11.11.2014

HUCK TURNS FOUR!


Oh, stop it, Huck!

Huck has the honorable distinction of having been born a Halloween baby, and as such will always have a fall-back plan in place for all his future birthday parties in case he runs out of ideas for the rest of his natural born life. :) Kid, you are welcome for that!

Having a four-year-old is a total kick in the pants. There's a lot of reverse psychology happening here, a lot of negotiation, a fair bit of misdirection, and a lot of in-advance strategizing. There's a certain song and dance about planning a four-year-old's birthday party. You have to ask just the right questions. If you make things too open-ended, pretty soon you've lost the ship. Mutiny! Anarchy! Mom overboard! Keep it to yes/no questions. Simple and/or decisions. Reward decisions that make party decorations fun with candy, and gratuitously. :)

As of six months ago, Huck was sure he wanted a second penguin party. I was a bit skeptical, of course. Six months from now he could be an entirely different person! Not to mention possibly five feet taller! Because six months to a kid is, like, a decade in dog years. Pretty soon Huck had decided he wanted a zebra party. Which is pretty much the same thing as a penguin party from the perspective of streamer selection. Huck had just made friends with a small plastic zebra named Maze and they'd become mostly inseparable. I don't know if they had a falling out or whatever, but a few weeks later he announced that he wanted a Chuck E. Cheese party instead. At first I was like, Child. But then I got really behind the idea. Total throwback, am I right? We were all super into it. Also this: "I won't have to do anything!" But of course, any parent of an almost-four-year-old knows not to take any request seriously unless it comes at zero hour, the hour at which there is no time for backing out, because all four-year-olds, given the option, will change their minds at the very last minute, just to make you scramble, and because there are no points for effort here you better be ready to make it happen! After all, a poorly executed party is far and away better than a Pinterest-worthy set up on a theme he got bored of five minutes ago. :)

I don't know, I like four-year-olds. I get it. I feel like four-year-olds and I might have a lot in common. Maturity levels or something. :)   


At zero-zero hour Huck decided he wanted a Halloween party instead, complete with Halloween costumes and Halloween candy, and balloons. And celery (?). Luckily we'd invited all his classmates at preschool to start the party here at Huck's house, just in case of just such a thing. So, flexibility! Only way to do it. :)

PS--Huck did his own lettering on his birthday banner. Can you get over that? Stud.


We finally got to employ the piñata we'd had sitting around in the kitchen for the past few months (that's a long story). 

After some last minute waffling, Huck settled on attending his party as the Pink Power Ranger. 
(For the real deal, Huck switched ninja gears and decided to go as a Ninja Turtle.) 
(You'll like that link, promise. Click on it.) 


Working on a zero-hour schedule, we did a quick Devil's food cake, decorated with glow in the dark fangs and squishy eyeballs (all from Target!), and topped off with four birthday candles propped up by four plastic skeletons. Some toy bugs strewn about for whatever, and taduh! 

The spiders on the cake were Brandon's idea. Brandon has a knack for finding theeeee perfect finishing touches for things, and these spiders were just the trick. (I almost wrote, "and these spiders took the cake!" But look, Steve.)


(We had to prop the eyeballs up on toothpicks--these were squishy eyeballs, not sticky eyeballs. Also, not edible eyeballs. I learned that one the hard way. And then made sure to warn the kids while cutting the cake after the birthday song, "THE EYEBALLS DO NOT TASTE GOOD, KIDS. DON'T DO IT.")


Now. Will you look at this.



Ah geez, Huck. 


I am not kidding here with this bit. I later asked Huck what he wished for, and he said he wanted a ninja sword, and a baby sister. Clearly I'm biased here, but you guys, this kid is such a dreamboat.

(Should he have wished for a hairbrush for his mom while he was at it? ;)



Now, four-year-olds and piñatas . . .







Bingo.

After the piñata was burst and the last of the candy had been collected, we all spilled outside to enjoy the gorgeously sunny fall afternoon at the playground up the street. And then we went home to recycle the pizza boxes. And maybe take a nap. :)


There was this moment during the party when Huck was blowing out his candles that I keep coming back to. All of Huck's friends and all of Huck's friends' parents were all huddled together around the dinner table waiting expectantly, our hands frozen in place and ready to cheer, just waiting for that last little flame to disappear into tiny wisps of smoke before erupting into applause. We were making that kind of halting "ah!--oh!--" noise as Huck blew and blew and blew into that last burning candle, and just as the flame finally went out, and just as Huck stood up tall and threw his arms in the air in triumph, out came this explosion of voices and clapping and noises, all these friends, all these kids and these grown ups, all so genuinely caring and loving and supportive of my baby, of my family . . .  it was just such a moment of real, shared joy, and tears sprung into my eyes and I realized again, just like I do every day because of mostly silly things, how we have it pretty dang good over here, and we are so so fulfilled. Because of this boy. 

My boy is just the loveliest. Huck is a magnet for every good thing in orbit in this universe. He brings all the best things with him where ever he goes. He is the light of my life, I tell you. He is such a pleasure and such a gift. I am grateful for him every day. What a seriously cool person I gave birth to. 


