So you may or may not know, my kids are 7 years and 1 day apart. Lucky me got slammed with three birthday parties to have in just 2 days.
Zadey was born September 18, 2005. Henry & Oliver were born September 19, 2012.
I have spent a lot of time thinking about birthdays since the moment my c-section was scheduled for the 19th. Because really, I almost called the doctor and asked them if I could post-pone the c-section by a week and have the boys born on September 26th.
Last year, on Zadey’s birthday, I was feeling very bittersweet about everything. Her birthday was:
- My last day of pregnancy.
- The last day she would be an only child.
- The day as a family of three.
And she opted to have her birthday as “a day of surprises.” Instead of a party, she stayed home from school (her choice) and at different times we took her to do things, we knew she loved, and surprised her with different activities. It’s really cost effective, and low on presents. All around it was great fun.
But this year, with three parties, I had to think of something a little different. And even though the boys are just hitting their first birthday, I’d like to set a standard of some kind of joint party that’s amazing.
I love the idea of celebrating my children. More than that, I love the idea of celebrating their addition to our family and how they have shaped our lives, we have watched them grow, and the bond that we have created. Birthdays, for me, are a family event.
So, why not have an event?
Besides, I’m not a party throwing mom. I kind of suck at all of that stuff. Make cute crafts, sculpt the perfect cake, and invite 20 kids to come play. Whoa, I kind of cringe at the idea! Eeek. I can’t do it, and I don’t want to!
But birthdays have to be fun, right?
While we were still living in California I considered taking the kids to Disneyland. Zadey has not gone since she was 8 months old which means she might as well never have been — at least that’s what she says. The boys, obviously, have not gone either and we might as well take them while they’re free!
However, we left California for Indiana. Getting to Disneyland now is no longer a 3 hour trek heading south on the freeway. Not going to happen.
But, at that time I was considering all of this, I had bigger fish to fry, with our move. Plus, I still had a lot of things to figure out about these parties.
- How many cakes should I buy?
- How do I give everyone an individual birthday?
- Do I have focus on baby/toddler activities or can we make it an event?
- How do I make sister feel like she had her own special day?
- Is planning one event for all three kids enough?
Making Birthday Party Decisions
I feel like anything I do now will set a standard for my kids. And Zadey is old enough to remember her birthdays, so we need to make things as fair as possible, even though the boys may not care at this point. So making decisions and the handling of this party planning had to be right.
How Many Cakes Should I Buy?
Though it’s a lot of cake, I have decided that the answer is three, kind of. Each kid should have their own cake. Zadey will have hers, to match her “theme.” But this year, the boys will also have one each as a “smash cake,” as well as their big cake for the rest of us. That means for this year alone, in two days, I will have four cakes. Yikes!
However, each year after this I will probably do between two or three cakes. And when the boys are old enough to decide, I’ll let them choose if they will share a birthday cake or if they want their own.
How do I give everyone an individual birthday?
The answer is clear for me that Zadey’s birthday comes first, she is not a twin, she must have her own day. So regardless of what we do as a family to celebrate all three children, she gets her own time, her own moment, all eyes on Zadey.
For the boys, I feel as though my hands are tied, a bit. When they’re older if they want separate parties, on different days, I’ll probably consider that based on budget and time. However, for now, they were born on the same day and we’ll celebrate on the same day — and always after sister’s birthday.
Do I have focus on baby/toddler activities or can we make it an event?
After discussing things with Joanne we decided why not make it an event? Why not create a huge family celebration, especially since we’re so far away from our extended family. And, with the right event planned, will the kids miss out on a birthday party? Probably not.
Forget the activities geared to the right age, we’ll also plan something all of our kids can do, regardless of age.
How do I make sister feel like she had her own special day?
This goes along with the cake idea. Our birthday events will be planned for a minimum of two days, always giving Zadey her own day of celebration, and then the boys. That means we won’t bust out 3 cakes on the same day. Sister was born first, sister’s celebration is first.
Is planning one event for all three kids enough?
My answer for this was a little more simple — if it is the right event, it is.
Back to This Year’s Plan
I had never heard of Holiday World, but immediately during our conversation I had to look up the site and check it out. Just reading through their events I knew it would be the spot for us, when planning these birthdays.
This year the kids’ birthdays fall on a Wednesday and Thursday, so I figured we’d do something the following weekend.
Once we arrived in Indiana, I did my research about all the available fun things to do that were good for kids. Ultimately I found, Melissa was right; Holiday World is a great choice.
So, Holiday World it is! September 20th through 22nd, we’re taking the family out to celebrate for a full weekend. Not only are we getting the opportunity to visit Holiday World, but we’ll be staying in a cabin at Lake Rudolph as well.
I couldn’t be more excited to get the kids out for a big event, a little travel, and tons of fun. Plus, I just discovered that Holiday World and Lake Rudolph will be starting their annual Halloween Weekends the weekend we’ll be arriving. More fun for the kids to have!
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How Would You Handle It?
If your kids had birthdays so close, how would your plans go? Would you choose an event, like I have, or would you go for separate (or combined) birthday parties?
This is just one plan, for many many years to come! I’d love to hear your thoughts about how to celebrate these kiddos of mine.