Franny turned four last week and we really wanted to celebrate her this year. This was the first year we felt that she could handle all the excitement of a birthday party and she worked really hard to get here, so we felt that she deserved a great big birthday bash! We decided on a jungle theme because of her love for the Jungle Book and the cute catch phrase she invented: "Stay in the Jungle."
Now, I don't consider myself a very fun or creative Mom. I'm being sincere- I'm sort of a deadbeat that way. But that's the beauty of the internet- you can totally fake it! All these wonderful ideas right at your fingertips! I also enlisted the help of my friend Melody- I told her I wanted to hang jungle vines from the ceiling but I had no idea how I was going to do it. She told me exactly how to do it. (Buy rope, spray-paint it green, and tie construction paper leaves to it.) I told her that I was going to paint a lion face onto a box and make it a lion toss. She told me to cut strips of fleece for the lion's mane. She sent me directions on how to make a fondant cake with lots of helpful tips to make the process go smoothly. She was a total lifesaver. Thanks Melody!
I also made tissue paper pompoms for the kitchen in yellow and orange, and then I made smaller versions with the leftover tissue paper for tropical flowers on the vines. Making the cake was a lot more fun than I was expecting. I think from now on my kid's birthday cakes will always be covered in fondant. I decided to keep it nice and simple and just cover a two-layer 9-inch round cake.
I got the idea for the cave online as well. I called a local furniture store and they told me where they store their large furniture boxes, so I drove my car behind the store and swiped four very large cardboard boxes. Although this operation was carried out in broad daylight, in front of a store employee, and with the blessing of the receptionist I spoke with on the phone, it felt very covert and sneaky. I liked it. Bobby made the cave and I think he did a great job. I hung crepe paper inside and taped up a big picture of a hippo I drew inside. Then we drew a picture of each of the kids on butcher paper and taped it on the side. I told them they were ancient heiroglyphs from an ancient jungle party. I'm a nerd.
Franny loved the party. I was so happy. She loved having her friends over, and she LOVED all the attention. It was really fun to watch. I am happy it ended up being such a positive thing for her. That was just what I wanted. I sincerely wish I could have invited everyone in her life, all her friends, classmates, therapists, teachers... everyone! We are so grateful for all the wonderful people in her life who love her and have helped her to come so far.
Our present for Franny was a new big girl bike. I had to go to the church to take care of some Relief Society stuff, so we decided to give her the bike there, so she would have somewhere to try it out. She already knew how to ride her big wheel, so it wasn't very long before she had her big girl bike figured out. It was pretty cute.