We had his favorite lunch of macaroni and cheese at Panera to kick off the party.
Here he is next to cousin A, demanding a party hat, because that's how he rolls.
And here he is wearing the one he was given, because that's how we roll.
The birthday cake was an unoriginal oldy but goody...bake a cake and stick some cars and a monster truck on it. The trick was, since he knew he was getting the "Tasmanian Devil" from Aunt J, we had to unwrap one present before we did the cake.
I love love love 5 years old. He is so impossibly easy to impress.
The Dude got a half birthday present from Noni and Papa too, since he was getting close. But let's be honest: he was pretty sure the whole party was for him anyway. His brother was incredibly gracious.
Except when it came to Bounty Hunter. How Noni and Papa made a find like that, we'll never know.
Then, off to Play Plus to play with other peoples' toys.
I don't think we've ever come close to having this relaxing, or this fun, of a birthday party.
We were tired this weekend, having just completed a flurry of activity in registering Aquaman for school and making all kinds of new plans and reformulating our ideas of how this year is going to go.
We were tired from the crippling heat and humidity that never ceases to shock me this time of year.
It was lovely to have an entire two days off in a row together, and we made good use of it, and had a lot of great extended family time as well.
We went out with the boys on the paddleboard and kayaks for the first time, and they had a great time. Aquaman has recently decided that he is "never going to grow up and get a real job". He is going to be a "professional surfer." I told him he better start practicing if he wants to make a living that way. So here he is practicing.
And I'm not quite sure what's doing here...praying perhaps. That he can be a professional surfer someday and not have to get a "real job".
Though I am completely exhausted and a little sick, life is good.
Great in fact.
Aquaman continues to thrive in kindergarten. Being that he has never been a guy who deals well with change and transition, I am so amazed at how seamless this one has been. Yes, he complains in the mornings. He knows The Dude gets to go to Grandma's and Noni's and he doesn't think that's fair.
But I can already see how he is being challenged and inspired and how his world has been opened up by this new adventure.
On Tuesday he got to wear a birthday crown all day at school. It was hard to convince him that he couldn't wear it to school again on Wednesday.
He and JT have had some special bonding time together too, heading to school together in the mornings. I am once again thankful for JT's job and a 9 am start time so he can do that.
It is so much easier to drop off The Dude in the morning. I don't have to shut off the mommy warning that is clanging loudly in my head. I don't have to worry what is happening that I will never know about, and whether my children are going to be permanently damaged by it.
Two and a half and Five are here to stay for a little while, and they look to be great fun.
And even though it doesn't feel like it, Fall is approaching, with all its glory.
My favorite season, with gusty tropical winds and water that's warmer than the air in the evenings, and Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer, which I just bought my first seasonal bottle of this week.
With my busier work schedule, I am thrilled with the fact that the pressure is off to teach Aquaman how to read and write. Now the time we have together can be spent enjoying our zoo passes which we just renewed after a year off, or swimming in the pool, or admiring his homework, of which he is beyond proud so far.
Judah sits impossibly close to him the entire time he is doing it and says repeatedly in a stage whisper: "WOW!" He is such a good little brother.
Life is going so fast.
I can't believe that Aquaman is 5 years old, and starting Elementary school, and The Dude is the same age Aquaman was when we brought him home from the hospital, and that another fall is rolling around. It seems like we were just out there sweating in the St Mark's pumpkin patch, and making pumpkin muffins together, and looking for Halloween costumes.
Today, I am not going to try to slow it down. I'm going to enjoy it. All the nausea and exhaustion and late night snuggles. But most of all, I'm going to make it count. It's all we have, today.
"Well one thing I've noticed, wherever I wander
Everyone's got a dream he can follow or squander
You can do what you will with the days you are given
I'm trying to spend mine on the business of living
Seize the day, seize whatever you can
'Cause life slips away just like hourglass sand
Seize the day, pray for grace from God's hand
Then nothing will stand in your way"