Monday, February 3, 2014

Megha's Second Birthday- 15th, December 2013!!!!

Happy second Birthday Megha!
Unlike the first birthday party where we began planning for it at least 4 months in advance, preparations for second birthday began 1 month in advance. I think that’s reasonable, given its second birthday. But needless to say, we have put our heart and soul into this one as well. Here is my baby :)

The awesome part is we had 3 birthday parties this time for Megha!

Office party: I joined new team recently and I really wanted to do something. I bought the entire team coffee, tea biscuits and muffins! The whole team had a great day munching on these all day. This was couple of days before the actual birthday party.

The second party was at the daycare. The daycare provider (Sherry) hosted a beautiful birthday party for Megha (couple of days after 15th). She went to the daycare all dressed up, had a photo session and was the star of the day!
Here she is lost in thoughts while Sherry clicked away.
Here she is admiring the candles lit on mini cupcakes.
Here is the star with a birthday girl badge!!I still have it :) 

She gave small party favor bags filled with child safety chocolates. I heard the kids loved it!

Party we hosted: Preparations for the party started with the utmost care. Initially the plan was to host the party at home itself but after finalizing the guest list, we had about 40 people coming. That was not going to be possible at home and so we rented a hall.

Invitations this time went through e-vites. Nothing fancy, just small invites sent online. All 40 people responded that they would come. I was happy I booked the hall.

Food: This time, like last time we ordered main course from a restaurant (an Indian/Pakistani restaurant). Starters and dessert, we managed to arrange from home, with the exception of cheese, samosas, juice,, quite a lot of exceptions! 
Menu included
Starters: Samosas, homemade pita chips (prepared by Anand from scratch!) with hummus and spinach dip, veggie fingers and cheese platter. Here is Neeta posing infront of the starter table!
Main Course: Chicken and veggie biryani, chicken achari, mutton curry, bagara baigan, aloo-spinach, naan, salad and raita.
Desserts: Ice cream with sprinkles (ahem ahem…wait for the picture below), homemade kheer (an aunt of ours made it), cut fruit, dates and gulab jamun.
Entertainment: This year we have hired Dora for the entertainment! We were speculating between Oso, a Disney cartoon character and Dora (a Nickleodeon creation), them being Megha’s favorites. We decided on Dora as per the entertainer’s availability. I couldn’t have been happier with the choice! Megha absolutely loved Dora!
Party Favors: So much thought has gone into preparing these party favors. I had to make 3 sets of favors: one for kids at daycare, one for kids coming to the birthday party hosted by us and one for the adults coming to the party.

Daycare favor bag: This contained simple child-safe candy and chewable’s. As is the policy at the daycare, I could not send any toys which may pose choking hazard to the kids.
Kids Favor bag: I have personalized each kids bag this time (unlike a standard one last time) according to their ages. Each girl had an assortment of chocolates to eat and a personalized gift. The various gifts included beautiful hair clips with flowers or dvd or soft toys if it were an infant or under an year old or bath toys or nursery rhymes. I bet they all liked it (Their moms emailed me later).
Favor bag for grown-up's: All the ladies got an assortment of dry fruits packed in beautiful net bags and also candle holders with candles inside. Anand helped me pack these.
All supplies were bought from Walmart, Michael’s arts and crafts and Bulk Barn. Here is how the bag looked like before giving.

I had so much fun collecting these items! I had made several trips to the above stores to make sure I had everything needed.

Decorations: Most of the decorations were used from the previous year as we had bought them brand new at that time and were still in excellent condition. A few new decorations were bought from Walmart.

Cake: Ah the cake! Like on her first birthday, we got Megha’s second birthday cake custom made as well from the same lady who made Megha's first birthday cake. Keeping the birthday theme in mind, we got Dora cake made. It had two layers, bottom was chocolate, then strawberry filling and then the top layer was white cake. I got fondant over the cake with Dora with her backpack, stars and even map J

The day of the birthday:
The day before the birthday, I made sure all the things which need to go to the party hall are ready. The morning of the birthday Anand woke up early (as I slept in late last night) and cut the fruits and got the perishables sorted. Megha woke up at about 7:30.
Calls poured in from all over the world and finally she was all set to open her very first gift which was from Anand and me J Here she is!

And here is the actual gift; a small Crayola board with one side where she can draw with sketches and crayons and the other side where she can use chalk. We have taught her to say "Thank you", when someone wishes her "Happy Birthday" and she did so well!

We got ready, loaded everything in the car and we got going. We made a few stops, picked up the cake, some coffee grind for the party, keys to the hall and reached the hall.

Here is how the hall looks like from outside. It’s a beautiful place with tennis courts and all. If it were summer we would have wanted to take a stroll.

We did a few decorations and then our good friend Neeta helped us along. I was so thrilled to see baby Naomi’s outfit! What a joy it was to see her!
And then came our neighbors who helped in decorations too!

Anand had to step away to get our food from the restaurant. It was too busy though. I was trying to get this and that done and it felt like I am stressed.
Here is our starter table:

Here is the main course table (the full picture).

Here is the dessert table, my favorite table! Sasha’s mom made yummy kheer. For the ice cream toppings, I used the below 5 bowl setting (a thoughtful gift by Neeta and Sasha for Christmas-2013). The big bowl had chocolate melts. Smaller one's around had M&M’s in one bowl, chocolate covered raisins in one bowl, dry fruits in one and candied cherries in another bowl….yummy yum yum! Fresh cut-fruit by Anand, some dates and of course Ice Cream and Gulab Jamoon were placed around.

And here is our pretty girl making a grand entrance! Megha knows it’s her day and she made the most out of it J
Dora entertained the kids really well.

Here they are playing a floor game where kids toss the coin in the center.

Another fun game involving parents too..

Another one where we needed to make mummies using the streamers! My neighbor’s kid won the prize and he sure deserved it!

Here is us playing musical chairs!

Here is Megha getting her face-painting done J
And here she is cutting the CAKE! God Bless you bab She had a little bit of cake, not much though as she is not really cake-person.
Dad and mom had the most of the
Everyone loved the food and we in general had an awesome time. It was a bit tiring though as couple of my friends promised they would come and help me out but couldn’t make it because of the weather.

 Here is us, dancing to the lively Disney music.

Megha received so many gifts and by 4 PM, we cleaned out the party hall and returned home. Some friends joined us for coffee and drinks. What a great day we had!

Thank you so much Appu and Ramana for the beautiful outfit you had brought for Megha; as you can see, she looked oh so adorable. Thanks Neeta and Anita aunty for coming early to help us out! I dont know what we would ever do without your help. Thanks Faisal and family too for help with decorations!
And of course Anand and sweethearts for everything.  

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