So as I predicted, I woke up this morning to the sound of the fridge sheriff beeping at me to let me know that the door had been open over 20 seconds. Of course, the boys had found the little mini cake I had made Maddie with the extra cake batter. They were in their favorite "We're doing something totally naughty and don't want to get caught" hiding spot behind the couch. Luckily, I found them right as they were about to dive in. Also, after a wise premonition last night, I sent all 3 dozen decorated cupcakes home with Brooke (my late night party prep slave) for safekeeping until the party. They had a MUCH better chance of survival with only my brother and a bulldog tempted to sneak into them. Crisis #1 averted.
Then as we were driving to the sprinkler park this morning, I was flooded with panic as dark storm clouds filled the sky directly behind me. The weather in front of me was bright and sunny but I could tell we were in danger of being caught in the middle of a total downpour. Big fat drops hit my windshield for about two minutes--then nuthin'. But that half of the sky stayed pretty ominous looking. The kids were all screaming about tornadoes and how we were going to have to call everyone and move it to the house. Umm...22 kids running wild in my house? No thanks. (Turns out Maddie's friends have alot of siblings.) "WE ARE HAVING THIS PARTY TODAY! Even if we have to stay under the gazebo thing the whole time."
Throughout the party it was overcast off and on but NO RAIN! Crisis #2 averted. Whoopee! Although the humidity and 95+ degrees weren't doin' us any favors. My armpits were having their own splash party.
Since there's a jungle gym right next to the splash park, I didn't plan any games or anything. I figured they'd bounce around between getting wet, climbing around, and snacking. So I just brought ALOT of food and cold drinks. 4 coolers worth of stuff. And I came back with at least 1 1/2 coolers worth of leftovers, so I'll be enjoying all my prewashed and cut produce, snack mix, and other stuff for the next few days.
The cupcakes turned out pretty funny. I used Fruit Stripes gum and turned them into beach towels for some very sour kids that were busy sunbathing at the water's edge. I made a separate-non gum and candy batch with bright blue frosting with marshmallow clouds. I was pretty stressed about keeping them in unmelted form the whole time, but a good cooler and LOTS of ice did the trick. They were nice and chilled.
Avery and Aidan have been OBSESSED about the dang "party cupcakes" for a week. They were not messing around when they were finally allowed to dig into them. Although Aidan began his digging a little early. All through the Happy Birthday singing, I spied him swiping at the one nearest him and licking his finger over and over. (I love how Aidan's eyes are closed cuz he's taking such a huge bite.) And I asked Avery if it was everything he dreamt it would be---he just said "Yes." Then he gave me a death look, like, "come on, now let me enjoy the dang thing in peace." And then I think he enjoyed two of them before I shooed him away.
I don't think we ever managed to corral all the kids at once for a giant group picture. But Isela managed to get some good ones of everyone (best idea ever--hand over the camera duty to a willing friend because you can't be everywhere at once). Alex and his friend even had fun at the "girl party" with some light sabers.
Hmm...I wonder if little H. liked his smurfcake--er, I mean cupcake. I can tell you I REALLY liked that little H. brought me a very big Diet Coke. It was really lovely since I was practically dehydrated by then.
Gila monster to tame while Avery flexed his biceps climbing. I spy someone in green shorts who will most definitely be the cause of my first kid-related trip to the E.R. When he got to the middle and the very top, he hollered for me and just said, "Hey mom."
For goody bags, I found these small mini-beach bag looking things in a variety of colors and stuffed them with a bunch of different stuff. The hot item was a little personal fan thing with foam blades. But apparently they're house fires waiting to happen because a mom already emailed me to let me know theirs started smoking when she got it home and put batteries in it.
Beware. I hand out dangerous weaponry disguised as party favors. And if your kid was the "lucky" recipient of the fire hazard, please be on the lookout. Ours have been operating fine all afternoon, but you never know...