The Birthday Party That Wasn't Supposed To Be

Lucas has had a birthday party every year of his life. I'm big on birthdays, and see it also as a bit of an anniversary that we survived another year of parenthood. But I'll be honest, I'm a little burnt out on them. Between the hand made brain lollipops and matching brain cake for the 6 YO science party and the 3 YO Alice in Wonderland tea party extravaganza, my party-sanity has been spent. Drained. Done. So I made a proclamation - 4 and 8 were NON-BIRTHDAY PARTY YEARS. 
It worked with Zoe. I just took her and her BFF to the American Girl store in LA for lunch. She got a doll and was thrilled. Easy peasy. But that is not the case with the boy. He's more like me than he knows... and he wanted to have a party. I gave him choices like Disneyland, a weekend in Palm Springs, a Laker game or even his own computer. Nope. He wanted a party. 
I started to look around. What is a cool party for 8 year old boys? We are at the drop off stage, which freaked me out last year at the Rugby park party when parents left their kids with us and some tacking dummies for 3 hours mid-day. So it has to be easy, secure, be able to have about 20 kids and not cost an arm and a leg. That leaves us with.... nothing. 
So I talked the kid into a smaller, "family" party at home. Our close family friends and their kids. We'll have dinner and the kids can play video games. Lucas wasn't really sold, but solemnly agreed. Yea. I was WORKED OVER by an (almost) 8 year old. He knows me. He's knows my style and how I roll. More importantly, he KNOWS that Mom doesn't do small, nothing parties. And he is so correct. 
This small party is now being dubbed "Club A.V.A.N.T."
We are transforming the dining room into a dance club complete with a DJ (friends of ours with a set up), strobe light and disco ball. Lucas has decided that he wants his friends to do a "rap off" and he even has an outfit change slated. The other day he asked if we could also get a taco truck and a chocolate fountain.
I told him that he's watching entirely too much Disney XD. 
Check back for post-mortem madness and pictures next week. 


Challenges: Sprinkles Cupcakes

So what better way to spend a night of your first week on Weight Watchers than attending a VIP Grand Opening party for Sprinkles Cupcakes. Veuve Clicquot and Red Velvet - enough goodness to test the willpower of even the most anorexic celebrity.

The event was amazing. Candace Nelson, CUPCAKE QUEEN OF THE WORLD, spent about 45 minutes with us, talking about everything from how she started her cupcake empire to how many cupcakes she eats a week. It was a fantastic evening. Check out the whole post, the video and the AMAZING cupcake GIVEAWAY over on The San Diego MOMfia site.


Zoe Alyce's Wonderland Tea Party

Last year after 35 kindergartners and the brain cake, I SWORE I would start to pull back on the birthday parties. I get too obsessed! I spend too much! Jason threatens to leave me! And then there is the age old thought of "why bother since the kids would be happy with 3 friends and cake..."But I like this stuff. And while two hours before the party it may not seem like any fun, whatsoever, for anyone involved - I love to throw a good party.

This one was down sized. I only invited 10 of Zoe's little girl friends over for an afternoon tea party. I felt HORRIBLE excluding MY friends with boys, but inviting the world is what gets me in trouble, so I apologized to my moms-of-boys friends and just invited girls (and a couple of older brothers for Lucas' sake). I ordered the invites through one of my favorite invitation designers, TomKat Studio, and then (if you can believe this) kinda put the party out of my mind. Until last week. When I promptly freaked out.

I had planned on using real china all along. I threw my good friends a tea party baby shower a few years ago and was excited to be able to use it all again. I had it in my head that I wanted to get a tiered serving dish, so I stopped by Home Goods and was blown away when I found actual Alice in Wonderland serving plates, cups, trivets, and a 2 tiered serving dish. I called my mom and my friend Maria from inside the store actually squealing over my find. But then my mind started racing... what else could I do to really make the party special?



Since I know that at this point most kids have been on a 7-day sugar high, I was going to stay away from doing a dessert/candy table. But I couldn't help myself. Beautiful Cupcake Love cupcakes, gum balls and candy buttons make every party happier. And with the edition of a Princess Cake from Sweet Lady Jane in LA (my mom's idea), the table pretty much set itself. 

While I'm sure the kids liked the dessert table the best (note the tiny holes in the frosting from tiny fingers sneaking a tiny taste) my favorite things are the details. The tables, the mantle, paper lanterns... the items that give it a true Wonderland feel.

Being that this was the first party in the new house, it was hard figuring out what what to put where. Since temperatures were in the 90's this past week, I had planned on an outdoor event. When the wind starting gusting around noon and the temperature dropped 15 degrees, I quickly make the executive decision to move the party inside... confusing us even more. Where do I put the bar for the moms? How do I set-up the tables? Where ARE those tablecloths?!



Having had a {crazy} boy first, I'm used to "boy parties." Running around, things getting knocked over, no hope of an organized craft or plan. But little girls are different. They will sit there and delight in drinking tea (Candy Cane non-caffinated from Trader Joe's) or sparkling lemonade out of proper china. They all dressed up in party or princess dresses and sat and drank their tea and ate their cookies with perfect manners. Thanks to Christina for a gift certificate that she couldn't use, we had Martha from Pinky's Big Top do face painting and balloon animals... she was wonderful and the kids LOVED it. 


While, yes, one can argue that I do my elaborate parties more for me than for the kid, I don't really see it that way. While Zoe may not remember the "drink me" tags or the little heart shaped topiaries, she will always have a special memory of her Wonderland tea party. And to me, that's what birthday parties are all about; Creating a perfect memory.

Happy 3rd birthday to my little pickle princess!