Thursday, August 14, 2008

I ought to be charging for these tips ...

Let's say you are a single dad because your wife left you for a camp full of teenage girls with only $14 left in the budget and a half the budget period to go and you are a busy guy, but your son goes and requests a birthday party this year anyway ... how do you handle it? Relax , take a deep breath, and follow these simple steps for a fail-proof party.

1.) Have the birthday boy (BB) plan the guest list, and itinerary.

2.) Download this MS birthday invitation template: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/TC010127911033.aspx?pid=CT101433941033. Let BB and sis spend the next 3 hours customizing, selecting fonts and colors, printing out, stamping and hand delivering invitations.

3.) Have BB remind you that Mom always puts pictures on the table for birthdays. Let him rummage through all the photos and spend the next hour sorting & classifying them.

Let him pick how he wants them laid out on the table.

Don't sweat it when BB jam-packs 5 Million pictures of himself onto the table in a way that would never meet a discerning mom's approval.

4.) Find old unused roll of black crepe paper. Tell BB and sis that they can decorate the house for the party all by themselves.

Help him figure out how to obscure Elmo on the old kiddie HappyBirthday sign to enhance his already jammin' decor

5.) Get a DJ and make some signs so everyone knows that there is a "Party in Backyard".

6.) When the guests arrive, make sure you have some structured activities planned

7.) Play that awesome game from Amy Shoemaker's 5th birthday party where you see how many clothes pins you can drop from your forehead into a jar. No clothes pins lying around? ... No problem, army guys work just as well. Jar can also be swapped out for old Tupperware container.

8.) Put these guys ...


into these to keep the cheater 8 year old boys from trying to look through, under, around the blindfold. Now, play another old-school game ... blind man's bluff.


9.) Get out the Lawn Bowling set that Uncle Nate sent (thanks man ... I owe you!) and let each kid play a frame of lawn bowling

10.) When the games are through get out the doughnut cake (i.e. a stack of doughnuts on a plate w/ a candle in the top) and soda



and serve up the troops.





11.) After the cake is gone. Have the BB open his presents




This could take longer than expected if the fun neighbor brothers spent 3 hours wrapping multiple layers of boxes with scotch, masking, and duct tape (no lie), and packing the various box levels with balloons and streamers and paper mache cut outs and wrapping paper and random notes, painted polka dots, etc.


even when you think you are done, you aren't because at the bottom are at least 40 envelopes, each filled with paper and sealed. Settle in when you hear the boys say ... "4 of them have something in them and the rest are just junk! ... but you gotta open them all to know which is which."



12.) Send the kids downstairs to watch this movie and make themselves ill eating this pile of caramel s'mores popcorn

13.) The next 1 hr 45 min are all yours.

You're welcome.

33 comments:

Ryan said...

... just for the record, the birthday present packing brothers are very comical and their gift wrapping was the hit of the party. All the other kids were jealous, except maybe another nieghbor who was competing for most creative wrapping. His package was so thoroughly glued that the exterior felt like a hot glazed KrispyKreme doughnut.

The Hansen Clan said...

You are seriously a rock star! Most dad's wouldn't even attempt a party and might not even realize it's BB or BG's birthday. Way to go and I'll be sure and pass the tips on to Kyle for when I leave him at home alone with the girls. (Just to clarify, I will be dead and gone when that happens :)

Paige said...

I am awed by your awesomeness. I've never been speechless, but you have rendered me thus.

crystal said...

Oh, you seriously rule. The difference between a mom-planned-party & a dad-planned-party is HUGE! And the dad-planned party is 10 billion times easier.

And probably funner. (more fun?)

Meg said...

Who knew you could have a doughnut cake. I am totally considering it's awesomeness for my son's birthday!!!

Untypically Jia said...

That cake, is pure genius, and I want one soooo badly! That's like the best birthday ever! Heck, I'm a 24 year old girl and I think I might just print out this list for the big 25!

Lauren in GA said...

FABULOUS! SIMPLY FABULOUS!

I really feel as though I should pay for the tip of the cotton balls in the goggles...I bow down to the brilliance.

And the doughnut cake was another stroke of genius. The kids love it...they each get what they want and no utensils required. Genius! (Maybe I can quit baking cakes and try that one)

Anisa said...

Wow! You are so amazing! I can't believe that you did a birthday party all on your own! I can't believe that Jessica didn't have it planned before she left. Just amazing!

Kara Jayne said...

Holy genius Batman!! The irony in all this is that I'm sure it will be one of his most memorable/favorite birthdays ever. I think letting your kids do most of it is key!!

Bridget said...

Hats off to you for pulling that off.

Goldie said...

Sweet!!! Ava has a party coming up and I am STRESSED, but not anymore! Thanks!

andrea said...

congratulations, grasshopper. you have learned the secret of life: delegate to your children.

for 75% of life's requirements, this is an acceptable approach.

Bekah said...

WOW! Very impressive once again! Sounds like a very fun and creative party! Happy early Birthday Gabe!

Erika said...

you're going to end up doing this all the time - you made it sound way tooooo easy.

Laurie said...

I don't think that cake should just be for birthdays.

Lindsey said...

Impressive Mr. Romney... I guess guys really can handle a party when left to their own devices. My husband had to perform a similar miracle when I turned up with the flu on a birthday...

Ilene said...

Ah, Dan planned Jackson's party this year and it was great. He gets all birthday duties. Can't wait to see what he does when our girl wants a princess party...

any suggestions?

Erin said...

Nice. Very nice. I have to know, did you spend that 1 hour and 45 min cleaning up the remnants of the awesomest wrapping job ever? Oh and I especially like the macabre black crepe paper. So funny!

Brooke said...

Ryan,
Wowee!! That's impressive. You can come out for Carters B-day next month and get the party going. Why didn't I inherit any of that creativity?

jessica said...

Sorry Maya was late. For some reason I thought the par-tay started at 6:30. Jessica thinks Gabe's present is for her, you better let the kids actually play it!

G and G Nut said...

Impressive!!! I hope Amy reads this and realizes how her legacy lives on.
xoxoxo

Tristan said...

Impressive, creative, and very clever.

Lorena said...

Impressive! I'm trying to decide now why I make such a big deal about birthdays...maybe not so necessary...

Sally said...

Very nice. What I read:

blah blah blah caramel smores popcorn.

Recipe required.

Jenibelle said...

Dang. Do you rent out?

AZ Karen said...

Impressive...really.

I wish we had boys so my husband could throw the parties. His dad threw him some amazing ones when he was little. All of his friends still comment on them and call him for ideas for their boys.

Nice job.

Hollyween said...

The most impressive part was totally the popcorn making. Another one of Jessica's (or yours?) recipes that is in need of being posted.

Rochelleht said...

The Best Family Ever.

Do we get that recipe for the popcorn?

Meridith said...

Way to go Ryan! Another success on your list.

bloggingchristy said...

Gabe, a donut cake? You are my kindof man!!

We are getting excited for your baptism. Scott thinks it is the coolest thing that you are getting baptized in a LAKE!

Tammy said...

Ryan rocks! What a simple, cheap, easy birthday but looks like TONS of fun for kids. Great thinking!

Tammy said...

Ryan rocks! What a simple, cheap, easy birthday but looks like TONS of fun for kids. Great thinking!

TexasTwinsTwice said...

I'm totally stealing the 'pictures under the tablecloth' idea--genious!