If you would have told me a year ago that I would be having a character themed birthday party, I would have laughed in your face. Buttttt never say never, because when you have kids and they love something it’s too fun to indulge in it with them.
I’m pretty sure most of us know who Elmo is (the lovable monster from Sesame Street), but in case you don’t have a toddler at home Abby is a newer addition to the street. She’s a little purple fairy and Leighton has always had a soft spot for her. In fact, an Abby doll was her gift from Houston at the hospital.
She LOVES her Elmo and Abby stuffed animals and treats them like her own babies. They go for walks in the pram, have breakfast in their high chair and even get baths in her kitchen sink. So when it came time to plan her 2nd birthday, I knew exactly what to do. Although, the word “planning” might be used loosely because when you are in the newborn sleep deprived fog, you don’t really have the brain power to get too creative.
In Australia, pretty much everyone, young and old, has their birthday at the park. You might remember Leighton had hers at a park last year as well. Since we have a great little park right along the river just at the end of our street, picking a venue was pretty easy. Since it is a small park there are only a couple picnic tables and only one that is covered, so I showed up at 7:30am and plopped some balloons and other supplies on the table to mark our spot. We came back around 9:30 and got everything set up before guests started to arrive at 10. Luckily, my mother in law and her boyfriend were in town so they could watch the kids at the house while Trav and I went to the park early.
The birthday girl eating breakfast pre-party.
I originally ordered her the cutest dress from a US based Etsy shop for my mother-in-law to bring. Well, the week before she left it still hadn’t arrived and it turned out to be lost in the mail (it wound up in the wrong state!) so I scrambled and one day shipped this t-shirt to my sister in law so it would get there in time for Sandy to bring. It’s not nearly as cute as the dress, but was probably more practical for playing and climbing at the park. My girlfriend back in Houston makes t-shirts for fun and whipped up Houston and I some themed outfits as well.
Pretty much all the decorations were from K-mart and I just went with bright colors and glitter, with a few sesame street touches like the cake topper and elmo fruit tray. I also found a cute Elmo birthday book that doubles as a guest book for everyone to sign.
I originally had big plans to make a cake myself but decided out sourcing would be much more realistic. I actually ordered the cake from our local bakery chain, Brumby’s, and everyone commented on how good it was.
My friend Nikki made these cookies. Not only were they so pretty but also so yummy.
This year she didn’t cry when we sang Happy Birthday to her, she even clapped for us at the end.
We have the greatest friends and are so lucky so many of them were able to come celebrate. We had around 30 guests! It was the perfect set up because the playground was just right next to us, so the kids were coming and going from the food to play. My friend’s 6 year old daughter took over babysitting duties for Leighton and made sure she was taken care of the whole time, it was too cute.
The guest with toddlers started to dwindle as it got closer to nap time, but we stayed at the park chatting with everyone else until close to 1:30. Dylan (Leighton’s babysitter), gladly helped Leighton open all of her gifts. Everyone got her the sweetest gifts and I have had to actually hide the rest and gradually bring them out because she doesn’t know what to play with first. You could tell everyone knows her well by their gifts- a beauty salon kit, a tea set, hair accessories and Abby wand. We have a serious girly girl on our hands.
She was pretty hyped up on the excitement of the day (and sugar) so it took a while before she crashed for her nap, thank goodness because we all needed one. It was such a fun day celebrating our first baby, and I can’t wait to celebrate many more birthdays with our little family!