We celebrated Steve this weekend as he grew older and wiser. Family in the morning – his favorite sushi restaurant for lunch with his brothers – a little overnight staycation in Scottsdale with good food and great entertainment (improv comedy club).
A couple things we love about him:
He sings songs and makes the kids guess if they’re real or fake.
He’s got a sweet tooth…as long as it’s chocolate, chocolate, chocolate! I think he partially likes his sweets so rich because he knows he won’t have to share it with me!
He works alongside the kids. He knows its the only way to really teach them how to work.
One of his very favorite shirts was a gift from our friends and it has several cat puns on it (from when he worked at Petsmart). He wears it with pride and it makes me laugh every time he puts it on.
He is the best partner when it’s comes to parenting. He plays a large role in the “mundane of parenthood”. He’s on diaper duty, bed time routines and he’s far better when it comes to sick kids. I don’t mind cleaning up the messes but his compassion shines in those moments.
He’s simple (which is why we’re a good balance) and his needs are minimal.
He loves children’s movies and he’s always up for a family movie night. The kids know he has his favorites and often times will protest movie night even before the movie is announced because they know he always leans towards Mega Mind, Kung Fu Panda (the original) and Lego Batman Movie. He’s predictable.
Is he not the cutest!
Happy Birthday Steve-O!
This kid is turning 7 years old and he couldn’t be more happy about it.
A couple things we love about Bennett:
His facial expressions are fantastic and on point. He goes through all the emotions and they are spelled out on his face. This leads him to be a little over dramatic across the board.
He keeps getting funnier. The older he gets, the better his timing is and he usually has us all laughing.
He loves to play with friends and is a friend to everyone. When he gets home from school he wants to know what friend he can play with.
He is not a procrastinator. If he comes home with an assignment he wants to do it right then. If he has an invite to a party – he wants the gift in his hand a week ahead of time. He does all his math homework the first day so it’s done. Once something is on his mind – he must complete it. Or he bugs us until it is completed.
He stands to do his school work and walks around while he does his reading fluency homework. Luckily the teachers don’t seem to mind that he is an active participant each and every day!
He is easily teased and Hunter knows it – we’re working on his reaction as well as the teasing.
He makes his bed every single morning. For a while I found him sleeping on top of his bedspread – that way he wouldn’t have to make his bed. We nipped that habit and he still makes his bed every morning.
He’s grown up so much this school year – he’s losing the little kid look and is growing up on us. He is excited to be considered one of the big kids and all the perks that come along with it.
Happy Birthday buddy!
Two year olds don’t expect a whole lot on their birthdays. In fact you have to talk up the fact that it is their birthday. We kept explaining to Briggs he was the birthday boy and he would get birthday cake and birthday presents. Even then it was still a little lost on him until he entered the kitchen each time and saw the balloons on the table – he’d then repeat over and over again, “Birthday”.
I’m pretty sure he preferred the frosting beaters over his cake – I figured that would be the case. Isn’t the frosting always the best part?!
His second favorite thing was blowing out the candles. Hunter had fun lighting the candles over and over again and Briggs just kept blowing them out – giggling after each time. (Side note: When we go visit my brother and his family, they always have a candle burning on their kitchen island. Their kids are older now and seem to leave the candle alone. Not my kids. Whenever we go visit – they simply must blow out the candle. If they see it burning, one of the kids blows it out. It’s like a secondary birthday candle.)
Paw patrol puppies, an airplane and a scooter? What more could a kid ask for? Besides lighting the candle just one more time!
Happy Birthday buddy!
Our “baby” is a toddler!
He’s the caboose in our family and demands attention. He was a fussy and irritable baby but I think we’re passed most of that just in time for him to enter the terrible twos!
He loves his voice and is quite fond of screaming. If he’s excited – he screams. If he wants a bath – he screams. If his brother takes his toy he screams. Its a mode of communication I’m okay with growing out of.
He’s starting to talk more and when he wakes up from a nap he always asks for Cannon.
