Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Adventures in Kid Party Planning

It's nearing the end of July, so of course Little Bro and Big Bro are hard at work planning their birthdays (which are at the end of October and the end of November, respectively). CLEARLY, neither apple fell far from the tree. The gonna-be-six-year-old initially requested a Karate Kid theme - "No, wait, Super Mario Brothers! No, wait!" - but then I reminded him of certain treasures stowed away in the No Man's Land that is our carriage house (fingers crossed, in an orange-and-black Rubbermaid tote - I really do try to color coordinate, but I also have a bad habit of shoving the remnants of the holiday I am packing down into the tote that I am unpacking, and Parnell has a bad habit of stowing them away without my knowledge, so next thing you know all of the chocolate and peanut butter are mixed, there are grinning goblins where the turkeys ought to be, the turkeys are hanging out in red-and-green totes meant for Santas, and so on). Said treasures were purchased on deep discount last November 1, and all are from Target's "Haunted Heraldry" collection. I figured that we are nearing a time where cutesy Halloween will elicit eye rolls, but a "haunted castle" theme might pass muster. (Think purple and red banner motifs, castle-textured surfaces, and skulls wearing crowns - but DON'T think Ed Hardy-ish skulls wearing Ed Hardy-ish crowns. If I wanted to throw my kids a d-bag themed party, I would totally take it in a "Jersey Shore" direction.)

So I snapped up a bunch of Haunted Heraldry stuff and made a mental note to suggest it to Parker as a possible birthday theme. (And, hey, I actually remembered the note, woo hoo!) On the one hand, I don't want to saddle him with a series of Halloween-themed shindigs simply because he was born just shy of the 31st, but on the other hand, could you possibly end up with a COOLER birthday holiday? I mean, come on. So I suggested a Harry Potter "Haunted Hogwarts" party - but PJ, being Wii-obsessed and having just finished his first stint at LEGO Camp, took it in a slightly different direction. So now I find myself tasked with planning a "LEGO-Harry-Potter-for-Wii-Haunted-Hogwarts" party. For those scoring at home, this will be my second or third LEGO venture, depending on if you count Connor's "LEGO-Star-Wars-for-Wii-AND-LEGO-Rock-Band-for-Wii" party as one or two themes.

Given the depth of my "LEGO-Whatever-for-Wii" experience, I think that I am up for the challenge. Initial idea board is below:

PJ requested that I order the invites shown (from Acorn Design Studio on Etsy), and that's fine with me - I have moved out of my "handmade-and-ridiculously-elaborate" invitation phase. Don't know where the petit four-ish cakes originated, but I'm thinking that they could be simplified with the addition of M&Ms on the tops. LEGO Head Marshmallow Pops from are AAAAAAAAAAAAAWESOME, and they look really easy. Pinata is from Birthday Express, and I think I may make party crackers to match using paper cones and clipped crepe paper. (My party cracker experience exceeds my "LEGO-Whatever-for-Wii" experience, encompassing chili peppers, bananas and Kryptonite rods. Why not add wizard hats to the list?)

Needless to say, Big Bro immediately started whining - he discovered LEGO first, also Wii, he's better at both, the new Harry Potter movie is coming out just before or after his actual birthday, etc., etc. I told him that I would be overjoyed to throw TWO thematically similar parties back to back, because nothing makes Mom happier than an opportunity to amortize random party supplies over multiple events. I probably shouldn't have been so enthusiastic, as he immediately said, "Yeah, never mind. I don't like the Harry Potter game that much. I'd rather plan MY party around MY favorite Wii game."

Oh. Dear. "Shaun-White-Snowboarding-World-Stage-for Wii" it is. The cake we've figured out - it's gotta be a halfpipe. Inspiration piece from ABC Cake Shop is below:

Mine will look NOTHING like this, of course, but whatever mess of a cake I do make definitely will involve a dusting of powdered sugar over white icing. Ingenious! Likely to cover up a multitude of cake-baking sins, of which, no doubt, I'll be making many.

Initially I was thinking snowboard-shaped party crackers, but if they are brown, you might mistake one for a certain herbal-filled - um, package - that one might hold in a particular sort of clip, if one were so inclined. And given that we are talking about snowboarders - yeah, that might be hitting too close to home. (I have a feeling that they didn't name it a "halfpipe" for nothing.) So, since I will be perfecting the cone-shaped party cracker for PJ's party, current plan is to make cones with green fringe, spray them with white flocking or some other substance resembling snow, and then make the table a snowboard run using white batting for the snow, with pine tree party crackers lining the course.

Wait - does that mean that I'm having an 11 year-old birthday party at my house? Drat. I swore no more "up 'til midnight" Wii parties. Oh, well. At least I will be expanding my party cracker repertoire. Ooh - I can make a Wii remote-shaped pinata! A gift box, some white crepe, DONE.

Yeah . . . I need to find a hobby. And I need to go to bed.

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