Birthday Party (Mini Series 5 (2.0) – Dinosaurs Party)

Welcome to the fifth(ish) post of the birthday party series I am putting together. I love throwing my kids a party. The thing I failed to think about when I had my kids was having them all in the summer months means having separate parties would be harder due to family members being located in multiple locations. Reality is they can’t come up each month for a new party so we have to combine the parties. You will see once we added to our family we started to combine the parties and each kid got their own theme. A new post will be added every Saturday to share all the kids parties.

I posted a pre-party for my five year old because we spent his actual birthday in MS with my aunt who order him a birthday cake. This was his actual party and we decided to throw a party just for him this time around because turning 5 is a big deal. We got back to VA midweek and my mother and stepdad came down that weekend so they could celebrate their first grandchild 5th birthday. This was the first year I allowed him to choose his birthday party theme. I typically pick something that the children are showing a lot of interested in for their theme. They are so young they do not care what the theme is as long as there is cake and presents.

This year I order most of the decoration from Party City and my mom brought a couple with her. My mother-in-law made the cake by my sons request. I showed him multiple cakes ideas on Pinterest and this was the one he settled on. I think he liked the idea of having multiple small dinosaurs he could keep afterward. Don’t let that kid fool you he has a 100’s different sizes of dinosaurs. He tries to convince me he always needs more.

Side story: Walmart carries these Adventure Force Bucket Play Sets. They have two sizes and P3 has been given the larger bucket four different times. I got rid of the first set and then he got a second one from a family members. I finally got rid of that one and someone else got him a new bucket. I got ride of it again and he was given yet another bucket. I have given up and we still have the last bucket.

We kept the food very simple because we just got back from a two day travel from MS and I just gave birth to our daughter three weeks prior. I did make a dino head out of the watermelon. We actually had some kids at this party which was nice because it’s been a long time since we had any kids at one of the boys parties. My mother-in-law set up the kid inflatable pool but I didn’t take a picture of it so that kept the kids busy and we had to move inside for the presents and cake thanks to rain.

I am not super talented but I am creative and it took me years to finally make the connection that I get my creative side from my mom. When I told her about the theme of the party she surprised me with a homemade piñata. Due to a shoulder injury she was out of work for an extended period of time so she got busy working on this for P3’s party. She filled it with candy for the kids and she set up another candy bar. Oh and we had bags for favors but I didn’t take any pictures. We got a text from one of the father’s that attended and he told my husband the bags were legit. My mother really knows how to out do herself in that area when it comes to the parties. I personally like having favors but I don’t like favors that are junk and things that parents will just throw away – after they curse you in their head.

I’m thankful for my mom and mother-in-law for this party because I really didn’t have it in me to do a lot. Birthday parties mean a lot to me and despite how I felt about my childhood I will say that I always had a birthday party at the end of the summer before I headed back to my mom’s house. I want my kids to have a special time for their birthdays. I don’t remember getting a choice for my cake so I think that is why I am going to make sure I let the kids chose their cake once they are old enough.

My next blog post will be the last one I post for a while for this series. The next birthday party with be my daughters 1st birthday and she will be getting her own party. It will be interesting because I will have had the twins around that time as well. I need to get started on the decorations because I know the closer it gets to her birthday I may be a little distracted.

Birthday Party (Mini Series 5 – Dinosaurs Party: Pre-Party)

Welcome to the bonus post for the Birthday series.
In our household we always throw the kids a birthday party with extended family but it’s rarely on their birthday. On their actual birthday we always have a small celebration with just the nuclear family but this time we were still visiting my aunt and we had a real cake for his big day. It was a nice treat since we consider turning 5 one of the big birthdays.

When there is a birthday in the house I always put balloons on the door, balloons in one of the rooms, and I decorate their chair with a helium balloon. This is done even for mom and dad. We will have a special breakfast and we have an ice cream cake for dessert that evening. The kids will get a couple presents to open on their birthday and the rest at their party. This time my aunt order a special cake that fit the theme for our oldest. I let him pick the theme on his own. We used some of decorations for his party which was held later in the month once we returned to VA.

I was not able to make his banner for this party due to just having my daughter in another state and not having access to my Cricut. There is a time and place and I have learned to be ok with not being able to do everything the way I would normally do it.

