Birthday Weekend

While our friends and family back east were suffering from hurricane Sandy we were having a party weekend.

Leo turned 6!

And Dad turned 37!

I’m not sure which one makes me feel older.

Grandpa Ken came to celebrate with us. Here he is:

And here is the character artist, Lucy Wright’s, rendition of him.

Wow. His playfulness really comes through in her style.

We had some awesome parties which I might as well tell you about. First there was Leo’s birthday dinner. As always, a feast of pasta with butter and cheese. Auntie Lisa and Flavio came to celebrate with us.

I hear that sometimes birthdays can be hard on the other sibling. Lucy seemed happy but I think her baby doll may have seen what was really going on inside.

Then on Sunday we had a party with friends. Leo’s old time friends are getting big too.

This year we copied last year’s party: pumpkin carving in the park, followed by sack races. Sack races bring out the competitive spirit in every kid. Sasha saw the sacks and told me she had won last year. One kid was so competitive he decided to compete outside of his weight class.

One of these kids is doing his own thing. One of these kids is not like the others.

He tells me he fell down on purpose so the kids could win but I’m not so sure.

We let the kids run around on the grass with a soccer ball until one parent called lord of the flies and announced it was cake time. Here Leo is with a classmate, Michael, who I’ve never met before, but I have heard about because knows how to write in Chinese. Leo and the other kids are really impressed.

If I weren’t so confident in all of my parenting decisions I might have been intimidated by this ambitious family and their Chinese writing, Spanish reading and writing, and English reading and writing, 6 year old child. Caleb asked Michael’s mom about where he learned to write in Chinese. To which she had a great answer, “He doesn’t know how to write in Chinese. He makes it up.” I guess they had some Chinese friends that moved away and Michael draws characters that look like Chinese writing and shows it off to other kids. I think even Caleb was fooled. Well that might even be more intimidating that really writing in Chinese! Michael may even be a better artist that Lucy!

After cake we ran around even more. All and all I think this was the funnest kid party we have had yet. Here is what kids look like when they are all partied out.

But wait, there are more parties. At daddy’s party, the mail came, full of cards from daddy’s kids.

A quick digression about parenting techniques. We have reward/punishment system where when the kids are good we put a plus point in a book. When they are bad we put a minus point. At the end of the day if if a kid has more plusses than minuses they get a smiley face. More minuses than plusses, a frowny face. Even, a flat face. What, no prizes? No money? No real rewards. Nope just smiley faces. Check back in 20 years with the kid’s shrink and we’ll know if it worked.

Anyway, Leo was trying to tell his dad he was really good. Look at all those +1s.

Here are some other pretty awesome ones.

Not only do his kids love him but his daddy loves him too. What a nice birthday for daddy.

Daddy: Lucy, why are you wearing your sunglasses?
Lucy: Because I wanted to be like Leo.
Daddy: Why is Leo wearing his sunglasses?
Lucy: Because I told him to.