Sunday, April 20, 2008

Birthday Party for Astrid #3

Astrid turned 3 on Saturday, and we celebrated 3 days in a row (Friday at preschool, Saturday just with our nuclear family, and then today's big birthday bash with lots of Astrid's friends). This year we made arrangements months ahead of time to have Astrid's birthday party at Peekaboo Playland, Astrid's favorite indoor playground in Eagle Rock. Peekaboo Playland is only open to the public during the week, and on the weekends it's reserved for private parties. It's the perfect spot to have a kid's birthday and they have staff on hand to help you set up, decorate, and clean up. When we arrived we saw that they had put out a sign on the front lawn with "Happy Birthday Astrid" written on a chalkboard, and colored balloons attached. A really nice touch. And since it's located in a craftsman-style house, and tucked behind a Chiropractic office that rents out the front of the house, the sign made it easy for everyone to find. Having fun on the slide attached to the indoor bouncy house.
Wheeeee!...the girls having fun going down the slide backwards.
Here comes the birthday girl!
Peekaboo Playland only allows up to 15 kids, and I thought that wouldn't be a problem, but as we got closer to the date and more and more kids were RSVP'ing - I found myself in a bit of a predicament - as I found out that Astrid has way more than 15 friends that wanted to come - from gymnastics class, dance class, preschool, and family friends. What I ended up doing was not inviting all her friends at school - but only her small class. The day of the party I was still getting last minute RSVP's so I ended up running out to the store that morning and buying more goodie bags - and we ended up having more than 15 kids there, but it turned out just fine. I'm happy to report that the party police didn't come and shut us down. =)
Kids can run amok around Peekaboo Playland and since there's padding all around it's safe. There's nothing dangerous there that your kids can get into. And it's one big room, so you can keep an eye on your kid from wherever you're sitting or standing. The owner has a small child a little younger than Astrid (and a newborn) so it has a toddler mom's touch.
Having fun in the ball pit.
The girls got into the costume chest and were playing dress up. These 3 girls are from Astrid's preschool (Olivia, Alicia, and Lilly - Olivia and Lilly are sisters).
Olivia was a godsend when Astrid first started preschool. Being the older sister , she was used to caring for her younger sister - and being a year older than Astrid, she acted as a mother hen to Astrid when I would drop her off at school. She would take Astrid by the hand and show her around and really made her feel welcome at school. She was Astrid's first school friend.
Normally Astrid isn't into dress up and she's definitely not into Princesses, but because she saw the other girls doing it - she had to wear a Princess dress as well.Twirling around telling everyone she was a Princess. She is our princess.The pink frilly dress didn't stop her from playing just as hard.

When I was deciding what to dress Astrid in - Astrid wanted to wear her pretty blue dress - but I opted for a more practical outfit (pants and shirt) so she could crawl and climb and it wouldn't get in her way of playing. But here she is wearing a dress over her clothes - and she's still doing all the things that she was when she had just the pants on.I love this photo of Astrid zooming down the slide - looking so happy.All the adults standing around chatting, drinking mimosas while watching the kids and cracking up at their antics.It's even more fun going down the slide with a ball, and a classmate who's going down head first. That's her classmate Atash.

Recently Astrid's preschool was closed for 1 week for Spring break, and we went to a sister preschool that was available for daycare during that week. By that time Astrid was used to going to school - but in an unfamiliar environment she reverted back to crying and latching onto me. Thank goodness she saw a familiar face - Atash who was also there for the week. As soon as she saw him all was okay and she sat down and started playing with the Duplo legos on a rug with him.More dress up fun. These 2 girls are from Astrid's dance class. Too cute. Cinderella trying on her pink slipper while downing an organic kid's milk.
Some of her friends had younger siblings like this one - here playing with balls.

