Success Sunday: Birthday Adventures

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"That challenge of working through it, keeping guys motivated, keeping the group together, overcoming obstacles, all of that; I really got into it."
--Isiah Thomas

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Monday, July 7, 2008, phone conversation with a friend who happened to call me.

Me: Hey, what are you doing on Wednesday around 3?
The Friend: Nothing, why?
Me: Can you come to the kids' birthday party at the World's Fair Park Fountains?
The Friend: Wow, that sounds fun! What time are you guys getting there?
Me: I don't know. I just decided to have the party last night. You're the first person I've told.
The Friend: Is there a rain plan?
Me: Um, rain?

Yes, I'm the greatest party planner of all time. It was so last minute that I hadn't checked the forecast. I was just so excited to have thought of a public and free location that I was all like "Party On!" (See the sidebar for a picture of The Kiddos at the World's Fair Park Fountains)

I immediately call The Hub.

Me: We're suppose to have scattered thunderstorms all week.
The Hub: We should be ok.
Me: Are you sure?
The Hub: Yeah, we don't need to worry about scattered thunderstorms.
Me: Even though we are going to a water park?
The Hub: Well, it's up to you but we should be fine.
Me: Um, ok.

So the party is ON, and I can officially start inviting people.
(I cracked myself UP with these invites! Of course we had to design them since The Younger was not as complacent as he was last year. He knew he wanted a Dora Party from the beginning. However, most Dora paraphernalia is pretty girlie.)

That gave me time to really enjoy The Elder's birthday with just me and him. I took him to the free family movie flick at the local Regal cinema. We watched Charlotte's Web. I cried. The Elder announced that it was "boring." Which, this time, was translated to mean that he wanted to go to Party City.

I took The Younger to Party City on his birthday after the movie, so I figured I ought to make it a tradition. At least for 2008.
(ADDers have problems with starting traditions. Um, I mean we start LOTS of one-hit-wonder traditions, but they never become traditions!).
We got Patrick and Squidward to add to their Bikini Bottom room. We also got buckets they could use for catching water at the fountains for their birthday party.

Check out how vogue we are:
Click to view entire album

Here's a funny video of The Younger enjoying The Elder's book he got from The Pa Pa for his birthday.

So I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening calling folks to make sure they got the invite and to confirm since it was so last minute. We started on the Goody Bags once I had a RSVP number.
(We as in the Royal We. I found the idea online and bought the supplies, but The AP was the artistic one who was able to pull it off.)
Cute, huh?

Wednesday approaches quickly. It seems like I had a million places to be and a million things to do that morning that were not related to birthday parties. In the middle of all of that, I started getting calls left and right.

"Are you still having the party?" "What's the rain plan?" "Is there an alternative place?" "How about Gatti's?" (gluten & casein zone) "We could go to Chucke Cheese." (ditto)

I'm.freaking.out. BUT trying to be as calm as possible so as not to scare off our RSVPers. I mean, who can throw a party together for 2 boys in 2 days and get 24 people to confirm?

"We are still on as planned." "We are supposed to get 2 hours of partly cloudy in the afternoon." "We're going to get wet anyway." "There's an amphitheater in the park we can duck under." "Thanks for stickin' with us." "I'll let you know."

I call The Hub who is still very nonchalant about the whole weather thing.

The Hub: It should be ok.
Me: I'm looking at the radar online right now. I'm seeing a lot of Red.
The Hub: Well, it should be breaking up by the time it hits downtown.
Me: I have people calling me wanting to know the deal and I don't know what to tell them. Did you check to see if the amphitheater is open?
The Hub: No I forgot.
Me: Well, go check it. I'm getting the van packed and I'll be on my way.


"So what's the update?" "Have you see the weather?" "It's raining pretty hard where I am." "There's another line of storms right behind this one." "Well, call me if you move the party." "What are you going to do?"

Me: All I know is that my nerdy husband said everything is ok. The guys at his work have an average age of 100 and all they talk about is the weather, so he has 5 years experience of daily discussions of scenarios and predictions of the weather. So I'm trusting him and the party is still on.....See you there!

I'm feeling pretty confident about the whole thing. No one has threatened to abort. The Kiddos are in the back of the van all excited about the party and we successfully loaded up with everything we needed. We didn't forget to pack a single thing! I was very proud of myself.

So we are almost downtown, when I get a call from The Hub.

The Hub: Well, the amphitheater is open.
Me: Good! We have a back up plan. I can setup up the playhuts for the kids to play in and we can eat and if the weather permits we can run through the fountains.

I'm feeling more and more confident! It was still sprinkling at that point but at least it wasn't pouring.

The Hub: Well, the fountains are off.
The Hub: You can tell that they have been on, but I guess they turned them off because of the weather.

silence...except for the sound of my confidence and the kids' hearts breaking.

The Hub: I can drive over to if Volunteer Landing is open.
Me: Ok.

I felt helpless and clueless. We pull into the World's Fair Park parking and I tell The Kiddos and The AP to stay put first and let me check to see if the fountains are on yet.

They weren't.

I saw 2 moms pull in and I tell them what was up.

Blank stares.

Phone rings.

The Hub: The fountains at Volunteer Landing are ON and there is plenty of parking.
Me: Ok then, we are moving the party.

So thank goodness for text messaging. I blasted out a mass message to all of the cell phone numbers I had for the RSVPers.

"moving party to volunteer landing. Park at calhouns on the river."

The Elder: Why are we stopping? Why are we leaving? I want to go to the birthday party.
Me: We are moving to a different place because the fountains are closed here. We are going to go to the other fountains with the waterfall.
The Elder: (gasping with exaggerated excitement) I want to go THERE!
Me: Well, Let's Go!

With the exception of 3 families, I was able to personally contact every RSVPer and successfully communicate to them the change in location. I call The Asst to see if she was still at the house, but she wasn't. Fortunately, my neighbor and best friend who was NOT at the party (tee hee), totally made up for that and ran to my house and gathered the 3 numbers I needed and even CALLED them for me to relay the message. She had to leave 2 messages but by the grace of God they were notified.

By 3:30pm, we had the party going on strong, with each RSVPer accounted for and present!

Go Me. (and my little helper elves)

Click to see entire web album

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4 Responses to "Success Sunday: Birthday Adventures"

Trish (wheresthebox) (visit their site)

Oh my goodness, you are amazing! I can't even imagine the level of stress this would create in me!!

Here's my Success Sunday post.

Niksmom (visit their site)

That is some seriously awesome teamwork and positive attitude in action there, girl! So glad it turned out great for your boys! Yay, mama!

Angela (visit their site)

Oh wow... you deserve a meedal or chocolate or something for pulling that off! My goodness! Looks like they had a blast!

Anonymous (visit their site)