Hoooooooooray for 3 years of life! I can’t thank God enough for giving us the best blessing ever! It has been the most exhausting and yet most fulfilling years of our lives. And it’s that moment when we can’t help but say, has it really been 3 years??
We should probably celebrate our 3 years in parenthood too! Woooohooo! We survived! Lack of sleep, unending baby expenses, dirty diapers, toddler tantrums, and lots of sour-smelling pukes! Well, not that we’re really done with all those. But at least, things are not as erratic as the previous years anymore. We’re done with burping, teething pains, mashing their food, worrying about SIDS, deciphering what they’re trying to say, or guessing why they’re crying. Yay!
So to mark this milestone, we planned a small celebration for her in school. They allow birthday parties in class with no charge. Perfect.
1st: Having recently shelled out tuition fee money for enrolment, I knew that this year’s celebration would be a challenge on the financial side. The fact that there were two other kids who held their birthdays in class last month also added pressure to us as she was sort of expecting and waiting for her turn to have a party.
2nd: Mia’s favorite cartoon show, Super Why, is not very popular here in our country. I say this because every time I mention it, suppliers would go, “Super who?” They have Barbie, Hello Kitty, Disney Princesses, and Frozen themed hats, cups, giveaways etc., but no Super Why. So I thought, if we are really sticking to this theme, it would be DIY style. So with the hope of making it fun for her, we started prepping, printing, and looking for party supplies that would fit the theme.
Oh, by the way, another option is to order online. If you’re not as kuripot as me and you don’t mind paying for shipping and waiting for overseas delivery, Ebay and Etsy have lots of really cool Super Why stuff. I think they sell complete birthday packages too. 🙂
SUPER WHY BANNER
To set the birthday mood, I wanted her to wake up with a huge greeting on our wall. So I asked Daddy to do this one for us. I found a peg from the Internet and sent it to him. He then changed the greeting, replaced the pic, and sized it for printing. Look, Mia with the Super Readers! hehehe
When I had this tarp printed, it turned out a bit pinkish in color, but it still gave us a good start. Mia was so delighted!
SUPER WHY LOOT BAGS
If it weren’t for PBS Parents Birthday Parties, I wouldn’t have the courage to do the loot bags ourselves.
We bought colored cartolinas, shaped it into paper bags, glued in the Super Why Goody Bag print out, filled it with assorted goodies, and tada! Super Why Loot Bags! 🙂
Inside, we had stickers, slinkies, small coloring books, Disney pogs, small painting boards, chocolates, lollipops, jellies, gummy bears, and marshmallows.
Compared to the loot bags we received from the previous parties we attended, I know ours were cheap. Others had Play-Doh, notebooks, imported goods, pencil cases, Disney toys, etc. But our goal was just for the kids to take something home. (Apologies to the parents who got disappointed with the assorted stuff inside.) Given our budget or better to say, lack of it, I was just glad that we still had loot bags for 30 kids to give out. 🙂
SUPER WHY INVITATIONS
Got this from the PBS Parents site again. We just filled in the blanks! 🙂
If you’re not pressed for time, you can print and cut-out the party hats yourself too. They also have thank you cards, guest lists, bookmarks, and table confetti print outs if you wish to have all those. 🙂
SUPER WHY CAKE
Weeks before her birthday, I asked her over and over what she wanted for her birthday. Her answer was always consistent, “A chocolate cake! And candles to blow!”
I called every single cake provider near our area, and none of them knew who Super Why is. Good luck.
You see, this is a big thing for her. Last year, she was so fascinated with elephants; we made sure there was an elephant on top of her cake. I remember her saying, “There’s a cake and an elephant, the number two, and candles to blow on top of the cake! And lots and lots of circles on the cake.” It was just a simple cake but she remembered every detail of it and it truly made her happy. So I thought, what more now that she’s turning 3 and she has a better memory.
When I found Love Cookies Pastry on Facebook, I just hoped, prayed, and crossed my fingers that they can copy the Super Why characters faces well. It would be a failure if Mia wouldn’t recognize them I thought. I told them I don’t need a big cake, I just need the cake to have the following: the number 3, a Happy Birthday Mia greeting, the “house” from the storybook village, and the 4 characters. I sent them pictures and links they can get ideas from just to help them make this a success.
