Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Tot Turns 5: A Party In Pictures

Yes, you read that right. My Tot turned FIVE last week.

For those of you who don't know me well, I HATE planning parties. Especially important ones like birthdays and showers. They make me nervous, stressed, and anxious and I always feel like I mess them up somehow. My worst fear is planning a party for one of my children or Dave and them having a terrible time and feeling like I let them down. Yes, I have validation issues. So, every year when birthdays roll around, I mentally twirl and spin trying to think of something fun for them that is nice and simple, isn't over the top and expensive, and something that I will actually get to enjoy with them, instead of totally stressing the whole time. I really am ridiculous when it comes to this.

I was especially nervous this year because Tot was turning Five. And Five is a Big Deal. But through powers not of my own, I hit the jackpot. I decided to take all the girls in the family to the American Girl Doll store for lunch. Tot loves the dolls, Laura Beth loves the dolls, Neina (Dave's mom) loves the dolls, and my Mom and I now love them because Tot loves them. Allie doesn't really see what the fuss is about. But whatev. This way, I'm not cooking, decorating, cleaning, wrapping presents, nothing. We have lunch there, Tot picks out her presents there, I get to have fun watching her do it all. Rock. Star.

So, this past Saturday all the girls visited the American Girl Doll store in Dallas for the first time. And can I just say that that store is little girl heaven?? And frankly, adults aren't immune to it, either. That place was adorable! Everything is geared right to little girls Tot's age, and it is so much fun. There are dolls everywhere, matching clothes for the girls, a doll hair salon (and hospital for those well-loved dolls), a Bistro to have fancy meals at, and little accessories laid everywhere for you to try before you buy. And it is PINK. Wow, it's pink. Tot was in Little Girl Heaven.

Our first stop was the bathroom (of course), where we found little hooks to hang your dolls while you went. Hilarious. The sinks were all little girl height, and the door handles as well. Everything was perfectly sized. We looked around at all the dolls until we were called to our table, and then the fun began.

We all took our seats, including Tot's dolls Sally and Betsy. They have little doll seats that clip to the table so that your dolls are included in your meal time. Each doll also gets her own menu and place setting. It's all quite fancy, I assure you.

Sitting down for lunch with her dolls, Sally & Betsy.
Sally & Tot ordered Tic Tac Toe Pizza. Betsy ordered Mac & Cheese.
But first, Tot ordered her drink:

Waitress: And what would you like to drink today, Taylor?
(she glances at me, because she has never ordered for herself before)
T: A Milkshake, please.
(she glances again to see if I'm going to let her order dessert before lunch - I smile)
Waitress: What kind of milkshake?
(she glances one last time, like she can't believe she's getting away wi
th this)
T: Hmm...A Strawberry one.
Waitress: Would you like anything else to drink? Water? Pink Lemonade?
T: Nope. Just a milkshake.
(a big grin)
She loved it.

For the meal itself, I was pretty impressed. We all got to pick out an appetizer (and they were tasty!) and an entree. There were plenty of choices for kids of all eating levels, picky and non picky, and everything was good enough for adults to enjoy as well. Tot loved her pizza (and so did the rest of us, who all traded bites with her to try it) and even completely finished her appetizer - she chose veggies and dip over bread and cheese which totally shocked me.

After our meal (and accompanying Pink Lemonade for the grown ups), we all ordered dessert. YUMMO. Let me tell you, even though the store is for girls, that cheesecake won over my grown up heart.

A Banana Split topped off Tot's meal, with singing from the waitresses.

They gave her a "It's My Birthday" sticker, and after that, while we picked out birthday presents, every one of the workers we passed stopped to wish her a happy birthday. We all took turns letting her pick out which doll outfit she wanted, and she even scored an oven from Nana and a highchair from MeMe.

She knows that not every birthday party will be as fancy as this one, but turning Five is a Big Deal. And let me tell you, this child was stoked. She just kept saying "This is the best birthday EVER. You are the best mommy in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD" over and over.

So, it turned out better than I could have hoped, and I think that she has cured my phobia of party planning. It turns out, anything you do for your kids they pretty much love just because you tried. It also helps if there are dolls involved.

So, Happy 5th Birthday, my tiny Tot. I sure do love you.


Jen said...

That is so sweet Kristen! Glad you all had a great time.

A Fancher said...

We love that store. We took Emma for her Bday to pick out a doll and a couple of outfits about a year ago. We didn't make it to the Bistro, but it looked really fun.
I'm glad she had a good time. You did a great job!

Anonymous said...

You are the best mom ever! Tot is practically floating and her little cheeks are about to burst from smiling! LOVE IT!

Regena said...

That made me want to cry...in a good way! What a happy little girl and special memories! So happy for you.

Nicole said...

I may have my thirtieth party there. It looks amazing!!! I adore that last picture! Happy Birthday, Tot!!!

Sarah said...

I'm with Nikki...I might have my bday there, too. LOL

I shop there at Christmastime for my nieces...you simply cannot go wrong. (You should've seen Michael when I dragged him in there with me!)

Tiffany said...

Her face in those photos is PRICELESS!!! What an absolutely wonderful memory for all of you! I really wish there was one of those stores near me because I am totally jealous!

Jennifer said...

You're a genius.