Thursday, June 9, 2011

I've Met My Match

I consider myself a pretty ambitious person. I thrive on making the seemingly impossible, reality. I love nothing more than impressing others with the things I do (which typically aren't all that hard, but might look it). A hobby and passion of mine is event planning which in my limited budget typically takes the form of birthday parties for my kids. Since Anna suffers from Middle Child Syndrome (keeping in mind she was infected with this long before Ella's arrival), I tend to go above and beyond in hopes of making her feel special.

This year was no exception.

I had grand plans but I have to admit, I now know exactly where my limits lie as I set the bar just out of my reach with this one. I am still licking my wounds which is why it has taken me almost a week to post anything on this party.

As you know, Anna loves cooking, especially baking. There is a local shop that offers cake decorating classes for adults and the occasional kid class, which she has loved attending. I was hoping they would give a private class (thus sparing me of the work and mess) but due to wedding season, they were unable to accommodate us. SO, in my brilliance, I figured I could have all the girls (12 + Anna + Joey) to our home to decorate cupcakes, cookies, make candy, etc...

I ordered pink (of course) aprons and found iron-on letters at Hobby Lobby to make custom aprons for each of the girls. Unfortunately, the aprons were lost in the mail (thank you USPS) and I made a mad dash the night before to Hobby Lobby who happened to have enough in stock for plan B. These turned out super cute (again very little effort on my part beyond digging out our iron) but unfortunately they didn't all match, so I had to guess who would like pink and who was more of a zebra stripe girl (and hope for no hurt feelings).

THANK GOD for my mother and sister-in-law who volunteered to help me. I could not have done it without them!!! Even Joey was a huge help and played the role of photographer because I didn't get a chance to get out my camera.

We had 4 stations:
  1. cupcakes
  2. cut out cookies and cookie pops
  3. chocolate covered Oreos and cake pops
  4. chocolate covered caramel pretzels
The idea was that there would be 3-4 girls per station and they would move from table to table completing the activities. I had planned to make some samples of each treat prior to their arrival, but the planets were not aligned the week of the party and I didn't have nearly as much time to prepare as I had hoped.

Learnings:
  • Cupcakes take the shortest amount of time to decorate, followed by cookies
  • I needed 3 microwaves to keep all the chocolate melted at the right times
  • Cake pops are not as easy as they look for children to make
  • I needed space in the freezer and refrigerator (or a blast chiller would have been nice) to speed up the chocolate drying process
  • 92˚ temperature makes cake pops fall off the stick the instant a child walks outside
  • For this many activities/children you need more than 2 hours, 2.5 to 3 would have been better
  • 9 year old girls have a hard time getting cheese popcorn from a bowl to their mouths
  • Thus our dog loves 9 year old girls
  • Sprinkles are forever embedded in my hard wood floor
  • If I am never called Mrs. Stieby again, I am ok with that
  • Ella will never have a party like this
I wish I could say the kids had a great time, but honestly, I was so busy running around like a nut, I didn't have time to notice. I do know I pissed off Anna at least twice, making her wait since the other girls had to go home and she could do any of the activities after they left.

My mom and sister-in-law even stayed to help me clean up. (Have I mentioned I am forever in their debt?) Anna does love her zebra apron and I think she will remember this day as a good one. I know the rest of her birthday was a success even if this part was rather hectic. 

Here are a bunch of photos that Joey took for me. Enjoy.








5 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Wow. Thats really all I have to say right now. You're a great mom- but I think you're insane.

Sarah said...

Sometimes you don't realize how insane you are until it's too late.

Greg said...

Joey had a great time at the party. She loves helping out. Although now she wants to take close-up pictures of everything around the house.

I microwaved some dinner the other day in the 5-minutes I have to eat between work and taking her to gymnastics. But I had to put it down so she could photograph it.

Sarah said...

Greg, too funny and good to know. I will have to keep that in mind for Christmas or next year's bday.

Mary said...

I think all the girls had a great time. They really liked their aprons and all the goodies they got to take home. They really were very patient and it was fun experience for them. I was glad to be there and help them too. Your are fantastic Mom; always doing, creating, and making things fun.