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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Regular Person Throws a Party

You know those amazing blogs you see where the perfect mom throws a beautifully executed and tastefully decorated party for their little ones where all the adults are sitting back and relaxing while the children run happily around, out of everybody's way? Then everyone sits down to slice into the impeccable cake and partake in the fancy appetizers as the hostess pops the main dish (that she made from scratch) into the oven?

This was not that kind of party.

I wanted it to be. I tried my hardest. Apparently my best efforts can pull off only a marginally organized party, but everyone seemed to have fun, which, in my book, is a success.

We start, of course, with the invitations. Now, what should have happened is that I should have cut each one by hand and pasted little artsy things on them and delivered them with care about a month before the party. What actually happened was that I bought invitations about a week ahead of time, and could only give out half of them as the others wouldn't make their destinations in time. So I facebooked them. Classy. But, hey, it worked. Of course, I told half the people we were going to go to the pool but forgot to tell the other half, so not everyone was prepared and we kept the party in the house.

Then, ideally, I would have organized the day thoroughly, with intent. Games, chit chat, food, cake, and present opening would lead into each other seamlessly. What actually happened was me announcing that, oh, hey, we should do such and such, right now, and here's why. But at least everyone went along with it. Planning ahead of time? Not my forte.

I wanted to have those adorable pictures of themed everything, where the design is apparent and beautiful -- little goodies stashed here and there strategically, decorations and color patterns galore. This is as good as I got:

Not exactly a spread in a home magazine, but I was satisfied. And the food got eaten, which is always a plus.

I randomly decided that we should all eat cake first because the party started at 5 p.m. and I'm enviously aware that most toddlers go to bed at 7 or 8...not 10. Best to get the sugar in and out of their system, right? Everyone was on board. Here's my spectacular, amazing cake. Don't be too jealous.

That's the icing I posted about yesteday, and it was delicious. The cake, though, man, I really need to move on from boxed mixes, I'm telling you. The lettering? You love it, right? Well, here's the thing. I bought a tube of some crap for cake lettering. The tube did not come with the attachment that makes the letters. So I wrote the phrase directly from the tube. Very chic. I also bought ice cream that I forgot to bring out.

The babies tried blowing out their candles. Dulce blew hers out too soon, and Natalina was appalled.

Since I didn't have any games or anything planned (these are two and three year olds...I was at a loss for what games they'd want to play. I'm not particularly creative. I did, however, blow up twenty balloons (as my only decorations) and hoped the babies would bat them around. They did.) and not everyone brought their suits because I didn't tell them to, I moved right on to opening presents. I figured there'd be some good stuff in there to play with.

I had envisioned a calm, poetic, slow opening process where the kids would untape their wrapped gifts, ooh and ahh over them, and hold them up for the camera while I folded the paper and put it gently away, writing the names and gifts down on a little pad for later.

The babies ripped through that stuff so fast I barely had time to grab a pen and the house soon looked like this:

After a half-hearted swipe of a clean up, I needed a break. I, the shining, poised hostess in my mind, looked more like this in reality: (photo courtesy of Dulce).

Hot, tired and in desperate need of more wine.

Finally, the pizza arrived. Yes, I decided that I would not have the time nor the brainpower to pull off a meal for my lovely guests. Domino's? You bet your ass. Come to my party, everyone, I'll feed your kids sugar and the worst pizza known to man. It will be a blast!  Why isn't Good Housekeeping calling me for an interview, yet?

After the super-healthy meal, most of our guests left, but the remainder came outside with us and we all played bubbles. It was hard to see them go.

In fact, the babies teetered on the cliff of full-blown tantrum until we reminded them of their toys. These $1 microphones were their favorite present, I think. Oh, kids.

They helped their dad set up these shoddy tricycles that I bought (that we've since returned for better ones.)

All while I battled this monster:

Then we shoved everyone into bed and called it a day...well, almost. Dulce got one more fingerful of frosting, crafty fox.

So, was it the beautifully stylized, impeccably organized, homemade and crafted, perfectly executed party that you would expect from a mommy blogger? No. But everyone had a good time, and that's good enough for me. Maybe I'll do better next year...


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  1. Remember the blog you wrote about perfect lives in perfect pictures and how nobody photographs the stuff they don't want seen? Yeah. That.

    You threw a lovely party, since I assume this is your first big deal party for the girls. It looks like the real version of most 3 year old parties I've been to. I can throw a great kid party now, sure. I've had 15 years as a mom to get the hang of it. Brittany's first birthday included hot dogs on regular bread.

  2. excellent. as long as no one died, you are doing great! Happy birthday to the girls!

  3. I used to have visions like that once too. But I always make the kids' cakes and one year, I used a Tinkerbell cake mold and frosted it to look like Tinkerbell, except that once I'd put on the first layer of frosting, you couldn't see the tiny raised parts where the eyes were, so her eyes ended up all crooked and weird. Serious hairy eyeball from Tinkerbell. BUT! The kids loved the Tinkerbell cake and the grown ups and I had a good laugh over the creepy fairy, and everything worked out fine. (On top of that, one kind of prissy perfectionist mom who DOES do things according to the magazine "perfect vision" told me her daughters don't like cake. Both girls scarfed the Tinkerbell cake and asked for more. Perfect Mom admitted that it must be the bakery cakes that her girls didn't like, and that maybe she'd try to make a box mix sometime. I felt better about how ugly the cake looked after that!).


    My sister had a pink and yellow one and handed it down to me. I still have it somewhere. Oh my god.



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