Bennett’s Birthday Party: Keeping it Simple

There’s my handsome son Bennett at his 4th birthday party. Ever since Cole’s party a month earlier, he’s been waiting for this day. His real birthday was Sept 13th, but with school starting and with Tony working almost every weekend that month, we put off the party until the last weekend in September. It was such a busy month and I’m low on energy with being pregnant, so I kept this party very simple. And you know what? I think the simple parties are the best kind.

We invited our families and a few of Bennett’s friends to join us for an afternoon gathering. I like having parties in the afternoon so I don’t need to make a full meal. I just put out a few easy snacks, which mainly came from Costco.

We had spinach dip in a hollowed sour dough loaf, hummus, veggies, goat cheese, sausage, crackers, and a fruit platter.

It was such a beautiful sunny day and it actually felt hot out, much to our surprise, so we took advantage of the nice weather and let the kids play in the backyard. Between our play set, tire swing, bouncy castle, hula hoops, and ball pit, there was lots to keep them busy while the grown-ups watched and chatted on the balcony.

I had also made a pinata, which came to be known as the lazy pregnant girl’s pinata. Instead of paper mache, I made it out of a paper grocery bag and stuffed it with candy and packets of crayons, then decorated it with tissue paper.

I wasn’t sure how well it would work, but it turned out pretty well. It held up better than I thought it would to repeated beatings from the children. Everyone got several chances at the pinata before it was finally broken open.
Next, we opened presents and then had cake. Bennett had originally wanted a Spiderman cake and I was fully intending to make one, but he changed his mind and started asking me for a caterpillar cake. I don’t know where he got that idea, but it was actually a really good one. I just decorated cupcakes with blue and green icing and formed them in the shape of a caterpillar.

For the head, I baked some cake mix (yes, the food blogger used a mix!) in a small corningware dish and my mom decorated it with white icing (also store-bought!). I had some chocolate icing left over from previous cupcakes for school, so we used that to make the feet. We made the mouth and antennae out of licorice and the eyes out of gummies. We decorated all the cupcakes with fruit and leaf-shaped gummies- the kids loved that.

It might not be the most glamourous cake, but I’ve learned that kids really don’t care all that much what it looks like- they just want to eat it.
For goodie bags, Cole and I decorated brown paper bags with foam letters spelling out each child’s name. We made a quick trip to the dollar store and the boys picked out a few small toys, temporary tattoos, and containers of bubbles to put inside. Done!
It was a great day and we had a lot of fun. Most importantly, Bennett enjoyed himself. In fact, he’s been asking when he gets to have another party, but I’m definitely all partied-out!

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