Chugga Chugga Two Two Party

Monday, January 19, 2015
All Aboard! The Perry Express (aka Perry's second birthday party) departed Saturday January 3rd from 10-12 at the North Alabama Railroad Museum. 

We got to celebrate with lots of family and friends on a real live train car. Our train loving fellow was in heaven.

Before the party got going we had our photographer take a few family pictures for us around the museum grounds.

Perry stayed with his Granna and Grandaddy the night before the party so we could get up early and get everything all set up. One downside of having a party out of your house is you can't set things up days (or weeks) ahead of time. We got in at 7:30 am and hit the ground running. Travis and Adrienne and Chad met us up there to help set the tables, hang hats and bandanas, put out food and everything else. We could not have done it without our amazing friends.

The party was on the dining car which was perfect with 10 tables of four and a little alcove at one end that was just the perfect size for a train table. I wanted the party to have a vintage feel, since it was on a 1943 train car. So the colors were set at deep blue, red and yellow.

I loved how the pallet signs turned out.

Different colored fabric was cut and torn into strips and tied onto thick ribbon to create a garland for the food and drink tables. I love how this little detail came together. And hey...I'm thinking it will be kept for a new life on the fourth of July. Scrapbook paper makes great "placemats" and centerpieces were mason jars with card stock cutouts of a "Perry Express" train.

Favors were train whistles of course, tied with little "Chugga Chugga Thank You" tags. Kids also got to play with and take home conductor hats and bandanas which were stung across the wall with twine. FYI - oriental trading has all of these things inexpensively in bulk.

Last year at P's Hungry Caterpillar first birthday party, we had everyone sign their name and a birthday wish in a copy of the book to keep a record of who was there. I think it would be really fun and special to keep this tradition up each year, picking a book that goes along with the theme and having everyone sign it. I can just picture P with a whole collection of books from his birthday least until he gets big enough to not think it is "cool."

The venue worked out really well. Despite some issues with them at the last minute making the promised baggage car unavailable. It was definitely crowded with nearly 40 people in the train car, but I'll choose to think of it as cozy. We had hoped for uncharacteristically nice weather for January, and we got warm, but rainy. So there wasn't much opportunity for exploring the outdoors. 

Since it was mid morning we didn't have to serve a huge lunch. The menu was PB&J and chicken salad sandwiches cut into train shapes, cheese and crackers, fruit skewers (colors to look like traffic lights), popcorn, railroad crossing cookies and cupcakes. Cupcakes were half chocolate and half white almond. Everything came together on the food table really well.

Perry had been dying to have a cookie all morning and was so happy when he finally got to eat one.

Drinks included vintage bottled sodas, water with "chugga chugga two two" labels, and juice boxes for the little ones. I saw the idea for custom muslin bags for juice boxes on pinterest and had a lady on etsy make them for me (if you look closely they read "Perry Express" in the railroad crossing sign). FYI - cute paper straws fit perfectly in juice boxes.

We decided to bring Perry's new train table to the party and set it up in the little alcove at the back of the train car. I am so so happy we did. With the weather yucky it was critical that we had something for the little ones to do. They pretty much all stayed back there playing the whole time. It was so sweet to see a bunch of kiddos surrounding the table yelling "choo choo!"

It was so great to have so many family and friends there to celebrate with us.

It stopped raining briefly during the party so we braved taking all the little ones outside to get a group picture in their hats. I think this is my favorite picture from the day. First of all we have 8 children all looking kind of in the same direction which is nothing short of a Christmas miracle. Second, look in the middle at Perry and Ellie Mae. She wanted nothing to do with her hat and was making that fact known. Meanwhile Perry is leaning in and cheesing it up for the camera. Those two are good buddies at school. Kate was apparently going for the model look. hahaha.

The last thing on the party agenda was opening presents. Perry did great with it, though he wanted to open and play with each present as he got it. He got lots of really cool toys and other gifts. Lots of trains and legos and even pirate dress up clothes.

Happy 2nd Birthday Sweet Boy! I know you won't remember your second birthday when you get big. But I hope you can look back at this and see how much fun you had and how loved you are. We can't wait to walk through the next year with you and see what is in store.

Photos by NGN Photography

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