My 2nd born turned 1 last July, and here is a post just to share what we did to celebrate this milestone.
When Milo was around 6-7 months old, his hair started growing upwards, like his Kuya Kobe before. This was also the time when his first two teeth sprouted (we started solid food when he turned 6 months) and so we would all fondly call him Jackjack because he looked like THE adorable Incredible baby! And so when we started planning for his birthday party, The Incredibles theme was one of the top choices (the others were PJ Masks and Paw Patrol because obviously those were Kobe’s faves at that time).
When we celebrated Kobe’s 1st in 2016 (see this post), I did not hire a planner and we pretty much DIY’ed everything – from sourcing materials from Divisoria and making the backdrops and collaterals and giveaways. It was all good because I had more time and less budget to work with. This time around, my husband and I were able to prepare a slightly bigger budget, but I had less time to plan and DIY so we hired an event planner, yey! (If you want to know how much we spent, shoot me an email or DM)
Here’s a rundown of our suppliers:
Event planner/coordinator: Events by Lia
Caterer: Ate Len from Don Bosco Pampanga
Venue: Valle Verde 5 Clubhouse
Photo coverage: Niceprint
Ice cream cart: Thumbs Up Ice Cream
Souvenir: Speed Caricaturist
Inflatable Castles: EJ Inflatables
For the souvenirs, my husband suggested Caricatures by Speed Caricaturist, which he heard from radio host Andi Manzano in one episode of the Mother Show on Magic 89.9 FM. It was a hit among our guests! We opted for this instead of getting a photo booth.
I was going to get a sorbetes cart, but I remembered my friend Lyn Lazaro had a Thumbs Up ice cream cart, and the kids (and grown ups) loved this too!
With Kobe’s party 3 years ago, the inflatable castle we got was a crowd favorite, and so we had to have one for Milo’s party as well, especially since we had more kiddie guests this time around. It was a good thing EJ Inflatables brought an extra castle and Daddy Bistek decided to get two instead of one, because the kids certainly loved it.
As for the food, this is usually the most expensive item in a party, so I was lucky I was able to get Ate Len’s services again through my friend Fr. GC of Don Bosco Tondo. It was like having my mommy cook the food for all the guests since her specialty is Filipino fave dishes. They don’t provide chairs and tables though, so we had to rent. But all in all, we saved maybe around 40% less than if we got a regular caterer. Our menu included: kiddie spaghetti, hotdog on sticks with marshmallows, chicken lollipop, lumpiang shanghai, pansit na puti (my favorite!), roast beef, breaded fish fillet, chopsuey, rice, and buko pandan salad. I just bought drinks – 2-liter sodas for the adults, and fruit juices for the kids, and brought four 5-gallon containers of water.
It was quite a busy day for all of us, which required a little bit of adjusting the kids’ nap times and logistical planning. I arrived earlier at the venue with the prizes, souvenirs, beverages and other stuff while the kids took an earlier nap at home. They arrived with my husband around thirty minutes before the party started so we can take some pictures with Niceprint. Some of our friends arrived right on time so I was pretty much occupied with entertaining the guests from then on. I brought our trusty iAngel Baby Hipseat Carrier which helped a lot. Ate Letty (Milo’s yaya) and I would take turns holding Milo, and even after hours of carrying him, my back didn’t hurt after.
Having an event coordinator really helped us this time around – I remember Lia also offered to plan Kobe’s party 3 years ago, but I was super shy to tell her that one of the reasons I planned it myself was because of budget constraints. I’m just really glad that we got her this time around – we have so much in common (we both have 2 kids that were born 2015 and 2018, and we both came from the media and had to “adjust” our careers when we became moms). Her team was also very helpful and professional – we had some hiccups that day (tables and chairs supplier refused to help set up!) but her team fixed this problem on their own so that I didn’t need to worry or be stressed.
As a mom of two, I have attended countless kiddie parties and those that stand out are the ones that make my kids the happiest – and usually these are the ones with fun games and cool prizes, and something to entertain them like a bouncy castle or play area.
I remember how simple birthday parties were back when we were kids – we usually just had them at home in our garage, with rented tables and chairs, my mommy would cook the food, and we would have “parlor games” like Trip to Jerusalem, Statue Dance, Longest Happy Birthday (they still do this!), and calamansi or egg relays! Loot bags would just be a plastic bag with a few pieces of candy and lollipop. Oh, how times have changed! But the important thing is that your kid and your family is happy. Some of our friends chose to travel to celebrate this milestone instead of having a party. This was also an option for us, but we decided to have a party for Milo to gather our friends and family, which we admittedly do not get to see as often.
I’m ending this post with this picture of our little Jackjack’s toothy grin!