How on earth has it taken four posts to get through May’s birthday? We didn’t even go overboard this year. I really did try to keep things simple, and in fact I did, but I guess that doesn’t stop us from taking just as many pictures as when I really let loose all my party planning insanity (take for example Adele’s fourth birthday party, which I never got around to blogging about, but will, if you guys want me to).
I’ve heard the rule for children’s birthday parties that you invite as many guests as the age your child is turning. So, if your kid is turning five, you would invite five friends over. That seems very reasonable to me, but doesn’t really work at these young ages. The first birthday is very special to the family, so you gotta go big for that. And for the second birthday, you really can get away with doing nothing at all! The little two year old won’t care! That’s what we did for Adele’s second birthday. We just gave her a cupcake for breakfast and took her to see some baby goats. Done and done. I had similar thoughts for May’s second birthday, but in the end, I just had to put some sort of party together. We’ve just moved here and made so many great friends with little ones, and I’ll jump at any excuse to get these adorable children together.
May picked an ice cream theme, which was genius on her part, because it required no cooking. We just bought a million and one toppings and set them all out for people to customize. I didn’t even hand make any decorations. I went to the party store and bought these cuties:
Bonus points: I’ve now hung them in the girls’ room to add to the pink, pink, and more pink they already have in there.
We started the party at 2:30 in the afternoon, so May was able to get a good full nap in before it started. That kept the birthday girl in good spirits for the entire party and also meant that we didn’t have to serve lunch or dinner! The idea was to start with ice cream in our apartment and then move down to the play room to run all the sugar off, but the kids had enough fun to just stay at our place.
Here are some of May’s best friends:
HELEN & GILLIAN!
LULU & JOJO!
I think that was it. Oooh, I’d feel really badly if I left someone out!
Well, okay, I guess I did leave all the parents (my friends) out, even though I’m sure they enjoyed the ice cream just as much as their children did.
See? Having a grand old time.
And I certainly can’t leave Rachel out. She brought along two delicious kinds of cookies, including these beautiful pinwheels:
Neighbor Lisé contributed some homemade chocolate ice cream and that was by far the most popular choice for sundaes (the others were merely vanilla and strawberry, as there are no interesting ice cream flavors to be found in Abu Dhabi – new business idea, Rachel?).
After the ice cream was consumed (if you have eagle eyes, you will notice that in the first few pictures of May, she is eating a vanilla ice cream sundae, but in the last photo, her face is covered in chocolate ice cream. Her father had the audacity to give her TWO bowls of ice cream. My goodness.), one of the sneakier children made off with a bag of toppings:
Notice Helen in the background there? She was clearly inspired:
Since the bags were so high up, these naughty children had to guess at what they were stealing, but I think there weren’t really any bad choices.
I had one activity for the kids…which was actually more for the parents to do…which ended up with me doing almost all the work…but it was fun, so I kept doing it for a couple of days after the party:
We took cheap Christmas ornaments and glued them into paper cones (rolled expertly by my mathematician-minded husband). Then I hot glued a “cherry” on (made out of holly berry ornaments that I cut up) and decorated with “sprinkles” (sequins and glitter glue).
Ian (Élan’s daddy) gets in on the crafty fun:
Here are the birthday party favor Christmas ornaments hanging from the Hanukkah menorah to dry:
The only bits of decoration that we had aside from the hanging cones were some polka dot balloons and this AWESOME banner that I found:
It’s blank cloth and comes with special pens that wash-out in the laundry, so you can keep making new banners! Adele wrote “Happy Birthday, May” and drew three adorable pictures for this party. (She also re-did it for our Thanksgiving party.)
There’s one secret about this party that I haven’t yet revealed:
Did you spot the special person?
Beka was here!
She was in Abu Dhabi for about a month working on the new Yemeni constitution. She worked insane hours every single day, though, so we were only able to squeeze in two visits, but we were lucky to have her for May’s birthday party.
For those of you who do not know, Beka is one of Jeff’s best friends from college. So that means that TWO of Jeff’s friends have come all the way to Abu Dhabi and NONE of mine have AHEM AHEM AHEM.
Adele was happy to see Beka again. May was being a poop, though, and wouldn’t give her goodbye snuggles.
You can tell she wanted to, though:
And that was May’s party. It was so nice and easy and I could tell that May had a wonderful time, which is the whole point, and yet something that I often forget when party planning. Because May did, I had a good time too:
That party hat, which was also pictured on May at the top of this post, was from Helen’s birthday party the weekend before! It’s now a prized possession of the girls. (Well, it was, but I juuuust threw it away, because NO CLUTTER.)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MAY MAY!
(And yes, there are still more pictures, because we didn’t have time to open the presents from May’s friends until the day after the party, and I haven’t even taken them off the camera yet.)