Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The birthday weekend - part 2

First of all, I need to go back to Friday (part 1), because I forgot one thing that happened on  Friday morning - we got to Skype with friends of ours that recently moved across the country!  Annika loves Skype-ing, and she was quite happy to see her little friend, if only for a few minutes. :)

Okay, now on to Saturday, April 14, which was the day of Annika's "butterfly" birthday party, and my birthday.  After last year, I had sworn that I wouldn't have a party for her after her birthday, because I wanted my birthday to be MY DAY, but this year it just worked out best to have her party on Saturday afternoon, on my birthday.  Oh well, next year will be different. ;)

So, I spent the majority of the morning getting ready for the party, however, I had done all the major cleaning and stuff like that on Friday already, so it was mostly just decorating, making juice, prepping the craft, etc.  Earlier in the week I had received a coupon from Starbucks for a free birthday coffee, so Carey took the kids out for a drive and picked up a coffee for me while I was getting stuff ready.  They also got me a Starbucks gift card (my favorite kind of present), so now I can enjoy a few more coffees. :) 

Waiting for 2:00 to arrive (the time the party started) was absolute agony for Annika.  I think she asked me "when are my friends coming?" about every 3 minutes, starting around 12:30.  This was her first real birthday party, and to say she was excited about it would definitely be an understatement!  We invited 3 kids (2 girls and a boy) that she knew from Y Neighbours and preschool, so it was a small party, but still big enough for me! 

Here are a few pictures:

The decorations

I bought a few butterfly decorations from the dollar store and Annika and I made the rest from tissue paper and pipe cleaners (original source here).  I had seen a few fancier decorating ideas on Pinterest, but I liked that these were something that we could do together, because Annika wanted very much to be involved with getting ready for her party.  And it was quite fun making them with her, just trying to keep Emmett from ripping them was a bit of a challenge!  The butterfly "confetti" on the table came from Florida, from the butterfly garden we visited, which is what started this whole thing in the first place!

The craft

I came across the idea for these butterfly wands on Pinterest (original source here) and I thought they'd be a great craft for the kids.  The craft was done in intervals, as we painted the butterfly shapes first, then played games while they dried, then decorated them with gems, stickers and glitter glue, then had cake while they dried again, and then finally glued it all together.  Annika and I had actually made one as a "trial run" the week before, and I'm glad we did, so I had a pretty good idea how long everything would take.  Or so I thought!!  When Annika and I did the decorating, she took a long time carefully decorating the butterfly with as many gems and stickers I'd allow her to have.  When the kids did it at the party, they were way faster, and barely used any of the stickers and gems!  Oh well!!  I think they still had fun with it.

The games

I had 2 games planned, which I thought would take a while, but just like the craft, the kids were faster than I anticipated.  I guess that's a lesson for birthday party planning - plan twice as many activities as you think you'll have time for!  The games also were keeping in the "butterfly" theme.  The first game we played was making toilet paper cocoons.  The kids had to pretend they were caterpillars and they took turns being wrapped up in a toilet paper "cocoon" and then breaking out as a butterfly.  Annika went first, and she didn't really get the concept at first.  She kept pulling her arms out whenever I wrapped the toilet paper around them.  Then she saw the other kids get all wrapped up, and she wanted another turn. :)  The other game I planned was a butterfly hunt.  I had printed out pictures of butterflies and hid them around the house, and then gave each kid a paper that had all the pictures on it, like a bingo card, and they had to find each butterfly and put a sticker on the square when they found it.

The cake

I found the idea for the cake on Pinterest (original source here), and it looked so much easier than it was!  My problem was that I didn't freeze the cake enough before cutting and icing it, so I had a really hard time getting the icing to stick to the cut sides without the cake crumbling to pieces.  Also, once I cut it and arranged it on my cake plate, it was almost too big, and when I put the cover on, it squished the sides.  But it tasted good, so that's what's really important, right?  We also had strawberries, chips and dip, and gummi butterflies and caterpillars (aka gummi worms).

The birthday girl

The dress and the butterfly necklace (which is kind of hard to see among the polka dots) were gifts from us.  Doesn't she look so grown up!

I forgot to take a picture of the take-home bags (not that they were anything fancy), but each kid got a pair of butterfly wings (the little boy got a butterfly net), a package of glowstick bracelets (a favorite of Annika's), some butterfly stickers and some gummis.  I had originally wanted to make the butterfly wings (see idea here), but it turned out to be too expensive.  I may still try to make a pair for Annika (some day, when I get my crafting mojo back!).  I had also made some all-natural lip balms that I had wanted to include, but I wasn't happy with the results (too soft) and I didn't have time to make a new batch.

So that was Annika's party!  The party ended at 4:00, and we had dinner reservations for 6:00, so that left a little while to do some quick tidying up and resting before going out.  I had told Carey a while back that I wanted to celebrate my 30th birthday by going out for supper with our friends, with no kids.  Originally this had offended Annika greatly - I didn't want her at my birthday party?!?  However, she got over it, and the kids went to Carey's parents' place while we went out.  We went to a fondue restaurant with 2 other couples.  We had invited more people, and I have to admit, at first I was quite disappointed at the number of people who couldn't make it due to other plans.  However, we had a great time with the people who came, and it was a really nice size of group, as we could all share a fondue burner and we could all talk to each other (if there had been more people, we would've been "split", even though we would all be at the same table).  We ate and ate and ate!!  We had a bread and cheese fondue, salads, dinner fondue with beef, pork, chicken and seafood and for dessert, white and dark chocolate fondues with fruit, marshmallows and banana bread.  I think we were there for about 3 hours.  It was a great time, and I'm really sad that I left my camera at home.  I don't even have any pictures of me on my birthday! 

One more day to go!  Part 3 coming soon...

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