Thursday, March 12, 2009

Over the Rainbow

I should probably be taking a nap. I'm all done with the nasty cold Mam gave me, but daylight savings just knocks the wind out of my sails. It's like I need a whole vacation to catch up...a whole Hawai'i vacation, I think. But I'm not taking a nap. I've still got that blog post about Mam's party begging to be written. Because what if I forget that I was once a cool mom who stressed for weeks about how to make her daughter's rainbow party a rip-roaring success? That would be a pity, wouldn't it? So, without further adieu...

I'm still not one to go plunk down the money for the simplicity of Pump It Up or a party at the gym. There are no ponies, no face painting (although I'd be open to do that if I did the painting myself), not even a bouncy house. It's not that I save so much money by doing things at home. I guess it's just that I'm a really old fashioned kind of girl. I like old fashioned kinds of parties. So far, the kids - neither the birthday girl/boy or guests - have complained.

This year, I made a few changes. I'm not great at coming up with kid activities. It takes me a lot of thought to come up with things I find acceptable. I search the web, but I rarely find anything I like. So, this year, I scheduled Mam's party for a mere 90 minutes, knowing that I'd run out of things to do last year. Turns out, that's a pretty perfect amount of time to have a dozen little kids in your house.

If you've read the previous post, you've already seen the rainbow cake. As you might suspect, much of my party-organizing energy went into that. Fortunately, I had other ideas and terrific helpers in Daddy and Aunt Karen.

First, Aunt Karen and I went to work creating a chandelier in the dining room that appeared to have rain falling from it. I used a bunch of crystal prisms I'd ordered as party favors for the kids. Then I strung up some wads of batting as clouds. It ended up looking pretty cool!I'd found a sky blue tablecloth, which was already liberally stained, so I didn't worry about the kids using it at all! And I had plates in all the colors of the rainbow and Daddy graciously strung a whole rainbow of streamers across the ceiling for a cute little cake ceremony set-up.I scheduled the party for 11:30. That means I needed to provide lunch, but I figure if the kids have to eat that's at least one or two activities I don't have to think up. Food is easier.

As the kids arrived, each one got a sparkly green "leprechaun hat". I had them paint using colored ice cubs on white construction paper. I think that was frustrating for some of them since there wasn't a lot of color, but the effect was actually really nice. They also made rainbow necklaces out of Froot Loops while waiting for the other guests to show up.All told, there were 10 guests coming to the party, not counting SPENCER! or Smunch, who was scheduled to leave for baseball practice anyway. It was really sort of a challenge to keep them all in one or two rooms. In fact, one guest made it all the way to the back of the house, where he sat playing happily by himself or with Scott for the majority of the party.

Next was lunch. I made a collection of PBJ, cheese and ham and cheese sandwiches with both white and wheat bread. Birthdays are the only time my kids ever see white bread in the house, so it's a fun treat for them. I also served the rainbow-colored Goldfish crackers and fruit kabobs, neatly arranged by Aunt Karen in the colors of the rainbow, with "gold" underneath. The kids loved these. And we scooped up finished skewers as fast as we could, before they became weapons. Mam invited a few boys, after all.After lunch, the kids played a rousing game of Pin-the-Cloud-on-the-Rainbow, which was fun and took up a lot of time. Can you tell I like to keep them busy?Then I told them all a little story about the leprechaun that had stolen the gold from the end of one of those rainbows we saw in the sky last week and he ran right through our yard, dropping pieces of gold as he went. Oh gosh, how they were itching to get out the door. I couldn't give them bags fast enough! It was so nice to have them all run around in the sunshine for a little bit! Of course, sunshine also meant that the chocolate coins Grandpa had tossed around the yard were getting pretty melty. There was more than one chocolately little face out there! At least there were some plastic coins too, but I suspect they weren't nearly as coveted.Fortunately, there was the promise of cake to get them all back inside. Funny how it's no problem at all to get their attention as long as you say "cake" loudly enough.Turns out, it was hard to cut small pieces of this particular cake, so there was a lot left on the plates. Either that, or all those colors really disturbed some of the children. Not sure. And I'm not sure that I'm offended if it did either. Anyone should be suspicious of rainbow-colored food!

The end of cake quickly brought the end of the party. The prisms were cut off and distributed to some really delighted little kids and each one got a little bucket of rainbow themed goodies to take home. I'm big on trying not to give kids "junk" that their parents wish wasn't in their house. Each one got a really good pinwheel, a pad of paper (not rainbow related, but cheap and useful, I figured), a rainbow pencil, a rainbow sticker, a paper fan (O.K., this was JUNK) and a mini fuse bead set along with the prism.All in all, I think Mam had a great party. She wasn't like Smunch who sweetly thanked us for his great day, but she did seem happy and the pile of presents didn't hurt either.

I'm done now. No more crazy birthdays for another year. I'm so over the rainbow! (Read that any way you like. They're all true!)


Cammi said...

OKAY - start a party planning business NOW. I'm in awe. Can I hire you every July? SERIOUSLY!

What a lucky little girl Mam is -- and all of her guests, too!

Anonymous said...

What a fun party! I LOVE the Rainbow Cabobs. I may have to duplicate that for the 17th. The 90 min. party sounds great. Our 5pm-noon was, as you can imagine, a little bit much. The rainbow chandileer was just as inspired as the cake. So very creative. I loved that you used the prisms as raindrops. HOW CREATIVE! It feels wrong being this far away from you and missing the kids birthdays. Maybe next year!

Christie said...

I so wish I had a yard and the room that you do so that I could do as nice a job on Kiersta's parties. We're having a gym party this year. We did do a Dora themed party a few years ago at our house that turned out REALLY well but was so much work. I'll tell you about it another time.

kawaii crafter said...

the cloud mobile is just genius. I'm bookmarking this for later use.