Happy Birthday, Huck! FOUR!!!! I sure do love you to bits.

Love, 
Your Mom
(Love your mom!)
(☝︎Inside Juliemom joke.)

*Every year for Huck's birthday we do a little recording of his lullaby, Moon River.*
(You can see a few previous years here and here, and some of the story behind it here.)
(We plan to have a really great compilation of videos put together by the time he turns 18. (SOB!))

This year we had a little help from Mindy Gledhill!


Classes things up a bit huh? :)

A quick bonus track, Anchor, my very favorite Mindy song of ever, live from our roof!


Whew! The end. 
Thanks, Minds! We love you!!
p.s. Statue of Liberty on Mindy's right, Freedom Tower on her left.
And the lovely Joe Corcoran on guitar, too. :)

28 comments :

  1. everytime i hear you singing moon river (or happy together or just about anything ) I sort of smile without noticing. What a beautiful gift! warms my heart. And Huck, what could I say? he's so adorable! Oh, and I loved Mindy's voice too ;)

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  2. i forgot about moon river birthday tradition. totally cried. it's my favorite. maybe a guest artist on mindy's next album?? your voices go so well together!

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  3. What a perfect and lovely party. He'll remember that always.

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  4. I love the Moon River tradition! What a beautiful sentiment.
    Also, I must confess my green eyed jealousy that you can see the Statue of Liberty and the Freedom Tower from your roof. I've only seen them in pictures :(

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  5. I fucking cried dammit!!! You are glowing Nat! So beautiful what you do and how you do it, lucky Huck <3

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  6. This is gorgeous, your boys are gorgeous, you are gorgeous. I love how thankful you are for everything - it really makes me think about my own life. This entire post made me so happy and brought a tear to my (usually stonily dry) eye! I wish you and your family all the bloody love in the world.

    www.whathaveidonethistime.com

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  7. so sweet! moon river is the greatest song ever, and you sing it so beautifully.

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  8. Such an amazing Birthday party. Makes me miss Halloween.

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  9. Huck is so lucky. Truly.

    (Also, I spy Meg Fee at the end of that video?!)

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  10. gosh you girl, you are such a treat and such a great mom, so inspiring, truly, and an excelent writer!!!! i desperately need those moon river tabs for ukelele, i showed my baby girl coco (she´s almost 3) your videos and she loved them so much, i wanna sing it with her on her pink ukelele ;)
    cheers from buenos aires!!! you should come visit, youre wellcome anytime!!

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  11. Moon River has always held a special place in my heart as well. My Dad and I danced to it at my wedding and I get teary every time I hear it. :)

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  12. That one where Huck is blowing out the candles- he looks JUST like you! I love it. I loved the song too. Happy Birthday Huck! xxxx

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  13. These photos are adorable!! He's getting soo big! My son just turned 3 on 10/29 so we also have the Halloween theme to always fall back on. It's crazy how fast they grow! I loved his party theme. You did a great job!!

    xo
    Rachel

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  14. This is too cute. Looks like lots of fun -Hanna Lei

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  15. That B&W pic of Huck blowing out the candles is the sweeeeetest!!

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  16. Mindy Gledhill is one of my favorite artists! Such a lovely version you guys! Like seriously I would buy it. Anchor is my favorite album. Huck is too cute! It looks like he had a happy birthday! Good call on the spider finishing touches Brandon.

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  17. Love Mindy Gledhill! This all looks amazing, Huck is about the cutest thing ever, and honestly so are you. I just found this blog recently and I just keeping coming back- it's so good! I have a four year old too, and while it's hard to pin down, I just have a soft spot for that age, they are so funny and full of life.

    www.hollandsreverie.blogspot.com

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  18. This is such a cute party!! You did a really great job!
    Melanie @ meandmr.com

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  19. Simply adorable! Love the whole halloween theme, and decor! You have the sweetest family! Happy fourth to Huck...you'll just love four! (mine just turned five!) time flies for us mamas!

    xo

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  20. He looks so adorable! As a fellow October baby, I can appreciate all the Halloween party decor! Everything looked so cute! :)

    You look so cute here Kennedy! Loving that coat!

    xo
    Christina
    New Darlings

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  21. He looks so adorable! As a fellow October baby, I can appreciate all the Halloween party decor! Everything looked so cute! :)

    xo
    Christina
    New Darlings

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  22. that is one happy kid!

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  23. This is kind of hard for me to swallow, because Huck still seems like he should be a baby. But then again, so does my own 4-year-old.

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  24. such a beautiful video, you really are so talented and your family is beautiful. I will show this to my son Reece (just turned 3), he adores music and I am sure he will point out the Power Ranger:) long time reader of your blog and first time commenting:) Sending warm wises from Irelandxx

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  25. It just does not feel like I've been following your life and blog for that long. It seems like Huck should still be a teeny baby! Happy fourth Huck. <3

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  26. The lullaby is so touching...and you BOTH have lovely voices. FOUR - wow.

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  27. Can you tell me where your husband's "part wolf" T-shirt is from?

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