Sunday, August 2, 2009

Alex's 2nd Birthday Celebration, VOL.4

Okay, as if I haven't dragged this birthday event out enough, here is the last installment.

We didn't open gifts at the park - I don't know what protocol is for kids' birthdays and opening gifts and such, but here are my thoughts:


a) It takes about a year for a two year old to open a single present, so if he is required to open a couple dozen, then he will be well into his twenties before he's done. By that time, he will be more interested in real cars and real dough than Matchbox cars and Playdoh, so the whole effort will pretty much be moot. Not to mention all the additional gifts that will accumulate over the course of twenty-four more birthdays that will need to be opened.

b) One of the reasons you would have a child open gifts at a birthday party is so that the people who gifted them would get to see the look on the kid's face when he sees what he got. And while the grown-ups (the ones who probably picked out and paid for the gift) might enjoy this, a two-year old is probably not interested in seeing what gift he is giving another child for his birthday. At least not my two-year old. "Hey Alex, see this fun toy that you picked out at the toy store? Well, we're gonna give that to some other kid and make you watch him play with it! Doesn't that sound like fun? Doesn't it?!" If I was really lucky, his response would be the usual, "No, Mom" and accompanying eyeroll, but most likely, the response would involve a tantrum and whining and repeated use of the word, "mine!" I'd rather save the parents of "those" kids some trouble.

That said, we decided to open the gifts after naptime, in the comfort of our home, just with our family looking on. And while that seemed like a great idea at the time we conceived it, we did not take into account the fact that our air conditioning, which tended to hover between 82 and 85 degrees on a hot day, would all but give up when we piled 14 hot bodies inside the house at once. By that time, Leah and Chris had made it to town, so poor, preggo Leah, the Mamaws, Tim's folks, and my family were sweating like hogs as the temperature in the house rose to 87 degrees. Everyone tried their best to ignore the obvious, but it was the big, sweaty elephant in the room.

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Alex's friends were super generous and he got all kinds of fun stuff - a personalized green carrying case with his name and a train! painted on the front from (his "friend that's a girl") Annie, a giant Toy Story coloring book and awesome slick crayons that he has used everyday (pictured two posts ago) from his friend Charlotte, a chef's outfit that he wears when he helps me cook from his friend Mary Lawrence, an awesome electric guitar from his friend Jaron, his first set of Matchbox cars from his friend Carter, and fun pop-up book about tractors from his friend Taylor, and TONS of great water toys from his friends Edward and Jessiwa (aka Jessica).

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And his family...I wasn't going to get him a "big gift" this year, but as usual, I changed my mind and got him the water and sand table that I talked about a few posts ago. We also got him some books, a "latches board" by Melissa & Doug (my fave toy people) with all kinds of latches to open and locks to undo, a set of fruits and veggies that he can "cut" in half with a plastic knife (hoping to groom him for chefhood), a Mr. Potato Head (which I like as much as he does), and some puzzles.

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He got a working camera from Aunt Rachel and knew just what to do with it.

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Mamaw Evans got him some Playdoh with letter "stamps" that you can use to make impressions in the Playdoh, and Mamaw Meador got him a learning jukebox with a microphone and a little stuffed bear that plays, "This Little Light of Mine". The bear also has a cross on its chest that lights up and flashes along with the music. Alex loves it, but Tim is petrified that it's going to give him a grand mal seizure. And I'm supposed to be the neurotic one...

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Granny B and Grampa got him a slew of things: another ceramic piggy bank for his money collection and some money (disguised as wrapping paper) to put in it in it, books (including one personalized just for him, a French puzzle in a cute suitcase, a coloring book signed by the author, a classic Paddington the Bear book, etc., etc...), and Mom made this incredible giant book with Alex's likeness on the front riding a train. She built it from scratch, painted it, made a fake binding and pages, and left the inside empty to store all of the things he might collect over this next year. It was so clever and really cool, and it now resides on Alex's ex-changing table. Where he can't reach it. To only be touched when under close adult supervision.

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When Tim and I were in Austin, we found these awesome cowboy bookends at an antique shop called Uncommon Objects (if I had my druthers, my house would look like the inside of this store, stuffed moose heads and all). Each bookend had a cowboy riding a horse, both made out of iron fittings, and the horse's feet were what held the books up...sort of. The horse's feet were attached to these ridiculous pieces of clear lucite that were completely out of context with the whole "rustic cowboy" thing, and the first thing I thought was, Mom can fix it! So I called Mom, who is all gung-ho about Alex having a cowboy room, and told her that I found something else for her to get Alex for his birthday.

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And last but not least, wrapped up in construction tape, he got a Black & Decker tool bench with all the fixin's - tools, a tool belt, and even a Boettcher Design Construction t-shirt so he can look just like Grampa when he swings a hammer.

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Leah and Chris got him the coolest cash register ever, with a gun that really scans barcodes and an LCD screen and a credit card swiper. Oh, et la pièce de résistance, a working microphone that sounds exactly like an intercom at the grocery store. Tim had us all cracking up at his impressions of grocery store clerks asking for price checks, which is somewhat ironic considering he hasn't seen the inside of a grocery store in years.

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Grammy and Poppa got him an awesome train table with a huge wooden track and a ton of cars and engines and little people and trees...pretty much like the one that Alex drools over at Barnes & Noble - only NO Thomas!! There was a lot of assembly required, so Poppa put the thing together while Alex supervised, meanwhile, Nick and Dad assembled his tool bench.

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There was so much assembly required on the train set that Alex went to bed before it was done, and we left Poppa to finish it and left grammy to put Alex to bed so we could go to the Taste of Dallas that night. In the morning, A was pretty excited to see what was sitting in the middle of the living room.

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The fam pretty much went on their way Sunday afternoon, except for Nick, whose flight got cancelled. I'd say "stinks to be him", but that meant he got another whole day with us, and there ain't nothin' stinky about that.

Yeah, so I'd say the kid pretty much cleaned up again this year. You'd think there would be nothing left to give him, but somehow we always come up with something. A lot of somethings. In fact, I've already started to make his Christmas list for this year. Do you think we might be spoiling him? Yeah, I think so, too. But for some reason I'm alright with that...


2 comments:

Granny B said...

OOOhhhh!!! Let's do it again! Let's do it again! What a great great blog. I noticed the one thing missing was pictures of Rachel cause she was always behind the camera making amazing memories!
I hope you blog about how A is figuring out all his toys. Can you download pictures that he takes with Rachel's camera?
And by the way- Tracy is looking for a worker? When is A free to start?

grammy said...

No, No, there's got to be another volume - I'm like Granny B, I don't won't it to be over. It was soooooo much fun. And for all of us to be together was the best. Rachel, these pics are awesome. Nick, loved the music.
Memries - you gotta love em !!!!!