It's my birthday, and to celebrate...

...I'm blogging for the first time in a month or so.  Happy birthday to me!

But speaking of birthdays, first I need to put up some pictures of someone else who had a birthday recently (as in, just under a month ago):


Now...Yeah, I'm bigs.

 It's a tradition for us (so far, anyway) not to do a big party for our kids when they are one.  Just a small get together with some of Allen's family who are local.  But this year, Ben's birthday (October 4) happened to coincide with my friend Lauren's daughter's birthday party.  It was a family party and we were all going, and I mentioned it to my friend, who very sweetly made Ben a little cake.  So, before the 5 year old party girl had her own cake, we sang to Ben and he got to experience his cake.

Ben is thinking, "???"  Luckily, there were no shortage of kids around to help him blow out the candle.

I solemnly swear...

Camille and Ben, baby buds

In case you're wondering, no, we did not let him eat that whole thing.

Lauren and Ben share a word of birthday cheer
It was a fun party and a nice way to celebrate Ben's birthday.

What can I say about my third born? He's my Benny Boy, Benna, Benny Frenny, Benja-boo, Benjamin, and a host of other nicknames bearing no resemblance to his actual name. He's my buddy. Ruby and Max are passionate, interesting, wonderful, and exhaustingly high-intensity kids.  God knew I needed a mellow fellow for number three.  At least, he was mellow for his first year of life.  That may all change; but it was pretty great having a baby who slept well, ate well, napped well, and generally just peaced out or smiled all the time.  

Ben is such a cheerful little guy.  He loves his big siblings, especially Max: they are already partners in crime and gang up on Ruby.  He's getting really big, already wearing size 18 month clothes!  He's wearing clothes that Max was wearing only a year ago, and it kind of weirds me out.  

The Great Spaghetti Massacre of '14

Let's see, what else...some more cute kid pictures, you say? But of course.
Max demonstrates his butter cutting skills (hint: the knife is standing straight up in the butter).  Also, his long hair.

I thought my sister did the best "anggy [angry] eyes" when she was this age, but Max's is pretty good too.  And now his hair is short again, thanks to  Lauren!

Max has been interested in looking at my wedding photo album lately.  He calls it my "marry book."

This is him in the middle of saying, "Dat you, Mom?" But to me, it looks like an invitation for a caption contest.  
Cute Max anecdote: last week I was driving Ruby to school and Max burped.  I said, "Max, you need to say 'Excuse me.'"  Max said, "Sorry, burp." 

Another cute Max anecdote: not long ago he was playing in the living room while I was working, and he told me, "I doing scrap metal, Mommy, just like Daddy."  Melted my heart, and Allen's, too.

As for Ruby, she loves helping out Daddy, too.  Sometimes she accompanies him in the truck on scrap runs.  Other times she helps with household projects.  
She was the designated screw holder for this project

Counting them carefully

She also decorated some wood...very important.
Some artwork Ruby added to our door...coincidentally, it was the same face Allen made when he saw it.

Learning to read Daddy's blueprint homework

 Halloween was a pretty small potatoes event at our house this year.  We're really not big Halloween people anyway, but this year we really didn't do much.  We had all the right stuff for Ruby to be a ballerina, so Allen took her out to a neighborhood and his favorite grocery store, which was doing trick or treating in-store.
"Show us one of your moves"
Here's something scary, though: fake vampire teeth.  Eek.
Lazy eye+vampire teeth=truly horrific

That's a little cuter, I guess.
Allen's working hard.  He fractured his pinky toe a few weeks ago...a few days after I badly sprained my foot. But, unlike me, he hasn't been able to keep off of it.  I'm just now starting to be able to hobble on my foot and not rely on my crutches/scooter as much.  The scooter was definitely worth the renting.  If you're ever in this situation, I recommend one, and getting one from McCann's Medical Supply if you're in the PDX general vicinity.

Hey, you probably can't notice, but I'm in this picture on my scooter with my boot!  It's like "Where's Waldo?", but "Where in the dirty kitchen is Jenny?"  
 Anyway, what did I do for my birthday?  I hired a babysitter from 8 AM to 8 PM so Allen could work and I could have a kid-free day.  Then, I...

  • celebrated All Saints' Day at St. John the Apostle
  • had coffee at Singer Hill Cafe with Lauren
  • went to the Top Notch laundromat to do some laundry
  • wrote and read
  • had a delish lunch at the Egg Carton, a cute little food cart up in SE Portland
  • browsed in a bookstore 
  • talked to my family (except lame-o Toby who was too cool to call!)
  • browsed in a JoAnn fabric
  • had dinner with Allen at Bugatti's
  • got my free birthday drink at Starbucks

What, no spa visit? No movie?  No shopping spree?  
No, and that is A-okay with this mommy!  When you've got little kids, it is a treat to do even mundane things with solitude.  Just journaling in my quiet car while the laundry was drying was  nice.  Solitude is hard to come by at this time in life, and as an introvert, I need it to maintain balance.  A day of getting to do what I want/like/need to do by myself is just a big, big treat.  
Besides, when my foot is all better, Alishia is taking me out for Thai food and a pedicure, so I'll still get my girly pampering in later.  And I got muchas Starbucks gift card money from my parents, so there's some luxury to look forward to.

And, as Allen pointed out, God's special birthday present to me is the extra hour of sleep for Daylight Savings.  Not that my kids will get it, but it's the Thought that counts!

I'm tired, and this post is far from eloquent.  Thanks to everyone who wished me well today, and thanks to everyone who has been part of the patchwork of these last 31 years which I have completed today.  


  1. I have taken forever to comment! I started reading this when you posted it, but I think I was at work and some something happened aaaaaaand heyyyy where'd the last 15 days go??
    ANYWAY. Glad you got some just-plain-Jenny time for the ole b-day. I say, again, again, again, if only I was closer and I could assist with such a thing more. BOO.
    Also, my godchildren are THE BEST. Like we didn't know that.


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