The Last Most Epic Birthday Party Ever

Currently I’m writing this at 6:30 am on a Saturday morning (now, a few weeks ago) in my own little corner of the living room surrounded by 6-foot windows illuminating a scene of stupid April snow and a flock of adorable little birds.

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Why am I up so early, you probably didn’t even ask yourself, considering I’m on a farm and isn’t that what farm people are supposed to do? Well, it’s because Townes decided to turn my bed into an Elaina sandwich for the millionth night in a row. And that’s hardly even an exaggeration. I was sleeping in a 6-inch gap between him and Nick while both of them had generous portions of bed on either side of them. Anyone else not getting any sleep because your children forgot where their own beds are?

Quick side note (and so far this entire post has been a side note), sitting in my corner totally makes me want to sing out loud, “In my own little corner” from the 1965 live action Cinderella movie. I even found the song on YouTube for your listening pleasure.

But let’s be honest, now that I have kids I don’t have my own little corner. I don’t have my own little anything. In fact, Ryker just woke up, came to my not-own-little corner and is sitting on top of me, which makes writing this difficult, but proves my point explicitly. I even took a picture. See?

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Ryker crowding my not-own-little corner while I expertly balance my laptop on my lap. Also, yes I am wearing the Hubs’ Old Milwaukee T-shirt.

How do I even transition from that 4-paragraph ramble? How ’bout I just jump in by saying, “last month I threw my first, most fantastically epic, (and possibly last) kid birthday party to the theme of Harry Potter for my now 7-year-old boys. I mean it was perfect!” From the invitations…

 

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I mean how cool are these invites! I even took the time to burn the edges, soak the envelopes in tea, and melt a crayon into a wax seal. I know, I totally rock.

and the spot-on decor…

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In order for the guests to enter the party, they had to walk through the 9 3/4 platform brick wall, which I painted using a sponge. Oh, and did you notice the super adorbs hand-drawn Hedwig balloons (there’s about 30 in all). I mean, I even bought a helium tank.

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This was the Grand Hall and where the kids got sorted into their houses.

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The kiddos even got to drink Butter Beer out of goblets!

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Voldemort even made an appearance (the creepy guy in the picture frame, not the girl in the mirror).

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Hagrid even brought his Monster Book of Monsters for the kids to take home with them. Oh, and yeah, I made these. NBD.

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Baby Hagrid and his baby hut.

to the games and guests (everyone came – 13 total – and was extremely well behaved!)…

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During their feast, each of the kids got sorted into their house. I was amazed at how quiet all the kiddos were while they listened to hear where each person was sorted (Yes, it was a talking sorting hat!). This is Townes getting sorted.

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And Ryker…

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After each of the kids were sorted, then they were blindfolded so their wand could choose them. (Hint: the kids actually chose the wand, but couldn’t see the wand so it hopefully had the effect of the wand choosing them.)

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Side note: The boys, my friend Annie, and I made all the wands with small wooden dowels, hot glue, and paint. Pinterest rocks!

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After the wands chose the wizards, we moved on to pin the scar on Harry.

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Our last game was to free Dobby by throwing a pair of socks into the corn hole. The kiddo who was able to throw all three pairs of socks, won Dobby the house elf.

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After all the games, it was photo-op time. I got pics of all the Kids like this with my Polaroid wannabe camera so each child got to take home a photo. This is Townes.

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And Ryker, who’s all wet from playing with water balloons or something like that.

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I couldn’t not get in on the fun.

and the food…(well, it was almost perfect. The summer sausage I bought was mushy so that got thrown out, and the beef sticks were a little spicy for some of the kids, but overall there was no, “I don’t like that.” So win for me.)

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To cut down on some of the work for me. I didn’t make any food and it was all finger food. Cheese and crackers, beef sticks, veggies and dip, various fruit, chips, cheesy popcorn, and gummy worms, jelly beans, and donuts. I left it out throughout the whole party so kids could grab something whenever they wanted. It was probably my best idea yet – to have a variety of finger foods and let the kids go to town. I also had water, pumpkin juice (aka, orange juice) and butter beer (aka, cream soda floats).

But you know what? I think I’ll pass on the epic kid party for next year. Gasp! Hear me out…

Although the party was fantastic and really did go off without a hitch (excluding the minor traffic jam in our driveway at pick-up) something felt off about the whole thing. I could’t figure out who I was throwing the party for. Was it for my kids? Me (I mean, I did get pretty into it)? The other kids? The parents?

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This is me getting into it. I mean…the invites did come out from Professor McGonagall, so naturally I had to dress like her.

The irony is, I was planning a party to celebrate my children, but through the stress of planning the party and entertaining the guests I didn’t have a single quality moment with them. Quite the opposite in fact. I was screaming at them to do this and to do that, and NOT to do this or that. I felt I was deeply missing the point. Quality interactions with my children (and with my guests).

When the final guests left, the four of us (Nick, Townes, Ryker, and me) found ourselves sitting at the kitchen table talking about the party. I asked the boys if next year they wanted to have their second friends birthday party or if instead they wanted to have a family day where just the four of us did something really fun for the whole day. Can you guess what they chose? Us. I mean, all that effort and they’d rather just spend a super cool day with me and dad. What?! That’s pretty cool.

Now, I love to host, and I love people, and I love having people at my house connecting and having fun, so this definitely is’t the end to that, but until I can do it better, and by that I mean be less mean to my kids, I may have to forgo the extravagant kid birthday party. But then again, there is a whole year until they turn 8, so who knows how I’ll feel when that time comes.

 

 

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