Saturday, October 24, 2009

Jake's 5th Birthday

It’s official! Jake’s 5. And true to form, we ushered in the start of his 5th year in style…racing style!

I started asking Jake how he wanted to celebrate his 5th birthday shortly after his 4th birthday party. He said he wanted a “Race Car” birthday. OK, great! How on earth do you throw a “Race Car” party?! I didn’t stress about it too much. I figured he’d change his mind several times in throughout the year, so I had nothing to worry about. Well, guess what…he didn’t change his mind. By mid-summer, it was pretty obvious we were going to have to find a way to throw Jake a race car bash. So while I struggled with ways of throwing a racing-themed party at home, Duke came up with the brilliant idea of go-kart racing! After a few phone calls, it was all set up. We were Speed Zone bound!

It was a great day for a party. The weather was warm & dry. Most of Jake’s pals were able to come. Everybody had a great time zooming around the track. Judging by the pictures, it’s hard to tell who was having more fun – the boys or the dads. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a kid’s birthday party where it was mostly dads. Usually party-duty falls on the mom’s to-do list.

After an hour of racing, we had a little fun with video games and then went into the party room for pizza, cake & ice cream. Of course, the cake had to be about racing too. Jake & I scoured the metroplex looking for racing props to put on his cake. We finally (and I do mean FINALLY) found these tiny NASCARS. (I’ve got to give Walmart credit here – I hate going to that place, but I usually find pretty good stuff there.)

After cake, there was time for a few more turns around the track.

We actually celebrated Jake’s birthday the weekend before his special day this year. That meant we still had to find a way to make Jake’s actual birthday special. So, we started the day off with a Birthday Waffle Sundae – complete with candle. Then Jake went off to school.

Jake attends two schools this year – Teddy Bear Junction (TBJ) on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays; Infinite Bounds (IB) on Tuesdays & Thursdays. It was Wednesday, so that meant he would be at TBJ - a ridiculously rigid, nut-free, home-baked-goods-free school. They gave me an “approved list” of compliant snacks that I could send in with Jake to share with his class mates. I’m sorry, there’s just something wrong about sending your kid to school on his birthday with a box of Fruit Gushers instead of a cake. But I’ll blog about that some other time. Suffice it to say, that I prefer the anything-goes atmosphere at IB much better than the restrictive style of TBJ.

While Jake & friends were enjoying their fruit gushers, I hatched a plan to surprise him by inviting some of his IB buddies over for an afternoon of fun. So with Lila as my faithful sidekick, I loaded Brody & Finn into the car and headed to TBJ. My partners in crime hid quietly outside the classroom door and yelled HAPPY BIRTHDAY, when Jake walked out. It was a lot of fun. As fun as Speed Zone? Probably not, but at least it made a middle-of-the-week birthday a little more interesting than just hanging with Mom, Dad & Sister.

So, what will next year bring? Who knows. I haven’t asked yet, but I’m sure Jake’s got something in mind. Until then, we'll see ya around the track!

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