I know, I know - I've already posted about Lincoln's birthday...but this post is about his PARTY! I've had this sock monkey theme picked out since shortly after his first birthday party. Not only do we call Linc "our little monkey" but he has always been a climber, full of energy, and a curious kid. Plus - sock monkeys are just stinkin' cute!
So, his party was held the last weekend in November. We had a full house, but it was lots of fun. I suppose I'll start at the beginning - the invitations! We were only able to have Lincoln hand deliver the invitations in his monkey costume to a couple of the people we invited, but here's how it went at my mom's house (don't you love the padded tummy in this costume?):
Here is what the invitations looked like that I made (I loved them)! A huge thanks to Jenifer Johnson (with Stampin' Up!) for ordering my sock monkey stamp set for me & for doing my very own little one-on-one class to get me set up and going on my invites! Thank you so much! I'm so very pleased with how they turned out.
Next is the party set-up. I don't think that I went more over the top for this party than I have for others that I've done, but I'm guessing that since it was the 3rd party I had done in November (along with being out of state for the one remaining weekend that month)...and I had no one to answer to but myself on this party - I managed to save more to do for this party until the last minute. All I can say is thank goodness for my wonderful mom & husband who came to the rescue. My mom took Noah to their house overnight (the night before this party and Audrey's), and Mark stayed up all night with me the night before Lincoln's party getting things done. That's right. I said all night. We did take a nap for a little less than an hour that morning...but at least things looked cute! Here are a couple shots of the set up:
The party hats. This is the one that I made for Lincoln. Unfortunately I never could get him to wear it at the party. *sigh* It was cute though. I did Mark's & my party hats, as well as those for all the kids, from the same paper line (Daisy D's Bambino line). That paper isn't made anymore and is hard to find. For the other adults at the party I made brown cardstock hats with the same tassels though. I had a hard time finding a glue that would hold that stiff paper in place, and ended up using super glue...so I had 3 or 4 finger tips the day of the party which had no feeling since they were covered in a nice coating of super glue.
To make the banner: I made die cuts at Paper Creations, found pads of that Daisy D's paper online to use (such a cute assortment), and bought a really cute sock monkey stamp from a great shop on Etsy.
I bought (and filled) balloons at Zurchers. Then I used a banana stamp from the Stampin' Up! set that I bought, and the same sock monkey stamp as on the banner to attach little circles to larger circles of the sock monkey paper...and I dangled them from helium balloons on the ceiling. I couldn't get a good picture of that with my trusty point and shoot camera - but this will give you the idea:
Here's my mantle full of Lincoln pictures (no, Kyle, we don't normally display pictures of only our second child in our home - it's a birthday thing)...and above it are two sock monkeys that I made for two of the younger party guests. They are hung from two oversized clothes pins that I covered in sock monkey paper. And notice that I was sure to make matching party hats for them too :)
Tables for the kids to eat and craft at:
Sock monkey cups I made for the kids (I wish you could see the cute tails):
The party favors for the kids consisted of these monkey noise makers (that I bought at Oriental Trading Co.), a tin yo-yo (that I found at a cute online store called Aaron's Tin Toy Arcade), and a bag of banana candies. I bought the candies online in bulk and then put them in cello bags with ribbon. For two of the kiddos, they got a sock monkey instead of a yo-yo though.
Here's a picture of the bags of banana candy:
You can only see a corner of one of the yo-yos in the previous picture, so here is a picture from the internet of the yo-yos that the kiddos received. I think that they're super cute.
The adults took home banana candies in these little red or brown drawstring bags. They were displayed in a cute little sock monkey tin lunchbox. And each guest (adult & child) helped themselves to a cookie as they left the party too. I had them custom made by Jen Vesper of Layers of Love. I sent her pictures of what I was envisioning and she assured me that she could create them - and she did a great job! Here are a couple of pictures of her adorable, tasty creations:
Now, drum roll please...the cake! I take not a stitch of credit for the cake. My friend Leah made the delicious cakes, and my friend Claire decorated them. Isn't it ridiculously cute?! Seriously, I know that Claire always does a really great job with cakes, but I was just over the moon with how cute this turned out. She knew what my color scheme was, and that I wanted to incorporate argyle, polka dots, bananas on wire, and have a sock monkey on top. I didn't see it until it was finished & was so excited! She made several sock monkeys and they looked so cute hanging out all over the cake.
