Saturday, May 16, 2009

Gracie Turns SEVEN! (The Celebration, Part One)

Our little baby Gracie has turned seven -- where did the time go? For about half the year, Gracie kept an active count down until her big day. She threw party venue options out from time to time and kept a wish-list that was updated after nearly every toy commercial. Her mind changed constantly.

When it came time to schedule something, she was tormented by her indecisiveness, so we talked about key things she wanted out of her birthday celebration: having fun, spending time with friends, getting balloons and eating cake. I called around to a few of the venues she mentioned and discovered the economy could do a 180 if the government more heavily taxed kid's birthday parties. To clarify, prices have climbed and they aren't reasonable. In fact, they're a joke.

Because I have no intention of spending $400 for an hour in a pink-clad retail store (no joke!) where my little girl and the other girly invitees with beg and plead with me to spend another $400, we decided on a home birthday party. I scheduled a date, made arrangements with a friend to borrow a huge inflatable water slide, covered a few of the other details, and jotted out the guest list. Gracie was very happy with our alternate plan.

And then came the Swine Flu scare. Schools were being canceled, sporting events were rescheduled, the news was daunting. It was troublesome not to know what the next day would look like. In retrospect, there was a lot of unnecessary media hype, but I (in my present condition) had no interest in filling my house with a whole bunch of potentially exposed children. I talked to Gracie about my concerns, and since we'd already been missing out on a few previously scheduled events, she understood.

We didn't want the day to go by in a way that in her mind it seemed to be unnoticed, so we brainstormed to come up with a second round of alternate plans. Gracie's been asking to have a couple of friends over for a slumber party, so we set a date for later in the month when a movie she really wants to see releases at the theatre. We'll take a gaggle of girls to the movies, go out for ice cream, then have a couple stay behind to sleep over.

The grandparents were already planning to be here for her actual birthday, so when the Swine Flu scare blew over, we moved our at-home family plans to Peter Piper Pizza. Gracie invited her BFF Rachel, and Bub and the girls played coin games and collected tickets until we drug them back over for pizza, cupcakes and birthday presents. Gracie had a great time on her actual birthday, and feels like the upcoming slumber party is her birthday, part two. She's such a precious child and was really content to have a little celebration with loved ones over lunch. She just makes me so proud!

On another note, Gracie received Chrissa, her first American Girl doll, this year. It's no secret she's been obsessed with American Girl stuff for the last couple of years. She checks the mail every single day for new catalogs and loves visits to the retail store and bistro. She's wanted a doll for quite some time, but we delayed the purchase to ensure she was prepared to care for such a spendy toy. Gracie has grown quite responsible this year, and she is going to be a big sister. Plus, she has her Poppa John wrapped around her little finger, which really helps her cause. Poppa John gave Gracie the doll, Nanny gave her the Chrissa movie, and James and I supplied her with accessories, matching outfits, and a gift certificate for more.

The Birthday Breakfast:
Teddy Bear Pancakes with Scrambled Egg Hair

"I'm the Birthday Girl!"

The Big Surprise

One Shocked Little Lady

Chrissa: Gracie's First American Girl Doll

Scenes from the Day

We Love You, Birthday Girl --
You are Our Joy and Our Treasure!


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