to months when needed! It sounds like alot when I write it out, but Mom will tell you it was all easy to pull off. So, yes, I think you're kids will have great memories of their birthdays. Much better than a bunch of hoopla that exhausts them, challenges their fledgling social skills and ends in tantrums and/or tears (yours or theirs).

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

You crack me up! Honestly, I would expect that you would do the fun birthday parties like that because you are creative and you are a baker. Me? I can hardly do anything out of a box and even that is hit and miss!

While I emphatically declare no fancy birthday cakes, the reason is that I am jealous. :-)