Thank goodness it turned out so nice!
And best of all, it gave my daughter a big SMILE! She was extremely happy. And of course I was so happy too!
This is the one that I’m always nervous of. The most important of all – food.
My aunt was my savior. When I told her of our plans, she suggested that apart from the small classroom celebration that will last for only about 30-45 mins, we should hold another party at home and invite more people.
I told her frankly that I couldn’t afford to feed many guests. But she insisted it can be done and she’ll take care of it. Knowing she can really pull this off because she owns a canteen and she is really good in food budgeting, we were all of a sudden preparing for 3 small parties in a day: One during class recess, another in the afternoon for Mia’s playmates in the neighborhood, and a simple dinner for adults – Ninongs, Ninangs, and close family who couldn’t attend an afternoon gathering.
You might be wondering why it has to be 3 separate ones. Well, the birthday fell on a Monday and we decided to celebrate it on the day itself because Mia has started understanding the calendar days and has been waiting for the 14th to arrive. So to be exact, we did it on a Monday even if it was a workday.
Also, our house is not big enough to accommodate a lot of people, so they have to be in batches.hehe All in all, for only P4,000, we were able to feed snacks to 25 people in school (kids, teachers, and teacher aides), about 30 neighbors in the afternoon (15 kids and their yayas), and the 10 people who made it for dinner despite the work day schedule. We had extra food for 10 more because we budgeted for 70 and only 60 made it. Still, it was big for us considering we only wanted a really small one.
This was our simple menu:
Morning snacks in school: Baked Mac + On Stick: hotdogs/ham slices, cubed cheese, fruits, flower mallows and cubed brownies + Juice
Afternoon snack: Spaghetti + Grilled Chicken + Lumpiang Shanghai + Juice
Dinner: Same as afternoon snack + Beef Pochero + Ice Cream + Juice/Soda
That was it.
Lots of thanks to my Tita Joy. She truly brought joy to our little darling.
I printed out coloring pages and puzzle activities for the afternoon kiddos. I got them all from PBS Kids Super Stuff Printables. Hah, thank God for the Internet.
We also bought party horns, building blocks, crayons, shape sorters, and bubbles. These were all from various thrift stores.hehe Some were from Divisoria and others from the Everything P20 Store. I’m just glad that kids are delighted with almost any toy regardless if it’s expensive or not. Oftentimes, they actually enjoy the cheaper ones.
BIRTHDAY OUTFIT AND MAGIC WAND
Princess Presto was our peg but we didn’t buy her a purple dress anymore. This gray dress and black shoes were Christmas padala from her generous Aunt in the US. The tiara, got it as a gift too.
The only thing I had to buy was the glowing wand. Got that from Japan Home for 88 pesos. Not bad eh? Mia’s eyes immediately sparkled upon seeing it!
BALLOONS TABLES AND CHAIRS
Balloons, I only ordered 35 pieces so each child can take one home and we’ll have 5 extras. Tables, just two 6-seater and two kids table. We were jam-packed. I didn’t think they would all come. I hope they had fun as much as we did despite the small space.
SUPER DUPER COMPUTER
This tiny thing was just a last-minute add-on. I didn’t think it will do much impact but when she saw this table topper beside her breakfast meal, together with the banner on the wall, she was bouncing on her seat! Big smile on her face too! After putting our names and having it printed, we just glued it to a cardboard and made it stand. It looked exactly like the one in the show!
SUPER STORY BEDTIME
At the end of the day, when the 3 small parties were done, we felt so relieved. We were grateful to everyone who came and for all the gifts. It was more than what we hoped for. The cake itself, I think, already completed her day. The gifts – Wow. Even Daddy and I enjoyed opening and playing with them. We were very THANKFUL. It actually took us a month to open all of them.
Before we slept that night, we said our prayers. And just when we thought that everything was for Mia, we gained something too. She taught us something very important that night. I was deeply touched that I wrote a separate post about it: The One Important Thing I Learned After My Kid’s Birthday Party. I hope you’ll read it 🙂
If you liked this post, you can show me some love by hitting Like 🙂 It would also be great if you can share more party planning tips in the comments below. 🙂