Punky’s Awesome Cars Second Birthday Party

Last year was Punky’s one year Dr. Suess Extravaganza, because she and I spent a great deal reading books before bed and spending time hanging out with each other with our noses in books.

I got this from Baby Center this afternoon. Way to put me in a shock for the day. It went from Baby, to Toddler, to Preschooler in a span of time that feels like overnight!

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This year, Miss Punky has gotten really into all things cars and trucks. Kim found some really neat things on Pinterest to make an awesome cars themed party. So, as usual, I ran with it. I’ve been planning more parties and setting up more parties lately and I do love every minute of it. It’s different when it’s your own kid!

Then it’s all the more special!

So, we started with the racecar theme. I incorporated the Cars Movie theme because its trendy right now and the decorations were easy to find and I didn’t have to make everything myself.

So, I made the invitation, and this is the one I’m selling in the shop, it’s not my original, because that has our identifying information it, but this is what it looks like. I’ve shown it before, but I’m so proud of this design, made from scratch, so I wanted to share it again!

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Then came all the ideas that were going through my head. Originally, I was going to have cupcakes and put toppers on them with racing flags and Cars characters. That idea was scrapped when Kim came up with the idea of making the cupcakes like stop lights. Red, green, yellow frosting! So we went with that instead. The food was going to be simple anyway, a small cake in the center for her to blow out her candle, and cupcakes for everyone else. Finger foods and no need for utensils means less clean up!

The night before, we all headed over to Punky’s Grammy’s house to make 100 cupcakes (we still have a ton in my kitchen right now) and help start the cake that she would blow out her candles with. Punky made an excellent taste tester when it came to cupcake batter and the ‘dirt’ for the trimming of her cake.

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It was a pretty awesome experience to make her stuff from scratch as a family. I really have to say, her Grammy did an excellent job with this, I originally asked if she could help us with the project and she took over like a pro. I just love all the things she did with it! The cupcakes and the cake were both a hit at the party and everyone kept asking me where I got them. They were astonished that I didn’t get them done professionally, because they looked so awesome.

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The rest of the food was pretty much finger foods. And a little bit of a wacky array of foods, I admit, but it all went with the theme!

We had Luigi’s Spare Tires (Miniature Chocolate Covered Donuts), Guido’s White Wall Tires (Miniature Powdered Sugar Donuts), Tow Mater’s Tow Cables (Chocolate and Strawberry Twizzlers), Nuts and Bolts (Chex Mix). We set it up like people were eating at Flo’s V8 Cafe to re-fuel and hang out.

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There were four stations through the party venue; Flo’s V8 Cafe, Ramone’s House of Body Art, Sarge’s Surplus Hut, and Tow Maters Photo Booth. I got the inspiration and a few of the signs downloaded at this site which I found through Pinterest and put my own spin on some things.

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The kids had a blast with the temporary tattoos. I just cut out each tattoo individually and then set up the station with a little ‘drip pan’ and sponges for parents to help apply the ‘paint job’ to the kids. It was pretty convenient that the area had a nice sink area to refill the water and make less mess.

The food made up most of the awesome factor as a visual, but I did spend a lot of time on the tables and the decorations. So, we turned a boring clubhouse room into a party room in about 5 hours.

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The tables were set up to look like roads, with black tablecloths and white address labels down the center of them. I got two Cars party theme kits at Walmart for about $7 a piece, they had the cardboard centerpieces and cones in the packages. I bought a miniature helium tank to blow up some balloons that had Lightning McQueen and Tow Mater on them to attach the cones in the center of the tables.

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Walmart had a ton of decorations and party favors fit for the theme, since it’s so trendy right now. I got a couple packages of activity books and a large box of crayons since we were dealing with a bunch of little ones in attendance. I made some custom chocolate bar wrappers with the cars characters on them and set the candies out on the tables too. In the end, there were three die-cast cars running up and down the roads on the table as well, just for an added effect to go with the theme.

Party City had a great scene setter that I put up on the wall, 6ft plastic puzzle I had to piece together on the wall. Punky’s godfather made an awesome little car cutout photo booth with a poster board and acrylic paints. It was way Ā more awesome than I expected it to even be!

The banner for the entrance was also another find at Walmart and I set out the Cars rug that Punky got for her half birthday and a crate of cars for the kids to play with. They really got a kick out of the cars and driving them around on the roads.

