Hen is seven and has decided he wants to be a botanist when he grows up. He is fascinated by carnivorous plants. He loves playing with electrical circuits to create things that light up, detect motion, and fly. He is clever and funny and stubborn as I'll get out. He is also a sensitive boy. He rides a 20" bike now. It has hand brakes and gears. He loves his cat, and recently bought a fish he named Red Reed. He is slowly learning to read but would rather be outside playing and running and jumping, although he will lie still to hear a story any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
This year's theme - Reptiles. We hired the most excellent World Famous Mr. Lizard's Mobile Zoo (a.k.a. Brett) to come and share with us all his amazing creatures. Per Hen's request, I ordered a tasty chocolate cake with buttercream frosting and chocolate buttercream filling that the bakery crew did a bang up job decorating using Josh Cleland's illustration of a chameleon with a party hat (with permission). I had a ton of fun putting together the party favors. We decorated with a lot of help from the Silhouette (paper cutting machine). And Hen helped me put together the menu: Lizardade, Chocolate Chameleocake, BBQ Gator Chips, Carrot Cut Snakes hidden in broccoli bushes, and Soft Rose Apple Turtle Shells.
Day of the party - The guests arrive and the volume increases tenfold. The kids start to play and Hen shows off his Venus Fly Trap plants and new fish, Red Reed. When Mr. Lizard called to say he was caught in traffic and would be a little late, we had an impromptu Shrinky Dink craft session. Thank goodness for Google images because I have zero artistic ability but can trace like nobody's business. The kids made requests, I quickly traced a design for each of them, and, voilà, they were kept busy while we waited. Mr. Lizard showed up just as the kids were wrapping up their coloring.
The mobile zoo was awesome. The kids seemed to enjoy the low pressure attitude of Mr. Lizard. He offered the kids a chance but didn't try to persuade any of them to touch the animals, which was a good thing as Mia and Ariel were more than happy to just sit back and observe for most of the hour. All of the kids were gentle and careful and polite and simply wonderful. We got to see so many cool animals, starting with Francois the frog and ending with Attaché the Columbia Red Tail boa constrictor. I don't believe the kids were at all troubled that on this particular reptile-laden day they got to see two amphibians. They also got to hold, but not pet, Toupée the Chilean rose hair Tarantula. They had the opportunity to wear at least one snake (Armani), see a gigantic Pixie frog (poor Pickle couldn't come out the because he, uh, had an accident). And, the big one of the day, they got to see a huge turtle poop, not on my floor, thank goodness. Much fun was had by all.
We ended the day with snacks and cake, presents, distributing of party favor boxes, and many, many thank yous. I wish birthdays came more often because I sure enjoy planning them for the kid.
Of course, there were pictures...
|Hen begrudgingly helped with the food signs. He did a great job, didn't he?|
|Beaverton Bakery creates the perfect birthday chameleon cake with help from local artist Josh Cleland.|
|Shrinky Dinks save the party!|
|Hen shows Mr. Lizard his chameleon goggles.|
|Introducting Francois the frog.|
|Hen and Armani|
|Mr. Lizard and the kids impersonating frilled lizards.|
|If I'm not mistaken, Attaché weighs more than Hen.|
|Sit, kids, sit.|
|Kielbasa the Blue-Tongued Skink and a bunch of kids now wanting blue tongues, too.|
|Happy birthday, Hen!|
Click here to view the full set on Flickr.