My problem started in August. Rather than living in denial, I was actually acknowledging Austin's birthday enough to start planning. But I had a dilemma. Should Austin have a Cars party or a train party? Cars? Trains? Cars?! Trains!? I was being horribly wishy-washy. Yes, I know there are more important things to ponder for hours on end, but this was how I decided to spend my time! And I brought others into my awful world of wishy-washy-ness. I'm sure that Rebecca was about done with me. And that Auntie Suz was about done with me. And I'm pretty sure Brian had no idea there was a dilemma cuz he had tuned out my ponderings long ago!
I know you're probably thinking that trains would be the obvious choice, but I had just spent 8 solid weeks of nights watching Cars for bedtime video with Austin. He would watch nothing else and would ask for it twenty times a day. I knew he'd like a Cars party, but would he like it as much as a train party. And if I threw him a train party now, what if he liked trains even more next year? Could we do trains twice? Is that allowed?
There was also an issue of decorations & goodies. There's really only Thomas the Train decorations out there! Austin watches Chuggington and while he likes Thomas stuff, it just wouldn't be the same as if it were Chuggington decorations.
So I settled on Cars. Bought a cake pan. Started planning. Then my sister-in-law Robin, saved the day. She sent me this!
I loved that it was a generic train, which saved the possibility of a Chuggington party in future years and it was specially designed for a two year old's party! Crisis averted. Phew!
Fast forward to the day before the party. I had put off making the cake because all the other party elements took longer than I thought and I kinda forgot to buy all the ingredients to make a boxed cake. Yes, I am that poor of a planner. Grandma Judy saved the day by helping whip out sugar cookies and then I zipped to my parents' house to whip out the cake. I was already going to be up all night because it didn't occur to me to leave time for the cake to cool before it could be decorated! However, the cake didn't just whip out. Round one of the cake looked like this...
The outside was perfectly cooked and the center was like molten lava! Turns out the directions that come with the cake as to how long it should bake are inconveniently WRONG! I didn't have enough of the box mix so we made pound cake from scratch. But then what we made didn't quite fill up the pan. So when I went to decorate it the next morning (cuz it was midnight by the time it finished baking!) I discovered it was seriously lopsided. Thankfully frosting covers most sins and the end product looked like this!
I loved it! But what you can't tell from that angle is that the cake is held up with several forks jammed inside and the cake pan is propped up with a towel underneath to keep my masterpiece from falling over.
Thankfully, once the party started (which was beautifully set up by Judy since I was furiously piping stars on that cake all morning!) everything fell into place and the party went off without further hitch!
So onto the part I'm sure you're more interested...pictures of my cutie-patootey celebrating his party! So without further ado... Austin's Two Two Train party!
No train party would be complete without, well, trains! I really wanted the kids to get to play with a train table. This indoor playground just happens to be closed on the weekends, so I was able to rent their table for a whopping $20! Even though Austin was pretty crushed that it wasn't his actual birthday present and it didn't get to stay, it was an absolute hit!
And what else says train party but a pinata..shaped like a train!
The kids also decorated train shaped sugar cookies. If anyone is ever looking for an activity for a little kid party, this is a winner. The kids had so much fun! And if you do it outside on a disposable table cloth, at the end the whole mess just lifts up and is easily tossed!
There was also a bouncer, generously provided by my brother & sister-in-law! All the kids had a grand time in it, but I couldn't get Austin to go in until the very end of the party, when most everyone had left! Once just his favorites were in there - his cousin Brooke, or Jack Jack - then he felt comfortable going in and we got a couple cute pics!
I had made all the elements to do a "Pin the Caboose on the Train" game, but when the time came we couldn't get it to stick to my parents' stucco wall. Thankfully all the rest of the games and fun were plenty to keep everyone busy and entertained.
Once all the yummy food had been eaten and the kids were all hocked up on sugar cookies and frosting, it was time for cake and more frosting!
Austin loved his cake! And he did his best to blow out the candles. He tried and tried and tried and all he accomplished was blowing his own hair up in the air...over and over and over. I wish I had video of it! It was too cute! So momma had to give an assist.
We were running short on time. Austin started to lose it while waiting for his cake to be cut!
So after cake we quickly opened presents. Austin had several little helpers!
Yay for a great party!
Thank you to everyone who came to celebrate our little man! And special thanks to my parents and Judy for making the day happen!
Also thanks to Rebecca & my dad for taking pictures. If you think it's hard for me to choose pictures for a post, imagine how hard it was picking from three cameras' worth of pictures!