I had a lot of fun hosting Geneva's 4th birthday party in the backyard this year... but it was a lot of work. I tend to take on quite a bit.
Greg did a great job getting things off on the right foot by starting the party with Mimosa's for the grown-ups. He could sense that I needed one after our whirlwind "get ready!" sprint from 7:30 am to 10:30 am before the guests arrived.
The spread turned out as planned. The punch bowl above contains the "Bug Juice." Behind Greg is the "Ladybug Pizza." I love the flower-bug-swatters I found at the $1 store so much I made a bouquet out of them! Below are the "Ants on a Log" and PB&J's.
We hired Katie (our neighborhood babysitting extraordinaire) to do face-painting and help with the projects and games. Izzy is getting a butterfly and Amanda is waiting for a ladybug.
Below is Michele and Abby working on a Spider hat. The kids were not nearly as interested in making and wearing spider hats as I had hoped they might be. My visions of all 15 of them wearing their creepy hats for a photo faded quickly!
Once the kids decorated their "Bug Houses" they were ready to hunt some bugs. While we got "Squash That Bug" ready to play (complete with plastic bugs) they searched the garden for some real crawly things.
Here are a few of the munchkins waiting in line to "Pin the Spot on the Ladybug."
(Thank you to Scott for simplifying my game!)
My blindfold was a bit cumbersome, but we managed. In case you're wondering, it's the tie Geneva made for Daddy for Father's Day at preschool this year--I thought we would put it to use--at least this once! The imperfection of the blindfold worked out in the end; as I needed to keep hold of their little heads to help gently guide them to the naked ladybug.
Piper did a great job keeping up with the bigger kids all day!
Here is what my sweet girl looked like when we carried out her cupcake bouquet and sang "Happy Birthday" to her:
Thank you to Betsy for the fabulous tip on the gumdrop-stick stems! I used a floral brick in the tin and wooden skewers to mimic flower stems. I covered the brick with gummi worms when I was finished. Our bouquet had both cupcakes (dipped in sprinkles and stenciled with flower and bug shapes) and brownie bites (decorated to look like ladybugs).
The "Bee" cupcakes were my favorite!
We also served "Dirt."
I debated about doing her presents at the party or afterward. I decided in the end that her friends would enjoy watching her open the gifts they chose for her. It's easier to keep her on track these days too (now that my baby is 4!!!) so I thought we could get through it in a reasonable amount of time. She was very sweet about thanking everyone for their gifts. She doled out the hugs before she even opened the packages.
Auntie Jenn called me from Target when she was shopping for Geneva's present. I was able to describe the one item Geneva has coveted for months: this truly awful pink, glitter train case that I continue to deny her. When she unwrapped it she said, "Oh goodness! It's what I've always wanted!!!" Hysterical!
Piper and Chloe entertained themselves under Geneva's new ladybug umbrella (thank you Lulu--so cute!) while she worked through her pile of "loot."
Greg and I had this shirt made for her. She's been asking lately at soccer "practice" why she doesn't have "real" soccer clothes like some of the other kids. It was critical that her "real" soccer clothes had a number on the back.
The shorts I found at Old Navy in the boys section and the "real" soccer ball is from Izzy and Lachie. Do you think she thinks she's cool?
She rounded out her birthday celebration by taking her new bike for a spin. Please note the birthday outfit she put together for her party. Of course, during most of the party she also wore a huge set of pink butterfly wings that her Nana sent to her!
It really was a fun afternoon. I'm not sure if I'll want to take on another party like this next year or just rent out a "party place." We'll see...