Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Calling all party animals, part 2

So... party day arrived. Liam was feeling a little under the weather - a low fever, loss of appetite, just not feeling himself. But there was no vomit involved and we had friends coming over, so we decided to go ahead with the party. Besides, we were expecting a special visitor.
Unbeknownst to Liam and Mallory, we had booked a guy who runs a business called Zoo2You to come entertain us. Back when we were throwing around party theme ideas, I was pushing for a western party at the local stables and Chad wanted to hire the snake and lizard guy. My first instinct was, no way! Guess who won out?
As our guests arrived, we sent them down to the playroom in the basement to amuse themselves. When everyone was here, and when the animal guy showed up - he was a few minutes late, and those were a few sweat-inducing minutes, because we had no other party entertainment to speak of - Chad handed out the safari hats and binoculars and led the kids on a hunt around the basement for animals. Liam and Mallory knew about and expected this, and they had arranged a bunch of their stuffed animals in the basement as part of the show. Chad led them past the stuffed animals, wondering whether they might be able to find the real thing...
...and they came up to the living room to find Zoo Guy and his critters.
I would totally recommend this guy - he was great with the kids and they loved it. He also did a good job of singling out the birthday boy and girl for some special attention (e.g. letting them pet/hold each animal first)... even if he did keep calling Mallory 'Marilyn'.This is a honey bear... so cute! The kids were able to feed him some banana. They also fed the chinchilla below marshmallows... not sure how many wild chinchillas eat marshmallows as part of their diet, but ooooookay...And then, the big moment, the grand finale - the full-size red kangaroo! I loved this guy - he was definitely my favourite. Here are Liam and Mallory feeding him Tostitos. (I'm really hoping that he only got to eat chips because he was at a party, and that his typical diet is much healthier than this.) Funny side note: I hadn't planned to buy the kids 'theme' clothes for the party, but the t shirt Liam is wearing caught my eye at the grocery store, and for $6 I tossed it into the cart and thought, why not? But then I had to get something for Mallory. I found the dress on eBay - new with tags from the 2010 Gymboree line. I told Mallory there was a giraffe dress coming for her in the mail. She was so excited - she loved going to the mailbox every day to check for nearly two weeks. Finally it came and we opened it... and she burst into tears. She had expected a dress with a picture of a giraffe on it, not a giraffe-print dress.

So I promptly got back on eBay and ordered ANOTHER dress from the same Gymboree collection. Pink, with a picture of a giraffe on it. But not really my taste, and not coordinating with the rest of the party.

Luckily, Mallory didn't take long to decide that this giraffe dress is actually pretty cool, and it's what she wound up wearing. But now I have another 4T giraffe dress... to relist on eBay, I suppose.After all those animals, we had 13 kids wash their hands, and then it was time to eat. A couple of the kids didn't eat a thing and one refused to sit in the dining room with all the other kids - he sat on a stool at the kitchen counter. Ooooooookay.

The reason I wanted to call the party theme 'zoo' rather than 'safari' was that Mallory had her heart set on penguin cupcakes, and penguins do not really fit into the 'safari' theme. Thanks to the book Hello, Cupcake!, here are her cupcakes:And, Liam had his heart set on 'Old Swampy'. I guess you could pass him off as a crocodile and call it 'safari' but really, that's splitting hairs.We had about five minutes left to open presents before all the parents came to pick their kids up. Never before have so many parents just dropped their kids. Knowing they'd be lined up at precisely 2 p.m. for pick-up, I didn't mind that the kids tore through the gifts their very generous friends had brought.And with that... Birthday Party 2011 was over. I felt like taking a nap, but instead I went out for a night on the town. Then I collapsed in a heap. Not sure how we're going to pull off two of these next year instead of just one, but already looking forward to it. Don't tell Mallory, but I already have her theme all picked out, and an entire board at Pinterest devoted to it!


Kathy said...

Never knew chinchillas could have marshmallows...ours loves raisins though. Not sure I want to risk giving him that treat...apparently chocolate is toxic for them. Too bad!

Dawn said...

love your cupcake creations! I am making the duck ones later today from Hello Cupcake....wish me luck. I think they're cute, though Noah disagrees with me that they are Easter-ish!