First, we assembled at Micky-D's and consumed good old American junk food. It was only 1pm on a Saturday, but we almost had the lace to ourselves. Nice! My nephew had let his girlfriend cut his hair. He's still hiding behind his bangs, but you can see a little more of his face...
Olivia loves the playgrounds at the fast food places. Ke Xin isn't so sure. She's small enough that she can't really do a whole lot, especially if she has to climb up big steps to get started. She had no trouble with this one, though, and promptly climbed inside the rat maze of tubes and became... lost. We got an idea of where she was by following her voice. Olivia was supposed to go get her, but I think she was having more fun with Ke Xin being lost. How funny! (Not.) Mom had to climb in to get her. I got quite a smile and a happy "LO!" when we made eye contact. I am just not young enough to climb around in those tubes. And forget it if you have to change direction. You almost have to be a yoga expert to contort your body around. Sheez! And it really is easy to become disoriented!
Then it was off to Build-A-Bear!! On the way into the mall, nephew Garrett tricked his sister, Ivey, into standing underneath a small tree in the parking lot (next to their car). He promptly shook the tree and all the raindrops from the light shower 5 minutes before fell on her and soaked her. Secretly, we all thought it was pretty funny, but Ivey was furious. ;)
If you are not familiar with Build-A-Bear, the kids go through a process. First, they choose an empty (unstuffed) body. There are bears, cats, dogs, etc., from which to pick. Then they choose a sound-box to be placed in the body with the stuffing, they place a heart in their new buddy and then they choose an outfit for their new creation.
Olivia chose a cute cat. After having a "meow" sound box slipped into it's foot and the body pumped full of stuffing, Olivia chose a little red heart, gave it a kiss, and placed it into the opening in the back of her new cat, Sparkle.
Then it was Ke Xin's turn. She had chosen (sorta, since she didn't really understand what in the world was going on...) a blue fuzzy bear. After the Build-A-Bear assistant slips the empty body over the end of the stuffing tube, the kids are supposed to work the footfeed which sprays the stuffing through the tube and into the body. Olivia helped Ke Xin with this part.
She understood about kissing the heart and placing it in the body.
After the assistant laces up the back and closes the hole, it's time to give your new baby an air bath and brush it. Ivey showed the girls what to do.
Parents sit down at computers along the wall and type up the birth certificates for the new babies. Then you head for the "fashion" wall. They have every outfit you can think of. Both Olivia and Ke Xin wound up with the same dress - fairy style - with little pink high heels. You dress the bears immediately and you're ready to hit the street with your new friend!
Two grown men at Build-A-Bear trying to act manly.
Ke Xin's new friend, Powder (for her powder blue color). She tried to put the bear's shoes on herself, but they were just too small.
Olivia's new cat, Sparkle. Sparkle went to school Monday and was her buddy for nap time.
Ke Xin gives daddy a "smack-down"!
(damp) Counsin Ivey, (crazy) Uncle David, cousin Garrett (watching out for continued retribution from Ivey), (happy) Aunt Carol, and the birthday girls with their new friends in their official Build-A-Bear boxes.
Ivey physically attacked Garrett in JCPenny's before we left. It was pretty funny. :) (Because I'm not her mother.)
After the mall, we headed home for ice cream and birthday cake! Olivia is IN LOVE with Scooby Doo, so she loved her cake. She wants to be part of the Scooby Doo gang when she grows up. Maybe she can be a private detective? Uncle David used to have a van like the "Mystery Machine" but it wasn't nearly as cute. Jinkies!
The fam eating b-day cake. Well, most of us ate cake. Olivia and Ke Xin ate the frosting and moved on to the ice cream.
After cake, everyone talked or played. Olivia went after Uncle Dave as usual and tried to beat the bejeezus out of him with her cardboard building blocks. As usual, he encouraged her every step of the way.
After our company left, Ke Xin went back to her usual form of play - tea party. Daddy and Smoochy were her guests this time.
What a great time!! Thank you Aunt Carol, Uncle Dave, Garrett and Ivey!!!