What am I still doing in Cancun?

The adventures of an American single mommy working and playing in paradise.

Birthday Party #6: The Big One


Bebé turned six last month. Yes, six. I can’t believe it either.

You may remember his first five birthday parties, the one in Cuba, the one at our apartment, the one at the daycare, the one at school, and the one at McDonald’s.

Before I talk about his sixth birthday party, I need to explain something about birthday parties in Cancun. They are big. I mean really big.

People rent out “jardines”, or party facilities. They often have a swimming pool.

There is always a theme, like Spiderman or Elsa from Frozen. Everything fits the theme. The candy, the cake, the piñata, the show, etc. etc.

They have catered food, candy tables, shows, bouncy houses, face painting and elaborate cakes (that almost never taste good). Oh and let’s not forget the mini discos and foam parties.

These aren’t even rich people. Rich people’s parties are really big. Like MTV’s “My Super Sweet Sixteen” big.

These parties are often for 3 year-olds that won’t remember them.

I realize that this definitely falls under the category of “first world problems” but I really did want to give Bebé at least one of those big parties if I could.

Like a good midwestern girl I cut some corners, but I don’t think he noticed.

The theme was Michael Jackson. Bebé LOVES Michael Jackson.


We had it at our condominum swimming pool, which helped with the cost. I did the “decorations”.

I wanted way more balloons, like two hundred balloons, but c’mon I’m just one person.


I rented a bouncy house. Well it wasn’t actually a bouncy house, but a slide. It was enormous. I’m a little sad that I didn’t get to slide down it.


A dear friend did a Plastilina workshop, for free, which also helped with the cost. Plastilina is similar to Play-Doh. The kids loved it.

I paid a lady to make (absolutely delicious) tacos (de guisado). I am still eating them and will be for awhile. The kids had hot dogs because that’s what Bebé wanted.

A friend was my “beer madrina” (she bought half the beer). There wasn’t much beer leftover! The kids had something that could be loosely described as juice.

I got the cake at Costco. It tasted way better than most of those fancy ones and it cost about 20 usd. It was huge. I took it to work on Monday.

We threw a little soccer (futbol) into the Michael Jackson theme because well, Costco doesn’t have Michael Jackson cakes and soccer has become a big part of our lives this year.

Papi was at the party of course. I just love how he’s holding on to both of us here.

Luckily you can’t tell in the pictures but I was drenched with sweat.

I hired my next door neighbor to make Bebé Michael Jackson pants and a jacket.

He already had the hat. You know, for dancing around the house. I made the glove out of an old glove, a hole punch, glue and tin foil. The Michael Jackson “kit” at the mall cost 800 pesos and consisted of a cheap hat, cheap sunglasses and a cheap glove and a ratty looking wig. No gracias.

I bought candy and bags and ribbon and made the candy bags. There’s soccer again. A friend designed the tags.


Some friends and I set up the party before Papi arrived with Bebé. When he got there he was so excited that he ran from the house directly to the pool and jumped in.

The main attraction was the show. It was a surprise. I had told Bebé that he was going to be the show. He seemed pretty cool with the idea until we went in and changed into his MJ outfit. When we got back out to the party he said, “Mom, I can’t do it. I’m embarassed.” (sweet boy) I said, “That’s OK, because I have a surprise for you.”

He was late, but eventually the surprise showed up.


I don’t think Bebé will ever forget his 6th birthday party. I know I won’t. #MissionAccomplished

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