As a first time parent, I struggle with the harsh reality of time. Earlier this week, my little Levi turned two years old, a moment I had been dreading because I don’t want him to keep growing so fast. As much as I want to hold on, I realize that  these emotional experiences are just part of parenthood.

I’m well aware that years three, four, five and six will also feel equally sad. I do realize that I am blessed to be around to watch my child grow. On his first birthday, we decided to take him to Disneyland, but for his second birthday, we decided to throw him his first birthday party.

My son, Levi, was really happy after blowing out the candles on his cake on his actual birthday. Photo by Amairani Hernandez for CALÓ NEWS.

I had been stressed since the day we decided to have the party. Initially, I wanted to take him to Disneyland again, but grandma (my mother) and my partner wanted to throw him his first party, as he is now old enough to hit the piñata and blow out the candles.

Guests not attending

One of my biggest worries was that family and friends would not show up.  A lot of people these days don’t do parties for their little ones. Those reasons include the cost, stress and the fact that people just don’t show up. 

In a Facebook Bakersfield mom group, many moms share how their friends and family don’t bother to attend kids’ birthday parties. It’s really heartbreaking to see pictures of the birthday kid with only a couple of guests. On several occasions, I’ve seen moms post ahead of time and invite other moms who have kids close in age to the birthday child. Thankfully, Levi had a lot of family attend his party, which was very nice to see.

Jumpers can be scary for toddlers

Another thing that surprised me was how scared Levi was about the giant inflatable jumper. Even though it had Bluey cartoon images, he was still afraid. But with the help and patience of his grandpa (my dad), he was having fun jumping with other kids later that day. Some advice: Book the jumper way ahead of time. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.

Levi got over his fear of the jumper with the help of his grandpa. Photo by Amairani Hernandez for CALÓ NEWS.

Deciding what food to give guests can also be stressful, but my mom, who is an excellent cook, was able to help in that department. She decided to make birria with frijoles puercos and sopa de zanahoria. In addition, she also decided to make ceviche de camaron, which was delicious. I don’t know what I would do without my mom because I am not much of a cook myself. We also had pizza for the little guests.

The Piñatas

Me and my partner wanted to try something different with the piñatas. Our plan was to have a piñata for the kids and another one for the adults. The adult piñata was still filled with candy, but we also included several gift cards just to make it fun for the adults. Unfortunately, the kids were really excited to see a second piñata and didn’t let the adults hit it at all, which is OK. You can tell we were all having fun. Just to see everyone having a good laugh was everything to me.

Earlier that day, my son, Levi, was practicing how to hit the piñata. Photo by Amairani Hernandez for CALÓ NEWS.

The cake 

When it came to blowing out the candles, Levi was not having it all. He started to cry, and it  basically turned into a tantrum in front of everyone. Although all that was happening, the guests still continued to sing happy birthday. My mom also decided to cut the cake. Earlier that week, we got Levi a cake to practice blowing out the candles and he did a great job. Sometimes things just don’t turn out how we want them to. We literally work on our kid’s schedules.

 Levi decided to throw a tantrum after deciding not to take a nap. Photo by Amairani Hernandez for CALÓ NEWS.

I must say I am officially the mom of a two-year-old boy. At our house, we no longer have an infant or a baby. We have a handsome, smart, stubborn, opinionated, talkative and very funny little person to share the rest of our days with. Every day with Levi is a new adventure in my life as a parent. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. 

Also, congratulations to all the October toddlers and parents who made it into the second year of parenting. 

If there is anything I can help young mothers and fathers with, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at

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Amairani Hernandez is a native of Los Angeles and a graduate of the California State University of Los Angeles with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. She is a staff multimedia journalist, who focuses on...