The past year has been the BEST YEAR of our lives all because of Theo. He has changed my life for the better in so many ways, it would take me forever to come up with a list. His birthday not only marks his first year on Earth, it also signifies our first year as parents—and that’s why it’s sorta-kinda really is a big deal to our family.
I get asked a lot by moms and dads about birthday bashes. And here’s my honest take on it, BIG or SMALL, your little one will love you just the same! 🙂 🙂 If you have a big family and a lot of friends and have been setting aside money for a big celebration—THEN GO GO GO!!! Party planning is a lot of fun and if you have been able to save for it, then you should go all out for your baby! 🙂 Let your imagination run wild and tap the best suppliers in the industry! Go ahead and make it a memorable experience for you and your family!
But if you have limited funds at the moment or have to shell out money for other priorities (saving for a house, a car, your kids’ tuition, etc)—then doncha worry chicken curry. With a bit of creativity and resourcefulness, you can still have an awesome celebration without breaking bank. There’s no need to keep up or feel pressured to come up with something bongga, just be honest with your friends and they’ll totally understand where you’re coming from. 🙂
Again, what matters is that your heart is in the right place. Your child’s birthday should be a reflection of your gratitude towards God and the loved ones who supported you. So whether you decide to splurge and go big time or if you want it small and intimate, do what you feel is best for YOUR family! 🙂 🙂
Like I mentioned in a few posts back, it was a toss up between a trip abroad and a big birthday bash to celebrate Theo’s first. We decided to go with the trip to Sweden/France and just work with a smaller celebration instead. And by small, I mean, really small. After all, we just spent for a trip so it seemed only prudent to keep it low key for this one. And so the Playdate slash Merienda idea was born.
We still wanted it to feel extra special even with a budget to consider, after all, it was his first birthday. So my only major expense was on the venue/entertainment c/o GYMBOREE. This proved to be the best decision for me because 1) I didn’t have to spend on styling or decorating the place, we just literally showed up with just a diaper bag! Hahaha! Gymboree is already so colorful on its own and as you can see in these snapshots, it’s a very photogenic place. 2) The teachers are AMAZING. I was once a preschool teacher (eons ago!) and so I know how HARD it is to actually rally young tots to participate and fully engage in an activity. I love that their program was fun, interactive, and stimulating with a lot of props and tools to make it really age appropriate. 3) The venue is very clean, organized and secure. Knowing that the kids were in a safe environment brought peace of mind for all the parents who were at the party. And even if it was raining cats and dogs outside (with thunder and lightning combos), we were all safe and dry inside and having a grand time! 4) THEO loves it here, it’s where he developed a lot of his skills—from crawling to walking and now even climbing and tumbling. I just knew that the babies would be happy here and ultimately, that was all that mattered to me.
We had no physical invitations, just personal invites face to face or just by text. We only invited a handful so it was pretty easy. I didn’t even have a Facebook page, Hahaha! For food, we just ordered PICA-PICA through @traybien.ph (winner!!!) and my friend Sheila bought a whole bag of assorted bread (pan de coco, pan de sal, spanish bread, etc) from their local Panadero. I brought paper plates, paper cups, and had a cooler with drinks. Luckily, our friends are all very simple and easy to please. No violent reactions when I sent out a text with “Light snacks will be served during the playdate”—walang kumontra, game lang silang lahat! Alam na nila na nagtitipid lang talaga kami kaya merienda lang talaga 🙂 🙂 I remember Marge asking me “Patty, how about a cake? And goody bags?” and I said “Hmmmm…” and just as I was trying to see how to keep it budget-friendly, I got a text from BELO BABY team saying that they would love to send a cake for Theo (and also Tristan!) and a few goody bags for the guests as well. Amazing how God answers your prayers right on the dot! Thank you BELO BABY for being so generous 🙂
And to Theo’s Ninang Marge (Events by Marge), thanks for tapping super teacher Marla Montemayor to keep the older kids busy with some fun crafts. Marge gave this as a gift for Theo and I can’t even begin to tell you how much I appreciated this. Knowing Marge, I’m sure she was feeling antsy with my super low key “Ok na yan!” party and wanted to up the ante and make it a semi-legit birthday bash somehow. After all, she is EVENTS BY MARGE!!! It’s natural for her to want to make it the best party ever—no matter how simple and small 🙂
With everyone’s help, we managed to make it totally awesome even if it was totally small. Hehehe. And another friend who came to my rescue at the last minute was Toni Gozum (along with her amazing team at HAPPY FOLKS STUDIO–@happyfolks_mnl), they took all these cheery photos of Theo and his friends. These photos perfectly captured the happy vibes we were blessed with on that day. THANK YOU!!! What can I say, this boy is so LOVED by a lot of people. We are just surrounded by so many GOOD people who have been tangible reminders that God is really with us! Cue teardrop!!! 🙂 Salamat, salamat. Thanks for loving our son so much.