Wednesday, July 10, 2013

My Birdie Girl Turns 2 (With a Re-Cap on Everything I Did Wrong For Her 1st)

I've been wanting to sit and write about my daughter Roberta (Birdie) Jane for some time. I had every intention of having this post done by July 2nd, her 2nd birthday... and then I did something I swore last year I'd never do again: I scheduled 2 Miss Party Mom parties in a row, as in- 2 Saturdays in a row. While I don't exactly regret it, because I'm crazy like that... I do know it was way too much on the family. Mostly the husband. It's hard for me to turn down a party because I want so badly to make it in this industry... but my household cannot take the double party... this year was (another) great reminder of that.

You see, last year I did this same thing: a paid party the last weekend of June, and Birdie's 1st birthday the first weekend of July. It was equally hard this year as it was last. Live and learn... or don't live and learn and just do the same dumb thing again... oh ya, that sounds just like me.

So, this post is 3-fold. 1st- I want to blog about Birdie and all of the joy and craziness she brings to our family, 2nd- I want to blog her party pics from her 1st birthday Rainbow and Birds Party- (as I noticed one photo from Catch My Party had been re-pinned 126 times, and none leading back to my blog!) and 3rd- I want to pick the party apart, the good and THE BAD! I've been thinking about this party for an entire year, and all of the things that went wrong with the set-up of it and the things that I've learned to do differently. I've come up with 5 Tips based on Party Set-Up. You might read them and think I've totally lost it- just remember I spent some serious time in Corporate America where deadlines and all-nighters are par for the course. I also know it isn't normal to do a party and then pick it apart... but trust me, I'm not normal. It actually brings me great joy to acknowledge all of the errors I made on a party... knowing that the next time will be better. In the end I obviously know it was a cute party as it was chosen for the American Baby "1st Birthdays" article this month... I'm just sayin'... it COULD have been even better...

Birdie, my baby...

At 26 weeks pregnant I went in to early labor. I'd been feeling what everyone was telling me were Braxton Hicks (BH) for 2 days. On the second day I laid in bed at midnight and moaning and crying like the no-pain-tolerance Momma I am... My husband finally convinced me to call my doctor. My OB told me to hop in a warm bath and if I didn't feel more comfortable to go to the hospital. At 2 a.m. I checked in to the ER only to have them tell me I was fine and they couldn't monitor any contractions. I breathed a sigh of relief and figured I was going to have strong BH the rest of the pregnancy- better than bed rest! Anything would be better than bed rest.

The next day I went in to see my OB and he told me a different story. He sent me back to the hospital, met me there and put me on Magnesium Sulfate, if you've had it- you know: it sucks. I stayed in that room for 3 days only to be sent home on bed rest. After 3 weeks on bed rest, I was moved to "light rest" (I still have no clue what that is). I just know that I cried every day of that initial, laying-down 3-week bed rest. At 41 weeks ironically I had to be induced... and that right there is the story of how a little firecracker of a girl named Birdie was born... she started with her crazy ideas at 26 weeks in the womb.

To start, Birdie is fearless. I have never met another child like her. She has no concept of gravity or of taste. She will jump off counters, couches, play structures, the sides of a pool... I'm pretty sure she thinks she can fly. She will eat snails, dirt/sand and sunscreen the same way she will eat chips (and salsa). She will literally cry eating hot salsa but it never deters her from finishing it- if I take it from her, then she really cries.

Birdie talks up a storm and walks in to rooms saying, "What's up with you?" "What happened?" and "What's wrong?" She always has to be in the know.

She's a sneaky little girl, known for getting her brother out of time-outs. She has mastered unlocking his door. Cormac is her best friend. She punches him and then runs to get him the boo boo bear- she hurts him just so she can care for him... Twisted, for sure.

This last week Birdie just realized her name is really Roberta (after her Great Grandma) and now tells people, "I'm Birdie Berta." I quite like it.

Birdie loves dogs... I, her mother, do not. We got Mohawk (our boxer) when Birdie was 15 months- she immediately fell in love. He's 2x her size and she can give him commands the same way her dad does, "Sit Mohawk! Eat Mohawk!" This love of dogs spawned her Puppy Party 2nd Birthday this past weekend... and no I never thought I'd be doing a Puppy Party- for a child of my own nonetheless!

