Kevin’s Fifth Birthday | Nautical Party Inspiration

While I was getting ready for Kevin’s fifth birthday party & have found myself getting lost looking at albums of photographs. He has changed so much in the past couple years, I am barely computing how fast he is growing. We celebrated his March 23 birthday the way he likes it- lunch at McDonalds with Daddy and a trip to Gigi’s Cupcakes.
I have become obsessed with Polaroids and have been snapping away during his birthday week. It’s so easy to capture the moment without being fussy.

In the past couple years, Kevin has developed a few obsessions. The first one was Nemo. He loved anything that had to do with fish. Then he received a Thomas train for Toys R Us and there was train-mania going on around here. One thousand engines later, he is back “into the sea.” More specifically, what he coins “Ocean Animals.” His favorites are squid (he can name several types & identify them) & sharks.

I wanted to do something that reflected Kevin’s interests, but steer away from the colorful fish theme we did a few years ago. I tried to pull off a bit of a nautical party with squid & shark influences. I tried to keep everything simple & reusable as much as possible.

Rocky saw this idea for a watermelon carved into a shark on my Pinterest board, and decided he was going to make it. He bought a watermelon (they are a little small because they aren’t quite in season yet) & went to work. It was so cute to watch him create his masterpiece, Kevin & I were impressed. 😀

Rock said it reminded him of one of Steven King’s “Langoliers,” but it was cute nonetheless. The kids really liked the Swedish fish coming out of its mouth.

Since I was trying to focus more on gifts/decor that would last, (and not just get shoved into our tiny garage when the party was over), I decided to order all three of the “mans” matching screen printed squid shirts. They were another Pinterest find, but you can buy them on Etsy from DesignThreads. They responded to my e-mails quickly & sent my customized order very promptly. I was so impressed with their customer service & of course we loved the squid shirts!
Rock & I were really excited to show them to Kevin.

I found the colorful squid graphic on Etsy, designed them in InDesign, & used Kraft envelopes to send them.

I take full responsibility for being a mom who can not do it “all.” There are some pretty papers & twine that are untouched because I didn’t have time to make pom poms & bunting. I guess between cleaning the house, baking, working, & sometimes sleeping… a few projects didn’t get done. I scribbled an idea of what it might have looked like. 😉

My two little “mans” didn’t seem to miss any of the fluff I had imagined making…

Before Damian was born, Kevin came up with a few names for him. One of them was, “Ocean Diver.” We kindly declined his suggestion (sounded a little too much like Jason Lee’s son “Pilot Inspektor”). We weren’t really sure what he would think of the new baby since he was used to having us all to himself for four years. On the way home from the hospital he gave his approval when he quietly announced that he “sure loved his little brother Ocean.”

Ever since then the nickname has been something of a sweet reminder of how much he surprised us by welcoming his brother, instead of demanding the attention or resenting him. “Damian Ocean” kind of reminds me of “Danny Ocean,” one of my favorite movie characters. It has stuck. Plus I enjoy the weird stares I get at the grocery store when people hear me call my kid Ocean.

With the weather being a cold, winter day (at the end of March you never know around here), we knew we’d have to squeeze the party inside. I used my bookshelf to serve some of the treats & hold the favors. The grandparents & parents wrote little messages to the kiddos & took them home. This year I ruled out anything fondant & focused on making treats that people would enjoy eating. His cake was confetti (his choice) and peanut butter frosting. I also baked Nutella whoopie pies with peanut butter cookies. The filling was homemade whipped cream + Nutella.
These beautiful flowers are courtesy of Hooray Design! Cute, right!?

I found these wooden forks & spoons on Amazon (this way I can use the extra for Damian’s July birthday party). For dinner, we had fish that my husband and Father-in-Law caught on Lake Erie. Rocky breaded them & fried them with his homemade hush puppies. It was so good. I would have pictures, but I was too hungry to have the patience to photograph any of it. Prepping for parties is exhausting 😉

My inspiration for the cake was from Kevin’s squid drawings. I tried to replicate his style with white chocolate, but I think his are better.

I adore Bakerella’s cake pops and made them a few years ago for his third birthday party. This year I took the easier route & used an ice cream scoop to shape Rice Krispie Treat Pops. Every party needs some easy-to-eat portable treats.

Shark Tattoos… the kids enjoyed them! I used Kevin’s shark plaster mold set it to make white chocolate sharks as favors for the kids (rinsed & cleaned thoroughly beforehand).

I see this angle so often, he is always “reading” something.

My mom snapped a quick Polaroid of us at the end of the night. It was a busy day but so much fun to celebrate his fifth birthday with our family!

The funny thing about birthdays, is that often the birthday child is given something that leads to a new interest. I will throw out a prediction…

Dinosaurs for his sixth birthday party? ♥

*Photograph taken by Rock Dozier




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