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Monday, March 9, 2009

Butterfly Birthday

I'm sure y'all are just DYING to know how we celebrated the Tongginator's fifth birthday. Because, you know, we are such a fascinating and interesting family.

(If you need to take a moment or two to gag after my last comment, that's fine - I can wait.)


I hope you didn't expect clowns or bouncy places because - I hate to disappoint y'all - but we don't do Big Birthdays at Tonggu House... for a couple of reasons.

1. I don't want my child developing a huge sense of entitlement that will handicap her for The Rest Of Her Life.
2. I'm lazy.
3. My momma taught me the old-fashioned rule of creating a guest list number that matches the age of the child.
4. I'm lazy.
5. When you start out big, it necessitates Bigger and Better Parties with each passing year.
6. Did I mention I'm cheap?

We kept it simple, y'all, although we DID break the Guest List Number Rule. I WANTED to keep the guest list at five children, but y'all already know the Tongginator is a Twin Vortex. In addition to her friends Doodle and Foo Foo, three sets of twins attended the party: Cinnamon and Spice, Peaches and Cream and Pocket and Posies. And did I mention that the Tongginator's godmother, Auntie Blue Fairy, is also an identical twin?

I swear the Tongginator thinks most people arrive in twos.

We gave a slight nod to the Tongginator's longest-lasting obsession. My non-crafty, non-decorating self managed to mess up create a few pseudo-butterfly cupcakes. I'm particularly proud of them - not because of their appearance, but because these little beauties are 100% peanut and tree nut free.

Y'all, please excuse the soapbox moment, but if you invite children with food allergies to a special event, can you TRY to make something they can eat? This is The Very First Time Cinnamon and Spice could join the birthday crowd during the candle and cake eating. Doesn't that just break your heart? It meant the world to them that I made the effort to observe the warnings on boxes and tubs... and then save said boxes and tubs so that their nervous momma could double-check my work.

Not that she doesn't trust me, of course, but it's kinda hard to hand complete control over when your baby may end up dead. Also, I have a reputation for being a bit of a Slacker Momma, especially since SHE throws a party like THIS, while I... umm... don't. But my the Tongginator's butterfly cupcakes don't look too terrible, do they? Please say no.

one of the more pathetic ones, which is why - I assume -
it didn't get gobbled up by some birthday-crazed child


I totally would have included a picture of the whole lot of them, but they disappeared in 2.6 seconds. Plus, I still feel bitter that it took me two hours to create the darn things. I've always known I'm not too clever with a glue gun. Y'all can now add an icing thingy to the list.

Or whatever those Instruments of Evil are called.

We also read Fancy Nancy's Bonjour Butterfly and made a few butterfly crafts. And the present opening took all of 22 minutes because... ya know... there were only five families in attendance. Despite this, somehow several families managed to invite themselves stay for dinner and didn't end up leaving the house til after 8 PM.

Which tells y'all how much fun we had.

We DID have a blast, as evidenced by many of the Tongginator's photos. Because she received her first camera as birthday gift from Momma and Daddy.

Please note the pink color. I found myself gravitating to
the Non-Girly Cameras, but I sacrificed for my little gal.


I'll leave you with a montage of the Tongginator's first photos with her new camera, completely unedited.

Clockwise, from top left: Red Fish, Mrs. Fish and Two Fish skyping us
to sing "Happy Birthday" to the Tongginator; self-portrait, in the car;
Headless Tonggu Momma; our former neighbor Yankee, also known
as Doodle's momma; the Tongginator's beloved Doggy; Cousins Snickers
and 100 Grand, with Aunt Kit Kat, dropping off birthday presents and hugs.


And thanks for reading to the end, if you even made it this far. I know our birthday parties are a bit of a snooze fest, but I want the Tongginator to appreciate the simple things.

Oh, and I'm lazy.

49 comments:

Andrea said...

I think the cupcakes are cute! I am not crafty either so they look great to me!

Sherri said...

You are so smart. I am with you on the birthday party thing. (However, I'm on my 6th child and I WASN'T like this on my first child) Which is what makes you so smart. The secretary at Olivia's school has a daughter the age of my oldest, and she really got on my case for not doing a huge party for Olivia. She has proof of the parties I used to throw....and she threatened to expose me to Olivia.

I think it's wonderful that you went out of your way to help the food allergy kids be included. I'll keep that in mind...I'm sure it's hard for them to never get to eat the BEAUTIFUL cupcakes.

