September 20, 2010

Lessons Learned from the Birthday Bash

This year my daughters' birthday fell on a Saturday. This meant we spent the entire weekend celebrating. It was fun, mainly stress-free and a tad exhausting. Here are some things I learned.
  • Taking four girls to a doll store the day before their birthday and telling them they can pick a doll can be quite overwhelming.
The girls' godparents took them to the American Girl doll store and let them each pick out a Bitty Twin doll. (The dolls come in a set of two and each girl received one doll). If you are not familiar with American Girl dolls, let's just say there are tons of accessories and clothes you can buy, along with dozens of doll options. I've never seen my girls so quiet. They just didn't know what to think. I held Tortilla up to the case with the Bitty Twin dolls and asked her if she wanted to take one home. She shook her head no! Fortunately, Sue Sue knew which doll she wanted and then her sisters realized what was going on and wanted to pick one, too. (They are all quite happy with their dolls now. Interestingly enough, Sue Sue and Roo, who share a room, picked the same doll. Cakes and Tortilla, the other roommates, picked matching dolls, too). After a plea on this blog, I found someone who makes doll clothes. I gave each of them a dress on their birthday. They have dressed and undressed those dolls dozens of times since yesterday. If you are looking for inexpensive, beautifully made doll clothes, shoot me an email and I'll put you in contact with the person who makes them!
  • Something is going to go wrong.
No matter how much you plan, something is going to happen to make you shake your head. I promised the girls a birthday breakfast of blueberry muffins and smoothies. The blender broke that morning! Fortunately, Hubby is quite handy and managed to fix the blender for one final "blend" and the smoothies were saved. (Now I get to treat myself to a new blender, which may not sound exciting to many of you, but I've been wanting a Magic Bullet for a long time.)
  • It pays to sign up for a company's email list.
Instead of a party, we opted to treat the girls to their first visit to Chuck E. Cheese. The grandparents who live near us came, as did the girls' godparents. About a week ago, I signed up for Chuck E. Cheese's email list and received a batch of coupons just for signing up. If you go to the restaurant without coupons, for $27.99 you get one large pizza, two soft drinks and 35 tokens. With my coupons, we spent $29.99 and received one large pizza, one medium pizza, four soft drinks and 35 tokens... plus I had a bonus coupon to receive 20 free tokens. Once you add in the two additional soft drinks and four milks we purchased, we spent just over $40... not bad if you look at the prices without coupons. Besides, I didn't have to clean anything up! (Oh, and after using our 55 tokens we were ready to go home for cake and ice cream).
  • Mermaids really do exist.
Our celebration continued on Sunday with a trip to our local aquarium. It's a pretty pricey adventure, but the woman who taught our swim lessons works there and invited us as her guests. She took us to her office and let the girls hold a tree frog and touch a snake and a bearded dragon. Then we were free to roam the aquarium. One of the shows involves "mermaids" swimming in the tank with fish and sharks. It was pretty amazing to see the underwater stamina these women have. They didn't have any air tanks (a diver was nearby) so they would have to surface every few minutes. While they were underwater, they were smiling and waving and acting out a lesson about conservation and clean water. After the show, the mermaids were pulled out in a wagon to meet the audience and take pictures with little girls. (I say girls because not a single boy wanted to pose with the mermaids).

All in all, we had an amazing and fun birthday. Now I should probably figure out how to top this in another year! (Oh, and just a little clarification: While I mentioned some specific products and places, no one paid me for this post. I just think it would have been silly to refer to these places as X or Y. Hmmmm, maybe they'll thank me later for the free advertising!!)


Sadia said...

The aquarium sounds like icing on the cake. However, if my girls had been there, they would have berated me long and loud for claiming that mermaids don't exist.

Happy, happy birthday.

How does it feel to have four five-year-olds!?

Quadmama said...

My girls really want to believe the mermaids were real... but they keep asking "Were they in costume or are they real?" I let them make up their own mind. So far, five is a good age : )

MaryAnne said...

This sounds like a dream birthday celebration for five-year-old girls! The aquarium does sound amazing, and that mermaid show would make any little girl's day!

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

That sounds like such an awesome birthday celebration...each and every part of it. I'm sure it's something your girls will remember for a long time to come.

Brooke said...

Wow what a great birthday! I'm on that e-mail list, too, and you're right about the good deals. We really only go there when we have some free tokens or other good deal.

reanbean said...

It sounds like you had a very special birthday weekend. We haven't had any big birthday celebrations yet, but I'm looking forward to the days when we can make memories like that for our kids. :o)

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