Friday, February 5, 2010

Come and Play!


I have to admit, I got really into this theme for Andrew's birthday this year!  I wasn't sure I'd like it, but I knew he would. :)  Turns out, I had just as much fun coming up with ideas than ever before!  I love to go all out for Andrew's birthday parties.  Maybe it is because I think his birthday is such a big deal because of everything he's been through.  Or maybe it is just because I love to celebrate things, and I love parties!  Andrew's birthday is my favorite day of the year, and I love making it a special day all about him.  
This was his invitation.  I just made it on our computer.  I liked the picture of Andrew from this summer on his bike in his Elmo shirt.  It went with the "Come and Play" wording!  Plus, it looks like he's coming down Sesame Street!
If you didn't watch this video of him singing Happy Birthday, scroll down a post.  This was the cutest thing ever.  When he woke up in the morning and saw all his decorations, he plopped down at this bench and just sat there and took it all in.  He loved seeing everything, and he was so excited.
Getting the balloons was a highlight.  We went with his 4 favorite characters- Big Bird, Elmo, Oscar and Cookie Monster.  Big mylar ones.   He went crazy when we walked in the house with them.  He grabbed them and started running around and around!  I was nervous he was going to pop them before the party even began!  Ha!
I set up our dining room table with lots of his Sesame Street toys he already had.
This was the kids table set up in the kitchen.  This is his Elmo trick or treat pail, books and toys we already owned.  I just added the sponge letters for fun.

This was his Halloween costume peeking over the chair.
Our mantle set up with the treat sacks and his poster I made.  Every year I hang a poster on the fireplace mantle.
I really did have a lot of fun with these sacks!  I just bought plain color sacks and colored foam (a huge pack of 4X6 size in all colors from Walmart for $5).  Then I made the little name tags on my computer, using the Sesame Street logo.
This was my favorite table. :)  Dessert!  We got a giant chocolate chip cookie decorated with Elmo's face, and I also made yummy cookie cupcakes.  They have a cookie inside!  I posted the recipe a while back, but maybe I'll have to do it again for those who missed it!  I just printed out faces of the 4 characters and cut them in circles and taped them to a colored toothpick.  We also had an Oscar pail filled with gummy worms ("Slimey," Oscar's pet worm).  We had goldfish crackers for Elmo's fish, Dorothy.
But the party just wouldn't have been complete without a real Dorothy! 
After all, "Elmo loves his goldfish...his crayon too!" 
Aren't these little juice boxes adorable?  One day I was walking down an aisle at Walmart, not even looking for them.  I was so excited!  I bought them for the treat sacks and for the kids to drink at the party.
I had this garbage can saved from my first couple years of teaching.  It was a folder all about recycling.  I have no idea why I saved it.  The top part was the top of the folder that slid up and down, so I just glued Oscar's face in between and cut it out.  I love how it turned out!
Another poster I made for decoration.
And of course, we had to have this movie playing on TV!
I found these shirts at Walmart for Craig and I.  He was thrilled (Not!)   The important part was, Andrew loved them! :)
For dinner we served Elmo's favorite: Pizza!  We ordered from a favorite place and cut them into squares.  We also had crock pot lasagna and seven layer salad, bread, veggies and dip.   It was very kid friendly too.  After dinner we opened presents.  Andrew's favorite part!
He got lots of nice things.  He used to like to play with each gift before opening the next, and it would take him forever to open!  But now he just tears right in and goes from one to the next!
This was my favorite part of the night.  Andrew learned how to blow out candles somehow and he loves doing it!  He just sat there and stared at his big cookie (cookies are his favorite). 
My absolute favorite picture ever.  Look at that smile!
And his eyes here crack me up.  He was just concentrating so hard! Lol!
The kids all had fun playing.  These are Andrew's cousins Jack, Evelyn, Brooke and his friend Lilly.  I love how he and Lilly are holding hands.  Cousin Jayden didn't quite want to be in the picture, but his head is there!  Ha!
He made it in this one!  Ha!
Apparently our stairs are a human slide.  Every time kids come over, this is the main attraction!  I think we need more forms of entertainment!
Here is Craig with his niece, Evelyn and nephew, Jayden.  They were looking at "Dorothy."
Evie, Andrew and Lilly

