A lot to celebrate
While most people in Carroll County spent last weekend waiting for a snowstorm that never arrived, I was nearly 200 miles south, enjoying a weekend with family that combined an early Christmas celebration with a belated third birthday party for my youngest grandson.
Liam turned 3 on Dec. 2, but because of scheduling, his birthday party was on Sunday, Dec. 9. Since my son and his family will be out of state the week before Christmas and I likely wonít get to visit them again until January, I did my Santa Claus act last weekend. With a back seat full of birthday and Christmas gifts, I left Berryville early Friday afternoon to beat the impending blizzard.
After lunch at Daisy Queen, I got to North Little Rock before 5 p.m. and requested that my family open their Christmas gifts immediately: for 9-year-old Hayden, a Cubs jersey (of course); for Liam, a set of five stuffed dinosaurs (because dinosaurs are the coolest); for my daughter-in-law Christi, a new backpack for school; and for my son Ronnie, a set of Bluetooth headphones and a range bag that he can use to store and organize his shooting equipment. They all seemed to enjoy their gifts, but I think the best-liked was a tie between Liamís dinosaurs and Ronnieís range bag.
Ronnie and Christi are busy with work and school and raising their family, so I donít see them as much as I would like. But I always enjoy our visits. This time around, I spent some quality time with Liam playing with Play-Doh and practicing shapes and colors (Iím really getting pretty good at those). After his bedtime, there was a fun game of Cards Against Humanity and a Scream movie marathon, although I have to confess I didnít stay awake for the whole thing.
At some point, Liam opened his birthday gift: a remote-control dinosaur that plays songs and also blows smoke. The smoke, of course, is actually just steam. That just made it even cuter when Liam pretended the smoke was making him cough. He loved it, because as weíve already established, dinosaurs are the coolest.
On Sunday afternoon, it was time for Liamís birthday party at the North Little Rock Athletic Club. The theme, of course, was dinosaurs because, you know. There was a dinosaur cake, a giant refillable dinosaur balloon and plenty more dinosaur gifts. But the most exciting part of the whole party was the huge, inflatable dinosaur costume that Ronnie borrowed from a friend. Iím not sure why the friend has a giant dinosaur costume, but perhaps Iím better off not knowing. At any rate, Liam absolutely loved it, especially when he got to ride on Ronnieís shoulders inside the costume. Thereís also a video now of a giant inflatable dinosaur playing basketball.
I had been worried I might have trouble getting back to Berryville after the super-snow, but of course that turned out to be no problem at all.
I thoroughly enjoyed my Christmas-birthday weekend and canít wait to see my family again. To everyone who has taken the time to read this column, thanks and Merry Christmas to each of you!
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Scott Loftis is managing editor for Carroll County Newspapers. His email address is CarrollCountyNews@cox-internet.com.