All she wanted to mark the occasion was a Dora party, so a Dora party she received, complete with a Dora jump castle.
And what Dora party would be complete without Backpack and Map?
My saint of a sister stayed up with me the night before, cutting out mouths and eyeballs from foam as I sewed the backpacks together. The idea is not original, so don't be so impressed. I got the idea from the Nick Jr. website and modified it a bit. I also learned that sewing with craft foam is not fun, for me or for my cheapie Singer. I'm still picking out purple pieces!
Back to the party.
I have a thing for making the birthday cakes for my chickies; I don't know why, but for some reason this is important to me. Aforementioned saintly sis also helped me with the cake, chocolate per the birthday girl's request. My sister found the hot air balloon idea from a cake-decorating website and we went with it. The balloon basket is made from the little sponge cakes sold in the bakery section at the grocery store. The balloon itself is attached with string tied to pieces of spaghetti. The rest is buttercream heaven.
My girl couldn't wait to get "her candles" on the cake - she'd been taking them out of the pantry all week, adoring them. Little did she know that Swiper would steal them away! My big brother donned a blue mask and swiped the candles away while we were setting up the cake... all part of the master plan with Backpack and Map!
We then told the kiddos to go get their backpacks so we could find where Swiper hid the birthday candles. After everyone had it, the question was asked: "Who do we ask for help when we don't know which way to go?"
They all then removed their maps and headed to Puzzle-Land, where they had to complete the puzzle before heading to the next location.
Then, it was off to the sleeping troll (played by my brother-in-law), who was holding the candles in a special box. They all pulled the maracas from their backpacks and shook them to wake him up. Then, they had to say "Por Favor" for him to give up the special box to the birthday girl.
At last, she would have her beloved candles!
Happy Birthday sweet girl... and many more.