At long last, we celebrated Toddler J's birthday party. Once upon a time, I had visions of a themed event with colorful cupcake toppers, a train cake made out of cupcakes and hand decorated by me, matching decorations and invitations...and then I realized how utterly preposterous all that was, given my current condition and energy level and artistic talents, and I came right back down to earth.
Instead, we had homemade (a mix with add-ins) cupcakes modestly decorated with sprinkles, a store-bought birthday cake (our favorite store cake ever, by the way, so no one was disappointed), assorted kinds of ice cream and chex mix, and punch. Very low key, and even that was enough to stress me out during the day. But the party itself was fun. J had been looking forward to blowing out candles ever since he figured out what they were a little while ago, so he had a 2-shaped candle plus assorted others just for fun which he and I blew out together, to much fanfare.
J was overwhelmed when the first family arrived bearing a gift just for him (with a sparkly bow to boot) and simply couldn't BELIEVE that every succeeding family also brought something for him. It's nice to be 2 and so enthralled with the newly discovered conventions of the world! He got assorted cars and trucks and books and clothes and bubbles and he was in heaven! I even opted not to give him some of the gifts we'd gotten, in view of the largesse of his friends. Those will now be saved for new baby consolation and Easter gifts instead. And he'll be none the wiser.
So our "baby" is now officially. He can even carry on whole conversations: the other day we were looking for a desk and found a free-standing porch swing in the back of the store. We were all on the swing, and suddenly J said "E!" (the new baby's name). We said yes, since we've been prepping him about the new man in his life for quite some time, and then he said "Baby. Out. Down. Yay!" That's the most complete thought and longest almost sentence we've heard him utter. And it was almost biologically accurate, which was surprising. And the fact that it was about the imminent arrival of his new brother is icing on the cake!