Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Brody & Swayze's Circus Birthday Extravaganza

I can't believe my handsome little guy turned two this weekend. It makes me sad that he's getting big so fast. It feels like yesterday Brody was in my tummy karate chopping my bladder, I was rapping about baby constipation in hopes of him poo-ing (for those of you who've been blessed to hear my baby raps), and throwing up in Walmart parking lot from locking him in the car and having to call the fire department... ahhh the memories.

Seriously though, I miss the days when he would just sleep on my chest, coo and smile at the sound of my voice--moments I'll cherish forever.

OK, I'll snap out of it and get to the party (cough) bitching, I mean planning...

So, I started thinking about his birthday bash long before the holidays. I tried to get some ideas for party themes to decide if I wanted to throw a big party like his first birthday (see Lumberjack birthday shindig here). There is so much planning that goes into these over-the-top parties we throw, and I have to make sure mom, who is our secret weapon, has plenty of time to draw, paint etc.

I wish I could say planning these parties is all rainbows and sunshine, but it's a pain in my rear.

Anyway, at the beginning of the year, Swayze, my youngest niece, turned one. Since it was on the heels of the holidays, my sister and I thought it would be a good idea to throw a joint party early February. Due to some arising issues and what seemed to be a Welch family sickness outbreak, we had to postpone to the 22nd.

This is where the fun--and frustration--began. After our initial talks and countless texts, we ultimately landed on a circus theme. Both of the kids love "Madagascar 3" and love watching Alex and the gang start the Afro Circus, so we thought it would be a fun to throw a crazy circus extravaganza. And, with my mom's artistic skills, I knew we could go to work.

Inspired by Pinterest, we decided on the things we wanted to do for the party.

Must haves, included:
  • Big Top letters and Curtains
  • Giant Popcorn Boxes with balloons
  • Chalkboard Signs for Food
  • Madagascar Art
  • Step Right Up Signage
  • Awesome games & circus food

When it came down to the nitty gritty the week of, it was pure chaos and a never-ending five day headache (for me); seriously I've never had sinus pain like this before in my life. I felt terrible all week.

One note to take away from this: If you start decorating two days before the party, you may have over done it. Well, we over did it. Go figure.

We started decorating Thursday and the party wasn't till Saturday. It just felt like this wasn't quite coming together the way it should. I think that all comes with throwing a joint party. We all have different visions of what we want it to look like. We bought different stuff at different places, and weren't sure how to bring it all together.

We were having the party in the garage and on the driveway due to nice weather. This was our first official shindig in the garage so we weren't quite sure on how it would pan out.

We felt it was necessary to cover every wall and we did. A lot of time was spent thinking about where to put what. We took things down several times and moved stuff around because we weren't happy with it. 

By Friday, we were ready to get stuff up and leave it.  With our "no one will notice it but us attitude" we were over this party. We knew we were tired and ready for the fat lady to sing so we could pack up our crap and ska-daddle.

By 6 o'clock, we remembered we had to map out where the games were going to go and what all games to use. Luckily my sister had borrowed an ample amount of games from work, which took some stress away and saved us money. We used sidewalk chalk as game signage. It was easy and pretty! We didn't leave until almost midnight though. And we needed to be back early the next day. I got lucky with my MIL who kept Brody for us Friday night.

Needless to say after all the stress and work put into the party, I was due a glass of wine. Hell, who am I kidding? I needed the whole bottle. It was exhausting. 



So let's start with what party-goers saw when they arrived to the party: 
We were lucky (and thankful) to be able to borrow the most of the games and strands of pennants. We had more than this, but only but up what we had room for. It really made the party more festive.
Afro Circus decor included solid wrapping paper from Dollar General and of course artwork by our mom. This was our favorite wall! We added the tickets to add a more 3-D effect!

The draping of material was done by my Mom. She tied together several layers of material we had from a previous party to get the "swooped look." The "Big Top" letters were nailed in to wood surrounding the garage.

The red and white stripes on the wall is actually wrapping paper found at Dollar Tree. The yellow on the table is also wrapping paper from Dollar General.

Table cloths turned into curtains.



Madagascar 3 Art by my mom





Prize table w/ bean bag toss games.

Feed the fish game!

"The Blazing Chicken" Game. Toss rubber chickens through the rings of fire.


"Plinko"


Plinko fun!
Even the adults had fun!


Games, included:
  • Bean Bag Toss
  • Feed the Fish Bean Bag Toss
  • The Blazing Chicken
  • Crazy Clown Chalk Art
  • Butt Scooter Races
  • Make your own Balloon Animals
  • Ring Toss
  • Photo Booth
Cake TIME






Presley and Emma having some fun. These two are trouble together!

Polka Dot Wrapping Paper from the Dollar Tree.
Me and my longtime BFF, Stephanie, who's an awesome fashion blogger. Check her out!

Our Circus Family!

My men!


  • "Step Right Up" signs - made by Mom
  • Pennants - Borrowed
  • Games - Borrowed
  • Rings of Fire (The Blazing Chicken) - made by me
  • Giant Popcorn Boxes - borrowed (art on front by mom)
  • Striped Fabric - JoAnn's
  • All other painted signs - made by Mom
  • Popcorn Boxes - Terrell Trinity Concession Restaurant Supply
  • Balloons - Dollar General
  • Brody's The Greatest Show On Earth Shirt - Little Tree Tops Baby 
  • Printed Graphics for candy table - Made by Tricia
All in all it was a pretty day for a party, and it turned out great. I need a massage, some liquor and a lot of sleep.

I foresee a party at Chuck-E-Cheeses next year or somewhere with less responsibility for the parents. Maybe I'll have Klay throw the party on his own...

Anything else you want to know about the party? Leave me a comment and ask!