Somehow our family has gotten into the habit of throwing two parties whenever a birthday rolls around: one for friends and one for family. It tends to drag the celebration out for more than a week, which obviously is thrilling to the birthday kid. But this mama is party pooped out.
What I'm loving about our parties lately, though, is that the girls are more involved in the making of the day. Last summer, Bo had a "bowling" birthday party, so beforehand she drew a series of bowling pictures that I scanned and used for nametags, invitations, etc.
For favors, we printed one of her drawings onto iron-on transfers and adhered the iron-on onto tank tops for all the guests. It was pretty cute--and I couldn't bear to tell her that she spelled bowling wrong. (I was too proud of her for using a magic "e" to make "o" say its name.)
By the way, that project was super easy to do and you should be able to get the iron-on paper at a regular craft store like Jo-Ann's.
Here were the tanks all rolled up with another one of her drawings as the nametag (printed on cardstock):
She wanted a two-tiered cake (ay caramba, right? I said no this year). I didn't want to do the typical bold bowling colors, so she opted for pink and I printed off tiny pictures of bowling shirts, shoes, etc., from the web, cut them out and hung them from a clothesline. Random, I know.
This year, Bo wanted a pool party and I swear it was the easiest thing I've ever done. Balloons. Cake. Lifeguards on duty. This was the scene for most of the party:
Every once in a while they'd get out to eat a slice of pizza or sing happy birthday or eat cake, but then it was back in the pool. Yes, I miss a lot about the baby years, but good golly it sure is nice when your kids are old enough to keep their heads above water all by themselves.
Bo wanted a wild mix of every type of balloon you can imagine, so this is what it looked like under the picnic tent:
You can't see it all there, but we've got zebras, cheetahs, marbles and polka dots going on. I loved it and have it hanging above our dining room table now.
The cake had a beach theme:
My favorite part of the party was the "goody bag." Bo burned a mix of her favorite songs for her friends (it ranged from Taylor Swift to Hall & Oates) and gave everyone a picture frame. The plan is for us to print a photo from the party to send with the thank you cards, but we're not quite there yet. Bo designed her own wrapping paper, which I printed on our color printer.
Can you see her proud little smirk in the corner?
And that brings us to tonight--the family party. We served one of her favorite meals: chicken and waffles. She wanted a hula dancer cake with a Barbie in the middle and I managed to make a complete cake wreck out of it. It looks like Barbie is being sacrificed in a volcano (would that be so bad?). I'm too tired to explain exactly what went wrong. I'll just say that I thought she was going to cry when she saw it. But she loved it. Because, well, there was a Barbie. Inside a cake. Covered in lardy frosting.
Aloha from the middle of the volcano!
Here was the engineering (bagel, raised glazed, cake donut):
Best part of the night was watching little sister's face as Bo opened the gift from her:
Isn't it a great feeling when you know you chose the perfect gift? ... Especially when that gift is a Justin Bieber doll that sings "One More Time" when you push his belly button?
Life is good, especially when you're 4 and 6. Scratch that. 4 and 7.