Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Craiger's 3rd Birthday Party - Batman

Craiger was SO happy when it was finally time to celebrate his 3rd birthday.  He's been wanting a Batman party for a while now once Daddy came home he knew it was almost time for his party.

The first thing I did was make his cake.  This cake was SO special for me.  I've always planned really outlandish & extravagant cakes for my kids' birthday parties.  I'm good at making cakes & sometimes I try to overextend myself to try to make the best of the best.  That sounds really bad & you know what?  It kind of is.  It's time I step back & just try to make it fun.  I don't need to outdo myself or anyone else for that matter.  I just need to make a fun cake that my kids love.

Craiger is my opinionated child.  He picked out a little Batman action figure at the store a while back & told me he wanted it on his cake.  I've been fighting him on it because I wanted to make a big bat symbol cake, but then I realized that really that's all he wanted. . . a cake with his Batman toy on top. I got out my circle cake pans & immediately I got a "No, Mom!  Not circles.  I want a RECTANGLE cake!"  Okay. . . so I got my 9x13 cake pan & made him a rectangle cake.  I baked 2 rectangle BLUE VELVET cakes because he wanted his actual cake to be blue.  Then he asked if we could put yellow frosting in between the two cakes.  This was turning out to be a lot of fun having him direct everything for the cake.  He wanted the frosting to be blue . . . BATMAN BLUE.  I started frosting it & he freaked out because it was "turquoise, not batman blue!"  I had no idea what he meant by batman blue so I let HIM dye the frosting for me.  He thought it was SO cool that HE got to mix up the color of blue he wanted.  He came up with the perfect "Batman Blue" for his cake.  It was kind of cute.  Next he wanted me to put black all around the outside & I let him help me pipe it on.  Was is crooked?  Yes.  Was it killing me to have a NOT perfect cake?  YES.  But I allowed it because I'm letting go of my perfectionism & he was LOVING this time with me.  I put his Batman on top & did a bat symbol in the corner.  Then he wanted me to write "Happy Birthday" in yellow on the bottom.  He was thrilled with the end result.  I was thrilled with the fun afternoon we had together making his cake.  It was perfect & I will always remember making it with him.

We had the dining room all decked out in Batman.  He was SO excited.

I made an obstacle course of "lasers" that the kids had to crawl through during the party.  They got to crawl through the red yarn & then fight the joker (aka balloons) at the end on their way outside to the piñata area.

I couldn't find a Batman piñata ANYWHERE of course, so I found a black Power Rangers one & decorated over the top of the Power Rangers to make it look like it was Batman all along.

After we were all decorated & ready to go, I turned on the Batman cartoon series & let the boys watch until the party guests began to arrive.  Bladen was excited to celebrate with his brother.  These boys are best friends forever!!

I never take any pictures with me in them.  I hate cameras. . . but Trek has asked me that I start being in at least one picture for each of their parties so that my kids always have at least one picture of them with mommy.  So I got in a picture with Craiger & of course he wanted nothing to do with it, refused to smile, & was a total pill.  Oh well.  I got in the picture so I did my part of the bargain.  ha ha ha.

Once the kids started arriving, I had them color a few Batman coloring pages until everyone had arrived.  We started the party out with some balloon games.  We had races to see who could 
"waddle like Penguin"
to the other size of the room.  After giggling over how silly that game was we
"balanced a balloon gracefully on the top of our heads like cat woman."
They loved that one too.  Of course in the end it all turned into a ballon fight, but that was a blast too.

After playing with balloons we played a Batman "pin the the bat symbol on the poster" game.  They got points for any bat symbol they were able to put their sticker on.  We let them play several rounds, added up the points, & then awarded the winner with a Batman towel.  It was funny blindfolding the kids.  Only about 3 made it on the actual poster.  Most of the others put their stickers all around our living room walls thinking that's where the poster was.

After playing our game I told the kids that we just received an urgent call from Commissioner Gordon saying the joker is loose at the party.  The kids were our only hope of capturing him before he ruins the birthday.  The kids then climbed through the "laser" hallway & punched the balloons at the end to defeat the joker.  They LOVED this.  It was so simple, yet they wanted to play it over & over & over again.  I could have let them do this the entire party & they would have been completely happy.

The laser obstacle course was a whole lot HARDER for Cadence & Lorien.  I definitely made it for 3 year olds.  They had a tough time maneuvering themselves through it without knocking everything down.

Poor Lorien knocked it all down.  She was SO funny being all ninja stealth too.  It was fun for them even if they knew they were going to knock it all down.

Once we were outside, we let the kids play for a little bit, then broke out the piñata.  We let Craiger go first of course, then let the guests try hitting it one at a time from youngest to oldest.

