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Today was the big celebration day.

I was worried last night about it, when the first cake I baked, from scratch mind you, was topped with a royal icing treatment gone awry (ohmalord it was made with meringue powder and smelled and tasted like fish. Worst cake ever, now living in the dumpster), and then I dragged the little guy to Hobby Lobby and the grocery store with me on a mad dash for more chocolate chunks and vanilla extract and a Plan B on how to decorate the cupcakes with something firetruckish. I was nearly in tears as we wove through HobLob, aisle by long aisle, in search of some kind of inspiration to continue in our fabulous party theme.

We totally pulled it off.

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And it…was…awesome.

After the boys went to bed last night, a few friends crashed our place and dove right in to help hang stuff from lights and the ceiling and stuff goodie bags and taste-test the firehouse chili that was going to simmer in the crockpot all night long.

There was even an extra cupcake that wouldn’t fit in the hold-until-tomorrow-container that had to be miserly split into four pieces and shared among a lucky few.

And this morning, when the Terror came downstairs to check out the new decor?

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He promptly called his Happy Birthday banner, “underpanth.” No lie. And just as straight-faced as they come.

We’ve been reading a lot of stories about underpants, lately.

Had I known, we totally would have had an underpants birthday party. Maybe we’ll have one anyway, just because.

There were a couple extra packages that arrived this week, so the Terror 2.0 wasted no more time. Well, he did take care of a little biz first, then he checked out the gifts on the table.

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(Our friend Brad accidentally face-planted out of his truck in the wicked weather several days ago. I had nicknamed him Crash, but Boogieman up there calls him, “Bad.” I think I like that one better.)

Gram sent the 2.0 some books about firetrucks and such, as well as a Fire Chief shirt. Huge big points for her. Huge.

Happy bday morning

The Goldfish scored a gigantoid new pop-up dinosaur book from Gram as well, and I think we’re waiting for a windy day to let him take it to school for show-and-tell day. We’ve decided to take the helmet cam and video him trying to walk into school with that giant sail of a book to see how long it takes him. Oh what fun we’ll have.

I really love having kids.

Finally, we wrangled the boys out of their pjs and into party clothes, and can you even believe what happened next!?

Along came a firetruck.

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They handed out handy-dandy hats.

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The 2.0 kept his on for the rest of the party.



He was mightily blown away by this visit from the firefighters, as was the rest of the crew.

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They climbed in and out and over and I’m-surprised-not-under that big truck.

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They honked stuff and tested the walkie talkies.

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They wiggled and giggled.

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They bravely sat in the driver’s seat and pulled levers and poked at buttons.

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They jumped and hid and sat.

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And that was just on the firetruck.

But there was also an ambulance. Or as I like to call it, “Maggie’s Birthing Room.” (My neighbor will get this.)

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Super exciting.


But also chilly out there. After thoroughly inspecting the emergency responder vehicles from all vantages points, including high and low,

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We were ready for some cake.

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I totally feel the same way about cake. Especially these little cupcakes of joy. Chocolate chunk cupcakes with a chocolate ganache glaze. I don’t even know what any of that means, but I can make the recipe in my sleep now and goshdarnit if those are not the best sweet pieces of cake to pass your lips then color me purple and send me to the moon.

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He knew exactly what to do. Blow the candles out,

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Wait while the Momma pulls the center ooey gooey special reserved one right out of the middle, and…

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Carefully and maniacally supervise, and…

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Ohmygoodness. Check out big bro with his mouth all agape, doing a virtual savor and slobbering a little. Oh so funny.

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We quickly dispersed the rest of those purely joyous cakes and then took a few steps back away from the frenzy.

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It was the safest spot to be in. Don’t mess with littles and their cupcakes.

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It’s serious business, I tell you.Eli

That chocolate covering left funny things on faces, things that look an awful lot like kitten’s whiskers.

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And yes, the children suffered a quick sugar coma,


And this Momma, in particular, got all crazy-eyed and batty like,

Funny tomi

Which left the perfect opportunity to open a few gifts.


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It was at this time during the party in which we decided to take a family photo.

But we kept acquiring a stray kid.

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We couldn’t shake him.

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I finally threw him under the table and held him there with my foot.

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Oh I’m just kidding.

We just yelled at him instead.

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And since it was quite clear that the Terror 2.0 was not finished with that cupcake of his, we handed out goodie bags during the mass exodus to crashing kids before things went very awry.

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It was perfect.

In the quiet aftermath, the Terror sweetly requested “Happy Birthday” as his nap-time lullaby (only four times), and we looked at firetruck books as he quickly gave up the good fight and fell into a deep sleep, complete with soft baby sighs and almost-manly snores.

It gave me time to think about the last two years. About how he’s made our family so complete.

And I rest really, really happy.