Tag Archives: birthday cake

How a boy celebrates turning five

Turning five - birthday cakeToday my eldest is turning five. This little man graduated preschool a few weeks ago and will be entering kindergarten in the fall. Don’t ask me what happened during the past five years, I’m not sure I remember it all. Overall I find motherhood a very humble job. After you’ve been peed on, pooped on and barfed on so many times, somehow you can still look at your child and think he’s the most precious gift in the world. I guess it’s why they call it unconditional love.

At the age of five, my son thinks he doesn’t need to go to school anymore because he already “knows it all”. Wow, I thought such cocky statement only came out of a teenager’s mouth. A five-year-old proved me wrong. Clearly, I don’t know it all. When he grows up, he wants to be a police officer. He’d also like to be an astronaut, a diver and a painter. And a writer too. At least he won’t have time to get bored. And I tell him he can be anything he wants to be. Because he can.

We were going to throw the usual birthday party with the required set of playmates, their parents, the expected entertainment and party favors for them all. Then I thought, what will my son remember from this two-hour-long birthday party several years from now? Probably not much. So I suggested something different. Something more “adventurous” we could do as a family. Something that will create lifelong memories.

So we’re scratching the idea of a typical birthday party and instead are taking a train ride on Amtrack from San Diego to Anaheim, two hours each way, to Downtown Disney. We’re not going to Disneyland (too crowded and too expensive in the summer) but instead will enjoy the shops and the entertainment of the Disney village for a few hours. The kids will even have the opportunity to pick a few goodies at the gift shops. I hope we’ll have lunch in the jungle of the Rainforest Cafe, so the kids can witness a thunderstorm every 10 minutes. Hey, we live in San Diego, we don’t get thunderstorms so this is sure to have a novelty effect. The kids can’t wait to first ride the train, then take a taxi from the station to Disneyland. Kids this age are so easy to entertain, I wish they didn’t turn into blasé teenagers later on.

Of course, no birthday would be complete without a birthday cake. As part of my 101 in 1001 challenge, I’m making my son’s birthday cake from scratch. He asked for a Spider-Man cake and the decoration is all I have left to do. Gosh, I hope a five-year old can be forgiving… You’ll get to see embarassing pictures when I post an update about my 101 in 1001 in early August. In the meantime, my son is taking chocolate madeleines to school today to share with his classmates. These are so good, I wish they stayed home for us to eat.

Can’t have madeleines? Let us eat cake!

Chocolate madeleines

Chocolate madeleines

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I’m not a baby, I’m a boy!

Third birthday cake - dinosaur birthday cakeI’m not a baby, I’m a boy! That’s what our little guy often tells us, whenever we try to cuddle with him, and express our love and affection by calling him our “baby”. Today he turns three, so technically he’s right. He’s not a baby anymore. Not a toddler anymore either. But he’s also realistic and describes himself as a “little boy”, in comparison to his older brother (by only 19 months) who’s a “big boy”.

A few days ago, I read an online article from a new mom, who gets irritated by the unsolicited advice she receives from other parents. One piece of advice they often give her is, “Enjoy your kids while they’re little. They grow up fast.” Her reaction? Duh, of course they grow up, the clock never goes backwards. I can only guess this mom is still very new at her role. For those of us who have been parents for a while, we know that time goes by way faster than we could ever have imagined. The kids’ birthdays come and go, and then come again, taking us by surprise every time.

Three years ago, I held my youngest in my arms in a hospital room for the first time. Boy, he looked so mellow and happy. Compared to his brother who had to train me as a first-time breastfeeding mom, only took 45-minute naps, and suffered from GERD for many months, our second baby was so easy to take care of. He ate well, slept well, walked at nine months – his infant days were a breeze.

The only concern I had for him was that he barely spoke any words until he was almost two years old. Thank god for sign language! But then it happened. About one month before his second birthday, he started talking, in full sentences. His vocabulary widened and his sentences lengthened over the next year. Today he lectures me when I use the simpler term “T Rex” instead of the more accurate “Tyrannosaurus Rex.” Actually, I can’t complain. His fascination for dinosaurs has given me the opportunity to learn more dinosaur names and recognize more dinosaur pictures than I’ve ever thought I would.

This little chatterbox now competes with his babbling brother to see who will run out of breath first. I love to watch my two boys discuss imaginary play scenarios together, and then carry them out. Sometimes I stand outside of their bedroom after I turn off their light at night, just to listen to them chatting about everything and anything until they fall asleep.

So yes, our baby has turned into quite a grown-up, and it will be so much fun to watch him grow over the years. But in the end, he’ll always be my baby, no matter what.

Happy 3rd birthday, my boy! Enjoy your dinosaur birthday party tomorrow.

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