He loves bath time. He’ll be a fish in the pool in no time.
He loves the movie Trolls thanks to our road trip last summer and can’t help but dance when he hears the music.
He has a couple good friends in the neighborhood and the minute he hears their names he runs for the door.
He demands to get dressed first thing every morning. (Definitely not my kid!) He will grab clothes from his drawer or even the dirty clothes hamper and bring them to me. And shoes are a must. He has to have shoes on.
He follows his siblings everywhere. If they’re upstairs, he wants to be with them. If they’re out on the driveway, he’ll be there too. And he adores Hallie – probably because she is just so good to him and lets him play in her room and shares candy with him.
He’s a little sass and a little sweet and a little loud. And after holding my nieces baby, he doesn’t seem so little!
Hallie had her last themed birthday party this year. It was tricky to come up with a theme that was appropriate for the teenagers that were going to be attending. But Hallie seemed to have a clear vision from the start – she wanted a glow-in-the-dark party. Which took me longer to figure out than I thought it would – which meant she had a party two weeks after her birthday.
Originally I was thinking glow in the dark games in the backyard with glowsticks. Somehow that morphed to using a gymnasium and black lights and it was awesome.
Here’s a couple things I learned while planning this. I looked at renting backlights and they were a little pricey. I then started looking at buying them but a quick search on Amazon will tell you that the options are endless from all sorts of vendors and the prices range from cheap to expensive. I bought a set that had great reviews – only to realize, they weren’t really black lights, they were purple lights and they are not the same thing. I returned three spot lights and bought 4 bar black lights. They were more than enough for the space we were in and they made things glow great.
Here’s a little tip: When you go out shopping for things for the party – take a small black light so you can see if they glow. Some things seem bright and fluorescent and yet it didn’t glow. For those of you not in scorpion country, you may not have a black light readily available – I noticed several things at Party City noted that they would glow under blacklight.
I found bright fluorescent fabric at Joanns and my black light proved it would glow. It was by far the brightest decoration under the blacklight and Hallie made the fabric banner. We also used those strips of fabric and tied them around the girl’s head or waist to help them glow in the dark. (We also suggested all the girls wear fluorescent or white clothing to make sure they would glow.)
We started by painting UV friendly finger nail polish on all the girls and they each made a sign with their name using highlighters. I found that yellow and orange highlighters glow really well and I bought a huge box to make posters. When making the posters, the girls realized that highlighters used on their bodies would also glow. They used up a large box of 24 highlighters by drawing all over their bodies. I looked at buying UV face paint and I’m so glad I didn’t waste the money. Buy highlighters!!
Coming up with games in the dark took some thought. Here are three games that were a hit.
Cupside Down: A game where one team tries to turn all the cups upside down and the other team tries to turn them right side up. At the end of the time, whoever has the most their way wins. If you want to play with more than 2 teams, you can buy each team a different color cup, and the team with the most of their colored cups turned right side up when the time runs out wins. We played with four teams and four different color cups. After playing some rounds as individually teams we started pairing two colors together to form a single team. We set the clock for one minute and the girls ran around frantically flipping cups. These cups are UV friendly and were perfect for this game.
Hungry Hippo: I’ve seen these life-size versions of hungry hippo floating around the web and recreated it in a black light setting which was hilarious. It was hard to get any decent pictures but we used four long boards (skateboards), a couple of buckets and a whole lot of tennis balls (which are great in the black light). The girls took turns laying on the skateboards and their partner pushed them in and out of the center of gym grabbing tennis balls with their bucket. We had those girls screaming and laughing the whole time.
Ball Toss: Because the tennis balls were so fun in the black light so centered another game around them. We had multiple baskets worth different amounts of points and the girls tossed balls to try and gain the most points as a team.
The girls had the best time and Hallie was so grateful for such a fun party – a party which she played a major role in the preparation. I created a glow in the dark party bucket for the garage and I’ve got a feeling we’ll be pulling it out a few more times.
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