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Monday, November 12, 2012

Girl's birthday party 2012 (a.k.a. doing it right)

Often in life if you don't get a lesson it repeats itself. 
I am not proud to say that there are many lessons I have had loop back around a ridiculous number of times. 
Shortcuts often make things longer in the end.  Don't hire too-good-to-be-true people to work on your house because they usually are, in fact, too good to be true.  If you get an inkling to put air in your tires,  heed this warning or you will end up with a flat.  Eating too much at a party doesn't make you feel festive and light, it makes you feel swollen and fat. 
The list goes on and on.
Our girls' birthdays are only 3 weeks apart.  In the past we have done joint parties for them, but last year, in the interest of allowing them to be separate people, we threw them each the party of their choice.  Maya's was at the gymnastics place ($150 plus favors) and Ella's was at the roller rink ($175 plus favors) which was so congested with people that I needed to be medicated and Ella didn't even really enjoy it. 
We left saying, never again.
So this year, we decided to throw one joint family party at our house for the girls in between their birthdays and let them do something special on their actual birthday.  As it turns out, our family is growing (both in number and our kids are getting physically bigger) and our house is not.  We simply can't fit the same number of eight-year-olds as we could three-year-olds.  Also, with Sandi in school for another year, we simply aren't in the position to spend that kind of money on birthday parties. 
We've come to learn that for our kids, less if definitely more. If they are surrounded by all their friends and family at once, it is too overwhelming for them and they don't have a good time.
Saturday, we celebrated the girls' birthdays with Skyler and Reed by going rollerskating (free) and coming back to our house to make ice cream sundaes and play (nearly free).  It was perfect two on two time for the kids.   I didn't really get a great picture but you get the idea. 

For the girls' party, we kept things very simple. Snacks, drinks, cake. No favors. Sandi set the bounce house up in our bedroom (the small 6 kid bounce house Patti and Dwight got for the kids a few years ago) with their choice of music. It was a very relaxed feel downstairs with the adults able to visit and the kids running in and out.
Ella's dreams had come when her grandparents bought her McKenna the American Girl doll for her birthday.  Kristi bought her the matching outfit and it is a match made in heaven. 
(McKenna herself is becoming somewhat of a problem for me, though.  She is interfering with everything from getting out of the house on time to finding a place to sit during family things.  She is very picky about how her hair is fixed and each day she must be changed from her pjs into an outfit and back to pjs at night.  It is as though she doesn't realize that we actually need Ella to participate in the rest of life despite McKenna's arrival into our family.  And the other night she INSISTED I put her hair in a waterfall braid so we could go out.  The nerve....)
Ella was thrilled to get a bunch of accessories for McKenna.

Noah's gifts came addressed to them in braille.  Maya was quite proud of that.

Hello Kitty Uno.  Need I say more?

This year for the girls' cake, I went with the fairy theme in a different way. I conjured this idea up in my head one day and somehow made it happen.  I'm still not entirely sure how.  The only bummer is it was supposed to have 3 more fairies but they got lost in Amazon transit and will probably show up tomorrow.
 The tower is actually a jug of protein shake powder wrapped in foil and then frosted.  And I will go on record saying that I am very proud of the construction of the toothpick fairy bridge. It was a rare example of something coming out as I had planned it in my head.

I am definitely proud of how far my cake making has grown in a year, but there are still so many little imperfections I keep wanting to master.  But the girls literally squealed in delight when they saw it and that makes it all worth it.

Trish and Brock snuggling with Hello Kitty.

 Sandi hauled at the tripod and the remote control photo taker (I'm sure it has a more glamorous name than that) and finally we got a picture of the girls together.

And then some of the four of us.
 This is a fair representation of our family right here:

Love my girls.  All three. Lucky us.


flandmade said...

This is so cute! Excellent job with the cake! You could totally go into the business.

Zoe Kreitzer said...

Mother of pearl, that last photo is priceless! Frame it! Wallpaper with it! Instant smile-inducer!

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