My little Munchkin turned four this past November and I never posted about his birthday celebration and it was something that I really wanted to talk about since it was a first for us as a family.
OK. So first it should be noted that HOLY CRAP – this kid is growing entirely too fast and I wish so hard that he would just stay my baby-lovin, adrenaline-seeking ball of fire forever. I mean….I know he will be all those things…but I’d also like that to stay jammed into a four year old little body. That would be nice.
So the crazy thing for us is that this is the first birthday that we did the ‘go-someplace-and-rent-a-birthday-room’ kinda celebration. With a November birthday and being only four, we looked at the limited number of options that catered to little ones and were full of activity. Do we rent a movie theatre? Do we go to a trampoline place? Maybe an indoor swimming pool? After it was all said and done, we decided on a local indoor bouncy house place that was full of ball pits and slides and an electronic dance floor.
The place we used was called CatchAir and it is a couple towns over and it has been a crowd favorite for our kids. There is a toddler area and a really big slide and a traditional bouncy house and some cute little rides.
We invited a small group of friends and family and the nicest part is that we as adults can interact with the kids or we can just let em loose to run willy nilly.
The fun part is that you can get there early and stay later….so it really is nice that the kids get fully worn out 🙂
We had a dedicated girl who helped with the room setup and was our main point of contact. She was in college and so sweet – I told her that she is gonna have to help me with all my parties because she did so great.
Weston got to pick out his own dance floor song and dressed up character to join the dance party. I think that the person inside the suit couldn’t see ANYTHING because they barely moved and it was hilarious.
I’m sure they probably didn’t want to sock a kid in the face with their giant green suit. The kids loved it though…the ones that weren’t terrified of costumed characters (there are always a couple that distrust them!).
The private room was small but it had enough seating for the adults and kids and we brought our own decorations to make it a little bit more festive. Basically everything we picked up at Party City or the Dollar Tree. The centerpieces were just the boy’s action figures that we used as balloon weights. The party wire stuff we just unraveled and bunched around them to take up a little space and make it feel more happy.
The policy is that we had to buy their pizza but we could bring crackers, cookies, cake and other snacks. In retrospect I wish I had brought more stars for the walls…but live and learn.
The cake was something Weston picked out. He wanted a vanilla cake and green icing and we just picked out the easiest one and I drew on the letters. It’s kinda obvious that I did it…a calligrapher I am not 🙂
I also made sure to bring lots of snacks and I was able to make it really easy with these tubs. They were perfect for transporting and for passing out all the goodies. Also – that balloon. It seriously freaked me out a couple times in the house. At one point the boys had it in the playroom and I would enter the house from the garage, catching just a little movement from the corner of my eye and jumped out of my skin. Tony Stark- you got me.
The kids getting loads more play time…
The whole gang…they got to pose with the seven dwarfs…
Then we all gathered together to hand out pizza and chips and juice boxes….
I gotta admit – the part where you carry a cake across the room that is filled with tiny chair legs controlled by toddlers….it makes me a little nervous. Like I would totally be the person that falls and the party is ruined. And yes it looks like Mr. Stark is wanting a little cake himself 🙂
I love this photo….mostly because of his friend Biggie in the corner looking like he is sucking all the oxygen out of the room. Isn’t that the cutest ever?!
And my sweet Weston…so grown up with his super hero shirt and his bouncing-off-the-walls party. It is so very ‘him’ and I love that. He is such a shy boy…it takes him a long time to warm up to people…and then once he does, you are his friend for life.
He is most expressive kid too….by far, he uses facial expression way more than verbal skills. And you can always tell exactly what is running through that mischievous little brain of his. He loves being animated and big and loud (unless of course there are strangers around) and physical. He has no hesitation playing with Will’s friends and like any younger brother – loves teasing Will about princesses and playing copycat and doing all the annoying little brother things (I can totally relate because I was RELENTLESS with my older brother!) We always say that he is toughening Will up 🙂
But the crazy thing about this kid is his love for babies and animals. He literally is a ball of smush when it comes to any babies and any animals. He LOVES them. He told us that he wants to have 100 babies and for half of them to be princesses. (yes the boys call all girls princesses in our house and we hope they always think girls are royalty!) He is so very careful and gentle and delicate with them and does all the silly things to make babies smile…it’s really such a picture of a warrior father. It’s the only thing (really I don’t want my boys to grow up but this is the exception) I want to see….Weston one day as a daddy. He would make a really great father 🙂 Is that weird to say about a four year old?! Yes. yes it is.
We had special guests drive all the way down from Chattanooga just for the party – Gramps & Grammy.
And of course, the kids loved the part where Weston opened up the gifts 🙂
I’m not used to cleaning up parties immediately afterward but it was actually simple. They gave us a cart for all our things and we just loaded it all up and parked it while the kids finished playing.
Of course the kids did start to get tired….
And we had one little meltdown when a new toy was broken.
So we decided that candy would be the perfect solution at that very moment (eat your sadness away children! kidding!) and so we handed out little superhero cups filled with candy and goodies.
I gotta tell you. These dollar cups are our go-to goodie bag for parties now. We just load them up with candy, stickers and tattoos and those magic towels from the dollar store and all the kids love them. And as a parent…I don’t hate them. My friends do them and we can always use more wash cloths and plastic cups 🙂
Also something to note…these two little nuggets are two peas in a pod. They are attached at the hip when together and somehow speak their own little language and get each other’s jokes. LJ calls her “MY Yaya” and they always come up with naughty little schemes and then say ‘sorry’ so sweetly and cover us with kisses so that we immediately forget why we were talking to them. It’s seriously the cutest thing ever. I hope their little cousin-friendship lasts forever….because it really is a special bond right now.
Okay last random personal thing…I had to share this sweet picture of Weston with his friend from church, Baylea. She was soooo cute about standing next to Weston…she turned all pink and adorable. She is pretty much the only girl that Weston isn’t too shy around…and I think it might have to do with the fact that Baylea always brings him little presents 🙂 It’s the cutest!!!
Overall….we probably spent the most on this birthday party than we did on any other party we have done….but it was also the easiest and least amount of setup/cleanup too. Literally a couple hours of errands as prep – picking up a cake, picking up balloons, jamming a life-sized Iron Man in the car, and stuffing goodie-cups. And everything else fell into place. Being that it happened a week before hosting Thanksgiving….I was glad to have an easy go of it.
And the best surprise for Weston was that we painted the car with one of those car markers and it said “HONK TO WISH WESTON HAPPY BIRTHDAY” so for an entire week, he got lots of honks and it made him feel so special.
Dear Weston – my sweet boy! I love you so much and Mommy & Daddy are so proud of you. We love that you are loud and fast and physical and competitive and silly and love the bad guys just as much as you love the superheroes. We want you to be exactly who you are! And we know loving the bad guys and loving the babies and loving animals – it takes a BIG special kind of heart! You are so special! We love that you do things with your whole being. We love that you can focus on your artwork and your cars so intensely. We love that we get to watch you and protect you and teach you how to be a big boy. You are so passionate and we know that passion can change the world to be a better place. You made us so proud when you told Will that Jesus is always with you. He is. Jesus loves you so much! And so does your family. Your brothers are lucky to have you. And Mommy & Daddy are too. You are our ball of wildfire and you keep our hearts warm! All the kisses and hugs my sweet Munch! xoxoxoxoxoxo – Mommy & Daddy