Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Pirate birthday party on the fly

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I was looking through some old photos today while both kids were snuggled tight into their beds and I came across a ton of pictures that I had already forgotten about. This is maybe what happens when you take a ridiculous amount of pictures--you store them away, waiting for the time when you have a moment to sit down and scroll through them, deleting the repeats and smiling at the happy ones and remembering what those moments in time were like. Because you probably wouldn't have taken your camera out that day if it wasn't supposed to be memorable. 

But as I scanned through the hundreds of pictures all stored away for a moment like now, I found some pictures that made me smile--made me laugh.  

And this moment in time that I found through these particular photos was a time when I was a pregnant, bronchitis suffering mama. Bronchitis that stole my days and nights for over a month, because strong drugs to cure it quickly weren't really an option with my pregnant belly continuing to grow. So it brought me back to those days back in October of this year, when my boy was turning 2 and my girl was turning 4. Their birthdays, just weeks apart, were coming up, and their mom was a mess. Because never-ending bronchitis without drugs will just about destroy you. And although I tried with all of my might to make it happen--the birthday party details were made and bought, the date was set, the list was made...I just couldn't get it together. I was just so sick. So mama guilt was eating me alive. 

And do you know what happens when mama guilt eats you alive? Well, you try to compensate. You try to make it better. Make look at your kids and you wish that you could give them what you had hoped for...and when you can't, you pretend that you can. 

So I told my family that we'd still give them a pirate party--the pirate party that Mya had been wishing for, dreaming about, talking about and wishing for...because both of these little kids were obsessed with pirates. So a pirate party HAD to happen. It just had to happen. But it just had to happen on a very small scale. So I called my family and told them that we'd do a family dinner, as we usually do, but we'd have pirate cups and plates...and call it a pirate party, and pretend that it was a pirate party, because mama guilt makes you try to make things better. 

But do you know what happened instead? 


We showed up at mom and dad's house to a family of pirates--eye patches, creepy pirate wigs (I can't even look at Jeff without cracking up), bandannas, handmade pirate hooks...

and a paint stir stick as a sword...compliments of my creative and resourceful father who dug through bins in his basement to find a costume that would make his grandkids smile.

So with a thrilled little girl and boy now ready to party...a pirate party was put together on the fly..literally put together the morning of. Thanks to a great family who knew how important it was to Terry and I to make our kids day.

So we brought out the pirate cups and napkins, bought for the big party that never came to be... 

and quickly put together a scavenger hunt for hidden treasure...literally in the middle of the celebration

and little people ran around the house searching for the next clue, leading them to their final prize...

....a treasure chest full of chocolate coins and treasures which just thrilled them to bits.

And I pulled out the coloured rice that I had just used in my classroom to have the kids search for hidden letters, and we turned it into a hunt for treasures, rings and jewels instead.

And we turned what was supposed to be one of my crazy, time consuming fondant cakes into a simple brownie, ice cream cake, topped last minute with eye patches and pirate jewels. And they didn't know the difference.

So to anyone out there looking to throw a party...be a little inspired to just go for it. Last minute and all. And although I still love the process of putting together parties like I have in the past, there is something just as wonderful about putting together a small gathering of just family, who show up...who dress up...and who show our kids and myself a type of love that I can never repay them for. Because they gave our kids what a very sick mom couldn't that day. They gave our kids a party that they'll always remember.
Erica xo

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