Isabella and the Big Red Dog

Last Saturday, we had 9 of Isabella's little friends over to celebrate her 3rd birthday party, Clifford-style.

For her birthday last year we had her friends over for what was basically a glorified playdate. We held her Sesame Street party inside our house. However, given that most of her toys are already packed (move update coming soon), and three-and-four-year-olds are a lot more active than two-year-olds, and she had a more extensive guest list this year, we decided to hold her party in our backyard. Fortunately for us, she has a summer birthday.
A few days prior to the big event, Isabella and her dad made a pinata together. She's been interested in pinatas since attending the party of one of her friends where the kids all whacked at one. Oddly enough, she wanted no part of it there, but had asked for one at her own party.

I wanted no part of this messy red (RED!) project. One of these days I will get over my mess-related hangups, I promise. Until that point, though, you'll find me nervously standing behind my child in a HAZ-MAT suit, with paper towels and a bucket of water in-hand, waiting to hose her down once craft time is over.
She had a blast whacking at the pinata at her own party, thankfully, and the mom of the little boy whose pinata party we attended a few weeks ago even surprised us with another pinata at the party. So, with two pinatas in play, 9 very excited children went home so high on sugar they could levitate.
The fabulous Lisanne loaded me full of awesome Clifford- and dog-themed party ideas. She served the snacks for her son's dog-themed birthday party in dog bowls from the dollar store, which was a huge hit with the kids. Unfortunately, my dollar store didn't carry them, and I wasn't about to fork over $5 per bowl at the pet center. So, we decorated red bowls with dog and dog bone stickers.
We were, however, able to use her suggestion to make dog bone cookies for the goodie bags. I didn't make the dough from scratch, which was a mistake since the slice-and-bake cookie dough was really mushy and required lots of fridge time in between batches to make it cool enough to cut with the cookie cutter. As a result, some of the cookies were a tad, shall we say, misshapen. They still tasted great, and I would know since I ate all the ones that resembled male anatomy instead of dog bones, lest my baking shortcomings corrupt the young minds of tomorrow.

Speaking of the goodie bags, we loaded them full of cookies, dog bone stickers, crayons, and Play-Doh. My mom copied the tags from the PBS website (another Lisanne tip), and then wrote the kids' names on them.
I made cupcakes in ice cream cones, which transported me back to the birthday treat de jour of my grammar school. Given that my head is spinning in Exorcist fashion these days with the move, my job training, and baby-wrangling all simultaneously siphoning off my will to live, I decided to go with a box cake mix and jarred frosting, which I tinted red(ish). Definitely not as tasty as the Magnolia Bakery cupcake recipe I used last year. Next year, back to baking from scratch.

My mom rocks, and therefore made a sign (again, enlarged from an image on the PBS website) and hand-colored it. Of course, she's not hip to Clifford and the characters on the show, so poor Charlie ended up as a Caucasian redhead and T-Bone was colored dark brown instead of a light tan, but I've decided to keep loving her anyway. She is, after all, hard at work packing my house as I write this.

Isabella and her peeps had a great time celebrating her party in the yard. My fab friend Kellie let us borrow her snake-shaped sprinkler, and we set out Isabella's baby pool, water table, sandbox, and various other outdoor toys. And of course, snacks.

The twins slept through most of the morning party. Once they got up, however, they were more confused than amused by the excitement in the backyard.

Isabella had a blast at her party with her friends, and even though I had some concerns about the workability of 9 little kids running around my tiny backyard, everything worked out just fine. And next year, the kiddos will have a big backyard in which to celebrate Isabella's 4th (ohmygod) birthday. Thank you, Lisanne, for taking time out of your busy schedule to help me with the party-planning ideas and links. You are awesome.

And so am I.


Can someone please tell me why my photos (which are not blurry on my hard drive) are all of sudden blurry when I upload them to Blogger? I'm thinking it has something to do with resolution, but I haven't changed a thing about the way I take photos OR my Blogger settings. This is SO frustrating!

7 Responses to “Isabella and the Big Red Dog”

  1. # Blogger Mom24

    I swear you could have a career in a another life throwing children's birthday parties. Great job. It looks like a lot of fun.  

  2. # Blogger Lis Garrett

    Definitely a great party! It looks like everyone had a fantastic time. :-)  

  3. # Blogger kenju

    The photos don't look funny now, Kristi.  

  4. # Blogger Marie

    Awesome! You are a brave lady, with that many little ones at your house.  

  5. # Blogger Pregnantly Plump

    What a fun party! Looks like she had a wonderful time. We went to a party this weekend with baby pools and a sprinkler and I so wished Little Elvis had a summer birthday. All of the kids had a blast.  

  6. # Blogger Shannon

    looks like a great party!!  

  7. # Anonymous Lisanne

    Woo hoo! :) I'm so glad that it all worked out just great! Thanks for the mentions ... you sure didn't have to do that. I'm glad that I could help. We are in the midst of turtle party planning here, and I am LOVING it!!! I don't see how you had time to do all that you did with three children in tow. Looks like everyone had an awesome time!!! If you need any ideas for the twins' first birthday, let me know and I can try!  

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