Ok – this was a random last minute add before I headed to bed. I came up with the idea in the moment which is why the hats looks thrown together. I thought it would be a cute idea for him to come out to a few of his toys celebrating his big day. I also could only find painter tape so you use what you have and hope for the best.

Check out the next post in this series of his actual party which was a dinosaur theme.

Birthday Party (Mini Series 4 – Shark, Robot, and Quarantine Party)

Welcome to the fourth post of the birthday party series I am putting together. I love throwing my kids a party. The thing I failed to think about when I had my kids was having them all in the summer months means having separate parties would be harder due to family members being located in multiple locations. Reality is they can’t come up each month for a new party so we have to combine the parties. You will see once we added to our family we started to combine the parties and each kid got their own theme. A new post will be added every Saturday to share all the kids parties.

The year where everything got crazy for the whole world and for our family. We ended up having a combined party Labor day weekend at my mother’s house. My oldest turned 4 and he had a shark themed party. My second born turned 2 and he had a robot themed party. Our third born turned one and since he spent most of his life in quarantine we decided to use that for his first birthday. Once again my mother-in-law made all the cakes for the boys party.

Party themed have to be simple because our life is crazy and I haven’t been able to do parties the way I would if we lived in one location and I could have full control over them. I always provide a Happy Birthday for each theme.

I used my Cricut to make all three Birthday Banners and I also made a year banner for our youngest boy.

I had a lot of fun making this for our youngest and I figured it may offend people but I didn’t make it to poke fun of it but it’s the reality of the situation at the time. I didn’t take the time to come up with food that was related to the theme but we just had a cookout but I did make a shark head using a watermelon. I also try to order themed related shirts that has the number the kids are turning. My favorite was my youngest.

I only decorate the high chair for a child’s first birthday since I am a stickler of not letting my kids have sugar (except fruit) before their first birthday. The smash cake is their first introduction to sugar and it’s just a fun thing. He ended up wanting a spoon just like the oldest but he didn’t cry when his finger was covered in chocolate.

Birthday Party (Mini Series 3 – Transportation & Jungle Party)

Welcome to the third post of the birthday party series I am putting together. I love throwing my kids a party. The thing I failed to think about when I had my kids was having them all in the summer months means having separate parties would be harder due to family members being located in multiple locations. Reality is they can’t come up each month for a new party so we have to combine the parties. You will see once we added to our family we started to combine the parties and each kid got their own theme. A new post will be added every Saturday to share all the kids parties.

My oldest turned three and we threw him a transportation birthday party and my second born turned one and his party was a jungle theme. My mother-in-law made the boys cakes and I order cupcakes from Wegman’s. She created the signs the signs that went into the cupcakes. This party was held outside when it was in the 100’s and the cakes were melting. We did not have the space to host a party and I was very pregnant with our third child.

I created the boys banners – the transportation one had airplanes and it looked liked it was pull the letters behind the plane like a banner. The jungle one had leaves and I made a one year banner for Zander. I used yellow duck tape to add lines for the road on a black table cloth and I did a basic jungle color scheme for the jungle tables. The food was typical cook out food and unlike previous parties I did not use theme names for the items. I did create a “watering” hole for the bottles of water.

My mother made the parking meter for the transportation part of the party. I get my creative side from her and she often will help me with the decorations. She outdid herself this past year with the piñata’s she created, check out those post when they come out on a later date.

Now our second child ended up eating his cake with his hands but it took us a few times to show him how to do it. He was covered in the cake by the end and he has been using his hands ever since. 🙂

Birthday Party (Mini Series 2 – Book Party)

Welcome to the second post of the birthday party series I am putting together. I love throwing my kids a party. The thing I failed to think about when I had my kids was having them all in the summer months means having separate parties would be harder due to family members being located in multiple locations. Reality is they can’t come up each month for a new party so we have to combine the parties. You will see once we added to our family we started to combine the parties and each kid got their own theme. A new post will be added every Saturday to share all the kids parties.

This has to be one of my favorite parties I put together for one of my kids. Books are a staple in our home and we have TONS of books. I think my favorite part was the food that was based off a book. You can see in the pictures we had a variety of food and we displayed the book that was used for inspiration. I’ll list below the list of books and the food associated with it. We used board books as center pieces and my mother put together a candy bar for the favor table. Unfortunately, this party did not have very many guest and I think there was only one maybe two kids that showed up.

