Since Adelaide’s 2nd birthday party was such a success last year, we decided to host a similar party this year. Again we had it at Herron Spray Park in South Philly. Again we had it in the morning and promised fruit and cake. Again we invited her friends from school and our friends with kids around the same age.
However, I wanted to mix it up a little bit and not have the exact same party as last year. Adelaide still adores Elmo and the Sesame Street characters, but we were looking for something new as far as balloons, cake, plates, napkins and party favors. Last year we got our cake at BJs, so I went there and looked through their book of cake specialty designs looking for inspiration. I thought maybe we could do a generic zoo theme since Adelaide likes animals and we have a zoo membership. I showed the cake to Adelaide and she seemed more interested in the farm cake. Call me crazy, but as a girl who lives in the concrete jungle of South Philadelphia, I thought a farm theme at the spray park would be a little difficult to pull off. Or maybe the Central Illinois girl in me, the one who grew up in surrounded by real farmers (although my parents weren’t farmers themselves), just couldn’t take the idea seriously.
Adelaide watches two TV shows other than Sesame Street, so I thought it would be fun to do Daniel Tiger or Curious George as themes. I searched online and only found party supplies for Curious George. I mentioned the idea to Adelaide and she seemed really excited about it, so the decision was made. When I finally got around to visiting Party City to get said party supplies (which I saw on the website), I was told they had been discontinued and were only available online. Still, Adelaide was pretty set on having a “George party,” so I thought I could still scrape something together with limited time and my Amazon Prime account. I visited Pinterest, but decided I didn’t want to put in the work of doing too many DIY craft projects. My parents were driving in from Illinois, and I wanted to spend time with them and feel as relaxed as possible. I didn’t want to stay up late the night before putting finishing touches on the goodie bags (like I did last year). Plus, I was just coming out of the first trimester of my current pregnancy and I just didn’t have the energy.
The morning of the party, the sky looked like it could rain, but the local weather guy said it wouldn’t rain until afternoon (I’m looking at you Tedd Florendo.) Of course, shortly after we got our tent set up at the park, it started to pour. My cell phone immediately lit up with text messages. “Are we still meeting at the park?” “What’s the plan B?”
I started to have a panic attack. Yes, we’re meeting at the park. We’re already here and set up. I don’t have a plan B! I could blame it on pregnancy hormones, but it took all my strength to not break into tears. I I tried to hold it together for Adelaide’s sake. I didn’t want to cry in front of her and have her get upset too. My brain raced for a plan B. Where else could we go? What else could we do?
Our house was a mess. My parents were in town from Illinois and staying with us for the week. Their suitcases were strewn throughout the living room and the kitchen was a mess. I thought we could go back to the house and throw all their stuff in the basement and have the party at our place. But our place was too small to house so many people–that’s one of the reasons we decided to have it at the Spray Park in the first place.
I thought about postponing it. We couldn’t do it the following day because Tim was supposed to be in a craft fair. He needed the tent and I wouldn’t want him to miss the party. Maybe we could do it the following weekend? But my parents would miss it and the cake and all the fruit wouldn’t last that long. My dad checked the Doppler radar on his phone. The party went so smoothly last year, and I had visions of no one coming to Adelaide’s party. Not one kid.
But, it looked like the rain was passing. It started to let up and I sent out text messages and emails saying we were still a go. That we were at the park and and it looked as if the rain was passing. I told everyone that we had a tent if it started to rain again. I mean, we were at a spray park–the kids were coming to get wet, so it should be fine, right?
I got texts that people were on their way, that a little rain never stopped them. Then, they slowly started to arrive and I realized that people really were coming (I was seriously worried that we’d have a party with no guests and I was feeling so sad for Adelaide.) Then, another friend appeared.
After the scare and early shower, it ended up being a nice morning. I think there was only one family that decided not to venture out. The kids had a great time and Adelaide had a blast playing with all her friends in the water. I mean, playing in water, eating fruit, drinking juice (a rarity in our house) and eating cake all while surrounded by her best friends–sounds like a pretty great 3rd birthday to me. Thanks to everyone who braved the weather and helped make her day special.
Under the tent checking the weather report and waiting for the rain to stop.
Table set up with strawberries, blueberries, melon and of course, cake. Coolers with small water bottles and Honest Kids juice “boxes.” We’re ready for a party!
Party favors (in the blue bowl) are Safari Rubber Duckies. Each child was allowed to pick one to take home. Worked well as a toy to play with in the sprinklers too.
Invitation designed by my husband Tim.