Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Ezra turns 2! | a school bus birthday party

I've been putting off writing about Ezra's second birthday party because I was overwhelmed by the amount of pictures that Matt took, but I finally sorted through them and chose some of my favorites to share here. We held Ezra's party on a Thursday morning because of some weekend scheduling issues that couldn't be resolved, but it ended up working out quite well. The party was school bus-themed because Ezra loves watching the neighborhood children getting picked up in the morning right outside our house every day. After Matt's return home from work, I think it's his favorite part of the day.

Matt started snapping before I had everything completely set up, and once the toddler party guests arrived my carefully staged dining room was quickly dismantled (as it should be at a party!) so there aren't any pictures of the full set up. The paper products are all from Target (plates found in the dollar section and the rest are Mara Mi), and I borrowed the yellow striped tablecloths from my mother-in-law.

They're hard to see, but I made little flags for the cupcakes out of white and yellow ticking. A matching garland hung from the two shelves in the dining room.

I replaced everything that's usually on them with a few things that coordinated with the party theme - yellow tulips in a mint julep cup, an embroidery hoop displaying a square of school bus fabric (Kokka Beep Beep, in case anyone is wondering), a wind up school bus toy, a framed illustration of a bus, the silver E from Ezra's room (it made an appearance last year, too), a wooden school bus I found on Etsy, and a candle. Yeah, the candle didn't have much to do with anything, but I needed something to fill the space. Of course pom poms were involved (will I ever stop making them?).

We served banana bread, pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, cinnamon rolls, and mini bananas.

Drinks were kept simple - just water and apple cider.

I found these cute school bus wrappers for Hershey's chocolates, so of course I printed out a few sheets and Ezra and I spent an afternoon cutting and sticking them on. (Of course I was in charge of cutting so don't anyone get worried. Ezra was in charge of the glue dots.)

Lucky for us, my dad works part time for a bus company so he was able to drive a school bus over to the party and take us for a ride! I was beyond ecstatic when his request was approved because I thought it would be the perfect party activity and I knew Ezra would be excited to ride with his Grandpa.

We rode over to a playground near our house and let the kids burn off some energy for a while. 

Obviously it's very difficult to take a picture of twenty toddlers and preschoolers with their moms.

After about twenty minutes we all piled back on the bus and headed back home for birthday cupcakes!

Ezra had been waiting for this moment since he woke up. He had been practicing blowing out the candles since his friend Amelia's party. You know, just blowing on anything or nothing after half singing "happy happy!"

I think Ezra ate the frosting off of three cupcakes and left the rest. He basically ate cupcakes for breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, and dessert that day. What can I say? A boy doesn't turn two every day.

A week before Ezra's party I decided to make a child-size photo booth prop. We didn't do a fancy backdrop, but the kids had fun pretending to drive the school bus around our house.  

Babies got in on the action, too!

We sent everyone home with yellow school bus crayons and little school bus coloring books I made using Microsoft Word and free school bus coloring pages. Apparently I didn't get any photos of the books and crayons... just the bags. Oops!

Two and a half weeks later and Ezra is still talking about the 'coo bus' ride with his friends. And the frosting. He certainly hasn't forgotten the frosting. Thanks to everyone who celebrated with us!

P.S. I'm happy to give the cupcake flags and garland to anyone who's local and can pick them up! Just send me an email...


  1. This is precious, Momma! Ezra will have great memories, how special that Papa was the bus driver! I love your decorations and the cute photo bus, and the bus chocolates, and coloring books, wow! Too much fun ~

  2. Hi Tara! Ezra's birthday party was awesome! What a great idea to have a school bus ride. He must have had a blast. The decorations are straight out of pinterest. Great job!

  3. What a great idea! Everything looked perfect. Wish we could have made it. Great job!

  4. This is adorable. The bus ride with grandpa is the cutest thing!

  5. Tara - I love love love love love this. I really like how you took care of even the tiniest of details and of how you guys incorporated an actual bus! And Ezra is SO cute - how come little boys are enamored with all things motorized?

    My goodness I can't wait for next year!

  6. way to go, supermom!! Your party setup looks straight out of a magazine or styled shoot!

  7. This is one of the cutest things I have ever seen! I'm thrilled that you were able to use my school bus wrappers. Happy Birthday Ezra

  8. Loved the theme.. I am working on a similar one for my son who is going to be 2. Can you please let me know where did you get the board you used to make the photo booth from? Thank in adv,

  9. This share of yours is making me feel jealous of not able to enjoy such birthday now. We are grownups now and thus unable to have such fun. Though we enjoy a lot at different event space Atlanta on all our birthdays. Will look for few exotic themes to make them more special in addition to dinners and luncheons.


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