Sunday, January 31, 2010
Logan's 4th birthday
It's hard to believe that it's been 4 years since the day that Logan was born and our life changed instantly. I feel like at this point in motherhood, I've hit my stride. I'm not saying it's easy, but we're in a groove and even with the now 4-year old back talk (that drives me NUTS) we've got a pretty good handle on things.
It's about time because the last 4 years have been some of the most challenging, most rewarding, most mind-numbing, most fun years I've had in my life. A mixed bag for sure.
We celebrated Logan's birthday with a huge dinosaur-themed party with his friends. This was the first year that we organized games and activities and lunch, rather than just hosting a playtime with snacks and cupcakes. 4 year old's have "real" birthday parties. So, invitations were sent to 20 of his friends and their parents and siblings came along with. We hosted here at home and had close to 40 people in our house. I made cupcakes (the same vegan chocolate cupcakes with butter cream frosting that I always make for birthdays) with orange frosting because that's Logan's favorite color, then we ordered about 10 pizzas and had both a fruit and vegetable tray.
Everyone hung around for a while eating lunch and chatting. We're lucky that even though it was a full house, we have enough room to host such a big party without everyone stepping on each other. There were people in the front room, people in the living room, people in the kitchen and people in the playroom. It was full and fun!
After we ate, we all gathered in the playroom for a few games. Because this was a dinosaur-themed party, we had a dino dig. Ideally, this would have been done outside in the sand, digging for fossils. But, it's winter, it's cold and snowy and going outside was not an option. I filled Easter eggs with miniature dinosaurs that I found at a party store and put them in an inflatable baby pool and covered them with balls from the ball pit we have. The kids thought it was a blast to jump in and dig for eggs, then announce what dinosaurs they found.
While the kids were patiently waiting for their turn, we had an art corner (that the kids had been at the whole time at the party) where they could color their own T-Rex cut out. The girls especially liked this activity.
Lastly, we had a pinata. We never found a dinosaur pinata, but Logan had his heart set on getting one, so he picked out a Spider Man pinata. He really wanted this Spider Man pinata, claiming that Spider Man is cool because he goes to the bank to wrestle with bad guys. I gasped at the $20 cost of a dumb pinata to which Logan repeated back to Bill later that day, "Dad, we got a Spider Man pinata! It's $20!"
Filled with miniature candy bars, the kids took turns pulling the strings on the pinata to open the trap door (which is much better than handing a bat to a bunch of riled-up 4 year olds). Logan got to go first and it took about 3 or 5 kids to finally get it pulled open with candy falling on top of their heads. They loved it.
After the short sugar rush, we all went into the kitchen where we sang happy birthday to Logan. It was a moving moment for me to hear because there were so many people. I felt so fortunate to have so many friends celebrate Logan's birthday with us. All of these friends have been a part of our lives for years since we've moved to our town, seeing them many times a week - at playgroups, preschool, and around town at activities.
Even though we weren't planning on it, Logan opened his presents at the party. I think we all think that's the most boring part about a kids' party - but I couldn't be the party Nazi and tell him "No, you can't open your presents." Lame-o mom, I would be. He opened presents that were super cool dinosaur books, awesome cars, and everything a 4 year old boy would love. Afterward, Logan and Carter played with them all together. So cute!
All of the kids left with gift "buckets" - small sandbox pails with shovels (for digging for dinosaurs), a growing dinosaur that increases in size when soaking in water, and a wooden dinosaur puzzle or maze that they can color and it will last longer than other cheap gift bag items. And tons of candy from the pinata too.
The party was a smashing success and not nearly as crazy as I thought it would be. I told Bill that I hope it's a birthday that Logan remembers, not because I was up cleaning the house until 1am the night before, or spending so much time putting it all together - but I hoped he remembered it because it was fun. It was happy. It was awesome.