Eli’s 2nd Birthday Party. We are not really big on planning parties (specifically in China), so we weren’t sure if we wanted to have a birthday party for Elijah this year. Since they don’t really remember the first couple of years, and our boy is not really into socializing, we didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a party that is really about the adults anyway. Let’s face it – people spend way too much money on first and second birthdays. In the end, we decided to have a little get-together at a restaurant a block away from where we live. You have heard of it before – DejaVu. Nothing fancy, just a little spot where we like to go have coffee, brunches and burgers. We first frequented DejaVu before we had even moved to LaoShan. I REALLY wanted burgers (and chips) when I was pregnant, so Justin and I started coming here a lot about three years ago, when I was pregnant with this little man of ours. On Elijah’s first birthday, we came here for brunch after doing his Cake Smash at our new apartment. Whenever we arrive at DejaVu, Eli runs over to the toys and blocks that they have for children. He also loves to sit and read the books on the shelves at the back. It really does feel like he enjoys DejaVu, so it seemed fitting that we therefore throw him a little party here on his second birthday.
As I have mentioned before, most of our community have left for holidays and summer trips to their home countries. Our boy arrived during the time of the year when there are not too many expats left in Qingdao. Fortunately, a few good friends are still here and they were all happy to hear that we would be gathering to celebrate with Elijah on his 2nd birthday.
Mommy put her creative abilities to work and made most of the decorations. Large 3D letters spelling out ELIJAH were on the table, and glitter covered letters spelling out TWO were hanging from the ceiling. We also use various decorations that we already had from previous events, and bought a few more blue things to make the party “boy-appropriate”. The ribbon banner hanging on the wall was from my Baby Shower in 2014, and the white lanterns were from Angie’s Baby Shower in 2015.We print some sweet photos of Elijah and slotted them into two bird cages that were aleady at DejaVu. And that was it… the hard work was making the letters, but I am excited to incorporate those into Eli’s playroom. Nothing extravagant, and nothing left to waste. Just the way that we like it!
Everyone arrived at the party at around 3:30pm. We had planned for the party to take place after little man’s nap, however he had been having so much fun during the first half of his birthday that he decided he didn’t want to nap. He played in his crib for almost two hours. We were none-the-wiser and assumed that he was sleeping, but it was clear that he hadn’t slept at all when he fell asleep during the FIVE minute walk from our apartment to DejaVu. The party had begun but the star of the show was asleep! We left him to rest for over an hour, and then gently tried to wake him (which we hate to do). Some of the guests had joined for cake and birthday wishes, but they had evening plans so we couldn’t leave Eli sleeping too long. He woke up confused and in a reserved/quiet mood…. hence the less than impressed face when it was time to blow out his candles (pictured above).
To top it all off, our little man is not a big sugar fan (our fault, I’m sure) so he wasn’t too happy that we woke him to blow out some sticks with tiny flames on them, and then tried to feed him overly sweet mushy stuff. OH MY GOSH… he is unique, isn’t he?! He did perk up when we started opening gifts and the first one was a truck with some cars. After that he was in heaven. The other children ran around playing and he sat happily playing with his trucks and cars, in a high chair, next to the adults. Geez, I love this laid-back kid!
All the patient guests wait, while the star of the show naps in his stroller…
When Elijah was up, the real celebration began.
Getting a birthday cake was not easy. Ordering cakes can be quite a challenge over here. The concept of asking for anything specific/ custom-made is kind of a headache in China. One of my students helped me order the cake, and somehow we got another cake for free! Elijah therefore had TWO birthday cakes, and even though there were 20 of us, we could only finish one of them. We kept the other cake for Father’s Day on Sunday.
Elijah had a couple of bites of cake, but the gifts brought him much more joy!
His favorite gift always seems to be THE FIRST ONE that he opens…
We all had a great time celebrating this sweet little guy’s second birthday.
A couple more birthday-related post coming up: Some birthday video clips and Polar Ocean World