Happy Birthday to Me (and Addison)

I celebrated a birthday last Thursday.  I had a really nice one; we had our families over that evening for a gourmet meal that Jason cooked (of course) and some cake.  AND I only had to work for a small part of the time they were over - successful night!  

Earlier in the week Jason took the boys to the store to get me a gift.  I had no idea where they went until Thursday when they gave me all my gifts.  Turns out Daddy took the boys on a shopping spree at the dollar store.  First they each got to pick out a card for me:
 Hey, at least they're both birthday cards.  Also, funny story: Jack picked out the one on the right for a 4 year-old (I turned 34) and back in March I let him pick out a card for Aunt Kelly.  He picked a Transformer card for a 6-year old boy, and she turned 36.  Maybe he's on to something..

After they picked out the cards, they got to pick out whatever they wanted to get me for my birthday.  Jason said he had to put about 30 things back on the shelf, but here's what they left the store with:
Four badminton rackets with birdies, three sets of brightly colored zip ties, a Batman puzzle and two of those little crammed-up towels that you add water to see them expand (one Cars, one Thor).  Good stuff!  Jack was excited to help me open them, and he also helped Grandma wrap them for Daddy earlier that day. 

Jason also surprised me with a weekend getaway to an out-of-town Cardinals game this summer.  Looking forward to that!!  All in all, a great birthday.

Also, you may remember that Ms Addi Asher was born on my 30th birthday, so she celebrated her 4th birthday last week as well.  They had a rainbow party for her and it was lots of fun.  Addison loves artsy stuff, so Melissa set up a craft table in their garage with a station for each of them to paint.  She even made them each a paint shirt.  Too cute!  The big kids all enjoyed sponge painting on their board while the little guys (Charlie, Ethan, Austin and Tyson) hung out in the basement with the daddies.

Birthday girl and Jack

Reghan Lade

Zoey Kuehler

Vivian Gratz (and Alyssa)

Maggie Neu

Aidan and Connor Neu

Nathan Mincher

All the painters (minus Jack, who had an untimely bathroom break)

Jack and Addi's masterpieces

Sweet little Drake Lade even came to the party (he didn't paint though) - he turned one month old the next day
Later in the evening Charlie thought he was hot stuff doing stunts on the ottoman.  Seriously so proud of himself:



We had a very busy April.  Mostly it was because Jason and I are both working like crazy right now, but we managed to squeeze some fun in too.

Jack had his second dentist appointment at the beginning of the month.  He did pretty well.  He still freaked out when it was the dentist's turn to look in his mouth, but he did pretty well while Grandma cleaned his teeth - at least he laid on the chair himself instead of on top of me like last time.

We had a play date with some friends I worked with at PricewaterhouseCoopers.  There were lots of kids, and my friend Stephanie's house is a haven for play dates!  They have two bouncy houses and a swingset in their back yard and LOTS of fun stuff to play with inside too.  Here are all the kiddos eating dinner:
Clockwise from the front: Kaitlyn Stebe, Graham Presson, (& Paul), Paige Mitchell, Caroline Presson, Jack, Charlie, Reece Mitchell and Evan Chancellor
Jack started a new session of Kickaroos at Vetta Sports.  He is now in the "Skippers" class which is still mostly dribbling and drills, but each class ends with a 10 minute scrimmage, which is lots of fun!!  He has made great strides in the last four weeks and even scored two goals today!!  I will try to take a video one of these weeks.

We had our first day of shorts weather!

Our niece Mia celebrated a birthday (7 years old!), so the boys and I tagged along to her friend party at Sky Zone in Chesterfield.  It's basically a big place filled with trampolines.  Charlie was a little young for the Saturday night crowd, but we managed to stay tucked away in a corner and had a lot of fun.  Definitely a great place to burn some energy!  Jack saw some people doing flips so he started doing "flips" of his own - taking a running start and doing a somersault.  He was wild and loving every minute!  Unfortunately I got disciplined for taking pictures while on the trampolines so I don't have good documentation of our fun.

Yes, that blurry face with the blue shirt is Jack - my one and only picture

We also checked out a members' only event at the Magic House.  Since it was on a Thursday night (and Daddy was playing darts) Grandpa Lang went with us to help out (thank goodness because the boys were going opposite directions the whole night!).  I learned that members' only events are the way to go - it was about 1/10th as crowded as any other time I've been there.  This was a PJ party complete with story time (we only listened to about 2 pages, then we had to keep exploring) and cookies and milk.  Lots of fun!!  We also discovered an outdoor construction area that we've never seen before:

One weekend the boys and I went up to the vet where Daddy was working so they could ride their bikes.  Charlie tried out his new helmet - he was a big fan.

Another big thing this month: we took the rails off of Jack's bed.  I'm sure he's been ready for awhile now, it just hasn't occurred to me until now.  He was really excited, and so was I because boy is it difficult to make his bed with the rails on!!  We put pillows on the floor the first few nights, so Jack thought it was fun to "fall" off his bed on purpose.  He didn't fall out at all for two weeks until this weekend, when he fell out both nights.  Friday night he didn't even wake up; just got back into bed and kept sleeping.  Last night, he was upset and said he hurt his cheek.  I'm trying to tell him to sleep next to the wall or even in the middle instead of right along the edge; he will learn.
My work had Take Your Child to Work Day, so I took Jack for a few hours.  They served breakfast, had a big science show, balloon artist and various activities (making slime and superballs).  Jack was a little young for some of the activities, but we still had fun.  He thought it was cool to be at Mommy's work.  We got a little gift bag and one of the items was a little flashlight, which he now refers to as "the one I got at the cafeteria."
Jack in the center w/navy and white stripes; our friend Owen Dahl is to his left - intently watching the science show
I started playing sand volleyball again, and last week our game started at 6:30, so I picked the boys up from school and went straight there to meet Jason.  They ended up staying to watch our games and, let's be honest, the real highlight was playing on the playground.
 Fun and busy month at the Clayton house!!