Last spring sometime, Bret took Conner and Micah to play putt-putt for the first time. They had a blast - so much so that Conner declared then that he wanted to do that for his birthday...and three or four months later, in the 104 degree heat, that's what we did.
But, because of the special present that Conner had asked for back at the beginning of the summer, we had to open presents first. And, drumroll please...he got a fish tank! As soon as Conner started talking about wanting a fish for his birthday, we knew Poppy was the one to ask. He's quite the expert on fish and aquariums. We knew he would get Conner set up with exactly what he needed. Can you tell that Conner's excited? :)
He opened a few more presents - gravel for the tank, some water drops, some fish food...and then was promised a trip to the pet store after we played putt putt. And then all three boys got some bouncy balls, with little bugs in them!
But, before we could play putt putt or go to the pet store, the aquarium had to be set up. It had to be put together, the gravel had to be washed, and the water had to be treated and given a chance to get to room temperature. And in the process, Conner was taught many of the ins and outs of being a fish owner. (Isn't Poppy great?!)
Then we were off to lunch at Subway, followed by putt-putt. It was really hot, but we had fun. (Thank you Bret, for packing the ice chest with water and lugging it around!) Conner was quite the expert, making sure we knew where each hole was, and what the obstacles were. Micah actually hit several really good shots. This was Joey's first go at putt-putt. (Yes, rubber boots were his choice of shoe for the occassion!) He quickly figured out that the stick was to hit the ball with, and after a couple of lessons on how to hold it right, he decided that was for the birds. He ended up just walking around, laying his ball wherever he wanted, and swinging his putter with one hand until it hit the ball somewhere.
Conner really, really, really wanted to play 40 holes of putt-putt today. But after the first 18, we went in to cool off, got a cup full of nickels for the nickel arcade...and I think he kind of forgot about putt-putt. :)
Bret came through for the boys and hit the jackpot on one of the games, so they each ended up with a couple hundred tickets to "spend" at the prize counter.
Two punching balloons, a whoopee cushion, and six plastic snakes later, we were off to the pet store. You can read more about that here. (The fish have ended up being an entire story on their own.)
Once we got home from the pet store and got the fish taken care of, it was time for cake. Conner and I had talked about making some really cute gold fish bowl cupcakes, but when we went to WalMart to choose a cake for his real birthday, the cupcakes became old news. He wanted a Star Wars cake. But they didn't have what they needed to make one of those...and so we ended up with a dinosaur cake, complete with a volcano. (I think this choice was probably influenced by the Land of the Dinosaurs experience...)
When I opened the box, I immediately saw that the volcano didn't have any lava in it like the picture had shown. Since that was one of the main reasons Conner had chosen this cake, we couldn't let him see the lava-less volcano! A little strawberry jelly and a couple of minutes later, we were set:
And it worked! He was very pleased with the volcano, especially when we put all seven candles inside of it so that there would be fire coming out. :) Then we started singing happy birthday, and as excited as he was about the huge flame coming out of the volcano, somewhere along the way he decided to let Joey blow his candles out. But the flame ended up being so big that Joey needed a little bit of help from his big brother anyway, so it all worked out in the end.
We ate our cake and ice cream, and Conner, being the good fish owner that he already is, decided to set half of his piece by his fish so that they could enjoy it, too. (We had already made a big deal about telling him that only fish food could go in the tank, not people food.) And then the party was pretty much over. Gammie and Poppy left, and Bret took Conner back to the pet store. (Ya gotta read about the fish!) When it was bedtime, the boys decided to lay down where they could watch Conner's new pets as they went to sleep. :)
What a great, fun, wonderful day. Thank you, thank you Gammie and Poppy for sharing it with us and making it happen! Poppy, thank you for sharing your wisdom with us and taking the time to teach Conner. This will be a birthday that he will remember for a long time, I think.