Leo Turns 2

inviteOne of the best parts of becoming a Libra mom is that I now have two more whole people to plan Halloween costumes and themed birthday parties for…. At least until they’re old enough to realize they have their own free will. For now, mommy gets final say and absolutely runs with ideas. This year Leo was briefly into dinosaurs before becoming totally obsessed with all things that move- fire engines, delivery trucks, buses, ambulances, cement mixers, big rigs, vans, bull dozers, etc. Driving with him is like having your very own personal Rain Man in the back seat ranting off modes of transportation on the freeway. But, I had already committed to the dino theme so sorry kid, when you can actually speak better you can help contribute to your theme- but for now, mommy made that decision for you and it’s fucking dinosaurs.

I love hosting a good party. What do I think a good party consists of? Good food, good music, good company, and booze. I think booze in an essential part of a children’s party too. I mean we don’t need parents getting knee-walking drunk and the kids unsupervised playing in traffic, but dammit moms and dads deserve to relax in the sun and enjoy a cold one with lunch while their kids go crazy for a while. The key is to have enough activities to keep said children entertained so mom can enjoy an adult beverage without a child tugging on her dress.

I happen to live in a super warm climate and have a summer baby so kiddy pool is a must. Lucky for me I have one shaped like a fun dinosaur! Boom, instant hit. dino digWet kids everywhere. I also got some sand from the Home Depot and filled an old activity table with it and some “dino fossils” aka toys from the local Dollar Store. The kids play archeologists and when they got too hot they took a dip in the kiddy pool to cool off… moms and dads got cooled off too when the wet kids came up for hugs and lunch.

I served BBQ chicken sandwiches, potato salad, chips and cucumber/mint water. The kids enjoyed grownup food as well as juicy melons cut out in the shapes of T-Rexes and Stegosauruses. Super easy and yummy, and no one had to man the grill or was stuck inside cooking since I let my Instant Pot do all the hard work. The chicken was brined for 24 hours before going in the crock pot mode of the Instant Pot for about 4 hours on low. I then shredded the meat (both thighs and breasts) and returned it to the pot with some hickory BBQ sauce and kept it on warm throughout the party. Many party goers confused it with pulled pork and several asked for the recipe so I guess it turned out alright.

cupcakesLast year Leo slept through much of his party but this year he was awake and super stoked to be 2. After lunch the kids enjoyed dinosaur cupcakes. I’m not a baker so I rely heavily on Betty Crocker in this department. I dyed standard cream cheese frosting green to resemble grass and had my 3.5 year old sprinkle “dirt and twigs” aka brown sprinkles on top before placing a small dino figurine to finish it off. They turned out super cute and as I had about 4 that day as I tend to snack heavily when day drinking.

For many of the decorations I got inspiration from Pinterest. I used random nap times to craft a little bit at a time. Tropical jungle fabric, party trays and toy dinosaurs completed my dinosaur themed table. Next up is my daughter’s birthday in September which she shares with her best friends so that’s three times the fun and costumes and theme and booze (for the grown ups).leo

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