We love birthdays at our house.
It is mostly because birthdays usually come with a party, and parties mean cake. We also love cake.
Since all of my family's birthdays occur between summer and early fall, we have a six-month lag during winter and spring with no parties on the calendar.
Then, one long, dreary February day, I had a light bulb moment. You know, a time that makes you hit your head and say, "why have I not thought of this before?" We could create a birthday, and I knew just the right person to celebrate.
The Christmas before, both my daughters received Cabbage Patch dolls from Santa. They are fun, classic dolls that come boxed up straight from Babyland General Hospital complete with a custom name, sweet personality and hand-picked birthday.
Since my then four-year-old heard the birthday of Kerri, her new blond, curly-haired friend, and excitedly pronounced it necessary to have a party for her, the date was etched in my memory.
That date is March 12, which comes conveniently after our winter season but before extreme spring fever invades.
I must note that my toddler isn't left out. Her Cabbage Patch doll came with a September birth, which is a busy month for us. However, it puts her half-birthday in early March giving us a reason to celebrate her, too. It's a stretch, but when you're creating a reason to host a party for inanimate, albeit much-loved, objects, anything goes, right?
It does for me. And, because this isn't a real birthday, I can let go of my party planning perfectionism and simply have fun. I even let my oldest handle most of the details, and she's quite good at it.
Here is what she and I came up with for our baby doll birthday bash.
Theme: Pink Princess
It's a party for baby dolls created by a four-year-old. Pink princess cupcake tea party it is.
Now, the only guests at this party can't read making invites unnecessary. But, they are mandated by my girl, who coincidentally refuses to let go of her perfectionism. I give her pink construction paper, princess stickers and some markers so she create them herself.
I play the mom card when it comes to decorations, and limit them to the dining table. That means a pretty fabric tablecloth, balloons on the chairs and streamers from the chandelier.
We set out place setting for each party guest using the girls' tea set made from recycled milk jugs. I try my best at making paper flowers for a centerpiece while my daughter practices her handwriting skills on place cards.
This one is easy, because there is only one thing we want...cupcakes. We can't have a party without them, and they fit nicely on the little plastic plates.
We bake our own making them pink, pink, pink topped generously with pink frosting and plenty of sprinkles. If you've got adventurous little foodies in your life, try our pink lemonade cupcakes - delish!
Birthday Party Activities
To avoid playing Candyland with dolls, I suggest a photo booth set up. For this party, that means closing the living room curtains to use as a backdrop and pulling out a basket of dress-up things as props. Both girls -- and dolls -- look lovely in pictures.
Again, favors aren't needed, but my daughter insists. I tell her she's in charge. She grabs more paper, digs through her collections of erasers, stickers and costume jewelry and finds a little trinket for all of us. A little bit of help with the tape dispenser, and the party favors are ready.
On paper, it seems like a lot of work for a couple of baby dolls. But, the party comes together quickly because we use things from our craft supply stash and, let's face it, we would probably be baking cupcakes anyway so we might as well have a reason to eat them.