Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Birthday, Birthday

In my mind, the holiday season begins during the first week of October. Three months of fun are initiated by my birthday. Soon thereafter, we have Melanie’s and my wedding anniversary, Creegan’s birthday, Halloween, and all of the obvious holidays that follow thereafter. The partying doesn’t stop until the new year. It’s the most exciting time of the year, if you ask hyperbole and me.

I’ve already blogged about my birthday, and I’ll need to blog about Halloween in just a couple of days. Even so, there are celebrations to report. As an adult, I’ve found it easier to celebrate my birthday in fits and starts. This year has been no different. Or, at least, I’ve used my birthday as an excuse to do fun things now and again over the last few weeks. Some of the fun has been legitimately birthday-oriented. Melanie’s and my good friends took me out for a post de facto birthday dinner at a nearby Italian restaurant, for example. They said it was for my birthday, and since they paid for my meal, I suppose they get to decide whether it was an official birthday activity or not. They said it was, so that’s that. But I also used my birthday as an excuse to go on a date with Melanie nearly two weeks after my birthday. Sure, Melanie and I go on dates from time to time, but this is the first time (since having kids?!) that Melanie and I have hired a babysitter and gone on a date that involved both a movie and dinner. That’s indulgent for us, and using my birthday as an excuse somehow helped to make it a reality. (If you’re interested, we saw Carrie, which was kind of lame, and went to Outback Steakhouse.) I also picked up the latest Pearl Jam album, released the week after my birthday, and justified doing so on the basis that I had been born. Can’t fault my logic there, can you?

Over the last few days, the focus has shifted to Creegan as we’ve celebrated his birthday. A couple of days before he hit the big 3-point-0, he received a package from his maternal grandparents. With Melanie’s and my consent, he opened it forthwith (assuming it’s possible for children born in the 21st-century to do things “forthwith”). On Creegan’s actual birthday, I had to teach in the morning, which postponed the family-size celebrations by a few hours. I brought home Donut Kingdom donuts (which Creegan frequently requests) and we ate them for lunch along with some scrambled eggs (another of Creegan’s favorites). We then headed to the Tallahassee Automobile Museum. If you don’t know, Creegan is obsessed with cars. He’s tapered off a bit recently, but he used to spend a good chunk of his day, every day, lining up the dozens upon dozens of toy cars that he owns. Melanie thought he would enjoy the car museum, which we once visited about five months before Creegan was born. When we entered the museum on this visit, Creegan bellowed, “So much cars! All lined up!” He was excited. According to their website, the museum’s “collection is always growing and changing; it’s never the same experience twice!” It’s not like I memorized everything they had 3.5 years ago, but I’d say it was pretty darn close to the same experience. The standout difference was that they did not have the model train exhibit, so in our case they actually had less on display than they did 3.5 years ago. Just sayin’.

Birthday package from Grandma and Grandpa.

Creegan fell in love with Green Eggs and Ham while in Utah this summer.  Grandma remembered and sent him his own copy.

Grandma and Grandpa also sent a new batch of cars.  Creegan quickly lined them up.  His face is a little goofy in this picture, but he's being very silly for the camera.  This is proof of his happiness because he almost always gets mad if you take his picture.

Donut, eggs, and diet root beer.  Can you even imagine a better birthday lunch?  Notice that Creegan's donut is turned upside-down.  He purposely does that to avoid the frosting.  Weirdo!

Creegan chose a 2003 Corvette as the car in front of which he wanted us to take a photo at the car museum.

To pose with Melanie, Creegan chose a 1934 school bus.  He then refused to pose for the picture and instead insisted on goofing around with Peter.  Oh wait, that's exactly what happened in the above photo, although the result there was a tad more heartwarming.

Just outside the car museum.  Creegan responded very enthusiastically to this star-spangled truck.  He was over it by the time I took this photo.

In the evening on Creegan’s birthday, our besties came over to help us celebrate. We had pizza, cake, and ice cream. Creegan chose the cake and the ice cream. Everyone seemed to have a very good time. Sadly, Melanie and I were not able to give Creegan his presents because FedEx had not yet delivered them. We had ordered a few things from Amazon and were given a “guaranteed” delivery date of no later than Creegan’s birthday, but nope. It didn’t happen. The presents didn’t arrive until the next day. On the bright side, with an early birthday package from his grandparents and belated birthday presents from his parents, Creegan’s birthday fun extended over several days. What a lucky kid!

Creegan deftly shoves one of three candles into his cake.

Eddie's and Peter's best friend, who somehow eats cake and ice cream without getting it all over her face.  Either she's having a lot less fun eating, or Melanie and I have utterly failed when it comes to teaching our kids polite eating habits.

The belated birthday presents arrive.

According to Melanie, Creegan informs her at least once a day that he is Sonic (the Hedgehog).  Hence, the Sonic doll.

Taking a philosophical approach to solving the jigsaw puzzle.

Creegan dancing around with a trio of belated birthday balloons.

And that brings us up to speed, with the exception of various Halloween-centered activities that have already taken place. I’ll write about those when I write about Halloween proper, which should happen soon. Until then….

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