Of course I took way too many photos. And of course there are quite a few I forgot to take or simply didn't have my hands free enough (or clean enough...) to hold a camera. Oh well. I took plenty of photos of some of the preparations, which you can read about here.
So here we go.
Decorations included giant yellow doggie balloons. Because birthday balloons are a very serious tradition around here. Very serious. Since these things can get expensive (especially when you need two, because tradition dictates that the sibling gets one as well, making it four of these per year) I save all the old ones once they finally go flat. One of the most popular ones ever was big brother's giant dog balloon, and since
We had added the garlands earlier in the week, but I felt the urgent need for some simple streamers on the party day. We removed the rug, put down old bath towels and placed our two kid picnic tables from the backyard in the living room play area, hoping that this would keep the chocolate mess in kids reach and away from my white dining room chairs. So the streamers ended up forming a nice canopy.
They also played nicely with the garland and the goodie bags in the background. Yes, I admit to standing in this spot for a full five minutes, admiring my decorations. Yes, I know I am insane. But I just love it when something works as planned. What can I say.
The birthday boy with his crown - same one from last year with a quickly added 4 to it. And no, I didn't dress him to match the crown - I simply figured that the chocolate stains would show the least on a brown sweater...
I usually refuse to buy strawberries when they're not in season and not grown locally. My kids know that, so they were beyond thrilled when they saw me prepare strawberries for the chocolate fountain. After all, birthdays are supposed to be special occasions, right? So strawberries in winter it was. We also had cookies, blueberries, grapes and bananas.
Since big brother suddenly got a rash and a fever literally five minutes before the party, the first part was a little hectic and I didn't get too many photos of little brother and his guests and gifts. He got the cutest things ever and had so much fun opening all his presents.
When everyone had arrived and played for a bit, we started the chocolate fountain. It works really well and does not get hot at all, so the kids can just enjoy it. The bananas, strawberries and cookies were the biggest hits. I guess you could also do marshmallows, but they aren't popular over here and as far as I am concerned, we had enough sugar already.
With all the sweet things, our prepared milk glasses were refilled quite a bit. I had snipped a few inches off some regular plastic straws, which were apparently great for making milk bubbles.
Here's a shot of the party tables - not as messy as expected, really. Of course we had chocolate mouths and fingers and drips on plates and some shirts, but it was all easily cleaned up.
The birthday boy couldn't get enough!
Now this is where my lack of photos comes in. With big brother at the emergency clinic and a chocolate fountain to clean up, other guests to entertain, I never really managed to get photos of our simple dinner that we served before guests left. I had prepared sandwiches with a large star cutter, and we set out some leftover grapes - oh, and fancy little paper umbrellas never hurt anyone, either (unless you'd poke someone in the eye which luckily nobody did). The sandwiches were prepared ahead and just eaten on the run, they were just too busy playing to be sitting down for long.
Overall it was a fun party, we just wish big brother could have been part of it. He was ok when he returned from the doc though, and although most guests were just leaving, our neighbors stayed for some real dinner and he got to play with their kids for a bit.
We have since done the chocolate fountain thing in little brother's preschool as well - and I'm sure it wasn't the last time!
So if you'll excuse me now, I have a sudden craving for something sweet, no idea where that might come from...