I have a lot of birthday related posts, but thought I would start with Norah's Buggy Birthday Bash, which took place on Saturday. A couple of months ago, during a particularly bad bout with insomnia, I decided Norah needed to have a big birthday party. We didn't do anything huge for her first birthday since we did a massive celebration with all of the Day One folks, so I wanted to do something special just for her. I tried to take as many pictures as possible, but I have come to realize that 1) my camera sucks, and 2) I kind of suck at taking pictures. Check out the pics my friend Angela took. She has a good camera and she doesn't suck.
Anyway, since Norah is currently obsessed with bugs, that seemed like the perfect theme. I found an awesome retailer on Etsy who did the invitations (if I could figure out our scanner I would scan one, but I can't, so alas. No invitation. But, believe me, they were cute); address labels; and stickers for the favor bags.
Here are the favor bags. I just got yellow bags from the party supply store and stuck on a personalized sticker. It is hard to read but it says something like 'Thanks for coming to my buggy bash' and I think had her name. The bags contained a bottle of bubbles (with a picture of a bug), a giant bug sticker, a rubber bug that was kind of like a finger puppet, and several bug temporary tattoos.
The cupcakes were my masterpiece. I used Amy Sedaris' recipe for Vanilla Cupcakes and Buttercream Frosting (which I obviously colored green). The bug toppers were purchased online-I can't remember where-and were totally edible (made out of sugar). I did the grass with a generic frosting tip and could be as messy as I needed to be, which was a very good thing. I ended up with some serious carpal tunnel, but I couldn't have been happier with how they turned out.
I figured a bunch of two year olds didn't need quite that much sugar, so I made several dozen mini cakes that just had a spot of frosting on the top and some green sugar crystal glitter.
Grandma Geri (who Norah calls GG) came down for the party and brought with her a ladybug tent that we set up in the living room. Norah and the other kids went bananas for it. BVZ went to the grocery store to get ice that morning and came home with 3 giant mylar balloons (I told him I didn't even want to know what they cost). They were the hit of the party. The kids all took turns carrying them around. Sadly, Bee met an unfortunate demise when he was swept up in a gust of wind and carried over the house. Norah still asks about him every morning.
The food spread. I figured that I had the time, energy, and inclination to do one big thing (cupcakes) and everything else needed to be from Costco. I was very right.
All the food was set up in the sunroom and the backyard had beer, wine, water, and juice.
We put Norah's yellow bee table under the big canopy and it was the 'make your own buggy picture' table with paper, crayons, bug sticker, and bug stamps. If you look at Angela's pictures you will see a few where I appear to be holding Norah's mouth open. That would be because she ate one of the ink pads.
I ordered about 60 little rubber bugs and spread them throughout the grass. We gave each kid a plastic cup and told them to go bug hunting. The best part was that once a kid abandoned their cup, a thoughtful parent would toss the bugs into the grass and the fun would start all over again.
Ruby made an excellent bug picture.
We have some good friends who have a two year old as well as ten year old twin boys. The twins love the little kids and set up a face painting station.
Norah's ladybug. I was impressed! (Of course, 10 minutes later it was in her hair, her eye, and all over my pants).
Some random shots of the day:
(I did at one point catch her carrying around a (unopened) beer...)
As things started to wind down, a group of girls had a dog pile on the dragonfly balloon. It was awesome (note that in these pictures, Ruby is wearing Norah's hat, Norah is wearing Ava's sunglasses, and Ava is wearing Norah's sunglasses).
All in all we had about 60 people-16 toddlers and their parents and a handful of other special guests. I was completely taken aback by how amazing and wonderful the day was. I can't say enough about how much I appreciate and love our friends and their awesome kids. There was not a single scuffle, tantrum, or melt down among them. The backyard was just a big, giant, pile of love and we enjoyed every second of it.
In lieu of gifts, we asked people to bring a new children's book to be donated to our local shelter network. I was completely overwhelmed by the generosity of our guests (Norah also got some very special things just for her) and we plan to take the books to the shelter on Friday (sorry for the picture-I forgot to rotate it correctly).
I can't wait to start planning next year's party!