It started that morning as the kids came downstairs to a house decorated for the party. They each opened up a present with a toy that they could play with during the party (a Mickey Mouse playhouse for Nick and a Melissa & Doug wooden birthday cake for Catie.)
At 10 o'clock we greeted 8 other 3 and 4 year-olds and their parents (plus 2 babies.) It was a full and noisy house!
After about a half an hour of playing, we corralled everyone together for a game of pin the tail on Pluto.
I realized too late that I should have practiced with Catie and Nick. They wanted to go first, but they had no idea what the game was about. There were only a couple of the kids who had played pin the tail on the donkey before, but it was entertaining! :)
After that, Catie threw a fit because I wouldn't let her open her prize from pin the tail on Pluto (a stamp set.) I had to take the birthday girl upstairs for a little time-out.
Crisis averted, we moved on to the pinata. I'm not going to post pictures because 1) they aren't that great and 2) I'm not sure if the other parents want their kids pictures on the Internet. Anyway, it was fun. It was a "safe" pinata where the whole thing has a cardboard shell and the bottom is made of tissue paper. There are a bunch of ribbons hanging on the bottom and one of them when a kid pulls it, will pull that tissue paper off. Catie was not shy about grabbing 2 or 3 times as much candy as the rest of the kids. That's my girl. :)
After the pinata chaos, it was time for lunch. I served chili, hot dogs, fruit kabobs, Mickey shaped cheese (you can buy it pre-cut in Mickey heads) with crackers, and veggies with dip. It was a big hit. I even found Donald Duck orange juice at the store earlier this week.
Not to be outdone, Nicky had a minor meltdown at lunch. First when he didn't get to sit in the chair he wanted and then when he spilled his juice. (I'll be the first to admit that ten 3 and 4 year olds in a fairly unstructured environment can be pretty overwhelming!)
Cake time! Not one to give up tradition, I made their cakes again this year, but I cheated. :) The toppers are painted Styrofoam.
Catie was so cute when we were singing happy birthday. She sang along and said, "Happy birthday to me!"
After the party, we gave the kids a little time to play with their new toys and settle down, then they went down for a nap.
Later that afternoon, they opened presents from Grandma and Grandpa Herzog and Uncle Rusty and Aunt Brittany while we were on the phone with Grandma.
After dinner, we webcammed with Grandma and Grandpa Phelps and opened the presents from them.
Thank you to everyone for your birthday wishes and presents. It was a great day, but I'm glad we only do this once a year! :)