okay, so the bean's birthday party. as i mentioned before, this year's bash was going to be slightly different in that we didn't host it at the house like we usually do. she's finally gotten old enough to where she gets to choose what kind of party she has, and who she gets to invite. and after changing her mind a couple of times, she decided she wanted to go to the new-ish jumpy bounce house birthday party factory about five minutes away from home:
i definitely had a little trouble letting go of my crazy pinterest-y tendencies, but after giving it a little time to sink in, i realized that there were lots of awesome pros to consider:
- no intense deep-clean of every square inch of the house - both before and after the party
- much lower cost than a party at home
- a mere 2.5 hours from beginning to end
all it took was a few clicks on their website and we were all set. about a week before the big day, they called to confirm the details, offer extras like balloons and glow sticks, and finalize the menu. all we had to do was show up with whatever we wanted to use as decorations, hand it over to the party coordinator, and have fun. WUT. hell yeah!
on the morning of the party, the teen and i got up for a 7am barre class and got our sweat on. we stopped for a little sustenance on the way home:
the only thing i needed to accomplish that morning was to make the frosting and ice the cupcakes and get us all showered and out the door by 11:30. as we lounged around, enjoying our coffee and watching the bean scurry around in crazed anticipation, i marveled at how lovely it was not to be freaking out on party day. normally, i'd have gone to bed around 3am, gotten up at 6, and spent most of the day running around like a chicken with my head cut off. it was pretty amazing.
finally, it was time to go.
the birthday girl was beyond excited.
also, i was pretty excited to see how cute her hair bow looked in action.
the kids started trickling in one by one, although by the time the safety video was turned on for them to watch, there were still far less than the 30-ish we were expecting.
then it was time to enter the first of three fun rooms. i don't know who had more fun here, the bean or her sister.
i measured the success of the party based on the number of shoes on the rack.
half an hour later, the party moved on to room number two - the glow-in-the-dark room. it was hard to get pictures because of the darkness, but glow sticks and free video games were big winners here.
the last room was sports-themed. one of the jumpers had a pair of giant blow-up boxing gloves inside, and the teen surprised me when she hopped in and let a bunch of kids beat the shit out of her with them.
i didn't spend a ton of time in that last one, because i snuck out to see how things were going in the party room. i was pleasantly surprised when i walked in and found that damn near everything had been laid out exactly as i wanted.
even my cupcake stand had been fully assembled and loaded with my admittedly very non-professionally made treats. also, lilcee had come bearing gifts from my friend at dots cupcakes. we had a couple of dozen assorted minis, plus a crazy-looking candle that we never did get a chance to light.
just as we were finishing up the last few details, the party really got going as everyone left the jumpy room and headed in for some grub.
i love my friends.
our party coordinator was a rock star. he not only did all the decorating, but took care of serving all the kids slices of pizza. "who wants cheese? raise your hand!" he said, and they followed his instructions happily.
i could see how tired she was from all that jumping and excitement of being surrounded by 33 of her closest friends, but that didn't keep her from being one majorly happy camper during every moment of this celebration.
cake time! each cupcake had a cute my little pony ring on it, but hers was extra special:
she looked equal parts embarrassed and ecstatic as the lights went off and the whole room sang the birthday song to her.
she loves her BFF mini cee.
and thanks to lilcee, we managed to get at least one good family photo.
more of her sweet little friends.
after the cupcakes were all gone and the goody bags had been distributed, the guests began to head out one by one. i loved how polite the kids all were as they came up to us to say thank you before they left. there's hope for our future after all, heh.
amazingly, as the last guest waved goodbye and disappeared out the door, the clean-up was all done.
we got her to pose in the special birthday throne before we left.
also, i was totally eyeing this awesome-looking gift box amongst the giant pile of presents.
i helped the hub load the loot into the back of the car while the bean, mini cee and mini DG checked out the goods in the vending machines (really, kids?? sheesh).
back at home, it was kind of like reading that old "where's waldo?" book.
so much generosity from all of her friends. it was pretty awesome and overwhelming. the aftermath:
as the teen packed up the trash to take out, i [rather unsuccessfully] attempted to save something from the recycle bin.
after oohing and aahing over this incredibly soft, squishy blanket she'd just opened, she curled up into it and promptly passed out. for several hours.
talk about a sign of a successful party, yeah?