Sunday, October 24, 2010

Birthday Debrief and a Room Makeover

Finn's big birthday gift from us was a bedroom makeover. We absolutely love, love the pictures and curtains in his room, which he's had since he was a baby. We picked out the pictures ourselves (we went with a children's literature theme), and painstakingly stained plain wooden frames before he was born, sitting on our little apartment balcony in the hot summer. My mom made his curtains and a matching wall hanging herself, and when Finn was little we used to say goodnight to all the animals on them, one by one, as part of our bedtime routine. But apparently, fond memories don't cut it in the preschool room. Finn's been letting us know, in subtle and not-so-subtle ways (meaning saying things like "Mommy, my curtains are BABY curtains."), that he has outgrown his bedroom decor.

He wants a superhero room, with Spiderman curtains (ah, no - not doing theme curtains, curtains are far too expensive for that). Oh, wait, he wants a Lightening McQueen room. Or Transformers. Or no, wait, a Monster Truck room!

Regardless, it was clear that tasteful and subtle was OUT, and loud merchandise-themed stuff was IN.

Aside from some probing on our part, Finn didn't really have any input into his room's makeover. In fact, he didn't know that he was getting a new bedroom at all - it was a birthday surprise. I ordered and shopped and collected things ahead of time (goodness, look at how on top of things I was!), then M. and I took the day of Finn's birthday off from work so that we could transform the room while he was at daycare.

In true home improvement fashion, we did our best to capture the before and after of the process, for your viewing pleasure.

Finn's Bedroom: The Before Video

Finn's Bedroom: The After Video

That same morning I frosted and decorated cupcakes I had made the night before. M. and I took them to Finn's preschool class in the afternoon, along with goody bags filled with the cheap stuff kids seem to love getting (tattoos, stickers, silly bands, lollipops, etc). Shh, don't tell him, but this was our way of getting out of throwing him an actual birthday party (eh, maybe he'll get one next year). Finn knew we were going to bring cupcakes, and apparently he was so excited that he didn't sleep during nap time. He was on cloud nine, acting like a hyper goofball and showing off for his friends while we were there. I think some of the excitement and anticipation stemmed from Finn's belief that he wouldn't actually turn 4 until he had his birthday cupcake. No amount of my explanations that the whole day was his birthday, or that technically he turned 4 at 12:30 pm since that's when he was born, shook that belief. He also managed to make a huge mess with his chocolate cupcake.

After the cupcake celebration, we headed back home with Lucy and Finn to open birthday presents. Predictably, every gift except anything clothing related was a big hit. Gotta work on those present-opening manners before Christmas rolls around, so I don't have to hear the whining when something isn't an actual toy, or feel embarrassed by his reaction. Then we brought Finn upstairs for his birthday surprise (he refused to close his eyes, though). And surprise it was - our efforts were rewarded by a very, very happy 4 year old. I guess we managed to pick the right theme after all.

Lucy entertained herself during the present-opening with a lollipop from a leftover goody bag

Wondering what his surprise might be

Seeing his new room for the first time

We capped the evening off by heading to Red Robin for an early birthday dinner - Finn's choice, he loves their kids' pizza. Yes, we went to a burger joint so he could get pizza. We let the waitstaff know it was his birthday, and they came by at the end of our meal with a team of singing servers and a big ice cream sundae. Finn hid his face into my arm and was as shy as I would have predicted, but I caught several little smiles despite the shyness - he loved it.

And, he loved the sundae (surprisingly, he was willing to share it with his sister)

Despite claiming to be too excited to go to sleep (see smile below), and avowing to look at his new room all night long, Finn managed to head off to dreamland within about 5 minutes of lights out. All in all, a pretty good day for all of us!

1 comment:

  1. What fun it is to be able to be with you "long-distance" for the birthday boy's happy day! Love the new room! Love to you all. . .Mimi and Papa