I am going to post about the boys' third birthday party but I am going to preface it with a statement. I read this blog post linked from a friend's tweet and though I found some of it a little harsh, I have to say so much of what she said resonated with me. (If you do not read the linked piece, it is about the 'perfect' crafting blogs where everything just looks, well, perfect. And believe me, I do not put myself in that category at all but feel like I have read that category and felt those feelings of envy and bewilderment at the level of achievement and a bit flabberghasted at the lack of, uh, mess in all of it). But it did make me think before I wrote this up. When I write here I try to encapsulate the lovely with the real, no post represents the whole of it and you will never convince me to post a picture of the bedlam that our bedroom can be, but it is far from 'perfect' around here, even though I like taking pictures like this because it just looks pretty.
In reality, the banner I made last year is missing an "i" and the "&" and I ironed and hung it 15 minutes before people starting showing up and decided that no "i" was going to stop me from hanging that banner (because it was hella' work, you know?).
Last year we wanted to give the boys a fun celebration and acknowledge the fact that we had skimped a bit on their first birthday. This year I barely had time to plan or craft, but still wanted to do something special. We settled on a home party with a few good 'little' friends, some treats and cake and Cuban food. The boys have not really found a good bond with any of their 'school' friends but we have ties to some wonderful other littles through our community. Of course, they turn out to be mostly girls. It was a blast to watch the small hoard of 10 kids, girls (6) boys (4) run rough and tumble through the yard, wreaking havoc in a good way, as only little can do.
There were plans for a simple scavenger hunt but that was too ambitious of a plan and so it fell by the wayside...
given up in lieu of Mason's one birthday request..."Me have candy everywhere...bowls and bowls of candy" (direct quote). Owen really could have cared less as long as the neighbor Clarissa was there...imagine how bewildered he must have felt when he realized that there were 5 'other' Clarissa's there at the same time (I am not sure original Clarissa was too jazzed either).
There were cakes using this recipe which tasted lovely, and this year I figured frosting could look however frosting wanted to as three year olds just want candles and cars on their cakes.
Not one picture of the candle blowing out came out clear but I like this one because we all look happy and that is all that matters.
It was fun and funny and full of impromptu water balloon fights by both children and adults (actually there was paying off the small children in order to get to the adults which was even funnier).
It was hard to keep Mace clothed, he spent the better part of the morning in his original birthday suit (with crown, of course).
It was impossible to get a shot of Owen's face so we stopped trying. The house still looks like it was hit by a tornado (well, in a way it was).
But I had fun. And that is really what it is all about. They have embraced play wholeheartedly and so learn from them.
What I am finding out as a Mama that likes to make, has to work and hates to clean is that there is a healthy place in it all. I am not and never will be a Marthette, it exhausts me to think about trying. I know I will always try to make and craft and create for the boys because it validates me and my love for them. I know I will always take pictures (sometimes the exact same picture over and over year after year) because it gives me great pleasure and happiness. I know there will always be a flaw, a fly in the ointment, because that is how it works out for me.
I am also learning it is only a flaw in a certain light....viewed through another lens, it is just Life. Fun and silly, rushed and sweaty, done or not done, we have to learn to embrace it and GO. In a day and age where creative craft and DIY achievement and perfect party themes and gorgeous photos abound in the blog world, I think it is also good to remember there is never full disclosure.
But, er. I had a blast. And I will finish all the things I had planned on making for them sometime in the near future. Right after I find my second wind.
They are three! We find it hard to believe, but there it is. Onward, ho!
Full set of pictures here if you like that sort of thing.