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Sunday, June 01, 2014

A Kid Birthday Party: A Marathon of its Own

Planning and executing a kid's birthday party in this day and age requires the same organization and effort of a deployed military operation.  For my own sanity, I don't try to do anything party-related that will keep up me up late at night; ie, I don't "hand craft" shit -- no homemade invites, favors, decor, food.  I don't even bake the cake. 

As I like to spend my valuable alone time doing important stuff.  Like drinking beer and watching TV.

In short?  I am willing to even pay for someone else to inflate the balloons.

Yet, I still find birthday parties rather exhausting events to prepare for (so many orders to make online!  Very taxing on my forefinger!).  This year, for Caleb's 3rd birthday, it felt particularly stressful since we were, and are, handling all the details of moving, unpacking, and settling in (we unpacked, etc rather quickly, but moving seems to require seventy trillion household "business" tasks, and each time my "to do" list begins to feel manageable, new items get added, or I find a dog turd on the stairs).

So, we wanted to do something as easy as possible. At home.

We were going to rent a water slide, but after looking at the prices for rentals, we decided to just buy one instead.  It was a huge hit and entertained all the kids from Caleb, who was the youngest, to the oldest kids, who were 10.

In fact, after playing with it last weekend (and inadvertently creating a water park out of our yard with all the neighbors), and then bringing it to a neighbor's for a party of theirs on Friday, I'm convinced that renting this sucker out could be MY new career!
We planned most of the fun outside, so we set up shop for food and drinks, etc, in the garage.  Because we're classy like that and like to entertain with our power tools nearby.

Caleb wanted a shark theme, which is totally easy to find stuff for.  NOT.  Thankfully, I did find plenty of stuff online, which is my favorite place to shop anyway, so he had shark everything.

Except the cake.  Because a shark cake?  Not so easy to have made, apparently, especially when you're trying to order something with only a week's notice.  Sheesh.  Bakers!  They're as dramatic as Kardashians.  In the end, we lucked out because one day, right before his party when Jerry and I were ready to maybe, perhaps, kinda, sorta, think about making a shark cake ourselves (gasp!), Caleb saw a regular looking birthday cake -- with its standard icing flowers -- and was over the moon and changed his mind from a "shark cake" to a "blue flower cake"!  Boom.  Shark-cake-crisis averted!

The party turned out to be a lot of fun -- we had neighbors and new friends we've recently met there, and we were lucky enough to also have some long-time friends and a few family members travel to come and attend as well. 
And, while we were all outside, distracted, Caleb went ahead and covertly opened all his gifts inside.  Thus?  I have no clue who gave him what, but he loved it all.
So, as May came to a close, we had managed to move to a new state, throw a 3 year old his birthday party, and I maintained my running streak.  This morning, then, it was glorious to sleep in and wake up without any agenda or "to do" list.
It was especially nice to get out and feel like I could go ahead and have time to run a nice 5.6 miles without any sense of guilt that I should be rushing back to help get something done.  Ahhhh, a nice start to June!


Julie D said...

Your party looks totally tricked out! =)

Carolina John said...

But... there are so many sharks around Winston? should not have been a problem. I'd say you just weren't applying yourself.

Of course I'm being sarcastic. Do you think his shark theme request was a projection of missing the Florida house and beach proximity? and I'm glad you were able to make friends there so quickly! Having a water park in your front yard will help. Nice party momma. Well done indeed!

Jess said...

I doubt he's complex enough to request sharks because of any FL association. He just likes sharks. But...not scary ones...so that also made it "easy" since I can never distinguish the line between "scary" and "not scary." Some shark underwear I'd found, for example, were ust blue with white shark silhouettes. They were deemed "too scary."