Last week, I wrote about the momentous decade mark. But I’d ask your indulgence while I scrapbook some big things that happened to celebrate.
Today I’m going to share a little about their 10th baseball birthday bash we held shortly before their birthday and tomorrow I’ll share about little bit’s 10th milestone.
We hadn’t had a BIG all boys and all girls theme birthday party since the trio turned five. We had their third grade friends out to jump at one of those trampoline places last year, an easy and low key party. But otherwise, we hadn’t been hosting big parties. In my mind, the big ones are 5, 10, 16, and 21. Those deserve a BIG BASH!
Well, we brainstormed for weeks and weeks. We thought about a catered pool party but the neighborhood pool won’t let you have more than 50. I know that sounds like a lot, but we are in a small private school with 30 kids in the entire grade. So you either have a couple friends for a sleep over or you invite everyone. And once you’ve got their parents, well, you’re pushing 100. (That’s without family or neighbors!)
We went back and forth until we were all attending a Sugarland Skeeters Game. Just south of Houston, there is a minor league baseball team in Sugarland called the Skeeters, and their home field is this really amazing Constellation Field. It’s never crowded, has easy parking, and in addition to the ballgame, they have splash pads and a playground and plenty of space to run.
That was the ticket! Quite literally. And all three kids were excited about the idea. (You can imagine finding a spot three very different kids agree on is tricky.)
Constellation Field has a fun area called Picnic Plaza where you can watch the game, move around, have a full buffet lunch and non-alcoholic drinks, and it’s adjacent to the areas the kids play. The only hiccup was the cost. How to keep costs down?
We’d wanted to invite whole families but we’d quickly get well over any sort of budget that was an option. So my lovely friend, who’s an etiquette master, helped me come up with the language for the invitation:
In the description below, it said: No all-star travels without their agent, so tickets are provided for each child and a parent. You can add tickets to our “dugout” for other parents and siblings. If you’d like additional tickets for your team, the Vincent box office is open via PayPal for $X a ticket.
This enabled me to stay *somewhat* in a party budget while also letting whole families come if they wanted. I was just talking to a girlfriend of mine who was struggling with what to do when parents asked to bring siblings. Children’s parties are often space-constrained or too expensive to allow additional children at a birthday party, so be honest in your response explaining your limitations.
Bray loves baseball and we all enjoy the Skeeters game because they’re so much more accessible, and affordable, than going to an Astros game downtown. (As much as we love our Astros! Go ‘stros!) All the kids played and this gave us space to spread out and enjoy our friends.
We tried a wonderful new bakery in town, World Catering Bakery, who came recommended for being able to make a cake out of cupcakes. We needed eight dozen. What I didn’t count on was: (1) the boxes were SO huge they would not fit in my refrigerator the night before the party, and (2) it was A THOUSAND degrees in Houston on September 22nd (well, 95, but same), so we had to eat the cupcakes early so they didn’t all melt immediately.
Decorating was fairly easy. We got packs of Big League Chew and put a thank you baseball sticker on the back for take home gifts. We also had baseball hacky sacks and key chains and bubblegum dispensers scattered around on the tables where we were sitting for kids to take back with them, but primarily to mark the tables for our party.
The biggest obstacle was the heat and the prep. We had to sneak in before gates opened at 1 pm (for the 2 pm game), grab the area where we were going to set up, show our photographer around, and be ready when everyone arrived. It was SO hot! We had an hour before the game for the kids to play on the field, to eat lunch, and to serve cupcakes. Then the trio needed to get down to the pitcher’s mound to throw out the first pitch(es) (definitely a highlight of the day).
But of course, shortly after the game started, it began to RAIN! Houston – ugh! So we had a rain delay. And the kids got wet. Most of the adults stayed moderately dry under the canopy.
What happens though once the kids are slightly wet? They say to themselves, why not get MORE wet! There was a small pool inside picnic plaza. I had not brought suits or towels or told any other parents to bring suits and towels because we were there for a BASEBALL GAME!
Well, the kids had other ideas. Eventually, nearly all of them were jumping in. And laughing hysterically. So the parents just threw up their hands and laughed along with them, because if you can’t beat ’em…
The game started back when the rain passed and two of the three agreed to follow the event planner to the dugout so the stadium could sing happy birthday to them. It was so funny because there was another boy celebrating, so on the big screen were Baby A, Baby C and a random kid. Our group was all looking around for little bit – who was still in the pool. I don’t know why I plan!
In the end, we left before the game ended because a second rain hit(!), resulting in a significant one hour rain delay. However, a few hardy souls lasted until that round when we all ran for it in the deluge (along with gifts and party supplies – we trashed the cupcakes).
The kids pronounced it the best birthday ever, and I smiled gleefully all the way home because I don’t have to plan another big birthday party for SIX YEARS! Hoorah!