Monday, November 17, 2014

Creepy Crawly Bug Themed Birthday Party

Charlie's birthday fell on a Saturday this year, so he got to have his 3rd birthday party on his actual birthday! Hooray! Once we decided on the bug party theme, I got to work taking Charlie's 3-year-old photos, making the invites, and delivering them to friends and family. I also got to work making plans for the food and the cake! This year's cake was a 3-layer chocolate boxed cake with chocolate frosting between the layers, but then I covered it with a homemade semisweet chocolate ganache and oreo crumbs to look like dirt. We topped it with some awesome plastic bugs I found at my local dollar store. That cake was SO delicious. I need to use ganache more often!
Most of the people we invited were able to make it this year, and so for a few days before the party I started to panic that we wouldn't have enough room or food for everybody! Fortunately, with the help of my friend Chelsey (who is an AMAZING party-thrower!) we pulled together all of the cute bug food ideas I found on Pinterest.

Like these classic worms in dirt (crushed oreos, worms, and chocolate pudding mixed with cool whip and more oreos):
Babybel Cheese Beetles (partially unwrapped Babybel cheeses with a blackberry stuck on using a toothpick) and Ants on a Log (celery sticks filled with peanut butter--or, in my case, sunflower seed butter--and topped with raisins):
Caterpillar Grape Kabobs (grapes on a skewer with mini chocolate chip eyes stuck on with chocolate frosting and frosting antennae):
Chips and Bug Guts (aka chips and queso - velveeta cheese plus rotel):
Since I focused so much of my efforts on the food, I didn't put up much decor. We bought some bright-colored balloons, left up the bats hanging from my ceiling that were there for Halloween, and put all sorts of little bug crafts, toys, and decor on my dining room table. I'm pretty sure the kids had a blast and made all sorts of crafts (and a mess!) on my table! :)
After everyone enjoyed their food, it was cake time! Charlie's face totally lit up when we started singing to him and Trevor brought the cake over with candles all lit up!
I was so proud that he successfully blew out one of his three candles this year! And also proud that I caught the moment it happened on camera! :)
He worked at it a little longer, and then Trevor came over to help him finish blowing them out. He's still working on his blowing skills. He tends to blow with an "F" sound shaped mouth (upper teeth on lower lip) instead of an O-shaped mouth. Haha :) You can kind of see what I'm talking about in the picture above.
Soon after we all devoured the delicious chocolate on chocolate on chocolate cake (mmmm!), it was time to open presents. Charlie got so many awesome gifts from his thoughtful family members and friends! This big dump truck was from my friend Chelsey and her daughter Jade (far left in this pic). He also got some awesome books, tractors (even a remote control one!), a bucket of gadgets from Grandma, and lots of great things to play with!
Probably his favorite gifts from his entire birthday were this cool kid microscope that he got from his cousins and the plastic blocks that encase real dead bugs from his friend Aunika. They have these blocks at the local Curiosity Museum and Charlie loved them when we went with Aunika and her mom Brittnee, so that's how Brittnee got the awesome idea to get him some for his birthday. Such a cool gift! And totally up my little scientist's alley! :)
The party started to thin out and die down a bit and Trevor and his friends went to the basement to play a few games of ping pong. :) It was such a fun day, despite the fact that Charlie truly embodied the concept of "It's My Party and I'll Cry/Pout/Scream if I Want To!". He was such a little meanie to any kid who tried to take the bugs he was playing with at the kitchen table. He would scream at them and cry until he got it back. I was quite embarrassed, but later realized it probably would have been a good idea to mentally prep him for his birthday party before it happened. Now I know it's good to tell him that friends are coming over and they are going to have fun and he needs to share his toys BEFORE it's happening to him!

You can tell in this photo how he was pretty worn out (both physically and mentally haha) by the time the party was over. See his little pout/sassy face?
We sure loved having everyone there! It's always a lot of work to throw a party, but we have so much fun that I always think it's worth it by the time it's all over with. And mostly, I still LOVE having a house to throw parties in! Thank goodness for that!
Here's me with my sweet 3-year-old! Oh, if only I weren't on the verge of a blink, this picture would be perfect! Happy Birthday, my boy!

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