Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Super Sonic 6th Birthday Party

{Past mid-February...darn time I posted this, huh?}

It is usually about a week after the New Year when we start talking about Drew's birthday.  Specifically, his party.  Specifically, the theme.  Cuz this Mama likes to plan.  So we started talking about some ideas and then I tried to narrow it down to which ones I could actually pull off - as in, which themes I've seen plastered over Pinterest to be able to copy all of everyone else's ideas to pull this baby off.  We had it narrowed down to three: a Lego party, an Angry Birds party, or a Sonic party.  Well, four ideas, actually: Drew also threw in the idea of having an Electric Company party.  Not sure where that idea came from.  I mean, the kid loves that show, but what kind of party was he thinking this was gonna be???

I knew which theme I wanted him to pick, but I bit my tongue and let him decide.

He chose Sonic.

This was not the one I wanted him to pick.

This was the last one I wanted him to pick.

This wasn't my favorite theme for two reasons: 1) there aren't a lot of Sonic party ideas floating around out there; and 2) I know next to nothing about the little blue guy.

But after doing a bit of online research, and peppering Drew with 20 questions to learn something - anything - about the hedgehog, I channeled my inner minimalist (yes, I do occasionally remember that less is more), and we were able to pull of a pretty fantastic Sonic birthday party.  If I do say so myself.

So the details.  For those even remotely interested.  And for me, 20 years from now.

Sonic party supplies aren't the easiest to find.  I finally found some Sonic items at the fourth party supply store that I stopped into in town, but even there the selection was minimal - plates, napkins, tattoos, and balloons was pretty much it.  After not finding much locally, and not wanting to take the time to search online, I focused on Sonic's primary color - blue - along with yellow, to pull together party paraphernalia.

The invitation:

Inspiration taken from HERE

The cake:  

Idea found HERE
Chocolate cake, white frosting, coordinating M&Ms.
Throw on a small Sonic action figure that later becomes a toy he can actually play with...
So simple.  So absolutely perfect.

We also whipped up some white cupcakes with yellow and blue frosting.
Idea found HERE.

The food, table & decor:

Drew's party was mid-afternoon, so we served snacks, along with the cake & ice cream.
Blue corn chips & salsa (because Sonic is blue).
Pineapple rings (because Sonic races for rings in the video game).
Skittles (because a few of the inspiration blogs I looked at used these as "chaos emeralds," another part of the video game that I don't understand).
Popcorn.  Primarily to add color to the table with those cute popcorn boxes.  
(See?  Everything has a purpose.)  :)

The decorations consisted of the birthday banner, made with my Cricut, yellow & blue streamers and yellow & blue balloons.  Drew is a firm believer that it isn't a party unless there are balloons.  I splurged on those yellow Sonic balloons strictly based on his belief. 

The party theme was complete when Drew opened his new Sonic shirt from Grammy & Papa that morning.

The games:

Having actual party guests, aside from grandparents, I thought I should have a few games on hand and ready to go for the kiddos.  Ideally I wanted to get some ideas from the Sonic video game that would translate into some fun and easy hands-on games, but I still understand very little about it.  So with Drew's help, we pulled together a few ideas that sufficed.

1) Pin the Tail on Tails {an idea I saw on a couple different blogs}.

Tails is Sonic's side kick.  Giving him another tail just makes sense, right?  I found an image online, enlarged and cropped in Photoshop, and printed it out onto cardstock to make it into a large poster.  Traced the tail onto orange construction paper for the kids to pin on.

2) Ring toss.  In the video game, Sonic collects rings.  So a ring toss of sorts works great.  We used pool rings and small orange cones.  Worked great.

3) At Reed's birthday party last year, we played "Find the Hidden Mickeys" and Drew wanted to do something similar.  I still don't understand the whole Sonic and the chaos emerald thing, but from what I gather, Sonic is trying to find said emeralds.  So I printed an image of various colored emeralds I found online and taped them around the basement for the kids to search for and find.  

The favor bags:

I took a few ideas from HERE and HERE and then added a few of my own.

Blue bags found at the Dollar Store.
"Thanks for coming!" tags made with Photoshop and my craft supplies.
Sonic tattoo.
Ring pop (again, for the chaos emerald).
Blue bead necklace.
Cookies. Because the packaging was blue.
Small sonic coloring book (made with images found online) & a small box of crayons (that were clearanced out dirt cheap at the party store and they just happened to be blue).

The big day:

The celebrating began early as Drew opened his gifts from us and from Grammy & Papa in the morning.  He was a very lucky boy, opening lots of Legos, an Angry Birds game, and his Sonic shirt.  He was happy, happy, happy.

The real party started after lunch.  Drew had decided to invite four friends from church and six friends from school, and seven of them were able to come (parents were invited to stay, as well, and many of them did).  It was the perfect size.  They started arriving at 2:00, and we sent them down to the basement to play.  {I think everyone was well accommodated down there, but it did cross my mind that better planning to have had a baby in the spring/summer/fall would be great for outdoor parties!}  

At one point, Brad turned on the Sonic video game that begins with a little music video of Sonic doing his thing.  Those boys were glued to that screen! 

We played our party games while in the basement.  They were a bit chaotic and unorganized as the boys (and one girl) mingled through all the toys, but I think everyone had a good time!

Back upstairs for cake and snacks.

We don't have the greatest amount of table/dining space, so we threw a sheet on the floor and had the kids eat there.  Perfect to catch all those crumbs!

Presents from friends.  Such generous, awesome gifts for the birthday boy!

