Simon is 2! (Plus His School Bus Party)

posted by Andrea | 03/7/2016
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simon's school bus party

My sweet squinty-eyed Simon turned 2 last Friday!

We had so much fun celebrating at his School Bus birthday party this past weekend!

I know I originally mentioned that I was planning to do a Hungry Caterpillar or Clifford birthday party for him; but a few weeks ago, I started thinking about how much Simon loves school buses, and thought that would be a more fitting party theme.

As many of you know, Simon is a boy of very few words (I joke that he just takes after his dad, but the truth is, he doesn’t really talk yet.) However, “bus” is one word he CAN say, and we hear it often during the day.

Any and every time he hears a school bus drive past our house (probably 30 times a day as we live 1 mile from our school district’s bus barn) we hear “BUUUUUUHH!!!” coming from a frantic Simon who is charging towards the living room windows to see it drive by.

He also has a toy school bus that he sleeps with EVERY SINGLE NIGHT!

Yup… Simon LOVES school buses 🙂

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Simon is just about as stubborn and strong-willed as his big sister, but since he can’t talk much yet, his stubbornness is SO much easier to handle (at least for me).

I don’t know why, but the fact that he simply whines and cries instead of verbally argues or complains is so much less annoying and draining for me. In fact, he probably gets away with a lot more than Nora did because he’s just so stinkin’ cute and doesn’t talk back to me all the time.

Every night when I’m putting Simon to bed I say, “I love you so much… you know that you’re mom’s favorite big boy, right?” And he just smiles at me with his sleepy eyes and says “yah” and then gives me a big hug and pats me on the back. Then he snuggles up with his blankets (and school bus) and eventually drifts off to sleep after playing or babbling in his crib for a bit.

Simon is by-far our best sleeper and napper. He LOVES his crib, he loves sleeping, and he almost always comes right to us with his blanket and school bus to tell us he’s ready to go to bed. It’s amazing, and I appreciate his love for sleeping more than he will ever know!

He is also getting much better at actually playing with Nora — which is very fun for me, and even more fun for Nora.

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Most of the time, he is quite gracious about letting her boss him around, but if he really has an opinion about something, he will put his foot down.

We’ve joked with Nora for almost a year now, telling her that eventually Simon will be bigger and stronger than her and he’ll “push her right back”. Well, he’s not quite bigger than her yet, but he is a very strong and solid little boy — and he has caused a few tears from Miss Nora after pushing her, hitting her, or pulling a toy away from her.

Since he can’t talk yet, he can’t say “sorry”. Instead, he tilts his head to the side and makes a little noise; then he gives Nora a hug and a kiss — it is SO sweet!

Simon also enjoys being the big brother to James… I have a feeling these two will be best buds in another year or so!

It is almost impossible not to instantly fall in love with Simon — he just has such a sweet and silly personality.

Our family wouldn’t be nearly as fun without him.

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Simon’s School Bus Party

Like always, I tried to create a fun party while keeping things as simple as possible — especially since all Simon really cares about is the cake and the balloons!

Here’s the invitation that I emailed to our VERY small guest list (just our immediate family members). I made it with some clip art — although Nora is convinced that the boy on the invitation really is a drawing of Simon!

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We didn’t have any decorations — just a few black and yellow balloons, the Little People’s school bus we gave Simon on his actual birthday (the day before the party) and a few other school bus things we already had.

And the food was simple too…

I made chocolate cupcakes (from a box) with chocolate frosting and a little school bus cookie on top.

I made a cake in bread loaf pans and then stacked it, trimmed it, and frosted it to look like a school bus.

I used mini vanilla wafers for the people — Dave is the driver, Nora and Simon are on the side with the stop sign, and I’m with James on the other side 🙂

I wrapped Hershey’s Nuggets to look like tiny school buses using a free printable I found online (see resource links below).

School Bus Party Planning Resources:

If you’re planning a school bus party, here are a few of the websites I used for ideas, inspiration, and free printables.

Free printable school bus chocolate wrappers

My inspiration for the cake and cookie toppers

The recipe for the frosting I used

The egg carton craft Nora did before the party

A printable 3D school bus we made earlier in the week

Another simple cake idea (for a 9″ x 13″ cake)

This is an insanely cool school bus party (I didn’t use any of the ideas, but it is cool if you’re feeling ambitious!)

A few party pictures!

I made a mini school bus cake just for Simon using leftover scraps from when I “carved” the bigger school bus. He only ate a few bites, but it was fun for him to have his own little cake!

Happy 2nd birthday, Simon!

We love you so much. 

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26 comments

  1. Diane R.

    03/25/2016

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY SIMON…such a cool little dude you are. Xo

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  2. Megan S.

    03/10/2016

    Hi Andrea, Happy Birthday to Simon! I love the bus theme! I started following your blog when I was pregnant with my almost 2 year old (April 8). He also isn’t very talkative so I am not so secretly relieved to hear that it’s not just my son! He will say a random sentence (“That’s not Donald Duck” or “We go now”) and then I won’t hear anything other that the dog’s name for a week! Thank you as always for being so real on your blog. P.S. I am going to be trying that mixer shredded chicken trick next time I crock pot!

