Happy Birthday, Gavin!

I can’t believe Gavin is 2 already!  He’s such a sweet little guy with the most amazing giggles and guffawing laughs that you’ve ever heard.  “Goovin,” as Marcus has taken to calling him today, is quite thrilled to be 2.  When asked, “How old are you, Gavin?”, he responds with a very enthusiastic “I’m TWO!”, complete with a big grin and, if you’re lucky, a happy dance.  He loves to snuggle and be tickled.  He’s turned into quite the monkey, climbing and jumping on (and off) things with abandon.  He’s also very mischievous and gets into all sorts of antics with his big brother.  My dad actually said Gavin looked mischievous when he saw a picture of him . . . in my womb (it was one of those crazy 3D ultrasound images).  See that impish monkey face up there?  He apparently was baked that way.

Anyway, our celebration today was pretty low key as Adam was out of town.  Breakfast was eggs (soft-boiled “gooey eggs” for Gavin and hard-boiled for Marcus), bacon, pumpkin bread, and fruit smoothies.  We went out for lunch at a local NY-style pizza joint that turned out to be pretty decent.  Marcus had the standard pepperoni and Gavin asked for plain cheese.  Gav ended up ditching his cheese slice and eating my entire “Brooklyn” slice, which was pepperoni, meatball slices, onions, mushrooms.  Who’d a thought?  Then we popped over to a new cupcakery for some birthday cupcakes – vanilla with chocolate icing for Gavin, red velvet for Marcus, and lavender lemon for me.  The place is pretty fancy and there were all sorts of people just sitting about quietly enjoying their coffees and cupcakes.  The boys were quiet too as they made quick work of their desserts.  But then Marcus, out of the blue, says loudly (I think he only has one volume when he speaks), “I really have to poop.”  Before I could stop myself, I asked reflexively, “What?”  And he replied, “There’s a soft poop that wants to come out now, mama.”  Mmmm . . . enjoy your coffee and cupcakes, folks.

Dinner was a quiet affair too.  I made butter chicken with steamed broccoli dressed with a little butter and salt.  For some reason, the kids didn’t like the chicken that much (Gavin refused to eat it at all), even though they’ve had and enjoyed this particular dish and other similar ones in the past.  Even more strange  . . . they actually ate, enjoyed, and practically fought over the broccoli.  I was so confused.  But happy!

Here are some recent photos of the birthday boy.

Making a silly face while eating lunch.

Enjoying a book - love the crossed legs and exposed belly.

On a walk with Mommy.

"I sit on Elmo?" Indeed.

Biting into his birthday cupcake today.

Mighty pleased.



Game Day!

So we met up with some of my colleagues and their friends for some tailgating before the game.  I dressed up in my full Prague-in-winter gear as I have pretty low tolerance for the cold.  I’m glad I did!  By the time it was all over, I was frozen solid.  I would have given anything for some hand and toe warmers!  Glad the Pats pulled through in the end.  Tickets to a losing game is kind of a sucky present.

Before we were frozen solid.

"Go Pats!"

Happy Birthday, Adam!

Happy Birthday to my best friend and true love!

Adam requested a double layer chocolate cake for his birthday, the more moist and chocolatey the better.  I found this recipe on Epicurious and decided to try it out.  It’s time consuming to make, but pretty easy overall and the results are well worth it. The cake has an explosively chocolate flavor and is super moist.  Although the ganache frosting is a little sweeter than I like, it totally grew on me.  Oh, and it’s even better after being refrigerated.  We had to give a huge hunk of this away so that we didn’t gain 10 pounds over the course of a week.

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Adam’s birthday haul included: wireless headphones (so that he can play video games without waking up the boys at night), two video games (Arkham City and Uncharted 3), some Patriots gear (beer koozies, pompoms, ear warmers), and (surprise!) tickets to the Patriot/Redskins game tomorrow.  I think he was a pretty happy birthday boy.

"Birt-day! BIRT-day! BIRT-DAY!"

Our nanny came over to watch the boys so that we could grab dinner at a local sushi place and then watch Hugo (which was awesome!).

Oh so stylish.

Birthday Boy

Today is Marcus’ 4th birthday.  Time really has flown by so fast.  It’s hard sometimes to slow down and enjoy the boys, especially with all the stresses of work, errands, the kids’ competing demands, etc.

Even though Marcus can be a huge pain sometimes (what 4-year-old isn’t?), I have to say that this is one of the best ages in some ways.  He is incredibly smart and says the funniest things.  Marcus is really growing into his own little man.  My little heartbreaker.

Cap’n Marcus turns 4!

Happy Birthday, Marcus!

We had a great time celebrating Marcus’ 4th birthday with our friends and family.  He’s been very into pirates lately, so we, of course, had to throw him a pirate party!  I admit that I may have gone a little crazy with the details. 😉

The party in pictures . . .

Guests were first greeted by a pirate, dubbed "Willy" by Marcus. Or, "Pie-wah WEE-lee!" as Gavin calls him.

The kids were sent off on a treasure hunt. 5 stations were scattered about the house, each marked with a sign showing a particular shape. The kids had to find all 5 stations in order to get the stickers to cover the shapes on their map. Once their maps were complete, they got lots of treasure!

Pirate Hat Station

Face Painting Station

Eye Patch Station

Tattoo Station

(blow up) Sword Station in the background

Marcus towards the end of his treasure hunt.

Once the kids completed their map, they each got a loot bag (partially pre-filled with pirate-themed goodies) that they got to fill with additional treasure (necklaces, rings, gems, coins, candy, etc.) from a wooden pirate chest. They also got to keep their treasure maps and pirate gear they gathered on their treasure hunt.

The kids pulled their drinks from a treasure chest.

The dessert spread! (Marcus sampled probably 3/4 of the goodies. He was a happy camper.)

Rice Krispie treat pirate ships, marshmallow pops and S'mores pops, super chocolately cake.

Vanilla cupcakes with cream cheese frosting in the center, on the left side of the cupcakes are mocha chocolate chip cookies (made with love by Grammy!), Rolo pretzel bites, and chocolate crack(-ers).

Banana pudding, Oreo truffle pops, fruit skewers, and cones of kettle corn. I made all of the desserts except for the TJs kettle corn and Grammy's cookies. (I told you I went a little crazy...)

Lighting up the birthday cupcake.

Waiting with baited breath.

He was so happy to hear everyone singing for him...

Blowing out the candles.

Enjoying the spoils.

Gavin with his Ba Ngoai and his little girlfriend, J, watching from below.

With my little pirate.

Pirate Gavin

Pirate Marcus

With Grammy & Grampy

With Ba Ngoai and Ong Ngoai

Uncle Nam

Gavin training with Ba Ngoai...

...so that he can take on and defeat Pirate Willy!

Nice pants.

A thoroughly sated, happy, and tired birthday boy!