Saturday, June 11, 2011

Beetles, Bugs and Butterflies Birthday Party, Part 1

When I asked her in April what theme she wanted for her birthday party, I suggested stuff like Abby Cadabby, Sesame Street, Disney Princesses (or princesses in general, which has been the theme the last 2 years,) or Dora, she piped up with "Beetles, Bugs and Butterflies." Well. Okay. And who do you want to invite? "Tawawee. But not Pawiwu. I only like Tawawee. I don't like Pawiwu." O-o-kay. Anyone else? "Appie." She didn't want to invite any of the kids from school (I'd been asking her during class, since we still had school in April and early May.) She didn't want any of my MOMS Club friends' kids. Not even Nana or Grammelena, or her other cousins, Taytay, or Jotch and Khiss and baby Wivia. Hrm. So I decided to let her have two parties. One where we include the whole family (and a few of our friends,) and one with just the people she chose. She did finally allow for Pilu and Appie's little brother, Ewi, since I explained that if she wanted one, she'd have to accept the other.
While looking at Party City and Oriental Trading Company online for buggy-themed party stuff, I came across Ladybug and Bumblebee ballerina costumes on clearance for $15. As it happens, Tually id gaga for ladybugs (and the color red,) and Pilu is buzzing over bumblebees. Scoooooore! I found a Tinkerbell costume for Appie (she could be a dragonfly or grasshopper. Her call) on clearance for $15 too (all 3 from OTC,) and also a $15 monarch butterfly ballerina costume (from Party City.) Perfect. Ewi is young enough not to mind not getting a ballerina costume, so I didn't worry about him. And, as it turns out, his dad wanted to stay home and he was in desperate need of a nap, so didn't end up coming anyway.
A week after my orders were placed, I was looking into their statuses, to see if I'd be getting the costumes before the first party, or if I'd have to save them for the second party (which all the same people were invited too, plus everyone else.) No record of a Party City order. Whuuuuck? Argh. I decided to just scrap it (since I'd only ordered the costume for Z, plus a bunch of cupcake liners and picks on clearance that I could technichally live without. *sigh.*) She could just use the butterfly costume from Auntie Casi that she wore for Halloween. At least the other 3 costumes were all on their way, along with all of the party favors.
For the venue, since we had so few guests, I vacillated between the zoo, with its "Bug World" building and the Seattle Bug Safari, which I'd never been to. The Bug Safari would be cheaper, at $8/adult (x up to 6 adults) and $6/child over 3 (x2 kids, since Z, Pilu and Ewi would all be free,) but we could explore the rest of the zoo and easily find tables to do cake and such. I decided on the Safari, mostly because when I was at my sister's house looking it all up online and contacting people for party info, Tually saw the website and asked about it. Then all three girls got all excited and promised to be good if they could get to go to the Bug Safari. Man. I got to milk that ALL DAY. It was awesome!
The Bug Safari
Jostling for views of the bugs
A crap-my-pants huge spider/tarantula. It's called a Goliath Birdeater. Yah. 
If I didn't have Mommy superpowers, I would have failed my save vs. fear roll [gamer reference] in this place. You ever hear about those women who can lift a car off their child in an emergency? I have special arachnophobia override when my daughter's around. I really don't want to manufacture phobias and dislikes for her, just because *I* fear or dislike something. I eat bell peppers to set a good example (blech.) I point out disgustingly creepy interesting bugs and sound all excited for her to come and look. I even show her how to pick them up with her fingers or a leaf and let them crawl all over her {shudder.} And I teach her to treat them with respect. I once found a freaky huge beetle in my other sister's backyard and pointed it out to her older son (then 5 or 6) and he immediately stomped on it. Whuuuuuck?! Z might love one to death, but she's not been taught to fear or revile them.
Pilu examining more closely
All four girls fascinated by some shuddery fascinating exhibit
They gave us a little crank-powered flashlight to shine in the
darker spots where some of the bugs were hiding.
Why? Who would want to look? Ah well. Apparently these kiddos.
When the gift shop wasn't busy, the guy would come back and answer questions and such.
He even brought out a cockroach for the kids to touch.  Ick. I mean, how nice.
Only Tually, Pilu and Appie's mom braved la cucaracha. Z and Appie were smarter not interested.

I have mixed reviews on the Bug Safari. On the one hand, the girls loved it, and kept running around and looking at all the displays over and over again. And my sister Kayneen, who studied entomology in school got to talk to an expert. On the other hand, it was a smallish room, with either around the same number or fewer displays than Bug World at the zoo, so I felt like the cover charge was a little high for what you get. However, it was PERFECT for our purpose, since they pooped out after about an hour or less, whereas we'd have felt obligated to push through and see more stuff if we'd all been at the zoo. And since they don't normally do parties on Sundays, and the normal party tour wouldn't have held Z or Pilu's interest, it was way cheaper to just pay admission than to buy a party package at ANY venue (Chuck E Cheese, Little Gym, etc.)

Afterwards, we went to the Mexican hole-in-the-wall next door to have cupcakes and wind down. Since we'd been cleaning for her party at home later, I had found a ladybug cupcake kit I'd bought ages ago, thinking that the ladybug picks were plastic. Nope. So this was the perfect opportunity! We didn't need a "real" cake for just these few people, especially since we'd all be doing this again in a week. I cleverly forgot all about making them until about 30 minutes before it was time to leave, so I didn't take photos as I went. You're not missing much.
But they were a big hit. The girls loved choosing different colored ladybug picks, and - get this - an actual ladybug landed on our table and started crawling around! What a treat! All three older girls got to hold it and had a blast.

After chips and salsa and cupcakes, Kayneen and her brood headed off to the ferry, and Appie invited us down to the waterfront for ice cream. After taking a faceplant little tumble down the stairs, Appie bravely soldiered on. The ice cream place was in a big complex with a carousel and video games and such (I forget what that kind of place is called.) So we took a quick detour to ride the carousel. I gleefully avoided vertigo took one for the team and stayed back to take photos.

Let me just say, we had the most adorable show in town. Seriously. People would stop and watch these four little buggy ballerinas chase and giggle and dance around. It was too cute, and my pictures don't do it justice. Everything was a whorl of bright taffeta and laughter. And creepy bugs.

1 comment:

  1. I am so glad my kids never wanted a bug party!! It would really scare me! You guys look like you had a great time!


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