Christmas done? CHECK. Oh but, wait, that means birthdays are next on the "to do" list. Sigh. No rest for the weary.
As much as I like to pat myself on the back for my efficiency of having both kids in the same month, two years apart (because you know, I planned that...yeeeaaaaahhh), it so happens their birthdays are on the heels of Christmas. Sure, it's two more months before it's February, but January is practically here and we all know how time flies. This year, SweetPea turns five. The Big Five. Half a decade. No longer an infant, no longer a toddler, not even a preschooler anymore. Nope, she's a full blown kindergartener now who has a classroom full of friends. Add to that the fact that she just recently went to her first "school friend" birthday party, where a good half of her class was there to celebrate. Don't think it was lost on her either. As we drove away from the party, she asked "Momma, can I have a Princess birthday party like Hannah?" followed by "Can all of my friends come too?" Dun, dun, DUNNNNNNNNNN.
Here's the deal...counting SweetPea, there are 12 kids in her kindergarten class. The unwritten school rule is if you invite one kid, you are expected to invite them all, so no one feels left out. They are a nice enough bunch, but together they can be, well, a little unruly. Having attended Hannah's party, which her parents were brave enough to do at their house, I saw the mayhem...and the mess. Thought #1: the birthday party must be somewhere other than my house, which leads to Question #1: where should we have the party? The options are somewhat limited. I don't want anything too expensive, but I also want a place where our party will have room of it's own (translation: we don't want to get stuck at Chuck E Cheese next to 3 other birthday parties. Who needs to add to the mayhem?) At this point, we are probably looking at Pump It Up, where we'd get a private room filled with bouncy houses. The kids can burn off their energy and they will be in a place where it's next to impossible to break anything. Bonus: I don't have to clean up. The only downside...it ain't cheap. Sigh again.
The party site aside, SweetPea had another request...
"Momma, can we put up the Christmas tree for my birthday? That way we can put my presents under the tree."
Hmm...pull out the tree all over again in two months and put it back up? Think, Mom...think fast...
"How about I make you a Birthday Tree? It will be smaller, but then you can have a special tree for your day."
Like how I pulled that one out of my a...out of thin air? I'd gotten the idea from a Michael's craft tutorial sent to my e-mail during Christmas. It'a small tabletop ribbon Christmas tree that looks like this..
I figure I can use festive ribbon, maybe with cupcakes on them, to make it more Birthday-y. Go ahead...say it...I'm a genius. Alright, well, I can think on my toes anyway. The nice thing is, I can stow it away pretty easily and we can use the Birthday Tree over and over. Yay!
So it's T-minus two months (give or take) to SweetPea's big day. Anyone have any other fun party ideas? Any ideas on how to survive a birthday chock full of 4 1/2-5 year olds?