****So, I already published this post and realized that---yet again---I have published the pictures all out of order but I refuse to go through that all over again. you are intelligent people and you'll figure out how they should go.****
Today was Bracken's fifth birthday---which is hard to believe because I am pretty sure he was born yesterday and then I blinked, but here we are. He is an amazing child. He is my oldest and has, thus, been my guinea pig of sorts. He and I have grown and learned together how to be parent and child. As is always the case with 'first' children he has taught me so much about how to be a mom and we have experienced countless firsts together. Though I have enjoyed special experiences with each of my children, and they each have their own firsts, it is somehow a little different with your oldest child. [Note to my other three children who may read this in future years, this does NOT mean that I feel any differently about Bracken than I do about the rest of you, just that I have experienced things differently with him. Though, I must disclose that Bracken did ask at dinner tonight "Mom, who do you love the best tonight, and daddy doesn't count 'cause I only mean the kids?" Clearly he thought his birthday should give him an edge.]
Bracken woke up early and was eager to get things going. He had been counting down the days for several weeks and was beyond thrilled that the day had finally arrived. I had asked Bracken earlier in the week what he wanted to have for breakfast on his big day---thinking he would choose something extra special like Belgian waffles---but he chose cinnamon rolls so that's what we had! Cinnamon rolls and yogurt, quite the combo.
After breakfast Bracken was really itching to get to the one present we had told him he would be able to open before school---and truthfully we were pretty excited too. Justin woke up extra early so that he could assemble Bracken's first two-wheeler (with training wheels of course) and we were dying to see the reaction. I told all of the kids that they had to be dressed with shoes on before Bracken opened his gift, so while Justin got the video camera and the kids got their shoes I ran out to tie a big bow on the new Spiderman bike. Unfortunately Bracken decided he should probably check and see what I was doing so he came out to the garage and caught me in the act. My first reaction was, admittedly, not a good one...I freaked out and started shouting go back inside, go back inside! Bracken turned and ran back in but not before catching a glimpse of the goods. So, sadly, we did not get his reaction (or mine) on tape. We did try and recreate the moment on film about two minutes later but it just wasn't the same.
Anyway, Justin drove the older two kids to school and stopped to get birthday cupcakes from the grocery store along the way. I was very disappointed that the kids are not allowed to bring homemade treats to school to celebrate their birthdays, everything must be store bought, but at least they are not at a lame school where you have to bring something like a veggie tray. I say let kids be kids and let them celebrate their day with something that they choose! It turns out that Bracken had chosen the most colorful (and stain-possible) cupcakes I have ever seen. Luckily the teachers were very careful with all of the kids and I didn't see any stained clothes or get any nasty looks from mom's at pick-up.
We had worried all morning that we would have to change our party plan of a moon bounce and pinata because it had been raining off and on for hours. Of course we have lived here for nearly two months with only one other day of rain. Just our luck. But thankfully the rain stopped, the sun came out, and we were ready to go! The moon bounce arrived after some of the children but other than the timing issues everything ran relatively smoothly. Bracken had a superhero themed party and all of the boys from his preschool class were invited. They all came wearing the costumes of their favorite hero (or Power Ranger, or Star Wars character, etc.) and showed-off their best moves to each other inside the moon bounce. Bracken was the red Power Ranger with a brand new suit Aunt Jessie and Uncle Tay sent just for the occasion. It was a little warm to be clothed in layers of spandex and capes but, despite my coaxing, only a few of them were willing to disrobe and become their normal selves. Apparently running in eighty degree weather and dripping with sweat is not enough of a reason to become ones boring old self.
When all of the festivities were over and all of the kids had gone home, Bracken ran up to me and screamed "THIS WAS THE BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!!!!!!!" I couldn't have asked for more. It was at about that time that our whole family piled into the moon bounce to take advantage of the extra time in our rental. Ruby and Tate had napped through most of the party so they were extra delighted to have a chance to play. Everyone was also ready for some cake since the kids had been to busy playing to care about food during the party---and the cake was quite a sight. It was hideous really. Bracken had chosen the ugliest cake weeks in advance from the grocery store bakery. We all know he only wanted it for the transformer tank toy on top and what the birthday boy wants, the birthday boy gets!!!
There are so many details that I know I am forgetting and not capturing or communicating effectively mainly because I am exhausted from birthday-mania, but there were no shortage of pictures so you can all see for yourselves. I called and asked Jessie how many pictures would constitute too many, she said that it was not possible to share too many pics on a blog, so you have her to blame if you get overwhelmed.
Lastly, I want to send one last birthday wish to my little boy whom I LOVE more than words can express. I am so proud of the child he is and can't imagine our family without him.
Also, here are 5 things that you may not know about Bracken:
1. He is very compassionate and always wants to be sure that I am meeting his siblings needs (he comes to get me when any of the other kids seems to need help)
2. He, of his own fruition, has decided that even when he grows up he will live with me
3. He is as obedient as I can imagine a 5-year-old boy can be (unlike my sneaky middle 2 children) and never wants anyone to break any rules
4. He LOVES it when we tell stories, he tells me stories and I tell him stories, we do this several times a day (I am running out of imagination)
5. He will choose carrots and apples as snacks over other less desirable choices like cookies and chocolate (which leaves more for me and Abbie)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRACKEN!!!!!
[Saigers, check out the Transformer truck toy that Bracken got from my Dad, look familiar? As soon as he opened it I created the scene of you transforming Zach's at your house...hilarious!]