Fonticulus Fides

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Birthday Party report…

Since we have two July birthdays (Zooey's on the 30th and Edyn's on the 1st), we always have Edyn
s party on the Sunday before her birthday and Zooey’s on the Sunday after his. Technically, his party should have been July 31 this year, but I happily put it back a week – all the more time between parties.

Edyn’s “Madeline” Party

Edyn’s been loving those “Madeline” books for some time now, so she wanted a Madeline party. Since the Sunday before her birthday also happened to be my mother-in-law’s birthday, I had Edyn telephone Grandma to ask if they could have a joint party. We invited my husband’s parents, grandparents, siblings, niece and nephew, plus a few friends and figured that would be plenty for a 3-year-old.

Invitations were, by Edyn’s request, storybooks. They were only four pages long, inside a cover. I traced a couple of drawings from the Madeline books and realized that Ludwig Bemelmans was a very casual artist. There was little consistency between his drawings of Madeline, so that made me more comfortable with imitating his style. I changed Madeline’s hair to be more like Edyn’s (longer and parted on the side), etc. Very easy to do! I printed out the internal pages on regular paper and copied the “cover” onto card stock. (Each sheet was cut in half to make either two covers or two sets of four internal pages). I used regular Crayola markers to color the pages I wanted colored. Fold them in half and staple twice on the crease, and they were done.

This is the “story” I wrote:

(Page one, sketch of our house)
In an old house in Lincoln (barely) covered with paint
We’re getting ready to celebrate!

(Page two, sketch of Edyn dressed as Madeline, holding balloons)
No longer the smallest, Edyn is turning three
So we’re having a party with friends and family.

(Page three, tracing of the table from Madeline book with sketch of cake added)
The children will play, the grown-ups will chat
And then we’ll eat cake – cake shaped like a hat!

(Page four, sketch of small table with clock and piece of cake, calendar on the wall has month of June with sketch of Eiffel Tower from the Madeline book cover)
Be sure to join us at half past noon
For a birthday extraordinaire the last Sunday in June.

Inside back cover had the standard who, what, where, when, RSVP stuff.

We served a late brunch. Technically, it should have been “lunch” since we started at 12:30, but Edyn picked French toast for the meal. I think that’s the only “French” food she knows. She also was adamant about wanting bacon and watermelon, and she said something about French fries, which I “forgot” to make. I added a few other fruits to the watermelon for a legitimate fruit salad and made a Quiche Lorraine, too.

It was a lot of bacon, but we used my husband’s newly devised oven technique, and it worked quite well.

After lunch – err, brunch – we had two cakes, a Fresh Strawberry cake for Grandma from the June issue of Martha Stewart Living (very easy & yummy, but sorry, not on line). and a chocolate Madeline “hat” cake for Edyn. This was made with one 9” layer and a small “crown” that was baked in a 6” Pyrex bowl. I frosted everything yellow and used a ribbon fruit roll (like Froot-by-the-Foot) for the hat ribbon. I looked everywhere for blue but had to settle for purple for that. Edyn didn’t mind – she loves purple.

I had some games in mind, but I hurt my wrist right before the party and I was in a splint. I couldn’t make all the things for the games. Instead, the kids all went out and played in the sprinkler. These were the games I was planning:

Musical Madeline Hats: I spray-painted some children’s straw hats yellow and added bright blue ribbons. I was going to have the kids all stand in a close circle, then turn to the left so they were facing another child’s back. One hat would be put on the birthday girl’s head, then as French music played, the child behind her would take the hat off her head and put it on her own. This continued, so that the hat traveled around the circle until the music stopped. Whomever was wearing the hat got to keep it and stepped out of the circle, then we’d play again with another hat until all the children had one. I was planning on making black felt Pepito hats for the two boys (Simple triangles with top point blunted, fabric glued together, bottom turned up and creased, with two big red pom-pons added, one at the top and one on the cuff), but with my right hand out of commission, I couldn’t. (I can run a can of spray paint with my left hand just fine because it’s not an exact science!)

Pin the French Flag on the Eiffel Tower: I was going to sketch out the Eiffel Tower on a piece of poster board, then use “Name Tag” stickers for the flag – very easy to do just by coloring the left vertical third blue and the right vertical third red, leaving the middle white. Drawing the Eiffel Tower is not so hard – if you get the external shape about right, it’s just some hash marks to indicate the steel structure.

Hide Genevieve: Genevieve is Madeline’s dog. I was going to play this game like Hot Potato with a small brown beanie dog. The children sit in a circle, with the birthday girl holding the dog. I was going to shout in as close to a French accent as I could muster. “Oh, no! Here comes the Board of Trustees! Hide the puppy!” I would keep my back turned while the girls toss the puppy round the circle as I repeated, “Here they come, they’re getting closer!” Finally, I would shout “They’re here!” and turn around. Whomever was holding the puppy would hide it, and I would try to guess who had it. If I guessed right, that girl would join me with backs turned for the next round, saying, “Here come the trustees!”

Goodie bags were tough. I was going to buy little boxes and draw on them with marker to look like the Old House in Paris that was covered with vines, but again, couldn’t pull that off with a splint. Instead, I used yellow paper sacks tied with blue ribbon. I also could not find ANY candy or treats that were French-related, so I went with the rest of the fruit rolls, lemon drops and chocolate kisses, and party horns. The girls also got to keep their Madeline hats.

Thank you notes were also homemade: I used the image of Edyn dressed as Madeline holding balloons, but I added a "voice balloon" with her saying "Merci!" I let her "write" on the inside, then added our own (more legible) thanks, and included a photo of Edyn playing with, reading or wearing the gift she had received from that particular person.

Golly, I have to run! I will post about Zooey’s party next!



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