Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Birthday Traditions

I feel like I haven't been posting at all lately.  Between my busy week last week and a stomach bug I had yesterday, I've missed a lot of days!  I'm hoping to get back on track and pasting on a regular basis.

Today, I wanted to share a little with you about the party this weekend.  My twins are turning seven in a about a week, but we held their party a little early with the hopes of it being warm enough to swim.  It ended up being 76 and sunny.  Not warm enough for me to brave the pool, but the kids had no problem jumping right in!

birthday pool party swim
The kids' birthday is a pretty big deal around here.  Maybe because they are twins and share a birthday - making it twice as big.  Or maybe because of my own birthday issues (I'm a Christmas baby - Dec 21 - and my birthday tended to get lost in the shuffle).  Whatever the reason, we love to celebrate their birthday!

We have a few traditions that we always observe and a few new things we like to try each year.


The first major tradition is the Cake.  Yep, it gets a capital "C."  I have made every single one of their birthday cakes, starting with their first birthday.  I had never made a cake before, but I was a little worried about the cost of a huge cake, so a friend who had taken a cake decorating class offered to help me.   When it comes to crafty stuff, I am willing to give anything a try.  I don't always succeed, but I'm more likely to look at something on Pinterest and think, "I could do that," than "No way!"  So, after hours of sitting around making tiny icing stars, we ended up with a fun caterpillar cake.

Baby Einstein first birthday cake caterpillar ball cake pan
1st Birthday Cake: Baby Einstein Caterpillar
After the caterpillar cake, I had caught the "bug" (tee hee) and I've made every cake since.  Not all of them turned out as good as they looked in my mind.  But, the kids have loved every one.  Some years I made two cakes so each kid could have the theme of their choice.  You can click on each picture to view it larger.

elmo wilton cake pan birthday
2nd Birthday Cake: Elmo
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse birthday cake
3rd Birthday Cake: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  My first time working with fondant.  It didn't turn out that great, but the kids still say it is their favorite cake.  At least you can tell what it is supposed to be!

Transformers Bumblebee bithday cake
Bub's 4th Birthday Cake: Transformer's Bumblebee
Snow White birthday cake doll pan
Sis's 4th Birthday Cake: Snow White

Transformers Autobot Symbol Cake
Bub's 5th Birthday Cake: Transformer's Autobot symbol
Castly Birthday cake ice cream cone
Sis's 5th Birthday Cake: Castle

Tinkerbell birthday cake Wilton doll pan
Sis's 6th Birthday Cake: Tinkerbell
Perry the Platypus Agent P Phineas and Ferb bithday cake
Bub's 6th Birthday Cake: Agent P from Phineas and Ferb

This year, I only had a short time to make the cake.  So, it didn't end up being my prettiest cake ever.  But, I think it was my coolest!  Take a look at the video!


Our next tradition is LOTS of family and friends!  Like many people, we invited our extended family to their first birthday party.  The guest list included my parents and sister, DH's parents and sisters, our grandmas, our aunts and uncles, our cousins and their spouses and kids, our close friends...We had well over 60 people!  The next year we planned to just have the grandparent's and aunts and uncles.  But, my family is really close.  They hated the idea of missing the kids' birthday party.  When I found out, of course I wanted to invite them.  Since then, we my aunts uncles, cousins, cousin's spouses and kids have all attended their parties.  We also attend all of my cousin's kids' parties.

As my cousin's families have grown the invite list has grown, too.  And, as the kids have gotten older, they have wanted to invite a few friends.  This year, our guest list was back up to around fifty - including 12 kids.  That may seem excessive for a kids party, but honestly it is a great time for family and friends to get together and have fun.
Birthday Party

Opening birthday gifts


Keep it Simple, Stupid!  We never have a fancy theme or decorations.  I always think those things tend to be more for the adults than the kids, anyway.   What the kids really want is FUN!  So, I do my best to provide it.  With the number of people that are invited, providing food takes up most of our budget.  So, there isn't much left over for games, prizes, goody bags, and decorations.  But, you don't need a lot of money to have fun.

In the past, we have done a few things to help make their parties as fun as possible, while sticking to a budget:
  • Had the party at a local park (for free)
  • Bought dollar store party hats and foam stickers to decorate them.  This keeps the kids occupied for a long time!
  • Played Pin the Tail on the Donkey
  • Played piñata.  I fill it with a bag of candy and that is what the guest get to take home instead of a goody bag.
  • Played some free indoor games I found online when our outdoor parties were rained out
giant inflatable water slide AldiThis year, we tried something a little different.  We still did a piñata, but instead of games or crafts, we tried for a pool party.  In addition to the pool, we had the kids' birthday present...a giant, inflatable water slide!  It was one of my great Aldi finds a few weeks ago.  This slide is normally $250, but Aldi had it on clearance for $99!  It is going to provide plenty of entertainment and the price couldn't be beat.  So, I picked one up.  The kids had a BLAST!  I think we'll try to have their party early next year, too, to make it another swim party!

giant inflatable water slide Aldi
 Overall, they had a great birthday!  It is something that only comes once a year, so I love making it so special!

What are some of your birthday traditions?

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