Thanksgiving weekend 2011

You were not thankful for the tie I made you wear on Thursday…

and you wouldn’t crack a smile for that rare family photo:

But I was thankful for how delicious you looked in that tie…

…and you were quite thankful that I let you take it off soon enough:

And more than anything, I was thankful to just watch you play, tieless and free…

…and the next day, to watch you act silly in your pajamas until noon…

…and yet the next, to watch you contemplate the feeling of your crazy hair blowing in the wind:

Tomorrow you won’t don a tie, but a school uniform — and I’ll have to change out of my pajamas before the sun even comes up. But it’s been a sweet mini-vacation, hasn’t it, my Finch?

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belated birthday party photos

It’s been a month already: it’s about time I post photos from Finn’s 3rd birthday party…

Although it stormed non-stop for the two days prior to Finn’s birthday and meteorologists threatened us with a 60% chance of rain the day of the party, not a drop fell. It was a good thing, because as you can see, it was an ocean-animal themed pool party. I dumped about fifty plastic sea-creatures into the water, provided a few water-squirting toys, and even though the pool was a bit cooler than the 90 degree temperatures it held all summer, the kids still went in.

We haphazardly set up a slip’n’slide, too, which was even more of a hit:

Finn and his leopard seal had a marvelous time:

And then came Finn’s personally requested vanilla & chocolate-chip beluga cake:

And oh, how he enjoyed it…

For our vegan guests, my sister Ili and her boyfriend Brian made beautiful and delicious sugar cookies in the shapes of dolphins, whales, sharks, angelfish, and sea horses:

After everyone reveled in cake, cookies, and chocolate ice cream, we¬†gathered together to watch Finn’s 3-year video (well, it felt like it took three years to make!), and then some of the kids sat down to color and decorate fish at the arts and crafts table I had set up in case a torrential downpour ruined outdoor plans:

We hung them up on ocean banner paper, which actually provided an extended art activity for several days as Finn and I added more to it a bit at a time throughout the week:

After the swimming, sliding, eating, and crafting, a few of the older kids enjoyed operating our giant, remote-controlled clownfish balloon…

…while a few of the younger kids continued playing with Finn in his room. He had so, so, so much fun! But the day was long, long, long… and my boy was exhausted:

Still, he was upset when his two remaining guests finally left, attempting to take with them two colorful helium-filled balloons that, in the end, got away as well. As they drifted up into the sky, further away from us, Finn cried and cried, “I want the balloons to come back!” It was a new lesson in letting go for him, and I felt a little sad myself as I put him into the bath a few minutes later, my no-longer-two-year-old boy.

But I smiled in the dark at the foot of Finn’s bed when we quietly chatted about the good moments of the day. It was a conversation with a three-year-old, and it was, like the party, a delight.