Saturday, December 1, 2007

4 Years or 48 Months?

The BIG day has arrived. Today my baby turns 4!!!! It sounds so BIG, doesn't it? Last week I was talking with a friend of mine who also happens to be one of the staff members at my son's kindy (preschool) and she was sharing about a conference she went to which taught them to remember that the 4 year olds in their care were just 48 months old. When you put it like that, it doesn't really sound so old after all does it? I think it was just what I needed to hear at the time. :-)

My boy is SO proud of how big he is! It really is very sweet.

This year Lightning McQueen is featuring very heavily. For those of you not familiar with Lightning McQueen, he is a red racecar and the lead character in the movie "Cars". I LOVE the storyline as he learns what it truly means to be a friend and to have friends. And that "winning isn't everything".

We gave him a Lightning McQueen beach towel and wallet (he FINALLY has his own wallet!!!! A fact he is very proud of. We tend to start teaching money management to our children from 4 years onwards - that's probably a subject for another post). We also gave him a Leapster that included a Lightning McQueen game. Being the youngest, he is being introduced to computer games a little younger than the other two. DD now has a gameboy and our other DS has a Nintendo DS so this is TJ's very own "gameboy". They work out fantastic for travelling in the car - we drive quite a few km's a week living so far from everything.

His grandparents gave him his very own tool set (with REAL tools) - it came with a hat, goggles and toolbelt and he is ecstatic. So in many ways turning 4 has become a significant milestone for him becoming a "big boy".

On Monday he's having a few little friends over for a "Cars" Birthday party. To the left is a copy of the invitation we used as a base for our invitations. Gotta love the internet for being able to find HEAPS of great party ideas. :-) The children who have been invited are all quite EXCITED at the thought of a "Lightning McQueen" party. :-)

The plan is for each child to make their very own Lightning McQueen car out of a cardboard box (the kind you stand inside of). I've printed off some Lightning McQueen faces to stick to the front of the box and there's a red piece of paper with a "95" on it to go on the sides. Then of course the paper plate wheels and steering wheel. DH is going to mark out a track on the back lawn so they can "drive" around it

I think it'll be lots of fun. The cardboard cars will take care of most of the activity for the morning and also become part of the "take home" gift for each child. I have bought "Cars" party bags as well and in them will go a few lollies, a small packet of chips and a couple of "cars" colouring sheets I printed off the internet.

I'm hoping that by the time they arrive and settle in, make their car and race around in their car, there won't be a need for too much other organised activity. We also have a blow up tunnel type thing my parents gave our children for Christmas which DH will set up and the sand-pit. I do have some blow up egg and spoons they can play with and if need be we'll do an egg and spoon race or two and play a few games like Duck, Duck, Goose. I find the whole "winning/losing" issue with party games and prizes a hard one at this age so I simply solve that dilemma by avoiding those kinds of games.

We have a little boy coming who is allergic to eggs, milk, nuts and a few other things so I've worked on party food that he can have (usually his mum brings food for him but they're close friends and it'll be nice for him to be able to come to a party and just be "one of the kids" instead of being different). I feel very honoured (and a tad nervous) that I am one of the few people she will trust with the life of her child. His first sleep-over away from home was here.

Party Food will be:

* fruit platter
* popcorn with icing sugar
* iced biscuits with lolly faces (I know which biscuits he can have)
* plain potato chips (he can have Home Brand salt & vinegar but DH accidentally ate them)
* toobs
* pretzels
* jelly cups with jelly frogs in them (if I get around to making them lol)
* cordial (plus tea & coffee for the mums)

He can also have my Chocolate Fudge Cake so I'll make that for the birthday cake. I prefer to keep things pretty simple all up. There's nothing worse than spending hours making party food only to end up throwing a heap in the rubbish.

Today I have to make 2 birthday cakes. One for his family birthday tea tonight and one ready for the party on Monday. I'm planning on making a number 4 cake for tonight. The cake for the party is pretty simple (photo's Monday night hopefully). I've bought a toy Lightning McQueen to go on it rather than attempt to actually make and ice a Lightning McQueen (like I said, I like simple :-) ).

I don't think it takes too much to put on a simple little kids party that can be lots of fun without being TOO much work. If I make things too complicated for myself I tend not to want to go through all of that again. LOL. This way, we all have fun and I don't end up in a heap. :-) Having it during the school day means I only have the 6 kids who are coming plus 5 mums (2 kids are siblings) and DS and myself to cater for.

Our family tradition is to have a kind of party tea on the day of each child's birthday. Generally I let the kids choose what meal they'd like and so far they've always chosen a "party tea". LOL. Just like their mother really - that's what I used to ask my Grandmother to do when she would do a special birthday tea for my birthday. :-) So naturally, I'm happy to oblige. No party pies this time though (I don't have any at the moment!!!). But we will have "little boys" (cocktail sausages), fairy bread (an absolute must), cheese & bacon fingers (some people call them "toasties"), potato chips, salad platter and slices of watermelon. I've also bought some brandy snaps and cream as a bit of a treat. And of course, the birthday cake. I *might* make a few mini quiches if I get really energetic today while the oven is on - we'll see.

I think I'd best go write myself a "what needs doing when" list. More details and photo's will follow over the next couple of days. :-)


Sarcastic Mom (aka Lotus) said...

WOW, 4 years. Seems like that's a lifetime away for us, and I bet when it gets here, it'll seem like he was just born. ;-)

Have fun!

Anonymous said...

My four year old son would *love* that party. 'Cars' is his favourite film.

Desertqueen said...

Happy birthday to your DS. Hope that he has had a brilliant day. The party sounds like great fun. Can I come and race too???. Hope all goes well.

Kelley said...

Happy Birthday DS!!! Sounds like a fabulous party (cant wait to see the photos) and you are wonderful to cater for the child with allergies. I know that some mums have rolled their eyes when I have turned up with food for Boo. Sigh.


lightening said...

Kelley - some people have no idea do they? It's not like you're calling up and asking them to make provision. I don't understand the attitude. :-)

DesertQueen - I only just *got* your username. I AM slow aren't I????? LOL. You're most welcome anytime you feel like making the trip. :-)

Kate - seems to be a favourite all round at the moment. We have some very excited kids coming. I hope it lives up to their expectations.

Lotus - it always feels like a lifetime away when they're little. It's only on looking back that it seems so fast. :-)

Kez said...

Happy belated b'day to your DS! Hope the party goes well.

lightening said...

Thanks Kez. :-)