Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Owen's Third Birthday

Owen turned 3 on January 23rd. It's so hard planning birthday parties in the middle of the winter where the average temperature is 0 degrees F. This year happened to be the first year that one set of grandparents could even attend because there wasn't the usual Lake Effect Snow Warning. Throw in food allergies and you've got yourself quite the dilemma. But as always, I do believe we conquered this one!

Owen chose to have a Thomas the Train Birthday Party. Thankfully creating the atmosphere was easy since our train table is in the middle of our living room. During the party all of the children enjoyed playing with the trains. To entertain older children and adults, I had picked up a few Thomas the Train games: Bingo, Birthday Thomas, & Thomas the Train Uno. The board games worked well for the season and now we have them to use all of the time.
Food was the biggest dilemma as always, but honestly the dilemma was choosing from all of the great ideas I found. In the end it came down to money, as it always seems to, so we went with the most basic and inexpensive plan. I made a train out of cardboard boxes. Box cars were filled with plain potato chips, air popped popcorn, and tortilla chips. These are the safest allergy friendly snack food we have.
If the boys ask for another train birthday party in the future, I'm dying to try the Fruity Pebbles Train recipe I found along with making candy trains for everyone. I do believe I could have switched out the candy to make it work for Owen and all attending the party. Hopefully next time around we have more money.
The cake or should I say cupcakes were the big hit of the party. I had purchased the train cake pan from Williams & Sonoma awhile back with a gift card I had been given. Using Cherrybrook Kitchen Yellow Cake Mix, instead of Williams & Sonoma Cake Recipe, and substituting allergy friendly candy and frosting, the end result turned out really well. The cupcakes were made with the same mixes and left over frosting.
Each child was able to choose a box car to eat and the adults ate the regular cupcakes. I will admit, I still miss REAL cake, but the Cherrybrook Kitchen Yellow Cake Mix wasn't all that bad. Obviously the cupcakes were the most expensive part of the party.

The last challenge was the goodie bags. I looked everywhere for Thomas the Train items and besides the usual bubbles and... I forget what else. They cost a fortune. No place in town sold train items, not even at Dollar General. So, trying to avoid food because of the allergies, I searched and found an organization called Operation Lifesaver. They have a website and everything. The organization promotes train safety. They offer several promotional items for close to nothing in price and will ship them to you. You can request to have someone come to an event to talk about train safety and everything. I was excited! So here's what I ordered:Train Whistles
Zipper Pulls
Train Erasers in multiple colors
Rulers & Bookmarks
Pens & Pencils
Crayons & Colored Pencils
& Train Safety Activity Books.
The ages of the kids varied so much that I tried to find items that would work for older kids too. Lastly, for the younger kids, I was able to order engineer hats. They were adorable and MUCH cheaper than the clothe ones.
I highly recommend this site. My only advice, order as early in advance as possible to save on shipping!
So that's another allergy friendly holiday done. Next in line Valentine's Day and then Easter. My mind has already started turning with ideas. I'll post them once I complete them.
We're definitely having fun with food allergies!
Perhaps if Adam has a train birthday party (his birthday is in the summer) we can go to a real train station or museum, perhaps even ride a train. So many ideas... If only it weren't winter!


  1. What an adorable party. You are doing an amazing job with your boys and their allergies. Thanks for the comment on my guest post. It means the world to me that others understand too!

  2. You did a good job and for me the party was RELAXING!!! So the next time you want a party we will do our best to be there. Who knew a party could be so relaxing. :)