Sunday, July 15, 2012

Cinco de Landon

So Landon turned 5 today. 5.

There was a pool party on Saturday to commemorate the occasion with friends.


I ordered a dozen water soaker guns (big enough to have some range; small enough to lack the power to hurt anyone) and a dozen mini inflatable balls online and let the kids go to town.


Fun was had. No one cried. I'd say it was a rousing success!


JP got in on the action, turning the pool into an all out water war zone. One of our five-year-old guests was hiding inside that double-stacked tube.


Air assault.


Don't worry, the smaller soldier made it, and launched a counter-attack at the back of JP's head a few minutes later. JP prefers parties where he gets to act like a little kid, so this was probably his new favorite.


But before the war got out of hand, I decided it was cake time!


I picked up the "4" candle and almost bought it by mistake- how is he 5?


I wasn't sure how Claire would react to Landon's birthday. She only just figured out that birthdays are awesome, but I wasn't sure she was ready for the fact that everyone has one.

As it turns out, the sharing of the birthday was not a problem and she was genuinely excited about everything birthday-oriented thing that Landon got to do. It was like she now knew the secrets of the day and was excited to spot them- when I brought out the cake, Claire squealed "candles!!!!"

The ice cream helped too.


And then today came, the REAL birthday. It began in the way of our new birthday tradition- breakfast with a little ceramic animal with a candle stuck on top. Landon's birthday animal is a dinosaur, it's like a zodiac sign, but without the ill-fitting prophesies.


I'm putting that dinosaur on his place mat every morning until he's no longer living at home (and then I'm packing it in his stuff for him to take with him).


Claire was super excited the word "birfday" was still being used in the day's description. Also, candle!


Presents! Landon was so, SO excited to get the Imaginext Batman Batcave he's been so sweetly asking for FOREVER.


It was the first thing out of his mouth when various members of my family called today to wish him Happy Birthday, "Thank you, did you know I got a Batcave?" As none of them are currently parents of the 4-8-year-old set, no one had any idea what he was talking about, but they were still very happy for him.


After the presents and the dino candle, Landon got to pick any restaurant to eat any meal of the day. His pick: McDonalds, for a second breakfast of plain biscuits with jelly. We realized that would only take about 10 minutes, so we asked what else he'd like to do -- hiking. JP did a "Fort Worth hiking trail" google search and came up with the Fort Worth Nature Center and off we went, sweeping through a McDonalds drive through on the way at 10:26 when we realized that holy shit we're about to miss breakfast and it's the only thing our kid asked for on his birthday. They should really serve breakfast until 11.

Luckily, we got our biscuits (letting him eat them in the car was a requested part of the present; they're never allowed to eat in the car) and drove a little ways further to the Nature Center.

We went on a short hike through the marshlands first. A bunch of alligators live there, but we didn't see any (to Landon's disappointment and my relief).


Claire was a trooper and did most of the first walk on her own two feet! Landon ran ahead because he's 5 now and can now lead the pack.


We stopped in at the nature center, which was filled with indigenous amphibians and other Texas wildlife. Some crazy stuff lives around here.


JP loves that hiking back pack. Claire is hitting the weight limit and as we buckled her in he said, "you know, this is such a nice backpack, we should have another baby so we can keep using it." Airtight logic, that.


Our last hike (#3 if you're counting; I was regretting my workout class on Saturday) was over a levee to Greer Island. It was very hot, very humid, and smelled like the poop of a whole medley of wild animals. Two fighter jets flew overhead, scaring the crap out of Claire. Kayaks were spotted, imaginary alligators were found. Landon asked if Claire wanted to hold his hand in case the jets flew by again. It was perfect.


He ran ahead at the end, eager to move on to the next part of the day- Sonic slushes on the drive home, hours to play with the Batcave, and Costco pizza for dinner. He was all flushed and sweaty- he's a fast runner and great little hiker- and his hazel eyes were bright with his smile and as I watched him I got a little teary. He had a tough beginning, five years ago today, and there are parts of his first year I still can't mentally revisit, but here we are five years later, this solid little family of four, living in Fort Worth of all places, enjoying a perfect day of biscuits and blue slushies and sweaty hikes through areas crawling with bugs, snakes, and other vermin and it's perfect. Just perfect.


Happy Birthday Lanman, it just keeps getting better.


  1. So sweet! I love that last paragraph. Happy Birthday Landon!

  2. Happy Birthday Landon! The pack, what kind is it? I've been looking for a different kind of carrier for my daughter. Unfortunately she doesn't like the one I am currently using (a Mei Tai).

    1. Thanks! It's a Kelty FC 1.0. They're usually pretty pricey, but I got it for $60 on ebags because it was a discontinued color. We love it!

    2. Great. Thanks for the information!

  3. It's hard to believe I've been following your blog for over 4 years already. Landon is just so handsome and words cannot express the extreme adorableness of Clairebear!! I'm happy that y'all are settled in Ft. Worth and thriving as a family. Enjoy these years - they go so fast.

  4. Yay! Happy birthday. Out of curiosity, what brand is the backpack? My husband really wants one for our peanut and I'm thinking it might be the perfect birthday present for him.

  5. Happy Birthday Landon!
    Loved the donut and fruit, what a great bday breakfast, must cover all the food groups, right? :D