Friday, April 26, 2013

A Party for Two Monkeys

With our family being so busy right now, Mommy thought it would be easier to just plan one big party for the boys.  Neither boy seemed to mind sharing a party with their brother.  We held the party this past Saturday after Evan's baseball game.  Mommy has determined that destination birthday parties are somewhat easier for her than parties at home...less preparation and clean-up required.  In 2009 when Evan was 2, we had tried to hold his birthday party at a local establishment called Lazy 5 Ranch, a large, private zoo where you can ride through a large and open habitat where lots of wild and exotic animals are kept.  It is about an hour north of our house.  They allow people to drive their personal vehicles through or you can ride a horse drawn wagon ride, but we have heard quite a few "horror" stories from such excursions...picture lots of animals with big horns coming up to your vehicle for food.  You get buckets of feed to feed the animals, and these animals are "expecting" you to feed them.  Ha!  Anyway, when Evan was 2, we were cursed with bad weather and had to change our plans to something indoors.  Thankfully, his party that year was small with mostly just our immediate family.  Actually, we feel we have been cursed every year with not great weather for outside parties.  It will be beautiful, warm, and sunny every day surrounding the day we pick for the party and then dawn wet and cold on the party day.  We hope by planning this party later in April and not on either of the kids' actual birthdays, we could avoid the curse, and I guess it worked.  Saturday was a pretty, sunny day although there was a little wind gusting that kept making it chilly.  Mommy decided to do a monkey theme for her two little monkeys (although after choosing this theme, Evan said he wanted elephants.  He has been liking elephants lately for some reason).  We used green, yellow, and a little orange for Evan for the colors.  We kept the food and treats simple with pizza ordered at a place close to the ranch and simple vanilla and chocolate cupcakes made at our local grocery store bakery.  I made some cute cupcake toppers to go on the cupcakes.  The wind did not make it feasible to use too many other decorations although we did get some balloons for the occasion.  The kids enjoyed playing on the playground, feeding the animals, and riding the horse drawn wagon.  Unfortunately, my nephew Lanny got sick on the wagon ride, and his daddy  wasn't feeling so hot either.  They were put into quarantine when they got home because Aunt Jessica is tired of sickness.  Despite a few downsides, the party was a fun experience.

{Warning:  This post is extremely photo heavy as this is our way of preserving memories such as these.}

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The entrance

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I wanted monkey mylar balloons, but the party store didn't have anything except girl monkeys.  I settled for a big 6 and 2 balloon to celebrate my two monkeys.  Yes, my OCD hates that the 6 is backwards in this picture, but the wind was not helping. 

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A Scarlet Macaw

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Evan and his pals at the party, cousin Reade, old friend Bryant, and cousin Lanny. 

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Lanny didn't like that Evan appeared to be the tallest in the last picture. 

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Nanny, Ms. Donah, and Jonah

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Mommy and her little monkeys.  I wanted the boys to both wear monkey shirts this year, but I was having trouble finding something.  I had thought about special ordering personalized shirts, but I assumed I would easily find something in a store.  Apparently, monkeys are not the in thing this season because I found no monkey theme shirts anywhere.  On Friday night while we were at Target picking up a few necessities, I thought I would check one more time. All I could find were matching monkey pajama sets (they were actually two pajama sets on sale for $12.00).  I decided they could wear the shirts for the occasion and then would both have some new pajamas.  

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Our family

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Getting ready to go on the wagon ride. 

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Not sure what Evan's expression was about...anticipation and excitement maybe? 

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Our noble steeds.  The wagon could go where the cars could not, and the drivers knew a lot about the animals. 

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There are always crazy animal stories at this place.  This zebra was the spectacle of the day.  He would just stand there right by the road where cars drove by, and he would just stare into the car window at the passengers.  He was "obviously" male, and I guess he was "protecting" his woman behind him.  I saved you the picture of him showing off his stuff.  

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Vietnamese Pot-Bellied Pig

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Not exactly sure what kind of animals these were, but they loved to eat.
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Evan trying to feed one, but he didn't want to put his hand too close so most of the feed fell on the ground. 

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The cousins feeding animals together. 

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Uncle Paul helping his youngest feed the animals.  Even cousin Cate got in on the action. 

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Evan and his pal, Bryant, waiting for more animals to feed. 

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Not sure about these white animals as all of the animals do not appear to be listed on the website.

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Pretty sure the spotted one is a Japanese Sika Deer. 

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Duck pond

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Some kind of buffalo. 
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These were not as interested in eating.  Guess they had enough. 

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Brody enjoyed his seat on Daddy's lap as he watched the animals. 

