Saturday, August 27, 2011

Carnival Birthday Party

This year for Clara and Elena's birthday we decided to make them up a carnival.   We loaded it with some carnival classics (peanuts and popcorn) and although we hoped to serve pink lemonade the yellowjackets swarming around crushed that idea, so we served cucumber-mint water instead.
We had several different kinds of games set up.

We decorated all around the yard.  You might remember that since the girls' second birthday we have bought these mylar number balloons - on both their second and third birthday, they flew away.  Clara had a plan this year - she said: "We'll tie them, tape them, and staple them!"  So we did.
Some of Steve's family was in town to help celebrate - here are Nana Rose and Grammie Ellen taking a break after helping with setup.
Our first games centered on balloons.  First, we took long balloons and blew them up, then had each child release them to see how far/fast/high they would go.  Steve gave out tickets that varied in number depending on how impressed he was.

Then we did the Balloon Bug Stomp.  We pretended these water balloons were bugs, and we'd put several out on the lawn and give the kids five seconds to squash them.  They got tickets roughly based on how many they popped.
We also had face painting!
Our friend Maeve was hired for the day to draw on the kids' faces, and she did a great job.

We had a ring toss - Clara got a little close (as did all the kids!) and thus stretched the title of "toss" a bit, but they had a good time.
In the duck pond there ducks who had numbers written on them - the object was to have them "catch" the two ducks in a net that had matching numbers.

All of our party guests were special, but the girls were especially happy to see that two of their kid-less friends, Rachel and Liz, took them up on their invitations to come to the party.  Here's Elena with Rachel, the girls' first babysitter and now friend.
After playing the games and winning tickets, the kids turned the tickets in for goody boxes.
Even the adults had fun with these - who doesn't love animal crackers?
Or a clown nose?
Or love someone WHILE wearing a clown nose?
This is a shot of the girls as they wait for their cakes to be brought out.
And, here they go!
Dad helping blow out the candles.
Grammie Ellen decorated these cakes, and the bundt pan to make them was lent to us by a dear friend's mother.  Clara cracked all 12 eggs it took to make these two cakes, and Elena stirred up all the bittersweet and dutch chocolate. They were a real community effort!

Later on in the party the dads brought out heavy-duty bike pumps and started blowing the balloons up as high as they could get, and shooting them off - all the kids clamored for them to do more, more more!

Towards the end of the party it got very, very windy.  We joked that it was our party of Hurricane Irene, but the only casualty we were really worried about were the wildly flipping four balloons!
So we took them inside to safety, and we can now say we finally had a birthday party without the number balloon flying away.  (We hedged our bets and bought TWO four balloons, so we can actually say that two of the number balloons we've ever purchased have made it!).
It was a wonderful day to celebrate the birth of two wonderful girls - we're grateful to all our friends and family who helped us celebrate, and missed everyone who couldn't be here!

No comments: