Let me tell you about this birthday party. It has not been my finest parenting adventure. And let me share a few reasons why:
A) A few weeks ago, I found these birthday invitations on sale on Vista Print. I had a great coupon on top of that, so I got them for super cheap. I think I paid 20 or 25 cents an invitation. The downside? The only kid friendly invitation on the discount list was a pirate invitation. So, that’s what I ordered. The problem is that my Bean Bean is deathly afraid of pirates. Hates ‘em. BUT THEY WERE ON SALE!!!! For the past three weeks, I have been trying to get Bean to warm up to pirates. So far, he’s warmed up mildly. He no longer cries when he sees them. Which is good. Cause that really would have been a downer at his party.
B) Not only did I order scary invitations and make a scary theme for Bean’s party, but I didn’t order enough invitations. I ordered enough for his classmates, but completely forgot to order enough for our family and friends. I didn’t even have one to send to my own mother. So, I ended up sending out an Evite to our family and friends.
C) When I sent the Evite out to family and friends, I put the wrong birthday number on the invitation. It says, “Michael’s Birthday!” and then it has a big giant number 2 next to it. (FYI – Bean’s turning 3.)
So, the invitations have been a bit of a mess. The next big obstacle has been the guest list. We invited about 40 kids to this party. 20-something were Bean’s classmates (from two separate classes at school) and then we had an extra 10 or so from friends who have kids. I really wasn’t expecting a big majority of those kids to come. I mean, no one comes to MY parties… But apparently that’s not the case with kids. We’ve had over 20 kids who have confirmed their attendance. And with each of those kids comes parents, and, occasionally, other siblings. So, our small, simple, inexpensive little party has quickly become a large, overwhelming, expensive soiree.
I ended up placing a desperate phone call to my sister this afternoon for a little planning pep talk. Ginny is the Queen of Organization, and has been known to put together pie charts, graphs, complex Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations for weekend family gatherings. No lie. So, Ginny talked me through everything I needed to do in the next few days to get ready for this party. Here are the details we decided on today:
We’re serving “pirate pizza” for lunch. Which is really just Hungry Howie’s pizza. We’re also having sliced watermelon. We’ll put juice boxes and water bottles in coolers for drinks. For Bean’s cake, I found this really cute “Little Pirates” cake design at the Publix bakery. Instead of having a sheet cake, though, we’re doing cupcakes with the tops all iced as one cake. It will make it so much easier to serve.
We are having the party at a local splash park because that’s one of Bean’s favorite things to do. The party is from 12:00 – 2:00. We’ll have pizza and watermelon ready for everyone as they arrive, and people can help themselves to lunch as they arrive. We rented a big pavilion, so we’ll be all set up with the food in the shade (super important in the Florida heat). As the kids finish eating, they can head on over and start splashing around. We’ll pull everyone out of the water around 1:30 for cake, before handing out goody bags and calling it a day.
I’m heading to Party City tomorrow to find pirate eye patches, Mardi Gras beads, and gold chocolate coins. Each goody bag will get an eye patch, two “treasure” necklaces, and a couple coins.
Because we’ll be outside at a splash park, I’m keeping the decorations pretty minimal. At Party City, I’m hoping to find a pirate banner or flag, and then some plates, cups, and table cloths. I’m also ordering helium balloons in black, red, and yellow to designate our pavilion. Chris told me tonight that he thinks there might be some pirate decorations in their prop shop at work, so he’s going to see about bringing home a decorated treasure chest, a giant sand castle built out of foam, and several 6-foot fake palm trees that we can affix to the pillars in the pavilion.
I’m actually getting really excited about the party, even if it did get off to a rough start with planning. My last day teaching is on Thursday, so I’m hoping that I can go out on Friday while the kids are still in daycare and pick up all the trimmings for our pirate party.