There were presents and friends and cake and hiking and LOTS of angry birds - what more could a boy want?
The theme of Finn's birthday party was, in fact, angry birds. I don't normally "do" themes for parties, but Finn picked out angry bird party invitations (none of which were actually sent out because I ended up e-mailing all the parents instead, owing to the fact that I did not know most of their mailing addresses), and we just kind of ran with it. It helped that a friend of mine at work had recently thrown an angry bird birthday party for HER son, and she gave us some extra decorations that really spiffed the party up.
Plus, those angry birds are pretty darn addictive and fun.
This is Finn's impression of an angry bird.
His actual birthday AND the party were both on Saturday. We had just a handful of kids and their parents over - nothing too overwhelming for our little townhouse. It felt like exactly the right number of people, and exactly the right amount of planned activities vs. free play time.
Some photos of the house before the onslaught of guests:
Angry Birds birthday banner
The "craft" table
We set up a mini angry bird game, with styrofoam cups decorated as the king pig, and ping pong balls painted to look like the birds.
Aren't they ridiculously cute?
Unfortunately, many of them are now eyeless. Next time I'll use superglue.
The goody bags. I did the cutting, and Finn and Lucy did the gluing. And Finn helped me stuff them. It was very much a team effort, and the kids loved helping.
The craft table was set up with some angry bird coloring pages I printed out from the Internet (free!), beads for making necklaces/bracelets, and a little "make-your-own-monster-on-a-popsicle-stick" kit that we got at Michaels.
Only the girls did the crafts. The boys just played with some of Finn's new toys.
Then we brought them out back for a little bouncing. We used a timer, and the two groups of kids (girls and boys - they self sorted. I think there is something to this "gender identity" thing...) took turns alternately bouncing
and playing in our "sand" (actually full of pea gravel) box.
Then there was cake. I didn't go all out and bake Finn's cake myself, unlike the one I did for Lucy's last birthday. M. was out of town most of last week, and I knew better than to get myself in over my head while he was out. Instead, I bought a sheet cake, and then decorated it to look like a scene out of the angry birds game using bird and pig figures I bought from Amazon and Twix bars:
Both kids thought it was awesome, and didn't care at all that it wasn't homemade. In fact, given how they react to most of my baking projects, they probably preferred it because it wasn't.
Finn was all over the singing and blowing out candles bit:
All in all, it was a great time - low key enough that I wasn't too stressed about prepping for it (a little more arts and crafts heavy than I'm used to, but thank god for free online printables because they made things MUCH easier), and fun enough that Finn didn't mention going to a "Pump It Up" or other big box birthday place once.
Then today, after M. left me sleep in until ALMOST 9 (I felt like a teenager again!), we went for a hike at a state park. It was a park we've never really been to, other than to drive through the Christmas lights display they set up every year, so we didn't really know what to expect. We started walking around the lake, which looked deceptively small on the map we were holding (a map that did not have mileage noted, by the way). Three and a half hours later, we finally made it back to the car. Needless to say, there were a lot of hidden coves and elevated areas that really added up. Lucy told us she was tired and wanted to be carried about 30 seconds into the walk, but somehow we kept her on her feet the whole time. We looked up the distance online once we got home, and learned that we had walked 3.7 miles. With a three-year-old. What a trooper!
Since 3.7 miles is a long distance for a 35-year-old to walk, too, I'm tired. So please excuse the lack of captions on the following photos:
Finally, just because I can't let the birthday of a child of mine pass without reflecting back on the day they were born, I leave you with a link back to Finn's "birth story" (air quotes to allow for the fact that it was written about 4 years after he was born, so some facts may have been altered by fautly memory and lack of sleep...). Hope you all had as nice a weekend as we did!