My sweet baby boy...who turns 1 year old a week from today...walked last night!!! EEEEEEEEEEK!!!!
I'm not sure if I should 'squeeeeeeee' with joy or throw up at the idea of him getting so big so fast and uhmm...inevitably getting into EVERYTHING! I have my father to blame, who babysat him yesterday and spent the entire time he was here trying to con and coax my little man into walking to him. There's no one else in the world that I would rather have had teach him that...and the way his 1st steps last night went down was so perfect! In the middle of Sons of Anarchy while my husband and I were sitting together, Moose stood himself up on the corner of the chair, put his arms out, and walked to me a whole 5 steps! My husband's face was PRICELESS (as I'm sure mine was too).
Planning a 1 year old's bday party seemed like such a breeze at first but now the mom in me has taken over and I'm obsessed with it being perfect. Yes. Obsessed. Crazy psychotic out of my gourd ... ok not really
but I do want it to be cool. I know he won't remember and I'm not one of those moms spending $300 on a party, but the photog in me wants awesome memories for both him and myself.
So I spent an hour this morning working on a project, the idea for which I got from a photo blog I follow...and I have 3 other little projects planned. I ordered Harley Davidson and Gravedigger (monster truck) plates and napkins and a really cool centerpiece for the table...one of my mothers in law is picking up a perfect cake...and I'm now debating getting him a new shirt for the occasion. Get this...I've even planned out MY outfit! Yeah. It's like that!
So as I obsess over the silly little details of snacks that he will like and snacks that we will like...plates and napkins and decor that screams "I'm the only little boy of 4 kids!" and trying to work around our already done Christmas decor (some of which might have to come down for the party)...I took a few minutes to check out some bday party ideas online and...OH EM GEE!
While the idea is cool, there will be none of this:
(although, that center one is SO COOL!!!)
Unless you make $500,000/year I just can't fathom putting yourself in the poor house over a party. A party. A FREAKIN PARTY!! It's not even something you can keep! You can't hold it or touch it, you live it and like a wedding, it's a blur when you look back. Yeah yeah, photos photos...if anyone knows that it's me, but even photos only go so far to jog the memory and stir emotion.
I belong to a bunch of mom websites and I just don't understand these insanely extravagant bday parties for kids who are too young to remember them. I love my son more than words can describe but really...he's 1. He's not going to have a memory of this day, only I will...and the photographs I take will show him how much fun he had and how much he was surrounded by loved ones on his special day. That's enough for me. No pony rides, no "Kid's DJ" as I saw one mom mention, no purchase of 1000 balloons.
Oh yeah. I said Kid's DJ! Just how one becomes a Kid's DJ, is beyond me. Perhaps its a normal DJ that one day just gets tired of paying Boot Scootin Boogie and that "left foot stomp, right foot stomp" song that I would have fired my wedding DJ for playing, had I not had a live band.
A poll on cafemom.com shows the average amount spent on a kid's bday party:
Question: How much did you spend on your child's birthday party?
Shut the front door!!! Are you broads out of your fucking minds?!? $300 is a car payment! $500 is more than half of a mortgage payment!!! Do you hear me, MORTGAGE PAYMENT!!
Let me break this down for you in case you got hit with the 'poor money management' train:
Plates/Napkins with a cool design ~ $45 INCLUDING SHIPPING!
<~~ those are the ones I got!
Banners/signs/hanging things (non-balloon items..why? cuz balloons are a choking hazard! mom up, people! kidding...I just don't like balloons) ~ $10
Yard signs/front door signs/etc ~ $20 (check this link on vistaprint.com lawn signs for under $9-CUSTOM!)
Appetizers (you should average 1 appetizer per every 6 people attending according to Jamie Borodoshuk of jamiestable.com so figure on at least 5 appetizers) I figure this cost as homemade appetizers not store bought because #1 they're tastier, #2 I don't do store bought shit for my parties because it's how I was raised, #3 it's cheaper 99% of the time ~ $40
Cake ~ $40 if its BIG and custom designed from a bakery not just Jewel (no, I'm not baking the cake for the party...but I am for his actual bday)
Uhmmmmmmmm yeah that's really all you need! Oh ok, I bought custom postcard invitations, also from vistaprint.com...50 of them cost me $17 including shipping.
TOTAL: under $170.00!!!!
He's one so it's safe to say his "friends" won't be disappointed if they don't get treat bags but assuming I had invited say 15 kids his age and made little bags for them, add $12 for dollar store stuff and little bags. Plus its a 1st bday-not a big drinking party...I hope! Even if I bought couple cases of beer or bottles of wine for adults attending, still under $200 and if I had made the cake, the cost would have gone down to only around $15 so that and no bags would have put me back at $130.
I can see how it could be easy to get carried away and spend a ton but have some self control people. "He'll only be one once!" No shit? I had no idea. If I was a kid, I would rather have a modest bday party and more presents, but hey...that's just me.
The 11% of moms who say they spend over $500 blow my mind. Unless you're hiring everything done, I just don't get it. To me half the fun of this whole event is doing this stuff for him! I want him to look back at the pics and be like "Wow, Mom! That hanging decoration you made with my picture on it is so cool! I can't believe you made that yourself! The whole place was decorated so awesomely!" (Shut up! Awesomely is a word!! Well...it could be!) I see very little joy in someday hearing him say "Gee, Mom you sure can order shit off the internet and tell people where to hang things!"
If I hit the lotto, had hundreds of millions of dollars to spend on anything I wanted...I still cant fathom spending more than $200 on a bday party...gifts not included. Say whatever you want about it, lord knows I always do...all the excitement in the world about my baby boy talking, walking, and turning 1 can't make me dump a small fortune on a single party.
All it takes is a moment to keep a memory alive. My moments are brought to you by my not-quite-empty-wallet.
Pics of the big party day to come next week!