Monday, October 28, 2013

The Party Is Over!

Weeks of planning, preparing and pulling our hair out has finally come to an end! Woo Hoo!  We have pulled off one more successful birthday party for my grandson.  So now you know the reason I have not posted a whole lot this past week or so.  It's that last minute crunch that kills you.  Although my daughter did the majority of the planning, I pitched in where needed.  Which means food preparation, decorations, prizes, final game planning, baby watching, Invitation making, etc.  Ugh!

***Just a side note for all the moms and dads out there ..... there is a reason that invitations are sent out in advance with the words please reply ASAP.  That means we need to know who is coming to the dang party.  We need to know how many children are coming for many reasons such as:
1. To hire face painters and entertainers - they charge per child in many instances or charge extra per child over a certain limit. Some even bring extras for the kids attending and need a head count before they come.

2.  For things such as bounce houses where there is a limit on how many children can use it at one time.  We need to know whether to order the small, medium or large.  Price differences can vary $200 or more.

3.  The amount of food needed to feed the crowd.

4.  The # of gift and treat bags to make.  (My daughter goes over the top so the bags are expensive she doesn't want to spend more than she has to but doesn't want to leave anyone out either.)

5. The # of people she needs for adult supervision - we like to have at least 1 adult per every 3 children attending.

6.  The size of the space needed to throw the party.
So please when someone sends your child a birthday invitation just a short phone call or email if one is provided to you is all that is needed.  Even if your child isn't coming it would be nice to be able to cross them off the list so the party planners don't have to wonder if they may just show up out of the blue.

Also just for common courtesy, don't assume siblings, cousins, neighbors or best friends are invited just because your son or daughter is.  If you plan on staying at the party while your child attends, don't bring younger siblings and please don't expect them to be fed and given treat bags.  Usually they will have a bit of extra food for stray parents but it gets really costly!  We ended up having a couple last minute kids and one that brought their sister.  No parents stayed this year but last year half the parents decided to stay :( 

That being said there were 20 kids and it was a four hour party.   The theme was Carnival and my daughter planned 3 hours worth of games, one hour for eating, breaks & prizes. 

The kids had a blast .... we are all beat!  In all the excitement and preparation the one thing we forgot was a camera!!!!  Ugh!!!  Plus the fact that we were all so busy that no one had time to take pics anyway.  I was in charge of the food for the day.   All the kids were served their choice of food from a food cart that was wheeled up to their table.  There was also a huge menu board posted so they could decide what to order ahead of time.  What was on the menu?   Carnival food of course!

Corn Dogs

Hot Dogs

Pepperoni Pizza  

Cheese Pizza

French Fries

Corn On The Cob

Watermelon on a stick

Chocolate Dipped Watermelon On A Stick

Cheese Cubes
Juice & Water
The hot dogs & corn dogs were all wrapped in checkerboard wraps and the fries were served in actual fry boxes to make it look like authentic carnival food.

Upon arrival the kids received a bag with their name on it with some tickets inside.   They were then whisked off to a guessing booth with 5 huge jars of different types of candy where they put down their name and took a chance guessing how many candies were in the jar.  They received tickets for their guesses and the closest guess got the jar of candy put in their prize bags.   From there they were off to the sucker pull table where they pulled suckers from a decorated Styrofoam block.  The bottom of the sucker sticks were colored and each color corresponded to a certain number of tickets they could win.  After that they were seated and and the "waiters" took their orders and served them their lunch.  After lunch is when the real fun started and they played a ton of games.  Everything from balloon pop to ring toss.  We had a drink break, more games, then another break for birthday cupcakes.

Ours was made with cupcakes but looked exactly like this

Followed by more games, music and dancing break. There was also a pie toss booth where they could choose to throw a whip cream pie at my grandson's mom or dad - it was a huge hit! Some time to unwrap presents and then at the end of the party they took their tickets and hit the prize table where they could purchase prizes with the ticket they won.  As the parents arrived to pick up their kids they were handed a goodie bag.  In the goodie bag were more carnival treats:

Caramel Apples

Giant Elephant Ears

Sweet Pretzels
Giant bags of cotton candy

A popcorn bag filled with multicolored caramel corn

Party favor box filled with candy

 Whew!  Clean up took about two hours and we all pretty much collapsed when we got home.  Sunday was spent cleaning up the mess we made at home doing all those last minute things for the party the day before.   Today was spent trying to recuperate from all the excitement.   Let me tell you this grandma is still very stiff, sore and tired.  Thank goodness Christmas is still a couple months away!

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