I officially have no young children anymore. I mean, relatively speaking. My younger set of twins just turned TEN over the weekend! Double digits! It’s on, people!
Over Christmas break, we asked the girls what they wanted to do for their birthday. I like to keep things simple. As much as I love poring over awesome themed parties on Pinterest, I find it hugely challenging (and not in the good way) to plan for and finance crazy birthday parties as a mother of five. I try to do what the kids want to do, but we aren’t doing petting zoos in the backyard or anything like that. So it was such a relief when Nikki and Lexi told me they wanted to be completely, 100% in charge of their own party. “I don’t even care if I get any presents,” Nikki told me. “I just want to have a fun birthday!” And they did. Here’s how it went down.
First, the Birthday Plan:
(I especially like that they clarified, “House” for the venue!)
Next, invites! I whipped up a cute little birthday flyer in PicMonkey to send to all the parents, but Nikki and Lexi made their own hand-written invitations to give to their friends in person. They used the custom notecards from my friend Laura Kelly! Sadly, I don’t have a picture of them, because they had them all done and sealed in envelopes before I could snatch one up and photograph it! But they were cute.
And then, refreshments and decorations. The girls decided pizza, cupcakes, and ice cream would be fantastic, along with theater boxes of candy to munch on while they watched the movie. We headed to the supermarket and they picked out the cupcakes they loved. We dug out streamers and balloons from the box of party supplies we keep in the basement, and the girls decorated the whole kitchen. They also beautifully arranged their cupcakes!
When the FIFTEEN GUESTS arrived (seriously, I don’t know what I was thinking there. I have such a hard time saying no because I hate for anybody to be left out. But this was about twice as many kids as we should have invited! It was NUTSO!) they all kicked it in the basement while DJ Pauly Paul spun some music for them to dance to. And when I say DANCE, I of course mean, “run around the basement at full speed like maniacs, crashing into one another while screaming.” Strobe lights just made it all that much more fun.
After everyone stuffed themselves with pizza and birthday cake, we took a vote on which movie to watch. The winner was…NINJA TURTLES! Paul got the movie set up while I made a vat of popcorn. The kids actually sat quietly and watched the movie, and when it was over, I made everyone roll out their sleeping bag and go to bed! I’m happy to say, even after pizza, ice cream, cupcakes, candy, popcorn, and hip hop-fueled insanity, nobody threw up or burst into tears. Everyone snuggled in and fell asleep with minimal silliness. I guess they wore themselves out.
In the morning, I made donuts, bacon, and strawberries. The girls’ choice, of course. After a lovely, LOUD breakfast, parents began to show up and my house got quieter and quieter. It was a splendid birthday party, and I am happy we were able to have a co-ed sleepover while the kids are all still…y’know, just goofy little kids. I think by next year, that won’t be able to happen. So, yay for a house full of screaming 4th graders. I took the longest nap the next day, you guys.
Nikki and Lexi loved their birthday! I’m so glad we were able to celebrate with all their besties, without dropping a ton of cash. Sometimes the experience is more important than the coordinating banners and goodie bags, not that I don’t have mad love for matchy match party goods! The best part was how pleased they were that they did it all themselves. One last look at the birthday girls!