Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Birthday to Peter!

This past week we celebrated my son Peter's third birthday. Happy birthday, stud!

We started the day off right - with chocolate / sprinkle doughnut holes. I had to go to two places to get them, and then I just bought as many as they had left. Didn't they know to make extra for my son's birthday!? Come on, Baton Rouge doughnutteries!

[Pic: Birthday Doughnuts!]

Oh, and yes, we put a birthday candle in them. That's how we roll at the Tanory house.

Next up on the birthday fun To Do list: Go play with Chuck E. Cheese. Oh yeah!

[Pic: Birthday at Chuck E. Cheese!]

We didn't just ride on a few rides with Chuck E. Cheese. No, we played every possible combination of child games, strategy games and games that don't even give out tickets. If it can be played at Chuck E. Cheese, we played it! Such as...

Riding with Bob the Builder! Eat dirt, Handy Mandy!

[Pic: Birthday Bob the Builder!]

We destroyed giant spiders as a family on this fun game. Peter and I single-handedly wiped out a gruesome man-eating spider species in one level. You know what they say: The family that destroys giant man-eating spiders together stays together. You're welcome, Humanity!

[Pic: The family that destroys giant man-eating spiders together stays together!]

Not to be outdone, Grammy raced Peter on a racing game. From the looks of this picture, this race was intense!

[Pic: Grammy and Peter at Chuck E. Cheese!]

Annie and Peter got into some sibling rivalry with a bout of Air Hockey. There can be only one!

[Pic: There can be only one!]

And at the end of our stay, Peter rode in on a white horse and saved the day. Classic Peter.

[Pic: Cowboy Pete!]

We weren't sure if there had been enough excitement or sugar for one day, so when we got home, Peter got a birthday cupcake.

[Pic: Birthday cupcake!]

Aaaaaand Birthday Icing....

[Pic: Birthday icing!]

OK, so that was just on his actual birthday. But over the weekend we had his birthday party. Peter's going through a Star Wars phase right now. It all started back when we lived in Prairieville, when our power was out for a few days after one of the hurricanes. We didn't have electricity but we did have my parents' portable DVD player (which I have no intention of ever giving back, by the way), and our neighbor brought over Star Wars Episode IV. (The original Star Wars movie.) They watched it twice, and Peter has loved Darth Vader ever since then.

Yeah, he's not that much into Luke Skywalker or Han Solo. But he thinks Darth Vader is a good guy. Soooo... he wanted a Darth Vader party. And Betty made sure that got what he wanted!

I was supposed to play the Darth Vader theme music when Betty brought out the cake, but I forgot. But you can hum it if you want while you look at this picture. Betty made it herself.

[Pic: Peter's Darth Vader cake!]

We also had Darth Vader cookies....

[Pic: Peter's Darth Vader cookies!]

and Storm Trooper cookies....

[Pic: Peter's storm trooper cookies!]

and Yoda cookies. Betty dyed the batter green so that she wouldn't have to ice these, which I think was a fantastic idea.

[Pic: Peter's Yoda cookies!]

But wait! There's more! How about cupcakes filled with cookie dough, then topped with black icing (representing Darth Vader, of course) and pictures of characters from Star Wars?

[Pic: Peter's Darth Vader cupcakes!]

Still not satisfied? Well, Annie and I hand-made these Star Wars-themed marshmallows using gigantic marshmallows and markers filled with edible ink. Most of them were storm troopers, but we did throw in an R2D2 and even a ninja turtle.

[Pic: Peter's Star Wars marshmallows!]

And, OK, we had lightsabers made with fruit for anyone who didn't want to eat cake, cupcakes, cookies or marshmallows.

[Pic: Peter's, uh... fruit lightsabers!]

Speaking of lightsabers, there were actual lightsabers at the party... but you had to make the "zrzrzrzr" sound while you swung them, otherwise you lost your turn.

[Pic: Lightsaber duel!]

We also had an inflatable bouncy with a slide, although it was too hot to be out in it for too long. The lightsabers made a brief appearance inside the bouncy until one of the princesses (Annie) had to call in for aerial support (Daddy) to be rescued.

