Now that the field trips are over we get to focus on the twin birthdays of our girls. They were born five years and two days apart which means, that when combined with Mother’s Day and the end of the school year, May is always a busy busy month for us.
Previously we had been sharing their birthday parties and it has always gone over very well. This year for no real reason whatsoever we are splitting them. I don’t know how it came to be but it is how it is. So far as I can tell no one has hurt feelings over this and that’s a good thing. Hurt feelings suck.
Party (the First) -Animal
Animal was first up. She opted for a quieter, smaller gathering that while smaller, was in no way quieter than hosting hordes of
the undead children. You know how it is.
We decided to mimic Paint Nite for her birthday. We had 6 kids total, including Sweetums participation. We set them up at our table with their own canvas and provided oodles of brushes and paint for them to choose from.
We had also pre-printed some images they could trace onto their canvas with carbon paper if they wanted, or they could just exercise their own creativity and do whatever they chose.
I have to admit I was skeptical this would go off smoothly (kids are fucking mess makers. You know it’s true). However all the kids were clean and neat and efficient. Our biggest problem was with the one kid that did an abstract piece that did not require slower attention to detail. He was done faster than the rest and then began to wander….
That being our biggest issue I’m not complaining at all. We had fun watching them and they all got to create their own art piece that they can bring home instead of a bag of shitty party favors.
Speaking of cupcakes (I was didn’t you notice?). That was the second activity. Everyone got to decorate and then devour their own cupcake. A bit messier than the painting but over all it was pretty clean.
This was all followed by a rousing game of Headbanz. and some random acts of gymnastics (as usual). Then we sent all the sugared kids home.
Party (the Second) – Sweetums
Today we had Sweetums gathering. It was at once more involved and more relaxed than the Paint Night event we held for Animal. Hers was a party of three parts (Pat Rothfuss reference in there for you nerds).
The first was a jumper/bouncey house we rented. This is the second year we have done it and if anyone in the Albuquerque area needs a jumper I highly recommend Fun Time Jumpers. They are polite, efficient, affordable and they always end up spotting you some extra time. I paid for 6 hours today and got 8. That’s a lot of jumping.
The second was the kiddie pool. We put enough water in to wade through and threw 200 pennies in there. We told the kids to pick them up with their toes and they were theirs to keep. I thought they would get bored and move on but damn if those little misers wanted every penny! It was a hit all day and only all of them got super wet.
The third was a surprise hit with both the kids and the parents. It was our Treepod which we only recently received and started using.
Backstory: I found this on Kickstarter some time ago, like November-ish. I thought it was cool and promptly backed it without asking permission or telling anyone. It arrived this month, just in time to be a family/Mother’s Day/Birthday surprise. Everyone was thrilled. Lisa included.
So the kids were all over this thing. Climbing, swinging and bouncing. It’s rated for 500 lbs and they put it to the test. It held up with no wear or tear after having eight or nine kindergartners trying to tear it the fuck apart. Well done Treepod.
A couple of the parents were impressed to the point that they quizzed me on it and had already googled it while sitting there. Seriously it is good stuff. Great for kids and a few adults. Kids will have an easier time sleeping in it but I can certainly make it work and be comfortable.
There were of course the requisite birthday activities of cake (in this case Birthday cake Oreos disguised as cupcakes) and a piñata. Sweetums is such a gentle soul however that she didn’t want to hit her piñata, so everyone got to hold a string and pull open the bottom. In retrospect it’s similar to drawing and quartering, so perhaps she’s kind of evil?
All of that may seem like a lot (and it is) but it’s all in the set up. Snacks out on the table easy to grab and three major stations to play at. Once the items were in place were were able to relax and chat with other parents and let the kids just play, which in my opinion is what kids really need. Playtime. Yeah I bounced the piñata and yes we carried out a tray of cookies. Whew…time to catch my breath!
Two successful birthdays down. Now we can ease into summer and relax. You know with the swimming lessons and diving classes and a new job and a new truck and probably a couple pets.
Are you ready for summer? What are your plans and are you planning it in detail or trying to keep it loose?
Favorite birthday foods?