My poor Karissa has waited SO long to have her very own birthday party! She usually just gets the family barbecue for the 4th, a cake with candles and basically no input into her party. Not that a 1, 2 or 3 year old can or should have much input – but compared to some of Kealey’s shindigs, she was feeling a little left out. So we decided to make it a GREAT birthday party for her this year. I have no idea where most of the ideas started coming from – certainly not from my own great imagination which has taken a long vacation. But anyways – here are some of the party highlights.
We started out with some face painting as the princesses and pirates arrived. Oh I should back up – and state that ben and I were running around ALL MORNING with poor kaylen trying to tie up last minute details, like getting the sand for the treasure hunt, making up clues,cleaning up the basement in case the storms didn’t let up we woke up to that morning, getting the pirate costume, etc etc etc. Who, me? Procrastinate???……………………
Anyways. So we’re already exhausted by the time the party starts. We blew up balloons and hung plastic tablecloths in the doorway to make it seem “castle-ish” – even the neighbors got involved in helping with the decorating. I guess something about a 5 month pregnant woman on the top of a ladder precariously hanging over the edge of the porch does something to spur on chivalry. That and me trying to nail something into the mdf soffit board which was NOT going to accept a nail…I dunno. It was interesting. Anyways, it got hung up, and the look on karissa’s face when my parents brought her and Kealey home from the fishing derby was PRICELESS. She was SO excited to have her own party, and all this decorating was just for HER.
She was of course also enthralled with getting to wear her sister’s fancy Easter dress as her princess ball gown. So all the little princesses and pirates arrive, we paint faces and then its time to come inside for the princess and pirate story. i had originally intended to have this all written out, with the plot line actually matching the clues i had to make up for Pirate Ben to “drop” when he stole the treasure. I only had time for the clues. For which I had to take pictures of everything and print them and then number them so Ben didn’t get confused. I still have NO IDEA how I got everything done that morning. Anyways, the kids all sit down for the “story”. Which i made up TOTALLY as i was talking. I am not even sure it made sense. It basically was something about Karissa getting to be crowned the Princess that day and making sure that no pirates ever stole the family treasure and some little rhyme about keeping pirates away. The point being that when we talked about seeing pirates, out Ben was supposed to jump, come steal the “treasure” Karissa was entrusted to guard, and go hide it (coming back every new activity we moved on to to give us a new clue/activity). this was a great plan in theory – until we got to the part where at least half of the kids were scared CRAPLESS by ben dressed up in pirate garb. He did sound pretty scary, and the all black menacing face complete with lots of black eyeliner (grrrr baby!) – all in all, I am sure it made for a more scary birthday figure than your typical clown. Great. So now I am responsible for warping the dreams of half the preschool group at church. Sorry!
So at the end, here is what the kids had done: facepainting, story, craft time of making their treasure boxes with foamy letters and stick on jewels to “treasure chest” boxes. They then took the treasure chest boxes outside for the pinata (and i mean the old skool whack it with a stick kind, none of this sissified pull on a ribbon and open a trap door stuff!) They stuffed their little boxes full of candy and then were directed (via a note found by Uncle Nate, who “beat up the pirate for us” so we could stop creating large therapy bills for the childrens’ parents), to come inside for cake and ice cream. After the sugar rush, they played freeze dance for about minutes while the final “treasure” was prepared. And would you believe it, of ALL the planning I did, when I asked Karissa what her favorite part of the party was, she says “FREEZE DANCE!!!” (the five minute interval of quick-entertain-the-kids-randomly-to-fill-the-time-gap….) Awesome.
and then it was time to find the real treasure.
We had borrowed a neighbors wading pool, filled it with all the “treasure” (trinkets from Oriental Trading like necklaces, rings, bubbles, crayon boxes, bouncy balls, nail polishes, etc.), and poured sand over the whole thing. Each child got a bucket and shovel and was told to go at it. Some got the concept of actually just taking the treasure out of the sand and putting it into the bucket, others just filled their buckets with sand. It was in the garage and luckily remained pretty contained. I think for the most part the kids had a lot of fun doing this…apparently not as much fun as they had doing freeze dance, but hey, you live and learn.
After this we opened gifts and then parents started showing up to collect their kids. We had scheduled it for right at two hours, because I think four year olds are in that total in between time of “do the parents stay? do they leave?” – there is no real etiquette for it, but I wanted the moms and dads to be able to feel like two hours wasn’t TOO long to leave them, or to have to endure the craziness of a four year old’s birthday party. i do’nt know, what did you think those of you who were there? Too long? Stay or don’t stay? I never understand the rules for myself at other people’s parties. I digress.
All in all, I’d say she had a blast! Big sister Kealey did a GREAT job of just letting this be Karissa’s party, I was very proud of her. Although maybe having a couple of her own friends there helped with that…
Either way – it was a great day, a fun party – perfect for a princess.
Ben – you made a GREAT pirate. It was a birthday she will surely remember for the rest of her life. i couldn’t have pulled it all off without you!
Hope you all survived that horrible revisit to the pirate day.