Sunday, November 11, 2012

Mums and Bubs Halloween Party

Penguin costume
Our friends Dan and Estee have generously handed down to us some cute clothes and baby things that their sixteen month old son has outgrown. Included in a recent bag of hand-me-downs was a Carter's penguin costume, sized six months. This was perfect as Lachie's nursery already had a penguin theme and Mickey and I decided it was his favorite animal... :) Last year when I was only a few weeks pregnant, I was already thinking about Halloween this year, how old the baby would be and how I could dress him. I think I'm not alone in my opinion that infant Halloween costumes are ridiculous and adorable.

Anyway, we had the perfect costume, but no occasion to which to wear it. Lachie's at least a year away from trick or treating and no one would be coming to our door so I decided that I had to host a Halloween party for our mother's group. I specified in my email invite that the mums shouldn't feel that they had to attire their babies in costumes to join, but that I would be dressing the Lachster in a penguin costume and snapping a photo regardless of the weather.

Mums and bubs
About 36 hours after sending the invitation to a large email list (I didn't want to not include anyone in the mum's group crowd), I had about a dozen yes RSVPs. That's twelve mums, twelve noisy bubs and twelve large prams, aka too much party for my apartment. Fortunately, I booked out our building's bbq courtyard area that has a nice patch of grass and shade. I was also allowed to borrow the two folding tables that belonged to the building.

This one melts my heart
I asked the mums to bring picnic blankets, but was concerned that there would be nowhere for anyone to sit if they wanted to sit at a table. We have eight outdoor chairs so I would ask the concierge to bring up a trolley, drag the chairs from our balcony into our apartment, load them on to the trolley, wheel the unwieldy trolley down the lift and outside to the courtyard. Whew! This was in addition to the other stuff I wanted to bring downstairs for the party: a tablecloth, a jack-o-lantern, a tray of cupcakes, decorations, drinks, Lachie, the stroller, etc. Having the party in the courtyard was perfect in regard to space, but it involved transporting a LOT of stuff.

I was grateful that Jess and her little giraffe for the day, baby Josh, came early to help. We made more than one trip up and downstairs to bring the party to life in the courtyard. The weather was perfect for a party, but perhaps less than perfect for Halloween. My cupcakes and candies started melting quickly in the sun, the champagne warmed and I only got half a week out of the jack-o-lantern before he was a mushy mass of mold.

Still, the mums and bubs had a great time! In true Australian fashion, the mums went all out with the baby costumes. We had a lion, flapper, witch, spider, angel and fairy princess in addition to the penguin and the giraffe. We sat on blankets in the grass and no one used the eight outdoor chairs (lesson for next time). Because naps are tricky to plan around, mums and bubs arrived at different times. Without fail, a new mum would arrive and suggest that we lie the babies down in a circle and take pictures of them in their costumes. This made for some funny shots as there were plenty of cranky bubs who didn't share our enthusiasm for costumes with head pieces. Lachie was a trooper, but mid party I realized that I couldn't in good conscience keep him in a fleecy penguin suit. That was fine because we got some great photos.

I love to entertain and hosting my first kids' party was an adventure and a half. I know for next time that at least this crowd of mums were really appreciative of a basic party. They were happy with an opportunity to be together outdoors in nice weather and didn't necessarily need the blood orange champagne cocktails that I couldn't find the proper ingredients for anyway. 

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