Posted by on Sep 18, 2012 in toddler birthday party, toddler birthday party planning, toddler second birthday, toddler train theme birthday party, train birthday | 0 comments

I gotta say… With two kid birthdays under my belt, I think I’m getting better at the whole crafty-mom-DIY-birthday-theme thing.

I’ve never been overly confident in my crafting ability, nor my ability to have a great event vision that I then execute. But dare I say: I think I’m improving.

To illustrate, let’s do a little comparison.

First Birthday Party vs. Second Birthday Party

First Birthday  

  • Theme: First Birthday Fiesta!

This wasn’t really a “theme” so much as an “inspiration” or an “excuse to decorate in bright colors and serve Mexican food.”

  • Number of DIY Projects: 1.

My beloved birthday banner, featuring a picture of Ryan from each month of life. I was very proud of that banner. Still am, actually.

  • Menu: Mexican food.

Tacos, bean & corn salad, jalapeno poppers, chips & salsa (plus a couple of Coronas to wash it all down). The food was a definite hit.

  • Dessert: Cake.

Ryan was totally unimpressed. In fact, Dude still doesn’t like cake, on account of he’s some kind of crazy person. 

Second Birthday 

  • Theme: Choo-choo-choo! Ryan’s Turning Two!

Legit theme.

  • Number of DIY Projects: 4.

A birthday train banner, a “Ryan’s Railway” sign, a “Dining Car” sign for the buffet, and a handmade “Dessert Car” that held toppings for the Sundae Bar.

  • Menu: Barbecue.

Brats, hot dogs, potato salad, fruit salad, spinach dip, chips, etc. Basic and ridiculously easy, yet something everyone enjoys. I am tempted to stick with some variation on this for the next 16 birthdays.

  • Dessert: Sundae Bar.

Although Ryan still solidly prefers salty or savory over sweet, we have discovered one treat the kid truly loves: Ice cream. It’s his party, so he gets what he likes. We did it up right with three different kinds of ice cream and a whole host of toppings, including sprinkles, crushed Oreos, walnuts, fresh strawberries and chocolate or caramel syrup. Ryan was in heaven.

Cake = ugh / Ice cream = boom!

I loved his first party but I think the second was a bit more polished. Most importantly, everyone seemed to have a good time; particularly Ryan who wanted each new toy unpackaged and assembled and placed in front of him immediately upon opening like Right Now, hurry-hurry-hurry.

Fair warning: Ryan’s party was Sunday, but his actual birthday is on Friday. Mucho sappiness to come.