In lieu of birthday parties, we always take Landon somewhere and/or do a fun day centered around him. Last year, it was a train ride through the redwoods, HERE. The year before that, it was the science center and Incredible Daves, HERE. In the past it's been great, but this year was a struggle as we've been to a number of birthday parties this year and he's talked about his birthday party. Needless to say, this year we've done a lot of talking about his birthday and why we don't have big birthday parties for him with all his friends. I think he gets it as much as he can and I'm sure it makes him a little sad. I kind of hate it as a parent, doing something I believe in and feeling like the child is suffering but being a parent is hard and even fun things like this can become hard and torturous. Last year we did cupcakes at school, but this year we let him decide if he wanted cupcakes for everyone at school or if he wanted to go see a movie at the movie theater. He picked the movie, but continued to ask when he would have his party at school. He was a little distraught that it would be 365 days before he might be able to have a party at school. To a five year old, that is forever. At least now though, he claims he count that high. It's much worse when he cannot even count to the number.
On the other hand, it isn't like we don't celebrate at all. I take all that time, effort, and money that I would have spent on a party for everyone and put it into his birthday. We still have a little party with the family and my Mom and her boyfriend Jack flew in the day before to be here and celebrate with us. This is the second year in a row they've been able to come and I know it means a lot to Landon to have more people he loves here. We knew we'd be spending the night of his birthday in the car while driving to Tahoe so we had our little party the night before his actual birthday. We had his favorite food, meatloaf and mac and cheese for dinner. Then did the cake and gifts.
I've been searching for trick candles now for two year and cannot find them anywhere. Maybe they outlawed them? I don't know. Someone pointed out I put too many candles on his cake. I'm just not that on top of these things anymore. I just bought a package of candles and put them all on there. The more, the merrier!
Of course, as soon as he blows out the candles he starts eyeing the gifts. Naturally, he has to open the biggest one first, because it will be the best.
His birthday is so close to Christmas and he got so much for Christmas this year that thinking of anything to get him was a real struggle. Even he had trouble thinking of anything. After he gave his Grandma explicit details on what he wanted, he simply told me to "Go to the store and find something you know that I would like. Because you know what I like, Mom and I trust you." He was right, legos and superheroes and most especially lego superheros.
First, he must study the box.
After gifts, it was time for some cake and ice cream! We never have ice cream in the house so I happened upon this peanut butter tracks ice cream at Trader Joes. Wow! It was amazing. It might not have gone the best with his funetti cake and strawberry icing, but it sure was delicious! After a sugar high, we built some legos, played and called it a night.
The next morning, his actual birthday was a Friday. I took off work to spend the day with him, but it is busy season for Adam so he isn't able to take off this time of year. I gave Landon a few options of things we could do for his birthday. Everything that day was his choice which is very rare for him. I was sure he would pick rock climbing as his birthday activity, but much to my surprise he decided on an indoor bounce arena. That morning after a pancake breakfast, we headed to bounce house.
The place was huge, with two rooms and plenty of different types of blowups. When we first got there only a few other kids were there and we had the place almost completely to ourselves. He didn't waste anytime running around and trying them all out.
He convinced us all to get in there with him at some point, whether is was going down the slides, through the obstacle courses, into the ball pits or jumping houses we all managed to find our inner children again.
Some of the obstacles were no joke. I went through one and fell down at the top of a climbing wall. I had to pull my ego off the ground before trying again. Nothing will make you feel old, like going to a playground meant for kids. He was always one or two steps ahead of the rest of us.
Of all of us though, my Mom most easily found her inner child and was quickly partaking of all the fun without much pressure from the birthday boy.
Notice not pictured here below is the birthday boy...this was an adult trip down the slide.
Lucky for us, they even had a small rock wall so Landon got to try out a little bit of another activity he passed on.
He was all about it at first, but then he started to get up off the ground and wasn't too sure. I think the foot holds were hurting his feet a bit too since he didn't have on any shoes.
He tried, but I think he still prefers the good ole rock to these fancy climbing walls.
And it won't come as any surprise that someone else had it give it a go too...
The irony was, I had been trying to convince her to take a rock climbing class if Landon wanted to go rock climbing for his birthday. She was pretty sure she wouldn't want to do it, but I had a hunch she'd feel differently if she tried. Of course she loved it and now wants to really give it a try.
When Landon was worn out, we headed to Panera Bread (his favorite restaurant) for some mac and cheese and a sugar cookie. Then back home to play, pack, and wait for Adam to get off. Adam got home early and we immediately hit the road for a weekend in Tahoe. Of course hitting the road, even at 3pm, on a Friday means hours of traffic. What should have taken us about 4 hours took more like 6. It was hard to be too frustrated though, because we knew our destination was going to be worth it. When we finally arrived in North Tahoe, we were welcomed to the most relaxing little condo. All of us especially loved the gas fireplace and Landon spent the last few hours of his birthday playing with his new toys in front of it.
For the most part, it was a fun filled day which would be extended by an even more fun filled weekend. We had just arrived to one of the prettiest places in California and were ready for Landon to get his fill of one his favorite things, snow. Snow, snow and more snow was in our future! And I'll share all about in the next post.