Thing 1 and Thing 2's birthday...where do I start? This birthday will definitely go down in infamy as the birthday that EVERYTHING WENT WRONG!
Fail #1 For weeks, the boys have been saying they wanted "guitar cake" (they had a guitar cake last year). Thing 1 wanted a blue guitar cake and Thing 2 wanted a red guitar cake. One week ago they sprung it on me that they wanted a train cake instead. Hmm, so off to google images search for me. I found a lot of inspiration and decided I could make a decent homemade train cake using bread pans and lots of colored icing.
I re-located the cakes to another board, covered in foil, and finished piping it and covering it with candy cargo and oreo wheels. It came out okay, not as cute as I'd imagined, but not bad. But I was still worried that it would taste like magic marker, so to me, it was deemed ruined.
Yesterday we took it to school and had the boys' party. Their classmates loved the cake. And luckily, most only ate the candy and icing (good!). But take it from me...do not use magic marker on your cake boards!!
Fail #3 We decided not to do a party this year. I am not one of these parents that thinks my kids need a party every year. We had a big one for their first birthday (actually, we had three!), but did a small family celebration for their second. We planned a small one for their third birthday, but somehow it turned into a fairly big one because almost everyone we invited came, just one kid couldn't make it.
I honestly wasn't planning on doing any sort of party this year, but I felt bad that this was the first year the boys really got that it was their birthday, so we decided to do a "Birthday Playgroup." Our plan was to invite their three best friends (two from school and one from church) to go bowling at the bowling alley right near our house. About two weeks ago, I sent out a "Mark your calendar" email to the parents. And then sent a FB message to the bowling alley asking if I needed to actually reserve a lane for only five kids. No response. About a week ago, I called them. No answer. Last night, I called maybe six times, each time letting the phone ring and ring and ring. I even told Superman "maybe we should just go over there and make the reservation in person." But in the end we decided that we highly doubted they'd be so crowded at opening on a Saturday that we couldn't just show up and snag a lane. I was right. And wrong.
We pulled into the parking lot at 12 pm sharp this afternoon. There weren't a lot of cars, but no worry, the bowling alley opened at noon, so how many people would be there right at opening. But it turns out, they weren't open at all. In fact, they hadn't been open for more than a week. UGH!?!? At this point, all five boys were running around the parking lot, hugging and talking and laughing and excited to play. Now we had to load them in the car and head over to the other bowling alley.
Fail #4 I was embarrassed for my lack of foresight, but everything was going to be fine because the other bowling alley wasn't a far drive. And in about five minutes we were in their parking lot, which also seemed very empty. A woman stuck her head out and let us know that they would be open at 2 pm, since their summer hours were different than their regular hours. UGH!!! Might want to change your website info people!!!
Man I was so embarrassed now. I couldn't even think straight. But with the help of the other parents, we decided to all head over to a nearby playground where we had an impromptu picnic pizza party (thanks to Little Ceasar's $5 hot and nows) while we passed the time waiting for bowling alley #2 to open.
Honestly, the kids had a blast running around chasing each other. And they loved that they got to eat the cookies and candy in their treat bags while waiting for the pizza (because who doesn't love to eat dessert first?!).
2 o'clock came and we headed back to the bowling alley. It was chaotic, but so much fun. And I was really really glad that we only invited 3 kids though, because I don't know how we could have coped with more. Teaching four 4 year olds and one 6 year old to take turns bowling was definitely a challenge. :)
Interestingly, while we were there Superman ran into a bunch of people who knew from his pre-married/kids life. Among those, two birthday parties. And guess what? They had both had the same exact morning as us. Well, not same exact. Because their parties were a bit bigger than ours, and they had actually made reservations at the other bowling alley only to show up and find it closed. So, I felt a little better knowing that even if I had made that reservation, the morning would still have been so disorganized. Turns out, the other bowling alley was closed down by the IRS. I guess you can only go so long without paying your taxes... And they had never notified any of the people with reservations of the closure.
After settling in to our game, the boys were all having a blast. But then one by one they had to go home. Bless their parents for letting them stay sooo long in the first place, after going from location to location. We were so thankful they were so understanding and gladly waved goodbye and thanked them for coming.
The day did end on a perfect note, though. Thing 1 and Thing 2, despite my best efforts, love McDonald's chicken nuggets. So, we packed in the van, along with Grandma and Papaw Train and headed to Mickey D's and had a fast food feast with a side of indoor playground. We came home, gave the boys a bath, and let them fall asleep in their train pajamas watching one of their new train DVDs.
This is probably the first birthday they will remember (it's crazy to think they are going to be able to start remembering stuff that is happening long term now), but they will only remember the good stuff. It's only us Type A hyper-organized mommies that will remember this as the birthday that taught her to always, always have a plan B! :)