I have been blessed with two beautiful children, ages 3 and 5, a little girl and a big brother, who are my entire world. Lucky for me, I managed to time their conceptions and births to be 32 calendar days of each other, 2 years apart. My daughter’s birthday is January 12th, my son’s February 13th. The main predicament here is the timing. Two birthdays for two very different children, far enough apart to deserve separate parties but close enough to do some serious damage to my wallet, which at the time the first party rolls around is still recovering from the Christmas shopping season.
Just because special events are “my thing” doesn’t mean that I always am willing to jump feet first into a comprehensive design for any birthday party, anniversary, or holiday event. However, these are my children, and let’s just face it- they have a way with getting me to do pretty much anything for them.
First came Avia’s party. The 3-year-old to be, who is obsessed with all things princess, semi-shocked me when she expressed her wishes to have a Tinkerbell themed birthday party. It did, however, make using my mother’s green, grassy backyard the perfect (and easiest) venue choice. One of the requirements (actually, the only requirement outside of the theme) from my kids for each of their parties was a bounce house. I searched and searched for a Tinkerbell bounce house, but the best I could find was a bright, cheesy, primary colored bounce house with a Tinkerbell themed tarp over the front.
Outside of the bright, primary colored jump-house (which the kids all bounced on just the same), we worked Pixie Hollow inspired décor pieces all over the house. The backyard was draped in spiraling green ribbon to simulate overgrown grass blades and we made large paper flowers out of construction and tissue paper to hang in the trees and over the food table. Hunter green linens were used on the tables, with soft, delicate floral centerpieces that were more or less kid friendly, in case of a sudden table jolt or freak juice spilling incident. As favors, we bottled up thick gold glitter into little pouches and labeled them “pixie dust” as favors. The girls had a great time dousing themselves with pixie dust- outside on the grass of course- and running around with their fairy wings on. Oh, and with the scheduling of the big Niner v. Saints football game on the same day as the party, I added some special touches to the living room, such as green up-lighting, a meat and cheese platter, lounge-friendly furniture and décor items, in order to allow guests to watch the game in style and comfort.
Taking on Spiderman City after living in Pixie Dust for a whole month was a bit of a culture shock. Even though my mom was gracious enough to offer up her backyard for another party, I felt that a new space was necessary to really pull the industrial atmosphere of Spiderman City into the decor. I opted for my dad’s backyard garage, workshop and cabana for the party’s background.
Yes, we did rent another bounce house. This one was decidedly more impressive than the one at Avia’s Pixie Hollow party, and it actually served as the “catch” so that kids were contained in the garage area, as opposed to roaming all over the backyard and near the pool. I wanted to make the garage really look like an industrial city, so I came up with this brilliant (sarcasm) idea to make a cardboard skyline backdrop to line the walls of the garage. It worked, sort of, although there was a 2 hour period where my mom and boyfriend refused to speak to me as they scrambled to work out the best method for accomplishing the effect we desired. In the end, they decided that rolling the main pain (white or gray) onto the cardboard, use a stiff stencil to spray paint the black windows in. However, the kicker was to use black gaf tape to distinguish the individual buildings from one another. We used spiderweb material and silly string to websling across the backdrop, and then added little spiders to adorn the buildings. The kids then all got to take home a piece of the backdrop for make-believe play.
The kids web-slinged and bounced for the entire party, taking a break only to munch on pizza, fruits and veggies, and of course, to indulge in the fabulous homemade Spidercakes made by one of my best friends, Jennifer. Aidan LOVED his party, and I developed a new love for Peter Parker 😉