Monday, September 26, 2011

Happy 4th “Seussical” Birthday

Finally….I am getting around to post the long awaited the 4th Birthday Party!

This year’s theme was “long” in the planning…down to every detail!  I was determined not to be caught at the last minute with a 1000 things to do…so I started early!  Very early!  And, it was so worth it…at times, it felt like the end of July would never get here, but I was definitely ready!

And a very special thanks goes out to everyone that made this day possible!  Thanks “Grannie Jo” for letting us use and abuse your house as we turned it upside down into a virtual “Seuss-land” and fill it with tons of little “Whos” and their parents!  Also, a big thanks goes out to her husband Manuel for helping with the party day set-up!  Thanks to Tommie for saving the day with the bags after the Oriental Trading flop!  Thanks to Luciane & Janek for hosting Amelia for 24 hours the week before the party so that I could construct the cake that all the bakers told me was impossible.  Thanks to Haydee Caskee Photography for photographing the day…I would have NO photos without her!  I literally took no pictures…there was no time for me to pick up my camera!  Here’s a link to her facebook page as well!!!  Thanks to Cookies and Cream Party Rentals for making sure that the Cat in the Hat himself was a special guest at the party!  A special thanks goes out to Little Darlings…a home-based children’s boutique, for providing us with Amelia’s adorable outfit!  I literally had tears the day this precious little number arrived on our doorstep!! The generosity of strangers is truly amazing and Little Darlings proved that there are still good people in this world!  More thanks go out to Cassie at Goldilocks Creations for the Thing 1 & Thing 2 shirts, to Christie of CJD-Custom Jewelry Designs for Amelia’s bracelet, to Marcella for lending me all her baking supplies because LORD knows I do not own those things myself, and to PurplePossom on Etsy for the CD Labels we used as part of the goody bag. And of course, I can’t leave out google!  Without google, the brainstorming would have been so much slower…there are a wealth of ideas out there if you look.  A lot of these ideas came from things already done by others…some of them where inspired by things I saw on other’s blogs…and some are truly my own…but I certainly can’t take credit for it all alone!!  A huge thanks to Chris for enduring the months of prep that took over our tiny condo, for his endless work with the box cutter, for his late night runs to JoAnn’s for cake ingredients and various cake dyes and other supplies, and for his equal passion for the themed parties.  I am forever grateful to every single one [and I am sure I missed someone…I’m sorry] of you for your love & support when you thought I was crazy, for your help when I really needed it, and for the generosity of everyone involved!

So here goes…

The morning of July 30th, Chris, Grandmomela, and I were out the door early to get Grannie Jo’s house turned into Seuss-land.  Chris sat in the back of the Pilot with the very important task of “Cake Protector!”  We made it to Grannie Jo’s house without any cake mishaps…and began the decorating make-over!

There were characters in the front yard….characters in the house…characters in the backyard!  Chris and Manuel staked character after character and Truffula Tree after Truffula Tree into the ground.  I hung banners and other décor, while Grandmomela set up the food tables, folded hats and covered boxes!

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I went home, showered, changed into party wear [yes, we had special party wear] and headed back to Grannie Jo’s to finish last minute decorations and get the food set up!  A huge thanks goes out to my friend Robyn for coming along with me to help.  And, boy oh boy was she a huge help!  Even after the party officially started, she kept the food platters full and the area nice and tidy!  The guests started arriving right on time…Bring on Seuss!

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The hat stand complete with props for the photo booth, Cat in the Hat hat with one of many books, hand-crafted centerpieces featuring characters from the many books by Dr. Seuss

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Hats for everyone!

We had a pinwheel craft for the little “Whos” to make when they first arrived!  This was Amelia’s choice…she really wanted pinwheels, so we ordered pinwheel kits from Oriental Trading! 

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Then, once everyone arrived, it was game time!  We started with a relay race.  The little “Whos” were split into two groups for the race [and lots of parent help made this game possible!!].  Each member of each team had to carry one of Horton’s clovers on a spoon to one end of the yard and back completely dressed in Cat in the Hat costumes.  Once back at the starting point, the costume was shed by one “Who” and the next “Who” got dressed…repeat…repeat…repeat!  It was a hoot…super adorable…and the kids had a blast!

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What Seuss Party would be complete with “Pin the Heart on the Grinch”…because his heart grew three sizes that day!!!  I forgot the blindfold…so we improvised and used the adult size hat and pulled it all the way down over the “Who’s” heads!  It worked perfectly!

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I had planned a third game, but decided to scrap it at the last minute.  The “Whos” were having such a great time just playing, that we just decided to let them run and play!  It was so much fun watching them!

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Apparently Nick needed a feather boa to complete the look!

The food table was open during the entire party, but at about this time, I tried to get everyone to eat before our special guest arrived!  In hindsight, I would have moved the food to a better location.  I chose indoors due to the a/c, but it would have been easier to access outside on the bar.

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All of the food was themed and named after some aspect of a Dr. Seuss book.  Some were made up by us, while others came from ideas garnered from the months of stalking other Seuss Party ideas on the internet!  Can’t take credit for everything! [wink]

After [ok, well during] the food hour, our special guest arrived!  The Cat in the Hat himself was able to clear his calendar for a visit.  We sent him and e-mail months in advance, but were not sure he would make it until the last minute [THANKS Aunt Candy!]  He danced and entertained all the little “Whos”…gave out lots and lots of hugs!  He even helped us sing Happy Birthday and cut the cake!

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Amelia’s face when she first saw him, Dancing with the Cat, big hugs from the Cat

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And now it’s time for cake!  It only took 18 hours to make this cake and mere seconds to “kill” it!

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Two layers gone…just like that!  They layers of the cake were also dyed red and blue!

After cake, we gathered all the little “Whos” for the piñata…and for the 2nd year in a row, the darn thing would not break and one of the dad’s came to the rescue and ripped it open so the mayhem could begin!

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Handing out the pull-strings, FAIL!, Elier to the rescue!

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Before the Cat in the Hat had to leave, we gathered the little “Whos” one last time for a group photo with the Cat.  It’s darn hard to get that many little “Whos” to all look at the camera and smile at the same time!  So many outtakes…hilarious!

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Somehow, there are “Whos” missing from this photo!  Don’t know how that happened!  But I do have to point out how much I love that Amelia and EJ are holding hands.  That’s two years in row!!!

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The Cat in the Hat has to leave shortly after this little photo shoot…we sent him with a huge plate of “cat” food, cold bottles of water, and some cake. We were certain he was hungry and very thirsty after all that dancing! Once he left, we handed out prizes for the remaining games that had been going on throughout the party, had one more craft, and handed out the goody bags the goody bags!

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We had two candy estimation jars…see that adorable little book???  The very talented Karisa Hess of Left Circles Scrapbooking sent that to Amelia for her birthday!  It is so stinkin’ cute inside and out!

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The winners of the candy jars!

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The winners of the “Wocket in my Pocket” game…about 200 little “Wockets” were hidden before the party inside and outside.  The family who collected/found the most “Wockets” won a family prize. 

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I planned a photo booth complete with props and a backdrop! Everyone had a chance to get there photo taken.  The photos were printed during the party so that the guests could use them to complete a frame craft!  It was one of my favorite parts of the party!

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Here are the photos that everyone used for their craft! You’ll have to click on the link to see the slideshow!!

We had a great time…Everyone I spoke to after the party said they had a great time as well!  And here’s the reason I love to plan these parties!!

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Happy Birthday Baby Girl!  I can’t believe you are already 4!!!  We love you so very much!