We haven’t had big birthday parties in the Covid times. Actually, the last big get-together we had was a joint Zach-and-Erin (and kinda our dad) birthday party last March. We didn’t realize it was to be a last hurrah.

At any rate, we haven’t had big birthday parties in the Covid times, as I said. I don’t know how big Fawkes and Phoenix’s third birthday party would have been in normal times- maybe there would have been a bit more of my family in attendance. We’d have probably done something on the weekend and invited the Lewises, the Pollards, maybe the Natolis, the Germans. (That’s not their last name, but they’re German so they’re the Germans.)

As it was, we kept it pretty small with just Tristen’s immediate family and my sister. We would have hosted it at our house, but a movie is being shot at our next door neighbor’s house and the production company is leasing our driveway to store some trailers and a fancy port-a-potty. The entire street is closed off the length of our neighborhood too, although I think you can get through at night. So we had it at Torrie’s house.

Tristen decided on a dinosaur theme: 3-rex (like t-rex, get it?), so I printed out and colored a couple tyrannosaurus pictures and Tristen cut out a bunch of threes and we taped those all to the dining room walls last night. Then we set up some doughnuts on a plate and put a bunch of dinosaur toys around (and on) them before we woke them up this morning. Tristen got to hang around a few minutes before heading to work, then it was just me and the boys for a while.

A little after she left I let them open a present, which was a little tunnel with two tents on the ends. Tristen had also brought down a garbage bag full of plastic balls to put in them to make them like a ball pit. Of course their main birthday present was last week.

Danielle came to babysit and brought her recently-turned-four-year-old daughter Julianne with her. It didn’t take her too long to warm up.

The boys really enjoy Erin, whom they call “Aunie Nin,” and she got here in the mid-afternoon (Danielle only stays until nap time), just in time for me to walk down to Torrie’s to get our van and go pick Milly up from school. It was a lot easier for her to do that than for me to take Fawkes, Phoenix, and Griffin down to Torrie’s in a wagon then load them all up in order to wait in a car pick-up line at school.

Milly’s still using her crutches, but she can get around without them a bit better than before, and in fact the doctors want her to start using her injured leg more.

Not long after Tristen got home we all went to Torrie’s house for pizza (for the kids) and Mexican, a platter from La Costa. It was a pretty good deal, I thought, for about $50.

There was eating and dancing. The Romeros play a lot of Just Dance, and Gabriel has picked up a lot of moves. Sebastian too, of course, but given that Gabriel is only a few months older than Griffin, it’s really cute seeing him do some real dance moves.

We took a break for cupcakes. After the singing and the blowing out of candles, Tristen smashed the cupcakes into Fawkes and Phoenix’s faces. I guess Sebastian felt left out, so he smashed his into his own face. Twice. Poor Milly and Gabriel got no smashes, and Griffin oddly barely picked at his, so Pappy and I got a little bit each.

I took Milly to Tsunami, the middle school church thing, tonight. Amanda told me it was going to be a talk on sex and dating. Milly wasn’t looking forward to it, but I kept bringing it up because I thought it was funny.

I got plenty of texts wishing the boys a happy birthday. I’d mentioned doing a family Zoom to my mom, but we things stayed pretty active throughout the evening and up to bedtime.

I got back to Torrie’s and picked up the fam. We got the boys down a little later than their usual bedtime, and that was Fawkes and Phoenix’s third birthday!

So what’s new with them? They’re starting to put more complete (albeit short) sentences together and saying all kinds of things. Unfortunately one of their most popular phrases is “Doe ike it,” which translates to “I don’t like it,” which really just means “I don’t want to.” You can tell they’re thinking in a more advanced way with how they think things through and build towers and play with their toys. On the tablet, Fakes can do decently well with matching games.

They’re turning into little boys. I think I’ve said this before, but sometimes I feel bad for them (and for Griffin) that they’re all so close together, because this is a really fun age, but it’s really hard to enjoy and appreciate it with each one individually. They’re such cute, sweet little boys (most of the time), and they’re so wonderful (at times) that I just want to drink up their scrumptious little baby faces and hold onto them forever, but when there are three so close in age it’s hard to be able to take it in and hold it. Sometimes I want time to hurry up a bit, but I also don’t want to miss out on this stage.

Happy birthday, Fawkes. Happy birthday, Phoenix. I wish you all the best in the world, and I hope I can set you up to have it.