Monday, March 9, 2015

Celebrating SIX (Part 1)

In anticipation of Reed's big day coming up tomorrow, we spent this past Saturday afternoon celebrating him with a 6th birthday party.

<insert Mama confession here>

I was nervous about this party.  It is Reed's first friends-from-school party.  How is this different than his previous birthdays?  In the past, friends and their families have been invited to celebrate with us.  It has been, most usually, friends from church whom we all know, who are invited to our house to party with the birthday boy.  We're all familiar with each other and there are no worries or awkwardness.

When Drew had his first friend party in kindergarten, I had become familiar with Drew's friends (via my spending time weekly volunteering in his classroom) and their moms (a handful of us connected via email and by the time Drew's birthday rolled around in January, I was familiar and comfortable).  Such has not been the case for Reed, for a couple of reasons.  I haven't been able to connect with many parents like I had for Drew's friends, and with the exception of one friend, Reed hasn't really connected closely with his classmates like Drew had.  Reed certainly has friends - he's friends with everyone.  He actually wanted to invite the whole class to his party.  So sweet, but sorry kid.  Ain't gonna happen.
When I forced him to narrow it down to eight, he had a hard time coming up with who he likes best to invite over.  

And then to hand out the invitations to parents that don't know me, and have that awkward "please bring your kid to my house even though you have no idea who I am!" conversation...  oy.  But now that that part is over with, I have connected with a few parents so I'm feeling good about that! :)

Long story short, when it came right down to it, four friends from school RSVP'd yes.  I was nervous as the week passed, as I had only received two RSVPs by Thursday afternoon.  The whole point of us throwing a "party" for our kids is so that they feel special.  Do they need to have a party to feel special?  No.  At least I hope not!  But they are fun for me and they are fun for them and so long as they do feel special and they see how special they are to the people around them - worth it.  So I was worried, especially after Drew had eleven friends over for his birthday, that Reed would feel sad or slighted, or worse, not special.  So I pulled out the reinforcements and, last minute, asked a few special family friends if they would stop over during the party to wish Reed a happy birthday.  Thankfully, a few of them were able to and Reed did, indeed, feel pretty darn special.

The other, more minute, hiccup with this party was the theme (you know how much I like a good theme).  Over the years, the boys have gotten pretty into it, too, and Reed had decided he wanted a "Disney" party.  Nothing like an incredibly vague theme that could include almost anything!  After racking my brain to come up with something, we created a one-of-a-kind Disney party with some of our favorite characters.   

 I gave Reed two options for a cake: either something similar to Drew's cake for his 6th birthday (with a Mickey Mouse on top, of course) or this, a parade of characters marching down the street.

 Activity #1: making Sulley goodie bags.  Kindergarteners are still young enough to be interested in organized activities, although this will likely be the last year for that.  They really just like to play with other kid's toys. :)  Anyway, favorite Disney friend #1 {Sulley from the Monsters movies} showed up here.  And as for the goodies for the goody bags - this party was a great opportunity to use up some leftover party supplies.  Mickey Mouse notepads and stickers from Reed's party last year, beaded necklaces from several parties, and a variey of Disney fruit snacks.  

 Activity #2:  Olaf's {from Frozen} snowball toss.  Rolled up white socks, buckets evenly spaced, and toss.  Easy and fun.

Activity #3:  Pin the eyes on Baymax {of Big Hero 6}.  I penciled the best rendition of Baymax I could muster onto an old piece of foam board, and the boys did the outlining with a black marker.  Cute, right?

 Activity #4:  Lightening McQueen piñata.  And if you don't know who Lightening is, you obviously haven't been reading this blog long enough. ;)  This happens to be the same piñata we used at Drew's 5th party (apparently I hoard) and it was still in great shape to reuse.  I had to attach new pull ribbons and freshen up a bit of the red tissue paper on the under side, but it worked out well.  Until Reed went first and picked the right ribbon!  
So they all pulled together. :)  Inside were the items that went into their goody bags.  (Of note: McQueen has been appropriately trashed.) ;)

Activity #5:  frost Mickey shaped sugar cookies.  Just an added activity to kill some time.

And of course there was plenty of simple playing, too. ;)
(By the way, this is Isabel.  She's Reed's favorite.)

 Cake and ice cream

 and gift opening to finish things up.

{And Mom fail.  I forgot to get a posed picture with all the kids.  Oops.}

At the end of the day, Reed had a great time.  He felt loved and special and WOW how can it be six years already?!?!  Thankful for his friends.  Thankful for this day.  Thankful for Reed.

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