One of the sweet little girls (one of the youngest) knows how to play baseball.  Holy cow!  She knocked the piñata down on the first try.  Poor Trek had to hold it with his hands & hope nobody hit him with the bat after that.

Kason, the oldest kid at the party actually hit it just right.  I love that I got a picture of the candy actually spilling out as he hit it.  PERFECT.

After gathering their loot from the piñata, we moved into the dining room for some cake & ice cream.  This is always my kids' favorite part of the parties.  He was SO excited to eat the cake HE made.

After cake & ice cream we did presents.  Craiger has such cute little friends here in our neighborhood.  I love that we live in a place that is full of kids, fun, & great people.

Grace gave him 2 batman action figures.

Gavin gave him an Iron Man.

Grant gave him a really cool Superman shooter.

Hayden gave him a Spiderman.

Malia gave him some Monster Trucks.

Kason & Harley gave him a really neat Batman Imaginext Set.

It was a great party.  Thank you to all who came to make it special for Craiger.  He had a blast.

Happy Birthday to my big boy 3 year old.  We love you Monster!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Kindergarten Program

The Kindergartners at the girls' school did a Spring program last week & Taya couldn't wait to show us.  She'd been practicing for weeks & even had a speaking part.  Now that Daddy was home, she was doubly excited to sing & dance for all of us.

Her picture has been hanging in the school cafeteria for over a month now.  She's been SO happy about this program.

Everyone had to wear red shirts & black pants so they all matched like a real chorus.  It was DARLING.

They got to sing, dance, play kazoos, & get the audience in on all the action.  It was the cutest concert ever.

For "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" & "Zippidy-Do-Da" all the kids got to wear white baseball caps.  Poor Taya didn't get one because she was asked to hand out all the programs to the moms & dads at the beginning of the evening & went straight to the stage as it started instead of getting all her props backstage.  She was a little nervous when she realized she was the only one without a hat & I really thought she would break down into tears, but she didn't.  She just took it in stride & sang her little heart out.  What a sweetheart.

It was such a fun program.  I love the music teacher at their school.  She is so good with them & she puts on the best programs.  I loved it.  Good job Taya.

Trek's Be-lated Birthday Celebrations

Trek was so sweet coming home.  He was supposed to come home on Saturday, March 8th.   The kids were counting down the days & were SO excited to have daddy home again.  He drove to AL so he would be driving home which would be a 12+ hour drive.  I told them NOT to expect daddy home until after dinner on Saturday night.

On Friday I called him & asked how his graduation was going.  They graduated at 4:00 pm down there & then he was taking off to stay the night in Atlanta so he could be home earlier on Saturday.  Well, I get a phone call at 11:45 pm Friday night from Trek.  It woke me up & I panicked thinking something had happened at the hotel.  All he said was 
"Open the front door"
& then hung up.  I ran down the stairs half way asleep & ripped the front door open as fast as I could.  There was my sweetheart standing there in front of me.  Oh how I missed him.  It was only 2 months, but 2 months is a LONG time.  I was so happy.  I felt whole again.

So on Sunday we had planned a re-birthday party for him to make up for the birthday we all missed while he was gone TDY.  We woke him up early & surprised him with a birthday breakfast!

I made his favorite:
Biscuits & Gravy, Bacon, & a Potter Ding Dong.

I can't believe my hubby is 35 years old.  Where does the time go?  Are we really THAT old?
ha ha ha. . . I still have a few years before I hit 35.

We went to church together as a full family (which was heaven for me) & then after church I made Trek his birthday dinner:

Olive Garden Fettachini Alfredo, Breadsticks, & Strawberry Spinach Salad.

After dinner we surprised Trek with the presents we bought back in January.  We've had them hidden in my closet for 2 months now just waiting for him to come home.  He was really surprised.

Cadence got him a Dr. Who Tardis bobble head for his
computer at work.  Cute huh?

Lorien bought him a calendar because it had the word
"TREK" on it.  :-)

And the whole family bought him an edger for the lawn.
He's been wanting one really bad after doing it by hand
all last year.  It will save both of us time when we're making
the lawn nice this summer.

After presents, we went back into the dining room & celebrated with cake!  Since he came home a day early, he watched me make the cake on Saturday. . . something I originally planned to do while he was driving home.  So that part wasn't a surprise to him. . . but he thought it was a welcome home cake & not a Happy Birthday cake.

Wow Trek.  35 is a LOT of candles.

Hurry, blow them out before you start a fire!

For the inside of this cake, I attempted a tie dye rainbow cake.  It was fun & everybody got surprised when we cut into it.  I'll have to make this one again.  Everybody loved it.

Happy late birthday Trekkie.  We love you & missed you terribly.