Monday, September 14, 2009

Ben's Birthday Bonanza

Everyone told me that my kids would grow up before I knew it. When Benjamin was just a few weeks old and was spitting up fire and screaming bloody murder for about 12 hours a day, I had a hard time imagining that he would ever grow up. Indeed, each day felt like an eternity. But, low and behold, time passed; he got better, and now he is 3!

To say that I can't believe my baby is 3 is an understatement. He still has some of those chubby baby cheeks, but he's so tall, so talkative and such an individual. I've definitely been a little sentimental all day. He, on the other hand, has been looking forward to this day since his dad's birthday a month ago. I don't think he remembers his birthday from last year, but he was pretty certain that whatever else happened today, he would for sure be getting some presents. That was draw enough. However, when Shawn got him out of bed this morning, Ben told him that he was a little sad that it was his birthday. He had actually told me the same thing last night. When I asked why he felt a little sad, he said it was because if he got bigger then he wouldn't be my baby anymore.

Well. Ugh.

I swallowed down the boo hoo's and assured him he would always be my baby. No matter what.

(I'm actually thinking that he is more concerned that turning 3 signals the end of his love affair with his bink and the onset of some serious potty training boot camp. He's no dummy. He sees the writing on the wall, and is reminiscent of the halcyon days of yore.)

But then, there's the presents, so . . . bring on that birthday.

We planned to have a small party for him this year and invite a few of his buddies from church for a low key playdate in the park's playground. I invited three of his friends, but only Harper was able to come. Thankfully, Harper has an older sister Claire's age and a newborn sister too, so it still felt like a party.

Here they are posing and modeling their foam craft hats. Does this picture scream "personality" or what?

Blowing out the candle on his Thomas the Train birthday cookie.

Ben and Harper - good buddies. Birthday party playing in the dirt. Right on, man.
And actually, it really wouldn't have mattered if no one had been able to come to the party because, unbeknownst to us until the last minute, the village had planned its annual anniversary celebration in the park that very same day (anniversary of what, I don't know). The celebration included live music, a pirate who was performing magic tricks, a petting zoo, face painting, fire trucks, free snow cones and cotton candy, and even a 4 jet flyover. Everything was free, and all the kids had a fantastic time.

Being the honest, straightforward parents we are, we totally let Ben think it was all planned for him. He was thrilled. This is, no doubt, going to bite us on the butt next year when he goes to Chuckie Cheese and is like, "mom, a big-headed mouse and games? Where's the 4 jet flyover, snow cones and magic producing pirate? I mean, really."
We'll cross that bridge when we come to it.
Meanwhile, we let him live it up.
Ben loved the petting zoo pen with the bunnies, guinea pigs and hedgehog. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of that. Instead you get a picture of a spiky, hard-shelled tortoise and two ducks. "Ah, soft tortoise."

Claire and her buddy Mary-Brannen

As still as a statue.

One happy little man.

And what's a birthday party without a stinkin' huge red tractor? YeeHaw!

Arguable the highlight of Ben's day was getting to climb all over this.

And today, his actual birthday, we had a small celebration with just our family and this cake.
Okay, so it's not a masterpiece, but Ben was a happy with it (and yes, I totally swiped and reused the Thomas from his cookie cake on Saturday).

Big breath in and blow!

Opening cards and gifts from family.

He has been asking for the "new Thomas movie." This is one happy boy. I wish I would have had the video running when he first opened it. As soon as he realized what it was, he let out a big whoop, ran around the room and jumped on the couch.
The video below was taken right after that. He's still pretty excited.

We really weren't able to tell which of his present were his favorite though, the Thomas movie or this:

Trying out that new "big boy bike."

He's a little speed demon on his red radio flyer tricycle but was a little timid on this bike at first. However, after about 5 minutes, he was riding like a pro.

It was a good day - 3 years ago AND today.


The Fab 4 said...

That last b&w is a framer for sure. I mean like Andrea-blown-up-to-life-size-doing-heart-shapes-on-the-wall frame!

Please tell Ben his Stum friends in TN wish him a happy birthday although it is a little late in the day for that now.

Rachel said...

Happy Birthday Ben. I was totally thinking the same as Merica... blow that picture up sister!

Way to go on the cake! It looks so cute.

Kelly said...

What a fun birthday! Can I just be honest with you and tell you that I actually got a little teary when I heard Ben scream with JOY at his new bike!!!! There isn't a sweeter sound than the sound of your baby thrilled with life! Good job Momma!!!