Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Pirate's Life for Me!

One month ago, I didn't even own a 2012 calendar. That was so... next year. I'd scribble in the random appointment, here or there, on the extra pages that followed December, pushing out any thought unrelated to the weeks of celebrating that lay ahead. How nice it will be, I kept thinking, to have two and a half weeks of freedom before my class starts again!

Ha. The first day of 2012 found me at the starting line with my sneakers laced tight - I was off and running. I had several lovely posts planned to start the new year. They seem rather... faded now, as only today - tonight - have my feet had the chance to touch the ground.

Five years ago, the time between Christmas, New Year's, and January 5 stretched far and wide, feeling like an eternity had passed between each date. This year, with Christmas behind us, New Year's upon us, and Leo's 5th Birthday looming on the horizon, all I could think was, his birthday is SO CLOSE to Christmas! New Year's! How did this happen??

Despite the frenetic pace of 2012, we managed to throw a mighty fine party to celebrate Leo's 5th year. Months ago, Leo decided on a pirate theme, so I set to work gathering ideas and brainstorming activities. I nearly set the house afire with the invites, but they were well worth the cost of listening to the smoke detectors (tea-stained and edge-burned, for authenticity):

Dissatisfied with the chintzy hats I found in catalogs and party stores, I commissioned my mom to make bandanas for each party-goer, and they turned out as cute as could be:

Knowing how crafty my kids are, and how much crafting the kids do in preschool, I turned to Family Fun for a pirate-themed craft idea. The kids looved making the parrots and teaching them how to speak like a pirate!

We played several fun games, including"Swab the Deck," a game that Aidan plays at the end of karate sometimes. Essentially, it's Simon Says with some pirate swagger. (My personal favorite is "Seasick", where each kid pretends to vomit all over the ship's deck. Ironic, given how the mere thought of puking can give me a vaso-vagal (fainting) response.)

The culminating event of the party, though, was the Hunt for Buried Treasure:
Scavenger Hunt Clues:

Follow your Captian (Leo) to the ship's deck
He will steer the boat so it won't wreck! (clue hidden on lower deck)

Land ho! Now everyone off the decks,
Through the grass to find a spot marked X. (clue hidden in garden box, under cardboard X)

Now up the hill, we won't be poor
if we find a treasure clue at the front door- (front door!!)

Single file, Mateys, through the cabin -
No lollygaggin', fightin', or blabbin' - (hidden inside a hat in the family room)

If you can't take the heat don't dillydally,
yer treasure awaits - go past the stove in the galley. (look to dining room)

Ahoy! With a pace that was steadfast and measured
you followed the rhymes to a merry treasure.
Enjoy some grog, a pirate brew -
you can have your treasure and eat it, too!

Let them eat cake! I am always amazed at my husband - a non-baker, non-cooker, non-crafter, - at his ability to swoop in at the 11th hour (literally - he found someone to cover the rest of his night shift the night before his party) and turn something good into something unforgettable.
We even had a chance to sing a little sea chanty -

Sea Chantey (to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star)

I'm a pirate, that I be!
I sail me ship upon the sea!
I stay up late - till half past three!
And that's a peg below my knee!
I'm a pirate, that I be!
Come sail upon my ship with me!

All in all, it was a wonderful celebration for an amazing boy. I adore Leo for his fierce determination, his ability to go with the flow, his reflective and kind nature, and his mischievous grin. He is our beloved, FIVE year old son. Happy Birthday, Leo! Aaargh!

Why couldn't the pirate kids go to the movie? Because it was rated AARRGHH!!

What do you call the pirate who is really angry? A P-IRATE!! (irate, get it?)

No comments: