Last year, I shared with ya’ll how I’m not really into doing great big birthday parties.
I wasn’t hugely enthusiastic about it this year, either, to be totally honest, but Jade’s been looking forward to her birthday ever since Halia’s in November. (Hmmm, that happened last year, too, didn’t it?) Plus, this year, Jade’s excitement level has been heightened by all the birthday parties from her preschool crowd. There have been three birthday parties since the beginning of December, and the whole preschool has been invited to each of them. I’ll admit they’ve been fun, and it’s a nice chance to get to know some of the other parents.
Jade had so much fun at the Polarettes Gymnastics gym at the December birthday party that we decided to have her party there, too. All the kids can just run around and enjoy the equipment and the focus doesn’t have to be on food. I figured I’d buy a bunch of helium balloons, bring a few trays of food, put together some fairly simple loot bags, and call it good.
But! At the last birthday party we attended, we discovered that we had booked the gym for an afternoon the day after Diego was going to have his birthday party there. Argh. In half a minute, we decided to just go ahead and combine the two parties into one. Hurrah! Shared costs, guests who aren’t wondering why they’re going to the same place twice in one weekend, plus cutting down on the volume of gifts because we’re asking boys to bring presents for Diego and girls to bring one for Jade.
Diego’s mom has a couple of older children and so has been doing this birthday party stuff for years. Plus she is one of those really energetic creative people full of awesome ideas and who owns a crazy art printer and more scrapbooking supplies than you can shake a stick at. She came up with this great “Let’s Monkey Around” theme using an adorable image of two sock monkeys hugging. Her “draft” invitation was so cute I nearly died.
(And then part of my brain remembered that once upon a time I loved party planning, too.)
Once we started brainstorming ideas for the loot bag (bananas with monkey-themed banana stickers on them, water bottles with custom labels, magnets, stickers, an activity book, crayons with sock-monkey labels) I decided it would be fun(!) and easy(!) to make monkey masks.
Here’s the thing. Every party so far has included the parents (because so many have special needs, and they’re really not at the age yet where you just drop the kid off and go) and of course that means the siblings are there, too. Halia has been given a share in the loot bag loot at every party… So since this is a double party (each family will have some extra people there), I figured we should prepare about 30 loot bags.
Can you see where this is going?
Here’s a visual:
In case math isn’t your strong suit, that there is 36 monkey masks. These really are incredibly easy to make and they don’t take long, either.
That is, they don’t take long if you’re making just one,or maybe two, like a sane person might do. But 36 of these suckers takes pretty much an entire bloody day, even after you stayed up until 1:40 a.m. cutting out all the felt pieces the day before. (Except, of course, that wasn’t really the day before.) (Thank goodness Diego’s mom and sister helped me cut and glue all the eyebrows.) (It’s amazing how much faster things go with three people…)
I’ve saved two of these for Jade and Halia, who each picked the colour they wanted. They were very excited about them. And then wore them for about 3 minutes each. *sigh*
But, you know what? I am looking forward to the party.
And I think the monkeys are, too.