All year I have been trying to think about what theme Brady's 3rd birthday party should be. He is still head over heels in love with Disney Cars, but that was his theme for his 2nd birthday. Initially, my plan was to take him to the store and browse the cake book until he found one he liked and then go with that. My mom had seen an Up cake on Pinterest and suggested that. Brady instantly fell in love with the idea as he also loves that movie. He has been talking about his Up party since Christmas. We decided to schedule the party the weekend before Brady's actual birthday (which is tomorrow) as we only have a couple weeks from that point until Izzie B arrives.
The only idea on Pinterest was the cake, so I had to come up with some on my own. Above is the Pin the House on the Balloons game that I made. I figured it would be hit or miss with the crowd we had (a couple 4 year olds, a few almost 3 year olds, and an almost 2 year old). Brady and one of the 4 year olds were the only ones who agreed to wear the blindfold, but everyone got their house up there.
This is the cake. We had ordered the cupcakes, made the gingerbread house, then I assembled them and painted the balloon strings, etc.
I thought it would be fun to keep with the balloon theme when it came to the treat bags as well. I got a balloon chocolate mold that worked with pretzel sticks and made them earlier in the week. The treat bags had other miscellaneous items and each one had a helium balloon tied to it for the kids to take home.
Brady's present from us was so large that we had to wrap and leave it in the empty living room. We wrapped it on Thursday night, so we were lucky that he understood he had to wait for his party to open it and left it alone.
This is the first year Brady has had a real birthday party with kids and family. His first birthday, only Andy's uncle, Buks, made the trek to South Carolina to surprise us. His second birthday, we were in Germany, and had the downstairs neighbor and Andy's co-worker, Dennis, over for cake and presents. This year, we not only had kids to invite, but my parents and Buks were able to make the four hour drive to spend the weekend with us and enjoy the party. They were a big help in the party prep on Saturday morning as well and I don't know if we'd have been ready when guests arrived if they hadn't been there.
As for other party guests, we had our friends the Reeses come. Brady loves playing with Sam and Ainsley, so he was very excited when they arrived. We had met a few neighbors during a block party in the fall, and one of them has a set of identical girl twins Brady's age, and an older daughter around Ainsley's age. We were excited when they accepted the invite as Brady loves playing with new kids, and we looked forward to getting to know them better.
The kids played in the family room for a while, we had lunch, then we headed downstairs to take a crack at the pinata. It became obvious very quickly that the kids weren't even going to make a dent in it. We let each one have two turns, then pulled the strings to let all the candy out.
The frenzy once the candy was out.
Dubby shook the pinata to get any remaining candy out.
We let the kids play in the basement for a while and then came upstairs to sing and eat cake. Brady had only seen the Pinterest idea for the cake, so he was excited to see his cake. He even started singing happy birthday to himself as soon as he saw it.
Brady lost interest in the cupcake due to his taking a nice bite out of the candle first. He spit it out, but thought the icing on his cupcake was also wax and wanted nothing to do with it. It was cute that all the girls wanted pink cupcakes and fortunately, there were enough for all of them.
He didn't mind the ice cream though ;)
Next it was time for presents. The chair he's sitting in is an amazing recliner that Buks got him that matches our family room furniture in color and fabric. He also got him a work bench. He scoffed at our Bosch tool bench and said Brady needs to learn the English system of measurement and not metric.
Brady opened the presents from Sam and Ainsley first. Sam got him a really cool homemade cape with Batman on one side and Superman on the other. Ainsley got him a Play Doh farm.
Brady was really good about the kids wanting to help him open the presents they had gotten him. He was just so excited to open them all that he wasn't screaming that they were helping.
Other family members had either mailed gifts or sent them with my parents and Buks so Brady could open them at his party. He's holding a Sonic the Hedgehog car from our Mimi.
Mimi also got him some clothes, but he wasn't as interested in those as the car. I know we have video of me at his age opening gifts with clothes, throwing them over my shoulder, and saying, "Oh, clothes."
Uncle Pat and Aunt Leecie sent him a really great Alphabet Pops learning toy that helps kids learn upper and lower case of the same letter. Aunt Leecie is also a teacher, so she's always good at getting some great educational toys.
They also got him some activity mats that have games on them. That will be a lot of fun in the basement.
Aunt Lanie and Ava got him a Duplo car and also some Disney Cars App Mates that go on the iPad. There was also a Ninja Turtle figurine in the bag. It was funny because I was the first kid at preschool to have a Ninja Turtle and Aunt Lanie was the one who had given it to me.
Nana and Dubby brought some little toys to go along with their large gift. You can see the Woody race car above, but they also gave him a four pack of Little Wheelies for his track, and a Thomas the Train steam boat for the bathtub.
This is the large gift from my parents. It was so large that when Andy went to pick it up at the toy store with my van, they couldn't get it in inside the box. They had to take all the pieces out. The pieces have been in our basement, but we had to move them before the party. The plan was to lightly assemble it (it needs screws to be really assembled and once it's together, we don't have a door large enough to get it outside) in the living room and let Brady open it. My dad and Andy pulled all the pieces up on Friday night and there was no way to assemble it without the screws. They covered the pieces up with a sheet and the plan was to assemble it outside during Brady's nap the next day after the party. It snowed (of course) and that plan went out the window. They decided to put it together one of the weekends my dad is up here in March, either dropping off or picking up my mom who will be staying with us to help with Brady and Izzie once she arrives.
It's a little blurry, but this is the gift Brady got from Andy's dad and stepmom.
The grand finale was the gift from us. This is something we've had planned since he was a baby and we always knew this would be for his third birthday.
He didn't quite grasp the concept that it was motorized and not like his normal push cars as it's still in the box. We won't be assembling it until the weather turns warmer and he can actually use it outside. All the other kids were excited and can't wait for warmer weather so Brady can give them rides. If you haven't noticed the theme yet, Brady got a lot of outdoor toys. Our house is quickly filling with toys and now we need things that will take up space outside instead of inside.
To prove, we've had the Power Wheels in our minds for a long time, this is Brady in the "show room" at Toys R Us at 6 months old, checking out his future ride.
We had a great time and were so grateful that so many friends and family could make it to Brady's party. My parents and Buks remarked several times that evening and the next day about how it was such a well behaved group of kids and they all played well together. We were thoroughly exhausted that night though. It was a lot of work, but well worth it! Next year, Brady will have preschool friends, so we will likely do it at a venue outside of the house (and this time I already know the theme), so our next in house birthday party will be Izzie's 1st birthday! It seems like forever away since she's not even born, but the last three years with Brady have flown by, so I'm sure it'll be here before we know it.