Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Beckham's 3rd Birthday: Tractors

Finally, I am getting around to sharing Beckham's 3rd birthday with you all!  This little munchkin is obsessed with tractors of ALL kinds...farm tractors as well as any sort of construction vehicles.  It's amazing how many I pass on a daily basis, just driving down the road.  I never paid any attention until I had a little guy in the back seat point and holler at every.single.one!  He has as much excitement to see the 987th tractor as he did the first one of the day.  So, you guessed it...tractor party it is!


When I first asked Beckham what he wanted for his birthday party, he was very specific..."I want a John Deere tractor party with 'nilla cupcakes and girls there".  This was great!  I love a kid who can make decisions!  However, a couple of weeks later, he started changing his tune.  He decided that he did NOT want a party.  NO cake, NO ice cream, NO girls!  Typical 2 year old, #amiright?  "NO, NO, NO!"  I'm honestly not sure what changed his mind, but he was dead set on not having a party at all.  As a mom who loves throwing parties for her kids, I couldn't let his birthday pass without a party.  Maybe it was a little selfish on my part, but I planned on having a party whether he wanted to or not.  He eventually suggested that maybe it could be Mama's party and I would share my presents with him.  I tried to explain that for Mama's birthday, I usually get presents like earrings and shoes...but he was confident that for this party I would be getting tractors and I would share with him.  And, he was right ;)


So, we went with it!  Our guest list was just family and close friends, so I really didn't care if he ended up throwing a huge fit the day of his party, but he actually did very well!  He was rather frowny-faced in the beginning, mainly because everyone had arrived before he woke up from nap, so he was greeted by a large crowd and he wasn't fond of that.  But, he quickly warmed up and enjoyed himself.  When it came time to open presents, he had forgotten it was supposed to be Mama's party, and had no problems ripping the paper off to see what was inside!


Cake time proved to be a little more of a challenge.  He was excited to see his tractor cake with 'nilla cupcakes, but when everyone started singing "Happy Birthday", he hung his head and covered his face!  I've never seen a kid do that before!  It was funny, cute, and puzzling all at the same time.  He's not usually a shy kid, so this was rather unusual behavior.


At any rate, once the song was over, he perked right back up and devoured some cake!


Let's talk about the cake:  The tractor was made up of 39 cupcakes.  I covered a large, flattened cardboard box with aluminum foil and used it as the cake board.  All in all, it was pretty easy to ice the cupcakes and arrange them in the right order.  I iced each cupcake individually and then just smushed them together slightly once they were in place.  I piped icing directly onto the cake board for the exhaust pipe and smoke.  I happened to have some leftover Wilton Sugar Sheets so I piped "John Deere" on the sugar sheet and laid it over the yellow strip of icing on the tractor.  You could definitely pipe straight onto the icing, but I used the sheet since I already had it.


Food:  We went with farm-themed, Beckham-approved, finger foods for this party.  They included Lil Smokies (Pig Pen), Rice Krispie treats (hay bales), fruit tray (produce stance), corn on the cob (corn field), guac and chips (rubble and muck), and deviled eggs (farm fresh eggs).  I found the free printable labels here on pinterest and just photoshopped the food titles onto each one before printing.


Decor:  Yellow and green crepe paper were flanked by yellow and green balloons to get everyone in a tractor mood!  Despite his aversion to having a party, Beckham really enjoyed helping me decorate, so I had to leave his contribution ;)  


Other fun touches:
Yellow plastic silverware wrapped in green napkins to look like corn
Lemonade "fueling station"
Tractor plates and napkins


Party Favors:  Small pots with flower seeds and tractor stickers were available for guests to take home.  A dump truck carried fruit punch pouches for the kiddos to grab if they got thirsty.


I usually make my kiddos a shirt each year for their birthday (you can see my tutorial here), but I came across this one and I just could't resist.  It was too perfect for him, so I broke my tradition and bought it.


And, you know by now that the Frenches can't have a birthday party without our beloved bounce house!  It's always a crowd pleaser!  We bought ours a few years ago and it has been worth every penny!  We have it set up in our basement and the kids go down there on rainy or cold days to burn some energy.  It's expensive, but if you consider the cost of renting one a couple of times a year, it more then pays for itself in the first year you own it.  Best purchase ever!

All in all it was a pretty fun party!  I can't believe my baby is THREE!  It just doesn't seem possible.  Love you Beckham!  You definitely make life a lot more fun!

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