Okay, so some tips for those of you planning a party, take 'em or leave 'em:
- Hire a photographer for the big day. This is my #1 tip because I am a picture fanatic. I was so worried that I would have to tote my camera on my shoulder all day and would miss sweet little shots of Carson's face or have to view the party through a lens. So I hired a friend of mine who's starting a business and she was fabulous! I never took out my camera and didn't miss a memory. You can check out my pics on facebook (we have to be friends though), where you can also find her business, Michelle Taulbee Photography.
- Start planning early. I am a procrastinator at heart, so I can't stress to you enough how much starting early and having a plan will really help you. I gave myself little deadlines along the way, that way if I procrastinated to that deadline, it still got done in plenty of time and I wasn't stressing the day, or even the week, of the party. I knew that the Wednesday before the party, ALL of my decorations and shopping had to be completely done, because Thursday and Friday were cake days, and Saturday I didn't want to have to do anything but set-up. It was a breeze.
- Plan activities for the children (or whomever your audience may be.) For us, I knew there would be 10 children ranging in ages from 1-9. We had to have games and activities that they all could participate in. I went to the dollar store and got lots of bubbles, some bases for a baseball game, bats with balls for each child (it was supposed to be their take-home gift, but they played with it at the party and most left it behind), and we also picked up a pinata from Party City. There was never a dull moment!
- Keep your birthday babe on their own schedule. Since we fed everyone burgers and dogs, my hubby asked me later why I didn't plan the party closer to lunch time instead of from 3-5. The answer is simple: Carson still takes 2 naps, and they are spaced 2 hours after waking for each one. After his second nap, from which he wakes up around 2:30, he is awake for the longest and happiest time of the day. I did it for his sake, because I wanted a happy party baby.
- Try not to stress and just enjoy your day! Words of wisdom from Carson's doctor - "Do whatever you want to do and tell everyone else to shove it. This day is really for YOU, not the baby." Yes, C's doctor really said those words to me. And while I didn't tell anyone to "shove it", I appreciate the thought behind it. It was definitely a "Because I said so" kind of day. Careful planning will help you to truly relax and enjoy your party day. After Carson's party, I was thinking of how much I'd love to do that every weekend. Exhausted, yes, but oh so much fun! And that makes me smile. :)