This year Eliann turned nine years old! Her Dad told her she was about to start the last of her single digit years. It was true! I read a post by another Mom about her daughter turning nine stating that nine was the half way mark of a child. They have been in our care for nine years and we have nine years to go. Whhhaaa?! How can that be? Either way… it was also kind of true. Man my little lady is getting so old!
So this year when we bagan to talk about Eliann’s birthday we knew it would be cutting it close to our move out date for Italy. Thankfully we were still here for her special day so she could celebrate with friends. She really wanted this birthday to be a sleepover. I feel like it’s pretty much all the rage for kids around this age. She also wanted it to be a campout. We’d have to see how we would incorporate that since we had already moved out of our home and were living with Brian’s parents at the time.
The 19th Birthday Idea
In talking to one of Eliann’s close little friends, Ella (they’ve been friends since Kindergarten, her Mom, Lisa, is Eliann’s Girl Scout troop leader and most recently they went away for a week long girl scout camp in the Summer), we discovered that both our families were considering the same weekend for the girls birthday parties this year. Long story short… we all decided it could be way fun to do a combined birthday this year since they share a lot of the same friends… so long as they could come up with a guest list of no more than ten girls. They got to work and so did we. Lisa and I divvied up the work and you know what?! That worked out pretty nicely in terms of logistics and planning. The girls excitedly explained it would be like they were “having a 19th birthday because Ella was turning 10 and Eliann was turning 9 so 10+9=19. That is even teacher approved!”
The day for the party arrived and we had all 10 little girls that had RSVP’d present… and then some with a couple of the girls siblings joining in for the fun. We had planned to heat the pool and swim, watch a movie with a candy bar, host a flashlight lollipop hunt (like we enjoyed the last time we went camping), play musical chairs to decide how we would hand out the party favors and call it a night for the sleepover. Let’s see how things really played out…
1. Pool time.
2. Dried off and jumped into pajamas and played the Jelly Bean taste test game.
3. Happy Birthday, bundt cakes and gifts.
4. Grabbed our flashlights, paired up and took off to hunt for lollipops in the backyard. Over 180 lollipops in all!
5. Took turns grabbing treats from the candy and popcorn bar to watch a movie- Cinderella.
6. Watched about half the movie… got too squirmy so we went outside for some red light green light running around to burn off some candy fueled energy. Too dark for photos. There was only one instance of tears during the whole time we were together… running around at night might have been the culprit… and it may have been tears from my birthday girl.
7. Came back inside and finished the movie as well as said goodbye to a couple of the girls who weren’t going to get to sleepover. This was also right about the time my reinforcement came, the lovely Mrs. Allison Williard aka. the Tutu Fairy or Fairy Godmother for my Eliann.
8. We moved on to the last officially planned activity of the night- musical chairs. We had these super cute party favors- sleeping eye masks- for each of the girls sleeping over, but to avoid drama over who would want which mask we made it a game. The girls had to play musical chairs and in the reverse order they were illuminated they would get to come choose their mask. The girls playing musical chairs was hilarious to say the least. Quite the competitors for sure. Syana was the musical chair winner.
9. The musical chair fun led to the realization that although it was essentially midnight, these girls were no where near ready for bed. We had decided at this point that we would all be sleeping in the trailer for the sleepover, but if we would have put the girls to bed now they would have been up for hours chatting and being rowdy. So instead we decided to make them play even harder. We took turns doing a trick and then everyone had to try it. This meant everything from splits, to back-walk-overs, to doing the worm. It also included an epic dance break to Queen’s ‘Under Pressure’ which just happen to play on Pandora. To end the night we did some team building activities like attempting a ten girl pyramid and four-square push up challenge. It was an amazing power hour of fun.
10. It was now 1am. The girls were fully exhausted and asking to go to bed. Mission accomplished. Everyone went potty before heading into the trailer. Within five minutes the snickers and faint whispers ceased and they were in bed. Seriously couldn’t have planned that better. Me and Allison on the other hand might have stayed up a tad bit longer enjoying some fun pillow talk of our own.
11. 6:42am. That was the time the first girl made a peep. It was Ella. She wanted to know if they could go outside… like outside the trailer. The sun wasn’t even up yet… umm, no.
12. We finally got up, stretched a little bit and decided to pop in a movie in the trailer while we waited for Mrs. Lisa to bring bagels. Mary Poppins won the vote.
13. The girls trickled out one by one as parents arrived to take them home. It was such a fun night and we were so glad all the girls could have this special memory together in honor of Ella and Eliann’s birthday. After all you only turn NINEteen with a bestie once. 😉