parties are lots of fun.

unless you’re a toddler, and the party is not about you.

toddler nemo swim party

my brother and his wife, who also live in SoCal,

somehow have kids our kids’ ages.

it’s kind of awesome.

{i should note that i totally forgot to bring my real camera, so these are all iphone photos… sorry}

toddler nemo swim party 9 they invited us up for their 3-year-old’s nemo birthday party.

this little guy was diagnosed earlier this year with high-functioning autism.

toddler nemo swim party 14

my brother jake and his son jasper

it’s been very difficult for their family

and required lots and lots of therapy, appointments, and patience.

we have already seen so much growth in him,

and he is so smart and such a sweet boy, just like his parents.

we were more than happy to celebrate him.

 toddler nemo swim party 6

my kid, the non-birthday boy, had a thought process that went something like this:

“so…. looks like kids are going to be getting into water here… where were you on that one ‘rents?!

i am neither wearing a suit, nor prepared to handle the emotional stress of what is about to happen at this function.

i demand an instant reset!

wait, hold it…. i see some fish crackers and red gummy things…. , i think we will be ok for a while…”

toddler nemo swim party 12

j’s cute mom made fish out of pb&j {one of the only foods he will eat}

and of course supplied all other fish-appropriate snacks…

toddler nemo swim party 10 toddler nemo swim party 8her friend made these adorable fishie cupcakes with goldfish clownfish and the kids loved them.

toddler nemo swim party 3toddler nemo swim party 1

toddler nemo swim party 7and this super darling handmade banner my sister-in-law made….

toddler nemo swim party 5

 then it was time to open presents…

ok, we prepped our kid.

we talked about how this is a party for his cousin and that the gifts we brought were going to be opened,

enjoyed, and potentially solely played with by the birthday boy… after all, it’s his party…

“so mom, looks like that kid is just opening a bunch of toys and he is so obviously in need of help…”

[after a blow through all the toy-opening]

“ah-ha! i spy a legit toy story guy. i’m going to call it mine. maybe if i open it while he’s still workin on those others he wont see me…”

let’s just say, this toddler-thinking ending in a meltdown.

my kid, was the meltdowner,

the one who threw a complete fit a few times about what he wasn’t able to play with and who kept coming up to me {unprovoked} to yell,

“i don’t want to get in the water, mom!”

[even though no one told him he had to…]

it’s rough being 3.

we {jasper’s aunts and uncles} got him a couple of things we thought he’d like…

we grabbed this kinetic sand, which, i will tell you, is my new favorite toy to give a toddler.

it’s mostly real sand, but has 2% polymer in it, so it sticks to itself, cleans up great…

toddler nemo swim party 4turns out we all liked playing with it too!

toddler nemo swim party 11

{this is not an ad. but you CAN buy this exact set here with the sand and the tray and toys… and yeah, i get some credit for that…}

we also got him this cute melissa & doug cupcake mold set to go with it…

we had ordered an extra to get here on time and ended up keeping it…

it’s a little bit different than the one jasper got,

the sand is closer to real sand, but the set doesn’t come with the toys…

boss will sit and create things and pretend for hours with this stuff!!

this is the one we ended up keeping

toddler nemo swim party 13  boss was asleep when this stuff arrived and his dad was the one who practically demanded we keep it.

when boss woke up and came out to find it,

{knowing that we had to leave jasper and his cool sand behind}

he kept saying, “for me? oh is this a present? for me, mom?!!”

note to self: present for the non-birthday boy helps soften the blow.

if only we’d known that earlier…