Sunday, March 21, 2010

Yo! Jack's Birthday Party Was Awesommme

I had SUCH a fun time planning Jack's birthday party. It was his first party with friends and I think he had a great time. Matt and I agreed that he probably didn't realize that the party was for him but he certainly had a good time being there.

Of course there are many things I would have done differently in hindsight, but I will just take them as lessons learned for next time. I thought I had all my bases covered because I did so much ahead of time but there were still last minute issues that caused me to still be setting up for the party when guests arrived. I think it was 5 minutes after the party started before I was done and I definitely didn't have things looking exactly as I had envisioned. The DVD player that we brought didn't work with the equipment at the site so my mom had to run to Target at the last minute to get another DVD player. That left me frazzled and with a "man down" on the set-up team. Without that extra set of hands, I just couldn't get everything done. Next time I plan to give myself an extra half hour to set up just in case we have technical difficulties like we did on Saturday.

Here are a ton of pictures from Saturday. I hope when Jack looks at these pictures when he is older he understands how much love was put into this party. We know he won't remember the event, most likely, but we hope he remembers the feeling he had when he was there.

Our theme was Yo Gabba Gabba since that is Jack's favorite show. But...I didn't want to go overboard with YGG stuff everywhere so I focused on the main colors from the show and then threw in the characters as accents. We sent each child a t-shirt with their invitation and they all wore them to the party. It was so fun to see all the little characters walking around.

My friend, Aaron, cut out all of the characters for us and my dad painted them and built stands for both inside and outside. I really appreciate all the work they put into these decorations. They really brought the party to life and the kids had a great time playing with them.

Here are the characters that were outside for everyone to see when they came into the party. This is Jack seeing them for the first time. We managed to hide everything from him for weeks while they were being built and painted. I think it is safe to say he loved them!

Here he is discovering his favorite character and running toward him at full speed.
...And tackling him, of course, like any boy in love tends to do.

My banner...that Matt hung for me...which is not at all how I envisioned it looking. I think we can safely say that his "man card" is totally safe because it is very clear that a man did this. I did appreciate his help, though, and luckily he doesn't read my blog so he won't even know that I the (ahem) great job he did. *cough*

The drink table. I didn't get pictures of it before people arrived so this is after a few kids picked their cups. We did the 6 colors of YGG for everything--the table cloths, the cups, the napkins, the plates, the favor bags and the balloons.

The view of the gift table as guests begin to arrive. We put the banner Aunt Debbie made on that table.

I didn't get a good picture of the food table but we carried the color theme with the food, too. The veggies were 5 of the 6 colors (no blue veggies) and the fruit was all 6 colors of YGG. We also had cheese, tortilla roll-ups and applesauce for the really little ones. The plates and napkins were multicolored to match the rest of the room. This table was really the most neglected due to the loss of one of my helpers. I had a better set up planned, with more decoration and a more interesting layout, but just didn't get to it before the party started.

Here is a view of most of the tables all together. One of the major drawbacks of the location was that we couldn't decorate the walls at all. I was disappointed that we couldn't do more with banners or painted scenes because it does look sort of bare, but the actual space of the room turned out to be perfect. It was just big enough for all of us and the kids could run around with no worries that they would hurt themselves or break anything in the room.

The other thing I wasn't able to do before guests arrived was place the candied marshmallows in coordinating color dishes as I had planned. I had m&ms that matched each color of the marshmallows that I intended to set up on the favor table but since I ran out of time, I just put them all in two dishes. The only way to see them is to click on the picture and look at the favor table. The good news is that they still tasted great and were a favorite treat for many of the kids--Jack included.

Speaking of favor are some of the things that were in them...

One of the segments of YGG has a story of gum balls. They sing the "Goodbye" song, which is about not throwing a fit when it is time to say goodbye because we will see our friends again soon. (love that lesson!) So we had color coordinated gum ball machines in the gift bags.

Here is the complete set of items in the gift bags. Matt made CDs with all the Gabba songs for the kids. We also had bags for the kids under 1 with more appropriate toys (read: less fun) for that age group.

Here are the cupcakes that I made on Friday. They are chocolate with a cream filling and a buttercream frosting (like a ding dong on crack). I'm always a fan of sweets so I am not a good judge of how they tasted. Matt, however, almost never eats sweets but he ate two of these cupcakes. I take that as a sign that they were yummy.
These are sugar cookies made to look like the Gabba characters. I LOVE the way they turned out. They are almost too cute to eat. Almost.
One of the other reasons I loved this location when we were planning the party was because it had a built in projection system that allowed us to play the YGG DVD for the kids. The music played on the speaker system and the kids watched the show and danced along to the music during the party.

I love this picture for several reasons. First, you see the girls sitting and watching the show while the boys run around in circles (which is why the picture is slightly blurry when you click on the enlarged version). Also, you see Addy in jeans and a sweater while her husband is wearing shorts and short sleeves. But best of all is the look on Barry's face as he watches Jack and Conrad chase each other around. I think he wishes that these boys could just sit every once in a while.

Here is Skyler hanging out with Brobie and Toodie. She looks so cute with her Plex t-shirt and black leggings.

