We just celebrated Ryder’s 4th birthday, for the 4th time last weekend!  On our way to school today he said something about his birthday and I said we just had his birthday party and he said “I want another one” (which isn’t quite like him- he’s not a greedy kid- I think he basically just wanted his friends to come over again) but anyways after his statement I thought about it and realized we had 4 birthdays for him. 

The first one was on the Thursday before his birthday weekend.  Doug’s parents were in town so we had dinner and they took him during the day to pick out a cake and balloons (I usually make his bday cake – but since we were going to be making his cake for his party and it was something special for him and the grandparents to do together – they went for the store bought version) and then he opened presents from Grammy and Papa.  Then the next day we left for Monterey to spend the weekend down there and take him and Saige to the aquarium (kind of a birthday weekend for both of them). 

It was a beautiful weekend in Monterey.  We all loved the aquarium – we were a bit disappointed because the great white they had was just released a couple days prior.  Ryder and I are fascinated with Sharks (and a bit terrified) so we were so jazzed to see the great white- but they don’t do so well in captivity- the Monterey aquarium ( I believe) is the only aquarium that has been able to keep them in captivity (not for very long).  But we did see a couple hammerheads and some 7 gil sharks.  All were magnificent.  I am biased, but I do really think the shed aquarium in Chicago is pretty fantastic- I think I like it a bit better than Monterey -sorry Monterey 😦 .  We also saw a lot of harbor seals and sea lions sunning themselves on the rocks around the coast – I love them.

So next came his birthday at school.  Since we were sticking with the pirate theme we made “healthful” chocolate cupcakes – the idea was they were supposed to be eye patches – with the skull and crossbones.  At school we can only bring healthful treats (which I can understand- no need to have 25 kids hopped up on sugar and then crashing in 20 minutes).  So I got this recipe from Deceptively Delicious– it was a chocolate cake recipe and you use pureed beets (they were really tastey).



Then that evening we had dinner and opened presents from us and my parents.  We surprised him with a new bike (a two wheeler with training wheels).  That has been fun to ride around the neighborhood on.  It really makes him look like he’s getting older!

Let’s see how many was that, oh ya 3.  So now we are at his 4th party – which was his friend party.  What a blast! 

We invited about 10, or so, of his friends over and just let them run around in the backyard and have fun.  We had pirate hats, eye patches and hooks (for the hands) for everyone so they could play pirates.  I made a treasure chest to put all the goodies in and was going to have them do a treasure map to find it, but I thought again, I think that would have been a bit like herding cats – not so good.  So they just did their own thing.  It was a great day and a nice long birthday celebration.  Phew- I’m tired! 

But, why shouldn’t the celebration last, we are celebrating a life and who says it has to be done in a day! 

Happy birthday my scurvy pirate!

Wow!  It seems like I haven’t written in forever!  I think it’s been about a month.  It’s been a whirlwind around here.  We got back from Chicago and then it was Saige’s first birthday, my in-laws came for a week or so, we went to Monterey, then it was Ryder’s 4th birthday (about 3 party’s- one withthe grandparents, one on his actual birthday and then the one with his friends this weekend).  Oh yeah, and as if we didn’t have enough going on, we adopted a black lab puppy today! 

So I am back (in case any of you were concerned).  I have missed my blog, I have been blogging in my head- I just haven’t had a moment to actually sit down and type.  Let’s hope life slows back down again.  It seems to go in waves.  And this past month I felt like a big wave surfer!  I didn’t wipe out, but I am ready to just hang on the beach and watch the others ride for awhile. 

Hope life has treated everyone good, I hope you are all as excited as I am that Fall is here!  Today was a perfect fall day in Northern California (maybe a bit warmer than I would like) but it was crisp and cool in the morning, the sun was out and there was just a certain energy in the air.  I love this time of year, I can’t wait for a little cooler temps.  This is the perfect time to get out and explore and watch the colors explode around you.  I can’t wait to get the kids and Milo (that’s the new pup) out for hikes. 

Enjoy this season

“I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house. 
So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air.
–  Nathaniel Hawthorne