Jasper’s Superhero Third Birthday Bash!

At long last, the party recap (um, almost 2 months later? Yikes!)

First, a little video..

And now, the details!

Well, overall I have to say that the party did NOT go as smoothly as last year.

First of all, about half of our guest list couldn’t make it because of vacation conflicts – the curse of a late August party I suppose. Next year I’ll have to do save the dates 6 months in advance as if it were a wedding! I actually stressed quite a bit about this because we decided to have a family and local friends party vs. a daycare friends party because Jasper has so many cousins that a party with all of his cousins PLUS his whole preschool class actually would have been about as big as a wedding! But in the end, only 5 of his cousins were able to make it plus one friend his own age and our across the street neighbors!  Then there were 4 babies 18 months or less, so there was a big age discrepancy between the guests.

Initially I was very sad that Jasper wouldn’t only have one guest his own age, but then I realized that he’s not that into big crowds anyway.. which was immediately confirmed when most of the guests arrived at once and Jasper went and hid in the corner! :)

There were lots of other issues because unlike last year, we had pretty much no one to help us set up and get ready. My dad was tied up getting his house ready for the relatives staying over, my sister + boyfriend + plus my good friend Amy arrived an hour or so early but I was expecting them sooner, my mom (who was a huge help last year) had to go get my grandmother and wasn’t able to help at all before or during the party.  The result was a bit chaotic!

I must say that Roxy and Amy did a great job with the last minute decorating (even though Jeff says it looked like a car dealership LOL!)

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In the image above, you can see the only picture of the banner I worked so hard on but didn’t have time to take a proper picture of. Well, the next morning I did before taking it down, but I didn’t realize there was no card in my camera. DOH!

My mom had baked the cake, but brought it un-iced and unassembled to me about an hour before the party.  My best friend Alexis had borrowed the coloring gel I use to color the marshmallow fondant and had never returned it, a fact that I didn’t realize until 11pm the night before the party.. what this meant was I couldn’t color the fondant until the MORNING of the party after Michael’s opened so I could go get more gel.  But that meant that the fondant was too warm when I was trying to roll it out and decorate it only a few hours later (as the guests were arriving) so it was a huge disaster – Jeff nobly tried to fix it, but it was pretty hopelessly messy. PLUS there wasn’t enough icing and we forgot to bring it to room temperature before serving. OOPS!

Here it is in all it’s messy glory. And before you say it doesn’t look that bad, let me admit that I photoshopped it a little. What, you didn’t know that I’m that crazy? Well, yes, yes I am!

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Other snafus included the NASTY costco crudite which must have been past it’s prime because the broccoli stunk up our house like nothing I’ve ever smelled – it was so bad I could smell it from outside when someone opened the door! And then of course there was the weather.

We got SO lucky that it didn’t rain like was predicted, but it ended up being ungodly hot.  But perhaps our biggest party planning mistake was not having the pizza arrive until 5:30 (the party started at 3pm.) I guess we miscalculated the arc of the party because many people had left by the time it arrived.. Sigh. I was pretty much begging people to stay for cake!

Lastly, I made the activities much too complicated to actually have time to properly execute – thank god some parents stepped in and helped the kids with their cape decorating and sock sidekick making crafts!  The older children really enjoyed it, so I’m glad we did it even though it was a bit overly ambitious. Here are the details in case you are planning your own overly ambitious super hero craft making party!

First, I purchased assorted bulk capes and masks from Abracadabrazoo and put them in each child’s goodie bag:

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Even though it looks from the picture like every child’s bag had a superhero J for Jasper, they were actually individualized for each child (we just happened to have tons of “J” kids!)

The bags themselves and most of the items in them (superhero gummies, superhero tattoos, superhero rubber duckies etc) were from Oriental Trading Company.  We also stuffed each bag with a bright colored/patterned sock that we bought from Target so that they could do the build your own sock-puppet sidekick (more on that in a minute!)

For the 18 month and younger guests, we stuffed their bags with capes for when they are older and small plush toys!

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For the cape decorating,  I bought sheets of sticky felt in different bright solid colors, glitter glue, sticky felt in small precut shapes like stars and fabric paint.  I wanted each child to be able to cut out an emblem shape and the shape of the first letter of their own name, so I ended up buying some cute shapes in MDF wood that I found in the wood craft section of the craft store. I had a heart, star and oval shape for the emblems and a letter for each child (it actually came in handy there were about 5 Js!)

