Claire turned 11 and had her birthday party at Altitude Austin, an amazing trampoline park. Altitude is extra fun compared to other trampoline parks because it has a special area for bouncy dodgeball. We played dodgeball for probably an hour and ended up exhausted and sweaty. Claire invited six of her amazing friends. Despite all their energy and the fun they were having, we managed to get them together briefly for a group photo (below).
Molly came along to Altitude too. Then the girls went to the house for a sleepover while Molly came to my place for some one-on -one fun time with me, including making a gingerbread house and our own little sleepover.
Claire had a great actual 9th birthday. He birthday party with her friends was the next day. Claire initially wanted to do a swimming or Jumpoline party, as she had done in the past. But we ended up doing a tie-dye party at a little art studio. It was a fun time, and her friends work their tie-dye shirts to school the next few days.
Claire’s birthday fell on a lucky Saturday this year. And being late November, there were several fun holiday-related things to do around town. Kit and I decided to fill up the day with fun stuff and call it “The Day of Claire”. It is not very often that you have a whole day to spend on your kid’s birthday.
We started out with the post-Thanksgiving / pre-Christmas Chuy’s Children Giving to Children parade downtown. We ran into one of Claire’s former classmates, whose family had a great spot at the parade and let us jump in with them. The highlight was when the parade stopped and all the kids got to run out into the parade to dump presents into pickup trucks on the parade route. Molly loved Curious George and was a little puzzled about the Disney princesses in the parade. Shouldn’t they be at Disney World?
We let Claire choose where we would have lunch, and she picked IHOP right away. We were all in good spirits and had a really fun, silly lunch with a lot of laughing and joking. The pancakes helped, I am sure.
During a break at home, I went to Royer’s Pie Haven to pick up Claire’s birthday pie. We asked Claire what she wanted for her birthday dessert, and she decided on pecan pie. When I picked up the pie form Royer’s, I told the cashier that our 9-year-old selected that for her own birthday, and she said in admiration, “That is awesome!”. Then we discussed how much better pies are than cakes.
Next we went to a late afternoon showing of Elf: The Musical at the Long Center, which was showing for only three days, one of which was exactly on Claire’s birthday. More good luck! After some confusion and delays, we almost missed the show. We had it to the door, carrying Molly for speed, with literally 1 minute to spare. The first usher told us to run to the next door. The next usher saw us running and said, “Okay, you’re good.” and let us in just as the lights were going down. We all liked the musical, and even Molly managed to sit through it without any issues. But I think the girls’ favorite part was exploring the Long Center during intermission and Auditorium Shores afterwards. The girls ran around in the dark, rolling down grassy hills, and admiring the giant “candy canes” that the theater’s columns had been decorated as.
Finally, we stopped by Whole Foods and let everyone pick out their own favorite food from the hot bar. The macaroni and cheese was a big hit with the kids. We sang happy birthday, stuck some candles in the pecan pie, and just had a nice relaxing night together. Claire had already opened her birthday present, which was a giant Playmobil hotel that the whole family had pitched in on. We decided to all get her one big thing instead of a bunch of little things. Claire got to open it early when everyone was around on Thanksgiving, and we spent most of the day assembling the 983-piece set.
The Day of Claire turned out even better than expected. For once, we were all in a good mood almost the entire day. Even the nearly missing the musical didn’t dent our mood. Even Molly didn’t have any issues and just trooped along and had a fun day. Claire’s 9th birthday was a very good one. Next year it will probably be on a Tuesday, and we’ll hurry though a quick dinner and cake like usual, but this year’s birthday was one to remember.
BTW, a few days later, we all agreed that Claire’s birthday was great, but Molly said she didn’t really like it after all.
We were planning to have Molly’s birthday party at Pease Park, but the weather forecast called to 50% chance of rain, so we decided at the last minute to move it to our house. Of course, it did not rain after all, so we have it outside at our house. Anyways, it was a great party. Here are two genuine quotes overheard from her friends at the party:
Molly turned five years old today! Way to go, Molly. We love you!
Instead of a blog post, I put together a quick video montage of her birthday, which was a regular school day followed by present opening (mostly Frozen (movie) stuff) and a special pancake dinner at Kerby Lane Cafe.