Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Birthday Soiree, Delayed

I realized a couple of days ago that Jack and Quinn's birthday party was a loooong time ago, but I didn't blog about it, which is an inexcusable offense here in Stimeyland. Seeing as how I haven't yet had my kiddos write thank you notes for the party, I'm guessing it is still bloggable. What is the statue of limitations on blogging a birthday party anyway?

At this point, all I remember are bits and pieces of the party. I vaguely remember a period of calm and then there were a gajillion little kids running around wrecking my house and then it was calm again.

Because I'm the meanest mom in the world and didn't plan ahead, I forced Jack and Quinn to share a party because that way I only had to bullshit my way through one event instead of two. Their birthdays are only ten days apart and this is only the second time that I've made them share a party, so I don't feel too bad.

So, without further ado, I present to you Jack's 8th and Quinn's 6th Fantastic Birthday Soiree! 

The Theme: Okay, so I feel a little bit like a shill admitting this, but we had a Mario theme for this party. That said, there is a reason I am Nintendo Brand Ambassador and it is because my family is full of Nintendo nerds, Jack and Quinn in particular. (Also, full disclosure: I came up with the idea for and paid for the party myself.)

Also, when I say "theme," I mean "random string of cohesive elements in an otherwise completely uncoordinated party." Basically, I throw the same party every time (arrival chaos —> pin the [blank] on the [blank] —> activity —> pizza —> cake —> piñata —> get the hell out) with slight variations. I really shook things up this time because we didn't pin anything on anything (tail on donkey, light saber on Darth Vader, fish on penguin, magnet on another magnet).

The Decor: With my theme, the decorations were easy. I had recently gone through a huge stack of papers that I had amassed from Jack's backpack. I just taped these up on our cabinets and our decorations were done. Jack draws A LOT of pictures of scenes from video games. Did I mention that he is a Nintendo nerd?

*click to embiggen*

The Cake: The cake was also pretty easy. I'd recently been to a party where the mom made this great cake involving fondant and had created a Mario cake. It was gorgeous. Naturally, I did no such thing.

I went to the grocery store and ordered a blank cake with my kids' names on it. When the bakery worker stared at me expectantly when I said "blank," I folded under the pressure of her eyes and told her that she could put balloons on it. When I picked the cake up, the balloons looked a little odd, but once I added my own little decorations, it ended up looking like I'd meant for the balloons to be there.

The bows were a little weird though.

Edited to add: I juuuuust realized that the bows are holding the strings of the balloons. They seem less weird now. I still maintain that those balloons include an awful lot of frosting though.

The Food: We always order pizza from the same pizzeria for parties. I decided that since I had planned the ENTIRE party that I would put Alex in charge of the pizza. I told him that the pizza should arrive at 5:15, gave him the phone number, and left him to his devices.

Big mistake.

This is Alex at 4:55, after he called the pizzeria to hear them say, "Dude, our pizza oven juuust broke. Sorry, man."

High five, Alex! Nice job!

Alex eventually got pizza to our house, but it was a little late, so we had to switch our activity schedule around a little bit.

The Activities: Our first activity was my favorite. I like to have an art project out when the guests arrive so that if kids want something structured, they can do that, but if they just want to run around and be insane, they can do that too. This art project was, if I do say so myself, way inspired.

I took a long piece of paper and drew the basic elements of a side-scrolling Mario game on it. Then I put a bunch of markers out and waited to see what would happen.

I draw a nice Princess Peach castle, eh?

What happened was that Jack and Quinn's eyes got really wide and then they set to work.

I'm not entirely sure they noticed when their guests arrived.

Jack and Quinn and a few of the guests went to town on the thing. They created the most excellent drawing I think that I have ever seen.

They have since gone on to create many more similar works of art.

Our mid-party activity was a painting thing that was sort of lukewarmly received. Some kids loved it; other kids couldn't be bothered to leave the basement. The piñata on the other hand, was well-attended. It was kind of perfect because each kid got one turn to beat the crap out of Mario and then Sam rang the final death knell on the thing.

The Rest: Perhaps my favorite part of this party is that I served margaritas to the grown ups. My one flaw was that I forgot that because I was in charge of a bunch of other people's kids, I couldn't drink until the party was over.

I take that back. That was one flaw. The other flaw is that not every kid felt that a grown-up only beverage was fair. I didn't really understand this because I put a cartoon sign in front of the appetizing green, frosty drink.

What about this says, "Sam, go ahead and pour yourself a glass"?

At some point during the party, Sam came up to me and asked, "What is the green drink?" After explaining the concept of "margarita" to him, Sam replied with, "Oh. I thought it was lemonade. But it was gross."

Yep. Sam thought that the adults were keeping the delicious lemonade all for ourselves. I think he thought it might be along the lines of Alex and my secret candy stashes.

Alex just about laughed himself to death while still managing to say, "Really nicely done, Jean!" Fortunately, although Sam had poured an entirely full cup of margarita complete with cocktail straw, he'd only taken a tiny sip. Thank God tequila doesn't taste very good to kids.

Oh, yes. I am an excellent mother. And party host. And baby sitter. Oy.

Well, that's about it. Happy late birthday to my Jack and my Quinn!

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