We had Kelsey's 5th birthday party last Friday at a Fink Park here in Edmond. It's a little over a mile from our house, and one of the "hidden treasures" of Edmond. It's never as busy as the other, more popular parks. I didn't think too much about how windy it is here in the spring, but boy was I wrong. This ain't tornado season for nuthin'!
So, here are the top 10 reasons NOT to have an outdoor party in April in Oklahoma.
1) Tablecloths - There were 4 long tables in the pavillion, and so I bought 4 plastic tablecloths to decorate with. I even brought an entire roll of masking tape! We taped those suckers down with multiple strips of tape, but they STILL blew free more than once. However, the plates that I taped down onto the tablecloths DID stay on.
2) Balloons - I tried to decorate with balloons. I gave up after the first two. NOT going to happen.
3) Drinks - I was so proud of myself for being clever and bought those disposable "animal" cups that have sippy lids with them. Note to self: if your 8-year-old refuses the "baby" lid, refuse her the drink. It will still blow over and dump orange soda all over the table! And by the way, it apparently doesn't matter HOW much soda you "weigh" down the cup with. The wind is stronger...
4) Cupcakes - Since we were having an outdoor party, I figured we'd do cupcakes instead of a cake so we wouldn't have to worry about forks and such. I passed them out, the kids ate them up, and there were still about 8 or so left in the box. Along came a big gust of wind and the box blew up and over! Cupcakes were EVERYWHERE! Oh well! At least I wouldn't be able to eat them later.
5) Pinata - The pinata was actually really nice to have outside, but we had it hung on the corner of the pavillion, which had a concrete floor. Did you know that candy shatters when it hits concrete? And who wants to eat lollipop dust?
6) Tissue paper - Most people bring gifts in gift bags these days (myself included). What do we stuff inside the bags to hide the gift? Tissue paper!! What does tissue paper do in the wind? FLY!!
7) Unwrapping gifts - We already knew the tissue paper would fly, but so will any other wrapping paper once it leaves the gift. Fortunately, one of the other moms collected ALL the paper for me as it was leaving the gifts.
8) Napkins - And speaking of things flying, I had brought a couple of packs of napkins. When I set up, I didn't bother opening them because I knew what would happen. However, I didn't anticipate the kids actually ASKING for napkins during dinner. We opened the pack, gave out one napkin, and the rest went into the laundry basket I had carried things in to the party. Sometime during the party, the stack blew away. Off we ran to catch them, but apparently missed a couple anyway. Near the end of the party we were down by the playground and I saw two more still being blown around. We caught those, too.
9) Weather - We really DID get lucky with the weather. But you really are taking a chance here in April. Friday and Saturday it was sunny and in the low 70's. Thursday and today (Sunday) it's in the 50's and overcast. You just never, ever know what you're going to get.
10) Injuries - This one doesn't actually have anything to do with the weather, but my sweet, somewhat clumsy Olivia. Before the party even started she was walking along on some of the landscaping edging and slipped and gouged her leg. She was dripping blood all down her leg, and fortunately we had the 1st Aid kit in the van. The bandaid was soaked before the end of the party, and she IS okay, but it sure would have been nice to clean it well when it first happened.
However, in spite of everything, a great time was had by all. Kelsey cracked everyone up when she opened her gifts by screaming with joy every time she opened a gift. The first was sincere - it was walkie talkies, after all - but after a while I could tell she was just putting us all on. If you look closely you can see her mouth is wide open in this last picture.
And to finish up this post, proof that I can make my own WORKING pinata!