It was a goal of mine to take pictures of everyone at the party this year.  It seems like I always look back and wish I had taken more pictures, or pictures of everyone there (I know, imagine me not having enough pictures!  Ha!)  But I did really good this time! 
Andrew and Ga Ga
Andrew with Papa and Grandpa
Auntie Karen and Grandma (Andrew wouldn't be in this picture!  He had had it with pictures!)
Andrew with his Godparents, Uncle Keith and Auntie Darlene, Jack and Brooke
Uncle Jason, Auntie Rachel, Evie and Jayden
Our good friends and neighbors, Kevin, Alissa and Lilly

Time just goes so fast.  I always want to freeze time and make his parties last forever.  I enjoy having people over and I love doing all the work involved.  In fact, I never think of it as work.  I spend months in advance preparing for his parties, and thinking of ideas.  It is just a hobby I guess.  I know someday he'll probably tell me what he wants and doesn't want, but for now, I'm enjoying it! :)

I can't believe my baby is three.  We've already noticed some habits to start breaking (like him wanting us to lay with him every night until he falls asleep!) and also some naughty behavior at school!  Some exciting changes are coming up for him with his school, which I will blog about soon.  He is just getting to be such a big boy, and we are loving him more and more every day, if that is even possible.

It was so cute the other day when I began to take down some of his decorations.  He was watching me.  I took down some blocks I had set up for decoration on the armoire, and he kept handing them back to me, for me to put them back!  Then on the mantle I had his stuffed Oscar there during the party but had taken him down, too.  A few days later, I watched him drag his little chair over by the fireplace, stand up on it with Oscar in hand, trying to reach up and put him back!  It was so adorable.  I couldn't help but notice the fact that he knew where all those things were placed during his party.  He actually noticed the little touches and things I did to decorate.  It made me happy.  And proud.  He is his mama's kid!  Ha!  So for a while anyway, a few things are left out from the party.  And Oscar has a special place on our mantle!
Happy 3rd Birthday to my special, special boy.


Courtney said...

What a special birthday party. I love all the little details!

Stefenie said...

Awww!! Thanks for sharing all of the photos from Andrew's big day. Makes me feel like I was there! :)

Andrew looks like he had so much fun and what a great job you did making it a great birthday for him!

Stef, Ryan, Wyatt and Logan

The Duve Family said...

Andrew looks like he had a great time! I am just amazed at your creativity...and jealous too!

Heidi Schmidt said...

As I'm trying to read about Andrew's adorable b-day party Ellie is chanting behind me, "I go there! I go there!" times a million. She loves Sesame Street, too :)
What a fun party, you are a great party planner, Jen!! Looks like fun.

Heidi, Kevin, Ellie & Baby

Tracey Snyder said...

Girl~I think you've found your calling! The decorations and everything were GREAT! Maybe I'll have to have you plan our next birthday party around here :-D Andrew looks like he had a BLAST!

You also reminded me of our 1st house. When we bought it, one of the spare rooms (before we had kids) was a Sesame Street room topped off with the infamous street sign. I had almost forgotten about that :-) Andrew would have loved that room!

Tracey, Jeremy, Riley, Drew and Jordan Snyder

Melissa said...

Jen, what a lucky boy Andrew is to have such a wonderful and loving mother! How blessed was I to have you watch Ella for the short time that you did! Tell Andrew happy birthday from Ella!

The Carter's said...

Jen you did a GREAT job with Andrew's party!! So cute! :)

Happy Birthday Andrew!

Ruby's mom said...

Andrew's birthday looked amazing! I was totally smiling the whole time I was looking through the pictures! And even laughed a little when I saw Craig's shirt! I think it's great you go all out for Andrew, he is such a special boy. I can't believe all he has been through. I know I say this a lot, but it sure is fun seeing all these updates on him and your family. Keep going "all out" on everything you do! YOU ROCK!

Ruby's mom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bill and Mary said...

WOW! You are SUPER creative...I am taking notes as my Andrew is getting into Elmo more and more...his second bday is in May. :)

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