21 September 2010

birfday weekend.

the NEW Super Friends., Originally uploaded by Luna Soledad
The weekend, jammed packed with all kinds of birthday fun and surprises, was a huge success! Liam is now officially a FOUR-year-old... and I am still exhausted. I need a weekend just to recover from the weekend. Whew!

Saturday, Grand Master Jun and Master Kim of Champion Jun's Taekwondo Academy hosted Liam's super-cool Taekwondo party for the birthday boy and his preschool friends... We arrived to find the studio completely decorated with balloons and banners; Liam was over the moon. --The bouncy house went up, the awesome Spiderman cake was delivered, friends began to trickle in and the bouncing began... And Liam got to be a Black Belt for a day! Wow! Could the day get any better?

After bouncing their little heads off, the kids all got a Taekwondo lesson where they did exercises, ran relays, jumped hurdles, and even broke their own boards! They each did so well and enjoyed themselves immensely! --I've always been so impressed at how well the Masters work with small children; especially Master Jun. I swear, it's like he's a "child whisperer." Kids just magically follow along and do as he instructs eager for his approval and praise, which he showers upon them liberally because they all do their very best for Master Jun. He just exudes that kind of energy. And in return for sharing his vast knowledge and experience in TKD, they make him laugh. Yes, the two-time world champion and 7th degree black belt has a big ole soft spot, and that soft spot is children.

And then, who should appear, but SPIDERMAN! =)

Now, I have to say, as Spidermen go, this wasn't the best costume ever, but then again, didn't Peter Parker make his own suit in the movie? Irregardless, it was all very exciting to the little people. One by one the children trotted, skipped, and ran over to the 'webbed ranger' to show Spidey the boards they had broken, at which the super hero "Oooh'ed" and "Aaah'ed" and told them how strong they were.

Next, using my recently acquired background stand, I had set up a "photo booth" in the corner of the studio where I took photos of each child with Spiderman and with their friends.

Then it was time for cake!

let them eat Cake!, originally uploaded by Luna Soledad.
What an awesomely delicious cake it was (made by April Florence of Raleigh)! A layer of vanilla on top, chocolate (my fav!) on the bottom, edible buildings, and cupcakes too. We sang the obligatory birthday song, ate buildings, blew out four candles, and then Master Jun helped Liam cut his cake with a Korean sword.

It was a really cool party if I do say so myself and I do so hope that Liam will always remember what a great, fun-filled, and all-around happy day he had with his friends... and if by chance he doesn't, well, I have plenty of photographs!

Speaking of photos...

look ma, no hands!, originally uploaded by Luna Soledad.
At my house, I have an annual tradition: each year I do a birthday photo shoot for my kiddos on or about their respective birthdays, and being that Sunday was Liam's, we turned the back deck into a photo studio and let Liam put on a fashion show of sorts (and Bella too, though she wasn't as enthusiastic about all the hoopla as her brother). Kevin was in charge of "wardrobe" much to his chagrin.

You see, I just love dressing my little ones up in various outfits, costumes, and ethic garb from around the globe -- and this year's line-up included western attire (with his first Levi's and first real cowboy boots), silk Chinese pajamas (from Hong Kong, Thanks Aunt Martha!), a beaded and embroidered Pakistani salwar kameez, authentic German lederhosen (a gift from Dr. Kerry Orsingher and possibly the last time his big-boy self will be able to wear them), and his Spiderman boxers posed on his Schwinn trike. --At each change of clothes, he would ask if he could wear the outfit when we were done?

"It's your birthday baby," I told him, "when we're done, you can wear anything you want for the rest of the day."

Later in the afternoon, we grilled out with a few of our favorite peeps and Grannie and Papaw. Gathered around the dinner table, Aunt Martha was inquiring about the exciting surprise visit from Spiderman at his Taekwondo birthday party and wow, how cool, etc. when Liam matter-of-fact-ly informs her, "He wasn't the real Spiderman, he was a man wearing suit like Spiderman because Spiderman is real busy and has a lot of people working for him." --Though this was news to me, I can't say I was surprised. That kid misses nothing.

Liam showed off his birthday loot and added more to his spoils. Among his favorite gifts, was a blue ceramic piggy bank with his name on it made by his sister (with help from Miss Kim)... He loved, loved, loved it! and immediately began depositing quarters he'd previously swindled from Papaw while Bella grinned and beamed and giggled as everyone clapped and told her what a great job she did. --Those are the little moments that just make my heart beat. ...And of course, we did cake again, this time with sparklers and trick candles, though Liam was not nearly as amused as we were. I think it is safe to say that once again, a good time was had by all... just grillin' and chillin' and watching one little boy have the best birthday weekend of his life - all four years of it.

And true to my word, when we were done with photos, I allowed him to wear whatever he wanted for the rest of the day... SO, he spent the entire afternoon dressed in his multi-color Spiderman comic strip boxers, brown/black leather Justin cowboy boots, and his favorite brown/yellow/orange Jimi Hendrix T-shirt (and if you ask him, he'll tell you, "Jimi Hendrix was the greatest guitar player EVER!")... He was a site to be sure, but after all, he was the birthday boy.

Life was good. =)
"There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million."

...Walt Streightiff

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