Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Water Balloons & Donkey Legs: The Makings Of Party Magic

In my family, we celebrate birthdays by knocking out large numbers of relatives birthdays in the same mondo-party. Otherwise, we'd be celebrating someone's birthday every other weekend. Last weekend, we partied at my parents' house for 5 July/August birthdays, including mine and my dad's - this meant my mom went all out planning a way cool party.

She's a creative planner in a way that I will never be. I would never have attempted to host a backyard carnival, and that is just what she did. We had corn dogs, cotton candy, and funnel cakes along with all the carnival games mom could dream up. She came up with things like Backwash Boat Race. Bowl 'Em Over. Croquet Away The Day. Basketball Blowout. Cowboy Golf. Fish Bowl Pong. Water Balloon Toss.

And it was SO much fun. The day wasn't too hot (humidity was another sweat was sticking to my sweat...glistening just isn't accurate here.), the yard was shady, and the kids ran from game to game, winning prizes and laughing at the adults' antics.

Mia's first stop was the Twisted Sister Face Painting. (Oh, mom. Oh. Mom. Where do you get this stuff?) She sat on Aunt Joy's lap while Aunt Linda painted away on her sweet cheeks. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the amount of creativity surrounding me...carnivals, artists, yeesh. I can't keep up.

Mama! Look at my face! What do I look like?!

I had no idea Mia could sit still long enough for something like this to take shape, but where her Aunt Joy is concerned, Mia's willingness to obey knows no bounds. She adores Joy. I should have her come with us the next time we need to get family pictures taken - my stress levels would go right down.

Mia admired herself in the mirror and decided she looked like a fairy. We called her Mia-posa for the rest of the day. Usually if we try to call her anything other than her real name, she vehemently corrects us - I'm NOT a monkey! I'm MIA! - so this was a big step for us. Face paint makes everything bearable. This doesn't bode well for her teenage/makeup wearing years.

Hello gorgeous.

Meanwhile, Lauren maintained a steady supply of water balloons. She was undaunted when they burst all over her clothes, face, and legs; this was just an excuse to find a better balloon for next time. She was hardly ever seen without a balloon in her hand for the whole afternoon.

No, sweetie, I won't carry you while you carry THAT. I wasn't born yesterday.

At least until the stockpile of balloons was drastically depleted by the water bombing of my brother's late arriving SUV. Be warned: you come 'fashionably' late to our parties? You suffer the exploding wet consequences. But don't let that deter you! We give hugs afterwards!

Whatever you do, Uncle E, don't mess up my fairy paint!

After Mia finished playing the games - or after she gave up trying to follow any rules and stomped off in frustration - she and a few other kiddos discovered the slip & slide. She and her cousin Carson wore themselves out on it.

OK, that's not entirely true. Number 1, they didn't have to work too hard since they both required my handsome hubby's assistance to be pushed down the watery aisle. Number 2, can you ever really wear out 3 and 4 year olds?

My shorts are being pulled down, but I won't notice because WOOOHOOO!

Half fairy, half mermaid. All girl.

Lauren tried to like the slip & slide, but as soon as some water splashed on her face she screamed for mercy and retreated into the safety of her Grandma's arms. Also, nothing could keep her away from the water balloons for long. The girl was obsessed.

Surely YOU'll carry me, right Grandma? No?! But I'm so lovable and *SPLASH*.

My niece, Evie, was a little overwhelmed by the craziness of our entire family playing games in her Nana's usually calm back yard. Which is saying a lot - Evie can get crazy with the best of 'em. Never fear, she jumped right into all the activity when the funnel cakes were brought out. She had to fight her mom for a bite, though.

What is the meaning of this madness?! And why'd you waste perfectly good
water balloons on my dad's car?

My favorite part of that picture above is the action going on in the background. Little Fen's hand is just about to disappear into someone's drink, and his dad's hot on his tail. Ah, toddlers. There's no relaxation for miles when one is around.

Mia finished up the evening by swatting at a surprisingly sturdy pinata. Of course, it would have helped if we'd had anything other than an 18 inch long souvenir bat being swung by preschoolers, but where's your sense of adventure?


After recruiting a teenager with a croquet mallet to assist, the donkey gave up it's treasure. The kids were on that candy like white on rice on a paper plate in a snowstorm. And I was so caught up in making sure Mia a) didn't get trampled and b) didn't get too much candy, that I didn't get a picture of the candy disappearing quicker than you could say SUGAR.

Somehow we ended up with more candy than I'd have liked - what's worse is that we hauled it home in one of the donkey's hollowed legs.


How does your family celebrate birthdays? Groups or individuals? Water bombs or sweet songs? Hollow donkey legs or favor bags?


  1. That sounds like fun times! What a creative family you have!!

  2. This looks like soooo much fun! Your mom is amazing!

  3. Yeah, seriously... This doesn't even look like a family get-together. It looks like something that required committees and months of careful funding and preparation. I'm jealous :D

  4. Awww, this makes me wish I had a big family!!! Our relatives just send big birthday boxes, but I'd much rather have a huge get together like this one. FUN!


Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?