Real Party - Hollywood Dance Party and I'm an Aunt! (on my side of the fam)

Iron Man and SpidermanSo, it has finally come and gone, my joint party for my boys, and I must say, as crazy as it was with about 20+ kids, it was AWESOME!!! My oldest is Iron Man, and at the last minute, the little one REFUSED to wear his Blue Power Ranger costume, so his dad put on his Spider-man outfit. I think he got stage fright??Star cupcakes
For full write-up, check out out Birthday Party Ideas.

Yes, those are handmade cupcakes with chocolate stars made from candy molds. I've had those molds since the Star Wars party a few years back (yes, shameless shout-outs again). The two without stars are Wall-E candy rings for each birthday boy.

Hollywood Dance Party table

My fabulous helpers for the day used star cookie cutters on the sandwiches and made tons of fruit and cheese kabobs. Kids love just anything on a stick.
Dance Party bouncer
The kids came in costume as their favorite movie or cartoon hero, and walked the red carpet (a red plastic tarp) to the front door, my husband in all black and sunglasses served as bouncer with a guest list. I would have pix of everyone, except my paperazzi kept pushing the "off" instead of the "picture" button on the camera.
Dance Party craft table

More Dance Party craftsThe craft was so much fun, the kids made their own Hollywood Stars, based on the ones from the Walk of Fame. I covered 8" foam squares with black cardstock, and each kid added a star, their name in gold letters and decorated with sequins, beads, you name it!

Dancing machines
Blowing out the candles

The younger set also played "Pin the Sunglasses on the Diva" with these great foam sunglasses, and the older ones played "Who am I?" I wrote TV, cartoon and movie star characters on labels, and placed on each child's back. They had to go around asking others for clues to guess who they were.
Pin the Sunglasses on the Diva
Hollywood hot shots
Popcorn goody bag
popcorn goody bag

I scored on these popcorn bags (Dollar store!!) as goody bags.

Now that I've knocked out this year's party, I feel like the joint party thing probably won't happen again; mixing the 2 age groups at this stage of the game was too risky, and my little one was way too overwhelmed. But hey, parenthood is very much trial-and-error, I learned a valuable lesson. But it was still worth it, and they had a wonderful time!

And on that same note, my little sister married in Mexico last December, and announced in February that she was pregnant and due in July (yes, do the math), and I'm proud to say that Alejandro has made his appearance on Saturday. We were at said Hollywood Dance Party, so when we got back home at 4:00, my mom's message said she was in labor. When I called back, he had already been out for hours. So much for the 1st baby-12 hour-labor rule, because he literally slid out at 6 pounds. I'm sure my mom is probably wondering when one of her kids are going to give her a girl's all up to my brother now!!!

Real Party - St. Paddy's Soiree

Every holiday is a reason to party, especially when kids are involved. We had a great playdate with yummy snacks and decorating T-shirts to wear. A great tip: save the cups from liquid detergent bottles, and glue sponge shapes on the flat side of the cups. This keeps hands out of the paint and is easy for little hands to hold and stamp.

I found this wonderful recipe at the Familyfun website; I rolled refrigerated dough in cinnamon and twisted them into shamrock shapes, baked, and sprinkled with green sprinkles. Served with apple juice, "gold"fish and green grapes, it was perfect!
St. Paddy's partySt. Paddy's party

Real Party - Ladies' Spring Luncheon

Wanting and getting the girls together for a ladies' only affair is always a hoop-jumper. But I was determined to have one meal this year with cloth napkins. This spring was my first attempt at a springtime affair, and I may make it a tradition!!ladies_luncheon_table I am a fan of "killing two birds with one stone" as the old adage goes. A great way to combo decor and function was placing a pot at each setting with each guest's name on a craft stick. It worked as a place setting and a take-home favor. Placemats were 12 x 12 scrapbook paper trimmed in matching ribbon, and my son's collection of plastic bugs and frogs rounded out the table decor. ladies_luncheon_place_setting ladies_luncheon_place_setting

Real Party - Nautical Baby Shower

So, one of my favorite party bloggers Hostess with the Mostess is hosting a Hip Hostess Series this week, and are celebrating on the blog by posting real parties from readers. So, I thought I would do my own shout outs and showcase some of my own parties....For full details, check out my award winning nautical-themed baby shower for one of my bestest friends.

Thankfully I can separate them

Day 4 of summer vacation, the boys have decided they will now fight over everything from a ball of lint to toys they haven't played with in decades. So I decide that I am going to separate them by declaring "If one is upstairs the other is downstairs, unless you are eating or using the bathroom". Cool, except the older one decides it's time to reenact every Star Wars light saber battle from all 6 movies, sound effects and all. Loudly. Very loudly. I sigh, "please find something quieter to do." He proceeds to dig out the massive amount of coloring books out of the bin and spread them out everywhere, along with all the crayons that we own. Which is fine, until they get dropped on the floor and I step on them, and do one of those hilarious running-on-air moves you only see in cartoons. Fine, as long as he's quiet.

Speaking of quiet, the little one is strangely quiet, so upon investigation he is in brother's room without brother (cardinal rule#1 broken) playing with a game (Cranium Cariboo) that he's not supposed to (cardinal rule #2 broken) and is shoving all the cards into the slots. So of course, at that moment his brother has come up to investigate and screams bloody murder (cardinal rule #3 broken - Thou shalt not shout at each other) and the world has come to an end. I calmly dig them out, reminding them both about playing nicely, respecting each other's property, yadda, yadda, yadda.

