6 years ago, Xavier’s 1st birthday was a crazy bash. Andrea and I went all out on trying to create our very own version of a Korean Doljanchi party complete with Hanbok, Dol towers, picking ceremony and tons more. It was a lot of fun minus the fact that it was 100 degrees out and we had over 30 people crammed inside of a small tent in our backyard.
Ever since, we’ve tried to tone down the birthday parties to a degree where they’re manageable from the planning perspective, but still a ton of fun. With someone like Andrea who loves laminating things and themes, we often forget this rule. The result, we’re left panicking, stressing and rushing right up through the very end of party day. This year was unfortunately no different.
1 Week Before the Party
We spent the weekend before X’s birthday at our favorite place, Disneyland. The Tinkerbell Half Marathon (and Tinkerbell 10K which Andre ran) coincided with Xavier’s birthday weekend so we decided (about 8 months prior) to spend the two days at the parks. Andrea could do her run, but X could have a little birthday visit where he could pretty much run the show.
Now I’m not going to advocate and talk about how cool a RunDisney event is (I’ve already written a post about my Disneyland Half), but combining the run weekend with Xavier’s birthday was a huge success in that we got an awesome pool day at the Disneyland Hotel, but Xavier got to do a few cool new firsts as well:
1. Ride on Indiana Jones (finally tall enough – yay!)
2. Experience the Jedi Training- Trials of the Temple show where he battled the Seventh Sister.
Although he was a bit uneasy, I think in the end, he had a good time. Throughout the show, I was trying to think back to when I was his age and whether or not I would have been freaked out if I saw Darth Vader as a kid. Did I know it wasn’t real? or was there that inkling sensation in the realm of… “SHIT that is Darth Vader?!”
The whole trip was so fun, and I can’t wait to go back. Hint: We’ll be back in September for the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend. Anyone else going to be around?
Disneyland Recovery Week
Monday was terrible. Honestly, with spending all day Sunday in the park and driving back that night, coming to work on Monday was a chore. I know you’ve been there, And sorry if I’m complaining about things I shouldn’t be complaining about, but Disneyland with a 2 year old is freaking hard! If I get around to it, I’ll try to compact my best tips and tricks for experiencing the park with a Tasmanian Devil.
Tuesday, we celebrated Xavier’s real birthday. With a trip to Korean BBQ an ice cream cake and a few gifts, he was completely happy. With the “friends” party coming just a few short days however, Andrea and I began to sweat a little. A party fit for something like 25 friends… it didn’t really sink in until a few days right before.
I have to give it up for Andrea. She’s pretty much able to conceptualize a party from the ground up and then put it together last minute. Granted, its a stressful last minute complete with breakdowns, wrong cake orders, miscommunication and me running around like a chicken with its head cut off.
Sunday morning, I was left staking our spot at the park, which I was totally okay doing. Let me just say this, having your party at a park can sometimes be annoyingly stressful especially if you have park neighbors claiming areas you thought you were supposed to be in. After arguing over permits, location names and everything else, we finally found our designated area. For me, the added stress of not having things like that clearly labeled made the morning way too difficult.
Once everything was sorted out, the party ended up being a ton of fun.
The “built your own lightsaber” station was a hit along with the Star Wars bounce house. Really, we didn’t plan too many activities outside of just chililng and playing in the park which I think the kids didn’t mind. Too many organized activities can make your party, let alone your planning, a lot more stressful than it has to be. Most of all, Xavier had a ton of fun.
Plus, look at these presents! Sure, X might only be 6 but the gifts he’s getting today are way more cool than gifts for 3-4 year olds. Sorry if that makes me a bad dad, but it’s true!
With that, the birthday week (and a day) was over. Burnt, a bit sore and tired; again, I have to give it up for Andrea. Without her, we’d probably be doing something a lot less fun. Fortunately, we get to do it all over again this Summer for Lexan’s 2nd birthday. Luckily, we’ll be back up in Birch Bay for the festitivites. We’ll probably just wait until 3 days before and plan it all out then.