Friday, February 22, 2013

horses, horses, horses, horses...

So about a month ago, we started to play the all-too-common guessing game with Leah. This time the subject was the theme of her birthday party. Princesses? No. Pampering? No. Movie party? No. Sea animals? No. Rainbow? No. We had a few other options and I was honestly afraid we'd never guess it. That was, until I mentioned horses, to which we got a resounding stare. Yes!!!

Horses it was. 

We had the party today since it was Leah's actual birthday and winter break so all of her cute little friends were home from school anyway. There were 10 girls on the list and I thought probably half would be able to make it because of the week-long break - but 9 showed up! Yay!

I went over a little early to set a few things up and was pretty proud of how it turned out. Especially the hobby horses. The night before as I was stuffing and stitching them up, Ryan said, "You make the strangest things." Um, thanks!? Little did he know they would be the hit of the party. 

About 15 minutes before the party was to start, Ryan brought Leah over. She waited patiently on the couch with a grin on her face as we waited for the party guests to arrive. And when they did, one by one, they came over to Leah and surrounded her with nothing but love. It was pretty amazing to watch. 

To begin, the girls each decorated a card with some western stickers. The cards would be used as Leah's thank you notes to each of them. I always struggle to find ways to have Leah write thank you cards and figured this was a fun, more personalized way! We used the leftover stickers for family thank yous. 

As we finished up with cards, Ryan arrived with pizza! The girls politely gobbled it up. Again, it was amazing to see them rally around Leah to make sure she had enough pizza. And was she getting enough water? Did she want any apple juice or carrots? I loved watching them interact. 

After pizza, we played a few games: stomp the fly {relatively unsuccessful as far as popping the balloons goes - bryn had a definite advantage with her rainboots - but fun nonetheless}, pin the tail on the pony {i'm not convinced those bandanas weren't see-though}, and my favorite, the relay. Each girl had to put on her pink hat, tie the bandana to her neck, "lasso" the hobby horse with a hula hoop, then ride the horse to the trough to eat oats, jump over the ropes, then back around the table for the sprint home. It. Was. Hilarious. We struggled to get the girls interested when someone else was racing. We encouraged them to cheer, which they would do for about two seconds and then they'd stop. Until Leah raced. At which point, with no prompting, the room erupted into cheers of "GO LEAH! YOU CAN DO IT! GOOOOOOO LEAH!!!" Again, it was incredible to watch. And it was very obvious that Leah was enjoying herself. 

After games, we opened presents. It's a known fact that kids are extremely interested in the gift they are giving at birthday parties. Often to the point of wanting to open the gift themselves. Well, this was any child's birthday party dream come true. Because Leah can't open gifts herself, the rule was the giver could help her open their gift. It was a hit. And boy was she spoiled. I was dumbfounded by the generosity of each girl. 

After gifts came cupcakes and ice cream. Cupcakes were horses in the pasture {thank you oriental trading} and ice cream choices were strawberry and chocolate chip cookie dough {both Leah's choices}. 

After cupcakes, I had planned to have the girls play horseshoes, but they were already having a great time running around with their hats and the hula hoops and hobby horses, so we just let them have at it. Parents came to pick up their girls altogether too soon and the party came to an end. 

Miss Leah truly had the time of her life and I hope all the girls had fun. On the way home, Leah got to ride in the passenger seat with mom with all her balloons and goodies in the back seat. She's one lucky and loved six year old. 

Yee haw!

And can I just give a shout out to Leah's dad? He was a rock star. He took Leah by the reigns {no pun intended} and helped out every step of the way. Aaaaand, we switched the location of the party last minute. I was pretty sure everyone knew, but just in case, we put a sign on our door. The guy didn't use just any tape, he used washi tape. Sigh. He knows the way to my heart. Three cheers for dads!


Amber said...

I love this party! You did a great job! My daughter is 2 and has Rett. It makes me so happy to see how happy your Leah is! (And all of her friends! yay!! :) Thanks for sharing this.

Emily said...

Your blog never fails to touch my heart...that Leah!!! :)

Lant Family said...

What a fun party!

Josh and Laura said...

Such a cute party! Bryn had the time of her life and now I know what she was talking about after seeing all the cute pictures from that day!

Erica said...

wow! what a great party! I dont know how you do everything you do! creative and fun and so special! love the pics!

Michelle said...

why is this post making me bawl?! seriously! I just love that girl, I love that you made this party so perfect for her.

Dani Brems said...

I love this. Leah's smile melts my heart!