Sunday, April 21, 2013

Super Mo!

Hi, My name is Jackie. 
And I have a party planning problem. 

I have said it before, and will say it again, when I plan parties for my kids, they are meant to be parties for kids. 

Well, what the heck does that mean? 

Yes, there are decorations and yummy food, and I don't doubt adults have fun at my fetes, as there usually is a decent amount of alcohol too. 

However, the focus is the kids. 

Pinterest is both a blessing and a curse when planning a themed party. So many of those fabulous ideas I see floating around party blogs and Pinterest don't really seem all too kid friendly. The hours put into tablescapes and adding labels and stickers to everything typically goes unnoticed to the preschool set. I will admit, I'm the one usually drooling over the matched sets and contemplating how I can budget to order every item off Etsy or some other site. But then I remember my audience, and so instead, I plan games, and activities of which the participants are expected to be actively involved. 

Yes, I expect the kids at my parties to do more than just sit there quietly and drink from mason jars filled with fruit infused water and eat finger sandwiches. 

This time, they were asked to run, jump, and even climb over picnic tables. (I'm crazy like that!)

It all started with one declaration by Moira about 8 months ago, 

"Mom, I think I want a superhero party!"

The rest is history!

Superhero Pose!

It all started with capes!

17 felt capes in shades of red, blue, purple, and yellow, each adorned with the wearers first initial. Except of course for one of our littlest superheroes, P.J. got both his letters. Cutting the felt using a template I created was the easy part. I cut the letters out of reminants free hand and adhered them using a combination of felt glue and hot glue. The difficult and most time consuming part was sewing velcro on each. May I recommend making a friend who has a sewing machine and can use it? That would have saved my poor fingers. But hot damn, they came out cute!
Next up were decorations. I kept it kind of simple this year. Mo recently discovered Wonder Woman! I searched high and low for party items with her, however they cease to exist. Instead, I took inspiration from her colors, red, blue, and yellow. I hung streamers, found red and blue stars at the local party store, and made a birthday banner using scrapbook paper, and sparkly pre-cut letters. 

Favor bags were simply brown lunch bags. Each child's superhero name, picked by Mo, was written add a hand drawn star, and bam! DONE!

When guests arrived, they received their personalized cape and came into the dining room. Each child chose a mask and added shapes, numbers, and letters of their choosing. Thank God for foam stickies! No glue necessary.
Next up, we played a game of pin the letter on the superhero. 

No, she couldn't see. I swear she couldn't!
While the kids played the game, the materials for the masks were cleaned up and then dinner was served.

After dinner, we headed outside for the superhero obstacle course. 

I used foam noodles from 5 Below, some chairs, our picnic table and our playhouse. The kids had to step through each circle, jump over the two hurdles, climb over the picnic table, run to the playhouse to save a stuffed animal who had been stuck in the playhouse then run back and tag the next person.

I loved seeing the kids run excitedly with capes flying behind as they tackled each obstacle.

the birthday girl mid hurdle

climbing the picnic table

After the obstacle course, the kids had some free time to play throughout the back yard. That moon bounce we purchased last year came back out for our superheroes to practice their jumping. I had some chalk out near the driveway for the kids to practice their superhero art. I also left the obstacle course in tact as some of the kids enjoyed jumping and climbing again and again. 

While the kids were playing, my good friends manned the photo booth. I absolutely love this idea! Just laid a blue sheet on the ground. Mo and Maeve decorated the buildings for me, while I cut out a sun and some clouds from construction paper. Lastly, I added some word bubbles and ta-dah! One fabulous photo booth! 

After play time, we headed inside for cake, candy, and Happy Birthday wishes! Our birthday girl recently discovered Reeses Peanut Cups and so her wish for cupcakes of that flavor was granted as I added a full size peanut butter cup at the bottom of each cupcake and a mini peanut butter cup on top. 

The other batch was simply devil's food cake or yellow with vanilla icing and red m&m for decoration. 
I did manage to get a little Wonder Woman into the decoration thanks to Mo's Little People!

After dessert, we still had a little more superhero activities to complete. Prior to the party, I had asked my sister in law, Colleen, if she would play the role of the villain. Mo deemed her the Pink Flamingo Villain, as pink & flamingos are Coll's two favorite things.

Coll "stole" the bag of candy just as the kids were finishing their dessert. I searched around the dining room, asking where it was, while the kids saw the Pink Flamingo Villain just out the window trying to run off with it. They headed back outside and chased Coll around, while she tossed Superhero fruit snacks, candy, and some other little superhero gifts. 

Our last activity was inspired by the Price Is Right. Mo had seen an episode where they had to punch through paper to get some prize. Immediately she asked if we could do it for her birthday. Thankfully, I found a tutorial here

This was a huge hit (Literally and figuratively) and the perfect culmination for our superhero party!

The presents are unwrapped. The streamers have been taken down, and the birthday girl is enjoying her new role as a five year old. This party was a lot of fun for me to plan and host and I do hope the kids enjoyed it too. 
My party planning activities are on hold now until December when we have a first birthday to celebrate.

Thank you to my dear friends for their help and the always talented Ashley Pierce Photography for the photos!

Planning a superhero party? Check out my pinterest board here

Monday, April 1, 2013


1826 days ago my life changed forever.

It's hard to even remember what my life was like before.

In one day, one major moment, my life, my world changed forever.

Five years ago, April 1, 2008 Moira made her grand entrance into this world. For the long story, click here, while here is the short sweet story.

This face changed it all.

My first born, my dearest sweetest Lovie Girl. 

Confident does not describe her. I truly wish I could bottle up and sell the belief she has in herself. She knows she is faster, stronger, and smarter. No one can tell her differently. 

From that moment she took those first steps just short of nine months old, she has never stopped moving. Kicking a soccer ball. Running laps around the front yard. Hitting the wiffle ball across the lawn. Her athleticism already evident. 

When pregnant with Margo, we again decided to refrain from finding out the sex. Person after person asked if we were trying for the boy for Bryan. The answer was no. We don't need a boy. 

We have Mo. 

I mean that in the nicest possible way. We don't need a boy because all those things traditionally associated with a boy are her favorites. 

Ask her what she wants to be when she grows up and without pause, she responds "A runner girl". Her favorite attire: jeans, a t-shirt, and sneakers...well...actually...super fast running shoes. Her best friend asked her mom why Mo doesn't like dresses. Mo's response, "I only wear dresses on the first day of school. the last day of school, and for Church".  

She chooses the Phillies and the Union over Princesses and dolls....most of the time. She loves music, playing with her guitar and ukulele. She loves to sing duets with Maeve, usually drawing from Mumford & Sons or Of Monsters and Men. 

She's easy going, gets along with everyone and seems to have inherited her quirky personality from her mother. She has no problem meeting new people. 

She excels in math already and has begun trying to spell and write. She loves school and can't wait for Kindergarten. 

She's funny, silly, and happy and I feel so lucky I get to be her mommy!

And now, let the party planning commence!