Those cupcakes were beautiful! You did a great job!

Mom to 5...Daughter of the King said...

What a fun day!! I love the cupcakes! We don't do friend parties b/c dh's family is so large. Like you, I don't want them to think they are entitled to a bunch of stuff. While it is always appreciated, somehow, I am always the one who ends up picking said stuff up....

Stefanie said...

Sounds like a GREAT time! And you did an awesome job on the cupcakes, they really are cute :)
I love all your rules for birthday parties, 'cept we never even have to invite anyone unless the child has a best friend... we have a full house ALL the time :)
Happy big number 5, Tongginator!! You are going to LOVE that camera, it's one of my girls' VERY favorite toys!!
You on the other hand, TM, might get a wee bit tired of posing for pictures while you're cooking, cleaning, getting dressed...
Have fun!

jen@odbt said...

Great rules - I wish someone had told me about #5 back in the day. Now I'm feeling like the mean ol' mommy from Snow White having to pull in the reins on the bday parties. I like Tongginator's pictures - I spy a future (perhaps regular) post.

Marla said...

Lovin the rules, I find that as my kids get older, our parties get smaller and that's a good thing. I'm with ya on the nut free thing too, the school my girls attend is 100% nut free because of a couple of little ones with deadly allergies, so I'm learning to check those labels carefully.

I think your cupcakes are adorable. I use a ziploc bag to pipe icing on, so you're one step ahead of me if you've got a thingy/instrument of evil. :)

Have a great week and tell the Butterfly that her pics are great.

Aunt LoLo said...

I think that's a perfect party! The cupcakes are lovely. :-) And guests inviting themselves to your dinner is a sign of your fantastic hospitality!

Jboo said...

Sounds like a really fun party!! Great looking cupcakes -- you are more talented than you know! And I think your girl has quite an eye with that camera!

Janet

chicknboy said...

the cupcakes are cute! way more creative that I would've been. :)

we're with you on not throwing big parties-just not necessary.

Laura L. said...

I think it sounds like you had a wonderful party!
I wholeheartedly agree with your party rules. AND I do love your cupcake. It's so cute and it looks like love to me. It's says TM put her heart into her special girl's party. So sweet.

I know! Icing thingys are evil. Even a ziplock baggy with icing can be evil for some of us. :)
I always hope my cakes will look like the ones my momma always made for us. Sigh. Doesn't happen.

P.S. Yes! Maybe it IS an Easter cactus that I have. OR...a late bloomer. Ha ha ha

Gail said...

The party thing can get so out of control...I'm lovin' your rules. We also do the number of kids invited with the child's age. Or try too as best as we can. :)

Looks like you had lots of fun and the Tongginator is quite the budding photographer!

Myrnie said...

What a fun party! We haven't had any yet- Ernie is three. Did you say when you started parties?? I'm wondering if we should have a little party for Ernie this summer when she turns 4...

BTW, a panda post went up on Saturday, mostly for you :)

Patricia/NYC said...

You are one wise momma! Sounds like a perfect party! And yes, I LOVE the cupcakes!

Pancake said...

The cup cakes are darling! Sounds like a perfect party!

T said...

I have to admit to going all out on cakes - but our parties are always small events at home... you're bounce houses and clowns create a crazy expectation for each coming year!

Quirky Mom said...

Thanks for the food allergy birthday cake shout out! Apple has only been to one birthday party where she could eat the provided cake, and that was because the birthday girl also has allergies. I will admit that I didn't accommodate a wheat allergy at one birthday party, because I didn't even know how to begin making a wheat-free cake, but last year I made a special cake that was dairy, nut, and chocolate free just for Apple and one friend. We had a bakery cake for everyone else, because it was part of the party package at the place we went...

Oh, and when it comes to lazy parties, paying someone else to do the party is the BEST. For Apple's third, all I had to do was show up with her, her presents from us, and the allergy cake. Oh, and write a check. But it really wasn't that much money...

P.S. Apple got that same camera from her aunt for her last birthday! The Tongginator is a more talented photographer, however.

discombobulated said...

love the cupcakes! Now little Miss T has a pink camera just like me!!!

Suzie said...

LOVE the cupcakes!! I think you outdid yourself. Sounds like a fun party :o)

Saint Louis Family Robinson said...

CUTE Cupcake!!! BIG Kudos to you for the allergy free baking!!!!!!

