Bug’s Amazing Galaxy Birthday Party!

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We did it again! We threw a crazy over-the-top birthday party for Bug and I pretty much went insane during it, vowed I’d never do it again and then ended up feeling all soft-and-fuzzy afterwards with plans to totally do it all over again. This is the definition of insanity, right? Crazy party-planner mom strikes again!

But seriously, it worked. It was my first twilight birthday party and we really pulled it off. Everything was so pretty and glowing! Of course photographing a nighttime party is a whole other story but I did my best. Just imagine all these pictures ten times prettier and about 100% less blurry. Though sometimes blur is a good thing.

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First up I have to show you these really cool nebula amulets we made. These almost didn’t happen.

I had been asking Bug all week what kind of galaxy craft she’d like to have at her party because parties always have to have some kind of activity, and we’re kinda famous for our crafts. Of course Bug answered me the way she usually answers me by not answering me at all. She evaded me and finally when pressed to the extreme, told me that she wanted all eleven of her guests to hang out in her super-crowded ten-by-thirteen foot bedroom. They were going to play “Pusheen School” which is a game they play everyday at school where they take their Pusheen stuffed animals and act out characters going to school. They’ve been doing it for about a year and a half now. All the girls have different Pusheen characters with distinct accents, personalities and nick names. It’s a thing.

I tucked away my disappointment and planned a party without a craft. I figured it was probably better anyway because I always go over the top and regret it later.

Fast forward to the day before the party when Bethany showed up (Yes, she totally flew in just for this party to help me with the cake and to visit her other eleventy California friends) and guess what she asked as soon as she walked in the door? “So what craft are we doing for this party?”

(!!!!!)

If Bethany is asking what craft I’m doing and I don’t have an answer for her then maybe I should override the no-fun birthday girl and plan an eleventh hour craft!! Because nothing gets my motor running like a last minute craft idea and someone who will appreciate it. Bring it on!

Bug was not amused. In fact, she was pretty much a sullen teenager the entire day of her birthday. Another trip to Michaels was barely tolerated so we could get little amulet bottles and squeeze bottles for colored water. Then when her friends showed up and I showed them how to stuff cotton into the bottles to create the little nebulas she spent most of the time in a huff in her room. I’m such a horrible mom.

However, her friends loved the craft! The little bottles turned out awesome! And eventually Miss SullenPants came back to the party and made one herself and admitted that it wasn’t totally lame after all.

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Next up is the cake. THE CAKE. This cake was such a pain in the butt I had to have Bethany fly in to help me make it. We made this cake. It looks amazing but involves corn syrup and gelatin and a ton of food coloring. All naturalist homeopathic types avert your eyes.

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It was an amazing process. Lots of goopy blue and purple dripping glaze all over a purple velvet (chocolate) cake, per Bug’s request. It’s too bad all the glory of this cake didn’t really get captured in the dark of the party but it was a blast to watch Bethany make it. If you follow my instagram feed you probably saw the raw, very-unedited footage (sorry for the nice close-up of our trashcan) of it.

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Everything turned out really pretty and very, very sickeningly sweet. The hot chocolate was a super hit as were the marshmallows and the three sources of heat: our good old fashioned Weber barbecue, the cool chiminea thing we found discarded in someone’s driveway a long time ago and the outdoor heater I rented.

Can I just say how cool it is that Payam enables me and tells me to go ahead and rent tables and chairs and a heater for a party that I have no idea what the weather will be like for? The weather has been raining for about four weeks straight and I’d been watching the weather forecast like a hawk on crack. Everyday, I would announce the likelihood of rain on Bug’s party to everyone around me like it was my own stock market ticker. Predictions went from 100% precipitation to 25% precipitation to finally settling on 45% precipitation and AMAZINGLY it did NOT rain during Bug’s party. It was cold but our heat sources worked out perfectly and the fact that I warned everyone to dress for weather in the invitation helped. Who has a birthday party outdoors in January?! Crazy Californians, that’s who.

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It all worked out. Everything glowed magically. I stretched battery operated bulb lights along the middle of the table, scattereds some glow-in-the-dark plastic stars on our galaxy printed tapestry and then set a vase full of glow-stick necklaces in the middle.

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Bug actually did have a really good time at her party. It was hard getting there though. She fell on her wrist while rollerblading earlier in the day and was in some pain which didn’t help her mood when her mom stole her friends to do a stupid craft. Thankfully, her bad mood wasn’t anything some secretly applied cat-eye make up in the bathroom couldn’t bribe out of her.  She’s getting to the age where we have started bonding over our mutual anxiety-related quirks. She understands my freak-outs over guests arriving and the house not being tidy and I understand her fear of crying in front of her friends. It wasn’t an easy thing for her but she muscled through it

And as she was cheers-ing crazily, with toasts to Toaster (her Pusheen stuffed animal) in grown-up glasses of sparkling apple cider leftover from our New Year’s shindig, she caught my eye and gave me a smile that said it all. She really did appreciate this party even though it was a pain in the butt to make happen. So yeah. I’ll probably keep on keeping on until I’m too old to keep on.

