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S07.E09: Will's Birthday Party

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Again, I'm puzzled at people constructing ginormous McMansions for entertaining (at least Bill mentioned this while they were building it), purchasing professional ovens for baking, etc., and then doing all of their entertaining in rented venues with purchased baked goods, but anyway.  I do hope we see at least some of Bill's family at this party, as Will and Zoey have TWO sets of grandparents and not just one...  Three, actually!

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Unfortunately that house has no yard for kids other than what is at the front of the house so nowhere for kids to play, seems odd when they planned their family and that is their dream house.  Maybe in future they can have pool parties there when the kids get older and have it catered out of their own kitchen and hire lifeguards.  

 

I think we are in for some Will meltdowns if the promo is any indication!!!  Will is going nuts wanting the cake (we knew he wouldn't let us down now right?) and Grandpa Bill is saying no or not yet or something....and poor Will is dressed like a safari guy with a huge heavy looking vest on and he looks like he fell over at one point!  There are lots of kids there and we have never seen Will with friends to play with so who are they I wonder....to Will they are just strangers but I guess this is an elaborate TLC party.  

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This episode looks like it's going to be a great snarkfest.  Based on the previews, Jen barks orders as usual while prepping for the party, Will goes out of control as usual (and usual for a toddler), I'm sure Zoey will just love the Zoo animals!

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Will is such a cutie pie!  I remember this episode when they finally arrived home from China with Will!  Thanks, Jodo!

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This is going to be a much different Will than his last birthday if the meltdowns about cake recently and in the promos are any indication!  Fasten your seat belts and in the words of Jen at the tea party...LET'S GO CRAZY!!  LOL

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I do wonder who all those party attendees are; last year's, with just the family (granted; only JEN'S side of the family, but still) seemed much more enjoyable and real, if this is reality TV.  But then, Jen wasn't such the celebrity last year, nor was SHE planning the party!  Again, will we see any of Bill's family there?  His brother, wife, and their children (?) live just an hour or two away in Florida, I believe...

Edited by all4mom

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I am anxious to know who's all invited to the party as well!   I didn't notice any relatives except for Jan's Mom & Dad based on the previews.  They are probably friends, Jen's Co-workers and Bill's pet store employees.

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Why wouldn't Bill's family be invited? Is the implication being made that Jen doesn't want them there so she doesn't invite them? I'd imagine if they are free and nearby they would show up. It's a birthday party for a little boy, not exactly a pressing matter.

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I've driven Florida to Texas and I remember it taking more like ten to fifteen hours depending on where it was in Florida to Houston. I can see the family giving some thought as to whether they want to make that trip.

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Or a few hours by plane.  Maybe they didn't want to be on the show.  I'm already sensing that Jen's parents are "over it" based on how they were season back vs how they are now on the show.  I am sure we will find out this week if they mention it.

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Well regardless of how many miles separate the families I'll bet Bill's family aren't there...they have not been referred to nor any reasons given in voiceovers about them by Bill....we have also seen little of Jen's parents but they are certainly in the promos for the party.  Jen is talking like a drill sergeant at the table preparing her mother and someone else about what is needed..magnifying glasses etc etc....Jen looks like a complete stressed out mess and in the promo so does Bill!  When he announces gather round for the alligator....wow, get that guy a beer!  This party does not look like fun...Will is a typical kid with a zero attention span....TLC's mark is all over this one I am afraid and if it continues I won't be watching.  The kids there don't even know Will nor he them.   

 

just saw the promo again and Bill has sunglasses on sitting on the couch while Jen holds court at the dining room table....Bill needs a backbone...

Edited by jodo

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I thought that Will's birthday party turned out to be awesome. I am glad that he made friends at the kiddie gym that Bill takes him to.

All the littles seemed to have had a good time. There were no meltdows. The feeding of the giraffes was adorable and I am jealous because I never had a chance to do that.I liked that Jen said that making people and animals happy makes Will happy and that is one reason that he is a great kid. I think that they planned activities that suited children that young. It was a well planned out party.

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Good morning!

 

New policy here: We are no longer editing out offensive content.

