Since Noah’s actual birthday was on a weekday, we elected to celebrate on the following weekend with a real party. He had requested a Star Trek party, so we boarded the Starship Enterprise for a celebration.
As I was planning the party, I did some searching on the web and Pinterest for ideas, but didn’t find much off-the-shelf party stuff. I loved this post of kid party ideas but found lots of stuff for adults, too. We were going for a smaller-scale party and didn’t plan too much in the way of decor. Mostly, the kids wanted to bounce in a bouncehouse, so we rented one from the base like we did last year. This time, we got one with obstacles in the middle so they could “explore” the alien planet with less gravity than we have here on Earth.
For decorations, we hung our standard birthday banners, some new Star Trek fabric banners, the big 36″ balloons (Noah named them Kirk, Spock and Scotty) and that was about it. Noah really wanted me to hang up curtains into the dining room so that he could pretend it was the Enterprise and make the “swoosh” sound when he walked through. I couldn’t find the curtains we had used for Ava’s party, though, so he had to make the sound without the visual effect. It ended up ok anyway.
Since we had a small group here for the party, we did things backward. Cake and ice cream first, then presents, and then lots of bouncing. That gave us adults time to fix dinner before the kids were hungry and also gave them an outlet for all that sugar. It worked out so well that we might do it that way from now on. Reverse birthday parties rock!
Ava made Noah a fleece Star Trek blanket as a gift.
He loved it.
Grama made Noah a whole set of Star Trek shirts – Kirk, Spock & Scotty – and they get worn every day they are clean. On the other days, he wears his Reds gear.
In addition to the costumes, Gramma and Grampa send some of Matt’s old Star Trek toys our way. The transporter room and shuttle craft were huge hits (with both the big and small Trekkies in the house). To stick with the theme, Noah received a full armory of phasers. Matt made him three (a real one and two prototypes) and Uncle Michael made two as well. Once he had opened his communicator from Auntie Brooke and a model Enterprise from us, he was a real-life space voyager.
Auntie Moe scored an awesome sound machine that makes the “swoosh” door sound when you walk by it, so he has one less doorway to make the sound himself when he walks by. We hung it in the doorway between the playroom and the kitchen so we get to hear it a LOT.
After presents, the kids bounced while we made hamburgers and then we all shared a meal together.
Image re-creation from last year’s bounce house.
All in all, I think Noah had a great time and we have 1000% more Star Trek stuff in our house. We got to keep the bounce house through the long Labor Day weekend, so we enjoyed it for several hours in spite of the sporadic rain. Now that the party is over, we play Star Trek daily but, since we can’t play baseball all winter, it’s sort of nice to have a go-to indoor game to play for the quickly approaching Ohio winter.
Live long and prosper, Noah!
Noah’s birthday this year was on a Wednesday, which meant that school and work were non-negotiable. Plus, Matt was away TDY, so we were celebrating as a group of three rather than four. His party was planned for the following weekend, but I still wanted to mark the actual day with some fun. So, Ava and I took our guy out for a fun evening and kicked off his celebration as we picked him up from school.
We started, of course, with cupcake delivery for snack time in his classroom.
He had been wearing that big, goofy hat all day and LOVING it. We served chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting (his request) and topped them with Star Trek command badges. Noah loved hearing his class sing him “Happy Birthday” and we apologized profusely to Ms Donna for leaving her with a classroom full of sugared up kiddos.
When we got home, we opened a couple of small gifts (because what good is a birthday without presents, right?) and Skyped with Grammie. Our gift to Noah was a set of tickets to a Dragons baseball game that night. His gift from Grammie and Grandad paired nicely with ours and he was soon all geared up to go to the ball field.
After we answered numerous phone calls, we headed out the door to dinner. Noah picked his favorite place and we yummied on burgers at Five Guys. We headed downtown and to the ballpark after that. Heater (the Dragons mascot) always hangs out in the plaza in front of the gates before the games, so Noah immediately ran over to say hi. He LOVES mascots (#minorleagueheroes) and always scores a photo op with them at the ballpark.
When Noah told Heater that it was his birthday, he got the royal treatment. The whole Green Team swarmed and he was treated to a special birthday song, lots of laughs and some fancy balloons.
It’s hard to tell from the video, but his first balloon sword totally deflated mid-song. If you know Noah, you also know that such an occurrence could have put him into a major funk. But, the Green Team magic was at work and kept him in a comical mood. The team was cracking up and, when they were done singing, Noah said, “I did not see that coming!” With a new sword in hand for Noah and a green kitty for Ava, we finally went in to watch some baseball.
The kids were SO good for the whole game and were respectful of their neighbors with their balloons. In fact, the man behind me tapped me on the shoulder in about the 5th inning and said, “Relax! They’re doing really well. You should be so proud of how they’re behaving.” So I did and I was.
The game started at 7pm, which is about 15 minutes before bedtime around here, and we left after the 7th inning stretch because it was a school night. BUT, Noah and I were up on the big screen while we sang “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” so I think that was pretty much the high note to leave on anyway.