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I recently just learned about Spotify and I’m in love with it. I didn’t really listen to music that much before it, but in my down moments, it’s been a real lifesaver to helping me really get through this anxiety and depression I’ve been in lately. With that said, I was thrilled when I found this playlist for a Cars themed birthday party! So, I uploaded the songs and played it on repeat at the party.

playlistMy mom came up to celebrate Punky’s birthday and she doesn’t have internet, let alone Facebook, so I put together a video of all of Punky’s last two years. I put together a slideshow of her pictures, some of my favorites anyway. I turned it on and let it play on repeat as well, for people to watch and remember and to see how much she has grown and changed in the last two years.

We had a pretty good day yesterday, celebrating our little one’s second birthday. Kim had a small scare for all of us towards the middle of the party. She hadn’t eaten anything because she was feeling good and she sort of fainted on the porch of the clubhouse. The ambulance and firetruck was out there helping with her vitals. In the end, they recommended she go to the hospital, but she was feeling better, so we got her something to eat and she’s been feeling better, as much as she can, since she ate.

Otherwise, we were surrounded by so many family and friends and Miss Punky has so much love in her life and I am so grateful all the great people in her life that love her. As a parent in a ‘non-traditional’ family setting, it is always the one thing that scares me that Punky will be rejected because of her moms. That’s the last thing I want, but it’s always in the back of my mind. I’m so glad, so far, that we haven’t had to deal with that.

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We had the cake, and that was great. I expected her to cry and get upset about the singing and clapping, but she was eating it all up. It was such a 180 from last year!

When everyone was done singing, I had to whisper a reminder to blow out her candle. It was kind of cute to watch after the fact, as I had no idea we were being filled, thanks to Punky’s godmother who had my camera at the time šŸ™‚

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Presents were hilarious with Miss Punky. She would open one present and then get preoccupied with opening it right away and she said “Thank You” over and over. It was kind of awesome. She’s really quite adorable!

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Our Punky is a great mix of all sorts of things. She likes babies and dolls and high heels and she likes tools and trucks and balls. She really is the perfect mix bag for a child. Especially for two moms with completely opposite interests – we suit her interests well, I think.

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Do you see that giant Radio Flyer, with the 6-foot ramp? Yea, that’s from my dear Mama. Can you also notice my face in reaction to this. Punky thinks its awesome, Mommy is trying to figure out 1. how we get it home, and 2. how we fit it in the apartment. LOL. It’s an awesome gift though and she will get so much use out of it this summer!

So, our daughter turned 2 this last week and it was pretty successful, minus the small ambulance snafu, which I am currently keeping an eye on now, taking the day from work to make sure my dear love is okay.

So, the party was a hit, the baby was spoiled rotten, and I am exhausted!

If you are interested in using the printables that I made or acquired for this party, please feel free! They will be at this link for the next few weeks šŸ™‚

I’ll leave you with this day in history for Punky’s birthday on March 7th that I found on Baby Center Birthday Time Machine. Try it out, it’s kind of neat!

History

Hello … Are We Sure This Is My Life?

So, its that time again. I just can’t even believe our kid is coming up on the 2 year old mark. I mean, seriously. I carried her inside of me for nearly a year and now we have had her in our lives for damn near 2 years.

Does this feeling of disbelief ever go away? I mean, I’mĀ stillĀ astonished that we have a kid. I’m stillĀ astonished every day that I wake up and go into her room and find her there. IĀ stillĀ sometimes feel like I’m living in a dream world, waiting to wake up from this life where we have been together for almost 11 years (through mental illness, a plethora of moves, and a baby carriage) and we have a child against all odds.

It never would have been possible for us to get pregnant the way most lesbian couples get pregnant. We aren’t the ‘saving’ kind and frankly, we are very not thrifty with our money. We live paycheck to paycheck – even now, so going through any sort of fertility treatments, like another great blog buddy posted her medication costs and I damn near fell out of my chair. Buying up sperm at a sperm bank would never have been an option for us.

The first time we looked into the sperm banks online, we were seriously considering it, but when it came time to really step into the financials of it all, we knew, it wasn’t in the cards, realistically. In fact, I think Kim and I were pretty resolved to never having kids of our own.

