Birthday Party Recap

Catie’s birthday party on Saturday was so much fun. The downside of Catie having a January birthday means that backyard parties aren’t really an option, and I don’t particularly want a whole slew of kids running around my house. So, if she wants a party, we basically have to host it elsewhere.

We had the party at a local place called Hopper’s House, which turned out to be one of the cheaper options as far as an indoor place with bounce houses and lots of other kiddie entertainment. Catie’s been there several times before and loves playing there, and I knew it would be a hit with the three and four year-old crowd. We had a smaller turnout than I had expected, around 10 kids, but it turned out to be perfect. (And trust me, ten kids? Make PLENTY of noise on their own.)

Elizabeth & Catie

Plus we had two of Catie’s favorite people there, my brother Chris and my sister Tracy (plus my sister’s boyfriend Everett). So that made it even better.

Tracy, Chris, Dave & Everett

Catie had requested a unicorn birthday cake, but I couldn’t find any stores that do custom artwork on cakes, and I sure as heck wasn’t going to attempt it on my own. So, thanks to a suggestion from the lovely Danielle, we got a unicorn cake topper from Birthday Express. It was perfect.

Unicorn cake!

Except for the part where the unicorn sank into the cake like quicksand and then fell over, but eh, whatever, it was fine. The birthday girl herself didn’t mind at all, it was exactly what she wanted. As evidenced here:
(Video bonus: you can see my pregnant self for like 0.5 seconds. Lovely.)

She was a very happy birthday girl.

One odd thing about birthday parties, and I don’t know if this is a local thing, or if it’s a new tradition everywhere, but it seems like kids don’t open their gifts at the party, they open them later at home? Now, I can think of a few reasons that would motivate this:
1.) You can’t rely on a four year-old to graciously receive a gift.
2.) Because the birthday boy/girl might be sad about the party ending, so hey, guess what? Now we get to go home and open presents! Yay!
3.) So other kids don’t feel left out. (Which is kind of lame, because, well, that’s part of life, you know? It isn’t always about you. Sometimes you’re the guest of honor, sometimes you’re the guest.)
4.) It’s a whole lot easier on the parents to keep track of who gave what for thank-you notes when it isn’t a gift-opening free-for-all.

While I don’t necessarily approve of this tradition, I can certainly see the motivation. So, since every other birthday party we’ve been to for the past year has done things this way, this is how we did it too. We opened presents at home, and I have to say, it does make things a lot easier. And I can ensure that all the kids who were there will get appropriately personalized thank-you notes this week.

Opening presents

birthdays are fun!

It took Catie a long time to settle down after her party, but when she crashed, she crashed.

Zonked out on the air mattress.

Catie spent almost the entire day on Sunday playing with her cousins, which was a great distraction to keep her from being sad about our houseguests leaving. And when we got home, she got to have leftover party pizza and cake for dinner. Can’t beat that.

All in all, it was a really great birthday weekend.