Monday, February 28, 2011

How to Throw A UFO Space Cowboy Alien Party... Kinda

Note to self: 5pm on a Sunday that played host to a boy's fourth birthday is not the time to discover that you are out of pain killers.

Yes. Party. Yes. Headache. But not till well after everyone was gone. It's funny how your body knows to put things like a migraine on hold when your house is overrun with four 4 year olds, two 5 years, three 7/8 year olds and their parents, your parents, their dad's mother, and aunts and uncles. In my family, you smell cake and your instincts guide you.  Zero complaints. It was a blast! No really, I am not making that up... completely randomly put together and as my eldest says "this is the BEST birthday I have ever had!". Just wait till his birthday. Thank goodness I have a few months for that yet!

Rowan (who is seven) was more excited about planning this shindig than anyone. He comes up with such brilliant ideas, and if we had a mansion, a dozen minions and a pot of gold, he could throw a brilliant soiree. He was content to be in charge of making the invitations however.

The body opens to reveal the info...
This past couple of weeks, the toughest part of getting ready for the party was getting the birthday boy on side! First the only person he wanted to invite was a twelve year old girl who is in his brother's play. She plays the evil Queen, and somehow that seems a foreboding indication of the years ahead. We went and invited children anyway. Which I think was a good idea. The next issue was that he wanted to have a Space Cowboy party, but he also wanted the whole thing to be pink, orange and purple. He is very set on that colour combo. We went through site after site on the computer looking for space decor (not much out there that isn't NASA) and while this was a PERFECT opportunity for me to get creative, we were pretty much nil on funds and time... so I was stifled. Nothing at all got his attention. Except bunting! The only thing he got the least bit excited about was orange bunting. For a Space Cowboy party. Hmmm...

Well, the one thing that I (and my inner Martha) have learned to live with (her not so much, but she is working on it) is that sometimes the only thing you can do is listen to the little anklebiter. While I work very hard at making most things far more complicated than they need to be, often I have found that the kids are just happy to have had you listen to them. So bunting was made.

You know what? I love it. Don't look closely, it is the fastest bunting ever sewn together and it's a mess...

...but I love how happy it makes the living room look :) (Also don't look at the lamp... I hate it, it came with the house and hasn't been replaced yet...)

The only other thing that Liam specified was a purple UFO Birthday Cake... with eyeballs. Of course...

Grandma Berta to the rescue...
 So we ordered one from the Unidentified Food Organization.

And Auntie Ingy :)

 Ha ha. Just kidding, the cake was made by my family (group effort) and was the hit of the party... My mother phoned to tell me that she had discovered fondant and was going to try to cover the cake in that. (Snigger) I was really impressed that she was going to all that effort, and didn't think to tell her that my attempts at fondant have been complete disasters because, well, she is my mom and she totally rocks in the kitchen. I do not. 

And Grandpa Jim made a wicked stand for it! 

Aunty Ingy (her name is Lindsay, she adopted Ingy because she was the first person Rowan learned to say the name of and it has stuck,) says that the story is that the aliens had to leave their planet together because they fought constantly (they are brother and sister) and by the time they get to earth they have been forced to be in each company for so long, they get along famously. You know, sorta like human siblings :)

I did some wrestling with decorations beyond the bunting and the colour scheme as I usually have balloons on hand that have been re-used over and over (most have been rescued from elsewhere) but I refuse to buy new ones. Balloons are one of those things that are really nasty environmentally and don't actually serve much of a purpose. I knew I could do festive beyond what the "normal" party decor list generally calls for, so I got out some leftover tissue paper and made some of those balls that are everywhere right now. Martha has a tutorial on her site... they seem really frustrating when you are pulling them apart, but then they look great when done. The bunting is everywhere too but super straightforward. I recommend actually making some effort at it, and not trying to put it together at T minus zero, as it would be nice if I didn't cringe every time I looked at it. Pretty from afar, but I will be hanging mine as high as possible :) Those things and some stuff we had lying about the house that were sparkley made the place quite fabulous. I will be making up some butterfly garlands and a couple more strings of bunting for my own birthday party in spring!

The last word on kids birthdays? Have your tickle trunk out. We just let them go at it and ended up with a Space Cowboy / Batman / Wicked Witch / Oscar Diva Party. We didn't have to interrupt them at all, we just put in our built in earplugs (those ones that develop throughout parenthood) and gathered in the kitchen to chat. I recommend having dress-up stuff for both boys and girls, even if you only have only sons or only daughters. Although really, they are pretty good at improvising!

Most of all, HAVE FUN!
(Oh, and for the record, do NOT handcuff one of your nicest guests right before her cab comes... just sayin'!)

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Michelle said...

Ok, I want that cake for my own birthday! SO cute!

Sonya said...

YUM! That cake looks amazing! haha very cool. Happy birthday Liam :)

Artizan said...

Looks like fun! Wish I could have been there :(