Friday, October 30, 2009

caterparty, part II

birthday invitation 1
After considering and reconsidering several possibilities, I settled on making Noah's party a Very Hungry Caterpillar party. I spent a lot of time and effort on making the invitations. Brenda had the wonderful idea for making it an accordion-folded caterpillar, and I loved it, so I didn't mind slaving away cutting out ovals until the proverbial cows came home. As an added bonus, all the guests were extremely impressed with me for making these, and several families told me that their kids actually played with it. WIN!
birthday invitation 2
I included two photos of Noah to show how far we've come in just one year. It's amazing how much growth and development happens in such a short time... I wish I could learn that many new and groundbreaking things in just one year!
The plan for the party was simple - we rented a local park with ample picnic benches and tables as well as a really neat wading pool for the kids to play in. A lovely place to cool off and entertainment for the kids? Check!
wading pool
I made cupcakes:
Since it was so hot, I actually left in the middle of the party and picked the cupcakes up from home. Because I really didn't want the frosting to melt, I left them in the boxes for people to grab, though it would have been much cuter to arrange them more nicely:
caterpillar cakes
(And yes, there was a second box. I made two big batches of cupcakes.)
I actually frosted the head of the caterpillar with home-made frosting dyed with boiled-down red peppers since I was/am a little paranoid about feeding my kid artificial colors. I can't recommend it... neither the color nor the consistency turned out very well (which was actually fine, since Noah didn't care and nobody else knew). The eyes and nose are made from banana slices and raisins. The cupcakes were probably the one thing I was the most freaked out about, but I am really happy with how they turned out in the end (thanks to Bethany's help and my own non-idiotic-ness).
For food, we had assemble-your-own sandwiches (which was inexpensive and very fitting with the theme, since the caterpillar eats through all sorts of sandwich-related stuff: cheese, salami, pickles, green leaves... you get the picture). We also had fresh fruits & veggies and some lollipops - basically most of the items the caterpillar eats through.
But you know me... I didn't stop there. I spent hours in the kitchen the morning of the party, using an apple corer and drinking straws to poke holes into our food. I know you guys get it, but I had to explain the holes to a few people later that day. :)
To keep our food cool, I used aluminum pans filled with ice cubes and set smaller aluminum pans inside. To make the food-choosing easier, I took more photos of the food from the book and pasted them onto the lids of the pans:
We simply used paper plates, napkins, and tablecloths in green, red, and yellow. For decorations, I made table tents with photos of Noah. These ended up making great party favors for the doting family members.
I also prepared a craft (making fingerprint-caterpillars on strips of cardstock as bookmarks), but the kids were so busy playing in the water that it went largely ignored (which is much better than not having something prepared for kids who are suddenly very bored).
There was a ton of gifts...
this car is a hit
...and some delighted cupcake-eating/smearing.
big bite!
In other words...
big boy
...successful party!


Annika said...

What an awesome party! I am super-impressed.

bethany actually said...

I didn't figure out why you were calling these posts "caterparty" till just now. Because I'm super-bright.

Melissa Haworth said...

seriously best party EVER! If I have another baby this is absolutely the first birthday party--invitations and holey fruit included (but I'll use red food coloring and just not feed it to the baby ;) AWESOME JOB!

Anonymous said...

Wow Sonja - beautifully organized party. Well done - all looked amazing. Can I rent your services for my next child's party? :)
Lisa (& Mark)

Sonja said...

Lisa, if you fly me to Florida, my services are yours! :)

Jamie said...

I enjoyed being a guest at the caterparty! And I appreciated every little joke since that book is a favorite of Adam's.

sarahgrace said...

What a great idea for a themed party, and I love that you poked holes in all the food! LOL!

I'm not a huge fan of feeding my kids stuff with artificial coloring either. We had an enlightening moment one day when I fed them rainbow colored goldfish, thinking, "it's just goldfish! At least there's no sugar," and then 30 minutes later, they COULD NOT contain themselves. I don't think it's sugar that makes kids hyper- it's food coloring! (Although, too much sugar is obviously not the best either...)

sarahdoow said...

You thought up such amazing details - the holes in the food are just hilarious and perfect.

Yara said...

Hey missy
I was perfectly happy with you not blogging the awesomeness of the party I had to miss because of one careless blackberry cellphone losing husband of mine : (
I apparently missed the best summer party ever!

Kim @ Frost Me! said...

very cute! I love that you did all the holes on the food!

thanks for leaving me blog luv!

hugs! Kim @ Frost Me!