Happy Birthday to Easton and Layla!
The twins finally turned four today and we had a wildly successful birthday thanks to Kendra's hard work and my... showing up and participating. I went in late to the office and then took off work early to spend as much time as possible with them. Besides, there's no need to be late twice in the same day. that was a joke about arriving late and leaving early, in case you didn't catch that.
Anyway, I caught a quick picture as they headed out the front door for school. Easton in his business-casual wear and Layla with her lovely curls and dress.
Earlier that morning Kendra took a few extra minutes to add some bounce to Layla's hair for their special birthday day at school. Actually, Easton has HIS special day at school because the teacher is smart enough to give each student their own special day. Layla's will be Thursday.
Easton was the line leader, and enjoyed many other privileges on his big day including wearing a crown and giving goodie bags to his classmates. Kendra was able to attend the class and watch as he shined in his 15 minutes of fame.
For their birthday dinner the 4 Webbs went to Rustler's Rooste at their request. Free bullhorn hats were big hit.
Kendra and I have been promising them the chance to eat Rattlesnake for several weeks. The twins were excited until the plate arrived. You can tell by the concerned look on their face that this was going to take some serious bravery.
Only took a couple of minutes to explain the snake bones and lead by example as we ate the little pieces. Then they dove in and ate the whole thing (except the bones and lettuce) especially once they realized the bowl of sauce is Ranch dressing. The twins will eat anything if given the chance to dunk it in sauce. The rattlesnake eating proves my previous sentence is not an exaggeration.
Layla learned to pose somewhere. I'm not sure where, but she's getting a little too good at it. Batting her eyelashes and tilting her head down with a sheepish smile. Then the shoulder turn thew me for a loop because that's a little over the top. After 15,000 pictures per year for 4 years it's easy to see why she's comfortable around the camera.
The best part of dinner for Easton was the cotton candy on fire. Mr. Earth Science Boy was in awe as his two favorite things were in the same bucket. The amazement of fire and the sweet dessert. he went to town on the cotton candy and they both turned into a sticky mess.
Then the grand finale of the experience was the big slide in the restaurant. They made 20 or so runs before we had to make room for other kids. This is my favorite picture of the week because nothing warms my heart more than seeing Easton and Layla happy.
We stepped outside on the patio, which sits high up on a hill overlooking the entire town. We watched the sun set during dinner so by the time we took the picture it was already dark.
At home we did the official cake and celebration. Thanks to technology Ouma, Oupa, and GG were able to join us via Skype on the laptop.
Kendra gave an extra effort to make them their desired cakes. Easton with Lightning McQueen and Mater. Layla with Disney princesses and pink frosting. I enjoy their birthday this year more than any birthday I've had for the past 20 years.
They opened a few presents, which included every Disney princess for Layla and a completion of the Cars 2 matchbox cars for Easton.
Last Sunday as I helped Layla get ready for church I noticed she didn't have many dresses in her closet. She out-grew all of them and we didn't inherit any from our hand-me-down friends. She has plenty of clothes and many princess costumes, but that's not the same as church clothes.
I gladly took her out on a Daddy Date to remedy the situation. We stopped by to get slurpees because she seems to think that is extra special when the two of us get one without Easton. Then we did some serious shopping. She gathered two rounds of 15 or so dresses and I helped her try them one. This one was a winner. More importantly, I see how she looks at herself in the mirror and smile with a grateful heart. That look, in case you can't tell, is confidence. pure confidence.
She is absolutely convinced she is the most beautiful girl in the world with or without the dress. My main role as a father for Layla is to call out her femininity and love her unconditionally. I will achieve this purpose by meeting her three biggest needs: Attention, Affection, and Approval. a.k.a The Triple A's. Those three words repeat in my head like a broken record continually when I'm around Layla. It's very simple: I know what her needs are and I am equipped to meet them. End of story. Her self-esteem is my responsibility alone until the day I give her away to her husband-to-be. Between now and then I can measure my success by the way she looks at herself in the mirror.
Except when Daddy picks out an ugly dress like this one.
That is the face of a disappointed Layla. She said, "Daaaaad... This dress is too buttony." I agreed and she couldn't get it off fast enough. I never expected to create a four-year-old fashionista, but here she is critiquing the dresses.
We walked down the line of dresses as she blasted dress after dress. "Too flowery, too green, too ruffly... This one, please!" she said. Then repeat over and over until we looked at every dress in the store. The two of us had a great time together. She remembers our one on one time more than anything. She fondly reminisces about our outings, which means this is her love language.
See you soon!