Best party shot I got of the party crew. :)

The party wrapped up at 4:00, and we had just enough time to do a bit of picking up to head out to Saginaw.  The birthday boy had chosen Culver's as his dinner of choice (surprise, surprise), and the 25 minute van ran to the restaurant was just right for a quick cat nap.

Birthday partyin' can really wear a kid out!

Before heading to Culver's, we made a pit stop at Toys 'R' Us.  Earlier in the month, Drew received a coupon for $3 off a $3 purchase, and I told him he could use it to buy some worth, well, $3.  Wellllll... let's just say he splurged.  Thank you, great aunts and uncles who send money for his birthday!

Ice cream zombie.

It's been rough for this Mama, having him grow up.
I do miss all the sweet baby-ness about him.  He's growing taller and wiser and more funny every day.
But I know we have so much more to look forward to.

I am so super in love with him.

Friday, February 15, 2013

For the Love

My intentions for the two weeks leading up to Valentine's Day were just that...intentions.  Not a decoration or game or gimmick or treat was unearthed from its storage box in anticipation of Heart Day.  I really like Valentine's Day...but as the only girl in a house full of guys, it loses it's luster a bit when I'm the only one that really digs all things pink and sparkly.  And although I know my hubs loves me so...he isn't the romantic sort.  So it kinda just ends up with me expressing love towards myself.  Ha! :)

At the end of the day, a smooshy mooshy love-sick sorta lucky in love am I that I ended up with three boys to love on?  And three boys to love on me??  Seriously.  Best gift ever.

With all that we didn't do for love day, we did do some stuff.

It took Drew a couple nights to put together Valentines for his class.  He opted to use the Star Wars printable I found HERE via Pinterest.     

His class party was Thursday afternoon, and I was fortunate enough to be able to be there to help.  The holiday parties are run like centers; the kids divided into four groups that rotate to four different stations: craft, game, snack and for Valentine's Day, one station to open and look at the cards they received from their classmates.

It was also a Spirit Day at school: dress like a rock star.  Subtle but secure Drew opted for his "Born to Rock" shirt. (Thanks, Perry!)

Because I had done nothing leading up to Love Day, I really wanted to do something.  Because letting a holiday go by without any pomp or celebration is like hearing a small orchestra of puppies, so sad.  So I opted for a Valentine themed dinner to celebrate my three loves.

{idea found HERE via Pinterest}

I was repaid with these kind of snuggles afterwards...

...followed by being taken out to eat tonight by all three of my men.

My gift?
This gem from Drew.

In Spanish: "Te amo Mama." {I love you, Mom.}
Heart. Melted.

And this.  This made me split a side laughing so hard...
A walking valentine man.
With a mustache.
A mustache!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

We Went Sledding

...and it was fun!

I called upon my local friends to give me the 411 on sledding hills here in town that would be appropriate for the boys, and after receiving a few recommendations, we headed out Saturday morning to Revere Park.  And it was absolutely perfect for us because 1) the hill was fun enough for the boys to sled down while not too difficult for them to climb back up (on their own), and 2) it wasn't busy.  One other kid there all morning.  Perfect.

A few observations...
1) Sledding is just downright fun.  Might need to peruse the clearance aisles for a couple discounted tubes for Brad and I.
2) Our hill had well-made tracks from kids sledding the day before, and there was even a man-made snow-formed jump on one track.  Both boys attacked that baby with gusto.
3) So super proud of Drew, for both his courage and strength.  For anyone who knows Drew, you know he is tentative, especially around anything slightly precarious.  He was all about sledding today.  And for anyone who went sledding with Drew last winter, you know that Drew had a lot of difficulty getting himself back up the hill after going down.  He raced up that thing yesterday. 
4) Reed is an animal.  Not a new observation.  Just confirmed again today.
4) I love my hubs.  He's a pretty fantastic dad.  And an awesome sled pusher-downer. 

We sledded for about an hour and a half before heading back home to warm up and eat lunch.  I think the hill will be calling our name next weekend, too.  ;)

I love these guys.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Snow Day!

For real this time!

Not like last time, when school was canceled because of a measly 3-4 inches.

This was legit.

12 inches legit, yo.  

And I didn't make the same mistake as I did last Monday!  Although, to be fair, thinking "snow day" was a bit more logical this time around!  The snow started around 4:00 yesterday afternoon, and we were predicted to have 6-10 inches.  Near six inches had fallen by 10pm, and school was canceled before Brad and I went to bed, so it was extra awesome cuz I got to sleep in too!

Reed (and I) were up at 7:30 (yes yes yes!) and, get this, Drew slept in until 8:17!  Woot woot!  (Don't know if you picked up on that, so just in case- I'm very obnoxiously quite excited about that.  Started our day off great!)  It took Drew a bit to realize what time it was, what day it was, and what we should've been doing at that exact moment.  Then it took a second for him to realize he didn't have school because of all the snow and not because he woke up so late.  Ha!  But when he peeked out the window, he was pretty pumped.

Snow day celebration continued with cinnamon rolls for breakfast...

and playing games with Dad as he snowplowed the driveway (it was quite amusing to see the boys fly back off the couch when Brad blew snow onto the window).  :)

The morning finished with some coloring, workbooks, and lite brite...

before settling in on the floor with our lunch to view Disney Junior's showing of Cars.  You know, just in case it's any different than the DVD we've watched 800 bajillion times.

When that was all over, it was time to bundle up.  Because as an added bonus of having this much snow...the temps were reasonable AND the sun was shining! 

Not that our own yard didn't have a significant amount of snow accumulated on it to play, but when you have a ginormous park right across the street that boasts an endless amount of snow covered ground that hasn't even been touched?!?!?

Yeah, you'd go over there, too.

Stay tuned, folks.

Tomorrow we get out the sleds.