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Thursday, July 12, 2018

Emmeline's Fourth Birthday :: Halloween Party

I can't believe I'm writing about Emmeline's FOURTH birthday. And writing about it SIX MONTHS LATER. To be fair to me - I started this post in December, but you know. Life. I'm only writing this post now so that I can look back and remember it and because I have pics from Carys's seventh party to share - probably in about six months.

Em's officially out of the toddler stage and into the preschool stage and guys, I just love that kid so much. She's absolutely hilarious and one of the biggest regrets of my life is that I can't remember every single delightful thing that she's said - and they're just gone forever; I can't rewind and find them again. SOB. When she's sad, she's the saddest, most heartbreaking kid ever, with these big sad eyes welling up with tears and you can hear the despair and tears in her voice as she pleas, "Mama, don't be mad!" And the girl has a TEMPER with every single letter capitalized. She throws things and is just fiercely angry when things don't go her way. But most of the time - God, I just want to eat her up. And squeeze her and kiss her and never let her go. I can't tell you how many times I am driving with her, listening to her amusing stories, and I just have to reach back and squeeze and hold her hand because I can't pull over and take her out of her carseat and love on her.

And guys, she's so smart too. I can't believe I ever worried about her language skills or development, because she's brilliant. She loves shapes and simple addition and rhyming and reading/writing (she loves writing out a string of letters on a piece of paper and asking me what it says). She loves drawing, dressing up, and our new puppy (OMG I HAVEN'T WRITTEN ABOUT OUR NEW PUPPY and he's now 9 months old - whoops!). She loves video games and screens and I have to regulate those strictly, because she'd be totally happy lounging on the couch with no pants on, watching "Masha and Bear" or playing the Nintendo Switch allllllllllllllll day long. Luckily, she also loves her scooter and tricycle and I can usually get her to happily accompany me on a walk. She's got a sweet tooth like no other, and is a crazy picky eater (still).

Anyway. This is why I used to do the monthly/bi-yearly letters (and I can't dwell on the lack of those because I'll beat myself up for stopping them!). She's an amazing kid, I adore her, you get it.

For her fourth birthday, I was at a total loss. She liked a lot of things but I couldn't think of a theme she LOVED. And her birthday being in the dead of winter and two weeks before Christmas complicates it further. I asked her what kind of party she wanted and she kept telling me: Halloween. Halloween?!?!!?  I was 99.9% sure she wanted a Halloween party because she loved Trick-or-Treating so much and just wanted more candy. I wasn't sure if she understood that just because we were celebrating a Halloween birthday didn't mean she'd get to go trick-or-treating around the block again.  She briefly mentioned a Mario party (and I still think that would be cute) but she kept going back to Halloween. So...Halloween it was. And to her credit, she still - six months later - says that her favorite color is black because she loves Halloween.

It ended up being a really small party, and not nearly as elaborately planned as usual. Many of our usual guests couldn't attend and it was a SUPER busy time of year (did I mention that her birthday is two weeks before Christmas? And that we had just gotten a new puppy? And that Chris's birthday is the week before?). But she had a great time and was the center of attention for the day and loved it.

This was a pretty easy party to decorate - I managed to snag most of the decor on giant clearance after Halloween, and obviously we already had a bunch of Halloween decor. I did get a few things at Oriental Trading company (as I do every year) but not nearly as much as I have had to in the past. The trick with her party is always decorating around the Christmas decorations that are out. This year I just decided to cover them all with spider webs and pretend like they didn't exist.

She did not want "cute" Halloween. She wanted "creepy." I asked her if bugs crawling around a skull were creepy and she was like, "Ugh, I guess so."

I made the spider web with twine and I'm excited to bring it out next Halloween!

She asked for donuts instead of a cake, which I thought would be easy. We ended up disappointed with the vendor we used for the donuts but whatever. (I asked for a variety of Halloween colors and to have some of them decorated in orange/yellow/white stripes like a candy corn, and they ended up looking like Emmeline herself decorated them.)

HOW AMAZING ARE THOSE EYEBALL CUPS?!?!? And I love the plants and napkins I got from Target clearance after Halloween. 

The gift bags were luminaries. I don't think I took a picture of what was inside, which sucks because it was cute stuff - a little potion necklace (you can kind of see Emmeline wearing it in the first pic of her) and some tattoos and some plastic bugs and tattoos and bubbles and stuff like that. 


There's something so unsettling about a Christmas tree wrapped in spider webs. Maybe eerily reminiscent of an abandoned house or something? We tucked pictures of Emmeline during Halloween throughout the years into the webbing.

I got a few little foam craft kits on clearance from Target and set the kids up making little skulls and ghosts. It was a fun, easy activity and they seemed to have fun.

Obviously the direction was to come in costume. 

After they made their little crafts, they all went "trick-or-treating." I set the adults up throughout the house and gave them each a bag of candy to hand out to the kids. This was a big hit. Because candy. 

"Trick or Treat!"

Obviously the only logical thing after a bout of trick-or-treating is to separate and sort the candy. 

The cursed donuts. Like really, you don't even want to know how much I paid for these damn things that looked like someone smeared hard buttercream on them with a plastic butter knife.

OMG I love this little shy smile as everyone was singing happy birthday. 

Then we moved onto opening gifts, and the kids had a tissue paper war. 

Look at our adorable tiny puppy!!!! He's huge and annoying now but we still love him.

We took a group picture between the coats on the stairs and the Christmas garland on the railing. Really well thought out, Lara.

Poor Emmeline with her birthday so close to Christmas. I try to make it a priority every year because I never want her to feel second to Carys, but it's SO hard. When we were talking about having kids, Chris said we could have kids absolutely any time EXCEPT December - he has a December birthday and has always hated it. And we saddled this poor kid with a birthday that's a week closer to Christmas than his is! I plan on giving her the option of celebrating during her half-birthday if she'd like when she's older - but who knows? Maybe she'll grow up with winter as her favorite holiday and absolutely love it. 

Happy birthday, you spunky little spitfire. I sure do love you!

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