the “Arlo cake” party
M had one focus for her birthday party: her Arlo cake (Arlo being the main character in Disney’s newest dinosaur movie). In fact, she would call it her “Arlo cake birthday party”. Since I didn’t want her eating dye or bromines in her cake, I decided to make it with naturally dyed sprinkles and organic chocolate cake. I used regular frosting and pudding for the outside in middle. It was chocolately chocolate, because M is a chocolate lover. She loved the cake, even though it was falling over. She helped make it the night before, and helped decorate it with palm trees next to the volcano and figurine of Arlo and Spot I got for the top. She had three candles to blow out (because what’s a birthday without blowing out candles?) and all was good in her world. Except, she didn’t eat any cake!!! Kids.
Also required for a birthday: balloons. She came with me to get her six balloons filled and drag them around in the car with us. Very exciting for her. Other than that, she had a small pile of presents to open (I told everyone no presents, but I provided a couple and my mom brought her one, and her bio grandpa brought her one. It was much better than people feeling they needed to spend money to come, and she doesn’t have a ton of crap for me to put away or her to lose! So yay!). She also likes birthday cards and she received plenty of those, along with some dollar bills. She took the dollar bills and handed them out to her cousins (who gave them back). Ah the innocence of youth!
Literally every birthday present except for one or two was dinosaur-themed. New puzzles are what I got her, and she got a book and a dress and a robot dinosaur for us to take apart and put together. Something for her to build with parts. My mom got her her own water wings to wear swimming. Her favorite present of all was the one my grandma gave her in the morning: those damn hatching dinosaur eggs (like I got her at Christmas). She is still carrying those dinosaur babies around everywhere!
The party attendees were evenly divided between my family and friends and her bio family, which I think is cool! Her bio grandpa came (along with a few people whose relationships I’m not clear on). Her aunt came with M’s three cousins and her oldest sister! On my side was my sister and niece, my mom, and my oldest friend and her mom. I bought bathing suits for all of her cousins because they didn’t have any, and luckily bought extras in different sizes that her sister was able to wear. We all went swimming after the party, in a pool totally packed with kids and one overwhelmed life guard. It was pure chaos but they did have fun.
After M’s grandpa made her a snowman in the parking lot with a cigarette stub for a nose, we went to my sister’s house for the after party, which included dinner and beer (for the grown-ups), and several rounds of hide-n-seek. It was a nice, relaxing way to end a crazy, hectic day! I think M’s birthday was everything she was hoping for, and I had a lot of fun watching her dreams come true. I’m sure she won’t always be so easy to please!