Food List:
Milk and Cheese Book – Cheese and Cracker Tray
The Cat in the Hat – Cheese and Grape Tomatoes Skewers
Green Eggs and Ham – Deviled Eggs with green filling and ham sandwiches
The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Fruit Tray
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish – Fish crackers in a fish bowl
Hop on Pop – Popcorn
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs – Meatballs
Hola Jalapeno – Chips and Salsa
Little People Let’s Go To The Farm – Veggie Tray
Little Blue Truck – Wheel Mac and Cheese
Mac and Cheese, Hot Dogs and Peas – Hotdogs

My mother used cardboards to make the fruit from The Very Hungry Caterpillar book to have a tossing game for the kids. She also put together a candy bar as favors.

I created a puppet stage for the party and we still have it today.

The cake table had multiple books used to display the cupcakes and we used a cake stand for the Wegman’s cake.

I made the birthday banner by using pages from an old book. I cut out the letters on the Cricut using pages from a book and glued together multiple pages for the back of the banner.

This was my favorite theme I have put together over the last five years.

Birthday Party (Mini Series 1 – Music Party)

Welcome to the first post of the birthday party series I am putting together. I love throwing my kids a party. The thing I failed to think about when I had my kids was having them all in the summer months means having separate parties would be harder due to family members being located in multiple locations. Reality is they can’t come up each month for a new party so we have to combine the parties. You will see once we added to our family we started to combine the parties and each kid got their own theme. A new post will be added every Saturday to share all the kids parties.

Our oldest son first birthday party was the biggest party we threw. I worked at a church and he attended daycare. We had over 75 people come to his party and he of course has no memory of the party. He loved music as a young child – he would often play with the musical instruments at school so we threw him a musical instrument themed party. I used the colors from a toy xylophone which is what you see on the tables. We used multiple kids instruments as the center pieces for the table.

I created a first year banner but unfortunately I do not have a picture of the banner. I asked my MIL to created the Happy Birthday banner, it was pretty simple crossed the board. We had a large sheet cake and my MIL made the smash cake which she does for all the kids first birthday.

He was not a fan of his hands being dirty and he was crying because no one would take the chocolate frosting off his finger. We ended up giving him a fork to eat it. I did not expect that reaction for his first taste of sugar.
(Disclaimer he does not have a sensory issue – he is five now and gets messy with no problem)

Homemade Blocks

The pictures aren’t the best quality due to the age of the photos but when I worked at a daycare we would make these homemade blocks in the toddlers room. My favorite was the blocks we would send home with the parents for them to add pictures of their family. This was helpful for the younger kids because they were able to have a picture of their family and often we would find the kids carry around their block. The downsize is they would get upset if another child had their block. I have made blocks for my kids over the years but I don’t have any pictures of those blocks. These were made when I used to babysit.

Items needed:
Paper
(newspaper, recycle paper, sale ads, etc…)
Empty boxes
(cereal, pasta, amazon boxes, etc…)
Tape and Packing Tape
Brown Wrapping paper
(Dollar Tree)
Pictures
(print out, magazine, sale ads, etc…)
Glue Sticks

I stuffed the boxes with the papers to help keep them from being crushed if a child stepped on them. Just be mindful how full you fill them because if they are overstuffed it’s hard for them to stack the blocks.

I taped the box closed and use regular tape to wrap the box with the brown paper. Once I added the pictures I would use the packing tape to cover the whole box. This prevents the children from taking off the pictures and wrapping paper. I found a lot of free print outs and added them to the box. When I used to baby sit another child I made a box with all their favorite things. They enjoyed looking at the different items on the block. I would make family blocks using a variety of family pictures including extended family.

30th Birthday Party

I love throwing parties for the people in my life and I asked the people in my life to throw my 30th birthday party because I felt it wasn’t to much to ask since I have done so many for other people. Now I don’t say this in a negative way but I realized the closer it got to my birthday that it was not going to happen unless I did it myself. I put together this party pretty quickly.

When my best friend got married she discovered it would be cheaper for her to buy the table cloths then it would be to rent them. I ended up buying them from her which is why I had the cream color cloths. I ended up donating them after multiple moves but throwing parties was not happening as often and I needed to downsize. As I look over the pictures because it’s been 6 years since I had this party I laugh to myself because I was never a gold fan but I have learned to like it over the years.

