I still vividly remember planning Dexter’s 3rd birthday party.  At the time, he was obsessed with pirates so picking a theme was so easy.  Even his second birthday was easy since the only word he said at the time was BALL and was absolutely in love with all things round….to the point where it was sometimes challenging to walk into Target because he desperately wanted to play with the concrete balls out front (and got so upset when I wouldn’t pick it up for him…).  And we know from his 4th birthday that he practically planned the thing himself.

Now Charlotte….second birthday, she gave me no help.  Third birthday, more of the same.  I asked what she wanted, she said something like “I’m 2!” for an answer, so I was on my own again.  I guess she’s just easygoing, and as long as there are balloons and friends she could care less about the details?  I should enjoy that a little I suppose.

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Her ‘Singing’ Face

She does like ponies though (she often sleeps with a little beanie baby horse, and loves the vintage My Little Ponies at the gym….she’s a little creeped out by the new style ones that look like deer on acid…), so I decided to go with a farm theme.  Really, I was trying to go with whatever theme would be easiest to pull off with little planning and prep….rustic fits the bill.  You see, Charlotte was born on November 4th.  We have a habit of going all out for Halloween, so that is a busy time, and then I host Thanksgiving (and we often take the opportunity surrounding Thanksgiving to finish up big house projects).  Fall is a hard time to plan a birthday party….especially since I went with having it TWO DAYS after Halloween (and yes, I am just now getting around to posting it).  Poor girl….I imagine as she gets older the theme will be “Let’s put our costumes back on and have leftover Halloween candy” for about 10 years.  The things you don’t think about when getting pregnant….

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Like every other party we’ve had, there’s lots of kiddos from babies to their 7-9 year old cousins, so all activities need to be a little disorganized and appeal to lots of ages.  We came up with Milk Bottle Toss, Lasso the Cow, Sticker Barn Scenes, horseshoes, and a Barn themed Photo Booth.  All the kiddos could choose from cowboy hats or animal hats to wear, and there were bandannas as well.  Speaking of outfits, I had a really cute denim dress for her to wear but she picked the dress I made her instead.

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For food, I made pulled pork sandwiches (it’s nice to get food done the day before and just reheat in the crockpot the day of).  I made some mac and cheese (also made the day before and baked the day of) and homemade applesauce to accompany it (the applesauce was actually ‘pie apples’ I canned a year ago…I was planning to make cinnamon apples but they were a little softer than I expected they’d be….but that’s okay because the applesauce was super yummy).  Some hummus and ranch dip (greek yogurt dill dip, actually) with fresh veggies and pretzel sticks rounded out the menu, with ‘hay bale’ rice krispie treats, ‘cow pie’ cookies (break and bake…I’m such a cheater), and store bought cupcakes (from a local cupcake shop).  Dexter was mad that two parties in a row there was no cake.  He is pretty angry that I keep thinking cupcakes are an acceptable alternative to birthday cake.

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Decor…I just picked up some quilting cotton in cow print and red gingham, and some burlap.  I used it to cover the tables (along with brown paper) and made one of those popular fringe banners.  I bought a pennant banner and balloons, and some hay bales to go in front of the photo backdrop.

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Favor bags had squeezy animal balls, farm animal tattoos, wiki stick farm animal craft, and farm animal sticker faces.  All of the ‘stuff’ for the party was purchased from Amazon….turns out they have a lot of the same things that Oriental Trading does, except you can use Amazon Prime.  Bonus.

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Built in Farm Decor for the background! Chase the chickens was another fun game amongst the older children

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Well there you have it.  I phoned it in a little and DIY’ed next to nothing for this party. I think the birthday girl still had a blast though, and that’s the important thing 🙂

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