Happy 10 years!

This Saturday was Kidling’s 10th birthday party, and today was his actual birthday. Saturday is kind of ideal for school-age parties, though. He’s growing up so fast, it breaks my heart a little bit.
Holiday Season, 2002
Summer, 2011
We decided to hold it at Chuck E Cheeses again (second year in a row). Last year, we did it at Chuck E Cheese because I was told that Centralia was too far to drive for a birthday party by Kidling’s former Aunt. So we re-arranged the party to Chuck E Cheeses, since Kidling was really excited about his cousin coming. I was surprised to find that Chuck E Cheeses is . . . not that bad. Not fantastic, but not that bad.This year, I was leaning toward a party here at home, but given the neighborhood situation, I felt it was safer/ wiser to hold it at a different location. Hopefully next year we’ll be able to enjoy a proper party at home again. I miss making those cakes-on-demand, like the Halo Pelican ship-cake I made for his 8th birthday.

Anyway. So we did it at Chuck E. Cheeses. He had 5 planned guests total, including himself. We’d had a list of 8 invitees, and sent out invitations with RSVP dates on them. The party ended up with a few more than that, so all told, the attendees comprised 17 people total:

  • Kidling
  • 4 party guests (kids)
  • 1 party guest sibling
  • 2 cousins of Kidling (too young to be guests)
  • 8 parents (guests: 1 mom, 1 mom/dad couple, 1 dad; Kidling: John and I; cousins: Sil & Bil)
  • 1 grandparent

So . . . we had the 5 planned kid guests paid for, no problem there. I ordered an extra goodie bag for the  young cousin, but I hadn’t been aware a sibling of a guest was coming, or I would’ve gladly included her in the token/ goodie bag guest category. I offered, but the parents said it was unnecessary. I’d expected 4 adults (John, myself, in-laws) and possibly more, so I’d already ordered a sampler platter, just in case. So overall, the unexpected arrivals didn’t cause any issue.

I was also pleased and surprised that Kidling’s grandma was able to make it into town for his birthday for the first time since his 2nd birthday. As a long haul trucker, she doesn’t get the opportunity to come into town often, so this was an unusual surprise. On the negative side (but not unexpected side), my nephew and brother were unable to make it, so that sucked.

The kids are pretty cool. They are all school friend’s of Kidlings, and many are in the after-school program or track with him. One, I discovered, is LDS and his mom used to be in Lacey 4th Ward growing up. Another, I learned, has a dad in the military — his dad works at Joint Base Lewis McChord (where my brother does) and plays hockey. And yet another has an awesomely geeky dad who discussed Pokemon tournaments, Star Wars-themed weddings, and Firefly with me. These things are kind of nice because while the kids run off and play, the parents tend to stay around the table and talk, and it was nice to meet with other adults for a bit and hang out.

John and I had bought several small, mostly inexpensive gifts for Kidling, which we wrapped and put in a bag. The gifts were:

x-box 360 LIVE 12-month gift card
w/ MW3 Beanie
Call of Duty: MW3

He was super excited about all this, and has been wearing the beanie nonstop. The LIVE card was really for the family as a whole, so we could all watch Netflix streaming on our x-box 360, and the last active LIVE account we’d had was about to expire. Everything else was all for him, though. He hasn’t taken the MW3 Beanie off since he got it. From his Aunt and Uncle, he got the game Gears of War 3:

For the x-box 360!

His grandma gave him a plastic helicoptery thing; you throw it in the air and it goes up like 300 ft, then swirls back down. Unfortunately, I can’t find an image of it online. She also gave him a wood model kit to make a motorcycle model, which will be fun for John and Kidling. From his friends, he also got some pretty awesome stuff, namely:

Pokemon Card Set
Nerf Vortex Blaster
$10, except unlike this image, both bills are real.
3-pack Star Wars Puzzle Set

He was actually double-gifted the Nerf Blaster, which was pretty neat because (let’s face it), one lone Nerf gun isn’t the best recipe for fun ‘n friendly times. Two, however, begets Nerf wars and fun times. So although the parents seemed a little embarrassed that their gift had been duplicated, I was just pleased as punch, myself. So that was Saturday.

Sunday, we ran around the house and had Nerf wars (it was Superbowl Sunday, so everyone else was doing some sort of football celebration stuff), then went on a rollerblade (me)/ razor scooter (Kidling)/ run (John) over to get the boys hair cut. They both look excellently awesome now, and this time I actually remembered to do before and after pictures, which is fun.

Today was Kidling’s actual birthday. We were going to go out to dinner as a family at Red Robin, but we’ve decided to put that off until we get a car, which should be any day now. So instead, I packed Kidling a special school lunch and let him buy breakfast at the school as a treat. After he arrived home from school, he took his Nerf guns over to a friends house and played there for an hour or so. Then John walked over and picked up some Papa Murphy’s pizza as a birthday dinner treat while Kidling and I did his homework. After dinner, we watched some t.v. and put together his Star Wars Puzzles.

Part of his homework is 10 minutes of writing, which he reads out loud to me every night when he finishes it. Lately, his writing has turned toward the journalistic, and today’s entry was totally cute — apparently they sang “Happy Birthday” to him on the school bus, which I thought was just sweetness and a half. All told, it was a very laid-back, cool day, and I was kind of pleasantly surprised at how well everything went.


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