Sunday, May 15, 2005

Birthday Party Post Mortem

by Marjorie
Today was Suzanne's 5th birthday and her birthday party. I'll try to be brief here, but may give the long version over on my other blog, unclimber, where I direct my homeschooling and religion posts.

The weather was hard to call. We have had a string of days with gorgeous weather until yesterday evening, when we had three violent thunderstorms. The newspaper was calling for t-storms today and it was cloudy all morning. The party was in the afternoon, so I planned for more of an indoor affair. I had a couple of crafts for the kids to do and my husband was on stand-by as the MC for games.

The crafts consisted of puppet- and bookmark-making stations. For the puppets -- the kids were given brown paper lunch bags, google eyes, markers, scrap paper, and glue sticks. Bookmark making was even simpler -- strip of paper from a scrapbooking kit I have and stickers. Stick the stickers on the strips and voila -- your very own bookmark. Sorry, kids, crafts are not my gig.

It was nice enough to play outside and I was kicking myself that I wasn't better prepared. I love to have toys, tents, and bubble equipment out for the kids but I didn't have it for fear that everything would get drenched in a downpour. Inspiration struck my husband, though, and he had the wagon out for kids to climb in while he raced around the backyard pulling it. It was a hit! Of course, he was pretty tired by the effort.

After hearing thunder and feeling a few drops, we headed inside. We were an hour into a two-hour party so I thought it would be a good time for cake. We had one cake from a local grocery store and we had made cupcakes and frosting that morning. I ran out of time making the frosting so the cupcakes became another craft -- frost your own. That was actually a big hit because kids that age like spreading and they got to choose between chocolate or vanilla frosting. I had logistical problems as my kitchen area is a bit tight -- if you're going to do this, I recommend having room for all the kids to sit down.

We had lots of time for free-play and the party probably dragged a bit, but I'll spin it to say that everyone was able to relax and talk. I'm one of those 'open presents after the party' types, so I didn't have that to fill the time. Luckily the weather had cleared and some kids finished out the party playing outside.

We survived and Suzanne was happy with the party. I would have been happier if my youngest hadn't fallen out of a chair I was attempting to gently move with her in it, causing her to bleed profusely from the mouth and causing me to worry about 'dead' front teeth.

Its over. Thank God.

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