I had this dream that I would one day design interiors. That was a bit of a step down from the dream of designing the actual structure, but I’m a realist (not really) and I try to maintain attainable goals (again, not really). I like design. I like creating. I have ALWAYS wanted to be an architect or a writer (but who was I kidding, WRITING? As a career? LAUGHABLE). As a full-time Mom, the time for becoming an architect and all the accompanying years of career building are behind me. I’m cool with that (well, NOW I’m cool with that). So I thought, I’ll be an interior designer (maybe a decorator, too). The schooling is less grueling. I could go into business for myself. Yay!

Okay, so the reality is, I don’t know when I will get back to school.

**Aside**  I will, though, I do come from a long line of professional students. My maternal grandmother went to college after retiring. Because she wanted to. My Mom’s oldest sister went back to school to become a teacher, then an RN, then she got her bachelors in nursing, then she got her master’s. Now she’s a nurse practitioner. My mother’s other older sister went back to college after her daughter left home and became a CPA. Then a couple of years later she went back to Law school and became an attorney. So, I shrug and think that I will be going back to school some day, too.

Kids in SPAAAAACE. Actual space may vary.

So I started putting my creative energies into elaborate birthday parties.

KIDS IN SPAAAAACE!

The most elaborate was a space party for Chi in which I lined the walls with black plastic and spray painted it like star dust. Made a sun out of my dining room light fixture and made both papier mache and cake planets to be hung from the ceiling, and in the case of the cakes, placed at differing heights on the table. I made cardboard robots and made up other various space games. It was basically a role-playing birthday party where we were on a space mission to save the planet earth and the games were what we had to do to accomplish that. Right.

One-up Mushroom

Gamer's Delight

I’ve done a Mario Party complete with the GameCube game, a Mario (Chi), a Luigi (Chi’s Friend Taz), and a Princess Peach (Chi’s cousin Abshie), a one-up mushroom (cause he was +1), and a Shine Sprite (to jump at and gather). All the costumes, props and food were homemade. A birthday party that was followed a year later by a Gamer’s Delight birthday party at Chuck-E Cheese complete with a GBA cake (GameBoy Advance) and gifts (read Nintendo DS Lite) of the same theme.

Easter Egg Hunt Party

Pynni has had an Easter Egg Hunt birthday party complete with chocolate bunnies (which I bought), Easter Egg shaped cake, Easter Egg Hunt, Easter Grass, Easter Basket Gift bags, and lots of pastels.

Flower Garden Tea Party

Her next birthday party was a Flower Garden Tea Party. I just love spring and couldn’t help but integrate that into a party for her. She got a small table and chairs that year along with a tea set.
So we let her open her presents a day early in order to have the things we needed for the party.

High Tea for Three for a Two year old

This party was only moderately less elaborate than the space party for Chi (and it was in the same year, I believe). This party had a flower garden cake, little mum cakes for the tea party, hot chocolate ‘tea’, hand stamped table cloths, hand stamped napkins, hand decorated cups, hand made invitations, and homemade flower arrangements. It was a ton of fun and she still talks about this party that celebrated her second birthday.

Polka Dots and Stripes forever (less the stripes)

This was followed by the first time I did a joint party for a boy and a girl. Pieces and Pynni have birthdays that are two weeks apart. Exactly. I decided I could put all my efforts into one party until they request a separate celebration. Pieces only really cares that balloons are present at whatever party is for him.

Polka Dot Dance Party

The first joint party was one I called Polka Dots and Stripes Forever! (without the stripes) The polka dots were HARD. It was SOOOO time consuming to cut out tons of individual circles to tape up all over my first floor for the polka dots. Actually putting stripes on things was beyond me at that point. Pieces wore a striped outfit and I think there was some striped wrapping paper, other than that? No stripes, but there were polka dots EVERYWHERE! It was a blast.

These birthdays have, sadly, been followed by not much to compare. I have struggled with some health issues that have nullified the desire to plan for months to create these parties that stress me out to the point that I do not enjoy them one little bit.

We’ve done some simpler things, renting a blow-up jump house, renting a helium tank and filling the first floor with balloons and laughing until we couldn’t stand anymore by breathing in the helium and having silly conversations, trips to arcades, and a birthday at the Little Gym. Chi never really enjoyed any of  his parties because they were getting WAY too busy and he really hates to be the center of attention. So we’ve scaled back.

I’m thinking through all of this because it’s time to plan another party and a friend of mine posted some pics of her youngest’s recent birthday party. It seemed so simple and so fun and I would like to get back to some of the types of parties I used to throw.

In retrospect, I have to concentrate to remember the stress because looking at the pictures from those parties, all I see is fun. Joy. Celebration.

Well, we’ll see if I have the energy for something more extravagant this year, but I have to decide soon, cause the time for the party is nigh.

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