Sunday, December 09, 2007

The party? Why, 'twas brillig, all mimsy and much gimble!

Isn't this cake awesome---too pretty to cut? Patience was extremely approving as it looked, "just like my picture!"

Nevertheless, I managed to cut and serve it and wow, it was delicious. Carrot cake with real cream cheese frosting (as per Patience's instructions). Of course. What other kind of cake would you have for a Peter Rabbit?

(For those of you who do not live in the subtropics, you are probably thinking this is a fake-out. Nope. This was really yesterday, it was really 80 degrees, we were all really wearing tanks, tees and shorts, and sweating. The humidity did break halfway through the party, thank goodness, and a cool, refreshing breeze started. Locals...back me up please.)

We had a ginormous bouncy castle (literally, with spires and everything). This is a brilliant invention, and I wish I had one in my backyard every day. It was delivered at shortly past 7 a.m. As you can imagine, Jon and I were model examples of Up With Parenting! at that hour. The girls were crazier than Christmas: up at 6 a.m. ready to start decorating for the party. They were that excited. It was pretty cute...when I think about it now.

As soon as the castle was inflated, they got in and began jumping. And kept on. All day. It was great. The bouncy castle was the main attraction and all of the kids really enjoyed it. We ended up with a nice crowd.

In addition to the castle, we had:

* the lure of the Back 40 woods (I love having a huge yard, love it.);
* the swing set (the 1960s version..thus full of all the really cool and fun equipment modern sets no longer have due to safety or some crap like that);
* the buffet table (do kids love an eat-n-run buffet or what?);
* the driveway.

Isn't it amazing how fun driveways can be?. One can use sidewalk chalk to turn it into (a) a racetrack for scooters, (b) hopscotch, (c) a fairy house, (d) whatever you want. One can ride bikes, flintstone-style cars, the aforementioned scooters, and play jump rope---or turn the jump rope into a hauling mechanism with which one can pull a basket of rocks.

This is Persistence and the Love of Her Life (fortunately it's mutual) riding scooters:

There was also our second most popular feature: the dog.

Persistence and the Love of Her Life were taking turns playing a rousing game of Pat the Doggie's Tongue. (I know, me too...ooooh ick and wow, what an enormous tongue and what a tolerant---and well-trained---animal.)

In other words, there was no structure to this party. Just a giant back yard with lots of kid-friendly fun, food and places for the grown-ups to sit and chat. The only "activity" was the cake, which nobody minded pausing in the play for that.

It was just like a really wild and extra fun playdate. A number of guests told me they appreciated the casual and laid-back atmosphere.

I believe every child went home completely, happily exhausted.

My mission was accomplished.

Just before bed, Patience hugged me and said, "This was exactly the kind of birthday I hoped for! A jumping, running, playing, climbing, eating, riding, and drawing with tons of friends kind of birthday!"

Thanks to my mother and niece for the photos.

Copyright 2007 Julie Pippert
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liv said...

wow! you pulled it off with style! until next year's gala event, i remain, affectionately yours, liv!

Mrs. Chicky said...

Can I hire you to party plan Chicky's next birthday? Oh, and can I rent your yard and the nice, warm temperatures too?

Glad you all had such a great time!

Family Adventure said...

What a dream come true for your girls. And the weather...ack...they are lucky, lucky girls.

Thanks for sharing! Enjoy your Sunday (hopefully without too much cleaning...).


Annie said...

Super cake! Great party by the looks of things.

I hear you on the humid hot weather! We have it here, too. There's something completely wrong about putting up outside Christmas lights and schweating one's butt off in the process!

Mary Joan Koch said...

Having hosted about 80 birthday parties, I can assure you I never had as big a success as you did. Bravo! The cake is awe-inspiring. A panda was about the height of my cake prowess.

slouching mom said...

looks AWESOME! and does persistence look like you, or what?

i'm jealous, because my kids' birthdays are in fall and winter, and ben has wanted a back yard sort of running, jumping, climbing party his entire life, and it is NEVER warm enough here.

(i would have spent all day in the castle. fantastic.)

Angela said...

Wow, looks like and awesome time! We had a bounce house one year and my mom was so enthralled with it she bought one for Adam for his 3rd birthday (around $300 from a wholesale club) and so we have it out for every summer/fall party. I can't believe the weather too. Glad it was a success!

Julie Pippert said...

Liv, thanks, I'm happy with how it went. The kids were happy---and as cliched as it might be to say it, in this case I think it's appropriate---and that's what was really important.


Mrs. Chicky, sure. Anytime. :) Thanks!


Heid, lucky, I guess, that it finally cools off enough in December so we can go outdoors. LOL Don't worry; we've got cabin fever all summer long. Yes, we were EXTREMELY fortunate in the weather. It ended up being quite nice.


Annie, absolutely...that seems odd. Hard to hit the Christmas spirit when it's summer out.


