As I write this post, my feet are aching, my back is throbbing with a sciatica flare up, and all I really want is to go to bed! Why, you ask? Today we hosted a party with 17 kids 7 and under for my daughter's 5th birthday party. From 11:30 to 4:30, this house was full of pint sized speed freaks. They ran, screamed, laughed hysterically, shouted for "mommy" just to have three or four parents come running, and bounced, bounced, bounced! I have to say, the party was a resounding success, but you can ask my friends, I have been stressing about this thing for two weeks.
I do not like to throw parties, even though I paradoxically enjoy entertaining. I know, weird. I have a deep seated fear that no one will show up, and when I only had 5 responses after the invitations had been out a week, I was getting a few gray hairs I'm sure. But, during the past five days the responses started rolling in and I actually doubled my food order. It is always better to have too much than not enough, in my book. I quit worrying about whether people were coming and began worrying about whether the goody bags were good enough, whether the party would get boring, whether the parents would rather be anywhere else than at the party, etc.
The bounce house was again a huge hit! We got one with a slide on the side and a basketball hoop inside and there were a couple boys who barely came out long enough to have cake. We had a "pin the braid on Rapunzel" game and each child decorated a crown to take home. In addition, my friend Samantha brought her magical box of feathers and beads and put feathers and fun stuff in all the girls' hair and even worked in a couple colored mohawks on the boys.
This party could not have run as smoothly as it did with out the help from a couple people. First, a huge thank you to my mother-in-law Marie! She is so good to me. Even though I intentionally had paper and plastic plates and silverware, Marie went around and made sure things were picked up and the food was handled. Secondly, my sister Kathy was there to help with the games, help put crowns together or back together, take notes of who gave what presents, and make it so John and I could enjoy the party too.
After the last kids left, the house was bizarrely quiet. We didn't actually know quite what to do. So we just sat there. :-)
On Monday February 13, we will celebrate the best, most amazing and fullfilling 5 years of our lives. It is funny how you think to yourself "I'm successful, have a decent car, a little money in the bank, life is good." Then you have a child and everything - literally every aspect of your former life - begins to pale in comparison. I could go to the mall whenever I wanted? Sure, but why would I want to do that when I can feel the warmth of my daughter's kiss on my cheek after she tells me she loves me.
to this, in five short years.
Happy birthday Melody! More pictures in the gallery.
My daughter is going to be 5.
HOLY SHIT WHERE DID THE LAST FIVE YEARS GO????????? [Runs around the room screaming and pulling out hair] AAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
Ok, I feel better. So Melody will be five on her next birthday and we are starting the thinking and planning process for her party. She really wants some sort of princess theme and I'm thinking Rapunzel. She loved the movie Tangled and there are a lot of really fun crafts the kids can do at the party, making crowns is one of them. We also will be having my friend Samantha over to put feathers in the little girls' hair and do colored gel for the boys. Bring on the blue and red Mohawks!
In case you are not aware, you can't just wander over to Parties R Us and pick up Rapunzel invitations. The movie was incredibly popular but for some reason either Disney hasn't licensed the images for the ubiquitous birthday decorations, confetti and napkins (completely out of their character) or my local party store is lame.
What's your guess?
So, in the next few weeks I will be searching online for Rapunzel birthday invitations. Oh, and creating some sort of Rapunzel pin the tail on the whatever game. Pin the hair on Rapunzel? Pin the chameleon on the tower? Pin the crown on the princess? This may be a stretch of my creative abilities.
Orange County has a great agricultural history that is shrinking year by year as farms are turned into housing tracts or shopping malls, but there are a few hold outs, and one is Tanaka Farm in Irvine. Believe it or not, Irvine was one of the largest agricultural centers in the county at one point. The land is fertile and early on, it was plentiful. Tanaka Farm is an organic farm right in the heart of Irvine, on University Drive near Michelson. They are a working farm that produces fruits and vegetables year-round. The Tanaka family is 3rd generation Japanese and are hands-on owners. They offer school education programs, tours, and lucky for us, a pumpkin patch!
While I have been to farms in the past, Melody had not and so I decided that picking out a pumpkin from the farm where it grew - rather than the grocery store or in some parking lot somewhere - we would go. Today! Let's go! Once we arrived at the farm, we could tell it was very popular, as there were numerous cars and even bus parking! The farm has a festival atmosphere, with a petting zoo, games for kids, face painting, a wagon ride, corn maze and of course, pumpkin patch. For a reasonable price, you can exhaust yourself.
Melody wasn't a big fan of the petting zoo because the goats scared her. They were, as goats tend to be, hungry for the food we had. We did talk her into petting one, but that was it. She was much more interested in getting her face painted! We then caught the wagon ride back around the farm - including a quick stop at the pumpkin cannon - and went over to the pumpkin patch.
Click on the photo of Melody to get to the gallery where there are more photos from our day. We really enjoyed ourselves and I would definitely go back to Tanaka Farm, either off season or for the pumpkin patch again. We headed home with three pumpkins that we will carve for Halloween. It was a great day!
It was 2007, Melody was 2 months old. My iPod was broken and I needed wanted a new one. This was Melody's first visit to the Apple store, Mecca of Tech (Techa?). I knew before I left the house that I would take this picture and I hoped no one thought I was too much of a "fanboy" girl. I just thought it would be funny for John.
And now, Steve Jobs is gone. We can only hope that Apple doesn't go the way they did when he was ousted in the 80s. The products are reliable and elegant. Apple changed the way people communicate with the iPhone bringing together all the platforms and devices into one. I hope that one day, Melody will be able to plan her child's first visit to the Apple store or whatever its equivalent is in 20 years.
We just got in the studio photos from Melody's butterfly dance recital in June. Of course I am biased, but man she is cute!