My poor mother. Upon arrival at my parent's house in Rockford, I unloaded upon my poor mother my frantic, anxiety-riddled need to prepare for this party. It was Go! Go! Go! until the moment guests arrived. Plus Thora was dealing with the two-hour time change and, I realized when we got home, the arrival of one of her two-year molars. Needless to say, she was grumps. Mike and I tossed her back and forth like a football and when I was off-duty, my mother and I were driving across town hitting up Target, Part City, Hobby Lobby, Logli... oh I'm exhausted just thinking about it. She probably wanted to kill me too because I was being P-I-C-K-Y.
The gift bags each came with a pinwheel—which if you ever need cute pinwheels, Hobby Lobby is THE place—bubbles, a sketchbook and a pack of Crayola Washable crayons. These are a must! I would never unleash any other crayon on my friends or their cabinets, walls and carseats.
Pinterest style. Each color filled a mason jar and I set out placemat pages to color on. I wanted something nice and generic for this but in my time crunch grabbed these Jake and the something or other Pirates pages. In the end I realized this detail was insignificant. The kids would have drawn on toilet paper for all they cared. Pirates or princesses or whatever, this crayon station became the hub of the party. Success!
Mrs. Fishers chips (gotta represent!) and these fruit kabobs, also a Pinterest idea. These turned out cute and they were all gone by the end of the party. We also had juice boxes and mini-milks, water and pop for the adults. I avoided candies, cookies and things because I considered the cake itself enough of a sugar bomb.
You know the one, the white cake that teeters on 6 lovely layers of color, only revealed upon cutting. It's a sensation, a marvel! And from what I heard, time-consuming as all get out. Yeah, I don't live there. Absorbing the mantra, Accept the Things You Can Not Change, I trudged to the grocery store to order the least-offensive cake they had. And we were all more than happy. It was yum! And only kind of ugly.
Now for a slew of blissful chaos that was the time had by many toddlers, friends, grandparents, cousins, uncles, aunts and one birthday girl:
What am I taking away from this experience?
• That kids all together in a gaggle is the cutest sight the world over
• Don't overthink activities. These children are creative and find fun in simply being in a new place
• You don't have to spend a lot, or craft a lot, in order to make a memorable event
• When throwing a party together quickly, don't shop around. Buy now and avoid multiple trips
• There is nothing wrong with cake from the grocery store
• If you can, aim to have a 10-year old cousin on hand. My nephew Ethan was the best ringleader, entertaining with bubbles and a fantastic sugar-burning game of chase.