The Bubble Guppies party is over. Next.

Sorry for going dark there for awhile after peeing myself at Babies R Us. My entire existence was consumed with planning a Bubble Guppies-themed 1st birthday party for the Baby Bug. And just like that, it’s done. Thank God.

Our house is hardly the Kardashian/Jenner estate, but it’s not teeny by my standards. I mean, it’s perfect for the three of us and our 115-lb. German Shepherd. But I discovered it’s not so perfect for the three of us, our 115-lb. German Shepherd, and 40 of Baby Bug’s closest friends. My house was literally 712 degrees and packed like Les Deux in 2007 (though the crowd wasn’t exactly Hollywood – maybe more Chuck E. Cheese’s.  How times have changed).  Birthday parties will be held at venues other than our lair going forward.  I can’t deal with cleaning.

When I was little, birthday parties meant ugly, shiny paper plates and napkins emblazoned with the princess/cartoon character/toy of the moment (I think I had a My Little Pony party once), and then probably non-matching plastic silverware left over from birthday parties of years past, and a cake homemade by my aunt with a completely different theme. Like Easter Eggs (my birthday is in April). Seemed pretty fab to me at the time.

Now thanks to effing Pinterest and Facebook, we are exposed to professional-looking photos of these gorgeous, tasteful birthday parties that stay-at-home moms with endless free time kept wives overachieving creative moms put together to show off make us feel inferior make their child’s day extra special. So I roll up my sleeves and hop on the bandwagon.  Because I’ll be damned if Buggy’s party is ugly.

Exhibit A: Blinged out high chair.

high chair and cake

Imagine the most annoying thing you’ve ever done in your life and multiply it by 782. That’s how annoying it was to keep that stupid tulle skirt in place.

Letting the Baby Bug enjoy her first bite of chocolate cake ever in her life while sitting in a plain old high chair would just be cruel. So, I bought some tulle, cut it into strips and used 20 pounds of double stick tape (which I haven’t used probably since going to Les Deux in 2007 – to keep my skimpy club attire on avoid wardrobe malfunctions) to attach it to the plastic. Then, I bought way too much pink fabric, draped it over the seat part and tied it back (because who knows how to has time to sew). Voila.  Birthday Princess Throne. Total time spent on this: 20 minutes. Well, 20 minutes initially, and then an additional 17 hours of re-applying tape and refastening the annoying tulle strips that kept falling out.  This high chair inspired a lot of cursing.

Exhibit B: Month-by-month photo banner.

Double stick tape: It’s not just for wardrobe malfunction prevention.

I took a picture of the Baby Bug sitting on the same chair every month on her “birthday” so we could watch her grow, so I figured we could display them at her bash.  Cute, right? I bought some pain-in-the-ass craft scissors that cut in like little swirly lines and made photo mats out of sparkly paper, then taped on the pictures. Level of difficulty: So not difficult. Level of aggravation: Minimal. The most annoying part about doing this was using those tiny clothes pins. They break.

Exhibit C: Bubble Guppies-themed snacks.

Take that, Pinterest moms!

Take that, Pinterest moms!

 

Pretzels + Rolos + Goldfish = Easy.

Pretzels + Rolos + Goldfish = Easy.

If you’re ever bored on a Friday night, you should totally punch and peel stickers to stick to the bottom of candy. Said no one, ever.

Don't mind the empty white platter.  Regular brownies ended up on there.

Don’t mind the empty white platter. Regular brownies ended up on there.

So, those first blue things:

I took little popsicle sticks and stabbed them into marshmallows. Then I melted these in the microwave and dipped said stabbed marshmallows. Dusted on graham cracker crumb “sand”, stuck on a Goldfish cracker, two little white candies for bubbles, and let them cool and harden.

How you know you did it right: when someone says, “These are so cute. Where did you get them?”

The little pretzel candies take 15 minutes to make and are so easy. The hardest part was finding a bag of Rolos at the store. No joke. They’re hard to find! Oh, and unwrapping each individual wrapper sucked, too. But other than that – no nonsense. You just line up the pretzels on a cookie sheet, stick Rolos on top, and put in the oven at 250 degrees for like two minutes – just long enough to soften the Rolos. Then, you take them out and smoosh them down with a Goldfish cracker. The end. If your party is not Bubble Guppies themed then you’re a loser, you can use a pecan instead of the Goldfish cracker. Or I imagine, other festive treats.

The Hershey Kisses were kind of an asshole. I Googled “Bubble Guppies stickers” because I was looking for stickers to use on the kids’ goodie bags, and in my search came across an Etsy shop that sold “Bubble Guppies candy circles” – something I didn’t know I needed. $7 later, I had a digital file that I had to have printed at Staples and needed a 3/4″ hole punch to punch out each. individual. tiny. candy circle. Then, the peeling. Dreadful.  But festive.  And now I have carpal tunnel.

Her cake, which you see in the high chair pic at the top, was a joint project between my husband and me.   I made the cake and cupcakes the night before the party, but left the frosting until the morning, because freshly frosted always looks better.  Anyway, midway through making the frosting, my freaking hand mixer starts legit smoking and dies.  WTF.  I so don’t have time for this.  That’s where my husband swoops in.  I tell him I need to run to the supermarket to get pre-made frosting (ugh), and he tells me to hold on so he can go get something.  So annoying.  But like a hero, he comes back with his power drill, attaches the little mixing piece, and uses it to finish mixing my frosting.  Always the strategic problem solver.

So, the party prep took some patience, but I am proud to report that the decor wasn’t hideous and no one got hurt as a result of my driving with 40 helium balloons in my car obstructing my vision out every window. My biggest rookie mistake was not thinking to have juice boxes and milk for the kids. But our beverage selection did include O’Doul’s so it’s not like there weren’t options.

And I now understand now why parents specify on children’s birthday invitations that the party goes from 2pm – 4pm. By 3:58, I was ready to shut it down. I told my Dad I will not be doing this every year and he goes, “Yeah, you will.”  He’s totally right.

 

{photos courtesy of Krista Photography, the most amazeballs photographer ever}

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