Monday, November 10, 2008

In Which I Lower My Standards

Normally I like to throw fun birthday parties. I like to spend time planning a theme, planning games, making the crafts, doing the whole shebang. I don't spend much money on parties, but I don't mind spending my time on them to make them fun. You may remember a few of them. It's what I do. It makes up for my other shortcomings, like my inability to make an even part for pigtails.

So this weekend was the designated date for Grace's 8th birthday party, and she decreed that she wanted an overnight backyard campout with her Brownie troop. At first I was a little disappointed, because the campout thing has been done before, many times, and we even had a camping themed party two years ago, complete with a cake topped with a graham cracker tent and pretzel stick campfire with candy corn flames. Cute, right?

It was a bit of a relief that I didn't have to come up with anything, just set up the tent and feed them pizza and cake and s'mores, and leave them to their own devices. So I planned nothing. Not one thing. Didn't go to the party store, didn't think of any games, didn't even buy paper plates. This is not like me at all.

But then the day of the party came, and Gracie got sick. She has perfect timing with her viruses, and this one managed to knock her out of not only the party, but a school field trip and storybook character dress-up day at school. She was devastated, and I felt terrible for her.

Anyway, at the last possible minute on Saturday, I decided she was well enough for a party, but not well enough for a sleepover, so I called her friends and invited them over just for a regular party. A party for which I had nothing prepared.

I spent the afternoon tossing up some randomly-colored leftover streamers, baking a nondescript cake, and buying some blue nail polish at the grocery store. When the guests arrived, they did some artwork from a giant coloring book I had hidden away for a rainy day, got their nails painted, played a few improvised games, and chowed down on some junk food and cake.

That was it. No pinata, no goody bags, no commercial products whatsoever. My budget for this party was the $2 that I spent on nail polish. And they loved it. I'm like the MacGuyver of birthdays.

My photos turned out a little iffy, but here are a few:

The Coloring in the Floor.

I like this one, even though it is trippy. They were playing freeze dance, and it looks like Katie won.

Of course we did have a little scavenger hunt...for some s'more's trail mix. (Lame prize, I know.) But it provided 15 minutes of running around and screaming, essential to any good party.
Spooky turkey is a family joke that would take far too long for me to explain here.

"Aha! S'more's Trail mix! In a grocery bag! I think we've been ripped off!"
And there's my happy girl, probably wishing for two front teeth.


  1. It sounds like a great party to me! As long as Grace had fun that's all that matters. And hey, don't feel bad about lowering your standards. For Leslie's 8th in September, she wanted a slip and slide. So instead of buying one or renting (YIKES - expensive) one I used the blue tarp that was on our house after Gustav. The kids loved it!

  2. Happy Birthday Grace! I can't believe she's already 8. She is beautiful, even without her front teeth. Looks like everyone enjoyed themselves. Kutos to you, mom!

  3. It sounds like it was fun, nonetheless. And Grace sure does look happy. :)
    Well done!

  4. Sounds like it turned out great anyway! Kids are so easy to please, I think we make things more complicated than they need to be sometimes.

  5. Does anybody besides me see Aunt Wendy in that last pic? Never noticed that before, but they tend to look different in every picture these days...

  6. I soooooo.... see Wendy in that last picture!! I thought that too!! :-) Great party Chrissy!!

  7. Your happy girl is SO CUTE!

    "The MacGuyver of birthdays" Bwaa haa ha ha ha!

    What an awesome thing to be.

  8. I hope my kids never grow up to read your blog. They will know they have been cheated and hate me. We are the birthday party scrooges. The good thing about living within 5 minutes of all your relatives is you get the day to day benefit. The bad thing is that by the time you invite all the cousins to the birthdays, there is no room for friends. And I hate birthdays. We eat cake, open presents, destroy a few bedrooms and they leave. I admire you. Maybe one day, I will be like you. My children can only hope...

  9. you ARE the macGuyver of Bday parties. will you come run MQs next year?


The kiddos

The kiddos

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