Thursday, June 13, 2013

Look Who Is 2 NOW!!!

This past Saturday was Taj's 2nd birthday bash.  He was so excited.  The Wednesday before his party we finished the centerpieces minus the shredded paper and crape paper.  He squealed with delight and did this funny little dance when he saw Cookie Monster and Elmo.  His Mama made Elmo.  He then cried and cried because he wanted to play with them, so I thought if I sat him next to them on the counter and took a picture of him with the centerpieces he would be fine.  NOPE  He wanted them still, so I gave him the two rubber duckies I picked up for his punch.
We had planned on a blue punch with sherbet in it.  The sherbet's foam would make it look like bubbles and we were going to put the duckies inside the punch bowl and call it "Ernie's Rubber Ducky Punch", however due to all of the rain and flooding, the gnats are out of control and we were afraid the gnats would drop into the punch so Kera decided not to do it.  Here is the punch she wanted to do.
It would have been cute but I think she made a wise choice.  I also stopped working on the cupcake stand I was making for the same reason.  We both thought it would be better to carry out of the house when it came time for cake.    Here is what the cupcakes looked like.  

 We basically made a dozen of each character.  Kera baked the cupcakes, nearly two dozen confetti cupcakes and nearly two dozen chocolate cupcakes Friday night.  We then pipped the icing for all but Big Bird.  We held off for the other decorations in fear of the cookies would become soggy and the marshmallow's becoming hard.  Kera found the directions HERE.  Only we made some adjustments.  Our family does not like fondant.  I made several different cakes and frosting when I was planning for my wedding.  The two different types of fondant I made we did not care for.  The directions called for fondant for the eyes and mouth for Elmo and Oscar.  Instead we used Oreo Cookies for the mouth of Elmo and Oscar and the eyes I cut the small marshmallows in half and then Kera added some white frosting gel and we added mini chocolate chips for the eyes.  We had several people tell us what a great job we did and how they looked like we had a bakery make them for us.

The day of the party after we set everything up, I loved looking down from the porch and I had to take these pictures.  I remembered the screen interfering with the pictures I took of my wedding (click here if you want to see it.) so I took the screen out of the window to take the pictures.

Here is another shot from the ground.  My oldest Matthew was adding all the Tiki Torches to assist with the gnat problems.
The original plan was to have a bonfire after the party.  You can see our fire pit in the distance.  Todd and I picked up giant and I mean giant marshmallows, they are the size of my palm, chocolate bars, and graham crackers.  We were going to make smores.  I am not sure if you noticed the grammar (planned...were), yep it never happened because it started to rain.  I am not going to complain, the actual party was great weather at times when the sun poked out from the clouds it was a little warm, but it never stayed out too long.  It rained closer to the time of the bonfire.  We will just have to have one another night, surely it can not rain every night this Summer.  

Our plates were a hit. 
click here for directions on plates
Taj wanted one of each.  He asked me several times for them.  Our table centerpieces were a hit too.

I had a couple of people tell me I need to get into party planning if I had more time.  I guess the key phrase is IF I HAD MORE TIME. 
click here for the tutorial for the centerpieces
Todd grilled the burgers and hot dogs. Todd pre-cooked them and then he placed them into our roaster to keep them warm and keep the gnats away.  Kera picked up potato salad and chips.  She thought ahead and bought individual bags of chips to prevent gnat problems.  We placed the drinks into three coolers we have.  Todd's Mom made deviled eggs.  We added the baked beans Kera picked up into a small crock pot to keep them warm and protected from the gnats.  Seriously the gnats are awful and they bite too.  Here is just the beginning of the food table (above)
Here the Birthday Boy was having a drink as we continued to get ready for his party. Kera thought it would be cute to hang the giant pom poms in a row behind the food table to keep out of the way of the guest.
click here for directions for the giant pom poms.
Kera found on Pinterest another decoration she really wanted to have.  All of our decorations were simple but Taj loved them.
I wish I had my camera with me when Taj noticed the foot prints.  He was so cute.  He would step on one foot print with both feet and then call out the character's name.  We had Big Bird's foot prints, Cookie Monster's foot prints, and Elmo's foot prints.  Such a cute idea she found.  What is a party without a birthday sign.  Here is the one I made for his party.  I had help.  I ran out of time and while I was working on making the actual sign, my son Ethan drew the characters and both Ethan and my youngest son, Noah colored them.
Here it is outside next to our mailbox and with colorful balloons to help direct the guest to our house.

