We celebrated at Great Wolf Lodge (more details coming). We also threw him his first "friend" birthday party today. He and his brother share the same friends, so it was especially fun. We had an alien and rocket theme because he loves stuff that flies and is super into aliens. I suggested we invite some "real" aliens and his eyes got especially big and he said, "That's feepy" (creepy). He said the kids would all cry and would want to go home. So we scrapped that idea.
The kids with their rockets.
Instead we encouraged the kids to be creative and build rockets out of craft supplies we provided. The kids did such a great job, especially with G as our creative director. G and I made a good party planning team. I know how to handle kids and he knows how to help kids have a good time. Next we hunted for hidden stars around the house. The kid that won got a starburst. And the kid that found the special "moon" got a starburst. (Get it? starburst?) Then G showed the kids several youtube videos of real rocket launches and landings. They were totally impressed. I don't think Sambo broke his stare at the TV for a solid 10 minutes. He was totally spellbound. Next up was balloon rockets. We filled balloons with some pinto beans, blew the balloons up slightly, taped some streamers to the bottom and we had us some rockets. Then we burned a bit of energy with a few minutes of freeze dance. It's our family's party trademark. We play this at every kid party and I usually play it when I teach preschool. It's so hilarious to watch a pack of kids cut some serious rug. This year the song was the clean version of "E.T." by Katy Perry. So awesome!
Then it was time for presents and then cupcakes. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I abhor making fancy cakes and cupcakes. Why I continue to make an effort is beyond me. I'm pretty sure I will not be doing it again. (Maybe making cupcakes is like giving birth, though. By the time next year rolls around I will have forgotten the pain, agony, and sacrifice involved and I'll agree to do it again. Please someone stop me before I agree to do it again!) This year I attempted alien cupcakes. I did a horrible job, although they still turned out cute, only because the design was awesome and not because of my handiwork.
Then it was pinata time. Sambo has been wanting a birthday party with a pinata for a long time. We got a star pinata because I wasn't on the ball enough to get a cooler alien one online. Amazingly, no one got smacked in the face. I thought for sure it would happen and was relieved it didn't. The parents came just as we were finishing the pinata. We still had a few more activities in reserve if we needed to fill time, including a paper airplane contest (we have the best spot to launch them from upstairs) and making a cratered moon out of paper plates and foil. All in all, it was a super simple party but the kids were busy the whole time and G and I never lost control. Sambo LOVES crafts, so we went heavy on the crafts.
Now for the part of the post where I brag about my totally awesome son. Sambo is the type of kid that makes infertile women grieve. He is a mother's dream. Honestly, he is so easy to parent and is an absolute delight. We love him so much! G and I say he wakes up cuter every day. His very best talent is being cute. He is darling, he talks cute and he has cute interests.
Sambo is very active and runs all around all the time, but he has a very easygoing personality. He rides his bike amazingly well and is a whiz on his scooter. He learned to swim this summer and if we were more on the ball as parents and took him swimming more through the winter, he would probably be really awesome by next summer. His other major talent is the roundhouse he can do while perched in his carseat. I feel really bad for Buddy, but Buddy has yet to learn to move his face away from the range of Sambo's foot. The range on his kick is really impressive, though, so there is probably little Buddy can do to get away from him.
Sambo spends his entire life trying to keep up with his very smart and very active older brother, and he does pretty well. He gets worn out much quicker than Buddy, but he makes a valiant effort. He loves to be treated like the "big kids" and he actually started hyperventilating at the gym this week when he realized he is old enough to be in the "big kid" room. He begged his brother stay with him so they could play together in that room. He was paralyzed by joy and wouldn't even walk into the room. He just stood there and repeated over and over again, "I play with Yoah? I play with my brother? Me old enough?!!!!!" over and over again.
Sambo with his new alien lego set.
Sambo is very artistic and makes the best drawings and hangs them all over the house. I love this part of motherhood. I love having a gallery of kid drawings taped above my bed and handmade kid ornaments all over the Christmas tree. A month or so ago Sambolegos amazingly well. And his attention span is better than most children twice his age. Last night he sat and quietly built legos with his birthmom for an hour and a half. He would sit and do "homework" with me on the couch all day if I had time to sit with him.
Sambo playing legos with his birthmom.
He is very eager to please and cries really hard when he gets in trouble, especially in public. When he is disciplined he fixes his behavior immediately. He goes days without getting a timeout. I can take him anywhere because he is the rare child that actually cooperates in the store, falls asleep in the car but wakes up happy, rarely gets cranky, and falls asleep every week during church so we don't have to bother to entertain him. We often say that if he had come first (which remember, if he had not been placed for adoption, he would have been...) his parent(s) would have assumed they were the bomb. He makes us feel like we are doing things right! And trust me, that's a good feeling.
Oh, how we love him. It's not right to love somebody because they are good. But we do. And lucky for us, he also is lovable for about a million other reasons. He is such a wonderful son. I have no idea where life will take him, but I hope life treats him good and never sucks the simple joy from him.