Sunday, July 3, 2011

Lucas' Birthday Party

My camera died, about an hour into the party. Such a bummer. All that prep work, and no photos of Lucas enjoying cake. I did get photos of some of the details though, and I know that photos will trickle in from family members of the the next few weeks.


The theme:
    Lucas is obsessed with "The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That", which is a show on PBS kids. They sing a song (can be heard here), and Lucas loves it. He calls the show (and the Cat himself) "Go, GO!" There was no decision-making process in deciding a theme for his party. He's obsessed. I went yard-saling shortly after his obsession started and I picked up every Dr Seuss book I could find, and I got about 10, for a mere $3. He calls them "Go, GO books!". I think he really enjoyed that Go GO was the theme of his party. He has since learned to say "Cat in the Hat" and "Thing 1 & Thing 2" but still prefers his own name!

The Food:
   Ok, so I wasn't really feeling like cooking this year. Last year, if I remember correctly, we had a full-on cookout. Which resulted in John not being able to visit with anyone because he was grilling. The whole time. This year, I put my foot down. I said NO cooking. We ordered pizza from the only local pizza place that has sheet pizza with egg-free dough. One of our nephews has an egg allergy and I always make a point to have as many egg-free items as possible. This year is 100% egg free! Yay! In addition to pizza, we had a garden salad and a pasta salad. A simple, yet yummy little lunch. My sister-in-law also brought a nice fruit salad!


The "cake":
    We are not big "cake" people, in the traditional sense anyway. So this year I opted to keep with our theme and make "thing 1 & thing 2" cupcakes. I used a recipe from the lovely Lauren (you can find her here), who was gracious enough to give me a delicious vegan chocolate cupcake recipe. YUM! Again, I had to be egg-free, hence the vegan recipe. We also ordered an ice cream cake from DQ. This is our typical "go-to" for parties because it's the only ice cream cake with no egg! (Crazy, right?)



The goodie bags:
    I'll admit it. I'm a cheap-ass. I mean, super cheap-ass. I hate spending money on things like goodie bags, but this year I had to. Last year, I threw some bubbles & candy in a bag and that was that. This year, I learned my lesson. I needed to find goodie bag items that doubled as activities for the kids. We had 3 babies under 1 (ok, one turned one last week), 4 kids around 2 years old, and 5 kids over hte age of 5. Weird age range, hard to entertain. Our yard is TINY. It run the length of our house (front to back) but is only about 15 feet wide. We have a small swingset in the back, and the party was held in the driveway. I bought cheap ($1 for all!) red lunch bags and drew a hat on them & labeled them with each childs name. I got some toys, bubbles, candy, and most importantly WATER GUNS, for all the kids. Little effort, a total of $25-30, and a bunch of happy kids. Works for me!



The decorations:
     I didn't decorate at all last year. There was no theme. This year I bought all red & white & black things to go with our Cat in the Hat theme. Since Lucas' birthday is 4 days before 4th of July, red & white stripes are not so tough to find! I had a blast. Streamers, and table cloths. So fun! I think I spent about $20 on all the paper goods and decorations, but it made a big difference (if only to me!)


My brag-worthy moment:
     John and I spent a solid week making these stand-ins. And man did we do it in the WRONG order. John drew the characters onto 3 pieces of plywood. Then I had the painstaking task of priming the characters, then the background. I painted Thing 1 & Thing 2, and John painted the Cat in the Hat. It took a long time! But we had a blast working on an art project together, despite the fact that it took over our kitchen for a solid week. We put it all together on Friday morning, made a frame to hold it up, and cut the face-holes on Saturday morning. I'm pretty impressed with our work! I think we're going to do one each year, but in a far more efficient way. This whole project cost us about $25, because the wood was re-purposed wood from the skate park. We only had to buy paint, and we could have spent FAR less money if we didn't buy such a large amount of paint & if we had a good supply of paint brushes. We had a blast!

Our goofy, very happy family :)

Lucas & his 2 cousins from my side of the family

My Nana (Lucas calls her Nana A. A is for Aitken) was even able to get in a photo, in her wheelchair!
Before we cut out the faces....

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