Better late than never!
I had been warned about doing the whole birthday at Chuck E's thing by others in the past... About how they rush you off your table, and it costs an arm and a leg, and the kids get overwhelmed, yadda yadda yadda. The thing is, growing up, my Mom used to take my brother and I to Chuck E Cheese almost every Friday, so for me, it's a place of happy memories, of fun and games and food and laughter. Sure, it's loud, and obnoxious, and LOUD, and I know that by the end of the visit, we'll all feel like zombies... But that's all part and partial to the experience, right?! Right. So we figured that while Ilyana is at the age that she truly enjoys the experience, and gets SUPERTHRILLED over it, and actually BELIEVES that Chuck E is a for-real, life-size giant mouse who only wants to party and get down and celebrate with you, we'd take advantage of that bit of innocence and let her have her Chuck E party. So we did. And overall, it didn't disappoint.
There was dancing (this was in front of a screen that projects you onto some TV's above your head for everyone in the place to watch you)
Owen, Dru and Jack enjoying some pizza!
Mitch, Bobby and Lizzie having lunch!
There were lots of rides, games and a jungle gym:
The boys (Bobby, Jack, Mitch, Owen) all lined up playing skee-ball together! Love this pic!
Jack and Dru in the crazy jungle gym tube cage thing! Jack doesn't look happy or anything, does he?! lol!
And okay, one ride in particular that was VERY popular with the birthday girl. I'm pretty sure everyone at the party took her on this Merry-Go-Round at LEAST once ;)
FYI: the "Mare-Go-Round" as Illy calls it, is a great spot for candid shots :D
And of course, we had cake! The recipe came out pretty good, which I was nervous about since it was my first time making it... But she loved it, and I got compliments from others too. Gotta love Allrecipes! It's my go-to and it never disappoints with new yumalicious-ness. ;)
Birthday girl and her cake!!
Birthday girl, Mama Rugg (me), purty party cake... and annoying balloon string which ruined a perfectly awesome picture! GRR!!
Me and Will singing **HAPPY BIRTHDAY** to our little princess, barely believing she's already THREE!!
There were presents galore...
And Zhu-Zhus up the wazoo! We have a whole Zhu Zhu empire now. Great marketing on those things, the way they sell kids on this glorified cat toy and then have you buy all the parts separately. lol. I knew we'd be getting into those fadd-ish multi-part toys eventually, but who knew it would come so fast?! It seems like it's only been overnight since she was just my little widgeon... *sigh* And yes, I do call her my widgeon. I make no apologies. ;)
Ilyana was bowled over in anticipation waiting to see the Chuckster himself... He came out, and they hugged, and it was incredible to see the awe in her eyes and the happiness thinking that he cared about her lil' ol' birthday!
Waiting in anticipation with her puffy *birthday girl* token hat on... Here he comes! I can see him Mommy!!
Oh, Chuck! Where have you been all my life?!
Now do you see why we had to do the party here this year? Her face says it all. Pure elation.
But the one thing that we had most of at the party this year, as with any birthday with our incredible family, was...
Lots of it.
Owen and the Illmaster.
Nana, enjoying watching the kids play and have fun! :)
The guys! L to R: Will, Mitch, Bobby, and Matt. Another good pic!
While it wouldn't be my first choice for a party in the future, for all the reasons I was originally warned about (the bill does add up, and they definitely don't give you enough table time), I'm so glad we gave her the chance to enjoy the Chuck E birthday experience this year. She really had a blast, and everyone else seemed to have fun, too. For me, that's what it was all about... My heart and soul was turning three... Three?! THREE!!! And I wanted her to truly enjoy every minute of it. I know she did. My only regret is not getting more pictures, but then again, when ISN'T that a regret of mine?! ;)
Happy Birthday Widgeon. You light up my life.