Sunday, March 06, 2011

AJ's Birthday Party and More

For Dexter's Baby Book

Dexter is interested in letters, well... writing them anyhow. I'm kind of in disbelief. I don't want to say that I had discounted his interest in the alphabet, but with AJ having known his upper and lower case letters and their sounds at a much earlier age (22 months), I in no way wanted to push Dexter, knowing that 'every child is different'. You know, Dexter's been your typical second born, more into the physical, rather than the letters and stuff. I wasn't worried that at three he still doesn't know the names off all the letters. He doesn't know any letter sounds (except for maybe the letter B). So, imagine my surprise when he was tracing his finger over the letters on signs at various stores and started to look really interested when I wrote his name on his whiteboard (I like to check in every so often to see if he raises his eyebrows so to speak). He's just had a passion for writing letters all over pieces of paper instead of drawing lately. Being kind of 'old school' and naughty, I was showing him how to write his name with all upper case, and was just teaching him to write 'DEX', nice and easy. He can form those letters, but rarely puts them in order.

With him having started preschool a month ago (thanks again, Grand-Dan), his interest in letters has really begun. He notices them more. He loves to point to words while I'm reading a book (no, not the words that I'm actually saying - he cannot read

Then, it happened. I had to put on my dunce-cap-of-shame when the sheet of paper came home that shows that they practiced writing their names at preschool. Of course, it's lower case, not upper case (because I'm a dork). So, I had to start all over with showing him his letters of his name.

Little 'e' and upper case 'R' have to be his favourite letters to write. As of late, little 't', and little 'm' are new favourites. He does not form the lower case 'e' in the favourable way, but at least you can see what it is, and I just keep modeling it the correct way hoping he'll catch on.

Here's my attempt at getting him to put the letters of his name in the right order rather than just randomly all over a piece of paper. I'm terribly proud of him. I just really thought that he wasn't going to write letters until kindergarten. I hadn't 'given up' or anything, I just assumed that it wasn't going to be an interest of his until much later. So, here's that picture.

That's me having written it in the red marker (sorry for the letter formation - I was sideways). Then, I put the spaces underneath and said, "Okay, do big 'D' here on this line. Now do little 'e' here on this line....." and so on.

So cute! Awwww!

Here's one of his 'e' pages. Oh yes, he loves upper case 'B' too.

Getting Ready for the Two Birthday Parties (Friday)

On Thursday, Erica had invited me to Captain Kids along with our friend, Ryan, for visit, but I knew that I was going to be homebound on Friday, getting all my ducks in a row for AJ's birthday parties the next day.

But I had an even better idea.

I suggested she drop off Rya and Jack at lunchtime on Friday and for her to go out for a nice 'girls lunch' with Ryan. (I welcomed the thought of AJ and Dexter having friends over to occupy them while I baked and decorated). Thanks for dropping them off, Erica. It was perfect!

First, I made the dirt and worms for the boy-party. I forgot to take a picture. They were in little jars. But, in case you don't know what 'dirt cups' are, here's a pic...

The little jars that I put them into had teeny tiny openings, so I had to toil at trying to fill them without making a giant mess.

Then, once the cupcakes (I baked earlier) had cooled, I began constructing my cupcakes in a jar. Here was my inspiration (not actually from this website, but from a tv show I saw)....
click here

Once again, I was working with these skinny topped spice jars and man, it was hard to fill them and squeeze stuff in.
I managed.

I hauled out my new piping tips to try making the flowers and leaves. Oh man. Wish I had practiced more. I had watched a video on Youtube of how to do it, but when you can't spin the jars easily, it's tough.

They in fact reminded me once again of my favourite line from the movie "Clueless".
"... full-on Monet... Like the painting, see? From far away it's okay, but up close it's a big ol' mess."

That's how I felt about the cupcake flower attempt.

They're a "Full on Monet".
Like the painting, see?
From far away it's okay,

...but up close, it's a big ol' mess.

But they were cute and you could tell they were supposed to be flowers, so no big deal.

Saturday Morning

I wasn't sure if I should save AJ's birthday gifts from Mommy, Daddy, and Dexter for his real birthday morning, or if I should let him open them the day of his party.

We decided to let him open them the day of the party and I'll save the streamers and the card for the real day.

Here's AJ opening Dexter's gift to AJ.
It's a Star Wars lunch kit for Kindergarten, some Bakugon Battle Gear, and a Lego Ninjago.

