Birthday Traditions: Pancakes and Parties
Alina’s third birthday party came and went, but from the memoirs of this blog, you wouldn’t even know it happened. I had a theme picked, ideas planned and menu written out, but I realize now that it was poorly thrown together. Chalk it up to novice party planning skills and a lack of a party check list. Or the inability to set firm plans. Or trying to do too much all by myself. In any case, within a few days time, I whipped up a third birthday party for my sweet girl.
Maybe because I am not the party host type (I kind of suck at pretty parties), but I’m not yet certain if parties will be a birthday tradition we will enjoy every year.
This year, for Alina’s birthday, we started new birthday traditions (birthday pancakes!) that are simple and ones I know can be kept up for the long term. But since her birthday is also right after the chaos of Christmas, including holiday traditions of travel, I feel pretty wore out by the time her celebrations come up.
Even so, we managed to host 20 or so people in our home. I cooked up a yummy meal of arroz, frijoles negros, homemade chips with avocado mango salsa. I marinated chicken and skirt steak with citrus and cumin, which Daddy D grilled to perfection. I used decor from our Mexican Day of the Dead photo shoot. I filled a pinata with all sorts of goodies, the kids had a blast hitting it to its demise. It was the funnest sight ever! And guess what….
I don’t have a single photo of any of it. I finally thought to ask my sister when we cut the birthday cake, but because my camera was set in manual for a non-manual shooter, I ended up with these two photos of the entire day. For a photo junkie like me, I can’t tell you how bummed I was about that. Totally my fault, but now I know why hosts hire photographers! And why they skip the cooking and order take out. Or why they just hire a party planner and skip all the madness entirely!
Oh, did I mention that I forgot to order a cake too. So in addition to cooking, I had to run out and get a cake. I told you I was a novice. Daddy D was literally still putting together Alina’s birthday present (a big girl bike!) when our first guest arrived. CHAOS.
Birthday Parties: Why I Even Bother
For as frazzled as the planning process gets me, I pull it together as soon as friends and family walk in the door. It was such a last minute affair, and I am grateful at how many of Alina’s friends showed up. We had friends from storytime come over, friends we’ve known a long time, even Alina’s friend from California that is only a few day older was there to celebrate with her. My Vegas family came over to celebrate too, making the house filled with lots of fun and love.
And despite my anxiety and craziness earlier that morning, Alina could care less if her party wasn’t perfect. She could care less if her birthday cake was straight out of the freezer section at the grocery’s bakery section. Alina turned three with excitement and joy filling her home to a capacity she isn’t used to, and that made her so happy.
I’m still not sure if big ol’ birthday parties will be a tradition we continue around here, but watching my baby girl enjoy her special day definitely made this one worth all the trouble. And, on the positive side, with each gathering I plan, it gets easier. So, until next year….