IT'S PARTY TIME!
Let's talk birthday party! Like last year, in this post I'm going to tell you all about the fun we had, and I'll share all the festive Sesame Street-themed details in a separate post at the end of this week.
As I mentioned, we hosted Ellie's birthday party at Lake Seminole Park on March 16th, while we were down at my dad's house in St. Petersburg for spring break. We were so thrilled that so many of our friends and family were able to join us!
Naturally, the night before the party, Ellie slept more poorly than she had slept in months, and was up earlier than she had been in weeks that morning. Like last year, she also woke up with a runny nose, which we ultimately attributed to allergies as it never materialized into anything more serious and disappeared as soon as we left St. Pete (my dad is watching my sister's cat while she's in Japan, plus the pollen has been crazy, so it seems plausible). So, not exactly desirable party prep on Ellie's part, but hey, the kid's a trooper.
When she woke up we got her fed and then left her in my dad's capable hands (thanks, Dad!) while Eric and I went to pick up her cake and set up our pavilion. Also like last year, the wind was INSANE. I don't know why we thought it would be wise to rent the same pavilion again, because I remember the swearing that ensued during setup last year, but apparently I'm glutton for punishment. The difference between this year and last, however, is that the wind never died down, and continued to cause problems throughout the party (eventually, I even just took down our centerpieces and some other decorations because I was tired of picking them back up after they blew over. All my craftiness ended up in a box on the floor, alas!). But, the forecast had originally predicted excessive rain for party day, so given that it was otherwise sunny and warm, I could handle a bit of a stiff breeze.
My mom and Gary arrived early to help with setup, followed later by my dad with the Birthday Girl in tow. Miraculously, despite the blustery conditions, everything was set up and ready to go by the time our guests arrived!
A sneak peek at the party decor!
We spent a good while just mingling with everyone, which was so nice. We really are touched that so many of our friends and family took the time to come celebrate with us, especially because we rarely get to see a lot of them otherwise (friends in particular). So it was wonderful to catch up with people we hadn't seen in a while!
As we mingled, people (primarily the kids) played with our Cookie Monster cornhole game, we had people sign Ellie's guestbook, and we snapped pictures of our guests posing in our Sesame Street character visors.
Cookie Monster cornhole fun!
Just hanging out with Aunt Kelley
Eric and his Momz
Ellie got a dance party going. The music was in her head, but hey, it's the dancing that counts.
A few of our wonderful guests!
When it was time to eat, my dad expertly manned the grill (thanks, Dad!) and we dined on burgers and hot dogs, baked beans, potato and macaroni salads (thanks, Mom!), chips and dip, and fruit and veggies. Yum!
Dad on the grill
After lunch we had cake. Ellie was so enamored with everyone singing to her! She just looked all around the room with this awestruck little smile on her face! We tried in vain to light the candles on the cake, but the wind was having none of it, so we just pretended to blow them out. Then Ellie helped Eric cut a couple slices and cake was served.
Ready for cake!
VIDEO: Happy birthday, dear Ellie!
Look at that face!
Blowing out candles that have clearly never been lit
Eric and Ellie cutting the first piece
Of course, all morning long Ellie had been asking for birthday cake, and had even helped herself to a couple fingerfuls of icing here and there. But when we actually served her a piece, she recoiled. No cake for Ellie!
"Get the wretched stuff away from me!"
After cake, Ellie opened presents, something she was definitely more into this year than last! She got some wonderful toys - it seems her friends and family know just what she likes!
Ellie opening gifts
After the main round of gifts, Aunt Kelley called Ellie out to her car for one last present: a new tricycle! Ellie has been very into bikes/trikes ever since an episode of Sesame Street had Elmo and Abby learning to ride tricycles, so she was quite pleased!
Wow! Thanks, Aunt Kelley!
She is riding in style now.
And that was about it! We did a little more visiting with people, but things wound down pretty quickly. We cleaned up everything that hadn't yet blown away and said our last goodbyes, and that was that! Ellie's 2nd birthday party was in the books! Thanks again to all of our friends and family who made the day so memorable!
The exhausted party girl on her way home!