Skipping the big party

Instead of doing the big party for Jax this year we decided on saving the money it would take to throw one and instead spend it on having a three-day family-filled birthday extravaaaaaa-ganza!  It isn’t like we always threw massive, larger than life parties.  the two of us have never been the “invite everyone you know” kind of people, but there has definitely been a crowd present in the past.

We were the first of our (very large) group of friends to have kids.  That meant that our once college parties starting at 10pm and going on until… honestly, I have no idea, were quickly replaced by showers and birthdays, family dinners and game nights.  The parties that we started throwing for our kids were a great way for us to still spend that quality time with our friends that we hardly had time to see anymore.  But two kids deep with back to back birthdays can start to feel like you’re bugging people, especially when their two birthdays are sandwiched by both of ours.  All of which are within 3 months of each other almost exactly down to the day.

This year we decided to take all of that food and decoration money and spend it on doing things together as a family.  It’s cold here so we took to a lot of Jax’s favorite indoor activities, with a couple of visits to family and little mini parties spread in between.  We even planned his first time at the theatre, which shockingly turned out to be my favorite part of the whole weekend.  I got about 100 kisses on the cheek throughout the movie and only one “shhhh you have to be quiet in the movie, mama!”.  Ironically, I was talking to Justin about how quiet and well-behaved they BOTH were being when I got yelled at.

In all honesty, I was a super concerned about making this leap.  There was one night the week before where Jax stayed up a little later than normal and him and I chatted in bed.  He giggled and told me how he was SO excited for his big dino party just like sissy’s.  My heart nearly broke.  I asked him, you’ll be happy with whatever we do right?  He said yes, but still brought up that “big dino” party here and there throughout the next week.  Lu had celebrated her one year party only a month before, and even though it wasn’t as big as his first birthday (being the first-born), it was still pretty big.  I think all of the excitement from that day was definitely still on his mind.

I would be lying if I said that this was an easy choice.  No parent ever wants to let their child down.  I hated wondering whether he was going to be let down or sad on the day of his birthday.  There were a couple of times were I may even have cried thinking about it and almost changed my mind and threw that last-minute bash.

BUT, I didn’t.  I DIDN’T!  And I couldn’t be more thankful that I didn’t.  He didn’t even remember that he wanted that party.  He was so busy and so excited for the next thing that the party didn’t even matter.  Justin even took a day off work for a long weekend.  He got little presents here and there and got to pick everything we ate or did (wishing reason…).  The house was still decorated for him to walk down and see on his birthday morning and it was of course dino themed.  We had all the time in the world to make him feel special and tell him how much we loved him, because we weren’t running around mingling and making sure there was enough food or pop or making sure that we moved on to the next part of the party and kept everything on schedule.

The weekend was jam-packed full of play dates and fun.  Lunches and dinners out.  Parties and cakes, three cakes to be exact… Only thing we didn’t account for?  How exhausted we would ALL be.  Looking back I think we would be wise to make sure we budgeted some serious time for sleep.  By the last day we had a pretty cranky kid and a very cranky mama.  Although if we want to find the bright side, it kinda gave us another win (after the complete and total melt down) … snuggles and naps together!