Tuesday, July 1, 2014


party invitation - ordered from SimplytoImpress.com (I was very happy with them and would totally recommend - reasonable prices and high-quality printing and paper)
Aside from the cookie debacle, Zuzu's party actually went off pretty smoothly. I had no agenda, no games, no cake (I was going to put candles in a muffin but then I forgot candles--#momfail). We decided to skip the forced singing and picture posing (we saved that for the privacy of our kitchen and we'll celebrate with family again this weekend, so we felt okay about not doing it at the splash party). Instead, we'd just chill out and let the kids do their thing.

Ready to party!
We got to the park about half an hour early to set up a card table and put out the food. OF COURSE I failed to get a picture of this, which is a shame because it was kinda cute. Picture a table covered with a sweet red-checked table cloth with black ants embroidered on it (lent by my friend K), a basket of cookies, a basket of muffins, and a couple of clear acrylic beverage tubs--one with yogurt and fruit cups, and one with juice boxes and bottles. There was also a water dispenser that looks like an enormous mason jar that was full of ice and water and sliced up lemons and limes. And don't forget my wooden spoons artfully displayed... in a plastic cup because I didn't bring anything in which to artfully display them. Whoops.

After the cookie fail, I also ran into the dollar store and assuaged my mom-guilt by purchasing three birthday balloons for Zuzu. I should have saved the other $2 and just bought one because "Minnie Mouse!" was all she cared about. (I almost didn't buy Minnie Mouse because I just don't love the character crap like that, but I knew it would make her really happy and, guess what? It did. #momwin).

(Also if you're going to buy helium filled balloons you should totally do it at the dollar store because they cost... wait for it... $1. Seriously, though, that's a steal.)

Anyway, I tied the balloons to the top of one basket. For extra-festivity.

The day was warm but overcast. It got up into the 80s pretty quickly, but there was cloud cover and a breeze, which meant that being outside wasn't terrible and since it looked like it could rain we essentially had the park to ourselves. (I boasted for a while that we'd rented out the entire park for the party, but eventually a few other people arrived.)

The kids started out on the playground where Zuzu swung in big-girl swings

"I two" and therefore ready to swing like a big girl
and then she wanted to swing in the baby-swings and then she did some climbing and sliding. And then she saw that one of the other kids had a swim suit on and BY GOD it was time to "plish-plash-plash!"

We were slightly disappointed that the little sprinkler thingies that pop up at random intervals were not working. Evidently they're broken, because they weren't running the day before during the Farmers' Market either. So I felt like that was a bummer, but the kids didn't seem to care.

 They ran in and out of the fountain, tossed beachballs around, tossed splash balls around (those soft little ones that you can get really wet), and periodically ran over the food table.

We had a total of 8 kids ranging in age from 18 months to 10 years, which was actually really nice because the older kids were sweet about playing carefully with the little ones and even among the toddler set, there wasn't any squabbling (I didn't hear Zuzu shout, "NO, MINE!" even once, which is a small miracle.)

Hanging with her girlfriends

Bea grants the parents a wave
David and a couple of the dads took photos and hung out close to the fountain while the rest of us lounged around the perimeter in the shade and just chatted and observed the shenanigans. Zuzu, as usual, dunked her entire head under the fountain's run off, giggling in delight. Later, she actually lay down on the wet concrete, trying to "plish=plash" with her entire body.

It does appear that she is, in fact, part sea lion
She also liked to fill up a bucket with water and dump it over her own head, which was fine, but I had to intervene when she decided her toddler friends would appreciate having the bucket dumped over their heads. Actually, it seems that most kids are not a fan of that, which seemed to bewilder Zuzu but at least she quit trying to water-board her friends.

Not every toddler wants to stand directly under a fountain of water!

Fountains are so much fun!
Zuzu and Bea on a beach ball mission. I think this picture is so cute (note that Bea prefers to keep her hair dry).
They'd already been playing in the water for about an hour when the lifeguard arrived and they filled up the wading pool. A few more people showed up at the park around that time, but it was still so peaceful and not crowded at all compared to Saturdays when the market is in session.

At Zuzu's first birthday, I felt like there were so many people and so many "things" to do--cut the cake! open the gifts! play the future-prediction game!--that I was overwhelmed and exhausted by the time it was over.

This time, I requested no gifts and skipped the cake so it really was just like hanging out at the splash pad with friends, which was so much more fun and relaxing for me. The best part was that Zuzu appeared to have a great time, and we didn't have to drag her away from splashing. She took a short break to eat some yogurt and blueberries and have some juice, and then she was back at it.

When we finally packed up and left, it was close to 12pm. Zuzu kept saying, "More plish-plash!" but her heart wasn't in it--she was sooooo worn out from having so much fun.

With the 'rents

Heading back to the car with Daddy
When we got in the car we talked about going home and having lunch, but after a big breakfast (David was in charge of breakfast and informed me later she'd eaten yogurt and fruit, 5 silver dollar pancakes, a mini-muffin, AND 3/4 of a whole wheat waffle), and her party snack, she wasn't hungry. When I mentioned lunch, she said, "No. Binky!"

So I asked if she wanted to get her binky and take a nap and she said yes.

As far as I'm concerned, there's no better proof of a successful party than a toddler who is ready to take a (3 hour) nap afterward!


  1. Totally the marker of a successful party!! A toddler agreeing to take a nap? No contest.
    Looks like she and her friends had a fabulous time. The whole thing seems like a Mama-win to me!
    Can you BELIEVE they're two already? Blows my mind. Such little people already…
    Feeling grateful and happy to be celebrating our vital, healthy, utterly entertaining girls together. :)

  2. That sounds like an amazing party! She obviously had a great time! MOMMYWIN!

  3. Sounds perfect and relaxing. Well done! I'm throwing my soon-to-be 6 year old a park splash party in a couple of weeks. Cross your fingers it doesn't rain (I'm in Kansas).

  4. Totally cute party. She looked like she and her little pals had a blast.

    I used SimplyToIMpress for our Christmas cards last year, and really liked their final product. I'd use them again too!