Celebrating 4!

We had a HUGE blowout party for the first birthday.  We had an amazing birthday trip to SeaWorld in San Antonio for the second birthday.  For the third birthday we went back to the PARTY.  In talking to the boys about what they wanted to do, have another party or go somewhere.  They both chose GO SOMEWHERE!  These are my kind of boys. I always chose to travel on my birthday too. After much debate and several options, they decided to "go back to the orca aquarium."  They have a couple of stories they tell about the first trip but they look at the pictures all the time and the videos and both wanted to go again.  Fine by us!

The weekend after their birthday, we packed up and headed to San Antonio to celebrate.  Poppy, Dee, and GG flew in from Alabama and met us there.  They were just a little excited to see them. 

battleship with Dee Dee 
After a yummy local lunch, our first stop.. the mall for birthday shopping! 

First trip to the Lego store.  I assure you it did not disappoint.  

After being allowed to choose one thing that they wanted for their birthday (within reason) they both settled on a Lego watch.  Let me tell.  True Love.  They told us the time all weekend.  Eli wears his to school.  The watch band is actually made of Lego's that sweet Daddy worked so hard to put together for Beckett when he cried to wear it out of the store!

Next stop.  What will later be called "Eli's favorite part" of the whole weekend.  Their very first trip to Build-A-Bear!  A very interesting way to watch the different personalities of my kiddos.  Mr. Beckett is very decisive.  He looks once, makes a decision, falls in love, and is always happy with what he chooses.  He immediately said "penguin" browsed the clothes and within a few minutes knew he wanted an "Iron Man penguin". 

deciding on his stuffing 

warming up the heart 

making a wish 
Eli, on the other hand, had some shopping to do.  He looked at EVERYTHING.  twice. no three times at least.  And finally after much convincing he decided on a "camo bear" with Yoda costume.  

choosing the perfect heart 

sealing it up!
Then of course, they had to give them baths and get them dressed.

Giving him his first bath 

"am I doing a great job mom?"

And finally.. introducing "Iron Man Penguin" and "Yoda"! 

Even GG got in on the fun! 

I think Dee Dee had as much fun too! 

For dinner we hit The Riverwalk and The Rainforest Cafe.  Not for the food which was barely edible but for the animals of course!  

Beckett was actually terrified of the animals 

This one was not.  Such a happy boy 

Lava cake!

The highlight of the evening for me?  A carriage ride home.  The boys LOVED it.  I loved it.  The night was beautiful and the weather was perfect.  We snuggled under the lights and learned a little bit about San Antonio.  It was a magical end to a special day for my sweet boys.

Carriage Ride San Antonio 2013

During the fall season, SeaWorld doesn't open until noon so we had a morning together.  We had a great breakfast and then headed out for their annual birthday boots shopping trip.  We visited a couple of places and then got lucky.  Such cute boots on sale!

ostrich for Eli 
Alligator for Beckett 
And then it was finally time for the main attraction.. SeaWorld!!

So ready to come in 

Then we were off to races, because someone insisted we be the first in line for the Shamu coaster.  No one was standing in his way :-)

Those are happy faces!
This sweet boy wanted to ride the seahorse bench with Dee Dee

Mommy's precious birthday boy!
After the rides, it was time to see some animals!  For their birthday  we gave them each a ticket to the Dolphin Encounter.  This was a chance for them to see one close up, touch and feel, and even feed a dolphin.  They were super excited.  And so big going up there by themselves!

happy about seeing the dolphins!

not quite sure what to think 

feeding him!

I think the dolphins are just so beautiful.  But the true attraction of course are the whales.  The boys know them as "orcas" but someone was saying to them.. are you going to see Shamu?  Totally confused because they have no idea, I said "yes! we are going to see Shamu!"  Later, Eli looked at me and said "are we going to see hairbrush too?" Ha!  He thought we said Shampoo!  Now forever, the orcas will be Shampoo to me :-)  They did not disappoint.  Everything they remembered from last time was even better.  There were babies one too this time.  My kids faces? Unforgettable. 

Beckett dancing to the music 

Loving it 

The fun didn't stop there, we were off to catch the Sea Lion show.  We saw this same show 2 years ago and the boys were old enough this year to catch the plot and the jokes.  They are still laughing about the sneaky little sea otter.  And the huge walrus that stole the fish.  They insisted on sitting in the splash zone.  Good daddy and sweet aunt GG handled that.  I stayed nice and dry up top.  

sweet boys watching with Daddy 

the walrus!

And then we got to feed the sea lions. 

Couldn't leave the park without games too!  The boys raced and each one a Shamu.  Then they scooped up ducks for a Santa. Poppy got in the action and swooshed the ball to win 2 basketballs for the boys!

Shampoo's for everyone! Ha!

Poppy and his buddy. Just walking along talking so sweet 
Once last stop and the penguins and sharks and these no napping, birthday partying, animal loving boys were crashing!

In what could be one of the most hilarious moments of their childhood, Justin devised a plan in the car to keep our tired little nappers resting.  Oh yeah.  I could not stop laughing.  The bell men were taking pictures.  We walked in right at happy hour and so many people stopped us to take pictures.  Celebrity birthday pooped kiddos right here.  This should be an add for all the fun you can have at SeaWorld! Out of the car, into the room, on the couch, and then to the bed without every waking up.  And slept until morning.  14 hours people. 

I could kiss their sweet sleepy faces off.  Eli is still holding an apple!

The next day, they woke up refreshed and ready to go.  We had a few hours before we needed to head back to Houston so we looked on the internet for some top kiddo activities.  We ended up at the zoo/park on the train.  As we were riding, the conductor told us about Kiddie Park at one of the stops.  We thought that sounded like a good idea so we hopped off for a while.  It turned out to be an AWESOME idea.  One of the cutest kids places I have ever been too. Perfect for their age.. they were in love!

all aboard!

Don't you love it when a non-plan turns out better than any plan you could have made?  After a fantastic lunch at Good Time Charlie's we headed back to the car to say goodbye to our amazing weekend.   Did they miss having a birthday party? Not one bit.  They basked in the attention, were thrilled with the wonder and amazement of God's creatures, and enjoyed every minute of their weekend birthday celebration.   Now, that's my kind of party :-) 

The Riley's 
The Riley FamilyComment