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Eleanor’s Fifth Birthday Party

We had two birthday parties on Sunday. The first was for Eleanor’s friends, and the second, later in the day, was for our family and also celebrated Brandon’s birthday. We tried this last year, thinking that it was a good way to separate the events but still have everyone involved, and it went well. This year? It felt kind of bananas. But it went well too, so yay? (We were tired that night!)

Happy Birthday Sign on the Fireplace

We had a dozen five-year-olds in the house, and the party was fast and fun. I snapped most of these photos after they had left, but before our family came by.

Paper Lanterns and Horse Lights

Birthday Party, Dining Room

Hey look, a sneak preview of the books on the shelves! With a weird, giant horse balloon.

Horse Balloon

And more use of those giant balloons… There were three in all, and the kids loved carrying them around the house. (Brandon had them filled at the grocery store for $2/each with heart-shaped weights. The party store quoted $7/balloon with just string.)

Silly Baby Photo

That photo of E from when she was six months old still cracks me up!

The kids at the party spent most of their time up in the playroom, playing with Play Doh, using the toy kitchen, and trying on dress-up clothes. We didn’t want to interrupt them and steer them toward activities (like Pin the Tail on the Pony) that they might not really enjoy when they were already having fun, so we went with the play that was happening naturally. At one point, Eleanor and some of the other kids formed a marching band and they went through the house making a jolly racket, and my favorite getup was the girl who paired leopard-print kitty ears with black glasses and bongos. I like your style, young lady.

Pin the Tail on the Pony

(Eleanor was kind of bummed about not playing the pony tail game with her friends, but we did do it later when our family came over. The adults were all pretty sure the older kids cheated, because their tails were all right on top of each other in just the right spot.)

We put down a plastic tablecloth and rounded all the kids up when the pizzas we ordered had arrived. To keep them busy in their seats while we got the food ready, we had markers and pre-cut circles of paper that fit my button making machine. The kids ate while Brandon made their designs into magnets, which they took home at the end of the party along with their goody bags.

Kid-Made Magnets, and Goody Bags

After pizza came the birthday cake. I didn’t get a great shot of it because Brandon and I were both busy keeping up with all of the kids, but the cake looked similar to the one in my post on horse birthday party inspiration. Instead of bunting, I made some big paper hearts to go behind a toy horse.

But oh! The look on Eleanor’s face, and her friend’s hand on her arm. Love this shot.

Birthday Cake

And thus went our birthday celebration weekend. I don’t know if we’ll divide the parties up the same way next time though — we were all exhausted! I’m curious… do you combine the kids and the family into one party? Have them on separate days? Just do one or the other? We might need to rethink our approach.

Five Years Old (Eleanor’s Yearly Photo)

I took a monthly photo of Eleanor in the same Eames rocker, in the same spot, every month for the first two years of her life. (I did the same thing for her little brother, August.) When I came to the end of my two-year project, I decided to keep the tradition going with yearly photographs instead.

Eleanor is five years old now. Here is her yearly photo.

Eleanor at Five Years Old

Five Years Old (Eleanor's Yearly Photo) #makingitlovely

We found out recently that baby number three will be a boy, and Eleanor will soon be a big sister to another little brother! She continues to be very helpful when it comes to name suggestions, but Super-Boy has been the best to date.

Funny Face

Happy birthday, Eleanor! We love you to Mars and back. (It’s much farther than the moon, you know.)

Eleanor is Five Years Old!

For the Fairies. And Zombies.

Eleanor is really into fairies right now. They visit her at night and give her sweet dreams, and they help her grow. All kinds of things. We haven’t seen any in person, but that’s because they’re very shy, and also because they sleep during the day and only come out at night. Brandon bought a toy for E when she got her white belt in karate a few weeks ago, and he left it on top of her dresser as a surprise. Of course, she saw it when she woke up and immediately assumed it was a gift from the fairies, so they got all the credit.

We think they’ve been hanging out in the dollhouse, but we’ve talked about creating a fairy garden for them to live in outside, too. My friend recommended Wannemaker’s for supplies, so we went out there on Sunday.

Wannemaker's Fairy Garden Supplies

We already had plenty of planters to choose from and it’s too cold for outdoor plants yet, so we concentrated on finding the perfect decorations. If the design were up to me, it would be like an open terrarium with a cute house tucked away in one corner. Maybe a little patio too, complete with charming vintage-style furniture. The design was rightfully up to E though, so we have a giant! house, a couple of fairy figures, a bridge and blue glass pebbles (water), plus a beach chair and umbrella. August wasn’t that into it, but he did choose both of the fairies for Eleanor.

Starting on the Fairy Gardens
Adding Fairy Garden Decorations
Eleanor's Fairy Garden

That house took up so much room that we ended up creating two fairy gardens. One is for their home, and the other is a beachy scene in which I planted a pothos that we already had on hand (I’ll either harden it to the outdoors or swap it out for something else in a few weeks). I want variation in texture, with larger plants juxtaposed against tiny ones, and something with small flowers. The kids want dirt patches for their zombie toys, because the beachy scene is now a zombie garden. So, maybe we won’t be adding more plants? They really like everything as it is now, and this is for them after all.

Zombie/Fairy Garden
Zombie Yeti in the Fairy Garden

Eleanor was worried that the fairies might find their new home only to be frightened off by the zombie toys. But we discussed it and they’ll be fine, because zombies are not real. (Fairies are.)

Zombie/Fairy Garden

She goes to check on her fairy gardens each morning, first thing when she wakes up. She still hasn’t seen any, but she told me that she has been singing songs to the fairies in hopes of gaining their trust. Much like the rabbits in our yard that bound away immediately, but that she has leaves carrots for. So hopeful, that girl is.

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