Monday, March 17, 2014

Ahoy! Here Be T' Fourth Birrrthday Parrrty ...

If you know Bea, you know that for the last oh.... year? maybe more, it's been all Jake and the Neverland Pirates, all the time. And if you know Casey, you know how much this drives him insane. The man hates commercialism. And his daughter has latched into the Disney Junior Empire, despite the fact that 1)We don't watch TV that often and 2)We don't even have cable, never mind having access to Disney shows. So, thanks for that Mandrake. :)

Regardless, when we started talking about her Fourth Birthday Bash, there was only one "theme" the kid wanted. Jake. Eventually, I talked her into a generic "pirates" theme, and when she agreed we were off and running. Cue the invite:

Yes. I hand made each invite, drawing a map on each one. And yes. I burned and tore the edges to make it look like old parchment. I'm apparently a glutton for punishment. But you guys. These invites were SO cute.

We decided to host her party this year at the same spot we had her two year old party- the Eno River State Park. It's close, it's nice and it's got a potty close by. All requirements for a group of preschoolers. Plus? It kept (most of) the mess out of my house. It also had a covered picnic shelter, which was essential because we're in North Carolina and we never know what season it will be each day. Saturday, it was 70+ and beautiful. Today, we're under a winter weather advisory for ice.

Because I was expecing two doula clients to give birth any day, I wasn't sure if I would have time to do all the party prep the week of her party  (remember last year?). So, I spent the better part of the last month collecting things and coming up with games and ideas to bring the Pirate Bash to life. Good thing too. I ended up being called into THREE births (twins plus another) at two separate hospitals on Bea's actual birthday. But by then, the preparations were in place and most of the stuff had been completed.

So, for once, instead of running around crazy the night before trying to get last minute things done, I actually got to enjoy Beatrice Kate's (you know, my ONLY child's) party. And thus, the reason why I have hardly any photos of the event. But I do have a few.

The food, of course, was plentiful and I spent way too much time making signs for the food, but they were oh-so-cute:
I kept the decorations simple with a plastic red/white table cloth and some fish netting on the table. I added a few plastic coins for a little pizzazz and filled a few Izze soda glass bottles with sand and rolled up parchment for added decor. Easy. The menu featured "seaweed wraps" (spinach wraps) with turkey and veggies, veggie planks and hummus, "cannonballs" (olives), "firebombs" (cherry tomatoes), Pirate's Booty, and  "fruity booty" (fruit salad).

Sometime in the last two weeks, my husband as fancied himself a Rib Master and offered to smoke a few racks of ribs for the party. I did not decline his delicious offer:
My sweet girl only made one tiny request for her cake. She wanted a pirate ship. And while I was absolutely certain my version would end up on Cake Wrecks, I think it actually turned out alright:
I didn't tell her anything about the action figures on the top of the cake, and she didn't see the finished product until she arrived at the party, but her reaction made it all worth it! She started squealing and raving about "the waves on the cake and that silly Tick Tock Crock!". Priceless:
I hate that this photo is so blurry, but it's the only one of the three of us at her party (and I think she looks SO much like me in this photo):
And I hear that the cake was yummy. I only got about one bite. This bite to be exact:
And like Bea, who was sporting a Grandma-made costume for the party:
Most of her friends came dressed for the occasion too:
In addition to having a "Dress like a Matey" station, we had lots of games planned. It takes a lot of effort to entertain 4 year olds, you know. So we fashioned a plank, including a few sharks to make it extra dangerous:
And had a treasure hunt, of course:
Ring Toss (with Captain Hook's hooks):
They designed their own swords:
And gave themselves tattoos:
And what's a party without a pinata?
I think that was the highlight. Busting the crap out of that thing was the most coveted event at the party:
But mostly, Bea just had a blast hanging out with her pals. It was SO much fun to see her interact with her friends. She has such a funny relationship with each one, and each friendship is so different. Here she is with her Bestie (IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. OMG. IANNNNNNNN).
 She was beyond excited to see her Cousin Ava:
And these kiddos? They knew each other when they weren't even Earthside yet:
Grandmaaaaaaaw, Bea's other BFF, was there too:
And Uncle Evan was there too. He and Aunt Leah came down before the party to jump on our new trampoline to visit and help entertain the birthday girl ahead of the festivities:
Trampoline was not at the party.... this was before. At our house. 


Naturally, there were presents:
So. Many. Presents:
 Bea had lots of help from her friends opening the gifts:
As Casey pointed out to me earlier this week, "A birthday for one, is a birthday for all" in the preschool world. Meaning... as long as someone is having a special day, it's a special day for everyone! These kids were hilarious:

Bea was SO excited about her gifts:

Most of the kiddos made her handmade cards and drawings. It was adorable and my favorite part of the party, honestly:
Bea has all the cards displayed on our record player, and talks about them hourly. After the party, we went through each gift and note one, by one, to talk about each item and who they were from. She was so thankful. And we are so thankful.

It was such a fun day. While I'm a little sad I didn't take as many photos as I normally do, I'm even more happy I got to live the moments with our girl. This probably goes down in my books as one of the most fun days we've had in a while! And one of the most exhausting.



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