And then stand back and watch their little minds blow.
At one point Sam was screaming, "it's like a dream! But it's actually happening!" I was in the house and heard him through the window and caught myself tearing up. It is silly (I know), but these days it has been achingly hard to make that child happy for any length of time. And it wasn't even his birthday. Normally we don't go crazy over parties and prefer to have friends get together rather than putting on a whole thing, but this year I decided to do both. Besides, it usually turns into a thing anyway. The cost of rental was reasonable-- cheap really, considering we were celebrating two birthdays at once, had multiple ages present, and I didn't have to do anything else but bring out the food and make sure the boys knew that at some point the people were going to come and take it away.
I was the best money I've ever spent on something temporary.
I'm always trying to hunt down good party food, especially because the boys don't do dairy and we usually have a lot of grown-ups present. We have done baked potato bar, a bread party, and different versions of Brunch. The party was at 3 pm, so we went with mini bagels (with pb, jam, cream cheese, turkey or tomatoes), various and sundry finger foods, muffins, and cupcakes with ganache and sprinkles (Ina Garten's recipe subbing out the dairy). Who wants to eat when there's a bouncy house? This was take and run crazy food, which worked great for everyone.
The weather was beautiful, which was kind of amazing in itself. There were a few sweet gifts (we say no gifts usually, but sometimes we get ignored. That's totally cool) and lots of people that care about them. We saved our family gifts for each of the boys actual birthdays. Those will be slow days with pancakes for dinner and lots of "you're three now!!" affirmations.
It was a such a happy day. Paul wondered how we could rent one of those things every weekend. I would be thrilled with fitting it in monthly.