Our 2011 began in Rio de Janeiro. Well, not really.
Every year that we aren't in Culebra, Puerto Rico (OMG, the kids are so tiny in these pictures) we throw a New Years Eve party for the kids.
Rio goes to New Years at 9pm New York time,so we party from 6 to 9 and ring in the New Year at 9, with lots of hollering and yelling and counting down and making noise. Then, we wind down, get the kids into bed and lay around like lumps on the couch, with glasses of good champagne, waiting for the real midnight to happen. Then, we fall into bed like zombies. The Rio party has worked well for us - the girls and their friends are just too little to party until midnight and I'm too damned old to be picking confetti out of the rug at 1am.
This year, the first party guests pulled into the driveway at the country house at 5:30 am on New Years Eve day, classmates of Lucy and Edie and their folks. They drove all night from Ohio to get here. Then, Carol from NYCityMama and her amazing, wild, loveable brood came piling in, in the afternoon. At least three more local families RSVP'd the morning of the party. That brought us up to about 30-40 people expected to attend. And I hadn't gone shopping. For anything. And there wasn't much time to put everything together and make lunches and breakfasts for incoming guests. It was a zoo. An awesome zoo, where monkeys were hanging off the outside of their cages, but a zoo nonetheless.
Truth is, all my parties are like this. David on the phone in the other room, talking to someone saying, "Yeah, come on over!" and me scrambling to get everything together as people pour in the front door. There is very little meticulous table setting, or creating intricate party favors, or making fussy appetizers. I dream of that, but really, my parties are onslaughts - clumsy, big, loud, fun, imperfect, crazy. My parties - and maybe me,too - are like a Saint Bernard bounding through the house, and piling into your lap, drooling, panting, fur flying, yipping with happiness.
If you don't like Saint Bernards. I might not be your girl and my parties might not be for you.
Which might be why David created an awesome "Chill Room"...
...for people who like their parties a little more Basset Hound, than Bernard. The chill room was genius,a quiet space to sip your drink and be away from all the craziness and craft-making. Thanks to David, the Chill Room, will be a permanent party fixture for us.
So, I wanted to show you some bits of our party, our friends, our entre into the New Year, 2011 and all it's fun possibilities. Thanks Carol, for taking all the pictures, for sharing this with us, for cleaning my kitchen after the party (Aren't good friends wonderful?)and for your friendship. I love you.
We started with crafts. Decorated paper hats and made noise makers.
They were so chill while we made crafts. But that changed...
Then, we made pizza. Dreams of a clean kitchen were killed during the making of these photos.
The great thing about making your own pizzas is that you actually get to hang with the kids and be with them during the party. And you absolve yourself from having to "get dinner on". You make the guests happily do the work for you. Tricky, yes, but no one seems to complain.
The next day, New Years Day, we took to the snow, to shake off the party and feel the open air, the cold snow.
Even I got into the act. I think that tells you what kind of year this is going to be...
A good one. A really, really good one.
PS: A special thanks to Stop & Shop of New Paltz, New York. You all know that they have generously supported the cooking I do with kids, but this time they did something even more important - they saved me from being an ass at my own party. I bought everything there last minute, food, arts and crafts supplies, New Years decorations, everything. Seriously, I love them. Now, if they only could sell booze...