Half-Birthdays Are Where It’s At!

My daughter was due to be born at the end of January 2003. But she very inconveniently decided to make a surprise appearance on Christmas Eve.

It is inconvenient mostly for her — it was quite convenient for us when we went to do our taxes for 2002! But she has discovered that being a Christmas baby comes with more than its fair share of baggage. Although we go out of our way to make her birthday special for her each year, it does make planning a party rather difficult. And as a July baby myself, I know the glory of having a summer birthday. So I suggested that we have a half-birthday party for her this year, and she was all over it.

We decided to have it at our swimming pool. This is the first time I have ever, in 11 years of having kids and birthday parties, paid for an off-site birthday party. It ain’t cheap, but it’s the way to go. Since we only pay for one birthday party a year (the kid have to rotate – so each child gets a party every 3rd year) I think I can justify the expense next time!

The birthday festivities actually started on Saturday, when my mom had a huge balloon bouquet delivered to the house.

Sunday was the day of the party, and we started out by letting her open her present from us. All the child has talked about for a year and a half is a DSi. I did the unthinkable and settled for a plain ole DS for her 7th birthday. She wanted a DSi, but I didn’t want the internet access and didn’t see the point of the camera, plus I had never spent so much on a gift for one of my kids before (thanks to generous grandparents) so I figured the DS would suffice.

Oh how wrong I was.

She has never stopped talking about wanting a DSi. Ungrateful? Maybe. But after a year and a half, I decided to look into it. Someone told me to try Craigslist, so I did. I managed to find one for a mere $55 and decided to go for it. Unfortunately the seller and I could not agree on a point of exchange so I agreed to mail a personal check and have her ship it to me. I knew it was a gamble, as there is no recourse for this type of transaction on Craigslist, and if she didn’t hold up her end of the deal, I was going to be out of $55. But I had no time to negotiate another deal and I took the risk.

Fortunately it arrived within just 3 days, and it was in decent condition, so I tucked it away with a mental note to have someone more tech savvy than I (namely my 11-year-old son) take a look at it and make sure it worked before I wrapped it. Not once did it occur to me to clear the other person’s personal information off of it. (And I didn’t mention the whole transaction to my husand until about 5 minutes before we gave her the present yesterday morning — because HE would have had the presence of mind to check it out.)

You know where this is going, right?

So yesterday morning, I got up early, dug out the DSi, cleaned it off, and made sure it powered up. Then I put it in a gift bag and set it on the kitchen counter to taunt her. I was going to wait until she got home from the party and opened her friends’ presents, and then pop this on her at the end. But I must be a softie because I couldn’t wait.

We decided to let her open it before church.

She wasted no time powering it up and signing in. And THAT is when it happened.

Thankfully my husband took a look (he had already said that he hoped they took their info off it, so I think he had an inkling of what was to come) and saw the highly inappropriate user name generated by the prior owner when it appeared on the upper screen. The kids were so focused on the lower screen that they didn’t even see it — not even my son who was “helping.”

My husband GRABBED the DSi and made a beeline for the office, where he promptly googled how to reset the DSi to factory settings and cleaned it off for her.

We all got a good laugh out of that one. Nice going, Mom.

Somehow my daughter is none the wiser. She has thanked me for her DSi no less than 10 times in the past 24 hours. It was so worth it. (Although the next time I decide to purchase used electronic equipment, I will be sure to have my husband clear off all personal data!!!

I wish I could say the rest of the day was smooth sailing, but . . .

After church we had lunch, ran a couple last minute errands, and headed over to the pool. I got everything set up and we were ready by the time most of the guests arrived. The kids had just taken off their coverups and headed towards the pool when I heard the ominous sound of a lifeguard whistle. I looked up to see everyone filing out of the pool. A quick glance at my watch assured me that this was not “Adult Swim” as it was not the top of the hour, and I KNEW what was coming.


Yep, you guessed it. Someone’s kid pooped in the pool. GRAND.

I was afraid they would close for the night, and we would be relegated to the baby pool and the indoor pools, but we had no choice but to go ahead and eat and see how it played out. It worked out because within 45 minutes the pool was open again, and a lot of less patient people had decided to leave so the pool was much less crowded for the rest of our stay.

We ate tomato pie — it’s a Philly thing. Trust me. It’s yum.

Everybody thinks so!

They swam for a bit and then came back for cake. I don’t make a pretty cake, but it was tasty! (Or so I was told. I guess I need to learn how to make a gluten free version.)

After we got home, we had a present opening session, and my kids have been sufficiently occupied all morning playing with new toys.

I’m pretty sure my daughter will agree when I say, half-birthday parties rock!

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26 thoughts on “Half-Birthdays Are Where It’s At!

  1. As mom to 3 winter babies (December, and two Januarys) I adore this idea! I don’t even want to go out of the house much less host a birthday party in the dead of winter!

    Looks like it was a blast and while the code brown is so gross sounds like it worked out to everyone’s benefit.

    1. This is so funny to me because my daughter now 26 had just the opposite experience her birthday was in July and all her friends were always away on vacation so many years ago when she was turning 7 I took to half birthdays and she loved it this made her birthday fall during the school year just like all the parties she was going to all the time. She loved it!

