Dorothy was on an “I want to be an astronaut” kick this winter that lasted only slightly past her realization that astronauts need to study lots of math. But before it ended we read lots of cool books about planets and space, stalked the International Space Station, read a biography of Sally Ride, and had a fun solar system birthday party.
I made her a planet-printed skirt from fabric we found on Fabric.com. We bought a set of inflatable planets online that served as teaching tool and party decoration in one. It also occupied a couple hours of my big kids’ time as they experimented with the pedal air pump. I took birthday portraits of Dorothy in her party clothes, mostly at her artistic direction. (Her enthusiasm for choreographing photos exceeds her zest for math, at least at this point.)
Nana supplied the fabulous cake, as usual.
I hung the planets from the ceiling in our dining room. Sticking easy-peel hooks to the ceiling to hang the planets seemed like a great idea until I realized about halfway through that I’d not be able to raise my arms above my head again for days, because each surface has to be prepped with alcohol and then the hook has to be pressed firmly to the surface for a minute before it is set. Oh well, it’s like cheap CrossFit, right?
And we used cookie cutters to make star and moon cheese shapes for our snacks. I had the cheese sliced extra thick to make better shapes, but seriously over-estimated the number of cheese shapes our (mostly adult) guests would eat. The week after the party involved cheesy chicken and broccoli, cheese enchiladas, cheese-stuffed chicken breasts, and lots of cheese sandwiches in my kitchen.
Dorothy’s friends played a bean-toss planet game on our stairs. This game probably would have worked better outside on the driveway, but it was raining. All our little guests were winners; Dorothy made the prizes herself on her new sewing machine.