Friday, May 3, 2013

Caroline's 2nd Birthday Party aka Elmo-Palooza

Caroline turned two back in March and we of course had a ridiculous birthday party for her.  I am a little ashamed to admit how long I had been planning certain details for this party.  I tend to obsess a little.... Just a little.  I finally just gave up and crossed over to the dark side and went with a "character" theme.  I was hoping to hold off a couple years before I had to succumb to the character madness for birthday parties.   I'm not the biggest fan of character birthday parties, or character anything for that matter, but I eventually just decided it would all be worth it just to see Caroline smile.  After all, the party was for her.    And thus, Elmo-Palooza was born.  The funny thing is, I had decided on the theme months in advance (that's about the only way that I can pull ridiculous shenanigans like this off) but by the time the party rolled around, she wasn't nearly as enthralled with the little red furry guy.  But, she still loved it so we sent Elmo out with a bang.

My mom got me a Silhouette for Christmas.  I was really intimidated to break it out of the box, but Caroline's birthday party was my motivation to learn how to use it.  I may have gone a little crazy with it.  At one point Steven swore that he saw smoke coming from it...

The food table

I made the cupcake stands out of a couple dowels and one big board from Lowes.  I painted the dowels, but just covered the boards with scrapbook paper and ribbon.  I eventually have intentions of painting everything white, but that just hasn't happened yet.  One day...

I made the cupcakes because let's face it, I'm too cheap stupid to order them.  But I think they were everyone's favorite thing.  I just use box cake mix (hey, I have to cut corners somewhere), but absolutely do not compromise on the frosting.  Real buttercream is the only way to go.  I used enough butter to make my idol Paula Deen swoon.  But it was worth it because it makes all the difference in the world!
I can't take credit for the goldfish marshmallow pops.  I found the idea on Pinterest of course. 
For all of you who aren't Elmo followers, the goldfish is an homage to Elmo's BFF Dorothy.
Fruit Kabobs

The drink table

What party is complete without Elmo water???

I set up tables for the little people with coloring sheets and Elmo hats that my mom found at a party store. 

The favor bags

And of course, nothing can ever be simple.  A couple months before the party, I thought it would be awesome to give the kids an actual living goldfish as a party favor.  As the party neared, I decided that my fellow mom friends might hate me for giving their children live animals, so I decided to just go with a standard favor bag with bubbles, etc.  About a week before the party, Steven asked me if we were still doing the goldfish.  I told him I was putting a bag of goldfish crackers in the favor bags, but had decided against the real deal.  Well, that didn't go over so well.  Steven insisted on doing the real goldfish, claiming it was "the only thing he was really excited about".  So, I went back to Plan A and did the goldfish. 

But of course, when live animals are involved, things don't always go according to plan.  I went to Walmart on Thursday (the party was Saturday afternoon) and picked up the goldfish with Caroline in tow.  Mistake #1.  Do you know how hard it is to push a cart with a 2 year old jumping up and down screaming and trying to beat the bag of fish with the fish net?  I do.  I had a few other things to pick up before I could escape, so I had to push the cart around the store with one hand while holding the massive bag of goldfish at shoulder level with Caroline screaming "Pish!!!!!!!!!!!".  It was during that moment that I realized that I was completely mad.  Why was I doing this to myself all in the name of a 2 year old's birthday party???  Because I'm a mom and we often do things for our children that don't always make sense to other sane-minded individuals or even to ourselves.  I lost all common sense the day I had Caroline.

One would think that the excitement would be over after that, but oh no.  I took them home, prepared their water, and let everything sit and adjust to room temperature overnight.  The next day (Friday), I had Steven transfer the fish to their new homes around lunch time.  By 2:00, every single fish was floating.  EVERY.  SINGLE.  FISH.  DEAD.  FLOATING.  Yeah.  So, back to Walmart I went to collect 8 more goldfish.  It's a good thing the little boogers were only $0.28 each.  This time, I bought some stuff to put in the water, but we waited until about an hour before the party to put them in their bowls.  I was so nervous to look at them during the party, but they survived.  None of them made it too long after the party though.  I told the parents that it was a competition and whomever could keep their fish alive the longest would win a case of beer.  Sadly, I think we won our own contest.  I bought one for Caroline and we ended up with an extra one and they managed to make it almost 3 weeks after the party.  Oh well.  They were fun while they lasted... Kind of....

Now I'm sure you're all thinking 'Well, it looks like a great party, but did anyone show up?'.  Yes, we actually did have people attend, but I'll save the actual party for another post.  Stay tuned.  I know you will all be dying of anticipation.

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