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Abe has long been a fan of Eric Carle’s “The Very Busy Spider.” And of spiders (or “pie pies” as he calls them) in general. So I’ve been planning on this party theme for a few months now.
In my ambitious, pre-holiday burnout days, this party was going to involve a larger guest list and perhaps actual activities. But then that sounded tiring, so we ended up scaling plans back and just doing simple decorations and a few family members over for cupcakes and presents. Turns out Abe still thought it was a fun party :).
For the cupcakes I departed from my “cupcake toppers forever!” school of cake decorating and actually attempted to make them pretty with frosting and stuff. The “cupcakes” themselves are gluten free brownie mix, though. I had spider web cupcake liners left over from a couple of Halloweens ago (similar to these on Amazon). I made a batch of buttercream frosting and then did half the cupcakes with cookie spiders (the cookies in this case are gluten free Joe Joes from Trader Joe’s, but, of course, Oreos or any other Oreo like sandwich cookie will work). I just used tubes of white and black frosting for the legs and eyes. Then I used the tube of black frosting to make spider webs on the other half.
I wrapped up his presents in white drawing paper and drew spider webs on them with a Sharpie paint pen:
The black and white chevron banner came from the craft store, and I made the black and white pom-pom garland (I used the largest
of my now embarrassingly complete set of pom-pom makers then just threaded them all on a single strand of black yarn with an embroidery needle). We have no fewer than THREE copies of The Very Busy Spider (actually, now that I think about it, that’s only counting the board books; we have a hardcover around somewhere, too), so I stuck one of those out, along with a metal spider bowl that we found at the thrift store (filled with tortilla chips. The non-cupcake snack offerings weren’t too exciting):
Abe was pretty excited about the cupcakes: “EYES!”
(He’s wearing his spider shirt from The Little Rooster, of course).
We did the cupcakes first. It was very nearly fraught with drama, but (spoilers) it all turned out okay. Dave had coached Abe on the blowing out the candles thing, so he dutifully blew them out as soon as Dave lit them. We told him that that was great, but we needed to sing first and re-lit them. Then his face clouded over with uncertainty and his bottom lip threatened to come out and he looked a little anxious throughout “Happy Birthday.” But he rallied immediately after, blew the candles out again, and licked all the frosting right off his brownie cupcake. Phew. Here is the story again, in pictures:
(here’s the part where I discovered all the fancy new filters in my updated version of Photoscape):
And then presents!
I think maybe this Thomas towel was his favorite (of course; it was the least thought about present we got him; I grabbed it off the clearance shelf at Target awhile back, on impulse):
All in all, a lovely and low key birthday party: next up we’ll leave behind the toddler stuff and return to house stuff!