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    Andrea Reply:

    haha -glad to make you feel better about your son’s lack of talking. You’ll be happy to know that his one or two little sentances blows Simon’s talking out of the water. Simon literally doesn’t talk. He can say a handful of single words (mama, dada, ball, bus, juice, etc.) but that’s it. He is in the beginning stages of a speech therapy program and if necessary, we’ll be doing a more “intense” program this summer when Dave is home to watch the other kids.

    I can’t WAIT for him to talk!

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  3. Joy

    03/10/2016

    Hi, Andrea! Happy birthday to your little sweet Simon. Wow! Love it how you prepare for your kids’ birthday parties, simple yet so satisfying and full of love. I’m sure your kids could really feel your love for them. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

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    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Joy!
    Right now, I bet they don’t even care much about the party — but maybe looking back they will appreciate it more 🙂

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  4. Jane Austin

    03/08/2016

    Hi Andrea, Wow, I thought you bought the cake. That is so cute as all are the decorations! One fun fact you may know, since I see you measured Simon’s height. If you double their height at 2 years, you will have close to their height when they are grown. It seemed to work with my children, who are all adults now! I love to read your blog. Best wishes to your family. My husband and I are staying with my son’s family while we house hunt and they have 3 little boys who are about 1 year older than all your children respectively! It’s a handful. Have fun.

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    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Jane!
    I think that if you saw the cake really up close in person, you would know it was obviously homemade — but I appreciate your compliments 🙂

    Also, I did NOT know about the tip to double their height at 2 years old… but I’m sure you’re right! That would make Simon just over 6 feet tall and Nora about 5’9″!

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  5. Heather

    03/08/2016

    Oh I DO so love that little boy!!! Gorgeous party too.
    Happy Birthday Simon!

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  6. JJ

    03/07/2016

    Happy Birthday to Simon! Happy Labor Day to you! 😉

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  7. Martha Lawson

    03/07/2016

    I love reading your blog and watching your adorable children as they are growing up!! You did a fantastic job on his birthday cake and party. Thanks for the great blog posts and pictures..

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    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks so much Martha!

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  8. Debbie

    03/07/2016

    Such a great post Andrea! I feel like I know Simon so much more and he sounds like he’s such a great little boy! His birthday hair looks great! Your school bus cake and cup cakes looks amazing! I have to hand it to you for planning such good birthday parties for your kiddos that’s economical, personal, and still fun for the celebrant.

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    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Debbie!
    And yes, he just got a haircut last week too. He doesn’t necessarily love getting a haircut so I usually go quite short to make it last for a long time 🙂

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  9. Lori

    03/07/2016

    Beautiful boy! Beautiful family! Happy birthday Simon!

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  10. Barbara

    03/07/2016

    That is the cutest cake ever. Great part theme and decorations.

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  11. Kellie

    03/07/2016

    I could cry this is such an adorable party and Simon is such an adorable little boy! Thanks for sharing this with us. Happy Birthday Simon!

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    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Kellie 🙂

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  12. Lisa Morosky

    03/07/2016

    What a cute birthday party! He looks like such a happy little guy. 🙂

    And I’m secretly relieved when I hear about other little boys around my kiddo’s age (he’s 2.5) who aren’t all that talkative yet. It seems to suddenly be progressing a bit more each week at this point though (we have a lovely speech therapist that comes to our house and plays with him and gives us tips every week) and he’s picking up signs super fast now too so that’s nearly cut out the frustrated tantrums. But yeah. He’s been a boy of few words too. 🙂

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  13. Amy B

    03/07/2016

    Simon is just so cute! Looks like a fun party!

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  14. Jennifer

    03/07/2016

    Great party! Love the theme— and the cakes are adorable! I feel like the cake is always where I get off track with our budget, I wish I could make/decorate our own. I just have no art skills whatsoever! 🙂

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    Andrea Reply:

    yeah, I don’t even want to know how much a fancy cake would cost!

    I rarely spend more than $25 – $30 on our birthday parties (including the supplies to make the cakes) and even then, it can add up over a year when you have multiple kids!

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  15. JoAnn C.

    03/07/2016

    Happy Birthday, Simon!!!! I can’t believe you’re two already. Thank you for sharing such great pictures.

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  16. Alicia

    03/07/2016

    Wow, I cannot believe Simon is already 2! He is SO adorable! I love the school bus themed party…sometimes I wish my boys were into adorable things like that! All they’ve ever wanted are super-hero or Avenger birthday parties. 🙂 However, they are quite a bit older than Simon, and with my second son it’s probably more because that’s what big brother likes. Anyway, I love the school bus party, it turned out great!

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    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Alicia!
    Nora is just starting to get into princesses this past year too (probably thanks to school) so I have a feeling once Simon starts school in a couple more years, he will start getting more interest into the super heros. For now, we’ll enjoy our busses and trucks and hungry caterpillar books!

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  17. Christine @ The (mostly) Simple Life

    03/07/2016

    Simon looks like such a fun guy! Great family picture at the top too! You do such a great job with birthday parties. Everything looks cute and thoughtful without being over the top. Your cake is way cute too!

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    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Christine 🙂 Simon is very fun!

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