April 20, 2016

Each year, birthdays get better and better with the boys. I even noticed a difference between Christmas a few months ago. They're totally into opening presents and get the excitement that it's their birthday.

I usually go to pinterest for ideas on how to make their actual birthday special. Balloons seem like the biggest (and easiest) hit. Dave and I spent about 20 minutes decorating after they went to bed on Tuesday night. We put streamers and balloons hanging down from their door, some yellow balloons in their room, lined the hallway with a criss-cross of streamers and balloons (which they called the 'carwash'), hung several birthday banners and set out their presents at the end of the path. I had birthday hats and poppers on the table for them and even wrote a birthday message under the toilet seat in washable marker. To be honest, it's always kind of a pain to do this stuff -- it's obviously always during a week when I'm really busy getting ready for their party and combined with the pregnancy, am already really tired, but it was 100% worth it. And as I expected, I heard William's little voice whispering to George, 'Georgie, there's balloons in our room!" It was so fun to see how excited they were about everything.


Opening presents and then playing with everything kept them occupied for about an hour which gave me time to make 1-hour cinnamon bun 'cakes' for each in the shape of a W and a G. I also baked bacon in their initial shapes. These, of course, ended up taking longer than an hour, but I know what I need to do next time to get it to go a little faster.

They loved playing with their balloons, that was a hit all day long.

After breakfast, we did a scavenger hunt (I got the idea from one of their favorite books, Max and Ruby's treasure hunt). I wrote out excerpts of nursery rhymes, which they love and know the words to, so they were able to figure out the missing word and run to that place to find the next clue. That was the best! At the end, they found their new yellow strider 2-wheel bikes with balloons tied on. They rode around on these in the backyard for a while before we all got dressed.

For their big birthday activity, we gave them several options based on things they had previously said they wanted to do. Initially we thought TrainTown in Sonoma or something similar, but a lot of those places aren't open midweek. So the options were riding the double decker tour bus, or riding the 'subway' (which they had seen in one of their books). They decided on riding the subway to the taqueria to get their favorite strawberry fresca drink. So we took the bus down to Union Square, then walked over to Bart and took Bart out to Balboa Park (had barely even heard of it). The plan was to just get back on Bart going the other way, but Bart is actually pretty fast and it was barely 11am by this point. Plus, they saw the muni trains (which go above ground) and wanted to ride one so we found a route where we could take muni, then a bus, over to the taqueria.

Everything was a success and we had quesadillas and tacos for lunch and they each got a strawberry drink. Dave was hoping to hop in an uber home, but we were all the way across town and I just didn't feel safe trekking with them out of carseats. It was two buses to get home but seemed straight forward enough. Well, it took forever. We waited a bit for the bus we needed to come, then after a few blocks, it broke off the rope track and we had to get off and wait for a new bus. Dave was about to throw in the towel but luckily we didn't have to wait too long. But it's just a slow route headed up Van Ness. They we caught the last bus back down Sacramento/California and made it home about 1:45. Mom and Dad were exhausted (I couldn't go back to sleep after going to the bathroom at 4am, which has been randomly happening) so luckily everyone took a nap.

They decided they wanted to go for a swim at JCC when they woke up for their nap so we headed over. They are getting to be such great swimmers! Especially in the shallow end where they can swim for a few feet and then put their feet down :) They're really using their arms now which is great, but most importantly, they love the water.

We came back home and I made these chicken fingers for dinner and 'big corns', their favorite. Mom and Dad needed the chicken over a salad after the heavy lunch. I wanted to avoid more cooking, plus I knew there would be cookies, cupcakes and cake at their party on Saturday, so we decided on root beer floats with whipped cream for their birthday dessert.

Overall, such a fun day. I don't think the boys fell asleep until after 9:15pm as they were chatting away and talking about their balloons. Next up, the big party!

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