Monday, February 1, 2010

Birthday Bonanza!

The boys are at such a fun age these days, but birthdays kind of make me cringe. Each year, I dread seeing that number go up on the count of years in the boys lives. It seems to be going too fast! The boys are growing and getting older and each birthday is a reminder that those dreaded teenage years are coming! Tucker is now a "tween", since he turned 11 this year. Sawyer is now 7, which is still a fun age. Carter turned 5 this year, which was a hard age for me to accept. I think perhaps because I know he is my last one, and 5 is certainly no longer a baby. When his birthday rolled around this year, I had a very difficult time. I found myself staring at him while he was playing and gazing at him while he slept sucking his thumb. I held him in my lap longer than usual and snuggled in my big chair with him more often. I felt like I was grasping the last moments of his babyhood into my heart. Despite the fact that birthdays are a little stab into a mother's heart, they are still fun and memorable. We celebrated three birthdays this year in three very different ways. Each party with its own challenges, laughs, and memories. Here is a little look into each one.

Tucker's 11th Birthday
Since football is Tucker's new sport, he wanted a cake with a football on it with #34. Inside was red velvet, his favorite! Tucker's party this year was a "coed" one. He invited 6 of his guy friends and 5 of his gal friends. They had a ton of fun. We started the night with cake and gifts and singing "Happy Birthday." He got lots of cards with money, an UnderArmor shirt, and the ever popular talking toilet paper dispenser. The things 5th graders come up with to buy! After cake we divided into teams, girls vs. boys, and had a sports scavenger hunts. The kids had to take pictures of themselves doing various things. On the list were: a pyramid on the football field, the group on first base of the baseball field, the group doing the batter's stance in the bread aisle in We-Tote-Em, the groupd doing a 3 point stance on aisle 3 at Lucky's, pictures of former and present baseball, basketball, football, softball players and coaches, a picture in the dugout, a picture with Mr. Arnold and Mrs. Austin, a photo on the playground slide in reverse alphabetical order, and several others. The kids (and parents) had a blast getting those items. In the end, it was a tie between the girls and boys, 23 to 23. The winners (which was everyone) got silly string to shoot. The girls left at about 10:00pm and the boys began a Nerf gun war. Bradley and I were in the middle of the war and I was probably shot more than anyone else. My knees were actuually sore the next day from falling so many times. I guess I was going for a realistic Nerf death. We had a great time with all the kids at our house and went to bed exhausted, but blessed that our kids have such great friends.A silly string battle was a blast!Photo on the slide in reverse alphabetical order, from the scavenger hunt.A pyramid on the football field from the scavenger hunt.The whole gang at Tucker's party
Carter's 5th Birthday
These days Carter wants to be a "fighter fighter". I wasn't surprised when he chose this theme for his 5th birthday party. He is absolutely certain that he will become one when he grows up. He dresses up like one and puts out imaginary fires in the house, he was a firefighter for halloween, and he talks about what he will have to do as a "fighter fighter" when he grows up. He even told me today that when he grows up, he will have to be on TV. When I questioned him about why, he told me that fighter fighters who help really sick or hurt people get on tv and he was going to have to do that. I am not exactly what tv show he is talking about, but one thing is certain. Carter has faith that he will become what he wants to become...a fighter fighter. I hope he keeps that self-confidence and assurance! Playing a game with the water blasters where you earn points for putting out fires.Carter and his buddies out by the pool. (Maggie, Caden, Jaxon, and Carter)As if Carter turning 5 wasn't enough for my emotions to handle, Sawyer lost his first tooth on his birthday,too!This sweet picture of Carter was taken on his 5th birthday.
I had to get some extra love from Carter on his birthday!

Sawyer's 7th Birthday
Every Mom has to experience a Chuck-E-Cheese birthday party at least once. It is an official rite of passage for all mothers. I have now completed this taks as a mother. Sawyer started talking about having his next birthday party at Chuck-E-Cheese last year. Of course, I was sure he would change his mind within the year. A year is a long time for a child to keep the same plans. But of course, he didn't sway in his decision. He wanted to carry his friends to Chuck-E-Cheese and then have a spend the night party after. I dutifully carried 4 of Sawyer's friends, my 3 boys, and a neice and nephew even came along. I have to say Mr. Chuck has quite a great gig going. He has this wonderland of arcade games set up to spit out one or two tickets for winning and he serves mediocre food. In any other place, this business scheme would not work, but Chuck knows that he has the kids hooked. There were literally drones of kids running around that place! I think there were like 12 birthday parties going on at the same time as Sawyer's. The madhouse can be totally overwhelming to a paretn, but the kids were in heaven. Every child in our group was beaming as they spent their tokens to play the games. They gobbled up their pizza like it was the greatest meal on earth. And they treasured their prizes that they won with their tickets. (I could write an entire blog devoted only to the gig Chuck has going with those prizes and tickets!) But the kids loved it! It was one of the best birthday parties we have had. Nerf war! It got wild at our house for a little while!
Popcorn and a movie before bed.
Sawyer with his winning tickets at Chuck-E-Cheese and me with my adorable 7 year old. 7 is going to be a great age. I can tell.