Friday, May 08, 2009

Birthday Bash

The birthday girl experienced her *golden* birthday at the ripe old age of four! Someone mentioned "golden birthday" a few months ago, and Eva has not let go of the idea. Another big idea came into her head via the US Postal Service. One day several months ago, we received an advertisement for the Rainforest Cafe in the daily mail. It was a colorful ad, targeted directly at Eva. It pictured kids at a birthday party, entertained by a larger than life green frog, watching a sparkler light up a volcano-shaped chocolate cake. On the other side of the flyer, there were coupons offering freebies for birthday kids. Our birthday girl can't read yet, but she has very good word-picture association skills, and an intense interest in birthday parties. Right away she brought the piece of paper to me, explaining at length what a magnificent birthday destination this would be for her *golden* birthday.

Well, with the recent hubbub of getting our house ready to sell, my fear of showings (I mean, my fear of cleaning for showings), and Eva's extreme excitement over the rain forest destination, we decided to go for it. I looked forward to no dinner dishes, no games to be orchestrated, and a memorable afternoon.

As it turned out, we still held part of the party at our house, and we didn't end up getting the molten volcano cake. And, we're not planning on selling our house now... but I did really enjoy the lack of dirty dishes!

The events started at our house with gift opening. Grandma and Grandpa Spears and Jon and Erin arrived, bearing armfuls of gifts. Here are just a few of the treasures-
Out of the gigantic bag came a doll stroller and a pack n play. A highchair and swing were added later. Thanks Auntie for the (big) toys!

Grandma Patenaude sent a box of "school supplies" in the mail. We've already dug into the paints and the numbers workbook!Grandma Spears had many smallish gifts up her sleeve, but this was the most fun to unwrap. Who can resist a box circled by miles of gold ribbon??? Inside the box was an adorable dress and nightgown that Grandma sewed for Baby Susie. Receiving the award for strangest gift was a package of macaroon cookies and four food-safe markers. I'll have to post pictures of the coloring-on-food experience we had on Monday.

Other big gifts were the 1st ever Polly Pockets to grace our home (after much begging and pleading) and the baseball bat, tee, and glove.

We had snacks on princess plates while we played after opening gifts- Eva chose cheese-its, fresh pineapple, grapes, and blackberries. Yum!

After gifts, we headed to the Mall of America and the Rainforest Cafe. For those of you who don't know, we boast the largest shopping mall in the USA, 10 minutes from our doorstep! It is quite the shopper's paradise, I'm told.

The Rainforest Cafe is not known for having amazing food (Erin had to send hers back!), but it is an awesome kid destination. Hope and Eva were mesmerized, albeit a little frightened, by the thunderstorms, howling monkeys, and chomping alligator. There were huge fish tanks throughout the restaurant with everything from eels to blow fish. Although I don't think Eva knew what to expect, she was far from disappointed. Everything pleased her, right down to her dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets and french fries. She got a free birthday sundae, and of course the inevitable crowd of singing (bellowing) wait staff that come with it. What an experience!

We picked up the final present of the evening at the mall, and Eva's response was priceless. She has been yearning for a piggy bank like her cousins Hannah and Sarah for a long time. I called their mom last week to find out where they got them, but she wasn't sure. I was sad, since I knew the only thing Eva really, really wanted was this ceramic white piggy bank. But, in a providential moment, I saw the exact one she wanted at a store in the MOA the night before the party. The clerk at the store was so eager to please, she even wrapped it up super cute when we picked it up before dinner. As Eva was opening it, she cried with total and complete delight, "AT LONG LAST, MY OWN PIGGY BANK!"She immediately requested the coins from every one's pockets, and has been earning a dime or a nickle each day this week for doing her chores. She is saving up for more Polly Pockets, I'm told.
We returned home after dinner (no rides at the indoor amusement park this time) for cake and ice cream. You can imagine my relief when the birthday cake order switched from "Tigger" to a "rose garden." Last year the request was "Pooh," and I was thankful to avoid the food coloring headache we all experienced after eating it!
And finally, I leave you with the quintessential birthday picture, the candles being blown out. I think this party was my most enjoyable kid birthday yet. Eva was so happy, so cooperative, no meltdowns of excitement... and no dishes to be done :)!


rob said...

What a day! Isaiah has his golden birthday this year too!

Not moving? Please do tell more cuz I am out of the loop.

Have a great day!


Anonymous said...

loved it. especially the "at long last!" part...drama queen in your future :)


Nicole said...

I love your story narrations! It sounds like Eva had a fab golden birthday... I would have loved a Ranforest Cafe golden birthday, and I had mine at 25 :)

AKat said...

Eva just has the sweetest countenance. I love her expressions and the things you write about her saying. I just want to hug her! Happy Birthday, Eva!