A Whole Hand

My first-born is turning five. 5. A whole hand. It's amazing. Unreal.

It's always stressful coming up with party ideas. Violet's birthday falls right at the beginning of party season - it seems like all her school friends have parties in January and February. Having a winter birthday presents its own challenges - must be inside, etc. Plus, I tend to be more low-key when it comes to birthdays. I didn't grow up with elaborately themed parties; usually a group of friends just came over to hang out at the house. (The notable exception being my old-fashioned dress up tea party for my 12th; we made hats. It was awesome.)

I still think the best party I've thrown was Violet's second. Ah, the birthday breakfast party. There was a doughnut cake, everyone wore pajamas, the kids decorated pillows to take home. I even splurged on custom designed invitations hand-painted by my artist friend.

Things went downhill after that. Birthday three was going to be a Build-a-Bear bash, until the birthday girl came down with the stomach bug the night before. We were able to reschedule, but by then most of the guests had other plans. The next year Violet wanted one of those inflatable jumpy places. It was nice having a place to go and other people to handle the details and clean up, but that's about all I can say for that party.

So this year, the big five, I wanted something different. (We've been to plenty of Frozen-themed, gymnastics/dance, dress-up parties already.) I wanted something easy. I was even willing to have it in my house. I needed a decent, easy-to-execute theme, and I wanted it to be something Violet was genuinely into. Right now, Violet's two favorite things are Hello Kitty, and watching tv. She loves tv passionately. At any given moment, she knows exactly where our iPad is and can navigate Netflix blind. I'm not proud of it. But it got me thinking.

Movie Night Pajama Birthday Party! I'd have it on a Friday night, our traditional family movie night. There shouldn't be too many conflicts, because who plans anything for a Friday night? An evening event means I could kick everyone out of the house at a fairly decent hour. No one has done it before. There are plenty of Hello Kitty themed decorations to be had. My house looks awesome with new floors. Piece of (birthday) cake!

The grandmas had "fun" getting these ready one babysitting night.

It's all about the cake.
So Friday evening, nine little girls descended on the house under heavy, gray clouds, dressed in their pajamas and slippers, ready to celebrate my little girl. I was stressing the weather (more snow/ice/cold forecast, after school activities cancelled, general panic starting to ensue again) and reassured parents they could come back early if they were worried. I really just wanted everyone to show up (visions of the rescheduled Build-a-Bear fiasco danced through my head). Most moms gave me a "are you sure you're okay with this?" look as they dropped their daughters off. I responded with my best "dude, I handle 26 on a regular basis - 10 girls is nothing" look in return.

But wow, can ten little girls get loud! There was much running and shrieking and laughing and jumping on furniture. So while it was loud, I guess that means that everyone had fun. I can't say how much pizza or cake was consumed. Popcorn was refilled numerous times, however. I know that less than half the crowd lasted the entire movie (Violet had no trouble with that) but the rest of them enjoyed the playroom. And since they found all the Tinkerbell fairy toys, at least they stayed with the movie theme! The evening was relatively drama-free, no one cried, Violet seemed happy with the proceedings, and Matt and I had the house put back together by 8:15. Success!

Her face is priceless!

Happy birthday to you!

Settling in to watch the Tinkerbell movie.

Violet and Emma, BFFs!

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