Brady's birthday was fun. The kids enjoyed celebrating all day, and we got to visit Ryan at the hospital and sing "Happy Birthday" with the nursing staff. It was a good thing we had fun during the day, because as evening wore on, our happy party morphed into a fiasco. First I made the mistake of running errands all day, which robbed Brady of valuable sleep. Then as we cleaned up dinner and bedtime came, my good-natured baby short-circuited into a wailing, screaming, arching of the back nightmare. I couldn't keep him happy to save my life. Finally, I waved the white flag (gave up on waiting for Ryan) and brought out his birthday cupcake with the candle lit, hoping to distract him long enough to take at least one good photo. But the cupcake seemed to upset him more, like, "I didn't ask for a cupcake! I want to GO TO BED!" Then it all came to a head while I was fiddling with the camera settings and trying to remember how to activate the video. Brady lurched forward and put the candle out with his fingers, and the night officially ended. Dejected and defeated, I scooped up my tortured baby and headed upstairs to bed. Drew and Matt were yelling that he still needed to eat his cupcake, and I let the chaos, fatigue and stress get to me by roaring back that the party was OVER! So much for the ideal, picture-perfect scene. The following afternoon we did a "Take 2" by giving him the cupcake under better circumstances (still without Ryan, but what do you do?). I can't fully express what Brady means to me; what mother can truly articulate it? All I know is that he is a priceless, integral part of our family, and may never know how much I fiercely love him.