Owen’s 4th Birthday

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It’s been nearly six years since we embarked on this whole child-rearing endeavor, and the little guy has now been with us for four of them. He’s turning into quite the character and, despite all the trouble he causes, we’re pretty happy to have him around. He had quite the birthday weekend (read: LONG POST AHEAD), so we’ll just dive right in and get this madness started.

As is becoming our annual ritual, we decided to take Owen out for a special birthday dinner (just the three of us). He was very happy to see us and excitedly proclaimed that he wanted to go to the same place we go about once a week.

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It is not my place to argue. He wanted pizza.

It was an enjoyable lunch, followed by a return to school for nap time (which he handled without issue). After school we picked up the kids and steeled ourselves for the weekend ahead. Friday night is swim class night for Owen, but we had some free time before all that started so we decided to let them do a little shopping at the mall. They both got to pick out some books and scored some treats in the book store cafe. We had some dinner at the food court and predictably gave in to their demands to ride the carousel.

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Faster! We have things to do!

We went through the swim class and dinner routine and brought everyone home so we could get the boys to bed. We sent them upstairs with the instructions to put their books on their bookshelves and start getting ready for bathtime. Owen didn’t follow his instructions, and almost immediately after I rounded the corner to their bathroom I came running back downstairs to grab the camera.

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Never will I pass up an opportunity to take a photo like this.

I guess he just couldn’t wait to get started on his reading practice.

Saturday was the day of his birthday party and brought with it a number of concerns. Of course, most of those concerns weren’t actually about the party. Saturday is also soccer game day, and we were dreading a repeat of last week’s fiasco.

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So far so good.


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Pre-game warmup went pretty well.


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Max got bored and wandered off to run in circles for some reason.

The game began, and by some strange alignment of the planets Owen actually got out on the field and played.

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Pretty well, even.


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Matter of fact, he scored his first…


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GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL GOAL GOAL GOAL!


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Almost managed a second that went a little wide.


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Meanwhile, on the sidelines, Max talked Nan into letting him steal her phone.


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He was pretty psyched about his first successful game.


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Not to mention the post-game treat.

We spent a few minutes playing on the nearby playground, then shuffled the boys back to the house for a bit of rest before Max’s game.

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He has a proper uniform and everything.


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I guess we know where he gets his eyes.

Max’s imposing height makes him more of a defensive player, able to block much of what’s heading his way. He’s not much into offense yet, but we’ll see how it goes over the next few months.

Right after the game we had to rush home, give Max a quick shower, and load everything in the car so we could make it to the birthday party.

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Owen is this many, in case you’d forgotten.


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He did a decent job greeting his guests for the most part.


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I can’t remember why Papa pinned Max on the ground, but I’m sure he had a valid reason.


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I’m sure Max is plotting his revenge.

A quick safety lecture later, and everyone was rushed into the first room of bounce houses and slides.

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I think we made the right call on the location.


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As usual, the big kids got in on the fun too.


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I think Tanner spent most of his time trying to shoot baskets in this bounce house.


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I had to try and get the usual slide videos, which we’ll revisit at the end.


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The birthday boy had tons of fun with all his buddies.


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Uncle Steve made sure plenty of kids got to try out this wind tunnel thing.


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Yep. Kids.


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I don’t know if Christy went down the slide with him, but she made sure to tickle him at the end either way.


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Obligatory as-good-as-I-got group shot.


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The bounce time ended and we moved on to cupcake time.


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And singing and candles, of course.


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Owen was forced to abdicate his throne.


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Pizza and cupcakes were had and enjoyed by all.


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I caught Nan telling Max to sneak her a packet of M&Ms.


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He made sure to get one for himself while he was at it.

One might foolishly believe that we were done, but there were still presents to be opened.

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Max was super excited about that.


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Owen saved his excited face for when he opened up his new video game.


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We eventually had to remove Max from the present staging area so Owen could open a few without “assistance”.


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Much better.

As everyone packed up to leave, Christy yelled at me to go grab the camera for one last shot.

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She’s right, though. We don’t have many photos with the boys and all their grandparents together.

The following morning I took everyone on a too-long trek to pick up donuts, which actually turned out well because we found ourselves at a new little park. The boys scarfed their food down immediately so they could go play.

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Ahh, nothing like a spinning machine of doom after a full breakfast.


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No idea how he convinced Nan to do it.


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Owen was a pretty happy birthday boy.

We made sure everyone was nice and dizzy, then we piled back into the car and headed home. Nan and Papa went on their way and we settled in for a nice relaxing afternoon.

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By “relaxing” I meant “going to Mikey’s birthday party and jumping on trampolines”.

Yep. Owen and Mikey’s birthdays are really close to each other so they wound up having parties on the same weekend.

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Not that the boys showed any amount of being tired at all.


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They ran back and forth on these things all afternoon.


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Mikey apparently busted up his finger pretty badly on Thursday. This did not seem to cause any trouble for him.


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The little guy was running around, too.


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I post this only because they look like superheroes striking a pose before battle.


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They eventually (immediately) figured out they could climb up the sides.


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Alex needed a little help, though.


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When his hands failed him, Mikey decided to use his head.


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Chris and I got in on the fun after I handed off my camera to Christy.


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She was especially proud of this shot.

There are about a dozen more shots from that party, but this post has already turned into an epic three-book series so it’s time to whisk us away to our next destination. When the boys have a birthday we offer them the opportunity to pick a place for dinner. Owen chose as Max did last year.

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Chuck E Cheese, baby.


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Many, many games were played. Many, many tickets were earned.


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Prizes, finally, were redeemed.

At long last the weekend drew to a close. We had some dinner and put some very exhausted people to bed. I think the boys just fended for themselves. No idea, I was sleepy.

But there’s just one last thing before I go.


iPad Time

Nothing like boys playing together nicely.


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Making my rounds to keep the kids happy.


Nan and Max

Spinning the morning away.


That’s it. I’m done. No more. Swear. Oh, right, the rest of the photos are here. See you next time!

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