Posts Tagged ‘
birthday party ’
Saturday, June 7th, 2014
3 years, 6 months.
For Memorial Day weekend, we took a road trip in the Sante Fe SUV to go to your cousin Calla’s 3rd birthday party. I should point out, that by default, you had to become a Brony for the afternoon, since you were surrounded by two other 3 year-olds, who both happened to be girls.
One of them, was of course, your cousin Calla.
The other was, well, only your best friend in the whole world: Sophie!
She moved away back in February, but it turns out, where your cousin Calla lives in basically the half-way point between where Sophie moved and where we live.
As expected, you and Sophie picked up right where you left off.
Needless to say the three of you had a great time. It should be a given that when in the presence of our family, things will be fun, random, and unique.
And so they were.
The party got started off right with an inflatable castle, a rocking horse, and a playground underneath the Alabama pines.
After the three of you burned off some energy in the fresh air, one thing led to another, and the next event became a visit down into the storm shelter.
Yeah, because that’s normal…
It is with us, at least. After I closed the hatch, I stood above you all, on ground level, pretending to be the “Big Bad Wolf,” howling through the ventilation pipe.
You guys cheerfully stayed down there much longer than I would have expected.
After all, with the exception of the little bit of light shining down from where I was standing, it was otherwise completely dark in the storm shelter.
I suppose there’s something about hanging out in a storm shelter that makes you crave munchies, because up next, the three of you had vegan vanilla cupcakes at the Friendship Is Magic table.
Meanwhile, we adults dined on vegan French toast and vegan quiche as well.
Because if things weren’t quirky enough with our family, you better believe that our plant-based lifestyle extends beyond just you, me, and Mommy…
What comes next after the snacks and birthday cake? The presents!
We got Calla a tutu, while “Uncle Owl,” who is my Uncle Al (pictured in the storm shelter picture, flashing a peace sign) presented Calla with the gift that earned the title “Most/Least Creatively Wrapped Gift.”
Throughout my whole life, he has always been known for buying us nice gifts, and a lot of them… and wrapping them in newspaper.
This time, though, he decided to mix things up.
He “wrapped” Calla’s largest gift by placing it in a large black garbage bag.
Calla didn’t seem to notice the humor, she was just so happy to be getting a kid-sized Disney Princesses sofa.
I think you missed the “unwrapping” of the sofa, because Sophie’s daddy was taking turns bouncing you and Sophie on the giant exercise ball in the living room.
Just imagine had we known what all was going to happen at Calla’s party in advance.
Imagine if the invitation would have arrived in the mail, proclaiming this:
“Come join us to celebrate Calla’s 3rd birthday!
We will be playing outside in a jumpy castle, riding a rocking horse, hanging out in a storm shelter, bouncing on a yoga ball, and we will try to figure out what’s underneath that garbage bag.”
Yep, just another all-American birthday party for a 3 year-old girl.
All the standard stuff you’d expect to see… in our family, at least.
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Sunday, November 17th, 2013
3 years old.
For your last two birthdays, Mommy and I didn’t keep things simple.
We combined both friends and family to have an official birthday party, each time.
Even though our “family life” is so much more stabilized and easier than it was for the past two years, without giving it much thought, perhaps by default, Mommy and I decided to have a purposesly low key (!) birthday party for you.
So we did things a bit off beat…
First, on Saturday, the morning of your birthday, we had your first and best friend over, with her parents.
As this picture collage that Sophie’s parents made illustrates, you two had plenty of unscripted fun.
My favorite part to witness was when Sophie suggested, “Come on, Jack. Let’s go upstairs!”
So we all trekked up to your boy cave.
I’ve mentioned before, we have the top half of a rockasan in your bedroom that serves as a “boat.” You and Sophie had a great time giving each other rides in it.
And somehow, even though I was only feet away, I missed the moment when Sophie ended up with the toy basket on top of her head.
Of course, after lunch, both of you were in need of a nap, so the celebration came to an end, but not before we all had some of Mommy’s yummy vegan cupcakes!
After Sophie left, we aimed for a nap, which I think ended up turning into us watching part of Monsters, Inc. that Sophie got for you. (You now own your first Disney movie!)
Then later in the afternoon, we had two more of your friends up with their parents, and essentially repeated what happened earlier that day.
It wasn’t until just now, as I put these pictures together, that I realized only girls came to your birthday party.
(Your friend Troy was out of town and couldn’t make it, by the way.)
So it made it that much funnier that in the goody bags we gave to them, each friend received a Hot Wheels pick-up truck.
Yes, and that’s pretty much your 3rd birthday party. Of course, we’re going to spend next weekend with my family to celebrate your birthday with them… and I have a special surprise being shipped in from Atlanta… or I should say, driven in…
You’ll see what I mean in a couple days!
(Plus, I just have a feeling that to be so mellow about your 3rd birthday party, we will end up making up for it with your 4th birthday party.)
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Thursday, May 16th, 2013
2 years, 6 months.
I no longer have a 2 year-old son. As of today, I can start referring to you as my “2 and a half year-old.”