Once everyone arrived the party began and it was time to eat.
In between the activities Taj would just mingle with everybody.  Many times he would go to the sandbox and yell for someone to take the lid off so he could play.  Here he is playing with Papa.
Finally it was time for cupcakes (Okay it actually happened about 15 minutes after everyone ate the cupcakes thus the red frosting on his nose.  We kind of forgot about his candle and singing to him.)   It was so cute when everyone was singing to him. He became very bashful and hid his face into his Mama's chest, however when everyone said his name, he popped up, smiled and started to clap his hands.
Emily lit the candle from the Tiki torch because no one had a lighter with them.  He then blew and blew until the flame went out.
I bet you would not have guessed which cupcake he chose to eat.
Without a doubt it was Elmo and no other!
While he waited for the time to open his gifts he played with the boys.  Here Ethan is holding him to tickle Noah.  This is one of his favorite things to do.  He and Ethan will tackle Noah to the ground and just tickle him and tickle him.  It makes Taj very wild and he laughs and laughs.  During the party he would yell out, my girlfriend Abby and run after her.  Below is a picture of him and Abby.  Abby is actually Ethan's girlfriend but for some reason Taj thinks she is his girlfriend too.
Finally it was time for him to open his gifts.  Here my youngest step daughter, Emily.  She is helping him open his first gift. He adores his Aunt Emily.  He loves the movie Cars, so this was a hit with him.

He actually squealed for two gifts.  Once was for the gift Emily got for him, it is a blow up Sesame Street house that has little balls for the inside.  The other gift (pictured above) was Matthew's and his girlfriend Hannah's gift.  He squealed over the 12 box set of Sesame Street books.  He loves books.  Just look at his little face.  He was squealing at the time.
Here he is in the process of opening one of our gifts to him.  We ran out of paper so Matthew and Hannah wrapped it with tissue paper for us.
He was thrilled and we knew he would be.  It was Super Grover.  He was explaining who it was to his Great Grandpa in the picture below.  I just love his little facial expressions.
Here he is opening a gift from his Great Grandma and Great Grandpa.  I just love his facial expressions.
The next two pictures below is when he was opening his last gift, which happened to be another from us.  He loves Toy Story to the max.  He just realized he got Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head.  The second picture is one of my favorites, I just wished it was a little more focused.
After he opened it, he just posed like this for several minutes.  I mean it had to be close to three or four minutes.  It just made everyone laugh and laugh, which made him pose even longer.
He made out like a little bandit.  We alone got him eight outfits, two summer pajamas, Super Grover, Talking Ernie, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, and two books.  He also got 2 Cookie Monsters, 3 more books, Messless Finger Paint, 12 books box set of Sesame Street, the Sesame Street jump/ball house, Ernie's guitar, Vtech computer, Leap Frog Book reader with four books, Cars folding outdoor chair, Cars garage and car set, 3 more outfits, an outdoor ball, a Radio Flyer scooter, and I am missing 3 more Sesame Street toys along with some money.  As I said, the kid made out like a bandit.  He did all this without a nap.  He actually did a great job until the very end.  Then it hit him and he was tired.
To be honest, by this time I felt the same way he looked. Todd and I were both aching and tired.  I was sore and could not wait to just chill out on my bed and read.  I actually was not disappointed that it rained Saturday night.  I felt bad for Kera because she really wanted to have the bonfire but I think Taj was too tired for it as well.  I know she was exhausted I could see it in her face.  It was a beautiful day and his party was great.  I loved doing everything I did and would do it all over again if needed.  The best part was Kera even thanked me for everything I did.  I loved the fact she enjoyed making the decorations with me.  I saved some of them for her to do because I understood how difficult it would have been for her to do with Taj.  However the cupcakes we both did.  We both sat there for the most part and decorated them.  I think she was just as happy as Taj was.


Ivy and Elephants



  1. O My Goodness, Jolene! You thought of everything and then some! Look at the delight in his cute little face. Love the foot prints too. I think you should make this post into a Shutterfly book. What a wonderful birthday party for little Taj.

  2. Wow!!! I'm so happy that the weather held out for the party. ALL the decor is so cute, and I think simplicity is important with a two year old.

    Taj has so much personality! Look at his little expressions. He is so happy! You are the BEST Nana in the world, Jolene. SUPER party!

    Thanks for taking the time to write this post. I loved it!


  3. I featured this post on my blog today!

  4. Soooooo Cute! Seriously so clever! I am never so clever with my party themes.

    I follow, but today I'm stopping by at the recommendation of Ricki Jill who mentioned this post in her Weekly Round-Up post!

  5. Your grandson is adorable! Love the party theme, my little grandson is turning two soon, this is very inspiring! Great job!
    Everything is so cute and creative!
    New follower,
    I'd love to have you share this at our linky party, too.

  6. Taj is simply adorable and the party is wonderful. We are featuring this wonderful event on this week's "Pitcher Perfect" post. Happy Birthday darling Taj!!!!


  7. Let me start by saying how much I love to get lost ;) - always takes me to wonderful Places and People. Like here and you.
    I clicked somewhere at Ivy and Elephants and ended in one of the sweetest birthday parties I've seen lately.
    You are so detailed. Raj is one lucky Prince to live inside such generous and beautiful Hearts and Minds.
    Happy Birthday to the Little Prince! And a tiredness that payed off in full.
    Be Blessed,


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