Sunday, November 18, 2012

Grady's 4th Birthday: The tale of a Fish Party.

Bella and I started planning Grady's birthday party in March. Seriously. We scanned through Pinterest ideas, we checked out different locations, we discussed decorations, and shopped frugally to stay within my budget. We started working on favors and a piñata a week before the big day, and we could hardly wait.

On Friday night, both Grady and Bella had a hard time falling asleep because they were so excited for Grady's party. Saturday morning at 5am, Bella woke up with vomiting and diarrhea. My poor sweet girl laid on the floor of the bathroom in a heap, crying because she knew she wouldn't be going to the party.

So that afternoon, I drove to the park without my big girl helper, to get started on my own. My dad agreed to stay home with Bella so that both Bryan and I could be there with Grady, and my fantastic mama came to help me set up.

And when this little guy came rollin' in, I was able to shake off the disappointment of my sweet girl missing the party, and I was ready to celebrate this special little man.
Oh Grady, how I love you.

He asked for a fish themed party, and we narrowed it down to a goldfish party.
The kids and I made goldfish glycerine soaps to give out as party favors.

My Aquarium: A saga... I had it in my mind, that I wanted an aquarium for the kids to play in. I called around to all the neighboring Lowes and Home Depots, until I found an available refrigerator box. I was so super excited, that I went straight there to pick it up. I lugged that perfect, beautiful, giant box out to the parking lot, and tried every possible way to fit it in my car. When that didn't work, I hauled it back into Lowes, and asked them to hold it for me until Bryan could come and pick it up. Then my sweet husband went to pick it up, but unfortunately the man that was holding it for me called in sick to work, and some well meaning lady gave Bryan a MINIATURE refrigerator box... When he came home, I excitedly ran out to see it... and then cried. So the next day, my very wonderful husband went back to Lowes and retrieved my perfect box. And all was well in my little world.

Back to the party... We held the party at Wilson's Landing Park. It is a beautiful site, full of trees and wide open spaces, and yes, a dock for fishing. Friends and family came, fishing commenced, games were played, and fun was had.

These two boys are well mannered little gentlemen on their own, but get them together, and oh my! They wrestle, and get dirty, and act like wild animals.


Piñata time!

 I love the little faces in the background!
Grady went first, and then everyone else went round and round. Evidently I applied too much packing tape, because the darn thing wouldn't break. These games have an attention span time limit, and if the candy isn't produced soon enough, kids start losing interest. I was forced to take matters into my own hands. I started cutting the tape, and when that didn't work, I think I just took a few whacks at it myself, and then threw the candy at the kids.

 He was giving Jed instructions.
And at some point, the ribbon on the piñata broke, and we had to hang it by it's tail.

Ok, so this is when things start getting a little crazy (and graphic, sorry). After the piñata, it was dinner time. Bryan grilled hotdogs, and Grady asked me to take him to the bathroom "because he had to drop a deuce". Which means go number two. I did, and then he did, and then we walked back for dinner. You can see in the picture below, he doesn't look quite right.

Bryan made him a plate, and sat him down to eat. He got up, and said he didn't want to eat. He then went and sat on Bryan's lap, and all over the ground. Repeatedly (except Bryan moved him to the grass). Awesome. So we made an announcement, saying things like "we're so sorry, Grady is puking, sorry, dinner will be cut short, and I hope everyone doesn't catch The Buckman stomach flu, sorry, grab a cupcake and a party favor on your way out". It was awful.

Grady wanted to blow out the candles, but not eat the cupcake. So between periods of Bryan holding him over the railing to hurl, we sang the quickest version of "Happy Birthday" ever, and then my poor, sweet, pale baby blew out his candles.

Our amazing friends and family helped us load presents and decorations and leftover food. I honestly don't even know if everyone had a chance to eat, let alone go back for seconds. I don't know if everyone got a cupcake or their party favor. I feel like I blinked, and the party was over, my sweet boy was shaking and retching, and everyone was dispersing. It certainly did not turn out the way Bella and I had planned. I felt awful for contaminating my friends and ending the party so abruptly, but mostly, I felt sorry for my babe.

The highlight of the evening, however, was as I was tucking him into to bed, he said "thanks for the party mama, I had a fun time".

The End.


  1. It was a beautiful party on a beautiful day. You and Bella did an amazing job on the decorations! It turned out to be a party that you will never forget. By the way, did I see a goldfish in that pond?? ;-)

    1. Thanks for everything mama, and thanks for always asking what you can do to help. I love you, and sure do appreciate you!

  2. Looks like a fun party! How did you make the soaps?