[Pic: Lightsaber bouncy duel!]

There was also a lot of friends and family. Say hi to Gransy and baby John!

[Pic: Hi!]

The lighting and eating of the cake was a little hairy. Betty had worked really hard on the Darth Vader cake, but Peter didn't eat any of it or even blow out the candles. That's because the AC kicked on right as we were singing Happy Birthday to Peter, and it blew some of the candle's wax on Annie's hand. She went ballistic, as I'm sure it really hurt, and then Peter was scared of the flame. I guess it fit in with the theme of the party... to shy away from the candle's flame was to be on the Dark Side, amiright?!

[Pic: The force is strong with this one!]

Peter got a lot of great presents, the best of which was a cardboard box. All of the kids tried to pile into it. We were able to fit at least three of them in there and then close the box lid. Don't worry, we had air holes for them.

[Pic: Birthday Box!]

Peter also got some LSU clothes as well as some stuff from Jake and the Neverland Pirates, so we had an LSU / Neverland Pirates mash-up. Arrr, Mateys! Geaux hunt fer ye own gold!

[Pic: LSU / Jake and the Neverland Pirates mash-up]

At the end of the day, after everyone had left and Peter had successfully played with all of his toys, we went out onto the bouncy - just us. It was pretty pleasant.

[Pic: Mommy and Peter]

We had a great time as a family and Betty and I loved watching our two beautiful kids play. We are so thankful to have such a great little girl and a wonderful little boy.

[Pic: Annie and Peter]

Sure, he's a handful sometimes... but what three year old boy isn't? Betty still says that I'm her "third child" and that I consume most of her energy. So we'll give Peter a break if every once in a while he feels the need to throw a good old Tanory Tantrum.

[Pic: The Cuteness!]

I can't believe that my son is already three! What an incredibly fun and amazing three years it has been!

[Pic: My beautiful family]

Happy birthday, Peter! We love you!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Dance Dance Revolution

Annie had her dance recital this past weekend, and she did fantastic!

[Picture: Annie's ballet outfit]

She was in two numbers - tap and ballet. As an unbiased observer with many years' experience of viewing dance recitals under my belt, I can tell you that she outshone everyone else on stage - including me!

Yes, I was on the stage with her. Betty signed us up for the Daddy / Daughter Dance. Look how awesome we look.

[Picture: Annie and Daddy rocking it on stage]

Our song was "Soul Man" by the Blues Brothers. I had some pretty simple steps - stepping from side to side, tapping my feet, and walking forwards and backwards. I realized while learning these steps that my brain isn't as elastic as it once was, because it took me 4 practices to master my moves. Also, I realized that I'm no spring chicken anymore, considering that I sweated profusely during every practice.

But during our performance, the key thing was really just not to trip and fall over Annie. There was one part where I had to run in a circle around her, and I was wearing really dark sunglasses and couldn't see anything in front of me. I just didn't want to be "that dad" that tripped on his kid and fell into the orchestra pit. I knew if I could stay on my feet then everything would be OK.

Luckily for me, Annie was brilliant on stage and hopefully everyone was watching her and not me. I could see her from the corner of my eye and she nailed every move. As expected!

Annie and the other girls came out first and danced to one verse, and then us dads came out for the second verse. When it was my turn to run out on stage, I had butterflies for a few brief seconds. Then I remembered that Annie was already out there rocking it onstage. Seeing her being brave made me be brave.

For the last part of the dance, we all walked up to the front of the stage, the dads bent down on one knee and put our daughters up on the other knee. I gave Annie a big squeeze while I was up there - I couldn't help myself. I'm so proud of her, and I'm also so thankful that she let me dance with her onstage.

[Picture: Soul Man!]

Thank you to Annie for letting Daddy dance with you, and thanks to Betty for signing us up for the Daddy / Daughter Dance. And thanks to the great people at Jete' Dance Studio for making sure that we were dancing well away from the orchestra pit - you know, just in case.