Monday, August 1, 2011

S's 4th Birthday Party: Cars

Saturday was the big day for the bday party. It was supposed to rain Friday night, so I decided that I (and by "I," I mean DH since I hurt my back the day before) would set up the chairs and tents in the morning. About 7:45am, I headed outside to start hanging things up. Within a few minutes, it started pouring. So I grabbed everything and threw it back into the garage.

• • • Aside • • •

For those of you not living in the Midwest, it's been in the 100's for the last few weeks. So the idea of rain was not wholly unwelcome. Everything is really dry - ironic, considering the rivers are flooding - so we needed it. And I hoped it would cool everything off. But I was also afraid it would just make it more humid. And afraid that the "spotty shower" the meteorologists incorrectly predicted for Friday night would turn out to be an all-day thunderstorm of ark-like proportions on Saturday.

Thankfully it turned out to be short-lived, and we ended up with beautiful weather! The tents gave us shade, and there was a breeze. The kids were actually cold at times playing in the water - crazy!

I didn't do a lot for decor since we were outside. I had planned to draw a road on the driveway in sidewalk chalk, but it was still wet, and time was limited, so I skipped it. I bought a racing pennant/banner at US Toy, and used it in conjunction with some poster board orange cones to guide guests around to the back of the house. I made a sign that looked like the Cars logo with S's name on it and attached some balloons.

The welcoming committee: Grandma D and Baby R.

The party went well! We had about 35-40 people I think. The older kids played on the slip 'n slide while the younger ones took a dip in the kiddie pool. Everyone enjoyed the swingset. I was going to play Red Light, Green Light with the older ones, but decided to leave them to their own devices since they seemed to be content with unstructured play.

I feel like I work as an editor on "Cops" blurring out everyone's faces...
And S appears to be a zombie from "Thriller" in this pic. ??

As the guests trickled in, I had intended to hand out their Pit Passes, but since they were getting wet right away, I waited until later to give them out. For those I included the Cars logo with S's name and then just wrote Pit Crew, followed by Event: S's 4th Bday Party, Date: July 30, 2011, Crew Member: (Guest's Name). Most of the kids can't read yet, but they recognize their names, so they thought it was cool. I just used 3M laminating sheets for 4x6 photos and cut them in half, then used red lanyards (also from US Toy) to hang them from for the older kids.

The favor bags were just plain red bags and I printed out a checkerboard print that I cut into triangles and then attached personalized names with a pop-dot. They turned out really cute, I think. Inside the bags I just put a mini crayon set with two coloring pages, a toy car and some stickers.

The party was early - 9:30am-11:30am - because of the expected heat. So I waited til about 10:30am to have cake and ice cream. (It's never too early for cake, right?) Let me preface this by saying that I have zero skillz in the cake decorating department. None. I had gone round and round about what to do for S's cake, and finally decided to make a 1/2 sheet cake of Funfetti for the bottom layer and a chocolate 8" round for the top. I frosted it green for grass and with a fudge frosting circle on top for the racetrack. Hy-vee had these sugar Cars shapes of Lightning and Mater, so, with the help of my sister, I threw those on top. I had made a Piston Cup cupcake topper that read "Happy Birthday" on the top with S's name at the bottom.

No, it's not a ring of poo, it's a racetrack.

I certainly didn't love how it looked, but it tasted good so I guess that's the important part! Will definitely do cupcakes for Baby R's bday in November. I rock at cupcakes.

S actually opened her presents this year, and was very good about being appreciative and patient with her little friends who all wanted to help, of course. Though, my brother-in-law apparently heard her mumble under her breath to one of the boys that he already had his party, and these were her presents. Thankfully, I don't think anyone else heard. :) Overall, I think everyone had a great time. And then it was time for a nap for everyone...
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