Monday, April 21, 2014

A Carnival Themed First Birthday Party! Also, I'm tired.

When I was a kid, my mother would throw together three birthday celebrations a year for each of my sisters. Our huge freaking family would show up, the kids would run around like crazy people and trash the room that we had cleaned (read: stuffed everything into the closet) the week prior and we'd eat and have cake and generally a good time. But even as a kid I would think it was crazy. It was fun, for sure, but it was insane. 

I always knew that when I had kids I would do milestone birthday parties only with smaller, more intimate celebrations in between. My mother-in-law, whom I adore, does a tradition of a homemade cake and the birthday persons favorite meal. Family and friends are encouraged to swing by if they'd like, but for the most part it's a very low key celebration. Sometimes they'll plan something for the weekend with friends or whatever. I dig it. 

That said, the first birthday is a milestone birthday, even if Shepherd won't remember it. I wanted to do something big and I decided a carnival in my father-in-laws big backyard would be perfect. When I told Bryan and tried to get him to let me book a petting zoo for $300, we had to have the "let's be realistic" talk. I hate that talk. I don't want to "talk", I want a freaking PETTING ZOO. 

Unfortunately, I lost that battle. We had quite a few games and activities for everyone, a bounce house, cotton candy and popcorn though. Which is essential when it comes to a it not? Then, of course, there was hot dogs/chili dogs, frito boats, nachos and zero healthy food, because what is healthy at a carnival? Absolutely nothing!

I bought most of the games, decor and candy from Oriental Trading Company but I also bought some things from the 99 Cent Store and from Rick's Vending, which is local. For the popcorn, I borrowed a machine from my sister's mother-in-law and bought a box from Smart & Final that had packets of kernels on one side and buttery stuff on the other side. Perfectly portioned out! I had no idea they made packets like that - Bryan is the one who told me to pick one up! So convenient. Most of the food was from Smart & Final. I purchased the Cotton Candy from FlossZone. The website is a little outdated but it is legit for sure. Randy was SO incredibly helpful and the cotton candy arrived right on time. It was perfect. I would definitely recommend them if you are looking for affordable, bulk cotton candy. I should mention that I paid for all my stuff and wasn't perked to mention them. I'm just passing along information for any other parent that may need resources for their parties!

For the games, we had a little station towards the back of the yard. We had archery where the kids would knock down bowling pins, lawn darts, ghetto ring toss which consisted of hula hoops and a tree stump, popping balloons with darts, lawn bowling, horse shoes, two corn hole stations, legit ping pong and a bean bag toss game. We also had a photo booth because I'm obsessed with them. Most people didn't do it because they are duds. Laaaame.

My wonderful friend Colleen took photos for me! I'm just going to dump the photos here and explain only when I feel it is necessary. Enjoy the pictures!

This is my sweet niece Emma, but behind her, you'll notice a stick with balloons. We had those all over but a lot of them popped. You can pick up those balloon sticks here. I got the balloons from the dollar store.

Smoosh face! I totally dressed Shepherd in Red and Cream to go with the Carnival theme and also overalls because of Carnival workers. I adore my own self.

Shepherd has learned to dance, which looks a whole lot like squatting and he's in what my husband calls portuguese shoes. How adorable are they?

Here I'm manning the popcorn station and my Dad is asking for more bubbles. The kiddos loved the bubble machine that our dear friends Stan and Tammy got Shepherd!

My beautiful sister Kari and her eldest son, Owen. Kari is a photographing enigma and I so adore this picture.

The favor boxes for the kids can be purchased here. I stuffed them with a ton of candy, some tattoos and of course prizes and toys.

The carnvial themed table decorations and candy were purchased from Oriental Trading Company. That decoration was the closest anyone would ever get to a clown around me. I didn't set those up and I didn't look at them long. I HATE clowns, which is funny because later you'll see me dressed up as one. I make no sense.

He was the main reason why all the balloons popped. 

He loved kicking this ball around. I played with him for a while whenever I got a chance.

I got this table skirt on clearance from Oriental Trading Company. Bryan used it for the gift table and it turned out so cute!

My wonderful friend Colleen. She's currently baking Shepherd's best friend. :)

We taught Shepherd to raise his hands when asked "Who's a big birthday boy?!" Adorable.

Cotton candy placed in treat bags for everyone! We also used these for the popcorn.

I tried to get him to taste it but he's in a phase where we have to taste things first. Once we saw me eat some he went to town on the smash cake!

Of course my father in law Rick pushed his whole face in the cake. Weirdo.

Outfit change! I bought both of these outfits from Kohl's. I loved this little preppy shirt and short combination. Plus, I wanted him to be nice and cool while he was running around.

Denise made it to his first birthday party. Sure is nice to have her around again!

I can't say anything about how much I love this woman and how I adore how much she loves me and my son without getting mushy and teary-eyed so I'll just say that I love her and I can't wait for August!

Typical. Shepherd's cousin Isaac is perfectly perfect and Shepherd refuses to take a picture with him. 

"What is going on right now?"

Any get together where we all are is cause for picture taking. My mom and her girls.

My dad and his girls.

Once most people left and it was just our core people, I took my fat girl butt and got in the bounce house with my boy and hub. It was fun! And super unflattering!

#noimnotpregnant #gottaloseweight

#biggirljumping #watchoutnow

"Who's the big birthday boy?! Shepherd is!"


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