57 days

Bella hits a big milestone in less than two months. To be specific, in 57 days (and counting), the bitty baby I grew in my own body will celebrate her fourth birthday. Goodbye toddler years!

And, yes, I'm already planning her party. (I never said I wasn't extra.) We've gone back and forth about the type of party, but planning is in full swing. Because Bella understands about her birthday and loves parties, I've included her in the planning. Unfortunately.

Do you know how many times a three year old can change her mind? We've gone from a princess/tea/fairy party (glittery fairy dust, tiaras, etc) to a Crayola party (my personal fave -- bright colors, a crayon-shaped cake, making our own crayons for favors, etc) to a gymnastics party. None of which have "stuck."

Right now, Bella is excited about a pool party at a local gym's indoor pool. Do I want to be in a bathing suit in early April? Not really. Could I make my younger siblings play lifeguard (and therefore keep myself nicely covered)? Absolutely. And who doesn't love fantasizing about a pool party (sand toy favors, a star fish photo prop, a beachy cake) in the cold of February?

Because the party details keep changing, my focus has switched to the gifts. I was searching online for interactive, engaging, learning toys that weren't gendered or stereotypical for my darling girl. I found -- and fell in love with -- Growing Tree Toys. I love everything (and they carry my all-time fave: Melissa & Doug). I started a wish list that I'll be sharing with family and friends as inspiration for the kinds of things I want my kid playing with (versus Barbies, cleaning supplies, and sparkly high heels).

But -- for now -- I must resist the urge to go further by creating invitations and making 17 lists and booking the venue. Though 57 days feels like tomorrow to me, it's just enough time for my preschooler (see, no longer a toddler!) to change her mind at least three more times. (Like how we watched The Sound of Music together and she fell in love with Maria and the Captain and starting singing "I am three going on four...." Oh, the possibilities!)

Ehem. Back to the safety of window shopping for toys!

Do you love kid-party planning? Do you play up a birthday theme or keep it more low key? Don't you love those toys?


  • Courtney

    I have a little over 30 days for avery turning four and eisley turning one. i have so many themes in my head but this year just go with pink/silver decorations, girls making princess hats and wands. next year will be the fun year I think, i am doing a tea party with an alice in wonderland theme. i do all the planning and avery just gets what she gets, i think she will like it no matter what....maybe one day i will let her but now i like it too much!!

  • The Cole's

    Michael will be 4 on Feb. 15th. He changed his mind about 25 times about his party theme too. But I finally gave him a deadline and told him this was his "last choice" that we had to stick to. He settled on Toy Story. So there will be Buzz & Woody & little green men everywhere!

  • Kelly

    @Beth - I loved these cowboy and Buzz themed parties: http://www.birthdaygirlblog.com/search?q=toy+story. Lots of neat ideas here too: http://catchmyparty.com/parties/browse/all/all/toy-story.

    @Courtney - Alice in Wonderland sounds cool! I guess the truth is the parties are as much for as as they are for the kids.

  • Life with Kaishon

    I really do love party planning. I have been so bad about it lately. Kaish has a birthday at the worst time. January. Right after Christmas. Who feels like celebrating then? He had a paint ball party this year. His friends LOVED it! Kaishon? Not so much.

  • Draft Queen

    My kids have been known to want to change birthday party themes mere days before the party. It's maddening. You have to draw the line, but you don't want to draw the *wrong* line.

    Being a mom is difficult on so many different levels. *sigh*

    Enjoy the last of your toddler days!

  • heather of the eo

    I'm going to have to check out this place for great toys. I love Melissa and Doug too...and I want to steer away from the stereotypical toys as much as possible!

    I'm the worst party-thrower ever, I will admit. No themes, no decorations...just food and people. No reason except that I'm lazy. True story.

  • Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri

    I love planning my daughter's birthday. We just had an ice skating party for her. She loved it. I especially love doing the invitation and the thank you cards. I know - I probably sound nuts.

    Happy Early Early Early B-D to Bella!

  • Stephanie

    I like planning it as long as their input is a grunted "Trains!". Haha. These are the fun years. Wait til she is 10 and demanding a diva party...

  • Hyacynth

    Simply, no. I don't like planning or executing parties. I'd be a terrible party planner if I did that for a living, even though I love parties.
    I think the pool party sounds like a great time, though. Especially if you have life guards!!

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