  2. She is gorgeous! Happy birthday!
    You threw and amazing Summer party

    I have to admit, I did not know what DS, or DSi means, I had to gogle it 🙂

  3. I love the look on her face when she got a peek inside that bag. And her freckles are so adorable.

    My daughter’s birthday is December 15th and I’ve thought about doing the half birthday thing. She will be seven this year and the plan is for a sleep over, but maybe next summer we can do a pool party. Or maybe do it right when school lets out or starts back. It is totally hot enough here to do it then.

  4. Love this idea! I know that the day when come when A (January b-day) is upset that her sister, with a Memorial Day b-day, gets to have outdoor parties. I’m also realizing more and more that having a party somewhere other than at home is key!

  5. I do feel for those with the December/January birthdays. I do. But I am a July birthday as well, and I am still scarred from the fact that I could never a have a party because ALL MY FRIENDS WERE ALWAYS ON VACATION. We took very few vacations, so we were always home. Alone. The grass is always greener, my friends. But your daughter is gorgeous, and mixing it up is a great idea!

    1. Yeah, I have a July birthday and I always hated that I didn’t get a special day at school. But now I love having a summer birthday. Amazingly this party was very well attended!

  6. Fabulous idea, and it sounds (and looks) like your daughter wholeheartedly approved. Think you will make this an annual thing?

    We’re not at the DS (I hardly know what this is myself!) stage yet, but this was a good reminder to always check the personal data. I would not have thought of that at all. But, the day was saved, and you are now your daughter’s hero. For now, anyway! 🙂

    1. It won’t be annual b/c my kids on get parties every 3rd year. But my son’s bday is Nov 14 and he is already talking about a half birthday party, lol. It would work well for him too! (And yes, I realize July 31 is NOT half a year from Dec 24. It is just the way our plans worked out.)

      1. That’s right, I remember now you said that. Every three years, hmmm, I think that might just work at our house. 🙂 Birthday parties are expensive and cumbersome. At the very least my boys might get combo bday parties for a while (their birthday’s are only 11 days apart).

  7. The code brown is so annoying. That is the second time this summer it has happened to us. At least it was only 45 minutes, that’s pretty fast for a code brown. I was so happy we brought shovels for the sand this time around.

  8. Having 2 December babies, I too have been considering the half-birthday idea.

    Glad you triumphed over 2 potential disasters!

    Thanks for sharing.

    PS What font is this? Love it!
    PPS Are you taking on any new blogger work these days? – just need a bit of tweaking on my blog and jewelery blog.

    1. The font is… (had to look it up)

      It is Puritan!

      I am not taking any new work till September. I’ll be gone for the next 2.5 weeks and then after that I’ll be focusing on getting the kids ready to go back to school. Try Melissa at ElizaGraceDesign.com. 🙂

  9. This could be our story (some of it- not the code brown part!). My younger daughter’s birthday is in January (3 days before my husband’s), and my older daughter’s is in July, 5 days before mine. I, too, have loved having my birthday in July because you can have summer picnic parties, and that is what we do for the older’s b-day. The younger has always been bummed about spending her b-day at school and it’s too cold for picnic/swim parties, so we have always made a big deal about half birthdays, and she will have friends over to swim. As a kid, my husband would plan a party for his b-day in Jan., and there would end up being a snowstorm and the party cancelled, so he can relate to her unhappiness about a winter b-day. As a teacher, I have always celebrated my students’ with summer birthdays on their half b-day during the school year so they can send in a treat and have a special day at school, and they love it! The DS thing… I didn’t know what that was until that was all my daughter talked about. I broke down and got her one for Christmas, just before the DSi came out. I love the pic of your daughter’s face when she opened the gift! Those are the best moments!! Happy Half-Birthday!! By the way, what is tomato pie?

    1. Tomato pie is similar to a pizza – thicker crust, with a delicious (if it’s done right) tomato sauce and parmesan cheese on top. Served room temp. Very tasty and simple and easy!

  10. What a beautiful party! I chuckled about the DSi story and grimaced about the code brown. BTW, my cakes look just like that chocolate cake with homemade icing. They aren’t fancy but they are tasty.

  11. Please share the tomato pie recipe. With tomatoes in season…..always looking for something else to do with them…..and if your kids eat it….maybe mine would too!

  12. 1st: LOVE tomato pie… you are making me super hungry for it and we are in Maine so that is a no go 🙁
    2nd: We have a Christmas Day baby and we are already planning a half birthday party… after his 1st this year… how was it received by other parents??? Just wondering if parents thought it was a good idea or crazy…

  13. That is hilarious. As a July baby I was always heartbroken that no one was around for my birthday… so my mom let me once have a half-birthday at the ice rink!

    That story about the DSi reminded me of inheriting my ex-boyfriend’s computer and discovering what photos he and his brothers had been saving… during a Christmas eve dinner as I was showing off my new toy to my family. EEPS!

    Glad that birthday ended well!!

  14. I love that you did this!! I babysat a girl when I was younger whose parents did a half birthday, she was a Christmas Baby too. She said it was WAY better than having her birthday on her birthday.

  15. I have never thought of doing half birthdays but what a great idea. My youngest was born at the end of January and she has been asking to have a birthday party in the park like we did for her sister. Mikayla was born in May so no biggie. The older Lily (my youngest) gets we might have to start doing half birthday parties instead of the middle of the super cold, snowy and dark winter.

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