The party started at 10:00 AM and we served breakfast. Here's a shot of the spread just before the party started...bananas (fresh and dried), muffins (banana-nut or blueberry), blueberries, pancakes (banana or blueberry), sausage (regular link or turkey patty), chocolate milk or OJ.
And it was time for the party to begin! This is Mark's brother Dave getting his plate started.
Ezra, Zoey, and Noah enjoying their breakfast.
Michael was being quite the comedian - he had the other kids laughing really hard.
Unfortunately, Noah hit a wall with his happy mood and had a brief meltdown not too long later. I tried to have a sense of humor and document his little tantrum, but that really ticked him off and I got the hand:
Welby & Leah.
Next it was time for the kids to do a little craft activity. I bought wooden frames that Mark painted brown. To decorate them there were stamps, stickers, and paper to cut up (with monkey scissors!) and glue on. Here is Ezra doing his thing...
Uncle David helped Lincoln decorate a frame...
My mom helping Noah decorate his frame. (oh - and Claire somehow managed to evade getting her picture taken at the party, so be sure to notice her in the background of this photo!)
Me helping Noah with his project.
Next it was time for the pinata! (I ordered the monkey pinata & the pull string conversion kit from Shindigz) The first one to pull a string was the birthday boy, then we went in order from youngest to oldest. Each child was able to have a few turns before the string attached to the trap door got pulled. As a side note - the yummiest candy in the pinata (in my opinion) were the individually wrapped Necco Banana Split taffy squares...they were even soft! Yum.
Noah giving a pinata string a pull...
Ezra's turn with the pinata (fyi - the pictures rotating on the TV were a slide show of Lincoln pictures that Mark put together for the party)...
The pinata breaking open...
Anna, Kate, Kyle.
Uncle David with Noah and Linc...we could not get a shot where the boys would look up at the camera.
Next it was time to blow out the candles on the cake! First I have to document what the flavors of that delicious cake were...The bottom tier was banana cake with chocolate ganache filling and peanut butter frosting. I have to say that may be the very best cake that I've ever had. I specifically requested that both tiers have Leah's chocolate ganache filling since I've had it before & it's divine, but who knew that peanut butter frosting could be so light, yummy, and flavorful without being overwhelming? It was decadent. The top tier was chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. Delicious. Thank you so, so, so much for making the cakes, Leah!!!
Now for Lincoln blowing out his candles. He had a bit of practice on his birthday a couple of weeks prior to the party, and he had the drill down! Mark had to hold on to Linc until the song was over because he was so anxious to do what he knew was next...
Blowing out the candles...
When Lincoln blew out his candles he did so with gusto, and a little something extra came when he blew...a bit of spit. I couldn't help but snap a picture of the spit dripping down the side of the cake. Yup - that was his piece!
Again - wasn't that cake sooo adorable? Thank you for decorating such a fantastic cake, Claire - it was perfect!!! It would have been a shame to have to cut into such a cute cake if it weren't for how yummy it was...
Present opening time!
Isaac and Allison.
Our little family of four. Linc was too enthralled with his new toys to look at the camera, but I still think it's a cute picture...
At the end of the party I tried to get a picture of just Lincoln and I, but that turned out to be more of a challenge than I would have thought (silly me). He was a squirmy, wiggly, giggly, wound-up boy...but he was happy and having a good time. That was the point of the party though, right? He did decide (while we were trying to get a picture) that it was absolutely hilarious to bop me on the head with the giant number 2 balloon. So, I hammed things up and we played that game for a couple minutes...
Drew holding his new sock monkey before leaving the party (His mom tells me that it's his new favorite toy/comfort item at home now too! Wahoo!)
Isaac eating his banana cookie!
Isaac and Noah. Aren't they cute little buddies?
Zoey and Ezra. Isn't this such a cute sister/brother picture?
Once the party was over Lincoln was still so happy and wanting to play. Here he is between the storm door and front door - thinkin' that he's pretty funny.
The big U of U/BYU game was on that afternoon, so Mark's parents were able to stick around and watch the game. By the end of the day when I tried to get a picture of them with Lincoln he was pretty much done with having a camera pointed at him. He sure does love his grandparents though!
Thank you to everyone that helped with the party & who came to the party! We had a great time and appreciate you celebrating our little guys birthday with us. We are so grateful to have him in our family, and to have so many other people in our lives that love him too! Happy Birthday, little monkey!