oh, and you could totally turn this post into a drinking game - because i use the word "rainbow" a LOT.
with the teen's help, i was able to put together a lovely no-helium balloon arch:
and these fun little mobiles had been ready for a couple of weeks.
pom pom balls in rainbow colors didn't take much more than a couple of DVR'd shows' worth of time.
a balloon wreath had been the first item of decor i'd worked on. i'd even had to visit the dreaded wal-mart to find the greening pins. alas, when we tried to hang it on the door, the weight of all those pins and balloons were too much for the styrofoam base and it fell out of the teen's hand, crashing to the floor and breaking into several pieces.
but i decided it was still usable and plopped the pieces onto the dessert table, which had already been dressed in the ruffly tableskirt i'd made. btw, that thing was a total pain in the ass. i'd hoped that double-stick tape would have held the crepe paper streamers i'd ruffled on my sewing machine, but of course it didn't do the job. i ended up having to carefully sew them onto the plastic tablecover, which kept tearing as the needle pierced it. i managed to sew two layers of each color before i finally gave up and decided it didn't have to be long enough to touch the floor.
marshmallow pops were easy to make with the help of a little water, some lollipop sticks and colorful sanding sugar.
the pretzel sticks were hand-dipped one by one into chocolate and then rolled in rainbow sprinkles.
thanks to pinterest (of course), i had to make rainbow rice krispy treats.
MIL helped the teen separate my giant bags of m&ms and skittles by color. taste the rainbow, suckas!
it looked so pretty when it was finally all done.
the rainbow layer cake is all over the internet and was the very first thing i thought of when the bean said "mommy, can i have a rainbow birthday party?" my version used a simple white cake recipe and my first-ever attempt at seven-minute frosting. the mini bunting strewn across with skewers was also swiped from some unsuspecting rainbow party blogger.
the next morning, the hub and FIL got the awning up in the back yard and set up the tables and chairs. i found the perfect spot to hang my balloon arch, with MIL's help.
she and rock-ell did a lovely job manning the face-painting station.
we also had an easy craft set up for the kids - making rainbow necklaces with yarn and froot loops.
the kids had fun goody bags, too:
for the handful of wee ones in attendance, we also had some special bags that contained baby-friendly things like a board book, a teether, and baby food.
the cotton candy machine was a hit, although we only had time to fire it up once. by then, i think the kids had all had so much sugar that their parents are probably just waiting for the chance to get me back.
hell, i didn't even get the chance to bust out some funnel cake and deep-fried oreos. i was sad, but that's okay. the hub had already admonished me for the "diabetic convention" i was hosting. lilcee had even lent me her mini deep-fryer for the occasion! oh, well.
the bean was pretty excited (and a little bashful) when it was cake and birthday song time.
i was totally stoked when i sliced into it and was able to dish up some awesome looking chunks of cake. even more so when reports came back that it was as yummy as it was pretty. white cake from scratch is always a little tricky - so often it comes out dry or tasteless, but after everyone had been served and i sat down to try it myself, i was really pleased to see that folks weren't just saying it to be nice. the billowy, fluffy frosting was the perfect complement to the cake - not too sweet, and really very tasty.
the party wound down as the kids finally ran out of steam from their sugar high and their weary parents started making their way out. the bean was thrilled to open a few gifts from the giant mound of generosity that had been piled onto a table inside.
we were happy to see cousin seven, who'd been stuck working all day, but arrived bearing gifts. we served her up a bacon burger, some of grandma's fabulous potato salad, and her very own slice of rainbow cake.
she actually had birthday gifts for me and the teen, too. so sweet!
she hung out for a while and was serenaded by the bean with one of the gifts she'd opened - a hello kitty karaoke microphone that plugs into an iPod (or, in this case, my iPhone).
t'was quite a wonderful day, and although i didn't get a whole lot of pictures from all the fun, i'm sure you can imagine that it was probably the best bean birthday bash yet. it just seems to get better and better.
but holy crap, what will we do NEXT year?