Motherhood, Art, Creative Play, and Finding Joy in Everyday Life

Simple, Special


When it comes to birthdays, there are two things I think the day should be: Simple and Special. The Simple is especially important when children are still very little and can become easily overwhelmed. For Simon’s first birthday, we knew something small, with just family, and at home was key. The Special was secondary, and came in the form of decorating the kitchen, and having a special cake.

Some people expressed to me later that they felt left out by our small gathering, and they wished they could have joined us. So, this year for Simon’s second, I decided to have the gathering outdoors, invite more people, but still try to keep it simple. No party games, no schedule of events, no elaborate buffets. Just fresh air, bright colors, good people, and basic snacks. Instead of goodie bags I put out sheets of stickers and party hats. Instead of spending hours molding dinosaurs by hand out of fondant to put atop the cake, I bought little toy dinosaurs. Instead of sewing a handmade banner, I made one out of colorful paper and yarn. I tried to keep it easy yet festive.

Well, things went mostly smoothly. There were a lot of cancellations and declined invites. A lot of them. People had other things going on in their daily lives, and this I totally understand. I tried to just roll with it and hope that the two other kids who actually did come weren’t bored for lack of other children to play with.

Also, Simon was sick. Poor guy has had a lot of respiratory problems in his two years, which we are hoping to finally get to the bottom of soon. He was having one of his bouts with coughing and wheezing on the day of his party, and we almost cancelled. But, we had lots of cake, people on the way, and the hope that if we just took things easy it would be ok. Unfortunately, before he could even take a bite of cake, Simon coughed so hard he threw up. My heart sunk for my poor baby, and I felt guilty about trying to do this little party when he wasn’t feeling well. Again, I told myself to roll with the punches, and took a deep breath, brought him inside to wash up, and then carried on. The tale of the birthday when he barfed will make for a funny story someday. Perhaps.

Other than those two things, the day really was lovely. The weather could not have been more perfect for us to be outdoors, and people were smiling and seemed to be enjoying the day. And when my Mother-in-law brought out the tricycle she bought for Simon, his face lit up and he made a beeline for it, exclaiming: “A Bite, a bite!!” (Bite=Bike).

~Homemade chocolate dinosaur cake
~A bright red tricycle with a horn
~Green grass and bright sunshine
~Blowing out candles
~People who love you

Simple and Special.

Author: thismummaslife

I am a Mumma, Wife and part-time Assistant Children's Librarian. I want this blog to be a collection of moments from daily life that may inspire or be relatable. Please feel free to leave me comments, thoughts, feedback or stories from your own life.

18 thoughts on “Simple, Special

  1. you got lucky to have such a beautiful day after all the rain, and then more rain following.

    I absolutely LOVE the bunting!

    • I know! I was watching the weather report like a hawk!

      Thanks, I really do want to sew one that we can re-use and enjoy at many parties over the years, but I ran out of time and a paper one takes like 15 minutes.

      • also, plantain is a very good herb for the respitory system if you didn’t already know that. Even if it took more than an herbal remedy, i’m sure plantain salads and teas would probably be great for the little guy.

      • This is a wonderful fact to know! 🙂

  2. Looks like a great day! Love Simple and Special! Him being sick reminds me of Monkey Girl’s second birthday party, or as we call it, “Poopy Party 2003.” We just had the grandparents over for a birthday dinner. She had such a stomach bug that started halfway through dinner. If you look at pictures from the party, she’s wearing three different pairs of pants, and my Mom has to change pants, also, because of one, particular diaper blowout that happened while MG was sitting on Grandma’s lap. We definitely laugh about it now…including Monkey Girl, so he, too, will laugh, one day. 🙂

  3. We didn’t have such drama for Teagan’s second birthday, but we totally did for Ashlin’s first! So not fun when you have people over and tons of food and there’s a sick kid. Looks like everything turned out great though!

    • It really did. Right after the party I almost cried from guilt over what happened, but my husband lovingly reminded me that if I stepped back and looked at it, things actually went well. I had to choose which parts to dwell on.

      • Exactly. This was the same with Ashlin’s… I was so upset that her pictures were not good, but she had a good time, and loved her cupcake 😀

  4. Perfect party (except for the throwing up)!

  5. Happy Birthday Simon!

    Both of my daughter’s birthdays have been plauged by sickness. The first year it was actually me, and it was horrible. I didn’t want to miss it for anything, so I just sat there and didn’t eat (or do) a thing! The second year it was my husband. He made it back from the hospital just in time for the festivities! This year we’re hoping for healthy!

  6. Happy second birthday to Simon! So sorry he wasn’t feeling well. My toddler was also out of it on his second birthday party. Not sick, but just not feeling like having visitors either haha. I also keep his parties simple, especially since we have big families, we just can’t invite the whole world. Good food, happy company!

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