It’s 9:40 in the evening. My children are asleep. The house is quiet, even with guests about. The backyard is cleaned up. The dishes are done. The air is cool outdoors. And there’s a smile in my heart about all of the days’ wonderful festivities.

D turns 5 on Monday and his “big” birthday party was today. I love a good party, but the idea of having a “big” party each and every year for both of my children does not excite me in the least. I think birthday parties should be fun, something to look forward to, special, as well as an event that doesn’t set the family back financially. That’s just a few of the reasons Hubs and I refrain from giving a birthday bash every year to the boys.  L will be having his first “big” party next year when he turns 3. The next big party for D won’t be until he’s 10.

The highlight of the party today was no doubt the Blue Dragon bouncy house.

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This thing was huge.

HUGE!!

While we have a sizeable backyard, we still had to trim 2 large tree branches in order to allow for the bouncy house to fully inflate without risk of puncturing it.

I was able to get a package deal from Bargain Jumpers in Dixon that ROCKED. One low price that included the HUGE bouncy house, 2 banquet tables, 20 chairs and a piñata. And no delivery charge. Truly a steal as the price was comparable to what I would pay for a bouncy house alone plus delivery charges at other area rental places.

Target helped out with the party by offering a great deal with their new Spritz line of products. I got “monster” themed plates, cups, table coverings, thank-you bags with small gifts and even a craft for the kids, all for less than $25.00. Sweet! The kids all made their own “monster” masks; it was very cute!

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The food was super simple. Corn Dogs from Wienerschnitzel, pizza from Costco, and watermelon. And of course cake from Costco as well!

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I made a watermelon lemonade drink for the kids, and decaf iced tea for the adults. Sodas and water with some chips and several dips meant no one left hungry!

Then of course there were the presents! I try every single year to try and be as minimal as possible when it comes to gifts. I want my children to know that people are more important than the stuff they bring to their lives, so I try to ask kindly for gently used gifts or nothing over $10.00 for birthday’s and Christmas gifts. This year I forgot to do that but thankfully he still received a number of hand-me-down toys and some great craft items that will give him plenty to do and not just spend most of their time at the bottom of the toy bin.

One of his favorite gifts came from his second cousin, E, who is about 6 years older than D. E and his family knew how much D loves dinosaurs so they gave him 2 shoeboxes filled to the brim with E’s dinosaurs that he played with as a young boy. It was so great!

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The look on D’s face when he opened the second box was priceless – he just couldn’t believe he was getting that many dinosaurs all at once!!

The funniest / oddest part of the day came first thing in the morning when the jumper and other items were dropped off. When I made the reservation I wasn’t given a choice of what kind of piñata I would be receiving. I didn’t think about it at the time but I guess I should have because this is what they delivered (without the balloons, of course):

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REALLY??

A boy? I’m supposed to string a likeness of a boy up in a tree, give the children a bat and tell them to have at it? Hit him harder? Give him a good whack??

We were all a bit stumped. We figured it was a cultural thing or something and just decided to use “him” as a decoration, so my mom made some great signs for the garage door, hung those with a few balloons and Piñata Boy became the welcome mascot to the party!

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When the driver came to pick up the rentals he asked how the party went and noticed the “unbashed” piñata sitting at our doorstep. I mentioned we thought it was a bit strange to ask kids to hit another “kid” with a bat…which really a piñata of an animal isn’t that much better I suppose…He said that the original piñata was supposed to have matched the theme of the jumper, so we should have received a blue dragon.

Ahhhh, made complete sense at the time. Yet I still don’t know why they make people piñatas!!

The bouncy house delivered just as I had hoped – a guaranteed nap for all the cousins who stayed after the party, as well as my own boys. Peace and quiet after a fun morning of laughter, food, lots of cake and lots of smiles.

There were so many great things about today but the top 2 were that so family was able to be here for D’s special day as well as the weather. It was an absolutely lovely day. 83 degrees with a light breeze. Seriously, could you ASK for better weather for an outdoor event? We most definitely felt blessed for it.

D was able to have several neighborhood friends there, his grandparents, his great-grandmother, his cousins from both sides of the family, his aunts and an uncle.

We are so blessed!!

It was a fun day filled with fun memories and I hope my boy will have some blissful dreams tonight, knowing he is loved.

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