To be clear in case you missed the older post about the cake...we bought it from a lady who makes cakes professionally.

One dad asked me if I made the cake, and I said, "Thank you for thinking I could, but no, I got it from the bakery."

He reminded me that last year I constructed a complicated Care Bear castle cake, which is true, and said, "I know you CAN, which is why I ASKED..." and we had a nice chuckle about it.


Mary Joan, if the kids and the guests are happy, then it's a success. :)


SM, seriously, Persistence? The little one? My baby? The blonde child? Looks like me? THANK YOU. I never get that. Everyone says Jon only fair and blonde (recessive genes I guess on the blonde).

Have his party in the spring or fall. We often move the party to saint's day, then just have nice family dinner and cupcakes on the birthday.

I'm very motivated to get back to doing that instead of this.


Angela, what a great gift from your mom. use it three times and VOILA! already paid off. And I bet you do a lot more than three times LOL. My husband has been checking out prices on trampolines and jump houses. Our neighbors are being very supportive of that LMAO.

Suz said...

It looks like a fantastic birthday indeed and I'm seriously impressed with that cake.

Mayberry said...

It sounds absolutely perfect -- for the birthday child, the guests, and the parents. WTG!

And WOW on the cake!

Karen said...

wow! You rock, mama!

jeanie said...

I am so glad everyone - including you - had a great time!

LOL - Christmas time equates to hot, hot, hot over here, so I am glad you got a warm December day for the party.

jeanie in paradise

Aliki2006 said...

It looks like an utterly fabulous party! And I hear you about the weather--we had 72 degrees today! 72!

flutter said...

Your babies are beautiful, Julie.

Stephanie said...

That sounds like a perfect party! Free play is under estimated! :) That cake is gorgeous!

dharmamama said...

It's not cliched at all to say the happiness of the girls is what mattered. I have been to far too many birthday parties that were so overplanned, the parents and kids ended up extremely stressed, with the kids crying and unhappy and the parents pissed at the kids for "not appreciating all they had done for them". Ummm... and WHO was the party for, exactly? Kudos to you for recognizing it's for THE KIDS.

Having said that, happy b-day to you, too! You wouldn't be the person you are today if it weren't for parenthood. (That sentence can have several different meanings, depending on your mood and the circumstances!) Congrats on your happenin' par-tay.

we_be_toys said...

Sounds like a great party! The cake was just perfect - I can't imagine a Peter Rabbit cake being any other flavor! And as for the all purpose wonderfulness of paved driveways - amen sister! Ours runs into a large patio as well, where many a village has been drawn with the quintessential chalk; it keeps them off the road a little longer too, which is much less stressful!
Thanks for the Seal Of Approval on using triptych to describe a set of poems - it sounded good, but I've only ever used in reference to paintings - but now I know I can use it with impunity!!!

Kyla said...

It sounds perfect and I'm so bummed we missed it. BubTar started running The Fever of Doom last night, too, so tomorrow we are headed to the ped for him. Joys.

ALM said...

I am in awe. It looks absolutely amazing - especially the cake! Wow!!

Emily said...

That's the birthday I want, too. It sounds perfect.

Anonymous said...


I cannot get over that cake. I might have to come back to Texas just for that bakery. (Glances out window) And maybe the weather.

Now that "we're" in Kindergarten, I've been introduced to the variety of kids party choices, but I hold fast to the back yard party (and yes, we've got the space, land, and park to make it work).

Sadly, March weather will be much like December weather, and the little brother born in June will have all the good parties, I think.

Christine said...

structure at parties is WAY over rated! looks like a blast!

Suki said...

Wow, wow, wow! That's awesome! I wish I was in that bouncy castle now :D.

painted maypole said...

sounds like a great party. And cake! yum.

Michele said...

Wow, what a fun party you guys had. And I'll back you up on the weather ... it was like 80 in Texas on Friday and now it's like 40 degrees and raining ... at least in Dallas. They old saying is true, if you don't like the weather in Texas, stick around cause it will change quickly.

the dragonfly said...

Congratulations on a job well done! :)

(and now it's over, and you can breathe...)

Magpie said...

What a great party!

Julie @ Letter9 said...

Ever since I first discovered your blog I've gone back and forth about whether I thought Patience and Persistence were their real names or your bloggy nicknames for them, but I guess the cake answers the question. : )

Mad Hatter said...

Wow. Why did I have no idea that Persistence and Miss M were so very close in age? I knew they were close but not under two months apart. I think its because you and I are always bonding over Miss M's and Patience's similarities. Nevertheless, happy birthday girls.

Lawyer Mama said...

It looks like so much fun! And I completely agree that the laid back sorts of parties are the best kind. I hate birthday parties that are too structured.

And that bouncy castle? Brilliant! I bet the kids were exhausted!