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Archive for May, 2012

Happy Birthday, Monkey!

Hayden came to me one afternoon to tell me that he wanted to have a monkey birthday party and invite all of his friends when he turned four.  We have always celebrated his birthdays (I say always like there have been so very many of them) with a trip to Disneyland.  I mean, as long as I am being completely honest here, our Disneyland trips have always been a bit of a cop-out for me.  Packing some suitcases, eying the flight loads, and hitting refresh on the computer every 20 minutes for a day or two until a unit at our Anaheim timeshare pops up in Bonus Time, are all super easy in comparison to planning and (gulp) hosting a party.   

Having a late April birthday in the Northwest pretty much guarantees an indoor party, which hasn’t been something I’ve wanted to tackle.  So I was a bit stumped.  I’ll admit, the first few conversations we had, I tried to re-steer him toward the Happiest Place on Earth.  I even pulled out the videos of previous trips, the shiny Mickey Mouse ears that light up, and promised him we could fly down on the Disney Plane (okay, totally reaching on that one).  But none of my ploys could sway him.  He wanted a monkey party, and he wanted to invite all of his friends.  And there would be no changing his mind.

So, out came the glue gun and sewing machine, scissors, and tablecloths.  We started scouring the internet for ideas, and scouting local party spots for a venue.  The boys and I spent several weeks trying out various monkey themed craft projects, flipping through party catalogs, and their favorite, browsing the candy aisles in several different stores in a hunt for brown and red colored candies for the dessert table. 

We decided to have the party at the Cafe Sip ‘n Play, a local little cafe with great atmosphere that caters to the under five crowd and their parents.  They served up excellent fresh food, helped me get the decor set up, and best of all, took care of all the clean up.  It was a gazillion times easier than having it at our own home, and it took off a lot of the hosting pressure. 

My wonderful friend Jen was kind enough to take some pictures during the party.  You can find a link to her website here and to her facebook page here. 

The kids each got to fill their own pail with treats including monkey bouncy balls, crayon roll-ups, and lots of candy!

I found the pails in the dollar bins at Target, and we added some red ribbon for handles.

Each child received a cute sock monkey crayon roll-up.

We made these cute little party hats out of the same fabric we used for the tablecloth.  The boys helped make all the pompoms!

We served Red Velvet Cupcakes, as well as the classic chocolate and vanilla.

Happy Birthday to My Monkey!

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