I am a recovering Pinterest addict. When I first joined the site, I went on pinning rampages (winter in Utah w/ a 6 month old-- what else was I to do?). I ended up with over 3000 pins within a few months, which is maybe, kind-of, I concede, a little excessive. Now I have cut back to 20-30 pins and max 30 minutes a week, I swear, husband. But one of those lovely time-wasting afternoons was spend on Isla's first birthday party. It has to be big! It has to be cute! It has to be whimsical! It has to be vintage! Balloon backdrops! Gorgeous banners! Paper Pinwheels! Cupcake displays! Food platters w/ corresponding chalkboard labels! Perfect Photo ops! After mulling it over for a few days, I decided an owl theme fit perfectly, and the Great Pinning Binge of 2012 began.
Look whoooooooooo's turning one!! I mean, really, the invitations practically wrote themselves. After finding many decorations and many owl cupcakes, it was set. Isla was going to turn one in style. At least, that was the plan back in February and March.
This did not happen. Professional Procrastinator Tracie at your service. Add in a pregnancy, and the procrastination more than triples. Need to throw a party last minute? You can do it too, in 11 steps or less.
The (Pregnant) Procrastinator's Guide to Throwing Your Child's First Birthday Party
Step 1: Get pregnant and have your child's first birthday fall right when you're having the worst morning sickness. Daily ab exercises in bathroom provided generously by baby-alien a definite plus to helping you feel your worst. (Can skip this step if you want to just procrastinate planning the party.)
Step 2: Procrastinate. Don't think or do anything for a party until three days before your babe turns one. Plan on not having a party because you are feeling so sick. Presents and cake are good enough, right?
Step 3: Wrong. Mother guilt. This is one of the most important steps, as guilt is one of the best motivators. Feel extreme guilt for not planning a party. Guilt for obviously not caring for your child enough to spend countless hours on Pinterest-inspired decorations & food with 100 guests present to prove to world your love for birthday child.
Step 4: Stress. Stress stress stress. This is another excellent motivating tool. Stress sometimes gives me an adrenaline rush which helps give me the energy I need to accomplish things I have procrastinated. Try to use stress for good and not to freak out unnecessarily on husband or self or end up crashing on couch doing nothing.
Step 5: Take sis-in-law's generous offer to use backyard w/ pool for party. Roll yourself off the couch that you've been occupying since Pregnancy Week 4 and peruse internet for easy theme for party. Bees are cute. Isla's favorite book is Peek-a-who? by Nina Garcia. I used another book by Nina for inspiration. What best describes a hyper, fiesty, sassy, stubborn, giggling girl that never stops running? Busy Bee? Ok, sounds good.
Step 6: Find easy & delicious-looking recipe for cupcakes & smash cake.
Step 7: Make cupcake toppers on Photoshop & print.
Step 8: Rush around to stores day before to get balloons, baking supplies, toys & books for presents, food for barbeque, outfit for birthday girl, decoration supplies from Hobby Lobby, all while toting the soon-to-be birthday girl and trying to keep that handful of Cheerios down. Silently freak out that those balloons you picked up on the first stop (dumb dumb dumb) might be deflated by the time you get home because it's a hot day, and hot in the car. Running errands on an hour's time limit makes life fun, right?
Step 9: Stay up until midnight stressing yourself out while making birthday banner, high chair banner & imperfect cupcake toppers because you don't have this.
Step 10: Delegate all BBQ food responsibilities to husband so you don't lose it.
Step 11: Have party go off without a hitch, minus the fact that you might be an hour late to party. If baby loves at least one toy and falls asleep from exhaustion while swinging at the end of the party, it's been a success.
Even though she did not want to eat the cake (the singing scared her too much), she ended up with a cute but simple birthday party, with pictures to prove it when she's older. Well done, mother-guilt & stress. I shall see you another day, I'm sure.