This is Denali, Jack's future girlfriend. She is going to be 1 in 4 months, so clearly he is attracted to younger women. She is so adorable, so I don't blame him for being in love.

Jack and his DJ Lance Rock hat. He was dancing around the room--which might have something to do with the candy he was eating...we pretty much failed to keep an eye on how many sweets he was eating. Parenting Fail.

And now on to some of the inside decorations that my dad made for the room. Aaron also cut these characters out of wood for us. This time, he cut holes in the space where the faces were so the kids could stick there faces through. They loved doing that and I was able to get quite a few pictures of kids trying out the different characters.

Olivia as Foofa.
Annabelle as Muno
Alston, Conrad and Jack playing with the characters.

Conrad as Muno.

Kendel as Toodie

Avery obviously didn't have any fun at all. *wink*

Skyler got in on the fun, too.

Jack as Plex
And then as Brobie.

Avery as Foofa.

Even some of the adults got in the spirit. Liz and Kelly are always up for a good time!

Next up, we got a visit from a very special guest. DJ Lance Rock showed up to the party!!

Actually, it was more like DJ Poppa Rock, but we'll take it. My dad dressed in an orange spandex suit with nerd glasses and a fuzzy hat to entertain the kids. But more than that, he also led the group in a few Dancey Dances! It was so funny to watch.

Here he is doing the "Crazy Daisy" and you can see some of the kids dancing along.

It was so much fun to watch. Avery loved it and Jack's BFF, Conrad, was having a blast. Jack, however, was in total shock and didn't think it was very fun at all. He was scared to death and just wanted me to hold him the whole time.

I just couldn't keep holding him when it was time to do the "Puppet Master" dance. It's my favorite. :-)
My mom did a great job taking pictures for most of the party. Thanks for being the camera woman, mom!!

After DJ Poppa Rock led some dances he got everyone to sing Happy Birthday to Jack. My Big Brave Boy was still too scared to let me put him down. And when everyone was done singing Happy Birthday he thanked the group by giving them all the big stink eye. I wish we had a picture of that because it was so funny.

Of course, as soon as my dad was gone Jack started asking, "Where's Gabba? Where did Gabba go? What happened to Gabba?" And they say girls are finicky!

Next we had a game for the adults to play. I had scratch off lotto tickets (which I failed to get a picture of) that the adults scratched to see if they were the winner. Our winner, Marc, had to lead the group in a Dancey Dance. I have this picture of all of us doing his Dancey Dance but I don't have a picture of Marc leading us in it. bummer. Marc was a good sport for playing along.

Then it was time to eat some cupcakes!!

Conrad liked his cupcake so much that he put some in his nose for later. I love this messy face!

Avery posed with Kendel and Olivia, two of her favorite friends in the whole wide world.

And since we had all the kids in Gabba shirts, I thought it would be cute to get a group shot of everyone. Easier said than done when you are dealing with mostly 2 year olds (and younger!) so I thought I would share a few of the attempts to get the perfect picture.

The left side of the group was ready to go rather quickly so I thought I would take a picture of at least one side just in case...

...And then the right side started to come together a little more...except for Jack, who is nowhere to be found...
...and then we managed to throw Jack on Avery's lap at the last second, which served only to block Kendel from the picture. Also, there are kids on the other side of Emmie and Josalyn (far right) that I just couldn't get in because they couldn't scoot over close enough...
....and finally we start to lose them as kids start turning around and crawling out of the picture. We didn't get anything "perfect" but the shots we got make me laugh and I think they really capture the essence of the group. Bonus points for having criers! lol.

Matt had Avery cracking up while they were taking this picture. She thought it was funny that he would get behind a character since he was so much bigger than Muno.

We took a family picture just before it was time to leave.
Jack's facial expressions crack me up.

Here is a great shot of mom and dad. I appreciate all of their help before, during and after the party!
I have always said that mom and Aunt Debbie are a couple of characters.

My attempt at a family picture wearing our Gabba shirts because I know I will never get Matt to wear his again. Jack refused to be in the picture because he wanted to be reading a new Gabba book he got. Matt looks drunk but it's just an unfortunately timed blink.

This is what Jack was doing while we were trying to take a quick family picture before the UK game started. Of course, what we didn't realize at the time was that the UK game would not be on TV here because a Big 12 team was playing so our station broadcast that game instead. Matt had some choice words for our CBS station.

Jack didn't care which teams were playing because he was enjoying his new book. He was "reading" to himself in the chair.

Thanks to everyone who came to the party and a special thanks to those of you who helped pull this off. My friend Michelle made the shirts, Aaron made the wood cut outs, my dad painted 3 sets of Gabba characters (1 set outside and 2 for inside) and provided our entertainment, my Aunt helped make bean bags for the favors and she helped set up, and my mom helped set up the party and took most of the pictures.

Jack had a great time and I think our friends did, too. In my next post I plan to write about the gifts Jack received at the party. We have been playing playing playing with all the brand! new! toys! all day.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

Wow, that's just about all I can say, wow. What a beautiful job! Can I hire you to outsource the work for out next party!?!? There is no way you can top that.