Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thinking about shoving my head into one of the treat bags and ramming it against a wall

Now I know why parents shell out an exorbitant amount of money to reserve a corner at Happy Fantastic Fun Zone with soggy pizza for their kid's birthday.

I've officially gone over the edge trying to plan for Allison's party on Saturday. I've been obsessing over activities for the little ones, what to put in the treat bags, making food and cleaning my house all while working a seven-day stretch with four or five hours of sleep a night.

The result?

I'm completely frazzled.

To top it off, I ordered Allison's gift on eBay almost three weeks ago and IT ISN'T HERE YET. Leaving all of the negative feedback in the world for that seller won't make me feel any better about the situation.

Yes, I know Alli is too young to know that her own parents were the only ones who didn't get her a gift on her birthday if it comes to that. BUT I WILL. And so will Jerry. What upsets me most is that it was all in the name of saving 20 bucks. And, trust me, the stress barometer would've been much more manageable if I had just sucked it up and ordered from the store directly.

I try to stop my head from ticking through everything that needs to be done, but it's impossible. I'm even dreaming about it at this point. I feel the anxiety welling up so much that I'm amazed the acid in my stomach hasn't eaten a hole through my abdominal wall, allowing my intestines to cascade all over the floor.

Maybe it'll happen right as I answer the door for the first guests.

"Excuse my entrails," I'll say. "Help yourself to drinks. I lost sleep over whether to go with Coke or Pepsi products. Coats can go upstairs on our bed. And please note that I neurotically took the time to dust the baseboards. Crafts will start soon for the kids. I made four trips to three different stores to get everything -- just don't ask how many trips to the grocery store I made. Or how many times I forgot the damn rolls. Grab a seat now, space is limited. The payoff will be that the cake is amazing. I spent the entire month trying to teach Allison to blow out a candle, but only succeeded in nearly setting her hair on fire. And, oh, I DON'T HAVE A GIFT FOR MY OWN DAUGHTER. Enjoy the party!"

And, OH MY GOD, do I really have to do this every year?

I think childbirth was easier.


Anonymous said...

Dont stress so muchhhhh...
like u said,allison is not gonna understand anything at this age.
for her its just room full of strangers.....and as of for U,make this occasion to catch up with friends and family and toast on that fact the u have come a long way in the past one year....;-)

btw,dont forget to hand over ur camera to somebody who knows atleast the basics of it.otherwise it wud turn out like ours where u can see the full motion of the people moving in that one second.and if u try to be the official photographer,u wont find urself in any photos of ur daughter's first birthday.

-frm somebody who had gone thru all this couple of month's back....sree

Shal said...

Keep It Simple Silly :)

Until she's turning 3, she really won't get it. So the party is really for you and Jerry and to celebrate what a beautiful daughter you have.

When she turns 3, then she wants a HUGE shindig!

I can't wait to see the pictures and I agree, give the cam up to someone else so you can be in her 1st birthday photos!

Amy said...

KELLY! Breathe!

I'm sure whatever comes together will be fantastic. Please try not to stress so much and remember to enjoy the party when it happens. There comes a point when you can't do anything more.

And take tons of pictures. Better yet, as the other two commenters have said, have someone else take pictures. I'm incredibly excited for the pictures, especially the ones of Allison shoving cake everywhere but her mouth!

Timberly said...

Calm down. It will be fine. You always comes through. Besides, Allison isn't going to remember a second of it in the grand scheme of things. Take some good photos, and tell her down the road that this was the year she got a diamond tiara, a pony and a visit from the Wiggles.

Cora said...

i understand as my daughter turned one last month. i think it will get easier with each year! can you imagine i forgot to have her blow out a candle. i was so depressed!!! atleast it is something cute to write in her baby book :P.

Jessica said...

Haha, you're great! Are you a first born because you & I sound a bit alike....

For Addison first birthday I was crazy - I handmade all of the invitations, decorations, cake, party favor containers...I don't remember if there was anything else - guess I blocked it from memory!

I didn't even plan games for the kids, I was lazy & just set-up a playdough table outside (it's Florida so it was still nice & warm come December 1).

Just make sure to get lots of pictures, that will probably be the most important thing to Allison when she's older. :)

Jaclyn said...

Oh, honey!! So I forgot to e-mail you about how Katelyn's party went.
It -of course- went off w/o a hitch so long as you don't consider her showing up fashionably late for her own party an issue. She was down for a nap and got there about 5 minutes after it started. So over half the guests were already there when she made her grand entrance. Other than that, it was splendid, as I know Alli's will be.
Like we talked about: we'll do entirely too much stressing but everything will turn out wonderfully.
Good luck and try and relax!!!