From Richard and I, AJ got his new skateboard. Here's Dexter trying it out down the hallway. I know, I know, you're wondering why my mom-of-the-year award isn't out on display.

Here are Daddy and AJ working on the new little Lego Ninjago.

At 10am, the boys began to arrive. The 'boy-party' was to be from 10-12. I totally forgot to take any pictures of the boys playing in the playroom, in AJ's room, or in the backyard. They had a great time with the soccer ball and the buckets and shovels outside. The playhouse was a big hit too!

They are singing Happy Birthday and waiting for AJ to blow out his candle. That serious face, sums up AJ's personality for the party too. He's trying to fight a cold and cough right now and he definitely had the birthday blues.
Unfortunately, after my toiling to put the 'mud' into those tiny jars, one kids started crying because he thought it was real dirt that everyone was eating.
Then, all it took was for one kid (who didn't even take a bite...!!!!) to say, "I don't like this." And soon, the whole table except about 3 or 4 of the boys all said, "I don't like this either." And, you know, it's a birthday. You're not going make anyone try anything, so you put on your happy face and you say, "That's okay! You don't have to eat anything that you don't want to! Don't worry about it! Go and play!"
But he did enjoy himself. We followed in the trend of "$5 in a card" in lieu of a gift (if people wanted to). AJ was very excited to take his birthday money to the store later that night. He was just as excited to see coins in his cards as he was in previous years to open toys. He had been planning for weeks what he wanted to use his birthday money for. He remembered Dexter spending his birthday money and couldn't wait.

The boy-party went REALLY well. Originally, my sister was going to come and 'lend an extra set of hands and eyes'. I had encouraged parents for both parties to just drop off their kids, as I didn't want to feel pressure to visit or wait on parents, rather just wanting to give all my attention the kids, so I welcomed Kim's help.

Well, my mom ended up coming too and wanting to help, and Jared came too!

Gram came outside (and later Kim too) for the outside portion of the 'digging in dirt party'. The boys each got a pail and shovel with their names on it and got to dig in the dirt and the sandbox. The big excitement of the day though, was playing soccer. Gram was right in there. I even saw her pullin' some of her old-skool favourite moves that she used to use on Kim, Paul, and I. I saw her 'take down' Jack at one point. He loved it is much as we did when we were young.

Kim helped clean up the outside toys. Thanks Mom, thanks Kim!

Kim got them those cool Buzz Lightyear balloons.

At one point during the boy's party when one of the boys, Josiah, came inside to use the washroom, he asked if he could go sit on the couch and watch a movie. I said, "Nope, the party's outside." He asked why 'they' got to sit on the I said, "Because they're lazy-bum-teenagers. You'll have your chance when you're older." He thought that was pretty funny and came back outside with me.

With my mom there to help, those two knew they could just sit back, chill, and watch the party unfold.
(actually, Kim did help out, but making her out to be couch-bound is better for my story)

They loved those balloons. In fact, I had to hide them later because the girls were going crazy with them!

After attempting to feed Dexter and AJ some nutritious lunch (after loads of candy and popcorn twists), and after putting Dexter down for a nap, the girls began to arrive.
That party was from 1:30-3:30pm.

They played for a bit, then had snacks and their flower cupcakes.
(don't be alarmed by the smudged faces. I won't be seeing that mom until Tuesday, so I didn't get a chance to ask her if it was alright to post pics on the blog)

There he is blowing out his candle.
We painted those flower pots later and plopped the flowers in too. Gram was a great extra pair of hands for painting time.

The girls mostly played down in the playroom where we have more of the gender-neutral toys like the kitchen and the train table and stuff.

In the last 30 minutes they all came upstairs wanting a little break and to watch some of Megamind, so here they are sipping on watered down juice and piggin' out on popcorn twists and some apple slices.

And then, it was all over. It was a really easy-peasy day, but I kept 'sighing' when everyone was gone. I think it was the quiet. Maybe it was happy sighs and sighs of relief that it all went off without a hitch. It was wonderful.

Here are Jared and the boys showing off their candy bracelets. So manly.And here are Kim and Jared relaxing after partying so hard the night befor...... ...err... I mean helping out so much.
Thanks guys. If you're looking for a great nap, evidently, you should head over to my couch. All sorts of people fall asleep on my couch. My step-dad, my dad, Richard, my brother, my sister, the kids, myself, and my sister's beau.

