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It was the Mister’s birthday last week. 5 golden years, how quickly they’ve gone. I can still remember the day he was born. I’d snuggled him close to my chest and that evening asked the nurse if all seemed OK. He hadn’t made a peep. Just slept and ate, slept and ate. In hindsight I should have recognized a little personality in the making: easygoing, not one to make a fuss.

It was with this no-nonsense attitude that he tagged along to Lauren’s doctor’s visit the day before his birthday. The older kids were off school that day, and it was a perfect opportunity to spend a few hours in Central Park…




Eating Oreos. While wearing a Mustache sweater. It is Movember after all.


Maybe one day his grill will look like that. For now we’ll chalk it up to a good case of Oreo teeth.

Central Park is so pretty at this time of year…..


Did you know that wild cats live in the Park? Sam found a leopard and stalked it…


…just long enough to find out that it was actually his sister. Who, much like her counterparts in the wild, is quiet but can be friendly if tamed….


We left the park in search of food and found a local falafel restaurant.

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Sam discovered that he loves falafel and was saddened that Lauren’s sesame allergy prevented her from trying a bite of my sandwich. So he chose to have falafel sandwiches for his birthday dinner the next day, hummus- and sesame-free. Total gentleman….

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The skies were still dark when somebody woke me up the next morning. He had an inkling that I’d satisfied his biggest birthday wish: Dino Zoomer.


Charging yet pettable…

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The other kids eventually woke up and decided to write Sam birthday cards. Sam wrote his own, as you do when you’re 5.


When Sam was at school I baked his fantasy birthday cake. The cake that he’d been begging me to make since the beginning of time. Or at least since last Summer when Lauren planted the idea that she’d like this very cake for her own birthday in December.


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It’s a pretty good cake. Joy the Baker’s chocolate cake dressed up head-to-toe in Kit Kats…

I hid the cake in my bedroom. Not because it I didn’t want to ruin the surprise – more because my friend Jack the dog has been consuming a few too many treats from previously undiscoverable places. You may remember the farmhouse frittata…there was another episode that I’ve been too ashamed to share. It involved a full roast chicken with not a speck of evidence save for a roasting dish on the ground and some grease smears at its side.

One day I’ll come home to find that he’s managed to pry open the door to my room. Until then, that’s my safety zone.

I had grand plans to make the falafel dinner but then realized that I could either drive myself into the ground with last-minute stress, or I could pick up supplies at the Hummus & Pita co.


I chose option B. All were satisfied, including the birthday boy who looked a wee bit intimated by the size and scope of his birthday spread.

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Finally, the moment we’d all been waiting for…

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Slam dunk. In Sam’s words, the “best birthday ever”. Which also proves my theory: nothing beats a quiet birthday at home.

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