Party, party, party and The Face Plant

Bode has it pretty darn good when it comes to birthdays. We’ve been in Canada the last couple of summers so he usually gets a fete with friends before we leave. As previously mentioned, this year it was a Super Mario/Beach Party.

Party #1: The Super Mario/Beach Party

 Party #2: The Pretend Birthday

We wanted to celebrate Bode’s birthday in Canada before my brother and his family took off for their two-week lake vacation.

And truth be told, we really wanted Jane’s famous beef tenderloin.

So, we planned a little celebration on our back deck that included fabulous food.

The Cool Kids Table

 And fun with Grandma’s treasure hunt with lots of clues and goodies.

Scavenger Hunt Haul

And a Stampede ice cream birthday cake. After all, when in Rome.

Or rather, that would be cowtown…..

Party #3: The Real Birthday.

The boy had VERY specific instructions about how he wanted to spend his birthday, starting with breakfast in bed with pancakes and a fresh fruit salad.

Though it was already 9 a.m., his moody sister wasn’t yet awake (thanks to their gloriously dark and cool basement) and didn’t appreciate the interruption. I enthusiastically asked Bode about something he’d be able to do now that he is 6 that he couldn’t do when he was 5.

Hadley interjected. “Now that he’s 6, he has to pay for Stampede.”

Trust Grumpy Head to remind us of the 5 and under free policies that no longer apply.

At Bode’s request, we went for an epically long golf cart ride in the gully.

And went to Peter’s Drive-in for their famous milkshakes.

That evening we gave him the choice of going to the Telus Spark, Calgary’s new Science Center or to a gorgeous picnic area Dad and I stumbled upon during a bike ride. Much to my delight, he chose the latter so we had a fantastic picnic at Shannon Terrace in Fish Creek Provincial Park, one of the largest urban parks in Canada.

There is an adjacent Environmental Learning Center (that I’m bitter our school never attended) and a network of paths perfect for little people and dogs to explore.

And glorious Fish Creek is always great for water play.

Unless you’re a water-adverse dog and get dragged through it.

Dad stoked up a stellar fire to cook smokies, which is a little cut of heaven when you live in Denver where there seems to be an eternal fire ban.

My friend Stacey joined us for the festivities as well. I recently realized I’m always the photographer and forget to take pictures of myself so here’s a token shot.

Now, for the moment that had us laughing. There was a gopher-filled meadow that kept the kids entertains for HOURS. When they weren’t chasing gophers with the dogs, they were “fishing” for gophers using gummy worms as bait on the dog leashes.

Suddenly, I saw crying Bode racing toward me with blood gushing down his face. He was so hysterical I couldn’t get the story out of him for a while. Had a gopher fought back?

The story is much better than that. Part of their strategy for catching the gophers was to pick some grass and place it on top of their holes. Sobbing, Bode relayed the story.

“And den, I was pulling up the grass but it was too hard.”
“Too hard?”
“Yes, too hard, I was pulling on the grass and it wouldn’t come out. And I fell over.”

Then I realized what happened: While trying to pull the grass that wouldn’t budge, he had fallen forward and face-planted in Said Grass.

Dad confirmed it all.

“I was watching him. He just just kind of tipped over.”

Better luck for Birthday No. 7. Minus killer grass mounds and gophers.

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