Sunday, December 2, 2012

Turning five

I cannot believe that Josh's niece is five now. How did that happen?!

Over Thanksgiving weekend, her birthday party was one of my favorite parts of our trip to Colorado. For me, it was extra-fun because I spent Thanksgiving in Minnesota but still got to see most of his extended family at her birthday party on Saturday. For her? Well, it was her birthday party, so I need not say too much more. She was over the moon!

We set up in one of the community centers in town. Each year (well, for the last two years) I am in charge of distributing the crepe paper all over the room, and I do it enthusiastically. While I was decorating, Josh's sister-in-law and his nephew needed to run back home for a bit, so Lala and I hung out in the quiet community center. (P.S. In case you missed last year's recaps, we call her Lala at Miles and Laurel. I am not sure anyone calls her that much in real life anymore, but we're sticking to it.)

We goofed around and played hopscotch outside in the warm sun and chatted about flowergirl dresses. (Out of the blue earlier in the week, she had volunteered to be our flowergirl, and told me Saturday that I could come over and look at her dresses and pick out my favorite one for her to wear for her flowergirl duties.) It was really fun to spend a little bit of time with her one-on-one before everyone else arrived.

Lala had chosen Monster High as her party theme. Do you know about this phenomenon, Reader? Josh and I definitely did not know before the party. The characters at Monster High all seem to be the children of your favorite monsters (Frankenstein, Dracula, etc.) but embody none of the scariness. I don't totally understand, but it's not up to me - they are wildly popular right now and Lala was loving them. She wore a Monster High t-shirt that said "GHOULS RULE!" and loved explaining her shirt to anyone who asked.

I believe this is Draculaura on her cake, which Lala's aunt's friend made and was amazing:

And here is the birthday girl enjoying that cake!

Another party highlight was the awesome piñata, which Josh's dad picked up on his most recent trip to Mexico. Piñatas are traditionally made with a clay pot base, but that has been phased out in most piñatas in favor of cardboard. Not with this one, though! We knew it was heavy, but when one of the kids took a mighty swing and connected with a clank, it became clear that this was a serious piñata. (Josh's dad told me he picked this one out at a store that was packed full of piñatas. I want to go to that store.)

I think the original plan was to hold up the piñata inside the community center, but because of its size and weight, we went outside. (It was gorgeous, by the way - about 70 degrees and sunny - and Lala and I talked about how silly we'd been to both wear boots.) Josh and his cousin took on the challenge of securing the piñata to a nearby tree branch.

Later, his cousin did the actual maneuvering of the rope, adjusting the challenge level based on the bat-holder's age. Eight or nine kids all took a turn, and the piñata was holding strong (and luckily, so was the branch). Then the piñata came off the rope, and with a little help from Josh's aunt with the bat, candy went flying and the kids got to business. Then, with bags filled with candy, everyone headed home.

It was a fab fifth birthday party for a sweet little girl.

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