The birthday Grinch strikes again (sort of)

25 Jan

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.

14 Responses to “The birthday Grinch strikes again (sort of)”

  1. kara January 25, 2011 at 9:42 pm #

    ahahah You crazy Monkey-Mama!!

    Those masks are unreal cute.

    Thankfully, the parties in Faro have been goodie bag free and we aren’t about to start that trend!!

  2. Malva January 26, 2011 at 5:09 am #

    Really cute monkey!

  3. Megan January 26, 2011 at 5:38 am #

    You are brave. I just hosted a six-boy sleepover for Michael’s birthday and thought I was doing well.

  4. Barbara January 26, 2011 at 5:43 am #

    lol! Can a post be an oxymoron? I don’t do big parties but here is what I did? hehe – ’tis a slippery slope, but I was with you all along the way and from the same starting place! (For Megan, a 6-boy sleepover IS doing well!)

    Those masks are great! The ‘3 minutes’ reminds me of the cartoon I have leading my latest post.

    Looking forward to seeing photos of the party!

  5. jen January 26, 2011 at 6:30 am #

    Fantastic! I LOVE The masks and am totally going to swipe that idea! Parties are so much work, but totally worth it when you get to see how much fun the kids have! You are creating wonderful memories they’ll have for their entire lives!

  6. Adventures In Babywearing January 26, 2011 at 7:00 am #

    Oh my gosh! I hope it’s awesome! I am sure it will be!


  7. Scientific Chick January 26, 2011 at 10:42 am #

    Those masks are adorable! And the picture almost made me faint because of all the cute. You are definitely one of the most dedicated parents I know.

  8. Captain Momma January 26, 2011 at 8:12 pm #

    Kudos to you because I still run screaming from parties 😉

    Being in K this year the boy has been invited to 4 parties already with many more to come I am sure!

    Your monkey is pretty darn cute, no matter how long she wore the mask for 🙂

    Have a great time!

  9. Tine January 28, 2011 at 12:54 am #

    Sounds like a lot of work … But I hope, in the end, it’ll be worth it, & the kids will have lots of fun 🙂 (& you, too, hopefully 🙂 !!) – if you just didn’t live so far away, I’d be happy to come over & help out a bit 🙂 !!

    Anyways – lots of love !!

    ♥ ♥ ♥

  10. Tine January 28, 2011 at 1:00 am #

    AND: Do you have ~ by any chance ~ some templates for those funny masks you could e-mail 😀 ?! I’m still looking for something to make with the kids at school for carnival !!

    Again – lots of love !!

    ♥ ♥ ♥

  11. Sandra Paun January 30, 2011 at 10:34 am #

    Fawn, I’m so glad you did this for Jade. I know you weren’t really keen on it, but it’s their birthday once a year, and it’s so fantastic for them to celebrate. I have always made a big fuss (Too Big according to my husband), but I do it for them.

    My eldest is off to Uni in Sept, and she still talks about the crazy parties Mom hosted for her. Her and her friends remember many details. It just makes me smile…

    As she got older, we asked for food dontations for the food bank or animal shelter and such. I wasn’t too keen on her getting many gifts, but this way, it was a win-win situation.

    Happy Birthday Jade. Here’s is to a seizue free year, and another wonderful year with you amazing family. You are very loved!!!!


  12. Nemmy February 4, 2011 at 9:47 am #

    AMG those monkey masks are just PERFECT!! I love how Jade looks in it! 😀

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