Norah's FOURTH birthday party was on Saturday. For those who might be keeping track, that would be five days after we moved into the new house. I figured five days would be plenty of time to be settled enough to throw a party. I am insane. Thankfully, we have a team of bulldogs who not only packed up a ton of shit, but also moved a ton of shit, and then unpacked a ton of shit. I think Stephanie had our entire kitchen unpacked and organized in like 45 minutes. They are that good.
I am still insane.
The theme, as per Norah's choice, was "Princess Superhero." When she first originated this concept it was leaning heavily towards princess, but the closer we got the more superhero it got. I think what finally pushed her over the edge was that I got shirts for myself (Wonder Woman), BVZ (Spiderman), and Lou (Superman) and she didn't want to be left out of that fun. Old Navy has quite a few superhero shirts but none that were girlie enough for Norah. Thankfully we found a pajama set she could get behind and she just wore the shirt (and announced to anyone that complimented her on it, "it's actually KAJAMAS!!!!").
Up until the time that she started pre-school, for the most part, Norah's friends were the kids of my friends. All of her parties have been awesome because we know and love all of the adults as well as the kids. This was the first time that we invited kids we didn't know. It's always a little awkward, but everyone was lovely and (hopefully) enjoyed themselves. Throw in our awesome family and some good friends and it was a great group of people.
A rare GVZ family photo.
The Sheehys (minus Uncle Andy who had to work).
The Tuckers. Notice that Reid is Batman (to Lou's Superman). They are never going to appreciate how hard we work to make them freaking adorable.
Cake boss (Stephanie) outdid herself once again. The main cake:
Norah's gluten free cake!
There was a set of regular cupcakes and a set of gluten free cupcakes.
Decorations were pretty minimalist--I made her a superhero banner and then hung pink and purple balloons everywhere.
Realizing that Lou would be a problem (ie, into everything), before the party started I told Megan she was in charge of him and if he was alive and hadn't 1) thrown anything down the stairs, 2) eaten dirt, or 3) made Reid cry, I would give her $15. Best $15 I ever spent.
As kids showed up they each made their own superhero mask. I ordered colored felt masks from Etsy and then got lots of foam stickers. It seemed to be a big hit.
Trevor was my cruise director and helped organize all the activities. He told me he needed to "fuel up" before taking on a room full of four-year-olds.
All the kids were super cute and most came dressed in some kind of princess or superhero attire or combination of the two. Weeks ago Norah announced that her birthday party would be, "Girls only, no penises allowed." Thankfully she lifted that ban but it was definitely girl heavy.
After making their mask they played and ate pizza. Not enough pizza, I might add. We still have a lot of pizza.
Trevor called all the kids to the bottom of the stairs for the scavenger hunt. I did it Dora the Explorer style, where I read a clue and then the kids had to guess the missing word to get to the next location. For example, one clue was something like, "Superheroes are smart, they stop and think. You will find your next clue where you wash your hands at the ____!" Then they would all scream SINK and run to the sink for their next clue. They were totally into it, and thankfully, figured out the clues.
I like Norah's face of concentration in this one.
The last clue led them outside and up to the top of the slide where they was a treasure chest full of M&M's and plastic jewelry from the dollar bin at Target.
It was a great triumph.
There was a moment when the kids were like, um, there's a pool here... but thankfully they were easily distracted. And there's Lou, still alive. He even had pizza for lunch, not dirt.
After everyone had a chance I turned to Trevor and said, "dude, you know what to do." It took him one whack to beat the crap out of that pinata and the little kids pounced on it like hyenas.
Once everyone had their loot it was cake time.
Norah totally got a little shy being center of attention.
Trevor was totally cute and made Norah this card that said, "press here" and then when she pressed that part of the paper, he started everyone singing happy birthday. It was pretty clever.
Cake was eaten, kids played for a while longer and then people started to filter out. We did have one of Norah's friends from pre-school show up about 2:45 thinking the party started at 2:00 (um, it started at 12:00), and I totally felt bad for that mom. But Norah was as gracious as ever and invited her friend in for a cupcake and a rousing game of hide-and-seek. We had some other fun friends stick around awhile longer and I forced all of those nice people to take home pizza.
Norah then got to go swimming with Megan and Trevor (her dream come true), and we patted ourselves on the back for a job well done. It was so very, very cool to get to celebrate Norah's birthday with my mom, sisters, and the cousins. All the help aside, it was just really, really awesome to have them there. We have all missed out on getting to be together these past three years and it was almost surreal that it was actually happening this way.
That being said, it was with a very heavy heart that we had to celebrate without our California friends. All of our kids have birthdays right around the same time (hence why we were in the same new parent group), and it is really sad for us to miss out on this year's birthday "season." It has been a big part of our life as parents and it's just one more time I miss them like crazy. There were a handful of leftover masks that Norah decorated once everyone had gone home. I asked her what they were for and she told me they were for her "California friends." This morning I found a purple one under her bed that wasn't decorated. She admitted that she had hidden it there before the party even started "for Ruby." We are apparently sending it to her un-decorated with a handful of stickers so she can do one "like she was really there."
Like always, in lieu of gifts we asked for kids books to be donated. We collected a nice pile of books. I think Norah even looks forward to it, although she did ask for reassurance that WE were planning on getting her a birthday present.
It was a fun day and a great way to break in the new house. I can't wait until next year.