Saturday, November 28, 2015

Stella Anne's 2nd Birthday Celebration!!

Stella's birthday fell on a Tuesday this year.  Thankfully she didn't have therapy on her birthday, so we were able to enjoy a fun day at home!  Mark had gotten her a few balloons the night before and put them in her room when he left for work Tuesday morning, so around 6:30 I heard "WOW!  Ball, WOW!"  I went and took them out because I knew she needed another hour or so of sleep before we began her big day, but it was such a cute wake-up call :-)
Birthday girl!
I made Stella banana and egg pancakes in the shapes of "2" and a dog and added some sprinkles, but she didn't want to eat them.  She likes regular pancakes, I tried to take a healthy shortcut and unfortunately she didn't like them.  Lesson learned.  So she had a cereal bar while I ate the's the thought that counts right??  After breakfast I let her open her presents from me.  I got her a Frozen tea party set and microphone from Target.  They were a huge hit!  We spent the morning playing tea party and putting on concerts, and then she watched Happy Birthday Barney so mama could get a little housework done :-)
Birthday morning fun.
After a pizza lunch and good nap, dad came home.  We originally planned to take her out to supper, but it was raining, windy and cold so we opted for a living room picnic supper instead (thanks for the idea grandma!)  Stella enjoyed it I think!  Then she opened her present from Mark...a sports play set.  They played ball together for a while, and then we did her cake.  Mark had picked out a caramel apple cake from the Wal Mart bakery and it was delicious!!  We discovered that she hates being sang "Happy Birthday" to.  She loves singing and I sing "good morning" to her every day but for some reason "Happy Birthday" makes her cry!  She must be embarrassed.  It was so cute, poor thing, so we took a quick video and then stopped the song ;-)  After cake we colored at her table for quite a while before bedtime.  I'd say it was a relaxing day and she had fun!!
Relaxing birthday evening.

I did try to get 2 year fall pictures done again this year from my friend.  Stella WASN"T having it, she cried through the whole thing.  We had family pictures done in August, so those will have to do for her 2 year pictures this year :-)  I will share those soon!!

This year my sister-in-law and I decided to do our girl's birthday parties together (hers were turning 3 in November and 2 in December) and we chose to have them the weekend after Stella's birthday.  It's hard to pick a date around the holidays, so much going on!  Jenny just had another baby and I was still pretty sick during my first trimester, so we decided to make things easier on us by sharing the work.  This meant spending a bit more money on the party for convenience, but it is what it is.  Everything came together beautifully and it was a great time!  We decided on a Frozen theme, all 3 girls love it (of course).  It is totally over-done I know, but it's what they wanted so it's what they got!!
Our invitation (from Etsy).  Changed locations last minute, that's why the place is different :-)
On the Wednesday a week before the party Stella and I went to Jenny's and we planned the food and decor while the girls had a play day.  Then that Saturday my mom watched Stella while I went shopping for decorations.  It was a beautiful day and I enjoyed it so much!  The following Wednesday Jenny and I took the baby shopping for the food while Mark's mom watched Stella.  We enjoyed a nice lunch at Biaggis and then hit up Sam's and Kohls (for birthday gifts for all the nieces we needed to catch up on!)  On Thursday I grabbed some odds and ends at Wal Mart that we still needed, and Friday Jenny made the cakes while I put together the decorations and packed everything up.  I wanted to get it all done Friday because we were supposed to get a snowstorm Saturday.  I figured it was mostly hype, they always exaggerate the first snow of the season.  Unfortunately I was wrong this time!

I woke up to our very own Arrendale on Saturday, party day.  It was snowing and blowing like crazy!  We got about 5 inches of snow.  I had originally planned to head into town in the morning to get the decorating done while Stella took her nap at my mom's and then get ready myself (we were having the party at the American Legion in Atkinson this year), but our road didn't get plowed and when Mark went to test it there was a semi and 3 cars in the ditch outside our house.  So we decided to hang around our house until about 3:00 in hopes the plows would come by.  They never did, but at least by then it stopped snowing and blowing.  We took the longer (but safer) route to town, and I held my breath down our road.  We almost got stuck!  Even though we had to throw everything together last minute and lots of people couldn't make it, I am just thankful we were able to and everyone traveled safely.  I guess Stella is holding up the pattern of crazy weather around her birthday!!  (Birth= terrible tornadoes, Year 1=record low temps and light snow, Year 2=terrible record setting early snowstorm)
The view outside our window Saturday morning!
We got to the Legion around 4:00.  Stella went to Jennys to play with the girls while we decorated.  First I turned up the heat, it was cold in there!  Then I set up the food & dessert tables while Mark set up the guest tables and blew up balloons.  We got a helium tank from Wal Mart again this's cheaper and then you don't have to live the nightmare of transporting lots of balloons.  Given our time crunch I'd say everything came together nicely!  Jenny & Jeff brought the food (we had Chick-Fil-A cater...yumm!) and cake around 4:45 and by then we were set up and ready for guests!
Drinks & desserts table
Food table
We still had a pretty decent turn-out despite the weather.  I was glad I set the party at 5:00, by then the main roads had been plowed and it was done snowing and blowing.  We just hung out and enjoyed the food for a while.  Half of the Legion was empty, so the kids loved running around playing with the balloons.  Around 7:00 we opened gifts.  They girls sat by each other and opened theirs.  Stella wasn't too interested, she mainly liked the cards and of course had to hold a few crayons the whole time ;-)  She got lots of cute gifts that we have been enjoying at home every day!
Mommy helping open gifts and daddy testing them out!
A short bit after presents we sat the girls together and did their cakes.  They each had a mini cake of their own.  Stella cried hysterically during the singing of Happy Birthday, of course!  She only ate a few bites of her cake and was done.  She doesn't use silverware very well and I didn't want to do the whole smash-cake again this year (embarrassing!  I'm working so hard my goal is to have her using silverware on her own by the new year), so I let her go play and we basically skipped the cake.  I passed out cake to all the guests and we just sat around and visited for a while longer.  They guys played bags and the kids enjoyed watching!  Stella had on new shoes and I was kicking myself for not breaking them in all week, but she didn't do too bad.  She had special flexible walking shoes until last week when she finally grew out of a size 4, so actual shoes are a big of an adjustment.  She lost one during the party and tried to put it back on herself so they couldn't have been that bad!!  She really had a great time playing with her cousins and of course doing lots of coloring.
Loved the cake, the singing not so much!!  So happy until about 9:00...
Around 8:45 I started to kind of pick up.  The kids were still doing great, but I knew it was only a matter of time before they reached their limits, so I just started slowly packing up.  Thankfully a few people jumped in and started to help, because by 9:15 almost all the kids were in tears!  With lots of help we were loaded up and on our way home by 9:30.  We were exhausted and my pregnant feet were super painful, but it was a great party and Stella had fun!  Totally worth the work and money!!
Had to scan a thank you to upload it on here, so not the best quality, but you get the idea.  From Etsy.
Sunday Mark went hunting (1st season, he had went Friday and didn't say a word about missing Saturday!) and I couldn't bring myself to clean up.  I did a little bit but had a severe headache so I opened a few new gifts for Stella and rested all day.  

To see all of the pictures from her birthday and party click HERE.  I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  Tonight Mark and I are going out with friends, and this week I plan to clean my house, do some organizing, and get my Christmas decorating done after we get our tree!  I am looking forward to the holiday season this year!!  I will be back in a few weeks with Stella's 2 year update :-)

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