Julie said...

And remember, meltdowns and mistakes in a birthday party are good things! They make for great memory tellings later on...and they make the day real (sort of like errors on the wedding day). I did away with every year parties this past year. My daughter is 6, and the whole party thing was getting out of control (treat bags, decorations, all of it!!!). I'll do a party for the big ones, but she doesn't need to have a huge party every year. My son is 2 today (waaaaah, two already, where did the time go?!?!) and we are just having the grandparents and aunt and cousin over for cake. I do make their cakes by myself though. Anyways, my two cents, for whatever it is worth. LOL

Jennifer Suarez said...

WHOA. You need to chill. It's only a birthday party, and like you said, they have one EVERY year.

I realize it's your first child, and your first offical party, and OH.MY.GOD.SHE'S.ONLY.ONE.ONCE!! but guess what? With all this stress you are going to miss out on the best part - ENJOYING it!

I'm sure it will turn out great. Treat bags and crafts are well beyond my releam of party planning. I have a 5 year old and I have yet to go that far (although this year I did reserve a bouncy house, but it rained and we didn't get to use it)

Just don't forget to have fun and stop for a moment to take it all in.

erica said...

Okay, this may make you feel better. The only people that were at my first birthday were my grandparents and my great uncle (because there aren't many family members of mine in the state). Being the wonderful people they are, my grandma and great uncle decided to cause trouble for a good laugh. We had spaghetti for dinner (why they gave spaghetti to a 1 year old I still don't understand). The grandparents started cheering for me and motioning to put the bowl on my head. So, as the story goes, i got this huge grin on my face, lifted the bowl of spaghetti over my head and dumped it. I was apparently thrilled with the attention and laughter from my grandparents.

My mother however, was horrified. She said it all happened in slow motion for her. My mom carried me straight to the bathtub at arms length to clean me up.... then I smashed up the cake I was given and even got that in my hair.

It'll all be over on saturday, so just breathe and enjoy celebrating your first year with your daughter. And if you get out of there without Allison dumping a bowl of spaghetti on her head, consider yourself lucky.

Gisela said...


If it makes you feel any better, my first birthday cake was Jello with non-dairy whipped cream on it because all other foods made me diarrea out my insides.

Oh, and as for dreams, well I'm with you. Last night, I dreamt that Lola gave birth to a full-sized goat.

Anonymous said...

lmao. This is one of my favorite posts you have ever written!

Everything will be okay.

Lioncloud said...

Why, Kelly, when I was young we didn't even _have_ first birthdays! You went right from 11 months to two, that's how tough life was then.

Fear not. If you keep the kids sugared up and give them large cardboard boxes to make forts out of, they will be in heaven. Tell your mother to buy you a new refrigerator so that you can have the box for this purpose.

Keep the adults liquored up and cooing over Allison's adorable self, and _they_ will be happy.

Once everyone gets there you lose control of everything, so don't worry if all the stuff you planned does not work out perfectly. Everyone will have a great time -- just make sure that you and Jerry have a little fun, too!


Chelsea said...

Relax! The only thing Alli will have to remember this by are photos! Make sure lots are taken!

the plainsman said...

The best thing I remember about my first At all. So it really is a celebration for you and Jerry, and the rest can help you mark an amazing, and wonderfull year. Everything will click into place so just enjoy it.

With your talents and attention to detail, you put most of us to shame, and even on what you consider a bad day. Even if Allison's special present does not arrive on time, she still has the best gift of all: you two, the most loving and caring parents one could hope for.

Ps. "Excuse my entrails..." is one of the funniest lines I have read and worthy of Monty Python's John Cleese.

Anonymous said...

Calm down! I have pictures of my first birthday, I have a paper crown on my head and I'm digging my hands into a huge rectangle cake. I don't remember it but those pictures of something so simple are funny to look back on. So if everything isn't quite right, don't worry about it! Just let her smear some cake all over herself and everyone will have a good time!

Ray said...

I love that you care so much about Allison's 1st birthday. A good parent would. BUT, don't STRESS too much! Everything will be fine. If Allison's present from you and Jerry doesn't come in time don't panic! Just get her a small gift on that day. When her real gift comes, it'll come. If it really bothers you: print out a picture of the gift to show everyone and blame that damn person on Ebay for not shipping it on time. ;o)

Regardless of the fact, the party alone is a huge gift in and of itself. Birthday parties are not cheap, no matter how you try to get around it.