Hmmmmm. LOTS of candy and one more box drink later, the boys I headed out to Walmart to let AJ shop with his birthday money. He wanted Transformers and Lego, and that's what he got.

Thank you everyone for helping AJ get:
4 Transformers
2 Lego Starwars kits
1 Lego Batman shirt
That's one happy boy.

We followed it up with an attempt at a healthy dinner. Some chicken, some cauliflower, and some bread.

Both boys weren't very hungry or into eating. Between AJ not being able to taste much because of his cold, he's eating like a bird these past couple days, and .....

And then... the sugar started to settle in.

There were some tears from AJ.

And then Dexter started to cry.

You could tell he was sick. I thought he was going to throw up for sure. He asked to go bed. I put him in bed, but he was still crying. He was turning around and around like he didn't know what was wrong. I kept following him all around with the bucket.

Finally, he wanted to come out to the couch. I tried to finish up AJ's "Special ticket time" (he chose to get some extra minutes to stay up late building his Lego sets) with him while having Dexter screaming and crying and crawling all over me. He was just a mess.

I covered the whole couch with towels just in case he vomited which I was sure was on its way. I was so worried for Richard. I was so relieved up until now that we had so far evaded this flu/vomit thing that's going around all without getting the flu-shot and having so many of the students in my class having had it, and the measles, and strep throat, and AJ going to preschool, and Makenna (amongst many) getting Pneumonia, and having had one of the kids not be able to come to the party because he had projectile vomited the night before (we missed you, Connor!)...
I was just so happy that we had managed to keep fevers and vomit away from Richard and his compromised immune system (due to his recovering from his stem-cell-transplant for his Leukemia for those who may be reading this blog for the first time today).

And here was my own kid, perhaps, about to barf all over Richard and I.

But no. It was a LONG night. I think I lost count of going to deal with Dexter and his cries and screams at about visit number 19 to his room. He would beg to come out to the couch with me, which was perfect because I could be comfortable and keeping an eye on him. He'd start crying and then ask to go to his own bed. So, I'd take him. He'd get settled. I'd go get into bed, and then he'd start screaming/crying again. Over and over and over.

I think I told Richard around 4am that I was probably going to bail on the birthday breakfast that was supposed to be happening Sunday morning for my mom and my uncle.

THANK YOU Richard for letting me sleep in until 9 or 9:30am. It's a great thing that Richard feels pretty good in the morning until he starts taking all his assorted medications.

Dexter woke in the morning looking like he had been at a rave the night before and had strolled in half-baked at around 4am, but his spirits lifted and he was feeling better a couple hours into the morning.

I took them to the skate park around 11:30am, and was going to put both boys down for nap that afternoon until I realized that I forgot that AJ was supposed to be at a birthday party. YIKES!

Thanks so much, Jennifer P. for understanding why AJ was late AND letting him stay late! In fact, it's 4pm right now and he's still over there, AND both Richard and Dexter are still asleep on the couch. That darned couch.

Skating Lessons Are Almost Finished

Richard was barely feeling well enough to come to the lessons, but he did. I, of course, still forgot the good camera.

Here's Dexter playing hockey.

AJ doing 'skate skate glide'.

Cool Snowflake Day

A few days ago, it was just fluttering with dusty kind of snow, but not enough to prevent us from going to the skatepark.

I hauled out my beach mat from the car to keep the cold cement away from my bottom and also brought out Erica's Afghan (I hoped I spelled that right) that I should really return to her, washed.

The snow was falling onto the blanket and it was so weird. It wasn't melting and it was very individual (not stuck together) kind of flakes. You could actually make out their shapes and the fact that each was different from the next. You could see all 6 tips on every single one! I wish I had my real camera and a photographer with me so you could really see what I mean, but here's with my phone...

A few days later, some real snow with which you could build stuff, like a slide.
It doesn't look very fancy, and I had sure wished Richard was well enough to come out and help. It was a lot of work and it's no where near the height and length I wanted.
But the boys had a great time and that's all that mattered.

Belated thanks to my dad who helped us get our brakes fixed on our car on Monday while we were out his way for Richard's appointment at VGH. (and, of course, for lunch too!) Thanks Dad!


Lee Ann said...

Great parties!! Well done mummy. Loved it all xx

Anonymous said...

Thx for all the updates. I am very impressed with the cupcakes and all that was happening!!! Wow, what a full day. Hope our card arrives in time. Love Grannie and Papa

Efka said...

love your BD ideas, you are so creative.