The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
November 2013

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bitty's Birthday: Death by Glitter

It's only once in a little girl's lifetime that she turns 5 years old. And to celebrate properly you really need a lot of glitter.  Oh, and some sparkles too.  I don't think there was a single person at our house last Saturday who wasn't sparkling in some way by the time they left.  It was a beautiful thing, really.  That is unless you had aspirated some of the glitter, which can be unpleasant.  But oh we had a marvelous time.


The theme for the party was all about fairies - everyone got to start out by decorating their own set of fairy wings.  (There were some dragon wings available for those opposed to calling themselves a fairy.  If you know what I mean.) Crowns and wands were available as well.  We hired this awesome face painter to come and do some seriously fancy facial decorations.  I was a little nervous that I forgot to tell any of the kids' parents about the face paint - I wasn't too sure how they'd react when they picked up their once-clean/now completely-covered-in-face-paint child.  Especially the boy who wanted to be a dragon; his face was so green that I'm sure he's still sporting some green eyelids today.  But he looked great!  (Our camera was acting up so I'll have to see if my mom caught a shot of him.) We loved the face painter.  Bitty was so attached to her butterfly that she cried her eyes out at bath time that night and she tearfully said, "Good bye, butterfly!  I'm going to miss you!  I know you'll always be with me!"  Sweet. 


The best part for me was that I made very good use of the crazy overgrown wilderness at the back of our yard.  It's really a mess back there, but kids have always loved playing back there.  So on Friday night I went and cleared a path through the growth.  Then I got a whole bunch of stuff I had either made or borrowed from my nieces' "little things" collection and set up little tableau's of fairy life all along the path.  There was the fireplace with rocks around it where fairies gathered in the evenings to tell stories.  There was the rocking chair with a basket of knitting at its feet.  The tea table all set for tea.  Oh  my gosh, it was so much fun.  We told the kids that fairies lived in our back yard (a few of them really bought into it and were quite distressed that they didn't get to see the fairies themselves!) and they could go on a little walk and see where they lived.  They made fairy bread (bread & butter, cut out with cookie cutters and topped with colorful sprinkles) and took it as a gift for the fairies.  Actually, I haven't cleaned up yet and there are little piles of very sprinkled, very mushy bread and butter still out in the yard.  It was a kill.


What's amazing to me about birthday parties is that they don't seem to obey the laws of the space/time continuum.  I have never thrown a party without either a) planning just a few simple things and yet running out of time to do them or b) planning a ton of stuff, working so hard to make sure there's enough to do and the kids are done with it all in about 25 minutes, leaving you with 1 hour and 35 minutes to fill.  Guess which group we fit into. Yep - at 10:45 I had 10 little faces looking at me like, "O.K. lady, what else you got?"  Luckily I have no qualms about having the birthday girl open presents in the middle of the party, leaving my dad enough time to zip over to Little Ceasar's for a stack of cheap pizza.  THAT will keep kids entertained!  And then all you have to do is top it all off with the cake and ice cream and by the time that's done, parents start wandering in and you can send everyone home.

But let's not skimp on the cake details.  I would like you to know that I love to make cake.  I keep thinking that I'm pretty good at it.  Guess what.  I'm really not, especially kids' cakes.  Theme cakes. I suck at those.  I thought I was being all clever with an idea to take two round cakes and turn them into fairy wings.  I made purple frosting, I decorated the wings with berries like the patterns on a butterfly, I even put a little dolly on top to make the "fairy wing" illusion complete.  Sounds cute, right?  Well, it wasn't.  Now, I'm sure that the problems began early on when I experimented with both the recipe and the coloring of the cake.  Bitty wanted "A Strawberry Cake."  I hate those strawberry cake mixes, so I thought I'd just add some jam to the batter.  Well, turns out it takes a damn LOT of jam to make the batter taste like strawberry.  Enough jam, it turns out, to turn your cake into something with the consistency of a wet sponge. After it's cooked, that is.  Oh well.  Also, I have no experience using high quality food coloring - I had no idea how potent that stuff is so Bitty's cake was so dark pink it was a little unnerving to actually eat.  Oh well, the kids didn't seem to notice!  (The grownups definitely did, but were all very nice and said nothing.)


So yes, we had a lovely party.  Most of all, I was so so proud of our little Bitty.  She worked so hard to be a happy birthday hostess and she did great.  It's not easy being the birthday girl!  The day before the party I was talking to her about being grateful for the gifts you are given, no matter what.  I asked her what she would say if someone gave her something she didn't really like.  She thought for a moment and then replied, "I would say, 'Thank you very much for the present and I like so many things about you but I don't like that present.'"  Well, no, not exactly what I was looking for, but I think our chat really helped. Not that she didn't like any of the gifts - everyone was so nice and gave great things - but she was just a pleasant, grown-up little gal and we had zero fits of sobbing, which, frankly, I was totally expecting.  Good job, little Bitty.  I love you like crazy and am so excited for the year ahead!


8 comments:

Adam said...

I'm coming to the next party! Looks like it was a hit! And, so sorry we haven't called that sweet birthday girl yet! Happy Birthday Bitty! Love ya-
-whit

Bella said...

you throw the best parties! way to go, rachel! and happy happy birthday to sweet bitty!

Lainey said...

I love the fairy walk! It sounds so magical. What a fun, fabulous party! I wish we could have been there. I actually have a pretty good strawberry cake recipe involving pureed strawberries and strawberry jello. If there ever is a next time for strawberry cake...

Windybrook Spinner said...

I know none of us can ever live up to Elaine's birthday cake making magic, but it looks like you did a pretty amazing job yourself. Love the fairy walk and the face painting. Birthday parties are just crazy!

Keersten said...

So darling! You are amazing! On your strawberry cake, I have had good luck using extracts and flavorings (there are actually quite a few just at the grocery store and everything you could want at gygi's). Mix in with some food coloring and you're set. : D

Jodi said...

LOVE the party! I had to share it with a friend who is planning a fairy party for her soon to be 6 year old. I love the fairy-land tour. Complete with a tree swing?!? Absolutely darling!!

Swimmingmom said...

Sounds like a great party. How clever! I love the little swing in the fairy walk. So cute! And that facepaint!!!!

mrsmckracken said...

You can never go wrong with glitter. It looks like it turned out so great...and I love the present comments. We had to do that with a few of ours a couple of years, too. Just the outspoken, grumpy ones. So basically all of them.