We had Stella’s birthday party over the weekend. It was in the same location as her first birthday party, a beach down the road from our apartment that our military friends were nice enough to help us rent. I arrived before Wes and Stella did and there was a bounce house set up for another party and I felt mildly guilty that I didn’t try harder to get one for Stella’s party. But the last time she was near one she was scared of it so I didn’t put that much effort into it. Plus, she’s two years old, the beach is plenty of entertainment for her. Of course, as soon as she walked up she pointed out the bounce house and asked to jump. Multiple times over the course of the afternoon parents had to run after a toddler attempting to get some jumping in. This is a good life lesson: there’s always a better party.
Really, though, food and games and the water was plenty for a two-year olds birthday party. We walked down to the water before guests started showing up and she found a few shells and looked for fish. There are rocks there that break the waves and make it easy to just sit in the water and relax. There are a few spots where you can actually get in the water and at one point the waves knocked Stella over while she was more focused on the rocks than on the water (another good life lesson: never turn your back on the water). We’ve been doing ISR swim lessons with her and they paid of. She immediately flipped over and started to float and I was able to scoop her up before the next wave came up. It’s nice to see that the lessons are actually working!
She picked this dress out this morning and instead of forcing her to wear something that I thought was more party appropriate (that is, one that maybe isn’t sized for a 12-month old) I let her wear this one. It matches her sunglasses, so I can understand why she wanted to wear it. Also, polka dots. She loves them.
She didn’t notice the cake at first and it wasn’t until just before we ate lunch that someone pointed it out to her. After that, all she wanted was cake. We were able to hold her off and get her to eat something that didn’t have sugar as the main ingredient. Once we opened this thing up it was a quick scramble to light the candle and sing before all the toddler hands made their way in for some icing. Stella tried to eat the caterpillar’s head and one of her friends snuck in a handful of frosting while Wes was looking the other way! You cannot trust kids around sugar is another good life lesson.
Stella basically ate all of the frosting off of her cake before moving on to maple bacon potato chips. Perhaps I should stop feeling guilty about not getting a bounce house and feel guilty that Stella’s healthiest meal today was when she had two olives for breakfast. Nope, I actually don’t feel guilty about that. Parties were made for fun and cakes and missing naps and playing games.
We managed to sneak in one photo of the three of us. James was being passed around to all the lovely mamas who need their baby fix. Sorry buddy, we’ll get more family photos when you stop trying to flop out of our arms all the time. And what birthday is complete without presents? Certainly not a toddler party. This kid made out like a bandit and I think we may have to move just to fit all her new loot in! She got some really fun things, though, and we are so thankful to all of our friends who came out to help celebrate. I made Stella wait until Wes got home before opening gifts so she busied herself by making dresses out of the tissue paper. For a minute it seemed like I could maybe get away with telling her that was her gift, but then she realized there was stuff wrapped in the paper. Poor kid, though, wanted to open every gift as it came out and was so sad when we asked her to keep opening gifts. I feel like there’s got to be an easier, less tear-filled way to open birthday gifts, but I haven’t discovered it yet. She didn’t actually get to play with any of them because after running around all day and skipping her nap, she was ready for bed by 6pm. Don’t worry, they were still in the same pile she left them in when she woke up on Sunday morning. Our house looks like a toy bomb exploded, but she is one happy kid.