Joseph's 4th birthday isn't until tomorrow but we celebrated with his dinosaur themed birthday party yesterday. Let me preface this post by saying it is sad but I will freely admit this: I highjacked his my son's birthday plans. He originally wanted a race car theme, but so many of his friends had done the same over the past year that I just couldn't do it. I thought he would love dinosaurs but I even tried to sway him with the thing he loves the most - trains - and the thing that eventually got him to get excited about dinosaurs was the mere mention of a "Dinosaur Train" party. In case you don't know, it's an adorable show on PBS kids about a Pteranodon family and their adopted T. rex son and their travels around the world exploring all the different time periods and dinosaur species.
Ordered the cute shirt above on the birthday boy from etsy because it fit the theme so well. The colors even matched the invitation we chose from Minted.com. The color below doesn't read well; it was a royal blue and limey green, which inspired the decor for the entire party. Very graphic, which I love!
Dinosaur footprints out of blue contact paper (traced from a template I got online) led all the way up to the front door. Blue and green balloons all around the yard were so festive!
After last year I think I will now make a birthday banner for my Joe Joe every year. They're just so easy and can represent a theme so well! More templates online, more blue and green, more dinosaurs! But seriously, my fingertip temporarily went numb from some kind of nerve pinching after cutting out all those paper dinosaurs.
I found these awesome wood 3D dinosaur puzzles at Michael's craft store. At only 1 to 4 bucks apiece and a "20% off your total order" coupon I went nuts and bought more than a dozen of them. My fingers were practically bleeding from popping out all the wood pieces and jamming them together while I was on the phone at work every day for a week.
T. rex is a carnivore but it looks like he wants to chomp on some watermelon! I put together a pretty manageable menu (and by the way, got rave reviews :) ) but didn't take many pics of the food, except for the Brachiosaurus PB&J's for the kids.
The big activity of the party was a dinosaur egg hunt. Austin's mom, Rebecca, was kind enough to have story time inside with all the kids (dino books, of course!) while many of the parents ran around hiding 144 camouflage eggs stuffed with plastic dinosaurs, stretchy dino's and dinosaur silly bands all over the yard.
Many of the dinosaurs were just ever so slightly too big to fit into the eggs, but luckily the eggs all had a tiny hole in them for some random manufacturing purpose I will never know. Kind of looks like the tails are cracking out of the shells while the baby dinosaurs are hatching. Cute!
We also had a big dig in the sandbox for dinosaur skeletons. Any future paleontologists out there?
The highlight of the party was clearly the presentation of the cake and singing happy birthday.
Oh, I went back and forth and back and forth and back and forth for weeks deciding what to do for a birthday cake. And when I would make a decision, Brent would question me and I would change my mind. Again. And again.
I got the greatest dinosaur cookie cutters from Sur la Table for only $1 each, so I HAD to make cookies. I love doing the royal icing and all, but I was kind of short on time this year, so I tried my hand at fondant covered cookies. Use the same cookie cutter to cut out a piece of fondant and adhere it to the baked cookie with a little bit of light corn syrup. How easy is that?!?! I received not only inspiration but actual advice from one of my cookie gurus, Meaghan Mountford of The Decorated Cookie blog. Really, I emailed her a question and she got back to me almost immediately!
Now, me being me and all you know I couldn't just have cookies. Taking inspiration from the Martha Stewart Cupcakes cookbook I had to put each of the dinosaur cookies on its own cupcake. Chocolate chip cupcakes, to be exact.
That was my plan. I was satisfied with it. I was happy with it. Then my darling partner, whose advice is always to "do whatever is easy," shamed me for not ALSO making a cake. He HAS to have a cake. He MUST have a cake. So I made a cake too. I guess I did promise "Dinosaur Train" after all, didn't I? Love, love, love Tiny and Buddy. Even if Tiny is not quite so tiny. Joseph did not notice.
Apparently they were good cupcakes. I didn't try one. I am a weird person that loves to bake but not necessarily eat baked goods. Because they will make me fat. ter.
I did not witness this but it seems there was some kind of crazy icing fight inspired by Uncle Mister Matt. Somehow the dinosaurs were even involved.
This was the cupcake/cookie carnage remaining at the end of the party.
WOW! I think I have covered Joseph's birthday all in one post. Unheard of! So give a BIG ROAR,
because our J. Rex is just about FOUR!