Monday, July 20, 2015

Birthday Season!

Summer is birthday season around here.  Caden, Bryce, and Chad all have their birthdays within a few weeks of each other.  Sometimes it's tiring for me to have to do the song-and-dance-best-day-of-the-year-we-love-you-so-much bit three times so close together, but it really does make the first half of summer so much fun.

Caden's birthday came first. We let Caden have a friend birthday party the week before his actual day so that Chad would be there to help me.  The 1st grade kids of Landrock assembled and we had such a good time playing water games at the park and eating pizza and cake.  There are the nicest kids here!

The night before his birthday, I made a huge, huge mistake.  Caden's love language (at seven years old at least) is gifts.  He really likes getting presents, and he can remember almost every present he's ever received.  So the night before his birthday, I put his first "gift" on the table.  It was in a white envelope and he was driving. me. crazy. asking what was inside.  I gave him a few hints--he could use it at the pool, and it started with MON, and you can only use it once.

Well, the next morning, he was up at 6:15 to see what was in the envelope.  And considering he usually sleeps in til 8:45 in the summer, that was way too early.  I was kicking myself all morning that I didn't just let him open the D*#@ envelope the night before!!  It held $2.00 for nachos--so not worth waking up early!!  So he was actually kind of tired and out of it on his birthday.

We played all day--actually, now that I think about it, we attempted to host a garage sale at my sister's house (but that's another story), ate his favorite foods, swam in the afternoon and ended with dinner at Texas Roadhouse.  He really wanted McDonalds (ugh) but I talked him into Texas Roadhouse so he could ride the saddle.

Really, he was so tired, though, I don't think he cared.  The other mistake we made was not giving him his gifts until that night after dinner and dessert.  We'd just been busy all day, and Chad had been gone to work.  I felt like it was, "Here's your gifts--now go to bed!"  I did start a new tradition that was fun.  I gave him a "birthday bath" with tons of bubbles, balloons and glow sticks.  I turned out the lights and just let him play in there for awhile.  All week long, Caden kept telling me, "Seven is heaven, mom."  And I certainly have to agree.

Bryce's birthday comes next and we were ready for it. 3 years old is one of my favorite ages and I was sad to see him turn 4.  I kept asking him to stay 3 and skip his birthday, and he kept telling me, "I will still be your sweet boy, mom."  The morning he woke-up, he came into our room and got in bed with Chad and I.  We looked in his mouth, measured his feet and his hands, looked in his ears, and decided that Yep, he was still our sweet boy.

Last night sleeping as a 3 year old.

Waking up the next morning as a 4 year old.

 Two days before his birthday, I mentioned camping to him and he became super excited with that idea.  So on his birthday we loaded up the tent, grabbed a costco pizza (his choice) and headed up to Lodge Pole.  There is nothing like camping for kids.

That night sleeping in the tent was a joke.  First, it's a 2 man tent.  Second, our kids do not know how to sleep in the same room as us.  It's something I pride myself on--keeping my kids in their own beds--except for when we are on vacation with them!  The boys were exhausted, but Tessa took a 30 minute power nap around 9:30, was woken by the campers next door, and insisted on partying until past 1.  We tried EVERYTHING to get her to sleep and at one point Chad and I were just laughing at her.  She was wired.  The unfortunate part was we were all supposed to wake up and go fishing on the pontoon at 5 the next morning.  When 5 came around, I looked at our now-sleeping daughter, wished Chad a happy birthday, and told him I was going back to sleep.  He loaded up the boys and Tessa and I slept until 8:30.  Ahhh.  That's the part of camping I like.

I cleaned up camp while they were gone so when they picked us up were headed straight home.

We napped for awhile, then celebrated Chad's birthday that night with burgers, sneaking milkshakes into the movie theatre, sharing a Jumbo pop corn and finally seeing Jurassic World.  I think all of Chad's birthday dreams came true in that moment.

And with Chad's birthday over, we woke-up the next morning ready to celebrate the 4th of July.  I packed up the crepe paper and balloons and said good-bye to birthday season for another year.

Thursday, July 9, 2015


The day after school got out was probably the best first day of summer ever.

That afternoon Caden had his last soccer game of the season.  His team, the "Laser Cougars" went on a 7 game losing streak at the beginning of the season when they never scored a goal.  It was disheartening to say the least, and it took some serious pick-me-up talks to keep the kids going.  The two games before this last one their team actually scored a goal and the way the parents'd have thought it was the world cup.  I'm sure the other team's parents were wondering why in the world we were so excited about a goal in first grade soccer!  Especially when it only brought the score to 7-1 instead of 7-0!

Caden had been practicing every night in our back yard.  Sometimes he'd play against me and sometimes Chad.  It all paid off when this happened:

It actually looked like he knew what he was doing, too...the ball didn't just bounce off his elbow and roll into the goal or anything.  The best part was my parents and Chad's parents were both there to celebrate!

After the Laser Cougar's big win we went to the neighborhood party to end all neighborhood parties.  All of the families in the neighborhood chipped in a donation and one family planned/hosted the event.

That is two bounce houses, a dunk tank, sno cones, a foam machine and water balloon games. Plus, we ate BBQ dinner with so many yummy sides.  It was such a fun afternoon and evening and left us with no doubt that we really do live in the best neighborhood ever.

Chad and Rob taking a turn at the sno cone machine.  Right after this picture, Chad started throwing "snow balls" at people resulting in a huge water fight.  Somehow he stayed dry through it!

Bryce showing me how many sno cones he'd eaten. 

Caden loved the dunk tank:

The party ended around 9:30 and Chad took the kids home while I stayed to help do dishes for awhile.  When I walked home around 10, Chad looked out the window and asked where Bryce was.  "I thought you had him!"  "No, I thought you had him!"  "You are joking." "I am so serious--are you joking??"  After this went on for a minute, I walked back and found Bryce sitting on a rock just waiting for me to come get him.  Middle child. 

 It was a small hiccup in an otherwise awesome summer day.