As a couple we thought about the spacing of our children. We both agreed that a three year age difference felt about right. With that goal in mind we found ourselves pregnant with a second child and an expected due date of our first child’s third birthday! We had no idea we would be that successful. It turned out that Nora was 10 days late but it still left us with children that had birthdays very close together. At first it seemed convenient. We had one family birthday party and all was well. But as the children have grown the unintended consequence of our successful three year spacing is that the month of January has come to be known as “birthday season”. Actual birthdays, a family party, and kid parties, oh my!
It all begins with Ben’s actual day of birth on which we allow the kids to choose a restaurant for a family dinner and then we give the birthday person their gifts. This year Ben picked Lombardino’s as his place to eat. After dinner, we came home and ate Ben’s preferred dessert, cheesecake and opened few little gifts as well as his favorite gift – my old kindle with several books already loaded on it.
We try to have a family and family-friend joint birthday celebration the weekend between the kids’ actual birthdays. We had a great time entertaining a group of people in our new home. Our friends brought their adorable triplets and the kids all had a great time with family and friends.
Shortly following the family birthday was Nora’s actual birthday. It started with the celebration in her classroom. It was a little bittersweet for me because this was the 6th and last time I would come to Anna’s class in January to celebrate a birthday in a children’s house classroom (Ben was in this class for three years and Nora will move out of that class next year and in Lower Elementary they celebrate kids’ birthdays but they do so within their own classroom community without parents). The Montessori birthday celebration is just so sweet and it just melts my heart when the kids all volunteer to say nice things about the birthday child.
That night Nora picked the Greenbush Bar for pizza. It is of our favorite places for pizza and a longtime date spot for us prior to kids, we had a delicious dinner together (I am thankful that our kids like good food spots). We came home and had dessert and opened presents.
With all of the official birthday celebrating done, we now were on to the kid birthday celebrations. The next two weekends each kid had a party with 12 friends. Both kids wanted birthdays at home. They decided on a winter/snow theme. Thanks to pinterest, I came up with some ideas for winter themed birthday activities. Each party had variations on the activities. Ben really wanted to go on a nature walk and there was a little snow for sledding. Ben’s friends also threw darts at a candy filled balloon snowman. At Nora’s party they played in the front yard and made little snow globes for the kids take home. At both parties we had window markers that looked like ice for kids to use on our sunroom windows and paper for snowflakes.
In general the kids just wanted to play, eat, drink hot chocolate and top their make-your-own-sundaes with as much stuff as they could. There was so much anticipation for these parties, but I think in the end that both kids had an amazing time and all the hard work of birthday season was totally worth it. I just wish I had taken more pictures of the kids during the actual party… oh well, there is always next birthday season.