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Giraffes!  Mommy's favorites. 

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If there is one animal that reminds me of Brody, this is it.  Have you noticed how long and thick their lashes are?   He has a little blue stuffed giraffe he received at the hospital when he was born, and carries it around a lot because it has a silky ribbon.  I guess he is my little giraffe. 

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This was the only giraffe interested in eating. 

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A sweet little baby playing shy in the back. 

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There is just something funny about the animals at this place.  They always have the funniest expressions.   I guess they are just so used to interacting with people. 

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He was leaning directly over top of us. 

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Peeking over the fence. 

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Silly llama. 

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Brody thought this llama was funny. 

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A close encounter...thankfully, he didn't get spit on. 

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African cattle

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A lazy rhino camouflaged in his dusty habitat. 

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Seriously, this should be the cover page for the park's website.  This was one crazy animal.  He had the longest tongue and drooled everywhere.  Yuck!  I would not want this one putting his head in my car. 

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The boys eating pizza.  This was actually before the wagon ride.  

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Brody was thirsty. 

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Evan and his oldest school buddy, Bryant.  They have been friends since their early days at daycare.  They go to different schools now, but we try to get them together as often as we can.  Hopefully, there will be more play dates this summer when we get to meet Bryant's new little brother.  

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Sweet little man playing on the playground. 

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Going down the very fast slide. 

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Wearing big brother's jacket because he was a little chilly. 

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Hanging out with his pal, Jonah. 

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Brothers = Best Friends

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This is love!

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Just the sweetest boys. 

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Even cousin Grady joined the fun. 

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Time for cupcakes!

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Brother cupcakes

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Brody's candle lit for him. 

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Evan prepares to make his wish. 

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Brody blows out his candle with a little help from the wind. 

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Brody digs in to his chocolate cupcake. 

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He's the opposite of brother -- he likes the icing while big brother always preferred the cake. 

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Two thirsty boys. 

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Reade gets a special Evan cupcake.  Notice his lovely colored hair?  He and his big brother had been to their school's fun day and gotten their hair sprayed. 

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The kids enjoying their cupcakes. 

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Sweet baby face. 

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Evan wanted Mommy to eat one of his cupcakes. 

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Oh my!  Gotta love that cupcake face! 

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Cute little prairie dogs lived next to the picnic area. 

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Lanny tries on his party hat before he had to leave.  Unfortunately, he had come down with a little bug and needed to go home.  

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My sweet boy running to me on the playground. 

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Peacock chasing. 

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Almost got him!

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He made it to safety. 

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Jonah decked out in his party hat. 

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Aunt Naomi reads Evan his birthday card. 

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Brody opens one of his presents.  A little wagon and toys for the beach from Grandma. 

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He is ready to head to the beach. 

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And some new trucks. 

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Brody showing us his new water table.  Now, we just need time to play with it. 

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Brody gets a new movie from his pal, Jonah, and Ms. Donah. 

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I had to snap a picture of the kangaroo on our way out of the park.  They were being very lazy though. 

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This one did get up and spied me watching him. 

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Saying goodbye to Mr. Camel. 

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And Brody was soon out like a light! 

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At home, the boys enjoyed playing with little Grady. 

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Evan is so good with babies. 

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He has so much love to give!

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And this cutie tried on his party hat. 

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I kept the party favors pretty simple.  Just their party hats, blowers, some "monkey snacks" (dried banana chips), and a little barrel of monkeys.  



  1. A birthday party this year is hard to plan - the weather is so unpredicitable! I love the monkey shirts. You can't even tell that they are pj tops. We got Addi a water table when she turned 2 - she LOVES it still. You did a great job on the cake toppers too! How cute! It looks like you all had a blast at the party!

    1. Awww, thanks, Tracy! Yes, I love having kids with Spring birthdays, but the weather has not made it easy to plan parties. April was just such a crazy month, and I feel like it was gone in a flash. I am just ready for a slow down period now! :-)

  2. I love the picture of Evan kissing Brody. And I love their monkey shirts! Very cute!

    This looks like a super-fun party Sherry. What a great, fun idea.

    1. Yes, Evan is a very sweet and loving big brother. Brody tries to kiss Evan on the mouth (he is in that phase right now), but Evan won't let him. Haha!

  3. Love the monkey shirts, love the cupcake toppers, love the party favors, love the location. Love all of it. Awesome party!

    1. Well, it was the best I could come up with. I feel like I am running out of ideas or maybe my brain is just fried right now. Haha! It was fun though, and I think the kids loved it. Plus, I think it was "easier" on me that trying to get the house ready to host a party right now. I would have loved to decorate more, but the location wasn't really good for that.


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