Step one: A few months before the event, start imagining the details of a spectacular party that requires transforming your back yard into a secret garden wonderland, with stylish decorations, lavish finger foods, and a homemade birthday cake that will have Martha Stewart calling you for the recipe.
Step two: A few weeks before the party, realize there are too many kidlings clamoring for your attention and not nearly enough time to pull off such a feat. Then readjust your expectations to a more realistic level.
Step three: A few days before the party, become aware that you haven't done a scrap of preparing and that a bunch of adults and kids will soon be arriving for a party with food and drink and cake and loot bags.
Step four: Run like a wild person to the store and fling every possible party-related thing into your cart. Instead of buying a pre-made cake (like a sensible person with very little time would), purchase ingredients for a highly-complicated one. And instead of buying designed loot bags, purchase plain white paper bags and craft materials to decorate them. Because you have lots of time to do all this.
Step five: Assemble the party while always remaining calm and focused and patient with your children, even though they want to "help".
...Okay it wasn't really all that bad (but makes for more interesting reading though heh?). The party was good. And I even managed to pull off the cake. See?
Yes of course it's a Cars cake.
(Rolled fondant is my new BFF.)
I was dreading, dreading making the cake. Because basically I'm a BAD baker. People who like baking are very precise, very detail-oriented. And I'm not. I like to toss ingredients into a pan according to my best guess at the measurements and a splash of wine here and there.
And the loot bags... Please bear in mind I am not a crafty person at all.
Step six: When the party is done, fall in an exhausted heap and relax with the knowledge that as your kids get older, parties are going to get larger and more complex.