birthdays and beachin

It's really hard for me to type the letters F I V and E.  It's like five is a whole new era, even if he's no different.  Just seems so old.  And school-ish.  And out of the toddler years.  And all that stuff that makes you want to cry.

Ryder woke up on his birthday cheery and happy just like he does every morning.  Then we gave him his presents.  And his excitement over a box of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle bandaids.... he's so easy to please.

Either these muffins are getting smaller or this candle count is getting higher. I think I know which one it is.

We booked the beach the weekend after Ryder's fifth birthday so I almost decided not to do a party.  And just let that be his party.  But he was dying for a birthday party at Chuck-e-Cheese and I really couldn't bear to deny him of it.  So since he only goes to school Tuesday through Thursday we just did a class party at Chuck-e-Cheese on Monday, his actual birthday.  I'm so glad I did.  He told me it was a party he would never forget - multiple times.

I couldn't figure out why he loved it so much.  Then I realized.  It's all about the game.  And winning.  And he's his father's child!

My favorite game there was the booth where you sit and smile and they take your photo and draw  you a picture of your photo.  But that's just me... the non competitive one in the family.

Ryder was so precious up there with the mouse.  He was all over that situation.

Proud of that guitar too.  But I just expected him to hold it for a minute and then bring it to his seat.

And then this happened...

And for the footage... Can't tell you how many times I've caught him grinning ear to ear watching this on my phone.

Chocolate Cake time!  He specifically requested chocolate.  I love how he chooses his own things now because seeing the excitement over getting things he actually asks for is just priceless.

I am so glad I have this blog because I don't even know how I would be able to put into words all the billions of reasons I love that Ryder-Roo. Thanks to ole blog, I think it's well known what an angel on earth this boy is for me.  He is truly a light in my life.  Ryder, you amaze us every single day.

We were supposed to go to the beach on Wednesday.  Early, early Wednesday.  Tuesday around 2:00 I called John Michael at work.  I said, I'm about to pack up.  Let's leave tonight.  He is a man so he had to think about it for a minute and call me back when it was his idea :) So he said he was good with it but that I needed to be packed up by the time he got home so we could walk out the door.  He got home about 5.  Miraculously I packed us all up (excluding picky packer) in 2 hours, which is major because I usually start packing several days before we leave.  We left around 5:30.  We were shooting for driving straight to Orange Beach and just getting a hotel somewhere there.  Once we pulled into Orange Beach John Michael got the bright idea to call our condo and see if it was empty and if we could check in on Tuesday instead of Wednesday.  Well that worked out so hallelujah!

We got on up and had a tasty breakfast at Brick and Spoon.

And then, since I couldn't enjoy my pretty coffee mug due to Rhodes trying to chase and cut everyone in the restaurant with the knives.... I finished my coffee outside while daddy worked.

Really didn't take these three long to spot the twisty slide two condos down... We're hotel crashers.

Dinner.  TMI here.... but Rhodes only goes number two once a day.  In the morning.  Around 9 a.m.  So I didn't pack a diaper bag (sue me). But Rhodes switched things up a little bit on vacation.  And went two-a-days style.  Second time being at dinner.  On the night I didn't pack a diaper bag.  You know I call JM the diaper nazi.  Diaper nazi skreeetched those tires right out of dinner and drove to the nearest drug store to buy diapers and wipes.  That daddy though...

 Let's go fly a kite...

Granddaddy and Rhodes sat where we sat 90 percent of the time... under our TENT!  It was smokin!

Keepin those heads burnt-free.

My sweet family!
Shipp's Harbour Grill.

Ohhhh don't you worry.  We got another ground floor condo.  4 hour baby nap time = adult pool time.

Took some real professional iphone pics.

Slight distraction occured.

We had some friends in town too!

Ryder and T took that kite for a spin.

To the arcade we went.  We had two missions for the birthday boy on this trip.  Arcade and a shark tooth necklace.

721 tickets later (thanks to a very talented aunt), Ryder won a whoppin 4 inch rocket ship!!!

Nanni and Jeffrey competition.

Ryder requested a chocolate dinosaur birthday cake to Nanni and she delivered!!! Topped off the TMNT napkins.

Ryder even got to share some with his girlfriend.

We got to experience a beautiful double rainbow.  Breathtaking over the ocean!

I'll claim these three :)

That life-proof case came in handy.

 Don't know what they were doing here, but they made me smile looking at it!

I guess they were ready to pick up their double date.

Hours and hours were spent digging up sea shells.  Ryder is dressed for the sifting of the shells occasion in his shark tooth necklace (which he wore proudly his first day back to school).  His instructions were to make three piles.  Ryder's keep pile.  Mommy's keep pile.  Rhodes pile (better known as the cracked and broken shells).

We had a wonderful vacation spent with wonderful family!  It was nice taking a fall vacation, little cheaper and less crowded.  But it also made me a sad knowing this is the last year we were able to do that.  Next fall Ryder will join the real world!!!

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