Last weekend we celebrated Mitchell’s second birthday! I am so proud of our big boy. He is thoughtful, caring, funny, outgoing, and 100% boy. He is so full of personality, and I’ve been learning more and more that he is into everything – more than most of his peers. If there is a drawer to open, he opens it. If there is a box to empty, he’ll empty it. He’s become more affectionate this year, sitting on my lap and dishing out unexpected hugs that melt my heart. By far, my favorite part of this year was watching him become a big brother. At only 18 months, he amazed me with how he grown up he suddenly seemed. Our little Mitchell Martin makes my heart so, so happy, and I treasure everyday I am given to be his Mommy.
We celebrated his second birthday party last Saturday with friends and family. Our little astronaut slept right up to the party time, and was a little unsure about waking up to a crowd of people downstairs.
But he warmed up to the idea pretty darn quick.
We had an afternoon event that turned into an evening event. There was food all day and no one left hungry. We went with the standard burgers [“Astro Burgers”] and hotdogs [“Space Dogs”]. Also on the menu were Moon Clusters and Fruit Rockets. See where we’re going with this.
Since Mitchell isn’t quite into “games” yet, we didn’t plan out a lot of activities. I figured the bounce house was plenty fun to keep them entertained for the whole party. And I was right. But everyone – kids and adults – had fun coloring these masks! They were so simple to make – prints on the computer, glued to foam board, cut out, and hot glued to a little stick! $5 activity and it turned out so cute!
My mom gave this to Mitchell and my Dad this past Christmas, so of course I requested she let us use it for the party. How could we turn down a space tent at an astronaut party? Mitchell had fun with it – and if she lets us keep it at our house, I think some definite living-room-camping movie nights will be in order.
The preparation for this party began about a month early. Invitations, menus, decorations, his present. I could have sent out the invitations in March, I was so excited about this day. I wanted to fill the house with friends, family, and food. What is more exciting for a two year old than tons of people on his home turf, all there to play with him?! Nothing, I’m pretty sure. Here are the invitations we sent out! I toyed with the idea of a toyless birthday. Lord knows, this boy did not need anymore toys. He’s got trains and blocks and all kinds of outdoor toys. I wanted to celebrate Mitchell without having everyone have to round up the obligatory birthday present. Knowing people would still bring presents [like the trampoline my friend Lindsay sent him when I told her no way…], I instead suggested people bring a book. Because a kid can never have too many books. I would 100% do this again… his Cousin Sian got him the classic Giving Tree. And his friend Sadie brought him the COOLEST book full of bedtime stories. They are mostly taken from Disney Pixar stories, with great pictures and lots of chapters! I can’t wait to dive into that one with him when he’s a little older. And while we’re on the topic of Disney Pixar, which I love, we couldn’t have a space party without adding Wall-E to his collection, and Grandma Brim outfitted him with Toy Story’s 1, 2, and 3! Here’s to having more options than The Polar Express in the summer! I kid you not, every time our internet goes down during TV time, which happens pretty regularly, this kid watches The Polar Express. Not anymore though!
Mitchell Martin is turning two…
We’re throwing a party and we’d love to see you!
We’ll be building spaceships and launching to the moon…
It’s sure to be a fun afternoon!
Presents aren’t necessary, our astronaut has everything he needs…
But if you do, perhaps just a book to read.
So come, eat, and celebrate…
We’re saving you a big old piece of birthday cake!
I started set upon the morning of the party, with help from Cousin Sian and our amazing friend Danika. Without Danika’s help, this party wouldn’t have been nearly as awesome as it was. She’s been working on little [and big!] projects for the party, and now it’s our turn to help out with Olivia’s Monster Bash coming in a few short months! 🙂
Part of the reason we picked the astronaut theme is because I knew my Dad would love it. Because birthday parties are for the adults too, right? My Dad loves all things space. From taking astronomy classes at the local community college “for fun” to going to “adult space camp” for his birthday… he loves space. He even wore his flight suit he got at space camp to match Mitchell!
The party was at 4:00, and this is how it looked for the first hour of the party. I’m seriously loving all these thunderstorms and I don’t even mind getting wet. But not at his birthday party! Poor guy sat at the window with his jetpack and birthday helmet looking so sad. Thankfully it rolled through pretty quickly and we were able to enjoy the bounce house!
The weather eventually cleared up, and before we knew it, the house was full!
My parents even brought my little space set that belonged to my brother and I! We cleared off the train table and made space for a little throwback. I even remembered how to put the spaceship together 🙂
My friend Danika spent a week and so many cans of spray paint making Mitchell his own rocket ship! She named it “Apollo 2.” Mitchell had stars in his eyes when he went inside, and it was complete with its own control panel and NASA logo! How cool is that?!
The moon bounce had to be one of the best parts of the party. It was such a hit – for the kids and adults. And my husband has already said we’re getting one every year from now on.
After everyone was tuckered out from mask coloring and moon bouncing, we moved onto the cake. My mother-in-law picked the perfect cake for our wedding, so she was appropriately tasked with the birthday cake. It was ADORABLE, and the best part was – all that blue was frosting – so it was super tasty too! We opted for a white cake and chocolate cupcakes… options for every sweet tooth!
After cake time, we all watched a little video of home movies from Mitchell’s second year. You can watch it below. Our video last year was how we shared with our families that we were pregnant with Julia! But no announcement this year 😉 Just lots of funny Mitchell videos.
Like I mentioned earlier, we requested people only bring books for Mitchell. He still had a table full of presents. Among these were a fun water table from Danika and Steve, a lawnmower from Grandma, a coloring set from his Florida friend Presley, and a bicycle helmet from Great Aunt Christeen and Uncle Kenny!
One special present this year was a Daddy Doll. These are so popular here in our military town, and every other military town, I imagine. They’re human-shaped pillows with a picture of the service member printed on it. We introduced it to Mitchell, and I think it will be great adjustment tool for Mitchell with Steve’s upcoming deployment to be able to carry “Da!” around with him wherever he goes.
Our present… Mitchell has been spending a lot of time outside. Since it warmed up in March, he’s spent several hours outside on any day the weather allows it. After four months of chasing dogs and kicking balls around the backyard, we decided to make our outdoor space a little more exciting for him. If you ask me, this is the castle of all second birthday presents. Does it get better for a little boy than his very own swing set? Knowing we are in a home for at least a few more years [as permanent as it gets for us!], and we have Julia following all of Mitchell’s firsts just eighteen months behind, we are confident the swing set will get plenty of use for years to come. We’ve already been having some fun with it… and he’s got plenty of summer and fall left to use it up… plus the mild North Carolina winters that are usually warm enough for outdoor play too!
Last year, Mitchell’s friend Maybree stole the show with his cool car, which he still loves playing with! She outdid herself this year, and even after being told that we have absolutely no room to put a trampoline in the house, it still showed up on the doorstep and is Mitchell’s favorite present of this year. And so it sits in the middle of our playroom. Where he plays on it all day long. And when he gets tired, he drags the pillows from the couches, grabs his trusty blankie, and curls up on the trampoline to watch a movie. It was such a blessing to have so many of our friends and family there to celebrate Mitchell. We treasure it even more being a military family, because having extended family together is so rare!