Thursday, February 23, 2012

Party Time

Here's to sharing the big #2 party with family and friends who live too far away and couldn't be there to celebrate!  Watch out for massive details below. You know how wordy I can be!

Read my previous post, A Different Kind of Birthday Party, about how we used Echoage for this party.

So for the second birthdays, we wanted to do something simple, at our house.  Well, when I told Brad how many people were coming, he said, " our house?"  Our house is not tiny but not large at all and there really isn't a big open area or anything like that.  It would have been cramped!  He was right. We were having dinner out with the kids one night at Picasso's Pizza, on their enclosed patio, and he suggested we have the party there.  Well, there was no fee for the room. Just buy food and meet the 2 hour time limit and you don't have to clean anything up- ANYTHING, except what we wanted to take home with us!  We were all over it!

In my previous post, I mentioned that I wanted to do a party that was low stress and would like to try to go green.

Here's the only "go green" detail we managed and only by chance:  Real plates and cloth napkins.  Much better than if it had been at my house because we would have done paper all the way!

The party wasn't stressful to plan but I really felt like with kids mostly around age 2 but ranging from 1 to 8 years old all running around, they needed some directed activities or we'd all go crazy, especially knowing how wild my two can be. So to the internet I went. And yes, I got a little carried away from "simple party" but I enjoyed planning and implementing!

The theme was circles and colors were green and yellow!  I found only a couple sites online with ideas for the circle theme. Real Simple and Design Mom - Round and Round Party.  For a few evenings, I used a circle punch to cut out circles and hot glued them on a string for circle garland.  I hole punched the leftover paper to make circle confetti.  I cut out all different sizes of circles just to lay around the tables and I made a few paper chains. Finally, I picked up some helium balloons just before the party.  I was so thankful that my brother and his wife helped us decorate!  The activities, cupcakes, gifts and favors all went along with the theme, too!

Upon arrival, the kids headed to a table to string fruit loops on a shoe lace to make a party necklace.  My kids arrived with Brad a little early so they ate lots of them while we decorated and put maybe 3 on a shoe lace and then wouldn't wear the necklace. haha! Obviously parents needed to help and some kids still ate the goodness right off the necklace...wouldn't you? And some took it seriously and made some awesome necklaces!

Once everyone got there and had a chance to make a necklace, we headed to the middle of the room for story time.  I read Duck on a Bike (to build some anticipation for the boys' gifts).  I really wanted someone else to read but Aunt Jessie and Auntie Krissie, the perfect animated readers and the only ones who would probably be up for it, both live in other states so I was it.  The kids all seemed pretty excited about it, all except for Nolan.  I think he had spotted the markers on the next table and wanted to get to that activity immediately and he hardly napped. He kept coming up to me, trying to take the book and throw it on the ground.   Brad kept trying to distract him.  I ended up skipping a few pages (sorry kids)! But it is a really cute book!
looks sweet but he is totally trying to take the book away from me!

Next we headed to the hat table.  My school sells color paper by the roll for super cheap so I bought lots and made a bunch of green and yellow hats. They were super easy to make!  The kids got to put lots of circle stickers on their hats and color with crayons and markers. Markers are huge with my kids right now!  Carter and Nolan's hats had some special little circle antennas.    The kids really loved coloring their hats and could have done this for the whole party probably!

Chips and Salsa were out the whole time. Then pizza and fruit arrived and parents dished up a plate for their kids and everyone snacked.

We had all the kids come sit at the circle table and we sang happy birthday twice (I don't care, they have to share birthdays but at least can get their own song!)  Carter and Nolan blew out the candle in their cupcake then everyone chowed!

Our friend, Kendra made our cupcakes. She makes some amazing things! Check them out at Cakes By Kendra. Ours were circle themed and delicious!

Last, the boys got to open their gifts. They each received a bike!  We knew they loved sitting in the bike seat on our bikes and they needed a ride-on toy so their group gifts were balance bikes! You sit on the seat and walk with the bike, no pedals or training wheels and the front wheel turns just like a real bike.  The idea is that eventually they will run on it and start to let go and balance.  Mine are right at the starting age for this so we'll see how it progresses! 

They were super excited but really struggled on first try.  Nolan now loves walking around on his. Carter prefers sitting on the bike with his feet propped up while we push!  His is a little taller so I think he still needs another inch in height to feel comfortable.

Guests began leaving and took with them a balloon, their necklace, hat and the party favor.  We made a CD of songs the boys love and some we love for them to love...they aren't too bad for the adults to listen to (at least that's what we think)!

So I don't think I took really any of those pictures.  A lot of family and friends were snapping away and I seriously appreciate that!

The whole party was wild and crazy but I think the kids all had a good time. I still can't believe my babies are two! The older I get, the faster time seems to go and having kids seems to have tripled the rate!

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