I hear you on the birthday party stuff... I agonized over inviting classmate/neighborhood buddies for a party. In the end I decided not to...mostly because she did NOT ask to have friends over... she was all excited about her cousin party (and she didn't realize she could ask to have a friends party too - LOL!). But then, due to illness, we had to cancel the cousin party. Man Alive... I think that was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life (I think I would choose Bungee Jumping over canceling a 4 year old birthday party!). Anyway... husband and I have said the same thing you have: If you start big, then you have to get bigger and bigger each year! Ugh... don't like that! And the sense of entitlement - that is a huge worry for us!!!!

I like that rule of: #guests = age of birthday girl. I think that's a great one! And will get incorporated next year at our house!!!!

Anonymous said...

Our daughter from China just turned 10. She had a couple of friends over for a sleepover. Our kids get big parties every 4 years - 4, 8, 12 & 16 - it makes those years very memorable. Plus, they simply don't need 18 gifts every year. She has attended parties that had horse-drawn carriage rides, skating rinks rented for only the party, hired bands, etc. - seems to be a competition for who can spend the most money. What do you do for REALLY significant events after that?!
Vonna in Kansas

Rebecca said...

Chickie, I'M WITH YOU. I don't do the crazy birthday parties (although I admire people who do). I refuse to have to top myself every year! We alternate doing a "Family party" and a "Friend party" every other year. It seems to work well. Call me old-fashioned, but whatever happened to the days of "come over, we'll eat cake and open presents?"

Kiy said...

I am SO with you on the whole party thing. My sister's first child's first birthday .... 100+ people (I kid you not). How is it possible to top that year after year ... and now four kids? I get tired just thinking of that.

For Emi's first and second birthday, we did nothing. Seriously. I made cupcakes the first year and a pink cake for the second. A few gifts, called it done. I may not be able to get away with that next year, but I will give it a good healthy try!

Oh, and loved the cupcakes. You can make them for us anytime! :)

Cheers, Kiy

Kiy said...

I cannot believe I forgot the most important thing ....

HAPPY BIRTHDAY T!

Butterfly Wishes, Kiy

prechrswife said...

Happy Birthday, again! The cupcakes turned out great. We, so far, don't have any of the kids' friends with nut allergies, but we do have vegetarian friends that require a little extra planning. We also don't do gigantic birthday parties. (Some seemed to think that the last one we did for MJ was big, but it was mostly the room that was big. There were only 4 families with kids there, but 3 of those families have more than one child.)

Mamatini said...

Can I just say that I think you are the sweetest thing to save the boxes and bins for the 'paranoid' mommy to check? So thoughtful.

And I totally agree with your rules. We do small parties of close family friends (no family nearby), godparents, and a handful of the birthday girl's "best friends" who usually are children of our family friends!

For several years, Isa (our reserved one) didn't want anyone over for her birthday: "Just the family, Mama." So we'd do birthday campouts instead. We've gotten away from that a bit now that she's in school, but I think those were some of our most memorable birthdays.

planetnomad said...

When the twins were born, Elliot was only 20 months, and after a while he was very confused. You could see him thinking, "Okay Mommy and Daddy, and Abel and Ilsa, but who goes with me?" He glommed onto this girl friend of his, whose parents were our good friends and who was about the same age, and for a while everything was "Elliot and C."

We do birthday parties most years, and now I regret it. But we do it on the cheap. I come up with treasure hunts or once we let the boys stay up all night and watch all the Lord of the Rings movies in a row. T's 5th bday party sounds just right to me--just like the kind we give our kids.

a little leprechaun said...

Sounds very fun, and the cupcakes are adorable!! That is awesome!

Please have a wonderful week!

Special K said...

Very cute cupcakes. I like the invite/age idea. I'll remember that one.

Happy Belated Birthday to the Tongginator!

Patty O. said...

Love the cupcakes! And if it makes you feel any better, I am even more lazy and cheap that you are when it comes to birthday parties. Since we live far from family, we typically don't invite ANYONE to our parties. For the first 3-4 years of Danny's life, it was just too stressful and overstimulating to invite kids to a party for him. Instead, we celebrate by filling his room with balloons, taking him swimming and playing all day. Also, we always make the cake, even though the results have been mixed. Luckily, my husband is more creative and artistic than I am. Maybe this year we will actually invite some friends for D's b-day. We'll see.

Jillene said...

