Sunday, August 18 2013 14:01

Addie's 4th Birthday: Hello Kitty, Good Friends, and Pretty Ponies...

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If you caught my blog entry for August 7th, you already know that 8/7 is a date that holds massive significance for our family. One reason is that it's Adalyn's birthday, and this year, Addie turned four. She's the reason that this site exists (well, if you get really technical, you could say this site exists because I had sex with my wife at some point in the Fall of 2008), and I've long held that I wish I'd started The Rock Father upon her birth in 2009 rather than waiting until 2011. While I don't have her first two birthdays documented here on the site (I may correct that), I started a tradition of sharing her party starting with #3 last year, and here we are with #4. Yes, Addie is now "four, just like Caillou!", as she keeps reminding me, which makes me think we should've waited to do a Caillou-themed party until this year (it was last year's), but that's ok... Hello Kitty stepped up to the thematic challenge. But that was for a party on August 10th...

Wednesday, August 7, 2013:

With Addie's actually Birthday falling mid-week, we wanted to do something special for the day-of, so we started off with a few gifts at breakfast time - the highlight of which was the new American Girl Bitty Baby (which they actually sent me). From there, Mommy and little Finley stayed home while I took Addie to her first big-screen movie, THE CROODS, which was playing at a special 10am kids screening at the Fox Lake Theatre (really impressive - on three screens, completely sold-out).

Birthday Morning

From there we hit Kristof's for some skee-ball, and then returned home where Addie had a party with Bitty Baby... and a piece of real cake, too.

Birthday Morning

The Main Event: Saturday, August 10, 2013:

Sanrio's Hello Kitty, the lovable, little feline from London, is a staple here. My wife loves her (and shares a birthday with her), and Addie does, too. We decked-out the place (but didn't go crazy) with Hello Kitty decorations, balloons, and goodies...

Hello Kitty

What was exciting for us was that this is the first year that Addie has had a lot of friends here for her party... friends from the neighborhood and from preschool. I also had some longtime friends join us (some with little ones), carrying the tradition of the party being a "Summer Gathering" as well. When we throw a party, I want everyone to have a great time - grownups and kids alike, but especially the kids. With that, this year I reached back to something considered for last year, and made it happen: Ponies at the Party.


There's a local place called Patch 22 that we've taken Addie to in the past, and they do really affordable pony deliveries for parties. So we brought the action to Rock Father HQ with a pony rides for an hour.

Addie on a Pony...

The day was filled with food... Super Soakers... and a lot of fun both inside and out. While I have a ton of great pictures, one thing I didn't really think of until sitting down to write this entry is that I don't know if all of the parents involved are cool with posting photos of their children on the internet. Rather than blur faces, I'm just avoiding it this time around (sans the picture where all the kids are turned away from the camera), and will have to start crossing that bridge as I come to it in the future. I also realized that Addie wore at least four outfits during the course of the day, the end result of food/drink spills, the aforementioned Super Soakers, and sheer preference.

Four Outifts

A huge thanks goes out to all the family and friends that took part in this special day, and to those of you who've chosen to read about it.

Happy Birthday, Adalyn!

Addie Cake

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James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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