Despite a myriad of setbacks the morning of (running late, a crate falling on top of the cake in transit, promised tables nowhere in sight when we got there, scrambling to get everything set up before people started arriving, major ice chest leakage, etc.), Riley’s third birthday party was a rousing success.
Kenny and I decided months ago to have the party at Riley’s favorite bounce place, figuring that he would love it and that it would be easier on us not having a houseful of people. However, I failed to take into account the amount of crap we would have to haul to the mall with us. Luckily, I remembered everything we needed (and a few things we didn’t), and the clean-up was very quick and easy. And, it was a really fun party.
Kenny of course wanted to do the cake himself instead of ordering one (like I totally would have done), but we did make it easier on ourselves this year by doing cookie cake. Nola baked the cakes, I got some store-bought frosting, and Kenny created a very cool monster truck cake that Riley loved.
For other tasty treats, I had pretzels and goldfish, chicken tortilla roll-ups, dirty dip with chips, and funfetti cake dip with grapes and animal crackers. Oh, and we ordered the ever-popular chicken nuggets from Chick-Fil-A again (264 total, of which there were no leftovers, mostly thanks to QP).
I also framed Riley's third birthday interview and newly created subway art as table decorations. I found the idea for the balloon adorned favor bags on Pinterest and used those as table decorations as well. And the banner I made for his first birthday came in handy once again…..it’s become somewhat of a tradition.
Everyone we invited was able to come (41 people!), with the exception of some out-of-town family. All of the kids were so excited to bounce, and they did great with waiting their turn. I expected some whining and tears, but there were none. Riley and his friends could not have been more well-behaved.
I also must say that the two girls working that morning were fantastic. They wrote every kid’s name on a big dry erase board and just kept going down the list the entire two hours we had the place reserved. No one had to worry about losing their place in line because of that list. The kids were more than happy to sit on the benches, watching whoever was bouncing while patiently waiting for their turn. They were eleven little rockstars; I was so proud of them.
A few of the big kids did cut in line, but we made sure to do so after every little kid had had a few turns first. Lizzie went twice; Doug and Steve went once. Even Kenny and I gave it a go, and I was surprised how tired I was afterwards. My arms were still a little sore even two days later!
In addition to the bouncing, I had ordered plain white mini beach balls for the kids to decorate and take home with them. The only markers that would write on them were permanent ones, so we provided old t-shirt smocks to protect the kids’ clothes. I wasn’t sure how this activity would go, but it actually worked well.
As for the rest of the partygoers, everyone seemed to enjoy watching the bouncing, sampling the food, visiting with each other, and taking turns holding Rory (who was supremely well-behaved). We also tried really hard to get Kate to walk, but she refused. Oh, and at one point Riley decided to run around with his shirt lifted up, which Nathan thought was hilarious. Wonk potatoes.
We got our money’s worth out of bouncing and didn’t cut the cake until our time was up. Some people had already left, but there was still a decent crowd remaining to sing “Happy Birthday” to the new three-year-old.
The birthday boy got one final bounce after cake and then the party was over. Even though we were really rushed in the morning, I was so pleased with how everything ultimately went. It was a great location for a party, the staff was superb, and I think everyone had a fun time.
But I know Riley had a blast, and that’s really all that matters. Happy, Happy Birthday, my sweet boy…..Daddy and I love you so very much!