Lucy's birthday was last Thursday, and her party was last Saturday. First, the actual birthday:
Nothing too fancy. Put the Happy Birthday banner up after she went to sleep the night before. Norman had to be gone during dinner, so he came home in the afternoon and took her to the park. We had chicken stir fry for dinner. (Not her request, exactly, but I've deduced that it's her favorite dinner. She likes to eat it with ketchup.)
And she got presents!
And... her own camera!
It's a little noisy for my taste, but I highly recommend it. It takes photos and videos, and the lens swivels around so you can take a photo of yourself while still looking at the screen. And it has a menu of silly hats and hair that you can superimpose over your photos. It's really easy to use (Lucy already has it all figured out), and it takes pretty decent photos for being so cheap. (It goes for $50-$60 on Amazon, but I got mine from eBay for less.)
Here's a collage of some of the photos she took in the first two days:
[She seemed to delight in putting cat ears on her legs...]
OK, so that was Thursday. Then came the party! I had already thrown two of these things, and they both looked pretty much the same. But this was new and weird. We don't know very many people here, and we don't know them very well. Our house is too small to host, and we couldn't plan on having it outside since it rains so much here. But our church said we could use their gym!
So it was pretty much like last year's party, but in a gym, with different people. We invited everyone at church and everyone at playgroup. In the end about 30 people showed up, I think.
The frosting recipe: 2 sticks of butter, 2 blocks of cream cheese, enough honey to make it sweet. Beat with mixer. Then om nom your face off. (Leftovers delicious on cinnamon raisin bagels, strawberries, and spoons.)
Fruit kebabs (grapes, watermelon, and pineapple on skewers). Cripsy nuts.
Drinks: Herbal iced tea (a bunch of different fruit-flavored Celestial Seasonings teas with honey), and Magical Coffee. Ohhhhh my. Get yerself some magical coffee, STAT. (Thanks, Keely!)
At 10 p.m. the night before, it occurred to me to put together a slide show of photos of Lucy, since people here don't know what she looked like when she was younger. Didn't actually take that long. Thanks, Picasa!
Coloring table. Two dollar store coloring books and crayons I already had.
Painter's tape hopscotch! I found this brilliant idea on some website or another. Cheap and easy!
I made 3 bean bags to go with it. (Real bean bags, filled with beans... because that's what I had.) It had been bothering me for a week that I just wasn't sure if I had saved this fabric from the Great Purge before we moved last summer. I've had it since high school. Now that I have a toddler it finally comes in handy!
And other than that, we just filled the other half of the gym (that wasn't filled with tables and chairs) with balloons (plain ones and the punchy kind with the rubber bands) and pool noodles cut in half. We figured the kids could make their own fun, and we were right!
[Norman kept back a bucket of balloons to dump on Lucy just to see the look on her face. :-)]
Punch balloon contests, sword and ninja fights, golf, baseball, etc, etc.
It was fun! Nice and casual, and people could come and go. We gave bubble wands as favors. (HT to Meghan for that one.) In all, I think the party cost about $50 or $60 including food. Not too shabby. Looking forward to (but definitely not yet planning for) next year!