The cupcakes are so cute and it sounds like everyone had fun. I tend to overdo things myself and then I am ornery and it's just ugly!!

Suzy said...

I heart you! Who but TM would admit she was lazy and/or lacking in craftiness? I'll own up to my procrastination flaw. I have really good ideas at times. That time is usually when it's too late to implement them. I saw some really cute ladybug cupcakes I may try for Lydia's 1/2 birthday (no presents, just a small acknowledgement of that "I'm # and a HALF years old").

delucchi family said...

Happy birthday tongginator, and I grew a whole year older too!!
Rather hoping my best friend makes me a butterfly cake for my party too!! Love the photos!!
Love jules
xxx

The Things We Carried said...

I like the butterfly thee for your butterfly girl!

Kristin said...

Heck, you HAD a party. My girls haven't yet experienced a birthday party with kids their own age. Only friends of the family.

So I say you did great!

gritandglory.com said...

sounds like a great party to me. and your butterfly cupcakes came out way better than mine would have!

Sharie said...

I love it! Amelia had a simple party in my book anyway (of course my sister is Ms. Party Planner) she actually came over with a box of goodies and decorated after I thought I was done:) We did stick to the rule of the age - and it was great!
And I LOVE your butterfly cupcakes!

Missy said...

Happy Birthday Sweet Tongginator! I hope your day was extra special. It sounds and looks like your mommy did a great job getting it together. I loved your cupcakes : )

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

I am not a big party person either.....so in other words....i am also LAZY:)

Totally impressed with the cupcakes...they are adorable....and you know I love the Tongginator's gift....looks like she is off to a great start....no editing needed:)

Lisa

Colleen said...

The cupcakes are adorable!!!!!! Love those photographs....my girls love their camera's. We celebrated Addison's 4th birthday this weekend. We had a purple party. Stop by my blog and take a peek at her pictures. It was just family...hey she's a preschool drop out so we're her only friends : )

The Byrd's Nest said...

We don't "overdo" birthday's either but we do make them a "little" bigger because we really don't do anything for Christmas except talk about Jesus' birth. So we try to make birthday's a little big BUT never ever too much.

It sounds like you did a FABULOUS job and I am sure Ms. Butterfly loved it and will always remember it!

Flamingo Mama said...

i'm soo lazy right there with ya! but your butterfly cupcakes definitely were not lazy!

Janet said...

Well I think it sounds lovely. And I would TOTALLY eat those cupcakes. :-)

Rhonda said...

Those cupcakes ROCK. I'm not nearly as crafty/creative as that...

Alyson and Ford said...

You did a great job on the birthday party! I grew up with only family birthday parties, no friends invited, we always had a family party on the closest weekend. Plenty of kids with all the cousins attending.
I think simple and smaller is best too.

Alyzabeth's Mommy

Blue said...

Why are all these people lying to you, TM? That is one sad-looking butterfly cupcake! (Which I say with a complete and utter lack of malice, from one lazy, icing-challenged mom to another.) My kids are lucky they get a cupcake with a smear of chocolate icing on it. Period. MAYBE, if I can find them in the back of the cupboard, they'll get some homely sprinkles on top! The kids don't care as long as they get to eat TWO, and I'm WAAAAY over what other parents think. And I'm with you on all your other b'day party rules too. Stand firm, common-sense Momma!

Elizabeth Channel said...

The cupcakes are lovely! Simply lovely! (This coming from someone who knows how difficult it is to make pretty treats with a bunch of food restrictions!)

Dita said...

Listen, Lazy.....

You haven't completely cornered the market on failure to go full tilt on birthdays. I am one of those mothers too!

I can't imagine having 10 of my son's friends for his 10th next month...and I am proud to say I have almost COMPLETELY dodged the entire friend birthday party thing at this point. He hasn't even noticed and he's never asked for it. We usually go do something as a family that is fun, uh, with the exception of the Star Wars Convention we went to in PA this time last year....uh, that wudn't no fun for Mama, Papa, Sweet Pea, Nana or even Kiddie....but Wonder Boy had a blast!

You had me in tears with the evil pastry bag...and everything else, as usual!

The cupcakes came pretty darned cute for a lazy mama!

Kayce said...

Sounds like a good time to me! And the cupcakes are so much better than I could have ever done! Love the pictures Tongginator took!!

Michelle said...

Happy Belated Birthday, T! It sounds like a great party.

TM - You did a great job with the cupcakes! It looks like T took some photography lessons from you. he he