Phil and I have great birthdays - they are 5 years and 4 days apart, which makes birthday parties WAY easier and alot more fun when they are milestones. Since Phil was heading over the hill this year with the big 4-0, we decided to go all out and throw a big bash for our friends at Crane Creek (birthday venue of choice this year.)
We decided on a 1940's WWII themed birthday and asked our guests to dress the part. As it is with all plans, they start small and by the time the plan is executed, have turned into quite a shindig, so we figured, why not hire a photographer to capture the moment? We also hired a DJ to play genuine period music from the 40's to set the mood and Crane Creek decorated the room for us with balloons, genuine WWII propaganda posters, confetti and flags galore. To our surprise and thrill, all of our friends showed up dressed to the nines - there were soldiers, pin-ups, nurses, a Rosie the Riveter, sea-bees, gangsters and even a pop-eye - and we partied until the wee hours - Happy 40th, Phil!
Hard to believe, but Porter turned 1 this summer. Since it was summer and nice outside, we decided to have the party at Crane Creek outside by the pool. We also decided to combine it with his friends' 1st birthday party, Ben and Sam Thompson who are were born 2 days after Porter. Since Porter loves farm animals, we did a barnyard theme complete with cow cake, cupcakes, plates and balloons! Since it was our second child, there are about 1/4 of the pictures that we have of Sloane's first birthday party :)
Porter has long since graduated from his ISR (see previous blog) floating lessons. Although I'm not supposed to post video of them doing instruction, I can't help it because I'm so proud. Don't tell anyone. The video is of our swim instructor and Porter perfecting his float. Watch as she simulates him falling in, flips him over to disorient him, and each time, he calmly floats to the surface and waits patiently for someone to come get him. Although this doesn't ever make a child drownproof, it sure gives him a chance. This fall, we will work on swimming as well as floating. She did tell us that out of the hundreds of babies she has done this for, Porter is the calmest one and learned in almost record time. (4 weeks) She wants a first class flight to the Olympics opening ceremonies. We one-upped that and offered to fly her private :)
Sloane, on the other hand, has been a bit of a struggle. I made the mistake of not starting her when she was a baby and we have had a tougher time getting her comfortable in the water. This program is not for the squeamish or faint of heart or lazy parent - it's every day, 5 days a week at 7:45 in the morning. And for 2 months, Sloane has screamed through every minute of it. Sloane is also a bit like her mommy and has a bit of a stubborn streak in her - she will do things on her own time, on her own terms, and when she's darn good and ready and not a minute sooner. A couple of weeks ago, our hard work paid off. Sloane is SWIMMING and fearless!
One of the funniest things in the world is to hear babies belly laugh. Porter is no exception. This is a great 8 second clip that I play over and over again when I need a smile. It's funny because it's usually the dumbest things that get them giggling. In this case, I had a little plastic ball in my mouth and was spitting it out at him. Who knew I was so hilarious??
I grew up on horses and honestly, one of the things I worry about most is that Sloane could never get the chance to learn how to ride. (I know Grandma Suitter would NEVER let that happen but, you know how mom's worry about stuff that is never going to happen...)
Sloane got the opportunity last month to go visit a shetland pony farm in Nampa with some good friends of hers that she met in Kindermusik class. We left Porter home, put our boots on and off we went to visit the little horses and see Sloane's reaction. The farm is run by a nice couple who operate as a non-profit and offer the horses to kids with disabilities and nursing homes. The owner also doubles as an Elvis impersonator (!) Sloane was so excited to see the little horses and she kept trying to feed them hay, even though the ponies weren't exactly starving and receptive to her offering. Mr. Elvis put Sloane on the back of one and she was a little shocked to have a live, breathing animal underneath her. She did great - although I think her biggest kicks that day were from jumping off the feed troughs and chasing the barn cats around. By the way, the dozen or so cats would all come running when Mr. Elvis cattle called them :)
Mother's Day and Father's Day have long since come and gone, but this year they were especially meaningful now that we have both kids and Sloane is getting bigger! For Mother's Day, our nanny, Brianna, helped the kids make some darling little flowerpots they they helped paint and surprised me with - I was so excited! For Father's Day, Phil's gift was a new set of golf clubs - a pink set, for a child about 36" high. I don't know who was more excited...
Summer in Boise is a great time to go to the zoo. They have many interactive kid friendly exhibits that allow them to feed the baby giraffes, goats, fish and this year, they added a great enclosed butterfly exhibit filled with beautiful flowers, bushes and TONS of big, colorful butterflies from Costa Rica that will land on you if you hold really still. It takes a minute to get used to them flying all around you and the first one that lands on you, it's tough not to swat the poor things away. Sloane warmed up pretty quickly and found that butterflies really aren't that scary!