Sunday, April 07, 2013

Celebrating Brayden's Fourteenth

Saturday was Brayden's fourteenth birthday.  Unbelievable.  

When we originally got the Webfoot schedule and realized Mikayla would have a tournament on his birthday weekend, he asked if we could go up on Friday night and spend the Saturday doing fun things in Portland.  Unfortunately, the drive up to Portland (on Friday night) had John and I nearly tearing our hair out in frustration with the kiddos being a little too out of control.  Whether it's arguing, being really loud, or making obnoxious noises, for whatever reason their behavior was not conducive with our worn-out Friday moods.  It did not bode well for the idea of a long family road-trip in the summer.

Saturday morning started better, though.  Brayden was given a card I'd found that fit him perfectly.  As we affectionately refer to him as our otter....(so much of one in playful spirit) - finding a card that said, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO SOMEONE WHO'S NOT LIKE ALL THE OTTERS!" was ideal.  Wrapped in the presents was some "Phineas" merchandise for his upcoming days at Harlow as his alter-ego.  While he appreciated those items - they weren't the big ticket item he was hoping for - a pair of "Beats" headphones.  We'd thought through that item and decided instead of purchasing it ourselves, we'd give Brayden the value of that item and let him decide if he wanted to put the money towards those (if they were really worth it) or, if he'd like to spend it in other ways.  We were pleased when he chose the latter.

In fact, spending some of that money was the first destination of the day - to the sprawling Washington Square Mall to purchase some used video games he'd researched online and some Vans.

The next stop was "Sky High".  Brayden had been here a couple of times before, but Mikayla had never had the opportunity.  We thought it was a very thoughtful thing that Brayden did in choosing this activity, knowing how much it would make his sister happy to finally make a visit.  

If I lived nearby, and was re-starting the "toddler years" with my kids, I'd definitely make weekly visits to this place part of my budget.  Especially with the newly built (and not pictured) little kids maze area.   Such a great open space that has kids moving and happy.  

For big kids - maybe even more fun.  Individual trampoline pads, a dodgeball court, a foam pit to do flips into....and an excellent snack bar (John raved about their burger!). 

Because John had hurt his lower back power-washing the week prior, he opted to just take pics.  I might have opted out normally, but with this whole #20daysinapril thing, I couldn't resist the opportunity to log in another cardio.  I was a little concerned about the activity causing a headache or over-heating, but I tried to listen to my body and successfully avoid any ill-effects.  Yeah!

Seriously, not a favorite image of myself at all, but John was proud of the shot - and while I may be failing in a lot of ways physically - I still have my flexibility.


In line at the dodgeball area.  Brayden was  a "beast" in there....

Over at the pit....John took a couple of videos of them.  Brayden was doing black flips, nearly a double front flip, and Mikayla was pulling off single front flip.  It made me cringe each time I watched them - scary! - but, also very impressive.

The day proceeded with some more shopping with just John and Brayden, Applebee's for dinner, and some family swim time at the hotel pool.  We were a little concerned Brayden would feel a little let down with the lack of "structure" (in both gifts and plan) for his birthday, but he actually said he'd do it again that way - and was really happy with how his birthday played out.  How blessed we are that our 14 YEAR-OLD would consider being with his family all day one of his best birthdays ever!

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