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Sleepunders Are In

I feel like we've been celebrating a lot of birthdays lately. (Probably because we have.) This was the first year we had an actual "birthday party" for Bo and Revi, so we kind of went all out. (For us, anyway.) We invited Bo and Revi's whole class, got a castle bounce-house and hired a Princess Anna to come and host a sing-along/face-paint/sing "Happy Birthday" thing. It was totally lovely, and completely worth it. The girls had the BEST time and the kids were awesome. Everything was easy-breezy no-stress and relatively plan-free. I mean, once you stick a bouncy castle in your yard, you don't really need to plan anything. It's a beautiful thing.

It gets a little trickier when kids age out of princesses and bounce houses and start asking for sleepovers and more sleepovers. Fable is OBSESSED with sleepovers and asks to have one at least three times a week, to which I always respond, "But you share a room with Archer! Every night is a sleepover!"

Anyway, Fable begged to have a sleepover for her birthday and I told her, "No. Because we did a sleepover last year and I'm still recovering, so never again, no thank you, I literally cried."

The thing is, I LOVE having parties at night. It's so fun and cozy for the kids. Life is so much more exciting in the dark. I SO loved night parties as a kid and feeling like I could stay up late, so I TOTALLY understood where Fable was coming from. So, we compromised and decided to have a non-sleepover sleepover. Start time: 5:30 PM, end time: 9:30 PM. All of the fun of a sleepover with none of the sleepover shenanigans.

I didn't realize that "sleepunder" was a word and that "sleepunders" were common things until several people shared the sleepunder verbiage with me on Instagram. And then I went and looked up several posts about sleepunders and DUDE. YES. YES YES YES.

The thing about sleepunders, though, is that—unlike the sleepover and/or the usual daytime party—you kind of have to create a tentative itinerary to keep things moving, especially when you're looking at four hours of party-time excellence.

And so Fable and I sat down together and planned the whole eve.

5:30 - 6:00 - Meet/Greet/Chill

6:00 - 6:30 - Light/Magic Freeze-Dance Party

Fable REALLY wanted a strobe light and a disco ball, but we cannot do strobes in our house because last time we brought the kids somewhere with a strobe light, Bo started puking. (Bo's sensitivity goes beyond sugar/dyes and extends into all of her senses. Girlfriend has the soul and stamina of a superhero, so OF COURSE she has her share of Kryptonite.)

Instead? I got a million glow sticks and these AMAZING LED balloons they sell at Target.

6:30 - Dinner

I always serve the same thing at birthday parties: pizza and a side of berries and a side of carrot sticks and chopped-up cucumbers. The end.

7:00 - Easy-Prep Halloween Craft

Bo + Revi + Fable's finished Halloweenitial

I bought a bunch of cardboard letters (the first initial of each child at the party), and Fable and I picked out loads of Halloween-y toppings at our local Joann's to glue onto said letters. Super easy/fun for all, and everyone had something cool to take home!

7:30 - Cake!

8:00 - Outdoor Movie Theater

I had big plans to engineer an outdoor movie theater and then, suddenly, it was Saturday afternoon and I had no idea how to engineer an outdoor movie theater. (I had big plans to purchase a projector and project the movie against the wall on our front patio.) Instead, I moved the futon out of the office and into the backyard, opened the double doors that lead outside and stuck a computer on the ground (and prayed that nobody would accidentally trip over it). It ended up being SO COOL AND AMAZING and we made popcorn and surrounded the girls with LED balloons and glowsticks and everyone cuddled up, and it was so totally fun.

9:15 - One Last Dance Party

(Because it's crucial to end the night dancing.)

9:30ish - Parent Pickup

A few friends stayed later than 9:30 and put on a full-on show for the parents. My kids ended up staying up until 11:30, which may not be for everyone. (I didn't have the heart to break up Fable's performance of "The Hills Are Alive" or interrupt Bo's bathroom-floor glowstick art installation.)

Besides, the later they stay up, the easier it is to get them down. High five, parents. High five.

What about you guys? Anyone out there hosted a sleepunder? What did YOU guys do? I would love to fill the comments with ideas for parents looking to host one for their child's birthday. Thanks in advance!

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