I think the kids did a fantastic job – but it was definitely more for the older children… but Jasper’s three older girl cousins helped him make one too!

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The sock puppet sidekick was Jeff’s idea – here he is showing the kids how to create one:

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We got googly eyes, felt sticky letters, red felt sheets and some sticky velcro dots so the kids could make a cape for their sidekicks!

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Here are some other image s of the day:

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The last “game” we did was pin the emblem on Super Jasperman – this was the only game Jasper and Jonas (his one friend his age!) could participate in.  This year we I got a 20×30 image printed on posterboard at Costco – I think it was $16 – quite a deal!

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Jasper went first, and as soon as he walked right up and put the emblem in the exact right spot we realized he could see right through the handkerchief!  Oh well, it’s nice for the birthday boy to “win” even if it is by unintentionally cheating!

After our last game, the pizza finally came, followed shortly after by the cake. Jasper was VERY excited about cake this year. In fact, when he woke up on his birthday day he told us that his cake and his party were sad waiting for him!

Here he is blowing out his candles.. (or trying anyway)

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Daddy to the rescue!

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Cousin Jenny feeding him :)

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Then, of course, my favorite part: the Photobooth!
Like last year, I ordered some of the props from Maro Designs on Etsy and a few others from Party Pleasantries.

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After most of the guests had left, we moved inside to open some gifts. I’ll never forget Jasper’s reaction to the hand painted bear card that his Auntie Roxy made him: He ran over to it, kissed it on the nose and then pulled it flat to his chest and gave it a huge hug! So CUTE!

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So that’s pretty much it. I don’t know HOW we did it last year that it was so much more relaxed and ran so much more smoothly, because this year definitely did not follow suit!

In fact, when Jasper and I were talking about his party a few weeks ago and I asked him what his favorite part was he replied “When my cousins took care of me when you were talking to other people!”. Yeesh. My goal for next year’s birthday is to actually spend some of it with Jasper!

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Gillian says:

They look awesome! I have been reading your blog for probably about a year now and I didn’t realize that…lol. You did such a great job with everything.

Gillian says:

Ariana,
As always Jaspers party looks great. Was wondering if you would mind sharing how you did the invitations and poster….did you have someone make them up for you or did you do them yourself.
Thanks

ariana says:

Gillian, my husband is an illustrator, so he did those!

Michelle says:

ari!! this party is adorable!!! you are a class act..regardless of stinky brocolli :)
xoxo
michelle kole

Julia says:

Don’t feel bad, from your beautiful pictures it looks like everyone is having fun. Birthday parties for kids are so stressful. My sons 1st bday is 6 weeks away and I’m already stressing. Loved the capes and sock puppet sidekicks and the photo booth! Your son is adorable.

Christina says:

I am in June on my personal blog – do not feel bad! Your party looked fantastic and living life and making the memories is more important than being two months later writing about them :-).

jbhat says:

You are precious. As much as I adore looking at pictures of kids parties on blogs and on Ohdeedoh, the reality is that people just want to eat, drink, mingle and talk. They are not there to judge your decor or your party-planning abilities, they really aren’t. They are there because they love you. And give me a break, I scarcely knew where my little one was when we had her party, there were so many people who were there to entertain her and be entertained by her.

I think Jasper’s party looks like it was fun, stinky broccoli and late pizza or not. You guys did great! The photo booth shots are awesome too.

jbhat

Cole says:

I think you’re birthday party was actually the same day as mine! I don’t think your decorations look like a car dealership at all, and i love, love, LOVE the photobooth!

ariana says:

Oh my goodness!!! Well, if you do blog about it, I definitely want to read it. Maybe after a few more months you’ll think it’s funny? Or maybe not, it might take a lot of distance to get over that kind of party trauma LOL!

Claudia says:

Don’t feel bad, I haven’t blogged about my boys’ party either. It could be due to the fact that I still feel bad that all the children were crying due to a freak storm that blew everything away, dragged the (unoccupied) bounce house 40 feet, snapped some trees, and soaked the cake. So yeah, compared to that, your party was excellent.
Love the photobooth pics and Jasper looks as cute as always. He still reminds me of my son Jordan a little bit :)

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