We celebrated the middle son’s fourth birthday starting on Friday, the ‘real day,’ and ending with a little party Sunday. House rules are jubilārs vēlās – Mikus was in charge Friday. The morning started with memory games bearing pictures of construction equipment such as ‘wheel loader’ and ‘material handler’ vs ‘track loader’ and ‘telehandler’; is it any wonder mom lost?
After a lunch date with dad we picked up big brother and headed to a tea party. A bunch of kids sitting around a table drinking tea and eating small cookies is about the cutest thing, although I don’t know about entrusting my boys with irreplaceable china!
Mikus requested dinner at Runway Café, but as it was dark we couldn’t play on the playground. However, we could see the lights on the airplanes taking off and landing, and the chatter from the tower kept the boys attention throughout dinner.
Leave it to Mikus to select the theme ‘Gaŗezers’ for his birthday party. A little hard to manage in the middle of South Carolina, we opted to celebrate all the things he likes to do at the Latvian center/summer camp up in Michigan, such as go fishing. My mother made this amazing tablecloth, an exact replica of the shape of Long Lake – complete with Dūņezers and Clear Lake nearby. We added the Gaŗezers welcome sign even though our guests wouldn’t recognize it. At some point we'll sit down with cloth markers and draw all of our favorite places, roads and other landmarks in.
The fishing part was fun. A fishbowl on the table had two little electronic swimming fish. I dug through the boys' Toobs and toys for turtles, frogs, birds and other animals that we often see in Gaŗezers, and fishing net pieces and a few lures (without hooks) formed a nice backdrop. A few mini-lanterns were painted to look like giant bobbers, which together with balloons and streamers provided a festive atmosphere.
We used the same tackle box that I had filled with gummi worms and bobbers for the Camp Vilis party, this time filling it with healthier snacks – goldfish, pretzels, nuts and dried fruit. Along with chips, crackers, hummus and guacamole, this kept the kids from starving until it was time to eat dinner.
Dad built a cardboard boat as I was worried it would be too chilly to play outside (which we outfitted with a life vest, nets and magnetic fishing reel set), but it turned out to be just warm enough to expend some major energy in the backyard before coming in to eat.
|The dozens of Garezers shirts finally come in handy...|
Dessert was Martha’s one-bowl chocolate cake, baked in bread tins and sculpted to resemble a fishing boat. With a fisherman figurine in back and set adrift in a lake of Jell-O jigglers, the boat was complete with outboard motor and steering wheel.
For party favors I found fishing lure organizers at Cabela’s that I thought all the kids would love, as they are great for organizing all those little treasures – marbles, colored stones, acorns, pennies, paper scraps. Not wanting to give them to our guests empty, I filled them with tiny turtle and frog figures, gummi worms, Swedish fish, octopus and shark candy, before tying them with twine and adorning with a bobber.
The birthday boy enjoyed his weekend, that is until announcing that “he was so sad he has to wait an entire year for his next birthday.” Me too, buddy - we’ll just have to play an extra couple rounds of Go Fish and the Big Trucks and Diggers memory game these next couple of weeks!