You are just as close to your (assumed) monster truck & dinosaur themed 3 year-old birthday party as you are to your Thomas the Train themed 2 year-old birthday party.
I look at you now and see how you’re clearly looking more like both Mommy and me.
Sure, the (now darkening) blonde hair and blue eyes are still a surprise, but gone are the days when I would write about how you don’t really look like either of your parents.
Something I was thinking about this week is how in classic sitcoms, by around the 5th season, the family would typically have another child, to better engage the audience with fresh new story lines.
From there, the next season would feature the zaniness of life with a new infant and baby. Then magically, the following season, that toddler who could barely talk instantly became a wise-crackin’, catch-phrase coinin’ 5 year-old.
In other words, producers of classic sitcoms evidently had reason to believe that the ages between about 2 and 5 were not interesting enough to entertain.
Okay… here we are. Let’s find out. As a 2 and a half year-old, falling in the category of what I call “the flyover years,” will life still be interesting? Will you still be just as funny and entertaining to Mommy and me as you’ve been for the past 2 and a half years?
I’m thinking yes.
I’m eager to prove writers of classic sitcoms wrong, as if that’s even a thing that matters.
If you were a character in a family sitcom in 1988, you would be replaced today by a different, older actor.
Well, I’m keeping you. I predict life won’t skip a beat, even if you’re entering the flyover years.
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Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
2 years, 2 months.
Until last Saturday, the only birthday parties you had been invited to were for either very close friends or family.
So as weird as this may sound, it was at least somewhat of a milestone as a parent to receive a birthday invitation from one of your classmates from daycare.
“Jack, do you know Joshua from your class?” I asked you.
“Yeah, he likes the trains,” you responded with no hesitation and full confidence.
So we bought 3 die cast Chuggington trains for your friend Joshua.
I didn’t even know who Joshua was, which added to the coolness factor of you being invited to his party.
“Who is this mysterious Joshua kid?” I wondered.
We arrived at The Monkey’s Treehouse, where you instantly made your way to the giant wooden train sets and began inching a train around each corner and up each ramp with careful precision.
A friendly boy with olive complected skin and black curly hair pushed a toy shopping cart by you saying, “Hi Jack.”
“Oh, that must be the Joshua,” I told Mommy. I was right.
It was his 3rd birthday. A cool, older kid wanted you at his fun birthday party at an indoor playground. Epic.
Of course, you were perfectly content hanging out at the train station the entire time, only taking a short break for birthday cake.
Trust me, I tried, but I just couldn’t get a natural shot of you and Joshua in the same picture. That’s okay, though.
Because I have a feeling that part of the reason Joshua invited you to his birthday party was that he liked you and wanted to make sure you guys officially became friends.
Kids’ birthday parties are a good venue for building relationships with not only the kids, but also the parents.
Sure enough, for the first time ever, when I picked you up from daycare today, you explained, “Joshua ate the apple.”
Yes, Joshua has now made it into your after-school conversations with me.
I like your new friend. He’s a cool kid, just like you.
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Tuesday, November 20th, 2012
There’s a decent chance you will begin actually remembering certain events now. I say that because my own 2nd birthday party in April 1983 is the very first memory of my own life.
I remember my Italian grandfather holding me in his lap as everyone around the table sang “Happy Birthday” to me. It was somehow overwhelmingly sad, so I cried until it was time to open presents.
It is from that experience that I planned your 2nd birthday party. I wanted to make sure that you would have a fun, memorable party for you, your friends, and our family.
So I implemented 3 simple rules for planning your 2nd birthday party:
1. Find the right-sized location for the amount of people invited.
We invited about 30 people and they all showed up. (Yes, Jack, you’re that cool of a kid!)
Fortunately, our church had a mini basketball court for you and your friends to chase each other around in. My top priority was making sure you didn’t get antsy.
I also wanted to make sure you didn’t get overwhelmed by the amount of people there. With a location that open, you never felt closed in or crowded. That kept you happy.
2. Downplay the eating and singing part.
I think the real reason I got scared and starting crying at my own 2nd birthday party was because I couldn’t understand why so many people surrounded me and were singing a song I didn’t know. It freaked me out.
So as non-traditional as it was, I made sure we purposely didn’t sing “Happy Birthday” once it was cake time.
We didn’t even have you blow out candles in front of everyone. We just let you enjoy your cake while we served the guests.
Actually, you were more excited about sampling the Teddy Grahams, Animal Crackers, and Angry Birds crackers.
You were actually quite proud of them; as you see in this picture I took of you.
3. Speed up the gift-opening.
When it came time for you to open your gifts, your Mommy was equipped to jot down who gave you what. Then as I quickly read the cards to everyone, you opened your gifts.
I wanted to prevent stop-and-go action, ensuring a continuous flow instead.
That gave your guests time to see you actually react to and play with your new gifts beyond your initial reaction of opening them, because you didn’t necessarily know what everything was at first.
So that’s it. I’m not sure you actually will remember any of it, but in an attempt to help jog your memory, I conveniently saved the pictures from your 2nd birthday party for you on this link to The Dadabase Facebook page.
You didn’t cry at your 2nd birthday party like I did 29 years ago. Good job, son.
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