Monday, October 29, 2012

The Birthday Boy

Sometimes we have to rearrange our priorities.  Sometimes, a clarity of vision overcomes previous decisions...or even indecision.  This certainly was the case for me, as the days began to count down toward a plan I was beginning to regret. 

That original plan was made last spring, when I rescheduled a week in Palm Springs CA.    It was a time-share week booked this time last year for a week in the Spring.  But things got in the way of that plan, so it was rescheduled for the end of October.  But as the calendar slowly marched its way around the horn of Summer and swung into the Fall months, I began to dread the trip rather than anticipate it.  I'd been doing so much travel these last two months, driving up to the Northeast to run in a couple of half marathons and then two weeks later driving to Nashville for another half-marathon and continuing on up to New Castle IN for an MTF event.

So I cancelled my week in Palm Springs CA.  And, as always happens when I face a difficult decision, a new opportunity opened up.  Suddenly the last weekend in October was open.  Now I could drive to Mandeville and spend that weekend with my family and, as it turned out, be there for my grandson's 5th birthday party. 


My grandson is really, really into the show, Wild Kratts.  I must admit that it is an incredibly engaging kids show, but with enough interesting and educational content for adults, too.  So when the birthday party invitation arrived in the mail, I wasn't surprised to see that the theme for his party was going to be Wild Kratts.  Fun!!

When I got to my son's house on Friday, the evidence of the upcoming party was everywhere!  Cute animal masks for the kids, decorations consisting of animals collected from every corner of the house - stuffed animals, molded plastic animals, animal print sheets for table cloths, animal plates and bowls.  And really clever goody bags with little plastic animals, toy binoculars, and snack packs of animal crackers. 

My son whipped together a great jambalaya for dinner and then they filled me in on the plan for the next day,

Trevor was up early Saturday morning, the excitement of the day already building. 

There was a really well-done cake from Albertsons, but we augmented it with cupcakes.  I got those going Saturday morning, and my son and I iced them with "paw-prints" later that morning.  We all took turns blowing up balloons before breaking out the helium tank and inflating a bunch more to decorate the house, inside and out.

I helped my son clean the backyard and swept the deck while my daughter-in-law cleared the tree debris from the trampoline, to get ready for the party.  They had some fun outdoor activities planned for the kids, all of them in some way related to the "wild outdoors" of Wild Kratts. 

Then the kids arrived!  The trampoline was a huge hit, as was the "fishing hole."     They were definitely having fun!

Loads of fun!!  Magnetic fishing poles, real "swimming" fish,
(battery-powered) and the poles were never idle.

Enjoying the Frog Leap.  Clever use of
log sections left over from the recent tree removal.

Mimi holding her own among the bigger kids!

Little Mimi spent the entire time on the trampoline, not once getting knocked over by the bigger kids, and absolutely refusing to get out until everyone else emptied out for cake.

Five years old is a great age!  They're old enough now to understand "anticipation" and to get genuinely excited about the whole "birthday cake and candles" thing!!

The kids encircled the cake table in eager anticipation!  We all sang happy birthday, and before Trevor even had a chance to suck in a big "candle blow-out" breath, his friend blew out the candle for him.  It was so cute!

It was a great party!  We had a couple of tuckered-out kids at the end of the day!

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