I went to the party store and told them what I was trying to do. I had some ideas, and they helped me find the right materials. I purchased balloons, birthday garland, #2 stickers to be used as ornaments and a big red bow for the top. This was the result:
Before I brought SB downstairs the next morning, I plugged in the lights. She was mesmerized by it. She ran up to it and stared, wide eyed. When I explained it was her birthday, she immediately signed, "cake" and "candles." I had a hard time convincing her that was not what we were going to have for breakfast.
Here's how the tree looked by light of day (I was proud of it, so I took lots of pics):
It was appropriate that we use the Christmas tree, because SB might as well have been having it all over again. It was ridiculous the amount of presents she received. We had mostly little stuff for her, but her grandparents had different ideas. The hands down favorite was this:
(The tent and tunnels were even more fun the next morning when we filled them with the balloons from the Birthday tree.)
After dinner, it was of course time for the cake and candles. SB ate daintily, barely making a mess. Totally not her norm:
She crashed well before her usual bedtime, and so did I. It truly was a big day. Her officially birthday party is this Saturday. I'll be sure to share pics next week...