first birthday party was an event for Amanda, our families, and me. Though Ezra was the guest of honor, we admitted that a party (or even turning one-year-old) would not mean that much to him. Really, who could blame his indifference? Over his first 365 days, we pointed out when he turned one-day-old, one-week-old, and one-month-old. To Ezra, becoming one again in a new unit of measurement probably seemed a silly reason to celebrate. So, when we planned the party we skewed the menu, theme, and atmosphere towards the adults in Ezra's life. Ezra still had a wonderful time. He was delighted to discover that such delicious foods as cake and ice cream existed in the world, and he took advantage of so many of his loved ones assembled in one place to walk for the first time. He knows how to give an audience what they want.
At two, Ezra understands the party is for him. He realizes we are celebrating because "It's my birthday!" and "I'm two." He also has, and expresses, clear opinions about his likes and dislikes. This requires planning a very different party than a year ago. One that is more casual. One that is more playful. And most importantly, one that is filled with balloons!
Approximately 100 red balloons filled our church (and emptied my lungs). The air, the floor, and many of the surfaces were covered in a sea of red latex. Hand-painted balloons reading "Ezra's 2" greeted guests as they entered our kitchen. Luckily for everyone's safety, Ezra inspected each balloon to insure its durability prior to the party.
The party's simple menu consisted of appetizers followed by homemade pizzas. Making the dinner even more casual, we encouraged guests to assemble their own pizzas selecting their favorite toppings from the veggies, fake "meat," and a giant vat of homemade pizza sauce we prepared. For dessert, we abandoned the traditional birthday cake and ice cream for ice cream sandwiches. The cookie sandwiches, which consisted of homemade vanilla ice cream "sandwiched" between two snickerdoodle cookies, were delicious and surprisingly easy to make.