Thursday, January 19, 2012

Cat & Mouse: Planning that First Birthday

The big day is right around the corner. About three months ago, I began getting questions about what I planned to do for Mouse's first birthday. I hadn't given it much thought. It was too early, I said. Now it's less than two months away. I have given it some thought. I have been encouraged by some to have a big party--it's more for the parents, after all. Of course, my response to that is if that's the case, I want a quiet day at the spa. Throwing a big party sounds nothing like fun to introverted and reserved me.

When I think of Mouse, I am not sure she'd appreciate a big party either. She isn't one who likes a lot of attention heaped on her. It'd have to be time limited since she needs her rest. So wouldn't she be just as happy with a small intimate party, surrounded by people she loves? It isn't something she will remember anyway--only in photos.

You can tell which direction I am leaning. So, chances are, we'll be having a small party--maybe just mom and dad and the grandparents if they can swing it. I did, for a brief moment, consider something big. Maybe get a jumper, invite all the kids we know and their parents. My coworker's daughter who had a baby a week before I had Mouse, is having a big party at Chuck E Cheese. I could do that . . . Naw.

I suppose I should now decide on a theme (do I really have to have a theme?) and a cake. Do I give Mouse her own little cupcake or her own small actual cake like my friend gave her daughter on her first birthday?

What did you do for your children's first birthdays? Or for those who don't have children, what's your take?

Decisions, decisions . . .


© 2012, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved.If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

37 comments:

  1. Your instincts are right I think. A one year-old is just going to be overwhelmed if there are a lot of people there. Big parties are more for the parents. Invite the people she knows and is comfortable with, get her a cake (they have ones that they make for one year olds that are little), strip her down to her diaper, and let her go for it. Emma had a Barney cake and when all was said and done, she was one big purple baby at the end. My son was a little more deft of getting the cake into his mouth and not on him. Professional eater, that one.

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    1. Her daycare is going to be having a little party for her too, which I think will be perfect. And then we can have the small family affair at home. I like the idea of striping her down to her diaper--I hadn't thought of that!

      A purple one year old sounds like so much fun. LOL I'll be curious to see what Mouse does with her food--she tends to go back and forth between being neat and messy.

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  2. Oh Wendy, how is it possible that she is going to be one already?!

    I agree with Sandy. I think at this young age, the small intimate parties are best as she will have no recollection of any of it (except by looking at photos years later). There is plenty of time for large celebrations with lots of presents :)

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    1. It doesn't seem possible, if you ask me. LOL

      I guess I'd better think about what I'm getting her for her birthday too. It seems like just yesterday we were celebrating Christmas.

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  3. I'm with Sandy and Molly. Small is so much better! I always hated birthday parties. They were just so much darn work with so little enjoyment. You know your little mouse best. Follow your instincts and have a good time!

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    1. Linda, I feel the same way about birthday parties and imagine I will continue to feel that way with Mouse's upcoming ones. Poor Mouse! She got a mother who lacks the party gene. LOL

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  4. My son's birthday is in the summer. When he turned one I set up a baby pool and invited 4 moms and their kids over. It was very low key and relaxing. Do what you and Mouse are comfortable with - don't let anyone push you into something.

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    1. How fun! Sounds perfect. If I was close to anyone with small children, I think that would be a great way to go. Of course, it's a toss up whether the weather will be cool or warm in March, so a pool would have to wait for the summer. Makes having a summer birthday all the better. :-)

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  5. I say do what makes you comfortable, and trust your intuition about what would Mouse would enjoy most. When my kids were small I remember reading an article about the # of guests to invite to birthday parties: the age of birthday child plus 1. Now, this was referring to slightly older children, but I still think there's wisdom in it! As for cake, I don't think it matters, just be sure to get pictures! And enjoy.

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    1. That is good advice! It would likely save a parent's sanity too--at least early on. :-) Thanks, Laura.

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  6. I like the mini cake idea, and that's what the parent's of the little girl that we used to take care of had for her first birthday. They had a bigger get-together, but I don't necessarily think that's what every baby needs. If she's sort of shy, and not comfortable being in the spotlight, a smaller party may be better for her. I hope all goes well, and that there are a lot of pictures taken!

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    1. A friend of mine had a huge party at a park for each of her three girls. Of course, she has a huge family that, at the time, lived in the same general area, which made it easier. Maybe if our situation was the same I would've done something like that.

