Alex's 2nd Birthday Party

My little man Alex turned 2 last week and we had his party this past Sunday. By some miracle, the weather cooperated and despite also pulling off our biggest yard sale in history on Saturday, we still had some energy left for pizza and cake for 40 people on Sunday afternoon. I love doing late afternoon or early evening parties for my kids' first, second, and third birthdays. If parents are going to hang out with 20 toddlers, they might need something a little stronger than iced tea.

Here's Alex on his actual birthday. He LOVES blowing out candles (which I attribute in part to this toy).

We kept his actual birthday low-key with just presents from us and a cupcake for each of us. Clearly he LOVES cupcakes as much as candles! I love that we used the same candle when Elizabeth turned two. I plan to collect them for every year and then put them together for the kids' teen years!

This year, I decided on a race car theme because he loves anything with wheels and this seemed suitable for a two year old party. I wasn't going for a Cars Movie theme although that stuff was pretty easy to find (much of it on clearance since the new movie is about to come out), because I figure I'll have many years of Disney and Thomas themed birthdays ahead of me with this guy. I decided on an orange and blue theme because he loves orange and I love the contrast with orange and blue.

We had the whole thing in our backyard which was nothing short of a miracle considering the weather these past few weeks!  The kids could take advantage of push toys in the driveway, the play set and swings, and our small moonbounce (same as this) which we bring out for parties or just long Sunday afternoons. It takes about 5 minutes to set up and about 10 minutes to put away which is perfect for frequent use.

For decorations, I made the blue and orange bunting flags (I'll show you how later this week). My mom and I made "Happy Birthday Alex" posters for the side of the garage facing the yard and the garage door.

I also bought inexpensive orange plastic table covers which my mom taped to all of the tables, and finished with orange and blue paper napkins and plates. Two dozen balloons hung along the fence and railings and a few $1 pinwheels from Target completed the decor.

The food was some easy appetizers (chips and salsa, cheese and crackers, goldfish crackers, and a veggie tray), pizza, watermelon, and cake. I also made my first candy covered pretzels in the shape of a race car which was really fun to do and not at all hard. Perfect for non-bakers.
And here is Alex's cake.

The cake was an undecorated but frosted store bought half-sheet (half chocolate and half white) except for the royal blue trim. I made a stencil of a "2" for the race track and spray painted it with this product (in black). I added the lighter blue icing trim and some orange sprinkles and glittery stuff around.I made the little finish line flags with plastic toothpicks and tiny scraps of felt. The cars were also used in the favor bag (found here).

Yes, his shirt matches the theme colors!! Possibly over the top but I loved the shirt anyway :) Fortunately Grandma stepped in to help him eat his cake!

For added entertainment, Handy Hubby threw together this ramp for the kids to race cars on. It took him about an hour to throw it together and paint the stripes but it was well worth it. Alex spent most of his party time racing the cars down the track!

Each child took home a goody bag. More details on these later this week as well...

Somehow in all of the chaos, we got a couple of pictures of Handy Hubby, Alex and me. My friend and neighbor Jen was solely responsible for these and I am so grateful we took 10 seconds to snap these. I just wish that Elizabeth would have been willing to step away from her cake to join us!!

Have to say, it was nice to go to work this morning so I could relax!! 

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