Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A Birthday Party Inspired by the Book Go, Train, Go! and Thomas and Friends

A few weeks after we celebrated my eldest son's 5th birthday last year, we celebrated my younger son's 2nd birthday. Since the celebrations were close to each other, I planned for something low key. Our goal is to simply celebrate his uniqueness and this milestone.
I was at first torn between two themes or two books, both of which are my youngest son's favorites. The first book is Go, Dogs, Go! and the second is Go, Train, Go! I decided to make it mainly a train-themed birthday party with Thomas the Tank Engine as inspiration. But I also included a dog in the cake design since my son loves dogs and there's also a dog in the book Go, Train, Go!

I was supposed to write this blog post last year days after the party but I got busy with so many things. Since my younger son's birthday is just around the corner again, I've decided to finally write/finish this blog post.

Let me share how I made his birthday last year memorable and according to the theme that he loves.

I started mindstorming months before his birthday. I jotted my ideas in my online notebook. Then, close to his birthday, I finalized the details and started working on them or executing them.

I contacted the same cake supplier who supplied my eldest son's cake and cupcakes during his Rockstar party. I like relying on the same suppliers once I find good and trustworthy ones. It lessens my stress due to uncertainties.

I also contacted the same caterers/food delivery service: Amber for spaghetti and pork barbecue and Chooks-to-go for the roasted chicken. We ordered beef caldereta from Goldilocks. For the ice cream in cups, I reserved and bought them from the minimart near our house just like what I did during my eldest son's birthday party. I also bought pichi-pichi from a nearby branch of Don Benito.

The cake and cupcake table set up with the birthday banner minus the toy train
and the ice cream in cups which should be in the no mud cargo truck. ;)

Food delivery services are party life savers!

I bought the other sweet treats and the contents of the loot bag from the grocery just like in the previous parties I organized.

Below are the additional treats we served which were inspired by the story in the book. I arranged them in such a way that they would look like cargoes being pulled by Thomas the Tank Engine. The toy train is my birthday gift to my son. It doubled as décor on the day of the party.

Additional treats: Sticko logs, biscuits covered with milk chocolate (from cows),
and cocktail hot dogs. Not in photo are the chocolate ice cream in cups (no mud!)

Loot bag contents
I sourced other lot bag contents from different malls. Looking for Thomas the Tank Engine items is not as easy as finding Lightning McQueen items. When my eldest son's birthday party theme was Cars, my mom and I did not have a great time looking for giveaways. They were in abundance. There were many choices. But with Thomas the Tank Engine, the stocks were limited and I had to visit several malls to check which ones have these items. Thank God we eventually found some items at Market Market and Festival mall in one of our visits.


I was glad that we found Thomas the Tank Engine paper plates and cups, too! Then, I bought blue plastic cups for the adult guests. We served ice tea and minute maid juice to the adults and ready-to-drink juice to the kids.

As for the invitation, I just made one myself and created an event in Facebook where I invited immediate family members, ninongs and ninangs and close family friends. I emailed the e-invite to those who are not on Facebook frequently. I also sent text messages to make sure that guests got my email or saw the Facebook event I made.

Here's the invitation I made on Power Point.

It was a good thing I found a Thomas the Tank Engine Happy Birthday banner. I just made additional decors in line with the party theme like signs and food labels. These were inspired by the posts I read in the internet.

I ordered balloons and rented tables and chairs from the same supplier I got for my eldest son's birthday party. I'm really glad to have discovered that there's a supplier/provider for these items within our village. No need to pay extra charges for transportation costs and they can easy deliver. No worries about traffic or delays.

It was just a small/intimate party but we enjoyed our time together. My husband was still in Sweden that time so we used Skype to let him "join" in the celebration.

Mateo with his Ninang Raquel.

Mateo with his Ninong Pete and Ninang Ana.

After singing the birthday song to Mateo and letting him blow the candle on his cake, we had our early dinner already.

I did not prepare games anymore. I only prepared coloring pages related to the theme and crayons to keep the kids occupied while the adults mingled and chatted with each other. Then, Mateo and I read the book Go, Train, Go! to our guests.

The Thomas the Tank Engine coloring pages kept the kids busy.

Mateo entertained his guests by reading to them Go, Train! Go!
I believe that birthdays should be celebrated even in simple ways because it's one way of showing our gratitude for the gift of life and for celebrating the gift that the person is in our lives. Birthdays happen only once a year. It's a great opportunity to make our loved ones feel extra special, important and loved! (Of course, we should strive to make them feel special, loved and important every day.)

Time flies so fast! In a week, my son Mateo will be turning 3 years old. Watch out for my next post where I will detail my preparation for his 3rd birthday party. It's a construction-themed party this time! 

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