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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday!

Turner turned three last Monday, December 5th. We had a week full of celebrations!
When I dropped him off at school, I felt guilty that I hadn't brought a treat for him. So, when he and I left to run some errands (pick up some trains at Toys R Us and lunch just the 2 of us), we picked up a cookie cake for his class.
When I picked it up it said "Happy Birthday Tuner." That's what I get for waiting until the last minute, I guess. The lady adjusted it after I told her, but this is what we ended up with. I guarantee none of the 2 and 3 year olds noticed or cared.
Well, my little crackhead did not enjoy the cake celebration. He wanted no part of the singing and cookie. He retreated over to the play area and played with his new trains instead! Whatever. Everyone else (especially a visiting John Burke) enjoyed his cookie cake.
That night I tried to think of something fun we could do for dinner. I haven't been to Chuck E. Cheese since I was a child and it was called Showbiz. But, I thought we would give it a try. I didn't tell the kids where we were going, I wanted to surprise them. Heath met us there and he called when we were about to pull in and told me that our girl Kina from school was there with her fiance Neal and daughters. Neal and Heath thought we had planned it - I should have! - but it was purely coincidental. John Burke thought it was his birthday he was so excited!
The boys had a BALL! And I must say, Heath and I were definitely impressed. It was much cleaner and brighter than I ever remember from my childhood. They were very organized with the tokens and the pizza (which tasted good), and the people working there were very helpful. Luckily, it was relatively empty on a Monday night. Kina told me this was a good thing, that it gets crazy in there. I believe it.
When the boys walked in, their eyes were as wide as saucers. They were taking everything in, and they were thrilled that they could run around and play - what is their phrase, "Where a kid can be a kid?" So true! They loved the ball pit/play area, the rides, the games (even Burke Burke could find some he liked), and especially the mouse. I highly recommend this - for at least one time a year!
Then this weekend we had a birthday party with our buddy York at Jump Zone! (Turner and York are just 12 days apart!) We tried one more year of a relatively small party - mostly family and this year we added 4 or 5 friends from his class at school. Don't worry that as we were talking to him about the party and who was coming, he insisted that Wes (York's dad) and Jim (Brooks' dad) be there. I tried to explain to him that they would, but that the party was for his friends his age. He looked at me like I was crazy - he needed adults there. Weirdo.
Evan and I were so impressed with how easy this party was! The Jump Zone people did essentially everything! I kept thinking I should be doing something more or that I was forgetting something.
When we got there, they ushered us back to our party room in the back. I think everyone had fun!
Turner and Ellie were not scared! And John Burke was thrilled because he got to stick close to the side of his favorite person - Daddy.
The younger kids were brave in the play areas and moonwalk (do they still call those things moonwalks?)
Uncle Derek made sure to have a good time - on the jumpy and at the games
Dunking at the basketball game - Derek requested this be put on the blog
I think all the dads had fun - this is our friend Jim right after a front flip. I didn't catch him in air
They set up a party room upstairs for us - the Jump Zone people brought the pizza, we provided cupcakes and drinks. So easy! Evan made the cute collage of Turner and York over the last 3 years and I made some chocolate suckers for party favors. Done.
Turner took a break from the party to play with his obsession - trains. Walked away from the jumpy and all his friends and family to play trains. I guess I should expect that from a 3 year old, but he is crazy!
Blowing out their candles
This cat had fun sneaking his own Sprite can - I let him in the madness of pizza, cupcakes and mayhem
Pop Pop and Morgan were much calmer
The party was a blast - easy for the mommas to plan and enjoy, the kids could run wild legally, and they were very organized. What a wonderful 3rd birthday!!
Now - a Christmas snack since it is the middle of December. A friend needed 3 dozen cookies for something she was doing, and I volunteered to help. They were to be homemade, but I cheated a little. I found these on pinterest - I am not addicted, but it sure is wonderful!. But, I thought these turned out cute!
They called for peanut butter, but I used some sugar cookies too. I skipped the homemade part (just for the sake of time - I always love a homemade cookie!). But, all I did was use the slice and bake and roll them up into little balls. Then, I flattened the top with my thumb, and narrowed out the bottom a little. They looked like little light bulbs on the cookie sheet.
Then, right after they cooked for about 9 minutes at 350, I stuck the chocolate pretzels on as antlers while the cookies were still very soft. After all the antlers were on, my assistant John Burke and I stuck on M&Ms for the red noses, and then followed up with green, blue or brown for eyes. Voila! So easy - and then I stuck them in the fridge for a little bit so the chocolate antlers wouldn't melt.
Merry Christmas!!