Max’s Fourth Birthday

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The planets have aligned in some manner that has allowed me to bring you what will be an on-time and quite lengthy update on our goings on. It’s hard to believe we’ve been doing these blogs for so long, but it was hard to deny it when our big guy turned four on Sunday. Hard to believe, even though for some reason Christy kept thinking he was turning five.

The lead-in for these parties is usually a whirlwind of cleaning and prepping and making sure everything is just so. For their part, the children entertained us by donning some of their cool weather clothing.


Owen officially loves hoodies.

They also continued what is becoming a running gag in our morning, noon, and night routine. I can’t remember when it began, but at some point we sang the “Me My Mo” song to them. When you do this with “Daddy”, the “F” refrain becomes “Banana Fanna Fo Fatty”. I decided to jut my lip out and pretend to be mortally wounded by this assessment of my weight, which made the children laugh hysterically. Now they sing it all the time. This is especially true for Owen, though he generally just manages “Daddy Daddy Bo Baddy”. I usually play along and act offended anyway.

Once we’d scrubbed every surface of our home and cleaned up all the toys, the big day arrived. The boys were clearly very excited about all the fun to come.


Seriously. Excited!

Thankfully we had a couple of helpers hanging around to make sure we had the time to get everything done.


Luckily they didn’t mind spending some time with the kids.

Once we’d finished running our errands, it was time to put the final touches in place.


Set out the cake.


Put figurines on all the cupcakes.


Test out the bounce house.


Test out the bounce house some more.


Get really close to daddy to whisper, “Owen had a lollipop” in his ear so he can get Nan in trouble.


Arrange all the goodies.


Set out the tiaras, hats, and mustaches.


And, of course, get the flagpole in the ground.

Once everyone arrived, it turned into a giant whirlwind of activity. No one seemed particularly interested in the hats (though we had some takers on the tiaras). Oh well, best laid plans and all that. It seemed everyone was pretty interested in beating a path to a very particular outdoor space.


They kept switching between the big bounce house and the small bounce house.


This meant there were plenty of photo ops.


And lots of insanity.


We somehow managed to catch a half-decent picture of almost everyone.


Plus a few quarter-decent ones.


Of course, some people were a little tired of the photography process.


Before we knew it, it was time to blow out candles.


Then dig in to the cupcakes.


And hang out with the girls.


Then when everyone was nice and full of sugar, back to the bounce house!


I should probably take a moment to explain this one.

You see, as seems to be a tradition around our house, Max decided to try and injure himself right before a major event. He wasn’t listening very well at school and tried to open a very heavy door, which immediately closed on his finger. By the time we picked him up, the swelling was bad enough to merit a trip to the local clinic. They took a few precautionary x-rays that turned up nothing, but suggested a splint for the following couple of days. Obviously, it didn’t slow Max down at all. Now, back to the photos!


Fairly certain we’ve exceeded occupancy on this thing.


Once the last of his friends headed home, we decided it was time to move on to opening gifts.


I know it looks like he’s sneaking a present, but that one’s actually for him.


Then, of course, more bounce house time.


We even managed to coax the older kids away from the TV and the Wii for a bit.


Plus, we got to check out Tanner’s sweet vertical leap.

Then we sent everyone home and settled in to play with all the presents.


Some of them got a little more love than others.

The day after was a recovery day, which of course meant random silliness with the boys.


Mmmm, future blackmail…


Mmmmm, static electricity.


Mmmm, safety.



Max even got a chance to sit down with his new LeapPad. He was pretty excited about it, since he now has his own little version of an iPad. This caused him to tell me, “Daddy, now we’re iPad friends!”


As you can see, it’s tough to distract him from it.

We couldn’t let the grandparents get away without snapping a few family photos, and we luckily got some good ones.


Gotta love Owen’s cheese.


And his extra cheese.

The boys got a nice long nap and we sent Nan and Papa on their way, and we settled back in for a nice restful evening. We realized at some point that we forgot to get the traditional yearly photo of Owen on his birthday, but we figured better late than never.


Puppy and Owen at two and a few.


Puppy and Owen at one.

Looking back through the archives, it would appear that we missed the last couple of years for Max. Still fun to look at the comparison to the first year.


Monkey and Max at four.


Monkey and Max at one.

We also took the opportunity to do a re-shoot of the candles (it was his real birthday on the 13th, after all).


Actually, we did two re-takes…he blew out the candles again before I even had the camera ready.

Then we went out for an exciting dinner at Max’s favorite local pizza buffet/arcade. The boys had a great time, but the process of handling them at that place makes it pretty much impossible to get any photos. Max did manage to score a jackpot on one of the machines, though, so he walked away with a nice collection of prizes. We did manage to get one more photo, though, and it provides a nice bookend to last weekend’s painting activity.


I think we have a keeper.

That’ll do it for the photos (the rest of which you can see here), but my chronic lateness has filled me with such guilt that I have a bit more for you. Typically you’d have to wait weeks to see a post with time-appropriate videos, but this time I have a veritable cornucopia of moving pictures to serve up.


We begin with a little pre-birthday wishful thinking.


We’ll continue with a little during-birthday insanity.


Then of course a little post-birthday gift appreciation.


Then on to the creative use of resources.


Now we’ll show off something we’ve been doing all week when we think no one is listening.


I cannot urge you enough to turn down your speakers. When you think you have them low enough, turn it a bit more. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.


To close it all out, I present to you something that I found hilarious, that Papa will find hilarious, and that other people will find alternately hilarious and crude. You’re welcome!

Another year down. Have to say it’s been a pretty good one. See you next week!

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