Eleven!

The oldest is 11! Which means he’ll be 22 by what will feel like next week. Man, time flies. And the memories blur. I remember so many things about his 11 years but the memories are sporadic. I don’t recall all the day-to-day happenings. Probably having five kids affects the memories. Never did I ever think, after having Blaise, that we would end up with four siblings for the little guy! He is the best brother and 11-year-old kid I know, and he has all the qualities of a fine young man. I’m very proud of the kiddo!

Without going on-and-on about how wonderful Blaise is—like any parent would (and how nobody wants to hear)—let’s cut to the chase and get to his birthday this year.


On his actual birthday, September 9, we celebrated at home. Like we always do. It was a Thursday this year. Brian usually decorates the night before but we switched it up this year. Because Blaise sleeps in, and Brian was too tired the night before, Brian got up early and decorated before sunrise. When Blaise eventually made his ay downstairs, the decorations were up. He didn’t have any classes on his birthday so we let him game all day, like he wanted to do. No complaints from Blaise!

That evening, we had Blaise’s dinner of choice, Yakisoba. Followed by cake and opening presents. Blaise wanted to make his own cake this birthday. He’s quite the fan of baking. He made two round cakes, stacked them, and coated them in icing. I suppose he took a break from gaming to make his own cake. Still, no complaints. The cake turned out well and tasted great. On to presents.

Maive helps. With everything. Including opening presents. Thankfully Blaise is the best big brother and welcomes her help. With Maive’s help, she and Blaise opened a requested LEGO set, Roblox gift card, riddle book, Mario game, gaming shirt, and a Twix. The 11-year-old was a happy camper.


The Saturday after his actual birthday, we had a small party. We weren’t sure about having a party with Covid—especially indoors—but went for it, with precautions. Masks, hand sanitizer, and open doors for airflow. We scheduled his birthday party at an escape room in Redmond. How fun it was! It was his first all-boys party, with no sisters invited. And I think it worked out better, keeping it to his closest buddies without any sister there taking attention away from the birthday guy. They had two escape rooms to solve: a Minecraft-themed room and a Harry Potter-themed room.

The party started at noon, and we had the boys eat pizza first so they wouldn’t be hungry while solving the escape room. It also allowed for a few kiddos who were running late because of morning sports games. After eating pizza, they started in on the Harry Potter-themed room. They can’t call it Harry Potter because of licensing so they call it a Magic Escape Room. The boy solved in within the 45-minute time frame. Score. The second room was a Minecraft-themed room, again licensing. It’s a Crafted Escape Room. They were allotted an hour, and solved it in about 40 minutes. After all the kiddos were picked up and we were cleaning up, the lady made an effort to let us know that we had a smart group of kids. Apparently it usually takes groups—kids and adults—close to an hour to solve. Smart or not, it was a nice compliment.

After solving both rooms, it was cupcake time. I never really thought about candles on cakes before Covid but man, super nasty thinking about all the spit blown on cakes while blowing out candles. Which is why we opt for cupcakes now. And we’ll stick with cupcakes long after Covid. Cakes at home, but we’re family. The boys each picked out cupcakes and ate them outside. It was a perfect setup, with the door open and some space to eat out front. Covid-friendly.

Blaise loved his party. And it seems all his buddies had fun. It was a smooth, easy party without much concern about anything. My kind of party.


Until year 12.

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