My cousins R & G came out to Costco with me, and really made the set-up happen. Without them we wouldn't have been able to do nearly anything with me injured the way I am. But, thanks to them, we had an adorable space in the house, and I know that it was quite a success. I found fun plates and napkins at the 99cents store, they said 'fun in the sun' and were just perfect for the beach party.
For a 'party favor' I gave away buckets with a few toys to each kiddo. I really hate party favors and don't think that they need to be a part of a party. But at the same time I was really hoping to avoid all of those ridiculous fights I new we would have at the party if each kiddo didn't have a bucket and a shovel. 2 year old's can be territorial, and I know that EG has a big soft spot for buckets. So, in order to avoid the drama, I gave away buckets.
As I mentioned, it was a birthday beach bash, so we centered everything around the beach ball and EG's favorite toy- a bucket and shovel. We had lots of people, and so many buckets that we never really had any arguments at all. I also gave away bottles of bubbles to each kid, which were a fun little addition.
I bought this ridiculous bathing suit for EG- since I knew that 90% of the photos from the day would feature the suit. And though it was expensive, I'm really glad I did it. She looks great in it, and it makes me really happy. Plus I had something that matched okay, so we look cute together!
We kept the menu really simple, going with snack foods (goldfish, chips, popcorn) and lots of fruit. For the main course we served pasta salad, green salad and homemade crustless quiche. Lots of things that littles like, so it was easy to keep all the kiddos entertained and well fed. Though EG was way to distracted to each much that day at all...
Of course, the one thing we could count on her eating- dessert! When we went shopping we ended up being very lucky. My cousin spotted a cupcake cake at the Pavillions, and it was the perfect thing. Being 38 weeks pregnant, and practically immobile made it hard to imagine baking a cake- but the cupcake cake was PERFECT! We were able to easily split the cupcakes up and give one to each child- EG LOVED her cupcake!
Don't try to distract me mom- I'm eating cupcake here!
Add to that the fact that as I expected everyone didn't leave at the time the party ended. Not a big deal, but I felt badly that EG wasn't napping well (or at all) and yet I was depriving her of time with her friends.
My friend Kate once let her son stay up a good 2-3 hours after bed time while she was hosting a party. We had put EG down in the same time frame, and I thought, how crazy- I child needs to sleep. But the reality is that Kate had it right- EG said she was ready, but trying to put her down during the party was a bad plan. I should have waited until everyone left before even trying. Notes for next time...
The last piece of decor that we have done for her parties is a large number made of photos. Last year it featured two colored photos- one of my Aunt Sandy and one of Grandma MaryLou, both of whom had passed. This year I didn't do any in color, though I debated printing the one of her in the 'big sister' t-shirt in color (the most momentous part of the year for her I think). I work hard to make sure that everyone who's coming to the party can find something of either themselves or an activity that they were a part of. It just shows a mini-wrap-up of the year, and I think it's fun to see how she's changed.
Wow! I look so pregnant in this picture!
We did have a guestbook, I asked everyone to sign a copy of the book "Beach Day" which I think will be a great reminder for EG to have later on. It's also so practical, because we'll read it often and can look at the messages.
We didn't really let EG open most of her presents. I just think it's too overwhelming. What do you do about presents?
That was the gist of the party. What did you do this weekend?