When guests arrived, we let them watch a few short minion clips which we projected onto Noah's wall because we don't have a TV. The bedroom cinema was a hit, and it gave the grown ups a few more minutes to scramble and finish up party preparations. (Eh hem, it's possible that the cake was still being decorated in the kitchen.)
After the movie, we made some minion hats. It was absurdly chaotic with all of those little hands attempting to make their own hat, but the grown-ups all jumped in to help, and the hats turned out so cute! This was one of those ideas that came from the miraculous internet (here).
|Noah and his minions|
|Tiniest minion of all|
|Cutest cousin Kate!|
Then it was time for the obstacle course, which was an extremely random assortment of tasks created by Ryan. He masterminded the whole thing, which included going into a minion transformer, spinning in a twirly chair, climbing through a tunnel, zooming out of Gru's laboratory on a firetruck, rescuing a minion from a hammock full of stuffed animals, throwing balls at a giant Lego head popping in and out of a window (yeah, no idea what this has to do with minions, but the kids were beyond thrilled to do it), and grabbing a banana out of a tree. It was so cute to see Ryan explain it all to the kiddos--I love it when he gets silly.
|Evil Lego head?|
|Just look at the delight in their eyes|
|Noah even got to take a turn as the Lego head|
After the obstacle course, it was time for the piñata, which Noah and his minions smashed to smithereens after a good ten-minutes of whacks.
And then, we admired and devoured the cake.
A word about that masterpiece cake. I would never, not in a million years, attempt such a cake if I didn't have a team of people to do it with me. I would make a boxed brownie mix like I did last year. But when I have Katie, Ryan, and my mother-in-law to help me, it is somehow possible to create these magical cakes for Noah, and I feel like it's a special thing that connects him to his birthmom, which makes the extra effort worth it. I baked the cakes (four round pans and a glass bowl), Sally frosted it with yellow buttercream (my mother-in-law, not the baby), and Ryan made the fondant details. Victory!
|He looks quite amazed with the final product.|
As soon as the movie-goers returned, we were back at it with pizza and gifts. We didn't do any presents at the party because Noah just gets really overstimulated and turns into a me-me-me monster (don't all little kids?), but he got plenty spoiled by family that evening. Ridiculously spoiled, as a matter of fact!
Katie and Drew gave him a set of rescue vehicles that he is obsessed with.
His birth grandparents gave him a darling firefighter costume, which he insisted on wearing immediately.
Grandma and Grandpa gave him a set of Rescue Bots which he had been wanting ever since learning about them from his hero, Cousin Callum.
Bapa gave him the world's biggest set of Magformers--as big as he is! These are such a great toy and provide hours of fun!
Mom and Dad didn't give him any gifts at the party but instead gave him a new book to open each night of week leading up to his birthday. I love this tradition, and I love these amazing Usborne books that we've discovered since my sister became a consultant. Their non-fiction books are truly amazing, and he loves this one called The Big Book of Big Sea Creatures.
We ended the day with a little quiet time with Katie and Drew, who stayed for a couple of hours after everyone else had left. We ate leftover cake in the backyard at dusk, and then we let go of Noah's birthday balloons one by one, making special wishes for his coming year. Noah loves this tradition.
I love that we get to spend time with Katie and Drew around Noah's birthday every year--it's such a special reminder of that night four years ago when we were all together in the delivery room as Noah came into the world. Adoption is such a miracle, and so is our little Noah boy.