Grace's birthday extravaganza is now over - she had her first friend birthday party ever today and while I was at first a little nervous about how it would go, but I think everything turned out ok.
Thinking back, I really don't know what I was all that nervous about, my guess is because throwing a kids party was really new - I wasn't sure of the protocol - how many games should you plan, should you do a craft, should there even be a schedule? Yes, I understand how this may sound, "relax Carolyn, it's a 5 year old kids party". I guess I had been watching too many of those shows where the parents confuse planning their 5 year old's birthday party with a wedding, it has to be a party they will remember until next year, a party all the kids will have fun at at parents will hate because then they will have to plan something similar for this kids birthday (I really need to cut down on the amount of reality tv shows I watch). I gave my head a shake and start thinking that I was just having a playdate - with 10 kids and gifts! So pretty much how it went was, Grace and I decorated the house yesterday during her snow day from school - alright I decorated while Grace handed me the tape when she wasn't jumping around the house. I borrowed some noise making toys and tunnels from our local Ontario Early Years Centre (yes, you can borrow toys from the centre - for FREE!). I kept the menu simple - some snacks plus cupcakes. I whipped up a pin the nose on Fozzie Bear game and picked up some kazoos, funky sunglasses, necklaces and mini hand clappers. And then I braced myself at 9:59 this morning for what was going to occur over the next 2 hours - pure, fun, madness! And that's pretty much what it was like - the girls enjoyed playing with Grace's toys, while Grace enjoyed having her friends over. They played, they ate, they gave gifts and they went home. It was awesome!
But what got to me was afterwards while I was cleaning up (and Grace was playing with her new toys) was how much mess 9 kids (one didn't make it) can make in like 2 hours. I felt like I was cleaning up after some of the parties I had when I was younger - you know the ones where you have too much fun, (fun that lasted longer than 2 hours) and just leave the mess for the morning because you figure it won't take you too long to clean up. But when you wake up in the morning you think you should have just clean up last night because now you have half cups of whatever, smushed whatever on the floor, half eaten whatever around the house, tiny bites of paper from who knows what all throughout the house, clothes left all over the house and the odd pair of someone's shoes left behind. But it was well worth it and hopefully have the pictures to prove it.