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February 8, 2012

Let Them Have Pi

You knew this was coming. Here's a lifestyle-blogger-style blog post about last Saturday's pi party, to celebrate Wombat turning 3.14 years old (and me not having to throw yet another birthday party two weeks out from Christmas).

Once a year I get a really good idea, and the last few times it's happened, fortune has been smiling because it's been right in line with Wombat's birthday parties. Last year I came up with the idea to string balloons from the ceiling, and the year before that I decided to stay up late making candy sushi (and directing the grandparental sweatshop workers on proper rolling technique) for his fishpalooza fishstravaganza.

This year it popped into my head out of nowhere that instead of throwing Wombat's third birthday party on one of the two weekends before Christmas (the official day is December 14), I could delay it by fourteen hundredths of a year and throw a pi party in February that family and friends would have an easier time attending and I would have an easier time organizing without needing psych meds. Pi party it is! I patted myself on the back and had a sip of Martinelli's sparkling apple cider.

And then I panicked, wondering how in the world I was going to keep to the theme in a way that would be relatively simple and also make any sense to anyone besides me. Do I bake 3.14 cakes? Do we make everyone complete a math test before coming through the front door? Thank god Simon reminded me that pi has to do with circles and their circumferences and diameters and all that. Circles. I could do that.


I designed the invitations, and yes, it took a little figuring that gave me flashbacks to high school calculus, but it wasn't too hard in the end. Some turquoise cardstock, Photoshop, a printer, and a white pen (leftover from wedding crafting*), and voila. I wanted something that folded out so the pi part would be a surprise reveal; the only complication was arranging the post-decimal digits such that they wouldn't be mistaken for a San Francisco phone number (the area code is 415), and I think this worked.

[*Lies. We did use the white pen for wedding stuff, but it was actually from Simon's bachelor party, at which all the guests used it to sign a book of half-naked ladies for him, which is fine because those were the only half-naked guests present at said party, which is more than I can say for my bachelorette party. Mem'ries! Trent!]

Wait, what? Oh yes, MY CHILD'S BIRTHDAY PARTY.

(Sorry for the lame cover-upping of our personal information.)

(We did not actually play pin the radius on the circle.)

I mailed them in black envelopes with the addresses written in turquoise gel pen and the closure sealed with a bit of turquoise polka-dotted washi tape. (I don't recommend colored ink on black envelopes if you care about your guests actually attending your soiree; a handful of our invites never made it through the postal system, so if you're wondering why you didn't get one, that's why. You were totally invited.)

Simon thought I was crazy for designing and handmaking the invites, but I did them all (about 15ish total?) in less time than I would have spent standing slackjawed in front of the options at Target, so ha.

Speaking of Target, they had ZERO plain turquoise plates or napkins or tablecloths or party hats. Boo on them. We got black plates and decorated the table with crepe paper (leftover from birthday #1) and small round mirrors (that I ordered as Christmas decorations five years ago and have never used) and curling ribbon, which my mom discovered forms a perfect circle if you just snip a short length off the end and let it go.

All the food was circular, you guys. I threatened Simon with unspeakable punishment if he returned from the store with anything other than round tortilla chips.

Everything was served in round bowls and on round platters too. I didn't even care if anyone else noticed.

What people did notice were the pi-shaped ice cubes, which I didn't even remember to put out until about halfway through. One hundred percent worth the splurge for rush shipping.

My major triumph was these circular pretzels, which I'll write more about later because they were easy and delicious and you should totally make them.

The decor was a combination of store-bought and handmade creations. I did one blue tissue poof, my dad(!) did another (they cost fifty cents and take all of five minutes), I spent an hour of my life making the fringed lantern, and my mom climbed on the dining room table and made everything look exquisite.

There's the famous heirloom birthday banner, which isn't matchy-matchy but does incorporate borth turquoise and circles, for those who are keeping a tally.

(Hi, our front door is lavender.)

Speaking of the front door, I made some felt pi-type things and sewed them to a wreath. Yes, it's a little weird.

As guests left, they were invited to take a favor. Each bag had a Tootsie pop, a bouncy ball, and a container of bubbles (circles!) packaged in cellophane bags leftover from last year's favors plus a handful of the g-d packing grass that I hate but can't bare to throw away.

