Our boys' birthdays are fairly close together, so as long as we can get away with it, I plan to combine their birthday celebrations. I know many folks tsk tsk this practice but the thing is, our boys share the same group of friends and it simplifies travel plans for the out of town grandparents. Besides, we celebrate their birthdays, need I say it, on their actual birthday, plus they typically get a school party, PLUS this combo one so I think they're covered. This year the theme was a "Master of Disguise" party--we were going to throw a basic costume party but then our oldest wanted a spy theme, so there you go.
Everyone was invited to dress up to be "in disguise"--I thought other moms might appreciate their munchkins getting another wear out of a Halloween costume. Then surprise!, even though it was April, it was unseasonably hot, so none of our boys could wear what they had planned and instead wore a mish mash from their dress up trunk...for exactly 11 minutes until it was too hot for even that. We also had to strike the spy obstacle course because standing still outside without sweating proved impossible, so running/leaping/tummy crawling/etc. were, in my mind, out of the question. But I should have channeled the mind of a six-year-old because oh, my, my, how this executive decision nearly brought down our oldest. I still think it was a reasonable decision (kids were in polyester costumes!), but made a note to self that "just playing" is evidently not a suitable enough birthday activity once you turn 6. I really should have known better. Sigh.
We had party bunting (I may post a tutorial on this later, though plenty abound online already), mini cupcakes, a moon bounce, piñata fun and three birthday cakes. I used a jumbo cupcake pan for the cakes and tragically learned that it produces a shape not at all compatible with my homemade cake recipes (too delicate of a crumb--each cake collapsed as soon as I unmolded it). As I was predictably doing this the morning of the party, I had no time for major reconstruction. I ended up wrapping each cake with some pretty scrapbook paper to make a cuff that kinda, sorta resembled a cupcake liner, effectively holding the cakes together. I added frosting on top, muttered my discontent, and away we went. Luckily the boys thought they were perfect and watching them blow out their candles with such happy faces helped me remember to stop sweating the small stuff (a constant battle for me).
The favors were little boxes from Oriental Trading Company loaded with a magnifying glass, Oreo pops, sunglasses and spy notebooks (just papers stitched together, which if you do, use colored duct tape for the binding. I used ribbon and double sided tape and learned it eventually peels off). The Oreo pops sort of looked like magnifying glasses and were a cinch to do--I'm sorry I don't have a shot but the leftovers did not survive long enough to serve as a photo prop. Basically, just stick a lollipop stick into a double stuffed Oreo, dip into melted chocolate and decorate if desired (we used sprinkles).
I also intended to make fake mustaches for every favor box but ran out of time. I now really wish I had made the extra effort because the boys wear the prototypes all of the time and it's hilarious. A personal perk from their birthday party? I save myself a slice of birthday cake to enjoy the next day with my morning coffee. I usually have to hide in the pantry to eat it but it's Heaven.
If you happen to throw a similar party and would like the invite file, just email me (link is on the left sidebar) and I will send it, along with my heartiest wishes that your party goes off without a hitch--but even if it doesn't, take it from me, it will still be great!!