I survived my son's first sleepover. Barely. It was deja vu of having a newborn, where I slept so lightly, wondering if every sound I heard throughout the night was a sign that I should go check on the kids. Gosh, I had forgotten that feeling. This momentous first sleepover kicked-off my older son's 9th birthday. (Never mind that his actually birthday was months ago... mom faux pas.) The eventual party? Awesome. In the grand scheme of things, what is one night of no sleep and a few month delay on having your party?
In past years, we have joyfully had the whole class over to our house. This was a small party-- just two friends. Not because he didn't want the entire 3rd grade... more because I decided I just wasn't up for an enormous soiree this year. Tag-teaming off an auction item we bid on at the children's school, the theme was rock-climbing. (Conveniently) that auction item was just for a few kids. Now, if I had my act together, I would have gotten all creative with the foods-- gorp, dehydrated camping foods, etc. Thankfully, I was saved from myself. Because really, the kids don't care... I'd be a little embarrassed if this were a Martha-type entertaining blog. But no, it's a real life, get-it-all-done blog for busy moms. So, here's the scoop:
After playing in a ladies tennis tournament 9:00-1:30 (totally decadent, I know!), then having a health coach call 2:00-2:50, the school bus rumbled home at 3:00. The guests were due to arrive at 4:30, so I suggested a good snack and some downtime for my boys, and quickly whipped up (or poured out as the case may be with one of them) three snacks to have out in case the party people got hungry: ants on a log + Terra chips + mini fruit skewers. (The time-saving trick being to splurge on the "value-added" cut-up fruit this go round...)
My husband said he'd try be home around 5:30... but I know Friday traffic, and I know my husband. So, I dashed up to my computer and banged out a 35-item scavenger hunt list, figuring it would take the kids, oh, at least 2 hours to hunt down all of the items inside and outside. I had visions of sitting outside with a glass of wine while they excitedly dashed around trying to find some of the more obscure items on the list.
Right. It took them exactly 35 minutes... and my husband got home sometime around 6:30. I doled out prizes of adhesive mustaches, glow sticks and whoopee cushions. But, the rest of the afternoon, they needed no direction or fancy games. I'd forgotten that just having two extra bodies around creates a party. Board games were hauled out, balls were kicked around, then I ordered pizza and salad from the local pizzeria.
The evening was capped off by a homemade-ish (note the "ish") cake. Yes, that is store-bought decorators frosting from a tube globbed on top of my delicious cream cheese frosting and lemon cake. I have no idea what was in it to turn in that bright blue. I don't really want to know.
What I do know, is that my son loved the cake. At bedtime, I read Everest to the kids.
The next morning, I fortified the crew with scrambled eggs + Alexia waffle cut potatoes + fruit salad + Alexia sweet potato puffs + Applegate chicken-apple breakfast sausage...
and then they met up with one of their teachers for a rock-climbing adventure! Talk about cool: this place was over-the-top neat... and they had one of their beloved teachers showing them the ropes.
Best part of all? My younger son was included in everything... the big kids let him act nine all night, and the next morning he, too, scampered up every wall.
It was a party to remember. Oh, and the goodie bags. Can't forget the goodie bags: copies of Hatchet and The Sign of the Beaver (for the big kids, My Side of the Mountain and My Father's Dragon for our 5-year-old) + a compass/thermometer + caribeener + a solar flashlight + a Lego mini figure + retro candies.