the bear turned 2

Amidst the craziness of Hubby coming home, my parents visiting, Thanksgiving, preparing for The Monkey and the normal Christmas hubbub, The Bear had a birthday.

He turned 2 on Monday. I was only one of those crazy moms with "2 under 2" for 4 days. Let me tell you, 4 days was enough of it for me.

I was terrified that The Monkey would arrive ... well about when he did ... and The Bear's birthday would be easily pushed aside. I like birthdays. A lot. I grew up in a house where we celebrated them hard core.

We had a party 2 weeks ago for him. It wasn't anything super huge. Remember that list of other things going on in our lives I just rattled off? There were about 20 people though. We had it at our neighborhood community center. There were 7 of his little friends there. Entertainment was limited - all the kids ranged in age from 2 years, 6 months to 1 year, 10 months. We had coloring, play dough making and brought our home made ball pit up there. (It's a kids' plastic pool we fill with balls.) We asked for no gifts which shocked my mom. However: 1) he doesn't need anything. 2) Christmas is coming up super soon. 3) I want him to know birthdays are a time of friends, family and fun (and balloons) 4) I knew he would get spoiled with gifts from our families.

It was a big deal to me because Hubby was deployed during his birthday last year so it was our first party together. My parents were also in town, and that always adds a bit of pressure. I had my first mommy needs to be perfect moment. I had seen this awesome rainbow cake and felt the need to duplicate it exactly. (The Bear's theme was balls which was really just bright circles). While my cake didn't end up as I had hoped (and involved a few tears), The Bear seemed quite happy with it.

For our main decoration, I had ordered a photo mural from this shop on etsy. It was cheap ($10) and served as a unique focal point. The Bear thought he was so cool to see himself so big.

My absolute favorite picture of the day was this one. Can you guess how old he is? :-) We are those evil parents who have birthday parties and then he gets lots of new stuff. Not sure how he'll survive the year with us.

And, as you can see. He still got WAY too many presents.

I know I'm going to have to let go of that mommy pressure to be perfect, but I think we all had a (mostly) good day. Since he has no concept of dates, we treated the whole day like it was his birthday. We did however go out to dinner and get ice cream on his actual birthday. But honestly, that was more for me than him. I did do most of the work though.