She loves dolls, dirt and markers. At times all 3 mix. She has markered almost every surface in our home. Just when you think the last of the markers is thrown away she will dig out a black Sharpie from her secret stash and marker up your beloved wood floors with it. And she is always proud of her work- she will run to you and say, "Look at the pretty!" and it's never pretty... this I have learned.


More than anything Birdie loves to eat. She is 27 lbs and eats as much as me, sometimes more. I don't know where it goes. She has never met a food (or any other edible/inedible thing) she didn't like. Wipes? Taste great. Tube of chapstick? Appetizer to the sunscreen.

She has also never met a person she doesn't like. Birdie is so friendly sometimes it hurts for me to watch strangers ignore her. I mean, how could you ignore this child? She yells in Target, "Hi, How are you?!" like she is seeing a long lost friend. Sometimes I think she is and wonder when she will introduce me. As much as Birdie is feisty and a rule breaker and as stubborn as her Momma, she is also sweet as sugar and sensitive at moments. She will cuddle me and pet my hair... and then pull it and laugh...

I have been dreaming of having a little girl since before I was married. I pictured bows and patent leather shoes and ruffled dresses. I never in my wildest dreams thought MY little girl would turn out to be a tomboy-wild-child. And while at times I am annoyed she won't ever wear shoes (like, ever) I wouldn't change her for the world. I love you Birdie Belle, Birdie Girl, Destructo... Roberta Jane you are ONE-OF-A-KIND and boy do you keep me on my toes!

Happy 2nd Birthday.

5 Tips I've Learned From Birdie's 1st Birthday Party...

#1- Having a full house of out-of-town guests is probably a bad idea unless you live in a mansion. I invited the world to her first birthday party and asked them all to stay with us, in our 1200 sf home... this added just a little bit of stress! While I wanted to be hospitable, I also had a party to finish up on and set-up to accomplish in the morning. Nothing like putting your house guests to work!

#2- Pre-set the ENTIRE party! Because of limited space in my home and kids who would tear it all down, I didn't do one trial run through on any of the tables before her Rainbows & Birds Party- I just winged it and set up as I went. Now I do a trial run through and have the photos of it on my phone to help guide me as I go. Major time/stress saver.

Living room run through: Garden Party 2013!
#3- Iron every linen (and canopy!) the day before and loosely fold it hanging somewhere. I didn't learn this for a while... now I finally know how important it is- wrinkles show up like crazy in photos! And now I also know throwing the rainbow canopy in the dryer with a wet towel doesn't work... it just looks like I, well, threw the rainbow canopy in a dryer with a wet towel...

#4- Have everything laid out and ready to go, un-packaged with price tags cut off, as put together as it can be. If it's not RIGHT in front of you ready to be set up the day of- chances are you will forget it in the chaos of the set-up. I had an entire box of special rainbow lanterns I'd bought online that never got hung because I forgot about them. I also had birds and picture frames... and yes it stung when I found that box, like literally hurt my heart.

The night before the Puppy Party... everything was laid out (somewhat grouped by table) which helped me a lot.
#5- This is a controversial one! In my opinion- if you HAVE to: pull an all-nighter (eek!) the night before the party. Even for The Puppy Party this past Saturday I didn't, and I totally regret it! I will now think all year about everything that could have been better if I'd have. I stayed up until 4 a.m... and trust me, I could've stayed up the whole night... that's what coffee and Red Bull are for. Instead I forced myself to sleep because I thought I had time in the morning to finish up. I didn't. I left things undone to accomplish in the morning which totally screwed up my set-up schedule. My advice? Don't leave anything undone to complete the day of the party. Party Day should be reserved for Party Set-Up. Don't Get Crazy (one of the MPM mottos) and try and craft things the morning of, trust me- total time eater! Sure you might look a little tired in the pics if you do an all-nighter but your adrenaline will kick in for party set-up and greeting guests! Again... coffee! 