There are two things that are absolutely always true about Noah – he loves baseball and Star Trek in equal measures and with his whole heart. Since we’d be enjoying his other passion for his party, it made good sense to celebrate baseball for his big day. We couldn’t love our little baseball man more and love watching him grow up.
Happy 4th Birthday, Noah!
So, sometimes, I’m just going through life thinking that the kids understand the words that we use around them or that they overhear and I’ll get reminded in a very funny way that they still sort of have no clue. For example, on Wednesday, while waiting to drop Ava off at school, a car passed by us on the road. It was a yellow sporty car with a rear spoiler. It looked sort of like this:
It wasn’t that nice, but you get the idea. Ava shouts out, “Mom, that car has a nodder!” I asked her to clarify and she said, “You know, like in Cars! ‘We’ve got ourselves a nod-der!'” (If you’re not fluent in Pixar, here’s the applicable movie clip.)
For Ava, spoiler = nodder. Classic.
I am never, ever, ever going to correct this. Feel free to giggle at her until she’s 18 and figures it out for herself.
Today was the first day of school for our household (beware: lots of pictures ahead!) and to say we were all excited would be an understatement. We’ve had a great summer, our first without any type of school schedule. But, our kiddos are their parents’ children, so more routine is always better than less. By the first of August, we were kind of ready for our new normal, even if it does come with more driving and homework.
I spent last night worrying over the drop-off schedule so that Ava wouldn’t be late for the 0810 bell and how best to juggle Noah into the mix so that no one ate breakfast too early or showed up too late. In the end, I decided to drop Ava off first and have Noah tag along for that. We could leave the house later that way and it worked out great. We dragged our feet as long as we could before we left, but still arrived to school before they’d opened the doors. At least this time we weren’t alone! A big crowd was gathered when we showed up, so we had plenty of company. Noah and I walked Ava to her classroom and she got settled in. She was happily coloring a “welcome to school” worksheet when I left a minute later.
In her report at the end of the day, I learned that she had not eaten her sandwich at lunch because it was too cold (a big deal for PBJ, apparently), had eaten half her yogurt cup (and left the rest of the open yogurt cup in her lunch box), had PE and recess, read a “mind story” about a monster going to school, does not remember any of her fellow classmates’ names yet, and she kept her behavior clip on the green plate all day. So far, so good, I think. Tomorrow brings more firsts, as she’ll be riding the bus on Tuesdays and Thursdays and will have Music class. By the end of the week, I think we’ll all be old pros at this school thing.
Noah returned to Mini U for Pre-K this year and we are all thrilled that his teacher from last year, Ms. Donna, has moved up with him. They were only together for about 8 weeks last school year, but were fast friends. Their mutual love of baseball might have something to do with their instant connection. (wink, wink) She and I had a good chat this morning and I left feeling confident that many of our challenges from last year were going to be resolved in this new academic year. Everything about school was familiar and that got Noah’s day off to a great start. Drop off was a breeze. When I picked him up, he had had a GREAT day and was sweaty and exhausted from playing on the playground. He has grown up so much over the summer and is going to make huge gains this year. I can’t wait to watch him grow and learn!
We’re off and running! Here’s to a great 2014-2015 school year!
If you’ll remember, we spent all winter (and this one was a loooong one) talking about when baseball season would be here. Well, it arrived six weeks ago and ended this morning. We signed the kids up to play their first-ever season of T-ball through our local YMCA and they’ve had a pretty great time. Ava’s got a golden glove, whether she wants to admit it or not, and Noah really likes to bat and play first base.
Things I want to remember about this season when we get ready for next season and forever:
– Sign the kids up only if they really want to. If they get signed up, they will play the whole season. Period.
Ava was all for signing up when the signing up happened, but decided she wasn’t really in love with playing t-ball. In spite of this, she was actually pretty good and always played hard during her games. Have to remember to let it be her call when it’s time to sign up next year. Noah LOVES baseball but, at three, loses patience with the pack-ball nature of the game and with the rigid structure of non-backyard imaginary play. Also, he’s really good at following a coach’s direction – a very pleasant surprise. Another year of maturity will probably serve him well next season.
– If you don’t volunteer to coach, only coach when asked. Also, an organized volunteer coach is earning his sainthood every practice and game. Say thank you…often.
We did a lot of sideline coaching during the first couple weeks of the season. Then, we started sitting in the outfield (the safest place to be since the ball is NEVER out there) after that. The kids did a lot better when there were fewer competing voices and we learned a valuable lesson about the real reason for their participation. Six words only: “We love to watch you play.”
– Six weeks is a long enough season for kids this age. Don’t get overzealous and try to let it take the whole summer.
So glad we tried tball this summer because I think we all learned a lot. It’s good to get fresh air on Saturday mornings and I’m sure this is only the beginning of our organized sporting activities. We’ve gotten a taste of what’s in the future, but, for now, we’re glad to be done with the season. We were so happy to watch them play.