On Friday, I brought a balloon bouquet along with 2 dozen Krispy Kremes into his classroom to celebrate his over-the-weekend bday.
His teacher appreciated the snack but was somewhat horrified by the balloons -- DS1's class tends to be rowdy even under the best of circumstances. Seeing her expression (and how the kids immediately swarmed around the balloons, all wanting to play with them) I asked her, "Would you like me to take these home?" It's hard to imagine the mixture of gratitude and relief she managed to put into her expression as she said, "Yes!"
While he was in school on Friday, Mom and I took the two little ones went to Circuit City to get "the big present": a Kodak EasyShare digital camera. Then we went over to Target to let them pick out presents for him. DS2 picked out Spy Gear night vision goggles, and DD picked out Operation Shrek. Honestly, it wasn't that easy a task, the kid already has everything.
We got home and I just had time to wrap up everything before it was time to pick him up from school.
DS1 was pretty psyched to see the pile of swag, and we all did our best to distract DS2 who kept on asking, "Can I open the presents now?" He did very well, considering (only minor pouting, no crying or screaming), and never gave away any of the secrets!
We had the actual "birthday party" after lunch. Since DS1 had been kicking around all morning doing nothing besides anticipating opening presents, DH and I cruelly forced him to do his reading before having cake and ice cream, and opening presents. While DS1 was doing his reading, DS2 and DD worked very hard on the special birthday crowns:
Everyone knows that silly hats are obligatory for birthday parties. DS2 brought the "treasures" home from school specifically to make a crown for his brother's birthday! DS1 has the honor of sharing his birthday with DS2's preschool anniversary celebration every year. It's was extra nice when DS1 was attending there, as the entire school gets a birthday vibe.
Silly hats firmly in place, we then serenaded our boy around the candle-lit cake:
This was no ordinary cake, however. This was an especially delicious brownie cake made and decorated by Gramma. We all enjoyed it very much.
Then it was time to open presents. Auntie J (the elder) sent an awesome teepee:
DS2 and DD really enjoyed the night vision goggles, too:
The two most successful presents, though, were ones that DH and I had bought earlier and put away, and so I forgot to wrap them! The one enjoyed most by all the kids was the incessantly-flogged-on-tv hover copter, which I have to admit is pretty cool. A few things: it goes up, it comes down. You can't steer it at all. Once you understand that and get the hang of the up/down thing, it's cool. It only takes 11 minutes to charge it, and a charge lasts a pretty reasonable time. It's very light, being mostly made of molded high-density foam, and so if it whacks into the ceiling or a piece of furniture, it's not going to break anything. Which is not to say it couldn't do damage, but it's pretty unlikely. Last, the thing is much noisier than I expected -- on the commercials you never get to hear it at all. The "whir" noise of the plastic propellor is surprising.
Within 10 seconds of taking over the control, DS2 crashed it onto the roof of the patio. Many times it lands like a turtle on its back, and that's what it did on the patio roof -- fortunately I was still able to use the radio control to get it down just by getting it spinning. After a few practice rounds, though, even DS2 has become a master of the thing.
The other very popular present? DH had picked up a couple more PC games, including Frogger. DS1 was instantly a pro at it, and probably spent 2 hours playing yesterday.
Nana and Papa sent the Roald Dahl classics Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, plus a cool Superman watch and some always-appreciated cash. DS1 had read some excerpts of the first in school, and read more willingly today. He told us about it at dinner, how Willie Wonka had built a chocolate palace for an Indian prince, but warned him to eat it quickly. Alas, the prince did not listen to this advice, and was left with a puddle of chocolate! The level of detail DS1 used in telling the story was charming.
Today he has had a blast with his camera, the hover copter, the video games, buzzing Shrek... he's definitely a happy eight-year-old.
Two down, one to go... DS2's bday is just 14 days away!