Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Birthdays Galore

I feel like it was yesterday that I was blogging about Dex's first birthday. And here we are, two months later, recooperating from the week-and-a-half-extravaganza-birthday-mania. For those of you who need a little catching up, Gavin, Owen, and I all have birthdays within just over a week of eachother....and that's not even counting Halle's birthday on September 29th. Not to be a party pooper, but I'm about birthday-ed out right about now.

Beginning the festivities was my birthday--the Big 3-0. Gavin--knowing I have been dreading this day for at least two years now--surprised me with a once in a lifetime trip to New York City to the U.S. Open....something I thought I could only see in my dreams. The trip was awesome; not only did we attend two sessions of the U.S. Open, but we also made time to see Ground Zero, the Statue of Liberty (from a distance), and Times Square. Here is our trip in pictures:
[Sidenote: Gavin took care of not only our two boys while I was gone, but also my nieces and nephew that I am now watching every day. Props to the best husband in the world for such an awesome birthday gift!]

Arthur Ashe Stadium (holds 23,500); this match we were watching the #1 Women's player in the world, Caroline Wozniacki

The U.S. Open from the top of Arthur Ashe Stadium

Watching an interview with Jo-Willy of my favorites. He was ten feet away!

Jim Courier (or should I say the back of his head) with two guys I feel I should know, but can't come up with anything to this day

New York skyline atop Arthur Ashe...awesome

An ESPN interview with #1 Novak Djokovic; minutes before this interview, Novak walked RIGHT behind me. I could have reached out and touched him!

One of my faves Fernando Verdasco; I think I like him so much because he looks like Gavin to me :)

James him. An inspirational American tennis player.

The tantalizing trio in front of the U.S. Open

Times Square baby!

By the harbor a few blocks down from Ground Zero and in front of the Statue of Liberty...just a whole lot to look out down here


Lady Liberty

The new Twin Towers, ten years later...pretty darn humbling

Inside a 9/11 memorial museum; these were pictures, notes, and other memorabilia gathered shortly after 9/11 attached to a Statue of Liberty look-a-like

Duh...Wall Street

Another 9/11 memorial...a picture of what it looked like that day

Me at one of the greatest places on Earth

Andy Roddick

Maria Sharapova...and against Gavin's uncle Dale's wishes, NO I did not get a picture of her naked. Wow, can this girl hit; she was hands down the coolest one player to watch in person. I was lucky to see her, too...she lost the next round.

Poor Gavin. His birthday was kind of sandwiched between mine and Owen's, so it didn't probably get the attention it deserved. He was off of work, so that was a present in itself. The boys and I (with my first daycare paycheck) bought him a leaf blower that he has been wanting for awhile now (I know, how exciting). Cap that off with dove hunting in the evening, which was kind of a bust due to the lack of birds, and Gavin's big day was in the books. Sucks to be 29....

Finally, O-man turned the big 0-4 on Labor Day. Owen's birthdays are bittersweet for us. On one hand, they represent him getting bigger, older, and harder to transport; they also represent him getting closer and closer to that evil world of older kids, bullies, and school. On the other hand (which is the hand we need to be focusing on obviously), they represent new beginnings and new hope that this next year will be full of improvements and gains. I can honestly tell you that Gavin and I haven't been this motivated and this hopeful about Owen's health and wellbeing for a very long time....years even. Owen spent his birthday eating REAL, non-ketogenic diet cake, having a TON less seizures, and merely just showed up for it, unlike last year (though the lack of nap taking that day made him extremely tired by his party time of 7:00 pm). His seizures are continuing to decrease, and we can only keep hoping for more and more success with the meds and acupuncture. Year 4 is going to be awesome, I can feel it!!!

Grandpa tickling Owen

Owen sporting Papa John's hat

Owen had a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse themed party...because we dance to the Hot Dog song and he cracks up

Kyla, Paige, and Kaelynn...the three Mouseketeers

Kendall, Calyn, and Max....three more cute little mouseketeers

All the kids helping Owen blow out his candles

More help....this time opening presents

Yep....Owen fell asleep in the middle of opening his presents

Max showing off his goods...and trying not to look at the TV behind the camera

Birthday morning! Owen showing off his cool new shirts he got from the Baker's, waiting to head over to the Labor Day parade

Uncle Bill with Owen's cousins and Dex

Max and Owen showing off their matching skull under shirts, though it's hard to tell in this picture
 What a fun-filled, exhausting week and a half!