Sunday, August 14, 2011

The mermaid bash (and a minor tragedy)

I am insane.  Really.  Not only did I agree to throw a mermaid birthday party for Katie one week before I’m about to give birth, but I decided that I would sew tails for all the girls.  And I decided not to go the “no-sew tail” route (which would have been perfectly fine).  Nope.  I had to make them ultra cute.  And they were.  But I was a mad woman sewing all week.  My house looks like a glitter bomb has gone off.  I’ve had to shower every night before bed so that we weren’t sleeping in a bed of glitter (which sounds romantic, but isn’t really).  However, I completed the tails in time to watch Project Runway with my friends on Thursday night, which was the goal.  I didn’t get a tail sewn for Averi, but I convinced her that she would be just fine wearing the mermaid costume that we already own. 

And so, without further ado, here are the mermaid tails:



Awww!!  Such cute girls!  When Averi saw that I had taken the tail picture without her in it, she was devastated.  She had to run in and get her skirt on so that she could take a picture just like the girls.


It’s supposed to be a skirt, but she wears it hiked up to her chest so that she doesn’t trip over it, since it’s way too big.


And she needed someone to put an arm around her, so big brother (and tail-less) Paul was happy to oblige. 

We started the party off by making mermaids out of round clothespins.  I think the girls had a great time with this fun little craft, and it was quite simple to do.





Here’s Paul’s very un-girly merman.  He decided against the red hair and went to town with the manly blue marker.


Here’s the food table mostly complete; we were just missing the octodogs and the blue jello, since we didn’t want them to get ruined in the sun.




Cupcakes.  I cheated and ordered the cupcakes from Wal-Mart and just decorated them at home.  For six bucks, there was no way I was going to make them myself. 




We hung net under the pergola and filled them with balloons.  It looked quite cute until the wind picked up and popped about 30 of them on the grass.  But fortunately the wind stayed pretty calm for most of the party.


Even though I planned most things quite well, I forgot birthday candles for the birthday girl.  I was sure we would have a 6 on hand, but no.  We had 1-5 and 7, but no six.  So we made do with a 5 and a 1, since they equal 6 (even though it looks like she’s turning 51).


Loving the Kool-Aid Coolers.  It’s a throwback to my childhood.  I’ve never bought them for my kids before, so they were ecstatic.  I love how Paul’s managed to spill all over his chest.  Do you know how small the holes in those bottles are?  He had to have worked at making such a mess.


My beautiful (almost) six-year-old!


A very hot Averi.  It was probably close to 100 that day.  Perfect for running through the sprinklers, but very, very warm.

And thus our tragic tale begins.  Let me introduce you to Max:


Katie has been asking for a fish for a while.  After asking around, I found that bettas had a pretty good reputation for being indestructible.  And we needed indestructible.  We have a long history of dead fish in my family.  So since the party theme was mermaids, I thought that the fish would make a great present and would also look adorable on the food table as a decoration.  Two birds (err…fish) with one stone!

I ran out that morning (Friday) at about 10 and bought the fish.  Katie loved her fish.  She named it Max and all the girls were constantly running over to check on the fish.  At the end of the party, one of the moms came over to check everything out, and we stopped to look at the fish.  That’s when we noticed that the fish was floating.  Upside down.  Poor Max was a goner.  He was in a glass bowl, outside, for 2 1/2 hours, on a 100 degree day.  He cooked to death.  The water inside the bowl was so hot that there was no way he could have possibly survived.  I had Aaron whisk the bowl into the garage to keep it hidden so that we didn’t have any tears during the party.  As soon as the guests left, Katie ran inside asking where her fish was.  “Oh, we had to take him inside because he was getting too hot.” (Was he ever!)  “Yes, but WHERE is he?”  “Ummm…don’t you think you should take your presents upstairs?”  So after coming up with one lame diversion after another, I finally managed to slip out of the house and run to Wal-Mart.  Fortunately they had several blue bettas on hand, so I grabbed one and ran home.  We pulled off the switcheroo while the kids were all upstairs resting, and no one is any wiser.

I feel terrible, but it’s completely hilarious at the same time.  What kind of person am I?  I manage to kill an indestructible fish in less than three hours.  At my daughter’s party.  I boiled her fish.  I’m sure if there are any animal rights activists reading my blog, they’re howling and demanding that I see justice.  But it was perfectly innocent!  I really did not think at all about the implications of having a live fish in a glass bowl outside in 100 degree heat.  He’s in water, right?  Water makes you cool, doesn’t it?  Poor Maxy.  When Katie woke up from her nap, she informed me that she had thought of an even better name for her fish.  He’s now Mikey.  Appropriate that he has a new name, since it’s a completely different fish.  I’ll tell her when she’s old enough to see the humor in it.  Like when she’s 15.


Averi’s post-cupcake face

After lunch we had a relay race.  The girls had to fill up their bucket with as much water as they could before time ran out.  The trick was that they had to use a sand shovel.




It was so funny to see their different personalities shine during this game.  Some of the girls were SO competitive!  And others could have cared less who won. 

After the game we opened presents.  Katie loved every single one of the gifts she got.


Katie’s reading so well now.  She loves reading, and she’s at the point where she can read most things to herself.  Such a big girl!


After presents we got out the sprinkler for them to play in.  Would you believe that in August I could only find ONE fun sprinkler after going to several stores?  Come on, people.  It’s still summer!  It’s HOT!!  Do we really need coats and Christmas trees out? 


We then introduced the kids to Red Rover.  I have to say, I now understand why this game was banned at our elementary school.  Paul got clothes-lined, and there were several near incidents.  I’m just glad that we sent everyone home without them needing trips to urgent care.


We wrapped up the party with a dance competition.  This was ADORABLE!!  You should have seen them all singing and belting out “Dynamite.”  I loved it.  We’ve got it recorded, and it’s quite hilarious. 

Overall, it went really, really well.  I felt especially good when I heard one guest say, “I think this might be even better than my party, and I had a pinata!”  Seal of approval from a six-year-old.  I’ll take it.


Heather Wahlquist said...

Poor fish. You certainly hold the record in our family for quickest time that it took to kill a fish.

HFG said...

This is so awesome Chelsea. Dead fish and all. I can't believe you pulled that amazing party off with your sanity intact. You're my hero:) What lucky kids you have. And I didn't know you were expecting. Good Luck. Honey Gee

Guiselle said...

You ARE crazy. I have never put in so much work for a birthday party before - I feel like a looser mom now. And especially that you put it all together the week before you're due?! Crazy! I love their tails though, you did a good job! Good luck with the delivery, can't wait to see pictures of the new baby!

Gayle said...

That's my girl! Job well done, and lot's of stories to tell down the road. That's what it's all about--making memories.