Saturday, March 9, 2013

Happy Birthday R!

We celebrated R's birthday a while ago (on the 16th of February) but I just got around to posting the photos. 

I invited a lot of people (for a combination of reasons: basically R and I just know a lot of children/parents), and dislike party hosting. So having the party at a rented facility was easiest. I chose a play space R and I frequently visit because I think it's lovely and she enjoys all the play options. 
I've been to a fair number of toddler birthday parties at this point, and definitely didn't want anything too structured (like with hired facilitators leading the kids in activities, or anything requiring the kids to stay still for more than a few minutes). I also wanted the parents to be able to relax (as opposed to chasing their children everywhere). So the vibe was really relaxed. Most of the party looked like this.
 Decorating was pretty minimal (because I didn't want to spend my time doing it): some balloons...
 and a printed banner. Here's R with two of her favorite playmates (one is Mexican, the other Singaporean-Australian). Both of them have mothers into photography, so they are used to posing: I suppose they provided a good example for R temporarily, because this is almost the only picture of her posing. More were attempted to failure (the photographer had to shadow her to get any photos at all).
 The play space has tons of cool little cubby spaces, like this one: so the kids could explore at their own pace (and have alone time if they felt like it). This meant it was quite calm and there was no crying (overstimulation and toddlers don't mix well).

 Love these pictures of R having a heart-to-heart with her best friend F: F's family was visiting their home country for over two months, and this is the first time they've seen each other since F's return. They were so excited to be reunited!
 R's best friend from preschool: R loves his mother too.
 Another cool area: a triangular mirrored structure. Like all the other furniture in the play space, it's imported specially from Italy.
 We did briefly gather in a circle to sing a few songs, including Happy Birthday. This is about half of the party attendees to give you an idea of size.
 R isn't sure what to make of everyone singing at her. (She was supposed to sit in the middle by herself for the birthday song.)
 We ended up with some bubbles: everyone is very enthralled by the prospect (why are toddlers so into bubbles? It's like an obsession).
 Then we went several doors down to the onsite cafe for snacks and cake (no food is allowed in the play space itself). The food was quite good and extensive: mini hot dogs, carrot sticks, marshmallows, three kinds of sandwiches (PB&J, ham,  and cheese), cupcakes, raisins, sweet crackers, salty crackers, apple juice...Luckily there were a lot of people to eat it (I still had a lot of hot dogs left over).
 The cupcakes were really cute: some had mini-marshmallows on top
 The cafe is very child-friendly and filled with toys and books (see the toy corner to the left?), so the kids were happy to play some more. More relaxed hanging out ensued.
 Eventually we got out the (ridiculously large, I am math-challenged and unable to translate dimensions into real-life) cake. R blew out the candles, which was apparently the highlight of the day for her (she is still talking about it now).
After two or three hours, we were done and all the toddlers headed home. Each one got a goody bag. I actually think goody bags are really stupid and a waste of money (who wants yet more candy and cheap plastic junk? No one, I think), but it was included in the rental (and the facility employees did everything). Maybe it's for the best, as it seems to be standard for largish parties?


  1. She is SO cute! I just love that little dress and she looks like such a cute birthday girl. Happy birthday, R!

  2. Happy Birthday little R! She is so darling with her red ringlets.

    For being an introvert, that is a HUGE party! I bet you were zonked out afterwards. Looks like the birthday girl had a grand old time!

  3. she is so darn cute!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I die over those curls