Friday night was Jake's long-awaited birthday party at the ice skating rink. He had wanted Laser Tag, but after skating in San Antonio a couple of weeks ago, he changed his mind.
To say I was a little nervous about the party is a bit of an understatement. Jake hasn't had an official party since he turned 5, when we had a home party with a magician. That was super fun, but really small. When your birthday is in January, right after Christmas, before school starts back it's hard to get in touch with people for invitations. Also, most people's party cache is spent, including my own. I was determined to make a party happen for Jake this year.
I felt like we started this deal with a few strikes against us:
1. We scheduled the party for Friday night at 7:30. Saturdays are pretty busy for most people, especially us, so I didn't really want to pile on another appointment. The open session at the ice rink didn't start until 7:30, a little late, but still do-able.
2. The rink is in a not very nice part of Baton Rouge. It's not terrible, but not really great either.
3. The south isn't really known for its prowess in winter sports, so we weren't really sure how many people would come for ice skating.
I let Jake invite 20 kids in hopes that maybe half would show. By the time it was all said and done, 22 kids were "officially" invited (with an actual invitation). I was more than nervous. 22 kids at $9 each would turn into the party of the century for the Ragsland. Every day when I picked up Jake from school, he told me about another friend he'd "unofficially' invited. I think he asked another 4 or 5 kids. Finally I had to tell him to not invite anymore kids because this party was getting very expensive. He was very sweet and actually began to concern himself a little too much with the cost of this Throw Down.
I got the cake ordered and bought party favors for everyone. Every once-in-a-while, I have a moment of creative cuteness. The party favors we gave out were a pair of gloves and a pack of Ice Breakers gum (the pieces of gum are shaped like ice cubes!). We gave them out as everyone got there so they could use their gloves while they skated.
We ordered pizza from Papa John's on the way to the rink. It was delivered around 8:00 and as kids came in to rest or whatever, they had some pizza. When the Zamboni resurfaced the ice, everyone came to the table and Jake opened his gifts and we served cake. Everyone finished off the pizza too.
Jake got some really wonderful gifts. He got over $100 in cash and gift cards, if you can believe that! He also got 2 different Air Hogs toys that he's wanted since he saw the commercials on TV. He also got a game for his DSi. I was really stunned by everyone's generosity!
As it turned out, 14 kids came to the party. Add to that all of the parents and siblings, I think there were about 35 people there (We only paid for the invited kids! All the others were on their own). It was really a blast.
Sometime during the night, Jake came over to me and said, "I'm having a great time at my party, Mom; thank you," and he gave me a huge hug. That made the party priceless.
Here are some pictures:
The party favors.
The birthday boy.