I think that’s why my astonishment still lingers. I know that it’s tough for the gals and couples out there who are struggling with their baby making journey and my heart breaks for all of them with each new BFN. But, I am so very thankful for the turn of events that happened so unexpectedly in our life.

No, we didn’t conceive in the conventional lesbian way, not even the ‘turkey baster’ way. I’m not ashamed to say that we went the cheap and some would call it “easy” way. I don’t think we called it easy at the time. Emotionally and physically the whole thing was draining. However, lucky for us, it didn’t take long and we had a baby in the belly. Thank goodness, I don’t think we would have been strong enough to make it more than 1 cycle.

I really can’t thank our donor enough for all that he helped us accomplish with the goodness and selflessness of his heart. Literally, I’m going to be forever grateful to that man for giving us a piece of himself and asking NOTHING in return.

My point is, holy shit, we have a two year old and I still look at her in complete and utter awe. I don’t know if that is a normal feeling for all moms, I’m not sure if this is something extraordinary I am feeling. But, I keep waiting for the feeling to wear off. I keep expecting that one day I will come to grips with the fact that I have a tiny mini-me running around our apartment.

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So, speaking of our nearly 2 year old, it’s that time again. It’s time to start planning a birthday party. I am what I guess you would call a “Pinterest Mom”. I never really noticed that this was a negative term until I read about it in another blog buddy‘s post a few days ago. In the end, I figure anyone who thinks it’s negative is simply jealous.

I also read an article on Babble about giving up the extravagant parties and have low-key affairs for our kids. Well, that’s all well and good, but not going to happen. The first birthday party, the Dr. Seuss Extravaganza, was mostly for me, people asked why we would want to have such a large party for Ā one year old who wouldn’t remember it.

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You have a point. However, Ā I’m not ashamed to admit that the party was purely for me. I wanted to celebrate her first year with a bang. I wanted to make sure everyone could celebrate her with us. I wanted to always remember the first birthday of our only baby girl. Our miracle baby, whom we didn’t think would have ever existed. So, yes. We had a giant party in her honor and no, she won’t remember.

So, why then, would I want to put myself through another giant party for my two year old? I have two sets of family members on my side of the family, Kim has two sets of family members on her side. If we didn’t have the money or the willpower to save for sperm, we sure as hell don’t have the money to save for four different birthday parties.

Instead, we suck it up and make one very large event. It’s just easier! It will likely be the way of her life for many years to come until celebrating with her aunts and uncles and grandparents become a thing of the past and we transition into the slumber parties and spa days for her birthdays.

I’m going to milk those days as long as I can. So, we have decided on a cars theme this year. Punky is all about her cars right now. She’s loving the cars and the trucks and drives them all over our apartment for hours.

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So, it only makes sense that we would make it a big to-do. So, I am sending out ‘car’ invitations with ‘pit crew’ VIP passes. My goal is to make a few wearable cardboard box cars for kids to race around in out of diaper boxes, if I can muster the creativity and the talent!

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I can’t decide between a dress similar to this one:

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Or this one:

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But I’m leaning towards the tutu just because I am likely going to be making her dress myself and my sewing skills may not be sophisticated enough for the first one, even though I think it may be more Punky’s style. We will have to see!

Anyway, the great birthday bash preparation has begun for the All Out Cars Event for Punky’s second birthday. Do I think it’s over ambitious? Yes. Do I think it’s ridiculous? Yes. Ask me if I care? I don’t! My kid will always have the best of everything. She will have all the things I didn’t have (that’s a post for another day) and she will grow up knowing she was loved and cherished by her mothers no matter what may come.

Period. Whether she’s down for it all the time or not. We will likely smother her in our love.

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When she looks back on her childhood, I want her to smile. I want her to remember the good things she did, the fun she had and the joy she had being a CHILD. I don’t want her to grow up too fast, I don’t want her to be surrounded by things she doesn’t need to know yet. I will keep her small and happy for as long as possible. If I have my way, she will never have a sad day in her childhood, ever. At least not on my watch.

So will her party be excessive? Absolutely. Does it mean I’m probably spoiling her? Yea, most likely… She’s still the nicest, sweetest, kindest little toddler on the block. I think a little happiness in a kid’s life is A-Ok and I’m more than willing to provide it for her!

If you wanna follow all my preparations, you can check it out on Pinterest, where I pin pretty much obsessively. Check out my board.