The disastrous 4th birthday party that wasn't. Whew!

We have survived another birthday party!!  Maisy celebrated her 4th birthday at Crab Cove in Alameda this last Saturday.  It was amazingly cool.  All the kids had a docent lead class session about the bay, went on a nature walk to the shore, then made marine crafts. 

The disastrous 4th birthday party that wasn't.  Whew!

Really cool diorama wall at the Crab Cove Center.

The disastrous 4th birthday party that wasn't.  Whew!

The gals walking to the shore.

The disastrous 4th birthday party that wasn't.  Whew!
Marine crafts.

After weeks of planning and prepping the day had finally come.  I'd run all over town to shop and gather all of our goods.  Thank goodness my sister was in town to help me get all of this done.  I couldn't have done it without her!  Thanks, Kim!

I decided to bake a chocolate cake by request of the birthday girl from scratch.  This was disaster #1.  The cake fell apart and the frosting was runny.  I thought it was a total loss until a talented friend fixed it at the party the morning of, after I had already phoned a friend at the last minute to bring a back up cake because mine was hideous.

The disastrous 4th birthday party that wasn't.  Whew!
Cake Wreck!
The disastrous 4th birthday party that wasn't.  Whew!

The rescued cake!  Still not perfect but way better than totally defunked! 

I also bought cute little ocean life cookie cutters to make adorable cookies.  Well they blew up to almost unrecognizable shapes and the "crab" cookies were impossible to decorate well.  

The disastrous 4th birthday party that wasn't.  Whew!
Cookie wrecks.  We started giving them names.  Batman crab, heart crab, pac-man crab, etc. We were laughing so hard at these sad little crustaceans we were crying.

The morning of the party we decided to split the crowd.  Kim and I went ahead to set up and the boys stayed home with the kids to come a bit later.  When Kim and I arrived ALL of the usable picnic areas were reserved for some big event.  Luckily, I talked the organizer into lending us the use of the prime picnic spots! Score!

That's when we got the text that Maren had thrown up all over herself, the floor and Evan (my nephew, also 1 and a half years old) started playing in it.  All as they were about to walk out the door to get ice, cups and a back-up cake.  This put them way behind in schedule.  So, friends gladly accepted the request to pick up ice, cups and a back up cake.  The little disasters were piling up! 

Maisy ended up being about a half hour late to her own party, but made it just in time for the crab show at which time Maren threw up all over Uncle Steven and herself.  Ugh.  I borrowed some of Evan's clothes from Kim, got her all cleaned up and we carried on.

Another friend had offered to start the grill and get the hot dogs going for lunch.  Great!  Then he asked where the hot dogs were. Ugh. They were at home in the cooler by the back door!  I got on my un-trusty iPhone and called yet another friend to come to the rescue.  The plan to stop by my house had been foiled as our neighbors who have extra keys weren't home, so they so awesomely went to the grocery store to pick up hot dogs for all!

While this was transpiring, Maren then pooed through her clothes.  Wardrobe change number 3 for the day, again in borrowed clothes. Poor Maren spent the rest of the party quarantined quite contently in her stroller watching all the action. 

The disastrous 4th birthday party that wasn't.  Whew!
Poor sick Maren.

By that time I was disastered out.  The kids got into the cookies before lunch and the cake.  Oh well, I was beyond caring at that point.  Let them eat cookies!  Present opening kind of went like that too.  Kids were bringing Maisy presents, she was tearing into them, we didn't have our camera and again a lovely friend came to the rescue to write down who all of the fantastic and thoughful gifts came from while I tried to gather the paper and tame the kids.  It was a wild time!
The disastrous 4th birthday party that wasn't.  Whew!

A light desert before the main event desert.

The kids had a wonderful time and they couldn't have noticed there was a thing wrong!

Right after cake Maisy came up to me and said, "Mom, that's the best cake ever.  Thank you.  I love my birthday."  That moment made my heart melt and made it all worth it!

I need to dedicate Maisy's 4th birthday party to all those who are our amazing friends who help when we need it.  And even if you weren't given a task, you were all great sports and super understanding amongst the chaos.  We are so grateful to have such caring and wonderful friends in our lives. Makes celebrating a birthday with them all that more special.

Moral of the story- have your birthdays at home and for goodness sake, have it catered and buy your baked goods!  I'm pleased that even though the day was stressful, I never lost my cool and kept a smile on my face.  We all did, we just kept moving on to get the job done!

After we got home, we had a good ol' fashioned water balloon toss to mellow out.

The disastrous 4th birthday party that wasn't.  Whew!
Then we gave Maisy her birthday present.
The disastrous 4th birthday party that wasn't.  Whew!
She got a big girl bike!
The disastrous 4th birthday party that wasn't.  Whew!
Maisy was very surprised! (Wish this moment was in better focus.)
The disastrous 4th birthday party that wasn't.  Whew!

The next day we took it out for a spin.  Dad is a good bike riding teacher.

The disastrous 4th birthday party that wasn't.  Whew!
Me giving a grand demonstration on proper bike riding technique.

By the way, I blame pinterest for all this!  It has me thinking I can be Martha Stewart.  I think I'll stick to being me.  

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