Her other birthdays will be fun as well. I don't know if I'll ever have children, but one thing I think I'd look forward to the most, is my child's birthday. It's like being a kid all over again and getting to see the excitement from the eyes of your child. One of the best things about being a parent in my opinion. And celebrations are always great.

Maybe it's because it's her first birthday that you're so worried. Her first year on this earth, that is giving you all this anxiety to make everything perfect. It's only normal. But please enjoy the day. Why? "Because Allison will only turn "1" once." And "1st" birthday parties are special and they should be remembered. Time flies by so fast that trust me you'll want to remember it as a happy time and not so much a chaotic one.

NOTE TO YOU: TAKE LOTS OF PHOTOS (no pressure though. I don't want your intestines to come out)! =D

Take, care.

HeyJade said...

That is exactly why I took it completely easy the first two birthdays, only had closest family and friends over for cake - and nothing else - no games, go treat bags, just my son entertaing us in the wrapping paper...and I knew my son would never know the difference. This is the first year (coming up in December) that we're having a party with other kids involved, and I'm a little worried about games and/or treat bags and aaauugghhh! Why do we do this to ourselves?

sarahhhh said...


i had my first real job life career interview today, and i wasn't even as anxious as allison's first birthday celebration. i should of been... i felt anxious, but i certainly didn't wash the base boards for the occasion. haha.

girlfriend, everyone loves you and wants the best for you and your family. give yourself a rest and nuture the moment.

WooHoo! for presents. :)

LeslieAnn said...

I've never even seen a photo of my first birthday. I know my sister-in-law made a big deal out of my niece's birthday party ... but she's a stay-at-home mom and had the time and energy to plan it.

I feel like over the past decade or so baby/child birthdays have become such a huge deal when they definitely weren't a big deal when I was a kid. My mom always made sloppy Joe's or hamburgers and served a store-bought cake, and all of it was done buffet style. It was never anything huge. Just some immediate family members and maybe a couple friends or neighbors.

I'll probably understand once I have children though. In another seven years or something.

First Mate Carlson said...

Because I'm a believer in high blood pressure, I'd like to point out that you forgot to mention mess cleanup crews and music. And there are probably several other things you've forgotten - with enough preparation, you'll at least have stuff on hand so that you can improvise on the big day.

Also, I know that if it was me, there's no way I'd stop stressing out the details.

Traci said...

Oh girl. The first birthday is ACTUALLY for the's to celebrate that you made it through the first year alive. Relax and enjoy yourself. Plus it could be good that Allison will get her gift from you later because she'll actually get to enjoy it without a ton a people all around and her mom feeling stressed!

Wendy said...

I think it must get easier. You will get to that point where you can just get a gift and do a party package at Chuck E Cheese (though you might have to bring a cake).

Deep breaths, deep breaths!

Anonymous said...

sounds like this party is more for the people COMING than for the party girl...remember, what will be important to her in 20 yrs will be that you loved her enough to HAVE her, and no party now till them will exude that sentiment...especially when she's old enough to see how crazy it makes you to plan it...heck, i made my own b-day cakes for yrs because it was the one thing my mom always panicked about. Keep it simple, its not about gifts, treats, or cakes. its about celebrating the fact that you have a beutiful girl to nurture and love.

the plainsman said...

Ha! "Knowing" you though a few years of blogging now, I'm going to take a contrarian view of all this stress. As taxing as it is, it would be worse for you right now to kick back and "phone any celebration in." I think you thrive on the impossible deadlines and crunches, it is part of what makes your efforts so outstanding. Just remember to take those deep breaths in between activities so you can recharge thse batteries for the next big effort! Enjoy the rush!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry because as a man, I just don't understand all the pressure you gals put on yourselves to "meet the standard". Just because some one sometime went overboard on their kid's birthday doesn't mean everyone has to. Sheesh, just relax and have fun so you can enjoy the day. p.s. if you don't have the perfect treat bags, no one will care or if they do, who needs to invite them again.


Nicola said...

The kids will probably entertain themselves anyway, just occasionally break up scraps over toys and stuff!

Just make sure you have a glass of wine and everything will be a-ok. Nobody is scoring you. Words that will get you through:-

Make yourself comfortable, kids go over there, help yourself to food and drink!

Enjoy her 1st ever party in her honour!