Tuesday, February 23, 2021

A Heroic Birthday

It was six weeks late, but Everett got to enjoy the Avengers-themed Birthday Party he envisioned and helped execute. We're so proud of his contributions (both ideas and help), and thrilled we got to have some distanced social time.

Like Imogen's birthday party last fall, it was a breath of fresh air to see (masked) friendly faces and marvel at how our kids have grown. Was it a lot of work? Yes. Was it worth it? 100% Yes. Did we take enough pictures? Of course not.

Avengers... assemble! - February 20, 2021

We've witnessed and attended a handful of outdoor parties over the past year, and we're getting the swing of hosting. The first thing on our minds is everyone has a different level of comfort - and this can be tough to manage with toddlers. We were very clear with Everett and Imogen that if they took their masks off, they had to go inside, and luckily they didn't try to test us.

Without further ado, the activities that Everett insisted on, helped design, and / or helped prepare:

  • Superhero Scavenger Hunt - Mommy helped cut out circles, then Everett put character stickers on and helped layer the Con-Tact paper. Because Everett wanted to be able to do the finding, Mommy and Daddy did the hiding all around the front yard. There were 24 superheroes and villains to find. If you didn't want to do the hard work of finding, Everett was more than happy to run around and point them all out. Full disclosure - he stole this idea from a neighbor's party and has been talking about it for two months.
Captain America by Everett and Falcon by Imogen - February 20, 2021
  • Pin the Star on Cap's Shield - Similar to Immy's party, we put a blindfold and the sticky thing in each favor bag. Everett decided what he wanted to do (although we did try to dissuade him from pin the bird on Falcon...) and painted the Captain America. Mommy helped by sketching an outline and Grandma Fiorani made us the stars.
  • Superhero Stats Card - To measure guests' heroic abilities, we set up measurement marks for high jump, long jump, and a distance for timing speed. There was also a balance station (how long can you stand on one foot?) and an accuracy check (throw your bean bag at a target). Guests had a card and a pen in their bag to keep track of their performance. Everett's Superhero Name is Oarrowbird (Arrowbird, with a silent O at the front) and Imogen's is Rocket Raccoon.
Crayon manufacturing - February 6, 2021
  • Spiderman, Iron Man, and War Machine Crayons - We melted so many crayons. The kids helped breaking them up and filling up the silicone trays. The trays started breaking down so we had to stop... ohhhhh noooo :)
  • Hulk Smash! - Everett's favorite activity to do and encourage guests to do! Chris made a double sided punch board using green trifolds, purple tissue paper, Solo cups, and a circle cutter. Plus a LOT of tape. Instead of plastic toys destined for the garbage, we put fruit snacks or M&Ms inside for prizes. Everett was very opinionated on what stickers should decorate: Hulk (of course) and villains (Daddy's idea, Everett fully committed to it). The only downside was one smash per Hulk.
  • Infinity Stone Guessing Game - Non-branded would be, "how many Skittles are in this jar?" Both Everett and Imogen helped count Skittles as they went into the jar. Mommy did the decorations with color input (demands?) from Everett. Any guesses based on the photo?
  • Groot - We totally got the idea from this Avengers Party blog post. We didn't follow the directions exactly, and we used packing paper from Amazon and other deliveries over the course of a month. Chris was skeptical at first, but this ended up Elizabeth's favorite part of the party. It did not take long to make, Everett and Imogen had fun adding leaves, and we used twine to keep him from blowing away outside. When the party was over, the kids decided they wanted to keep Groot around a little longer to take more pictures with him (and they even brought other toys for the photo op).
Everett and Imogen both had a blast literally running around with friends they haven't seen in months. It wore Imogen out early and she crashed (but woke up before the party was over!), and Everett also started to fade towards the end. Five hours is a long time for a kids' party in normal times! We made it that long to try to spread out guests. We even had one guest come before official party time to avoid attending a "gathering" and another that had to come late because of an emergency earlier in the day. It happens, and we were easily able to roll with it. 

More Groot photos - February 21, 2021

The most stressful part of the whole endeavor was the rain overnight and during the morning - set up time was drastically condensed which put the adults on edge a bit. Luckily, the kids played (mostly) nice that morning. 

It isn't lost on us that this was Everett's last pre-kindergarten birthday. The number of parties where Mommy and Daddy get to invite their friends is coming to an end. We're savoring that, we're savoring the themes, the party games, the utter joy. 

What else happened in February?

As the months turn over and we look back to write these posts, it's always a bit of a shock to see how much happened in the past few weeks. Everett had "spirit week" at school, Valentine's Day, a visit to Happy Hollow, Elizabeth hit the 28 week mark, and Elizabeth and Chris hit the 14 year mark. A month full of love, to say the least!

Sports, Disney, Wacky Socks & Hair, PJs, and Valentine's Colors Day - February 8-12, 2021

Rugby ball, rugby face! - February 12, 2021

Valentine's surprise - a fort full of balloons! - February 14, 2021

President's Day at the Zoo - February 15, 2021

14 years - February 17, 2021

Dragonfly pose

Everett chose the heroes for his letters, and Grandma Fiorani delivered!

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