Well, it finally happened. I finally had a non-family birthday party for one of my kids, or as Ellie called it "the little kid party." Different than the grown up party tomorrow with her grandparents and aunts and uncle.
It was a really great day. I found a little local painting place where you paint your own ceramics, like Color Me Mine, but independently owned out of a little historic adobe building in San Clemente, run by a wonderful, sweet, heavily tattooed hippie lady. Ellie had five friends and their moms, plus Gigi and Mimi and Sara (aka, the biggest kid.) They had a little patio table in the back with picnic tables and twinkle lights, so we were able to set up the snacks and drinks out there, and then when everyone arrived, Sarah walked us through the process of selecting and painting our chosen items. The girls all went to town, doing some princess and some mermaids and some Christmas ornaments. They were so adorable, happily going and picking out their colors and chatting with each other while they worked. Sara made a bunny, Mimi made a little cupcake, and I made a little bowl. Ellie made a Christmas star ornament - changing her mind from the cat bank she was sure she'd make last week.
When the kids finished, they went outside and had a few snacks, and they were able to chalk on the driveway there, and play with some little ride on toys. They also had a good time running around with the mylar Frozen balloon that Ellie had picked out earlier in the day... until to no adult's surprise, the balloon got released to freedom. RIP Anna and Elsa, you were good for the six hours that we had you.
A couple of the moms got to go inside and do some painting of their own while the kids played. Ellie was delighted to open her presents, and then we sang happy birthday with the lemon cupcakes Ellie and I had made. In my usual cake-fail ways, there were supposed to look like sunflowers, but instead looked like stars with sugar sequins jammed on top. Wait until you see the turd cake we have for tomorrow.
All in all, a successful party. I had a blast hanging out with my girl and making a craft, she had a fantastic time with all of her friends, and I think the guests had a good time too. At the end of the party, Sarah had all of the guests sign a little tile that she'll paint and glaze as a memory for Ellie, which I think is a really sweet touch. I can't wait to see our creations when I pick them up later this week!