Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Art Party...

...also to be known as the party-that-mom-almost-ruined.

Saturday was Emerson’s 3rd birthday party. We did an art-theme because she is really into arts and crafts right now. After last year’s huge party at our house I knew that with a newborn I would want something simple where I could literally just show up. There is a place here in Fort Worth called Van Grow. It is a studio for kids and they do birthday parties. I looked into it over the summer and decided it would be perfect.

I booked the party and ordered the invitations in July. I wanted to get as much stuff done before Ashton arrived as possible. Van Grow takes care of most of the decorations, the craft activities and the party favors so all I had to do was bring food and balloons. Easy, right?

A week before the party I started to make notes for myself so I could make sure to have everything together. I kept waking in the middle of the night and remembering stuff to add to my checklist. The funny thing is that I was not remembering little stuff. It is MAJOR stuff, like “order cupcakes”. Oh my word, I started to freak myself out. I just knew that in my newborn-exhaustion fog, I was going to forget something huge. Like cupcakes.

As Saturday approached my checklist was getting more detailed in hopes that everything would be perfect. Friday night I picked up the cupcakes (to be SURE I had them) and Steve and I talked about the plan for the morning. I was going to leave the house at 9:15am to swing by and pick up balloons and Chick-fil-A breakfast minis. I wanted to get there at 10am to set up and get situated. I told Steve to get Emerson and Ashton there at 10:15 or so. I wanted Emy to be there before anyone else so that she could see everyone come in one at a time. She seems to do better in that situation than when walking into a crowded room and being overwhelmed.

Anyways, the plan was set and everything went fine. We were on schedule. Saturday morning at 10:02am I have all the supplies and am 2 minutes from the location when my cell rings. It is my friend Jennifer, whose daughter is Emy’s best friend. Here is how the conversation went down:

Jennifer, “Hey, is everything okay?”

Me, “Yeah, I think we have it covered. Thanks”

Jennifer, “Okay, well we are here, where are you guys?”

Me, “Oh, I will be there in just a second. The party is at 10:30- you guys are early.”

Jennifer, “No. The invitation and the lady that works here say that the party is at 10am.”

This is where panic sets in. My heart is racing. My mind is searching…Yes, that is correct, the party is from 10-11:30- WHAT WAS I THINKING? Expletives are running through my brain. Jen can sense the panic…

Jennifer, “Don’t worry. No one else is here yet.”

Me, “Okay, I will be there in a sec.”

I furiously call Steve. In an almost scream, “Get over here immediately. The party started at 10am, not 10:30. She can’t miss her own party! HURRY!”

At this point I am pulling into the parking lot and Jen and the host come running out to help me unload and set up the few things I have. Luckily, only a couple families were on time to see this frantic mess. Of course, since I tell everyone everything about me, I couldn’t keep it to myself and let everyone think the party was perfect. Nope, everyone knew the story and thinks I am crazy- including my husband and mother-in-law. Whatever. Try planning a birthday party on 7 weeks of no sleep.

Emerson showed up at 10:30 (I think) and walked into the craft room with all her friends already there. It was more like a surprise party than anything. Surprisingly, she did really well and was not shy at all. She really did have a blast.




Painting hands and making handprints

Concentrating on getting the hand totally covered with paint

Annie and Izzy



Getting some coloring advice from daddy

Perfecting circles

The distracted artist. Coloring while she is watching something else. She does this a lot.
Working with grandad


Coloring with Reese

Bo working on beads (check out his cute TCU football jersey- Ashton will need one of those!)

Making a puppet with daddy

Ashton got lots of snuggles

More snuggles
She loved us singing Happy Birthday to her. With as shy as she is, she really loved being the center of attention on her day.

Chowing down
I know this picture is blurry, but it totally depicts the present-opening frenzy that happened when we got home.

Other than that minor(!) issue, the party was perfect. There were stations for the kids to paint, make hats and crowns, make puppets, color and make bead necklaces. It was really quite precious. After the kids crafted for an hour or so, we sat down for cupcakes and snacks and then everyone went home for naps.
PS- I tried to get cute pictures of all the kids there but it just didn't happen. 3 year olds are hard to photograph. Not pictured- sweet Ethan. Sorry kiddo.



Unknown said...

What a great birthday party!

Amanda said...

Oh friend, bless your heart. I'm so glad everything worked out though. The pics are so fun!

When Jackson turned 3, Annabeth was only 2 weeks old. My parents saw my desperation and they basically threw a birthday party at their house for him and all I did was bring an ice cream cake. It was just family, but he loved it. My dad fried fish and my mom decorated everything with Thomas the Train. It was a far cry from every other birthday party we've done. I'm already wracking my brain on how we can do a combined party for a 2 year old girl and a five year old boy in February.

Stephanie said...

we loved emerson's party! and i can't imagine why ethan might have been hard to photograph. could it be because his most beloved activity was looking under the table for dropped beads??? :) the life of a mom with a boy...

Kylie said...

You did great! Sorry about the moments of panic though!

Avery's birthday is in 1 month and then Hudson's 2 weeks later. I've always done their party together but having a hard time with a theme this year... it's coming so soon, I have an 8 week old and I have no clue what I'm doing... You did a whole lot better than me! I fear we're going to end up at Chuck E Cheese's :(...

Great party and great pictures!

Kari said...

Looks like they all had a blast and it turned out well. Emerson is such a pretty 3 year old!