It was crazy. It was hectic. At moments, it was down right scary when one boy ran out of the building onto a busy street, when said boy smashed his face with a can of soda that we were using as weights to hold down some balloons (yeah I know in retrospect not very smart, but who knew?), when the same boy crawled in and out of every nook and corner of the room… but let me not dwell on that. It was fun. And now it is over. THE birthday party. Soso’s 5th birthday party that we had planned for a long time to include all of our friends, our family and her friends. The party that originally had an invitation list totalling about 120 people, including about 40 kids.
Now that it is over, all I can say is, thank goodness that we pared down that list. Thank goodness we only invited Soso’s closer friends. And thank God that we wisely decided not to have it at our house. Our house would not have fit all the people nor contained the energy (my goodness the energy level!) of all the kids combined. The kids were loud and rambunctious, Soso and the gang she rolls with being the loudest and rowdiest of them all! Especially during the magic show. Some of the kids were practically falling over with laughter! I have never seen them laughing, screaming and squealing so hard! I think I can safely say the magic show was a hit.
By the way, I have to give DH credit on that. He was the one who wanted to do something different and stay away from princess theme. He was the one who found the magician (his co-worker in fact!). Thank you DH!
The food was just enough. Yes, I did not have too much! OK, perhaps I didn’t need the sandwiches or the potato salad. But it would have been worse. I was going to order another full tray. OK, I probably had way too much dessert. In fact, I had so many cookies that at the last minute, I bought some treat bags, printed off some “thank you” labels and made favor bags for people take home. Another thank goodness because as it was, I still had way too many cookies left over.
Now, let’s talk about the cake. Remember “Sweet Insanity” post? Well, guess what? I did find an ace of cake on a budget. I almost didn’t contact her. After constantly seeing $200 – $300 quotes, I figured what was the point? But this baker quoted me a price that was too good to be true. In fact I didn’t believe it. I figured something had to be wrong. No way would I get a cake of my dream. Then she emailed me a sketch, which was unfreaking-believably, beyond my expectation cute. I still thought something would be wrong. But guess what? The cake was fantastic! Cute, well made, well decorated, tasted great! I’ve seen other Abby Cadabby cakes on the web and I’m not being prejudice at all when I say, this is the cutest one by far! Thank you Lindsey!!!
The smaller cake on the side was the vegan cake, for our vegan family friends of three. Yeah, I’m crazy like that. The picture frame in the background, Soso sleeping in Grandma’s arms, so that she could be with us on this very special celebration.
The gifts. Wow, the gifts. I’ll have to post the picture of the PILE of presents she received. It was like Christmas, except in March with TWENTY more presents. I guess that’s what happens when you have twenty-plus families at the party.
So at the end of the day, what have I learned from this experience?
1. Never rely on a 5 year old memory of a hall and visit the said hall before booking (tho it all worked out fine).
2. Never use soda cans as balloon weights. It can be a lethal weapon around 5 year old boys.
3. Don’t bother weighing down balloons at all for center pieces because the kids will want the balloons BEFORE the party is over. You will avoid many tears, injuries and save on expenses to boot.
4. If you are having a big party with this many kids that isn’t 1.5 hours in and out, do plan at least two activities in addition to the “show”. It may minimize the running around and result in less stress for parents all around.
There are probably other lessons I’ve learned but I’m too tired to remember it all. Having said all this, I can now say that the next big birthday bash would be a breeze… except there will be no next one! Ha! Lesson number 1. Don’t do this again!