He’s learning the fine balance of teasing and playing. Of fighting and wrestling. Of witty and smart mouth. It’s taken years to get him to see the difference, but he’s figuring it out and it’s fun to see him mature.
As I looked back on pictures over the year, I realized, he’s the one that escapes my camera the most. He already rolls his eyes when I ask for a picture so we’re having to be creative.
He is as tender as they come and it’s been most evident in his relationship with Briggs. They adore each other.
He loves all things sports and is always up for playing or watching.
He is playful. He jokes, he laughs, he hides behind doors, he makes faces – he loves to have fun.
He is mischievous, but he’s happy. And we’re happy that he’s ours.
Today we celebrated Steve with all sorts of goodness, and yet we were gone most the day and haven’t even opened his gifts or had cake. Which means the celebrating will bleed into tomorrow which is exactly how Steve likes it. He calls it birthday week.
I’m not sure if I ever accurately depict Steve on this blog. It’s hard to capture in writing his sensitivity. In people. In situations. He is sensitive. He views himself as quiet, but he is quick and witty and extremely funny. And often self-deprecating. He sees the good in everyone. He’s always quick to point out that we never fully know and understand someone’s situation, and he’s right every single time. He’s very athletic and loves everything sports and yet doesn’t spend much time playing because he’d rather be with the family. He rarely has an opinion on things in the house or anything relating to his wardrobe, which is to my advantage most of the time. His needs are slim and his heart is giving. He is truly one-of-a-kind.
I often tell the kids they don’t quite comprehend it yet, but they hit the dad jackpot. I asked each of the kids what they loved about their dad:
Hallie: Loves how he will go into her room at night and read the scriptures with her to help her understand them better.
Hunter: Loves that he plays games with him (and now that they’re old enough, they can play Steve’s favorite games and even beat him at times!)
Bennett: Loves that he gives scratchies and songs before bed.
Cannon: Loves that he shares his breakfast shake every single morning.
And I love that he lets me be me and encourages me in all my hobbies and interests (as long as I stay somewhat focused and not leave the house in a complete disaster!). Happy Birthday!
Bennett participates in a dual language program at school with most of his friends so it only made sense to capitalize on his love for Mexico right now with a Fiesta birthday party. It was hard to find a day that his friends could join him and it just so happened that the best day only gave me two days to plan. Not ideal – but it really limited the amount of time and energy I spent on the party which I realized wasn’t all that bad!
I did make time to design an invite – that I then texted to all the mothers. I did this for the last two parties and it’s my favorite.
Keeping 6-year-olds entertained can be difficult but we had enough activities that there wasn’t enough time for them to assemble their pitchforks. 😉
I designed “Fiesta Bingo” cards and we used black beans as the markers. We probably could have played this the entire time and the kids would’ve been happy.
Steve read the book Skippy Jon Jones in his best Spanish accent. He’s entertaining to listen to.
We did some taste testing. I went to a Mexican market and purchased several items for the kids to try. All the packaging is in Spanish so I really had no idea what I was purchasing – I relied on persuasive packaging. Out of all the things the kids tried – Mangoes were there favorite. Everything else was an unfamiliar taste and not nearly as sweet as what they are used to. Most the kids spit out the candy they tried, evidently they don’t like chili powder in their candy!
We played pin the tail on the donkey with a color engineering print from Staples. There was all sorts of giggling as they watched their friends place the tail in the wrong places.
And what’s a fiesta party without a piñata – filled with American candy of course! Here is Bennett’s poor hitting form – but he nailed the intensity!
He was happy as could be with his Jarritas soda and his deep fried tortillas with cinnamon/sugar posing as his cake – not to mention he was sporting his favorite shirt.
He talked about his birthday party for months. We planned it in two days. And within an hour and a half it was over. It was quite possibly one of the easiest birthday parties I’ve thrown together. Feliz cumpleaños Benito Panchito. (What his Spanish teacher calls him!)
Bennett is pretty excited about his birthday tomorrow. We were talking about it tonight and he suddenly had a worried look on his face. He looked down at his shorts, which are brand new, and said, “I hope these fit tomorrow after I grow.” He can hardly contain his excitement – he’s been counting down for over a month and it was before Christmas when he started asking about his 6 year old party. Here are a few things we love about Bennett.
He loves to eat and likes most everything. After a full dinner meal, he’ll grab the Costco sized bag of carrots and go to town.
He does best when we follow routines and he knows what to expect. At 12:01 on a Saturday afternoon he’s wondering why we haven’t had lunch yet. One benefit to his routines is he rarely misses a day of making his bed.
His excitement level can run really high and it can be exhausting at times.
His teacher at church keeps a log of all the funny things he says and shares it with me – he has me laughing and crying.
He has the best imagination. I’ll find him in a room playing by himself running through all the character’s dialogue. He loves being with his siblings and friends, but he does well on his own and sometimes needs it.
He’s easily our most dramatic kid – we need to get him in acting groups asap to channel it – he would love to be hamming it up in front of people. He’s also the most animated. We’ll have a great book someday of all his crazy faces.
He’s our middle child and he makes sure we never forget about him. We love him to pieces. Happy Birthday Mr. B.
I don’t typically like to duplicate themed parties that I’ve thrown for my kids. Every kid is different and they all have different themes. But sometimes it’s necessary to break the rule. Like when your baby is born on Dr. Seuss’ birthday – it’s necessary to have a Seuss themed first birthday even though you threw a Suess theme party for your oldest boy. (how was I ever to know I would be put in such a situation?!)
But as is usually the case, I’m now on my 5th first birthday and I’m starting to lose steam. Perhaps it’s because his birthday was sandwiched between a busy “Project week” and spring break. Steve was calling for simplification and yet I couldn’t let the last one come and go without some sort of celebration. I’m sure somewhere down the line, in some arguing match we would hear how everyone else got a first birthday…
So I simplified and with help from Hallie and Hunter and a trip to the party store – Briggs got his party/nacho bar with family that he will never remember, but we have pictures to prove that it happened!
I found the large 24″ balloons at party city. They might be my new favorite party decor. I cut one inch strips of fabric and tied them to the balloon string. The blue polka dot is wrapping paper from Party City that we cut and put on the center of tables. We gathered the Seuss books in the house and stacked them in the center. We made blue jello and put a swedish fish in each one (one fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish). We gathered several red candies for the tables. No, we didn’t find a bag of red/white gummy bears. But when you buy a large enough bag you can pick out enough red and white to fill the tables. They were the first things gone.
His stranger anxiety is starting to get the best of all of us. His cousins are good sports and they keep trying to win his love. One way to do that is by feeding him!
After people were done feeding him, he found the spoon and started feeding himself. And once the spoon was in his mouth, it’s almost as if he couldn’t figure out how to get it out! He just sat there looking around, sucking off as much of the frosting as he could.
And while we were celebrating a first birthday, we might as well celebrate a 50th birthday. We should really start holding monthly family birthday parties!