10 November 2008

Birthday Girl

My girlie turns five at 5:36 this afternoon. When I asked her what kind of birthday party she wanted, she said "I want a surprise party." Um, okay.

So I sent out invitations to a "surprise party", arranged for her to spend the afternoon at her grandparent's house, and proceeded to obsess about the party without actually doing any preparations. But in the 24 hours before the screaming children arrived, we pulled it together.

I liked the idea of a party game called "Clean Up Your Room" which involves dividing up the players and having them throw socks at one another, so I got twenty pairs of socks at H&M (wonderful socks, sold cheap by the five-pack), figuring that the socks would be fine party favors. In fact, we never did play the game, but every little girl went home with two pairs of new socks. (I think I get a prize for the queerest party favors ever.)

I scratched my Smitten Kitchen itch, and made four of her recipes that I've had bookmarked (the cake, two kinds of cookies, and a squash/onion galette). We made a mess of sandwiches for kids (jelly, peanut butter & jelly, cheese) and adults (ham), along with a potato frittata (so there was something for the gluten-free friend). Drinks on hand were cider, seltzer, milk and red wine (you know, for the grown-ups).

The children (and their adults) arrived promptly at four, ran screaming around the house (well, the kids did, anyway), and then quieted down and hid in the living room when Mir was approaching the house. When she came in, they mobbed her - it was a sight to behold (she's the tall blonde with her eyes shut, and the party favor socks are in the bowl on the right).

They ran around the house, hid in her closet (I found six girls in the small closet at one point), played pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey (with the inflatable donkey my husband brought home from the party store - who knew such a thing existed?), ate cookies, opened presents (yes, I'm a fan of public present opening, it's chaotic, but the little girls seemed to love the giving) and finally blew out the candles on the strawberry pink lady cake with cream cheese icing. I tell you, that cake is something else. I think it's one of the best cakes I've ever made.

Finally all the children went home, and I had a glass of wine.

Verdict? Fun.

Most hair raising present? Mermaid Barbie. Yup. Barbie has entered my house by means of her flipping flapping tail.

Most entertaining present? The eensy digital camera that came with a scrapbooking kit. The child has been taking pictures left and right, and they are art. Art, I tell you. The thing has no viewfinder, no flash, no focus, no nothing, and she's just shooting at everything - posing the dolls, posing the Barbie, posing the Daddy. Of course, the thing doesn't work with a Mac, so we had to download the pictures to Daddy's work laptop, not very kid-friendly or anything, but the pictures we did rescue? Priceless.


That's Mermaid Barbie, leaning against the dish drainer full of glasses. Art, right?

28 comments:

Kelley said...

Socks as a party favour?

Brilliance.

Sheer brilliance.

The party sounds absolutely awesome. I wanna play clean your room :)

You rock!

Sober Briquette said...

Are there leftovers? I'm getting my keys....

Happy Birthday to your pink princess. I hope all her dreams come true.

alejna said...

Happy Birthday, little girl!

I love the idea of a sock-throwing game! And socks are a great favor idea, too. I want some of that squash/onion galette. Yummmm.

And yeah, the photo is art. I was just talking/thinking last night about I like blurs in photos.

She She said...

Happy Birthday! A whole hand!

I'm totally stealing that party favor idea.

Mayberry said...

Happy birthday M! It sounds like a perfect party. Except for Barbie crashing it, but you knew that would happen sooner or later ...

InTheFastLane said...

Sounds like a blast and I LOVE the sock game. I am off to check out the cake.

Anjali said...

Oh, sounds wonderful! Happy Birthday!

Elissa said...

Hey - Nose's b-day is today - 12 years old going on . . . you know . . . tween! She had what possibily her last blow-out birthday party at the JCC yesterday. A swimming party where she could invite all her school and neighborhood friends - no having to choose the "best" ones for a special, exclusive event. 20 11 and 12 year old girl and boy tweens played musical chairs, twister and even pin the tail on the donkey (it was a homemade one Nose colored in after I couldn't find one at the store.) And, most amazingly - they all danced. Maybe it was the disco ball we swiped from Unitarians earlier in the day. Anyway - Happy Birthday Miss M. And contratulations to you Magpie for birthing such a remarkable human. - E

Mad said...

Oh, a happy, happy birthday to Mir.

I love the socks idea. I'll have to steal it come late January.

Mental P Mama said...

Totally art.

kathy a. said...

what a great party! sounds like it was terrific! and socks as a party favor -- ever so much better than the random wads of candy and crap tradition. great photo, too.

very sorry about the barbie intrusion. somewhere in the depths of the garage is a big bin of barbie stuff, from the god-forsaken years when that was all she wanted, and all the aunties obliged. if i ever find it, she has instructed me to get rid of it. so -- this too shall pass!

elissa, you swiped a disco ball from the unitarians? don't mind the giggles over here.

Kyla said...

KayTar got her first Barbie this week, too, from the hospital craft contest. She is in love, spends huge chunks of time just brushing its hair.

Sounds like the party was a success!

Kyddryn said...

Happy birthday, little miss, and many happy returns!!

What fun you must have had - and socks for party favors? Brilliant!!

Shade and Sweetwater,
K

susan said...

That's my kind of party! And you have the coolest party favors, in my book.

Happy birthday, Miss M!

Gwen said...

Awww, Barbie's not so bad. Just wait 'til you move onto Bratz (insert evil laugh from someone whose children have already been corrupted).

The party looks fun and that cake? Heaven!

Happy Birthday to your girl!

FreshHell said...

Oh many happy returns of the day!! And - ha ha - once Barbie gets in your house, she never leaves. And she has lots of friends and lots of clothes and lots of accessories. I do my shopping on ebay, btw. Barbie's not so bad, though. Better than a lot of other girly stuff. Woo - FIVE!!

Rockzee said...

Happy Birthday to your little artiste.

painted maypole said...

happy birthday to the fabulous miss M. I raise my glass to you, and applaud your home birthday party. that's the best way, I think, and it sounds like it was all lovely.

Eva said...

Genius.

Happy happy :)

the mama bird diaries said...

i want to come to a party at your house. how fun!

And the socks? totally brilliant. finally, a party favor you can actually use.

MadMad said...

Oh, happy birthday to her! Sounds like a great party - and that surprise hug is the BEST picture! Awesome!

cactus petunia said...

Fantastic! I love the sock party favors. Truly inspired!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Wow--the picture has such a feeling of motion!

Happy Birthday to your girl!

flutter said...

Happy Bday to your girl and I LOVE the sock idea

Defiantmuse said...

dude, that toootally sounds like a party I'd want to go to. And the sock idea? awesome. I really don't like the idea of buying useless crap, socks are functional!! I dig it.

Marinka said...

Happy birthday to all of you! Five years old! I remember it like it was 36 years ago!

niobe said...

Of course it's art. And perhaps even Art.

Julia said...

Damn straight it's art.
And if it's the same tiny camera we gave Monkey for Hanukkah last year, it has a funky viewfinder-- it's a plastic thing you have to pull out of the camera body. Totally weird, and not exactly useful, but also not entirely unuseful.
Happy belated birthday.