      Even just having the grandparents over will be a challenge--where will everyone sleep? LOL

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  7. We always did small family parties until the kids were old enough to beg for the swimming or Chuck-e-cheese events (which personally I loathe). I think the cupcake idea is good- that way you can make hers with less sugar or something if neccessary.

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    1. Good idea, Jeane! I hadn't thought of that, but I like the idea of giving her a cupcake with less sugar. I also like the idea of holding off for the "big" parties until she asks for them. It makes sense.

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  8. I went through this with Greyson's first bday, and we ended up having a small party that worked just fine for us. No invitations, no bounce houses, just family and love.

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    1. I'm debating on the invitations right now. Might be nice to have one for her baby book, but I think it'd be easier not to bother with them--it makes it seem more like a formal event when I'd rather keep it casual and intimate. And if we're only inviting the grandparents, I'm not sure invitations would be worth it.

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  9. My son just turned one. We decided that a small get-together would be best; we had family over for tea and cake, and he had his own cupcake. It was a lovely afternoon...

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    1. Sounds perfect, Claire! Casual, simple and fun!

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  10. I think a small intimate birthday sounds perfect!

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    1. Me too. I think it will be fun--and less stress for her parents. :-)

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  11. I had a lot of people over for the first party but I didn't go all out. You can get a free first-year cake from a lot of the supermarket bakeries...just ask. I used that cake for my kids to dive into, and then there was a cake, made by me, for them to enjoy.

    I advise against a BBQ though. My husband spent a lot of time flipping burgers and didn't get to enjoy a thing. If you do a party, make it easy...get a sandwich tray and ask people to bring a side. Done.

    Save the bigger stuff for when she starts school and everyone competes with one another for the best party!

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    1. Thanks, Ti! I know our local grocery store offers the free first year cake. I will have to look into that.

      Yeah, a BBQ is out for us. We don't yet have a BBQ. LOL The sandwich idea is a good one. Since all the guests would be from out of town, hubby and I would have to provide all the food. But given there would only be a handful of us, that shouldn't be too hard to manage.

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  12. I had a big party for my son when he turned 1 but his father and I both come from large families so it really was just a family party but still...huge. It sounds like you have the perfect party planned for your daughter.

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    1. I think if we lived closer to family, we'd probably have a bigger party--a good medium sized one at least. :-)

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  13. I'll definitely go for the small intimate party! Not only it's a great get-together for the family but also we don't have to think of the mess we've to clean up for the big party! ;)

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  14. When did birthday parties get to be such a big thing? I only remember one party from when I was a kid. So obviously, I'm in the go small camp. :-D

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    1. I'm not sure, Jill. If I remember right (which I don't actually remember at all--just remembering photos I've seen), mine was small. Just a couple of neighborhood kids and their parents.

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  15. We only did family at birthday parties until around age 5 or so. Grandma and Papa, aunts, uncles, and cousins - if they were in town, but that's it. When they got to be school age, we started adding in friends. It always seemed just fine to us, and none of the kids every complained. :)

    And, can I just say that it's not possible that it's almost been a year since Mouse was born? Where on earth did time go?

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    1. Carrie, I really like that idea. These are the times I wish we lived closer to family.

      It really doesn't seem like it's been a year. She's grown and changed so much since we first brought her home from the hospital.

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  16. I can't wait to hear what you decide to do! Scott's already talking about Elle's so I'm just going to let him figure it out. I would prefer small but my parents are divorced and to get them together in a small group can be kind of weird. ;) Can't believe we're already talking about first birthdays!

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    1. You'll have to let me know what Scott decides to do for Elle, Trish. :-)

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  17. We just did family parties for the first one... but the best tradition that we love is giving the birthday kid the cake to just just dig into... and yes, we did the real big cake, the one everyone ate afterwards! And take tons of pictures of the messy kid. Lots of fun!

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    1. Definitely lots of pictures! LOL I can't wait to see her eating her first cake. :-)

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  18. I like Sandy's take! Just have a good time.

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    1. That's the plan! :-) I am sure we will have fun. Just being with Mouse is fun. Hopefully everyone will be healthy!

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  19. She will not remember it. We threw a huge party and it was nothing but stress. http://stacybuckeye.wordpress.com/2011/10/09/sundays-with-gage-an-early-celebration/
    In our defense it was a joint party. I turned 40 8 days before Gage turned 1 :)
    Have a small party and HAVE FUN.

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