Saturday, February 7, 2009

Party Time!

Cue up the Hallelujah chorus, Birthday Week is officially over!!

Today was Big Sis' birthday party. It's not the first party she's ever had, but it's the first one to include friends, and I have been super-stressed over the entire ordeal. The theme was Princesses & Pirates.

I spent last night making cupcakes & this morning frosting them. This included a last minute run to Wal-Mart for more red gel coloring, as I forgot how hard it is to achieve a true red (Particularly when beginning with snow white buttercream. Duh.). I also put together all the party bags last night, adding in a few extra of each type "just in case". And I started packing up all the stuff we needed to haul with us.

We held the party at Cici's Pizza - a chain-store, all-you-can-eat pizza buffet. Not our usual type of hangout, but the price of the party room was appealing, as it was FREE. It was actually great. The manager was really awesome about everything, and the room was furnished with tables & chairs for up to 70 people, tablecloths, a TV & DVD player, and was secluded from the rest of the restaurant. I packed up the car, jammed in 18 helium-inflated balloons and raced down there to do some mad decorating before the first guests were to arrive at 4.

I was still decorating when the Princesses and Pirates started to arrive, but managed to wrap it up relatively quickly. I am glad I made a few extra party bags, as we had some unexpected party guests arrive (And yet still had the right number of total guests - go figure). We had a bit of a slow start until we got the bubble machine going, then it turned a little chaotic as everyone wanted to pop, chase, stomp, whack, touch, blow, and bite as many bubbles as possible.

I turned their attention to some coloring sheets, and managed to get them to focus on that for a few minutes. The girls were mesmerized by the Barbie and the Diamond Castle DVD that was playing, while the boys had ants in their pants. I still need to expand my knowledge base on boys. I probably should have planned a sword fight, or walking the plank, or something, but I had images of contusions and severed eyes popping in my head every time I thought about it. (Yes Big Daddy, I know you can't actually sever your eye. Just chalk it up to literary embellishment.)

We moved on to the pizza buffet, and once their tummies were full, we broke out the foam tiaras and pirate hats for decorating (found at Oriental Trading Company - don't you just love it?!). They had lots of fun customizing their headgear, and enjoyed modeling them when I pulled each child aside to take their pic. I'm going to print the pics and include them in the thank you notes we'll send to each guest. (Sorry to spoil the surprise for anyone who attended).

We then proceeded to what turned out to be the surprise hit of the party: Digging for Buried Treasure! I found the idea on some website (I looked again last night - no clue where I stumbled across this). You take a container of any size, fill it with cornmeal for 'sand', and let the kids dig for some sort of buried treasure. I used an oversized pink plastic bin we had in the garage, found Big Sis' little trowel she likes to dig in the dirt with, filled the bin with 10 lbs. of cornmeal, threw in a few handfuls of plastic rings, and the kids went to town! Each one got a turn, and was allowed to dig until they discovered a treasure. Everyone clapped and hollered when they held up their find, and they totally loved it.

We wound down the evening with Princess & Pirate cupcakes (frosted & topped with "confetti"), gave out the party bags & called it a night. Everyone seemed to have fun, Big Sis enjoyed herself, and it was so awesome to see all the kids dressed up. I consider it a success. But I am still SO glad it's all over. And now I plan to curl up under my down comforter and catch up on the latest issue of Bon Appetit. Gotta plan for Valentine's Day.....

Look at all those cuties!


Kelly said...

Thanks for such a fun party. Austin had a blast. He's been carrying around his party favor bag ever since. He loved digging for treasure. You are very creative and such a fun mom.

Suzie Bean said...

it might not have looked like it, but Joseph had LOTS of fun, he said that was a really cool party. You did a great job with all of it and your 5 year old looked like she was in heaven!
Sarah had fun too, thanks for letting us hang around to watch it all.

Robyn said...

Amy, you pulled it off with a bang. Everything was great! Everytime I think of that cake I miss it. Oh that buttercream frosting.. I'm in love.

Rosie said...

The cake WAS really good. Also: What the Heck? I LOVE Bon Appetit. When is we gonna do lunch?