Monday, April 18, 2011

Calling all party animals

It's that time of year... Birthday Week. I know we said last year was the last year we were going to do a joint party, but when the time came to ask Liam who he wanted to invite to his party, he didn't want any school kids. So we decided to invite our usual crowd, a mix of daycare friends and my friends' kids, boys and girls, and then right before the invitations went in the mail, Liam came home one day and said he wanted to invite four kids from school. We definitely want to encourage these friendships, but that meant we had to scramble at the last minute to figure out the max number we could accommodate and shift the guest list accordingly. So, I really mean it this time: next year we are doing separate, smaller parties. I mean it!Then came the job of coming up with a gender-neutral party theme that would entertain our guests and make both Liam and Mallory happy. After some back and forth, this is what we came up with. Chad calls it 'safari' and I call it 'zoo/generic animals'. (Mostly because, as you will see, the cakes didn't wind up being safari-themed.) The good news is, animal-themed stuff is pretty easy to come by! Hats courtesy of eBay, binoculars courtesy of the dollar store, and loot bags courtesy of Oriental Trading but ordered from eBay to save on the outrageous shipping fee.The colour theme was set by the napkins I found at Winners. (Modified slightly for the invitations... the pea green changed to more of a sage green, to match the green envelopes they went out in.)Luckily, the Superstore had a whole line of tableware in the same colours... the tablecloth, plates and cutlery are from there. Right next door to Winners - I picked it all up immediately after buying the napkins! Liam used his mad paper chain-making skillz to help me turn a stack of animal-print scrapbook paper into some festive swag for the dining room. They are still hanging there. I am kind of reluctant to take them down.Then, a few potted plants from the grocery store to be the 'jungle' and some plastic animals to set the scene...Finally, some fun animal-print balloons. I learned my lesson last year and elected not to buy any giant mylar balloons... our balloon bill was half as much this year as last!That was it... the stage was set. I was glad to have taken these pictures the day before the party, because on the day OF the party, it poured rain and it was dark as a cave inside the house. Anyway, I assume the presence of the kangaroo makes more sense now?? Up next: party day.