Saturday, March 14, 2009

Brighams Birthday

Brighams birthday is on Monday...and he REALLY wanted a party. I've been really anti-party lately...I feel like party costs have just gotten OUT OF CONTROL (like, since when did it become the standard for the birthday child to hand out goody bags that are more elaborate than their own gifts?). It's like parties...from weddings, to showers, to birthdays...have just become this huge professionally planned deal that they even have REALITY shows about...complete with misbehaving brides or teenagers who don't deserve a party in the first place.

Not only that - but it seems that party venues are more and more expensive. I mean, have you PRICED Chuck E. Cheese lately? And that place is a chump are having parties at MUCH MORE elaborate places than hotels, and water parks, and amusement parks. Whatever happened to having a party at home with "Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Donkey" and a homemade cake?

Anyway - I just got kinda burned out. We'd go to one of these parties, and my kids would come out all strung out on sugar and carrying a 2-pound goody bag and gleefully announce as they climbed in the van: "I want my next birthday party to be THERE!!"

So, lately, we'd just done family activities for birthdays...and the kids were okay with that. But this year, Brigham REALLY wanted a party. I mean...REALLY.

So I finally caved and told him that he could have one as long as the cost stayed under $100.00, and we could only invite a maximum of 10 kids. He enthusiastically agreed.

Since Brighams party is the day before St. Patrick's Day, we decided to have a Leprechaun Party. I made the invites at home on the computer, and they read:

Brighams’ birthday is coming
He has big dreams, it’s true…
And turning dreams into reality
Is just what Leprechauns do!

So Brigham needs to catch an elf
With a funny beard and a green hat,
But Brigham can’t do it alone
He needs his friends for that!!

So won’t you please come help
We’ll aid Brigham in getting his gold
And while we’re catching Leprechauns,
We’ll celebrate him turning 7-years-old!

Then I bought two crafts from Oriental Trading was a visor/hat that looked like a Leprechauns bowler hat. It was on sale for $5.49 for a pack of 12. The other was a shamrock wand. It was on sale for $2.49 for a pack of 12. With shipping, it cost about $11.50, and I got a free gift...a inflatable Limbo Kit for St. Patty's Day (it was either that or an inflatable tub to keep beer cold...but I just didn't think that would be appropriate).

I bought dollar plates and napkins and tablecloths at Wal-Mart in dark and light green. I bought green plastic cups from Target. And I bought green balloons, streamers, shamrock cut-outs, and little bags of gold chocolate coins from Party City. All together, I spent JUST UNDER $50.00.

A friend let me use the rest of the helium in a tank she had bought for the Scout Blue and Gold banquet to fill my balloons, and I made cupcakes from a cake mix and frosting that was already in my pantry.

I had 6 of the 10 kids invited show up. That was perfect, because after all, with 5 kids of my own, I already have a party.

When I was sure that everyone who was coming was there, I gathered them into the living room and read them a book called "Leprechauns Never Lie" by Lorna Balian. We talked about how tricky Leprechauns are, and how we had to be just as tricky if we were going to catch one. Then we came into the kitchen to make our "disguises" (AKA - the Bowler hats). Then we made our "magic wands" to trap the Leprechaun with magic (AKA - Shamrock wands).
After they were all made, I taught them a "spell" to use when the catch the Leprechaun. They were to wave their wands in the air and chant: "Leprechaun, Leprechaun, Show me your gold!!"

Then we made a Leprechaun trap inside. We propped a golden box up on a cup and placed a cupcake with green sprinkles on it underneath as bait. If the Leprechaun came in the house to steal the cupcake, he would knock down the box and he would be trapped!!

Then it was time for the hunt. We went outside, and tiptoed around. I led them on, saying things like: "Oh!! Did you see that?", or "Listen!! Do you hear that giggling?"

Of course, they ALL heard giggling, and the tapping of little hammers on fairy shoes. They all saw flashes of green, or saw bushes rustling. A couple girls got scared and had to hold my hand when I yelled: "Look! Look! I see one!! Hurry! Hurry Get him!!" We all ran...but he just got away.

We came back inside to check our trap, and sure enough!! The trap had been sprung. We stood around the box and waved our magic wands and chanted: "Leprechaun! Leprechaun! Show me your gold!!"
Then Brigham lifted off the box, and underneath were little bags of chocolate gold coins...all with a little message attached that read:

Ha, ha, ha!! I got away THIS time…
I am an elf who’s five-hundred years old
But I’ve left you a gift to ‘member me by
Some very special coins of gold!!

Thanks for sharing my birthday with me!!


The kids were all really excited to get some Leprechaun gold!! Then we sang "Happy Birthday" and ate rainbow cupcakes, and opened presents. Brigham got Star Wars Legos, and an art set, and a chess game, and some new shirts. But best of all, his Yaya sent him his very own quilt.

It is just beautiful. I told Yaya that it is getting very difficult to say which quilt is my favorite...because they are all so beautiful and unique and different...and they all fit the personalities of the individuals that she's made them for perfectly. Mine is romantic and colorful and full of all my favorite comfort colors...lots of blues and greens.

Kaitlyns is very colorful and sophisticated, and symbolizes her dreams and ambitions.

Josephs is whimsical and creative, and symbolizes his imagination and unconquerable spirit.

And Brighams is daring and vibrant, and symbolizes his love of adventure and animals.

All in all, the party was a big success. we finished with gifts just as parents arrived to collect their children. And on Monday, Brig's ACTUAL date of birth, we'll take him out to dinner at Grand Lux and then go as a family to get his family gift...something special he's been asking for for a LONG time...

But I'll tell you about that later...

In the meantime...
Wishing you a rainbow
For sunlight after showers—
Miles and miles of Irish smiles
For golden happy hours—
Shamrocks at your doorway
For luck and laughter too,
And a host of friends that never ends
Each day your whole life through!
Irish Blessing

PS - in case you're wondering about these silly heart-shaped glasses, Brigham won them out of the "treasure box" at school for good behavior. When I asked why he picked heart-shaped glasses, he said they were "smexy". He said it in front of Kaitlyn, who immediately started laughing so hard that she (literally) fell down on the floor. Perplexed by both Brigham in these girl-y glasses and Kaitlyn's reaction to his explanation to as why she has them, I just stood there and stared at the both of them. Kaitlyn finally gathered her breath and I asked her what the heck was so funny about Brigham mispronouncing "sexy". She started to laugh again and said that he hadn't mispronounced "sexy"...he'd said "sMexy" which apparently is a combination word meaning "smart and sexy". I guess it was some random thing the kids had heard Kaitlyn saying to her friends...and leave it to Brigham to adopt the word into his vocabulary.

So there you have it...

Red heart-shaped glasses are "smexy"...

1 comment:

Marlowe Mania said...

Smexy!!! I like that. The party looked like a lot of always go way out Shannan! What an amazing mom you are...thanks for sharing...makes ua feel apart of the partying!