When I was a kid, birthdays were a big deal in my house. My siblings and I all got big, elaborate birthday parties thrown for us thanks to my mom. My dad helped too by manning the grill and making sure the pool was clean so we could swim, but my mom is the one who did all the planning and decorating. We had pinatas, slip ‘n’ slides, Hawaiian fruit punch, Little Mermaid goody bags, and mint chocolate chip ice cream cake (still my favorite to this day). I have such fond memories of my childhood birthday parties, so when I became a mom, I knew I wanted to do the same for Aidan: I wanted to go above and beyond to make his birthday celebrations special.
Well, now that I have planned my first kid birthday party, I wish my mom were alive so I could thank her profusely for all the birthday parties she threw me when I was a kid. Kid birthday party planning is a lot of work! And kids’ parties are expensive! Oh, and let’s not forget about the Pinterest Perfect Pressure a lot of us moms face today. Pinterest was great for helping me plan Aidan’s party but, in retrospect, it probably gave me too many ideas.
Even though planning Aidan’s first birthday party was a lot of work, I still had fun in the process. I am a planner to my core, I love hosting get-togethers, and I’m creative but don’t get many opportunities in my everyday life to really BE creative, so getting to choose a theme for his party and run with it was pretty awesome. I chose to do a Pout-Pout Fish themed party for Aidan for a few reasons: I’m a bookworm, so I love choosing themes based off of books (hence the theme of my baby shower), Aidan likes the Pout-Pout Fish book, and Aidan is notorious for having big cheeks and not smiling often, but rather “pouting” so I thought a Pout-Pout fish theme would be perfect for him. I even joke that the Pout-Pout Fish is his spirit animal!
I started the planning process for his party about two months before his first birthday. I was originally thinking of renting a party room at a hall and inviting 50 people, but once I realized how expensive kids’ parties can be, I vetoed that idea and decided to just invite close family and friends to our home instead. Plus I didn’t want Aidan to get super overwhelmed by too many people trying to love on him all at once. To save money on food, we ordered pizza, my sister made cupcakes, and I made Aidan’s smash cake. The decor is probably where I got a little carried away, because like I mentioned earlier, it was my chance to be creative. Since The Pout-Pout Fish is obviously about a fish, my goal was to make the party room in my house look and feel like we were “underwater.” To do this, I made a blue backdrop for behind the dessert table. I taped green streamers to the walls to create “seaweed” and taped blue construction paper cut in circles on the walls to create “bubbles.” My favorite decorations were the jellyfish I made out of paper lanterns, streamers, and curled ribbon. I hung them from the ceilings and they brought pops of color to the room! Even though I spent a lot of money on decorations, I saved most of them to reuse for Aidan’s (and our eventual second child’s) future birthday parties.
Overall, Aidan’s first birthday party was awesome and I love how it turned out. I had so much fun planning it, and it was great to be able to celebrate this huge milestone age and also celebrate the fact that we survived our first year as parents! I think the only thing I’d change is the time of year Aidan’s birthday falls, because trying to plan a birthday party RIGHT after the holidays was kinda stressful, but I will just have to get used to it because Aidan’s birthday is not something I can change. All I can really do is shoot for a summer baby next time!