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February 23, 2011

Three for Three

IMG_1109 IMG_1121 This past Sunday, the Little Guy turned three.  I had planned (in my head) the uber-party of the year for many months. I even had (gasp) a hand-crafted, hand-stamped invitation idea.  I simply needed to find a template, print out tons of head shots of the LG and let loose with the crafting craziness.

DSC_4503 Then October 8th hit and my life took a nose-dive.  Quite honestly, it's not (or wasn't) the cancer, but the doctors, the hospital, the bills, and the stress of figuring out stuff we were never supposed to have to worry about.  I am an unusual breed in that I was not so much freaked by the diagnosis (well, at first, but it faded) but how they were going to treat it.  As all of you kind, gentle readers well know, this took a bit of a toll on me.

IMG_1126 As the days passed, when not wrapped up in my fear of treatments, surgical and otherwise, I occasionally glanced at my kids and realized that I was potentially screwing up their lives in more ways than one.  Not only had I becoming slightly emotional and crazed on a regular basis, but they needed to keep going...and I was simply not keeping up.

IMG_1128 I suppose I did a passable job at Christmas.  We didn't go overboard and the kids enjoyed each and every gift more than we hoped.  I breathed a sigh of relief when the holidays were over, only to begin stressing mid-January.  I remembered that I had intended on a huge fire truck/man/house themed birthday party for Nicholas.  We would coincide the party with Peter's second R & R, we would invite all of his classmates and local friends and there would be cake, ice cream, fun but useful party favors and, of course, this would all take place at a local fire station.

DSC_4536 DSC_4522 I could see the glee in his eyes months away.  Nothing screams Nicholas like a firetruck wailing down the street.  Nearly every day he plays "Fire Chief" with Peter. (Yes, they play school and fire men together...and, yes, it is as sweet as it sounds.)  Construction vehicles still have their place, but it was to be a fire station birthday, no question.  However, I just wasn't up for it.

DSC_4538 Somehow, a certain crafty person glommed onto this fairly quickly.  She recognized my stress level peaking and knew that I wanted for Nicholas to have a fun day that didn't require me to go nuts. She also had long been aware that Nicholas had but one wish for his party:  he desperately wanted Baby Nate, the Salty Pup, to be in attendance.  How else to better assure this presence than to have the party at his home?

DSC_4544 Dr./Auntie Salty Dog made mention a few weeks ago that perhaps the festivities could take place at her house.  She could "throw up" (HA!) a few decorations, provide a bit of food, a cake and perhaps even a few partygoers.  Another extremely crafty friend has a daughter a few months younger than Nicholas and they have always gotten along swimmingly, so she was first on the list after Nate.  I verified that she was 100% sure this would not be an issue and decided that sometimes taking offered help takes just as much courage as denying it.  I let go of the reins, willingly handed them over and Sunday was the party of Nicholas's dreams.

  Th_IMG_1173 Whether he was riding in Baby Nate's fire truck (how cool IS that?), visiting the fire station in his full regalia, enjoying yummy barbecue and fire house chili, playing with 'put out the fire with marshmallows', devouring yummy chocolate cake or simply running around in circles with his Fire Chief hat on, it was a 3 Alarm birthday to be sure.  He did not miss the 18 plus friends from school, he had a tour of a local fire station (crayons and coloring book included!), no worries about decorating, directions, too many kids, too few...everything was just right.  Three kids for the big three...perfect in all respects.

If you are absolutely digging the hand-crafted decorations, you can learn more about the Dr./Auntie Salty Dog's crafting at the Crafty Dog.  Now off to try and figure out what to do for a certain soon-to-be 9 year old....



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What a fantastic friend.

That sounds like a perfect party, and the fire truck is amazing! I am so glad that Nicholas had a great time.

Oh wow! That does look like a dream party for a young fireman-wannabe! :D Happy Birthday Little Guy!!

Can't believe he's three already! Seems like just yesterday! Happy Birthday Nicky D!

That definitely looks like the perfect party. :)

Happy Birthday to him.

What a great friend! We have to get the boys together, mine loves fire trucks too.

Thank God for good friends.

What a wonderful friend - that sounds like a perfect party. So glad you accepted her help! Thanks for sharing! (I used to hate it when I saw that on blogs in comments - but now I get it. I really AM glad you shared all this.)

and now that I'm actually working in the early childhood education world and have boned up on my Developmentally Appropriate Practice....guess what? One guest per birthday child's years is absolutely the developmentally appropriate way to go. So awesome, Jen. What a party!

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