Pizza night on the back porch, celebrating daddy’s birthday, is the best night ❤️ Oliver’s favorite is “shuuuto” (prosciutto)
We celebrated Oliver’s birthday a bit early this year because we’ll be up at the cabin on the actual day, and we wanted to celebrate with Grandma Pam and Grandpa Jeff. We enjoyed a birthday brunch together featuring a fabulous spiced squash cake that everybody loved except for Oliver. (He ate about half the scrambled eggs instead.) Pictures below followed by two short video clips.
Blowing out his candle (and some very sour grapefruit!):
Opening Maggie’s gift:
Update: We took the following picture on the 25th at the cabin:
Griffin and Maggie fondly recalled their joint birthday party in 2016 and decided to merge their parties again this year. Because we all love having parties outside, the endless winter of 2018 stymied our attempts to schedule it between their birthdays. We settled on the final weekend of the month, but even then our first two choices of parks weren’t open yet. We eventually settled on the Como playground near the Como Town mini-amusement park.
After all the weather hassles, the day was gorgeous. Breezy and warm in the sun and cool in the shade—perfect weather for a few hours rampaging around a playground. Sarah made two batches of cupcakes: Griffin had red velvet with cream cheese frosting; Maggie had vanilla with blue frosting. Griffin and Maggie (and Oliver, too) were exhausted and happy at the end of the festivities.
We weren’t trying to photograph the event, but I captured a few shots on my phone:
And two short videos of the celebratory songs:
It landed on a Saturday this year so we got to do things up a bit more than usual. Highlights of the day included:
- Sarah’s parents drove up for the day so that Sarah and I could go out without hiring a babysitter.
- A date with Sarah at Can Can Wonderland, featuring miniature golf, hipster food, and a sense of relief that we didn’t have a herd of children to manage.
- The Black Panther — my second viewing, but I really wanted Sarah to see it too so that we could talk about it. It was just as good the second time.
- Temperatures rising above 60° for the first time since November.
- Digging out the grill and firing it up for some delicious items Sarah picked out at the St. Paul Meat Shop.
We haven’t been photo-documenting things as assiduously as we sometimes do, but I did snap this shot of Sarah standing over the crack of doom at Can Can:
Oliver’s birthday landed two days after Thanksgiving this year. Pam and Jeff were able to join us for the day. Sarah had been pummeled by a rough case of strep earlier in the week, but everyone was healthy by the weekend. We went for a walk around Lake Como, ate cake, and enjoyed more Thanksgiving leftovers.
We celebrated Maggie’s fifth birthday today at Highland Park. Maggie is a brash, confident, dynamo at this stage in her life. Her party, at her request, featured rampaging around the park, pin-the-horn-on-the-unicorn, various unicorn- and rainbow themed crafts, cupcakes, and then more rampaging. I love this firebrand who believes absolutely that princesses can save themselves. Happy birthday, Maggie!
It’s this kiddo’s EIGHTH birthday today! This sweet one, who made us parents, who makes his brother and sister feel loved, who more often than not has his nose in a book these days, whose energy is palpable, who loves snuggles before bed, who is gracious and kind…fills my heart to bursting to be his mom. Happy birthday, Griffin!
Sarah’s water broke at 7:15 AM on November 25, 2016, and Oliver Louis Stocco Roy was born twelve and a half hours later, at 7:44 PM. He was 9 lbs 1 oz and 21 inches long. We’ll post more about his name later, but it should be noted that “Louis” is pronounced LOUee after his great grandfather, Louis Stocco.
Sarah’s labor was complicated by the fact that Oliver’s umbilical cord was both wrapped around his neck and fully knotted, cutting off oxygen during contractions. It was an emotionally intense experience for all of us, including the medical staff. Because of the urgency to get the baby out, it was also far more painful and physically traumatic for Sarah than we had anticipated.
Fortunately, moments after his rather dicey arrival, little Oliver loudly proclaimed his health and hunger. He was a rock star overnight, dividing his time between eating and sleeping. Today he got to meet two of his grandparents (the other two, we hope, in January), and his older sister and brother. They were very excited to meet and hold him.
Below are some pictures from Oliver’s first 24 hours. Click on any picture for a larger version.
Maggie started showing interest in her balance bike at the end of February, and by the time her birthday loomed near at the beginning of April, it was clear she would probably be ready for a bike with pedals this summer! She’s much smaller than Griffin was when he started on a pedal bike, so I hunted down a smaller version and we gave it to her on Sunday for her birthday. She was beyond excited to try it! However, it was raining pretty hard all day that day, and even into the morning on Monday. She begged me to let her try it, but knowing there would inevitably be some spills, I told her we needed to wait until it stopped raining.
Well, Monday afternoon it stopped raining, and she was raring to go! I wasn’t sure how it would go for her, but low and behold, on one of her first tries, she took off! I pulled my phone out and grabbed some video. We spent the rest of the day touring the neighborhood with her practicing her new pedal bike. She’s hooked and asks to ride it at every opportunity now! It’s pretty amazing, and such a testament to the balance bike.
I hope you enjoy these short videos of her first rides!
Griffin and Maggie, turning seven and four respectively, agreed to have a joint birthday party this year. Each of them invited seven friends, and we all gathered at a local park for cupcakes and fun. It was a gorgeous day, and the whole event felt unusually relaxed. The kids rampaged around while the adults chatted, kept nominal watch, and guarded the cupcakes (my strategy: eat them).