Let's Get Picky (It's what I do best!)
I probably don't even need to caption this- you're probably already going, "Oh dear... what a terrible placement of the dessert table!" Ding, ding, ding! I mean, really Kenna... a white chain link fence? Directly in the worst sun of the entire backyard? Note To Self: ALWAYS consider your bigger-picture backdrop scene because most likely it will show up in the photos AND always consider your lighting. This was the worst possible placement I could have chosen for the dessert table (a month later we rebuilt that fence, go figure...)

This whole double layer table cloth was a last minute decision that I didn't think through because I DIDN'T KNOW MY LINENS. Note To Self: ALWAYS KNOW YOUR LINENS. Have a linen (that fits accordingly) chosen for every table you plan to have. Dessert Table, Drink Table, Food Table, Gift Table, Guest Tables... each needs a special linen so you don't end up desperate and layering at the last minute... this rainbow print would have been a great runner or FULL table cloth. The half table cloth is just weird...

This has Two Notes To Self: #1, In my opinion every cupcake topper should be backed with card stock, whether it's printed, shiny or glittered- it just looks better. (I feel the same way about pennants and banners- they need to be layered on card stock. It helps weigh them down and prevent "curling". I also love to now "pop" the cupcake topper out with mounting tape.) #2- If the topper or straw flag is likely going to be touching something wet it needs to be printed on a laser printer (at Kinko's if you don't own one). Nothing is worse than colors running on labels (see bottom of this cupcake topper for example)

Now to some pictures I love from the party!

All photos below taken by Moments Captured Photography
Printables package by joliodesign 
Event Concept and Styling: Miss Party Mom


Sneak Peek for Birdie's Puppy Parlor Party- Stay Tuned!

xo Party or Die xo


  1. Love this. Colors running on printables is the story of my life. I despise rain on party days. Beautiful party and you made it in print!!! Yay congrats can't wait to see her puppy party.

    1. Thank you Sunny! I can't wait to see her Puppy Party either!!

  2. Kenna - the party is fabulous. You're like me, finding details in the photos and kicking yourself...haha! I think everything looks fantastic and you're fab, Boo!

    1. Thanks Keisha- Perfectionists always kick themselves when the photos come out! Just when I thought it looked great that dang photo proves me wrong!

  3. Okay, I totally get that you are a perfectionist so there are a few details of Birdie's party you wish you could redo but let me tell you holy amazing perfect party! Seriously! So many great details. Some of my favs are the "Happy Bird-Day" cookies (adorbs), the Italian Soda Station (brilliant!), rainbow cupcakes (super cute), and Birdies' monthly photo display (eye catcher!). I could go through your pics a million times and still find new details to adore.

    Sounds like Birdie has brought a lot of color to your family so this rainbow party was perfect for your sweet "wild child" :)

  4. P.S. Doll in the wall with the "i didn't do it look" on Birdie's face...priceless!

    1. Thanks for the comments Juli- I was a super cute party and I feel the photos really did it justice, this last year I kept having to remind myself that no one would even know I forgot an entire box of stuff, if I didn't keep telling them! :) And I've blogged about that photo of Birdie before but in case you didn't see it- she'd just started talking and kept saying to me, "outside, outside" so I followed her outside and she was pointing to her dolly she'd stuck in the hole my husband was fixing on the outside of our house! That was at 18 months old- yikes!

  5. Love it! One of my favorite blogs. Berdie is so CUTE!!! Those dark sparkling mischievous eyes & energetic smile, who could keep from smiling at the sight of her!! Cormac is equally adorable!
    Great party planner!!!

    1. Thank you for always reading my posts!! I think my kids are cute too- but I'm a little biased... ;)

  6. Great party tips! Birdie is a doll and sounds like a kick in the pants! :)

  7. What a great post on little Birdie! I loved all of it!!!! So fun to read.

  8. where in the world did you find that ball pit?? I cant find one near as cute and girly

  9. Hi Dana, it is from Walmart- actually just a baby pool filled with the balls (also from Walmart). I think the pool was $6. :)

  10. i cant find any that match my bright color theme :( do you still have it? if so, would you be willing to sell it to me maybe

    1. I'm sorry, as a party planner I reuse my items all the time. I hope you found something that worked!

  11. i cant find anything near as girly and there a brand on it by chance?


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