I had originally planned on just inviting family and a few friends, then two weeks before the party, I totally freaked and decided to make invitations so we could invite Alex's classmates, too. He goes to "school" twice a week and has lots of friends, so I thought that inviting them to the party would be a great way to meet some of the kids he hangs out with and their parents.
I quickly decided on a "generic" train theme, (and I don't think I need to go into my whole anti-Thomas spiel again, but if asked, I would gladly accommodate), followed by days and nights of whistle-painting and tag-making and cupcake-baking...
I was a bit of a basketcase the morning of the party, and luckily my family is completely aware of my neuroses and know to stay out of my way until I start barking orders. My sister baked perfectly delicious cupcakes that I completely botched with my sloppy excuse for icing, we were running late, it was hot, and the stuff that I had packed into the car early, thinking I was on the ball, was starting to melt. I think around that time, I made a mental note to have Alex's birthday party at McDonald's next year - just me, Tim, Alex, and super-sized box of chicken nuggets. I'd even been willing to go the extra mile and find one that has one of those stinky, germ-filled Playplaces, and maybe, I'd even let Alex play in it. Because it will be his birthday, and that's how much I love him.
But that's next year. This year, I finished shoving things into the van and sped off to the park, where the madness continued right up until guests started showing up. We had box after box after box of food and decorations and cupcake toppers and drinks, and eventually, I got to a point where I was all, "It is what it is". And what it was was a really fun time with Alex and his friends and our friends and our family.
It was pretty hot that morning, although not unbearable. And while, "not unbearable" may not sound like ideal birthday party conditions, this is Dallas. In July. "Not unbearable" is about as good as it gets.
I was all about delegating (big surprise, eh?), so Dad and Nick grilled the hot dogs, Rachel took pictures, Bill and Vicki took care of the drinks, and Mom was my personal assistant, taking care of everything from placing cupcake toppers to reapplying my lip gloss.
We were really happy with the turnout. Several kids from Alex's class came, along with some friends from our Sunday School class. I'm sure Alex thought it was a strange coincidence that all of his friends happened to show up at the park at the same time.
We also had a party crasher who was very interested in our ugly-but-delicious cupcakes.
Oh, and did I mention that the party had live music? Yeah, that's how cool my parties are.
I have to assume that Alex had a good time, although I couldn't say for sure. I think I spent all of thirty seconds with the birthday boy, just enough time to sing him "Happy Birthday" and help him blow out his candle.
The cupcakes were a big hit, despite their unsightly appearance.
After the cupcakes were eaten, the kids were off and running.
It seems that the train whistles were a hit, too. They were just loud enough that the kids had fun blowing them, but not so much that the parents wanted to shove one down my throat for giving their kid such an annoying party favor.
Finally, the curtain closed on Alex's second birthday party, and we got a little family time after everyone else left.
A was pretty pooped after such a wild and crazy time.
If memory serves, everyone went home and took a well-earned nap to prepare for Phase 4 - Present Opening.
To be continued...