Charlie turned 4 years old on Sunday. We had a celebration on Saturday, and the theme was Chocolate Factory! This was not Charlie’s idea. He initially wanted a Cars birthday, of course. Simply telling him “there will be candy EVERYWHERE!” was all it took for Charlie to agree with me.
We sent each guest a golden ticket. I designed them myself, based off the movie original! I used Silhoutte gold foil paper which worked perfectly.
<Insert picture of GOLDEN TICKET here. Anyone have their ticket lying around so I can snap a pic? >
Charlie waiting impatiently for the guests to arrive
The cake (from Aggie’s of course!) was designed to look like button candy around the edge. I bought a bunch of lollipops from Party City for 3/$1 to decorate the cake top.
I collected a bunch of ikea vases from around the house in which to quickly grow some cat grass about a week before the party to represent the “edible grass” from the movie. I stuck extra lollipops in the vases after the grass grew.
I relied on the excessive amount of candy we bought to channel “chocolate factory” for decoration. Candy came from Party City (Charlie was like the proverbial kid in a candy store at this place. I gave him a bucket and told him to start filling. He couldn’t handle his excitement…. he didn’t know what to do!), Not Just Nuts in Wauwatosa, Target, and Oriental Trading (I got a bunch of lollipops here for cheap which I used for the potted grass displays). I used candy dishes given to me by my grandmother that had been left over from a white elephant sale. I also grabbed a few more glass jars and dishes from Goodwill and the Dollar Tree.
I picked up 12 white mugs from Goodwill for 49 cents each, plus a 25% of Club Goodwill birthday coupon, to use for hot chocolate.
While shopping at Aldi one day, we saw a chocolate fountain for just 19.99. We knew it would be a great addition to the party theme. We had strawberries, bananas, pretzels, marshmallows, and graham crackers ready for dipping. Here is Grandma Tobin (“GG”) workin’ the fountain!
Now for some pictures of our wonderful guests enjoying the party:
I need to create and album called “Charlie’s chocolate mustaches”
Pizza, candy, and chocolate milk…. all a kid could want!
Bridgette and Mr. Jim
Charlie and Aunt Patty at the end of the night
What a sugary good time! I’m sure most of the parents were not too happy about the candy overload… but it wouldn’t have been true to the theme without the excess! Goody bags did include a toothbrush I had little paper bags ready for people to scoop in candy on their way out. Nobody took me up on the offer. What am I to do with all this left over candy?!
My biggest disappointment was my overall failure to document the occasion as I would have liked. We were working to get ready even after a few of the guests started to arrive, and I couldn’t take as many pictures of the “before” as I did last year. Last year, I didn’t do great with the “during” photos either. It was hard to get as many shots as I’d have liked between catching up with our 30ish guests (some of whom we hadn’t seen in months) and sneaking off to feed Frances a few times. I always feel so stressed during special occasions that I completely just give up even trying.
While I have always been a big believer in just enjoying the moment, I need to make a big effort going forward to document important events and everything in between. The last 4 years of Charlie’s life have flown by so fast and I never want to forget anything. And who can believe Frances is already 2 months old?! I need to stop worrying if the house is a mess, if I haven’t showered or am not wearing makeup, if the kids aren’t wearing the cutest clothes… the moments are still worth remembering.
The best part about the party? Seeing Charlie so happy. We are so blessed to have so many people who love Charlie enough to come celebrate his life in our chaotic, cramped house, coming from near and far… So a huge thanks to everyone for making his day so special.
As for Charlie’s actual birthday on Sunday, we didn’t do anything very exciting. I just tried to focus on him as best I could. Helping him set up his new Thomas lego set over and over after he destroys it, not harping on him to clean up one toy before moving onto the next activity… I just let him be a kid, and tried to stop myself every time I would say “In a minute…” I need to do that more, everyday.
On another note… 10 months until Frannie turns 1. Better get planning on that!