At this point the dog is spazzing's a little backstory on Zeus. He is a mini schnauzer which is the doggie equivalent of Woody Allen; small and neurotic. He was going through a spell of pooping in his kennel just about every morning because we weren't paying him enough attention. Some days, we just can't play with the damn dog. Some days, I don't get enough attention, but I'm not all popping a squat on my bed...although that would get my husband's attention and fast. But once again, I digress. He also has a bad habit of gnawing on the blackberry bushes that are furiously taking over the greenbelt that border our yard, and thus leaves us(me) nice, black, runny poop that only seems to happen when my husband was gone on business, leaving me to clean it up, after profusely cursing at the dog. Which I guess you aren't supposed to do because it makes him even more neurotic and the vicious cycle continues. Once we give him lots and lots of love and attention, and cater to his every whim, the kennel pooping was solved. So, word to the wise...

So, the dog is spazzing out because our neighbor, Naked Gary, is BBQing on his back porch. We call him that because when we first moved in, it was during the summer, and he came over and introduced himself, and he had no shirt on. No biggie, right? Except I swear I never saw him wear a shirt the rest of the summer. And it would be cool if he were all tanned and buff and hot. Except he's not....and the dog freaks out, hence the bark collar that we can zap him with when he starts freaking out (PETA do not write me, animal lovers do not curse at the inhumaneness of the collar, I would put one on the boys if they made one.) It's like those harnesses I've seen some moms put on their kids when they are out at a store, whatever gets you through sister, who am I to judge? I digress again...

So the dog is spazzing out, I'm zapping him, the boys are fighting again, so I escape to the computer and start typing. Thus is my day.

God help me, I still I love her!!!

So, I'm getting my daily fix of all things crafty, and I start over at Her Lady of All Things Handmade, and I love her, and one day I too will have my name stamped on everything that doesn't move. Yes, I don't make my cakes/frostings/costumes from scratch; who but a person with an army of specialists has that kind of time? I mean really, I'm only on the computer right now because the boys are shamelessly parked in front of Power Rangers. (And I know I just validated my husband's belief that I have the boys get up, fix their own breakfasts, and clean the house everyday, while I sit on the computer)

But the T-shirts are hurting my feelings....can't I just run down to Pac Sun and scoop up one for $20? I'm pretty sure I don't have any linoleum blocks or their carvers boxed up somewhere. And a sewing machine??? My talent is doing as much stuff that does NOT involve one. I do love Martha Stewart, one day I will make homemade heating pads, wallpaper magazine holders, and actually when I'm home alone instead of cereal and toast.

And speaking of which, our party was inspired by this picture from her Movie Star Birthday Party theme. Of course, since it would require kids actually IN my house, I tweaked it from movie watching to dancing, but we are using alot of other elements.


So, today is day 3 of vacation for the boys, camp doesn't start for another month, and they are inventing games that get louder and louder every morning. I'm exhausted from cutting up stars and foam core sheets for the crafts and making candy stars for their joint birthday party next week - Hollywood Dance Party 2008. This is their first party together, their birthdays are a week apart. Usually the little one was very specific about what he wants (well, last year anyways, he was 3 and SOOOOO into Thomas).
See, I throw blowouts for them every year. Yes, I'm the evil mom who likes to show up all of her friends by throwing extravaganzas at every hot spot in town, fabulous goody bags, and hiring rap stars to teach them the latest dance craze. Well, not really, not the rap star part. My house cannot and will not have more than 6 or 7 kids in it at any given time, and since my oldest has a social network that rivals Paris Hilton's, I simply refuse to have his at the house. So, we've had gym parties, Y parties, and playroom parties. But, being as I want to make this a profession, I really need the practice.

The little one knows like 3 people and we've had no problems with parties at home for him, but since he was in preschool this year, he has ACTUAL friends that aren't siblings of his brother's friends, thus the joint party. And people, my kids don't care what I do, I'm the psychotic one who obsesses 10 minutes after the party over next year's theme. I pray it's not genetic...

This year, we are renting out our local community room (super cheap for the 14 hour rental time!) and decking it out in lights and balloons and stars for the club feel. And since I'm crafty (read cheap, cheap, cheap) I'm making as much of it as I can. Now I realize that my time is valuable and sometimes I buy it when I can make it, let's just put it to you this way, my friends know that if they receive a store bought card, I'm pissed off at them. Except for party invites, sometimes I cheat and buy packaged ones...they are so inventive sometimes!!

But I digress, I'm cutting out stars for the craft, because damn it, there will be a craft,there always is at my parties....

My moment of Zen

As I sit here at the computer, the boys are in bed, my husband is watching Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story on TV and Zeus, our mini schnauzer is chewing on his bone, (I believe it is filled with doggie crack), I become inspired to create this blog. I titled it as such because I'm trying desperately to hang on to the identity I had before I became a mom. Don't get me wrong, I love my boys, they are almost 4 and 7, but no one knows my first name. When I introduce myself, I get blank stares, but as soon as I say "I'm Jawan's mom" it's all smiles, "Oh yes, I'm so-and-so's mom" is the standard reply. At my husband's job, it's "Hi, I'm Jason's wife, Dawn", must get the name recognition in first, of course.

In true SAHM tradition, I throw myself into every school function and party, and always manage to return from bathroom right when they are choosing committee leaders. My goals are simple; stay involved at school and shamelessly promote myself as a party planner. Yes, this is how I keep my brain from devolving. I worship at the altar of Martha Stewart and all things crafty. I love throwing parties for no good reason, except to try out something I've discovered. I love entertaining, and want to share my obsession with the world. So here it goes...
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