So here are the events of the day in approximately chronological order.
First, I'll say that we decided to have the party on weeknight for various reasons, and that was so cool. Even though it meant providing a meal for the guests, it was great to be able to stay up uber-late and not have to wake early.
The craft project for while everyone was arriving was simply painting with matchbox cars. I rolled the paint out in the tops of egg cartons. The kids' smocks are adult t-shirts from the thrift store. I love that I could color coordinate them with the decor.
Next up was matchbox derby. I made and painted the plywood track. They put the cars in the top and then we pulled up the starting gate so they all went at the same time.
Of course, later it was more of a free for all, which was fun too.
Now it was time for rides in a "real" race car. I can't tell you how much my inner (outer?) stylist wanted the car to be red. But none to be found. But it was a Porsche. I mean, come on. Oh, and I didn't mention that it rained that day, which was a bummer. I really wanted most of the festivities to be outside. But it stopped long enough for the top to be down. We added the vinyl number and stripes to make it look authentic.
A checkered flag finish line was a must. Theo loved it. Jon just took them one at a time for a spin down the drive and around the cul-de-sac. It was really about crossing the line and everyone cheering. While waiting for their turn, everyone had to stay in the tire circle in the driveway.
Afterwards it was time for dinner and cake and general playtime. Food was baked ziti with caesar salad and chicken nuggets. I did make the cake. It was my nemesis. I. Do. Not. Like. Fondant. I had never tried it before and at 4 am, it sucks unless you know what you're doing. But it came out pretty cute (And I photoshopped out some of the cracks).
The drink station was fun. There were three choices in water dispensers (I cut a hole in the back to put the drinks and ice in.). They poured into funnels and then your cup at the bottom. One bit of advice is if you're doing it indoors, put a tray underneath to catch the drips and spills. I had originally thought to use small gas cans as pitchers, which would have been cute too. But since he's a bit young I worried about them knowing the difference between those and actual gas cans which they should NOT drink out of. :)
As far as planning, I stressed out and took on too much this time around (including work commitments) so I didn't feel in balance. I asked a lot of my family and friends and while I'm not sure exactly what I would have done differently...it wasn't easy to pull off. Tears were shed, but, all in all, it was a great day and Theo had an awesome time.
All photos by Christianne Ebel