You can see the cubby holes in the background to hold everyone's shoes - it's a shoe-free environment - and they keep the playground very clean. There's also a puppet theater. This little girl is from Astrid's dance class.
You can see the big banner hanging on the wall that says "Happy Birthday Astrid!"Peekaboo Playland also has an outdoor play area, with swings and play houses, slides, and a maze. In the summer they have pools and water fun. Now that I'm working, this is the first time we've been back, since they have private parties on the weekends - so it's not open to the public. Another working mom at the party lives in Eagle Rock and she was delighted to be here to check it out for the first time. For those same reasons, it was also U.'s first time here.In the kid swing it looks like Astrid is wearing a pink tutu.She loves the swings and will shout, "Higher!...Higher!"Papa and the birthday girl.Trying to ride the big bike.More swinging fun.
Our happy birthday girl.
Kids kids everywhere!
Moms having a chat. This is the first time I've seen some of the moms that I used to see on a weekly basis when I was a stay at home mom with Astrid.
As I was taking the cake out of the box it slipped and fell - first onto my leg and then on the ground. Just as U. was asking me a question - I said, "I dropped the cake" - he saw it lying upside down splat on the kitchen floor - and immediately said, "I'll go to the store and get another one!" Luckily the bakery we used is just down the street so he got another cake - had them write "Happy Birthday Astrid" on it - and I rinsed off the circus cake topping from the original cake - and we were good to go. Astrid wearing her special birthday hat.It was so cute to see all the kids wearing party hats. I even wore one for a bit. One kid asked me why Astrid got to wear a special hat and I told him because she's the birthday girl. He thought about it and said, "I never get to wear a special hat on my birthday." Sorry dude.
Mama and birthday girl.
I can't believe my daughter is already 3 years old! That old saying is really true - when you have a kid you have the longest days and the shortest years. They turned out the lights and we all sang happy birthday to Astrid. She's fascinated by the big 3 candle lit on top of her birthday cake.
Papa saved the day by getting this replacement cake. It was delicious by the way with really light whipped cream frosting and strawberries. Other than the flower, you couldn't tell it wasn't the original cake.
Astrid licking the frosting off a strawberry.
All the kids wanted to touch the cake and so shortly afterwards the staff whisked the cake away to cut it in the kitchen, and then brought out individually sliced pieces of cake on plates for us.
The girls looking at the boys going "Bad boys. You're not supposed to touch the birthday cake." Astrid looks aghast here that the boys were ruining her cake. I just thought it was funny - kids being kids. One kid pulled out one of the balloon cake toppers - but here you can see the circus themed cake with the multi-colored choo choo train (that one of the boys pushed deeper into the frosting as he tried to make it move across the cake), balloons, and a clown.

Since this was only the 2nd time we've allowed Astrid to have any cake I thought she'd be all over it, but interestingly enough she just ate the strawberries and just a couple small bites of cake and she was done. She was more interested in playing with the animal puppet and pretending that it was biting mommy's arm.
Us adults having some fun in the bouncy house. That's Jill (Astrid's Godmother - who took all these beautiful photos) and I. Jill's husband Bill took this photo. Aside from being fun it's always great exercise.
The perfect ratio of 3 adults and 3 kids inside the bouncy house.
Jill tickling Astrid.
After our 2 hours were up the staff let everyone know it was time to go home - and Astrid handed out goodie bags to all her friends as I tried to coach her to say thank you to everyone. Astrid had such a great time (and U. even admitted that he could have stayed for another 2 hours) that she started crying at the end because she didn't want her birthday party to end.
Thank you to everyone who came and made Astrid's 3rd birthday so memorable. And a great big hug and thank you to Jill who took all these beautiful photos.


Anonymous said...

Rose, how fun for everyone! Astrid looked like she was having the time of her little life! Very cool! And great photos.

Shane said...

Hi Rose! It has been a L-O-N-G time since I stopped by your blog. I'm not even sure if you'll remember me. I was shocked to see that Astrid is 3 years old now. How could that be? I had to go back to your 2005/2006 posts to make sure I was looking at the right blog.'s her. She's adorable. I'm going to bookmarked you again and stop in more often. Take care.

Rose said...

Hi Shane,
Of course I remember you. Time flies doesn't it? Thanks for the reminder, I'll have to stop by and check out what you and your boys have been up to. Hope all is well!


Nancy Montgomery said...

Hi Rose!
I'm so glad you had a great time at PeekAboo PlayLand. Astrid looks sooo cute in her little princess dress!

Thanks you so much for being such a strong supporter of PeekAboo, I really appreciate it.

The pictures are wonderful, I was wondering if, with your permission, I could put one or two of them on our website. I especially like the one of Astrid blowing out her birthday candles, how adorable!

Again, thank you, hope to see you guys soon at PeekAboo. Don't forget Astrid has a free return-pass!


Rose said...

Hi Nancy,

We had a great time and your staff was so helpful!

Just about every single parent there was like "Wow this place is great - have to keep this in mind for our kid's next birthday party." Thank you!

Yes, of course you can use the photos. My friend just burned me a CD with the photos, and I can e-mail you some better quality pics.

We never received a return pass. How do we use that? Do you have a list with Astrid's name on it?


Nancy said...

Hey Rose,

Great, thank you for your offer regarding the pictures. Next time we work on the website and add to gallery, I'll send you an e-mail to let you know which pictures we would like to include.

As for the return pass, next time you stop by just mention you had a party at PeekAboo and you haven't used your free visit yet.

Thanks again!