What was my favorite detail? The hats.

I jammed some tissue paper fringe in the tops. Done. Awesome.

And because they're multicolored I can reuse them for next year's party, which Wombat insists will be red.

Wombat also insisted I wear this necklace. The boots were just for fun.

Hell, the whole thing was just for fun. We certainly could have gotten away with a three-person party and a doughnut, but it definitely honored the spirit of our friendly, social child to host thirty-three (and a third!) guests for three whole hours. And guess what? We didn't need any games or crafts for the kids at all. I was prepared to wrangle everyone into Musical Statues if I needed to, but we didn't; we dumped out some toys and let them go nuts and then gathered everyone for candleing and singing and cakeing and gifting, and lo, it was wonderful.

The birthday boy was beside himself.

And I was proud to be beside him.

Happy 3.14, little big boy.


Oh my god he is HUUUUUGE! Holy moly. I'm sad we weren't able to make it. Looks like you guys had an awesome time. Yay parties!

Aw, that picture of you two is gorgeous. And it has a sort of 70s vibe to it. Modern vintage!

Happy 3.14, Wombat.

Let me be cliched for a moment and say, you have outdone yourself. Seriously, if I am one day a mama I could only hope to be as creative & crafty. It is all so loving and fun and that is what it's all about. Bravo! Happy daze!

Wow I am seriously impressed. You guys did all this? Bravo! Looks like great fun!

Holy smokes you are creative! Now you can also throw a party every March 14th (3.14)!

Thanks, you guys! I think the [number of] photos make it look like more work than it really was (although we did have the help of grandparents to clean and decorate the morning of). Aside from the fringed lantern, the decor took an hour total to make, and the food was mostly no-prep--the exceptions being the pretzels, the rainbow fruit tray, and the PB&Js. Easy peasy, would repeat (says the LAZY girl).

YOU HAD PI ICE CUBES. You win. You and Holly are officially the queens of entertaining. Sad I missed this birthday of Wombat's...I just came across all the pics I took of his first party--can't believe that was 2(.14) years ago!

Best party ever! So sad we weren't able to make it, but the invitation is still on the fridge to remind me to STEP UP MY PARTY GAME from here on out. You outdid yourself!

(PS: I have a crapload of turquoise plates left over from the beach bonfire last year, which I would happily have donated. It doesn't help AT ALL for me to tell you this after the fact, so I'm sorry.)

(PPS: I am totally with you on the invitation-making thing. So much easier for me to make them myself than hem and haw for days over buying something I don't love as much. Plus you get to use leftover wedding supplies.)

Aw, thanks, friends! This is why the internet was invented--so you can show things you do to people who will actually care. :)

This is BRILLIANT...all of it! Spacing the party out from Christmas, the theme, the cute cute decor and invites, everything. And my Lord, how is Wombat THREE ALREADY SUNRISE SUNSET WEEPING!

Love the boots! And what a fun-looking party ... great ideas (the ice cubes!) and colors. I'm sure he had a wonderful time. Happy belated to W!

I am jealous of your boots! And I live in Colorado and I used to do 4-H. I should have boots!

I love that the kids all had fun without needing any sort of plan.

Boots from Langston's! I get so many compliments on them. http://www.langstons.com/corral-boots-womens-eagle-stitched-r1964.html

you are the most amazing woman--without comparison!! :) the party was perfect!! every detail added to the total celebration of the birthday boy! how lucky we all are to know such a wonderful family as you and your husband and son! cheers!

I love that you did this, it's so great! I come from a family of math nerds, and we did something similar for our parents wedding anniversary, which falls two days before Christmas. We thought about throwing a party for their 30th, but who can do a party that close to Christmas? We threw them a 33 1/3 anniversary party (1/3 of a century!), complete with bowls made out of records and other math-nerd appropriate decor. :)

Hey there, You have done a great job. I'll definitely digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I'm sure they will be benefited from this website.

Couldn't agree more, well written article.

One would say that, for one whose never had a "family" or "family structure". I get why she said it, does it make it right? In HER or others eyes, yes. However, its whatever that keeps her little pus*y warm at night. v_v

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