Friday, February 18, 2011

Week 4 - Birthday

Posting late, but things piled up here. Ok, it's getting late and I still hope to get to bed before midnight at least once in two weeks, so I better get to the point.

Last week was M's birthday. He turned 4. Yippie!!! Babushka took a day off at work and we planned on having a very private birthday party on Wednesday evening, followed by a larger family party on Saturday. Except Grandma got sick first thing on Monday.

We still tried to have a bit of a private party on Wednesday - opening the gifts, playing with them, buying the cake, decorating it and ordering a giant pizza.

So, the gifts. First of all, M is not used to that many gifts. He usually gets 1 gift from us and whatever money he gets from all the grandparents, we just spend them on some kind of cool activities later on (kids museum, zoo, IMAX, etc). This time M got 3 gifts on his birthday and some more the next day. I think he got overwhelmed. Next year we'll try going back to 1 gift on his birthday. But here's what he got:

WALL-E - this was the most exciting gift of the day. M loves WALL-E and this little 'bot truly made his day. He took it with him everywhere and spent half the morning pushing it around the house collecting "trash" (bits of string and paper that I sprinkled liberally around the living room).

M later insisted on building a house for WALL-E so the little bot has some place to hide from the dust storms. And so we made one out of the big box WALL-E was shipped in. And then M made some "treasures" for WALL-E to collect, including a big necklace out of plastic beads.

Unit Blocks - not as exciting, but excellent edutoy. Plus it works on his muscle control skills. First thing he built was a gate and a castle which was later renamed into a planetarium.

Lego Duplo set - this is M's first Lego set and I hope not the last one. I hope to add a few more Duplo blocks to it in the future (once we're back in NC). I think adding more bricks would help retain his interest since this set is very specific and there are not enough spare bricks left over to build anything else around the construction site.

Tinkertoys - huge hit! Right away M built something that he called a rocket. Then - something else that he called a camera. He walked around the house with it stopping to take pictures. But the "camera" kept falling over. So he said: "This camera is not very high quality and it's not stable. But it takes very good pictures!"

Jedi Starfighter - M hasn't watched any of the Star Wars movies, but I got him a $0.50 copy of an Encyclopedia of Star Wars Vehicles (or some such title) at a local library sale and he is in love! His dream is to make Death Star, but I told him he has to get much better at Legos before we get him this kit. So he was beyond excited when one of his gifts turned out to be a model of Jedi Starfighter "just like one in the book, Mama!"

Then there was the cake. M wanted a cake that's "about Outer Space". And we planned on baking him one the day of his birthday. Except, of course, that Grandma got sick and I have no idea how to bake cakes (Chris is the baker, remember). Fortunately, a day or so before getting ill, Grandma and M made some gingerbread cookies for decorating the cake. So then I took M to a local bakery and he chose a cherri cheesecake 'cause it was red like Mars.
Then we decorated the gingerbread cookies. I decorated the astronauts, the rocket, the stars and the dog. And M decorated a round cookie and said it was our planet, Earth. Then we put it all together. So here's the deal - the cake was renamed into Moon. The rocket became Apollo 11 lunar module. The astronaut on the right is Neil Armstrong. The one on the left is Yuri Gagarin (yeah, I know, should've been Buzz Aldrin, but M was doing the naming and he wanted it to be Gagarin). The dog is Laika, the first animal in orbit. Stars - self-explanatory. They are all looking at our Earth. How cool was that!

The party on Saturday was cancelled, but Grandma felt well enough on Sunday to be left alone. So Grandpa, M and I went to a place called Peddler's Village in Lahaska, PA. It's a very pretty village, even in winter. But it's mostly boutiques and restaurants. However, they do have this awesome Giggleberry Fair that is totally worth the 2-hour drive (one way).

First, we went to an arcade. M's never been to one and had a ton of fun trying all the different games. Then he rode on a carousel lion. And then we went to the Giggleberry Mountain. I can't even begin to describe it. It's huge and awesome and so much fun. At first I only got M a ticket, but it looked so awesome that I ended up buying a ticket for myself as well. It's this huge multi-story maze with slides and rope ladders and tunnels and air cannons and a huge Giggleberry Fountain. Oh, and check it out, they have a 3-story tall spiral slide. I wanna go back again!
Maybe we'll get to go one more time before we go back to NC. It'd be great to go there with Chris though.

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