Or maybe next year we’ll just take a road trip!

 

Bug turns ELEVEN! (and gets blue hair!)

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Can you believe Bug is ELEVEN?!!! Of course you can’t. Neither can I. It was like yesterday when she was born. I get heart palpitations every time I take a picture of her and she looks like a teenager already. But I can’t stop time and I can’t stop her. This girl is a powerhouse and she just keeps growing up every day!

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Bug has wanted to dye her hair blue for about two years. Her cousins constant chameleon hair-change-ups might have something to do with it and her obsession with anime and changing her minecraft skins etc… If you know Bug you know how she is about color. Color is her thing and she has strong opinions.

Of course I told her that dying her hair was a silly idea and gave her about a thousand lectures on how pretty her hair was naturally. But as you can see she wore me down. And wore me down some more. Because I love my crazy girl and I really wanted to give her a present that would make her really really happy. I caved!

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Off to the salon we went! Bug has a favorite salon and a favorite stylist. She’s way more loyal to her stylist than I ever have been. It might have something to do with her stylist being 24 and a really cool surfer dude but he always does a really good job with her hair and we make a special treat out of it when we go. You know, macarons at Lette, hotdog from the hotdog stand. It’s our bi-annual thing.

At first, when we started to take the hair-coloring subject seriously, I thought we’d go to a beauty college and save some $$$ but then I got worried that I might fry her hair and I’d ruin her (red flag number 1). So we opted to ask her stylist for a recommendation and he recommended Ally.

We set the appointment and waited for the day with great anticipation. It was crazy how excited we were. Then the day came and the bleaching began. BLEACHING. Oh-my-goodness. I bleached my daughter’s beautiful long healthy honey-blonde hair?!!! Who am I? This so wrong on so many levels. (Red flag number 2.)

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The plan was to lighten Bug’s hair to a white blonde and then apply a blue-indigo ombre effect to that white blonde. It was a great plan. But then as Ally started blow-drying out the blonde, Bug and I both gasped at how pretty it was. It was this amazing out-of-the-bottle blonde color that every Californian aspires to. We thought, maybe we should keep the blonde and just apply the dark ombre indigo-teal color to the underneath in a cool peek-a-boo effect. In fact, that idea sat with me even better because the blonde was more natural, right? (Red flag number 3 with blinking lights and a siren!)

But then as she finished blow-drying and I saw the blonde getting brassy all the way up to Bug’s eyes, I started to feel anxious. I couldn’t ignore the sirens going off in my head any more. My kid should not look like this. This is the kind of blonde ombre effect grown women on Real Housewives of Orange County have. I started to feel sick to my stomach. But Bug loved it and was over the moon! Ally curled it all pretty and Bug felt like a golden princess. I was a ball of mixed feelings with alarms going off in my head.

By the time we got to her Dad’s house (she was at his house that week) I was experiencing a full panic attack over her hair. Sweating, my heart hurt… How could I have done this to my child! She looked like Iris from Taxi Driver and it was just wrong. Poor Bug had no idea why I was getting so upset. She started crying and I was crying.  It’s amazing I could even drive. We were a mess.

Thankfully, Toby didn’t lose his marbles over my mistake when we got to the door and I exploded all of my worries and concerns. He agreed it didn’t look right for an eleven-year-old and we all decided we’d go back to the salon to fix it as soon as possible and stick to the original blue plan.

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But Bug loved her blonde hair. It was such a mixed bag of emotions. On the morning of her next appointment Bug and I took an early morning walk with the dogs. She wore her rollerblades (her favorite accessory these days) and I took a few photos (with the dogs pulling me this way and that)  just so we could remember how pretty it was. We put her hair up in tight Princess Lea buns so the swirls of blue showed through. It didn’t seem quite so offensive. I wanted to take more photos but we ran out of time. I’m glad we have these though.

It was such an emotional experience for both Bug and I, I know we will remember it for years. Someday we’ll laugh about it.Bug-turns-11-blue-hair-5

Back to the salon we went. This time with strict instructions to be pastel blue, indigo blue, and teal blue and nothing else. Everyone at the salon totally understood our concerns and they happily fixed her up into the prettiest mermaid princess you have ever seen. Bug was sad to see her golden locks wash down the drain in a puddle of purple but it was best. And we know the blue will wash out over time and the blonde will come back slowly and not so shockingly. AND best of all it’s just hair. It will grow back to her pretty honey blonde someday. And no she’s not getting another hair-dye-job as a birthday present ever again.

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The blue turned out to be so much cooler in the end. I feel like I have my eleven-year-old back again. My crazy, cool, color-obsessed eleven-year-old. This is just so Bug.

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I love you to pieces, you big blue smurf-head. Which Bug is quick to correct and let me know that smurfs have blue skin NOT blue hair. (eye roll)