In many ways it felt crazy to celebrate Daxton's second birthday at the end of March. I can't believe he's two already, and yet I seem to have forgotten what life was like without him. The folder with all of our pictures from his birth is set for our screensaver on our desktop computer, so I often get glimpses of those magical memories bringing him into this world. It's mind boggling to me to see how much he's grown physically, emotionally, and mentally. He's talking so much now and has a spunky, independent personality that's constantly developing. I feel so truly blessed to be his mommy and learn from him daily.
Daxton's birthday falls right in the middle of Dallas's busy season, and with him traveling a lot in the month of March, I spent most of my time planning for Daxton's birthday. It was a great way for me to keep my mind off of missing Dallas and it was fun for me to revisit those many years of teaching.
One of my good friends, Whitney, is insanely talented (at pretty much everything) and offered to make Daxton's birthday cake. She did such an amazing job! We decided to do a two tier cake, since he was turning two, and base it off of our ocean theme. The top layer was white and the bottom chocolate. I never tasted the white layer, but we had lots of the bottom layer left and it was YUMMY! One of Daxton's favorite words is "cake" now and he asks for it frequently. I loved all the details that she did, especially the treasure trunk and number two on top.
Thanks again, Whitney!
It was absolutely perfect and we all loved it!
(Daxton wasn't about to pose for the camera, and I've learned over time that it's not worth the battle, but I did get him trying to sneak one of the starfish off the top. A few toddler finger prints never hurt anyone right??)
I always struggle with invites for birthday parties. I constantly worry about hurting someone's feelings if they're not invited, but there was only so much room in our house. We ended up inviting 6 of his close friends from nursery which also then included siblings, parents, and our family in the area. In total there were over 30 people in attendance to help celebrate Daxton's special day. We were so grateful for all who came and felt very loved!
Some of the fun decorations and yummy food (pictures taken before the cake arrived...)
I loved our colors we used and was super excited we found candy to match. It also worked out great, because Easter was a few days after so we gave bags of candy to our friends to fill their easter eggs.
I had a ton of fun decorating, but I loved planning all the activities even more. I knew that there was no way I wanted to have organized group games with 2 year olds. So instead I planned for individual stations that all the kids could play at in their own pace and as long as they want. I also needed to find activities that would reach several different age groups. I had originally planned for several of these stations to be outside, but about 30 minutes before the party started it began to rain. With the help of Dallas, Whitney, and her husband Kirk, we were able to move all but the water stations inside to our playroom. It ended up being perfect and contained all the mess much better than expected.
One of the stations was an ocean mural (first set up on our outside fence and then relocated onto our french doors on one side of our playroom once the rain began.) The kids had options to draw, color, or use stickers to help decorate our ocean wall. It was pretty funny to see what everyone came up with.
I found some great tables at costco that had several different height adjustments, which made for perfect kids stations. We had a station for wooden puzzles, flour sensory buckets, and play dough. Dallas and I had a lot of fun transforming our playroom into the ocean. We hung different colored streamers and blue ribbon from the ceiling to make it feel like we were under the water and I also found some fun sea creatures to place on the windows. I used the leftover balloons from our wall decorations for something the kids could kick around as well.
By far, the biggest hit of the party was our flour sensory buckets. I hid over a hundred different sea creatures (ocean counters I found at an educational store) and then some larger ocean bath toys. Their tools were measuring cups so they could "dig for burried treasure." I should have taken video of how much fun they were all having! It kept them occupied for so long and they loved the feel of the soft flour. A couple of the kids loved it so much they actually climbed into the buckets! I'm so glad their parents were ok with me introducing them to such messes!
Our play dough station
After the rain cleared and we were finished with the indoor activities, we moved the party outside. I had three different water stations for the kids to play with; water balloons, fishing for ducklings, and then a water table. I also found an AMAZING bubble machine from Target that blew out a ton of bubbles all at once. We tied it to our palm tree in the back yard which made for a seriously awesome bubble party as well.
The kids had so much fun jumping on all the water balloons and trying to get them to pop. Daxton wasn't interested in getting in the pool with all of the kids, but he had a blast chasing bubbles and playing with the water table.
Just a few of our amazing friends!
Brittany, Emily, Bean family, and Nickle family
Our crazy group!
Looking at this picture brings so much joy.
I feel so blessed to have met these amazing people and have made such great friends in short time of living here. We were also super excited that our Aunt, Uncle, and cousins were able to make it! Their schedules are insane and it was so sweet that they made time to celebrate with our little man. We love them so very much and are so grateful to have family so close.
After blowing out the candles, we let Daxton have the first bite of cake. It was pretty funny to see him be tentative about taking a bite and then realizing how good it was. It made me realize we really only eat cake on his birthday! He's pretty obsessed with it now.
Our good friend, Danny, was wearing the exact same outfit as Daxton so we couldn't pass the opportunity for a picture!
Daxton got so many fun presents from his buddies, sword, shield, bubble toys, cars, hex bugs, stuffed animals, and art supplies. He was pretty spoiled that's for sure! I guess that's good since Dallas and I didn't really get him anything. We figured the party was a present enough, plus with all the gifts from friends and grandparents, he was MORE than fine!
My main decorating project while Dallas was away, was creating his birthday collage (which is still up on our walls.) It was so fun to walk down memory lane and pick out fun pictures or our little man. It was also pretty easy putting them all up on our walls (thanks to years of prepping elementary school bulletin boards!)
It was such a great party with so many wonderful friends and family members there. We felt so blessed and grateful for the love and support shown our little man. It was very therapeutic for me to plan a fun party and revisit my teaching skills. I had forgotten how much I missed teaching.
By the end of the party Daxton was pretty tuckered and not in the mood to open his presents, so we opened them the next day. He had also received four different packages in the mail, a couple from my parents a couple from Dallas's parents. His grandparents and GG sure do love him! He got a cute outfit from his GG (which he's wearing in the below pictures) and a fun book. He also got some books and gift card from his Grandpa and Grandma Perkins.
He also loved opening his bubble toys, sword, and shield from his friends...
Playing with his new cars set from Grandpa and Grandma Adams...
Needless to say, Daxton had a pretty amazing birthday which was evident by his exhaustion and snuggles with daddy!
Thanks so so much to everyone who helped us celebrate this special day with us. We love you!