Last month John turned nine. I really can't believe he's nine! I feel like that makes us enter into a new phase of parenthood. 8 and under is young; 9 and up just seems so much older. I feel like 9 is almost in the pre-teen range. I'm still trying to mentally adjust to having a 9-year-old because I've always pictured myself as a mother of young kids; older kids, not so much (which doesn't really make sense because kids have to grow up!). I relate really well to children but not as well to adolescents and teenagers, so I'm a little anxious about the years ahead. But I'm excited about them too!
Anyway, enough about me and more about the real subject of this post--John and his birthday!
The night before, I kept up with the tradition I started a few years ago of putting streamers over his door.
The presents were set out on the table so that he could check them out in the morning.
His birthday was on a Saturday so his party was on the exact day of his birthday (which means we only had to do one cake!). He had a sports/Pokemon party at the rec center--sports because the kids played games in the gym (like basketball, kickball, and dodgeball), and Pokemon because that was what the decorations were. I got all of the Pokemon things at partycity.com for a reasonably good price. It was a pretty easy party and the kids had fun.
The party room:
We had about 15 balloons blown up just before the party at our local grocery store. I wanted each of the kids to be able to bring one home, but that didn't happen because soon after we got to the rec center they all started popping! These are the ones that were left by the time I took pictures, and half of them ended up popping too. What a total waste of money!!
Sam hid under the table for awhile because of the popping balloons. They really were loud and startling when they popped!
Playing games in the gym. There's John with the ball.
Sam tried to play too. I was impressed by how nice the older boys were to him!
After the gym games it was time for dinner (pizza) and cake and lots of drinks (those kids were thirsty!). I wanted to schedule the party in the middle of the afternoon so that we wouldn't have to deal with a meal, but there wasn't availability to do it then. So dinner it was, and John opened all of his presents at home later since there wasn't very much time to do it there.
The Pokemon cake. I made it myself. (Just kidding.)
Here he is opening all of his presents at home that evening.
He got lots of Pokemon stuff (big surprise there!).
It was a fun day. I was totally exhausted by the end of it. Next year for his 10th birthday John wants to have his first sleepover party. I'm not sure about that yet, but if we do that it would probably be just a couple of boys (two or three at the most), which in some ways would be easier than having an official party somewhere with all of his friends. Decisions, decisions, that are still a year away.
I want to add a few pictures of John's 8th birthday because I didn't do a post about that last year and I want to include something about it here on the blog. It's hard to believe how much he's grown between then and now!
March 8th, 2013:
John was really into geography and the United States last year, so my mom (who was here visiting for his birthday and baptism) made this fun USA cake.
Note the inclusion of Alaska and Hawaii!
Playing with his new remote-controlled Spiderman that could crawl up and down walls!
A few pictures from his baptism the next morning:
John's baptism was a very special experience for our family. It was even more special because all four of his grandparents were there, and so were the families who are our closest friends, as well as two of John's primary teachers. It was so nice. That evening we went out to dinner at Red Lobster (John's favorite restaurant) and the waiters sang "Happy birthday" to him when they brought out his dessert. It was a very fun and meaningful weekend for John and our family!