Friday, April 13, 2007

We're Off to See the Wizard!

It all started when I was home on maternity leave, when Mike and Kieran went to the video store and arrived home with "The Wizard of Oz," to my horror. "Do you realize how scary that movie is???" I shrieked. It turned out that Mike had never seen the full movie before and had not experienced the flying monkeys, grabbing trees, or much of the Wicked Witch.

It only took a few repeated viewings (fast-forwarding through the scary parts initially) for Oz to become Kieran's most beloved movie. He fancies himself as the Wicked Witch, and now when he's watching the movie and she appears, he shouts out "Look! It's me!"
So for months we have been talking about having a Wizard of Oz birthday party. We decided to invite just a few family friends beyond immediate family, and we invited people to come in costume if they chose. The party took place only six days after we returned from our vacation, so it was thrown together at the last minute!

We had a bit of a last-minute crisis the day before when I reminded Kieran that we had only a purple witch's hat, and he was distraught at not having a black one. For a few moments, he decided that he would have a Winnie the Pooh party instead, until I persuaded him that everyone else would be upset. I found some Oz stickers for the goody bags, bought some yellow paper for a yellow brick road, created a mini-play based on the full movie script, printed out lyrics to the songs, decorated a cake with M&Ms and yellow frosting spray, and threw together a witch's costume with some black skirts. I had also bought some Oz-themed presents, including the soundtrack from the movie. It sounds like a lot now that I write it all down, but given what many parents do for their children's parties--and what I COULD have done with this theme--it didn't seem like much.
At about 1/2 hour before party time, I finally allowed Kieran to have his way with the face paints--all day long he'd been begging me to allow him to go at it with the green face paint. We were delighted to see some of our guests come in costume--my sister's incredible nanny Herrera fashioned costumes for Kieran's Aunty Nadine and his cousins, and one of Kieran's "godfamilies" came in costume as Dorothy, Aunty Em, and Uncle Henry! We read through the mini-play, and of course Kieran knew his parts by heart. I fully expected tears at some point, because expectations were high...but it all went off without a hitch.
Photos below: the Wicked Witch and his guests, his cake, and his Oz characters. plus a Wicked Witch of the West Wannabe...

His beloved godfamily the Newmans gave him incredible Wizard of Oz characters, which he adores. His birthday wasn't until Monday (after Easter), on which day we gave him our gifts--a Wizard of Oz movie storybook and an "I Love Oz" mug and delightful book and trinket set from "Books of Wonder" in New York City. I think the rest of us are all "Ozzed" out, but not Kieran--he would watch the movie every day if he had his wish, and he's already planning his "Wizard of Oz Halloween Party"!!
Photos below: Celebrating his birthday at school

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