I sprayed painted a bunch of clothes pins which I think I had leftover from my best friend wedding. I put together a photo wall and the blue frames I used for my jewelry later on. During this time of my life I held on to everything from all the parties I put together so it was easy to put this together at the last minute. I sprayed painted a few frames I got from the local thrift store and got silverware, napkins, and plates that went along with the color theme. The center pieces was pictures of me over the years. I love pictures and I put together a photo board. I tired to do what I would do for other people but knowing me I would have done a lot more if I had time.

I even made homemade cookies and added them to gold tins. I gave them as favors because I like providing favors for parties. I don’t remember what I made but I also made the food for the party. I am pretty sure it was everything I loved like stuffed mushrooms and homemade Mac and cheese. I hope one day I’ll be back in a place where I can throw parties like these again and have more people then I have had over the years.

The one thing I did not have to do was the cake which this was the party that introduce me to Wegman cakes and that is when I stopped making cakes. I also asked for an ice cream cake made out of lactose free ice cream. My best friend was the one who stepped up because I shared with her how I felt about no one stepping up to throw my party. She started to help towards the end and I think the only reason why I had anything outside of what I did was because of her. I did not originally ask her to do the party I asked two other people who I learned quickly was not comfortable with planning a party. Instead of coming out and telling me, they waited until I took over. The thing was I gave them a year to plan it and kept reminding them but it worked out in the end. If I had to do it over I would have been more sensitive to the fact that throwing parties isn’t everyone cup of tea and I should have asked other people who I know would have enjoyed it. Even though I did tell them that if they wasn’t sure what to do to ask other people to help.

30th Birthday Party – Video Games

When my husband turned 30 I threw him a surprise birthday party. I had so much fun putting together this party. Throughout his life he played multiple video games. If you are familiar with video games you may recognize a few of the decorations.

Video Games Decorations:
Mario
Zelda
Fallout
Portal
Minecraft

Fuse Beads Designs:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Destiny
Chrono Trigger
MegaMan
Link
Final Fantasy

When my husband was in his finally phase for OCS (officer school for the Army) I was home for two weeks waiting for the semester to start. I also ended up out of commission due to a tooth infection so I sat on the couch working on the fuse beads. This of course was before we got pregnant with our first child. I planned to add magnets to the back so we could use them on the fridge but I never did that. I am not even sure if we have them at this point – they may be in a keepsake box or I got rid of them.

Decorations:
I created the achievements signs using the idea of the old Xbox design – this was done about five years ago. I think this design was my favorite thing for his party. I used the Cricut to cut out the shapes, the trophy, and the letters. I glued it onto a poster board and cut it out. I used yard sale sticks from Walmart to display them over the yard.

I used the Cricut to make the hearts for one of the banners. I did not have a template but just measured out the squares and cut them out on the Cricut. I had to glue it all together – this took a good amount of time.

I used white balloons to create the ghost from Mario and I hung purple streamers on the sliding door to create a Nether Portal. I printed out the Xbox logo and added it to the bins that held cups, plates, and silverware.

Food:
I planned all the food to go with the theme:
Fire Flower: Veggie Tray
Piranha Plants: Fruit Sticks
Mana and Health Juice: Kool-Aid Drinks
Fallout Deviled Eggs: Deviled Eggs
Halo: Reach Hamburger: Hamburgers
Skyrim Chicken: Chicken Breast
Ravager Dogs (WOW): Hot Dogs
Portal Cake: Chocolate Cake

My favorite food item I got was the cake. I picked up a store brought cake and added items to make it look like the cake from Portal. I added the chocolate shaving, the whip cream, and the cherries. I’m pretty sure we had ice cream but I don’t think I had a clever name so there is no picture.

I LOVE putting together a themed party and I have done it a lot over the years. I will post other parties over time but this was a lot of fun putting together.

What was your favorite birthday party?
Have you had a favorite themed party?
What kind of parties did you have as a child?
As an adult what kind of birthday party would you throw if you could?

Counting with Apples

One of the benefits of being home with my kids I get to do activities like these with the kids. My favorite part was that my oldest helped lay down the apples for his siblings. I put together a chart and I found my third born looking at the apple pictures on multiple occasions. Even the second born liked looking at the numbers and pictures.

The kids LOVE apples but I learn they do not like just any apples – Gala is their choice of apples. There are so many activities you can do with apples. Counting, stacking, size compares, taste, and where we can get apples are a just a few ideas.

What activities have you you done with apples?

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