 

Instead, whenever you refer to others, which we keep telling you to NOT do, we are hiding your entire post. That means that no one sees any of it, including any valid points that might otherwise contribute to the conversation.

 

Do not refer to other posters in any way, shape, or form.

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What a fun episode!  I think it's great that they were able to entertain that many kids and keep everybody happy. Obviously they  had put a lot of thought into keeping the kids entertained which was the best defense against meltdowns.

Not sure why but I was touched by Jen's dad getting down to Zoey's level to pick her up.  She went right to him so it would seem that they spend a lot of time together.  I think she did great with all of the activity especially since everyone in the room towered over her!

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I am so glad Will had a Happy Cake Day!  The party looked like lots of fun and he was still raring to go even at the end!

 

Wow, was this episode heavily edited.  When well the powers that be learn that reality show fans have learned the "tricks"??

 

I was delighted when they started to show Will read off the letters to "Happy Birthday", for about 3 seconds, then it got bizarre... The first few he said seemed dubbed in as we only saw his back, then they kept flipping back and forth (balloon, Will, balloon, Will). Was he really naming the letters or was he being coached?  Yes, I am clinically cynical, but I am happy to see he is learning.  Soon he will be able to recognise words and maybe speak in sentences.

 

So Nanny Kate was there, yet Bill had to get Jen to assist with Zoey who seemed unhappy and tired.  Bill states that Jen cuddled him and she took a nap, yet we see her cuddling in Grandma's lap...  What really happened here?  Was Kate there to just be a warm body?  I'd like that job.

 

I had never heard of the first piece of Birthday cake being lucky and it needed to be served to the Birthday boy.  Maybe it was how and where I was raised?  I have been to many birthday parties with cake and still do to this day, but this was the first time I heard of this.  Fun tradition.  Bill certainly felt he needed to apologize to the masses as to why he allowed Will to have such a big piece of cake.  Why?  We all know by now he loves cake and eating in general, plus it's HIS birthday.  I do snark about how and what they feed the kids, but I didn't think this was a big deal.

 

Then we have Will fully enjoying the train ride (which Jen seemed to take 200% credit for in organizing) looking out at everything going by and Bill barks "Will, can you hold your sister's hand??" - Why???  Zoey wasn't fussing and her hand may have been sticking out only because she was wedged in between Bill and Will.  This move reminds me of some of those ego-deprived parents that brow-beat their kids into doing something affectionate so they can get a quick iphone snap and then blast it on Facebook saying "Look at my precious, he thought of this all on his own!"  SMH

 

Most of this episode surrounded around how much time and effort they put into the party and then how exhausted they were afterwards.  I would have loved to have seen more of the actual party like Will when he was allowed to open gifts.  The kids interacting with each other.  Zoey smiling at least once.  What was in the gift bags? 

Edited by MrMattyMatt
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Did the producers hire the cake lady? I thought it was ugly and it didn't even look good on the inside.

I think any grocery store bakery could have made a cute yummy cake.

Will reading Happy Birthday was the highlight of this epi for me.

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I was kind of shocked with the cake, I was expecting a bit more based on the "consultation" Jen had with the Cake Lady.  It was nicely done and you could see attention to detail when they zoomed in, but I was expecting a big "wow".  I would have ordered a nicely decorated sheet-cake.

Edited by MrMattyMatt

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My jaws are sore, but instead of from clenching in frustration while watching crap TV, it was from smiling throughout the episode, which involves different (and seldom used!) muscles.  It's a good hurt, for a change.   :-) 

 

Of course I loved the Zoo Birthday, and thought that the interactions with the animals was the best part.  I can attest to the "fact" that feeding the giraffes is even more fun than watching someone do it on TV, so if you ever get the chance, try it!   Will certainly loves feeding animals - it reminded me of him gleefully feeding bananas to the elephant.  At least he's not fearful, and I think some of his self confidence will rub off on Zoey, too.  She watches everything with great interest, it seems.

 

I was not overly impressed with the birthday cake, but perhaps it is meant to appeal to a toddler?  I mean, for the few seconds before you cut the cake and EAT the cake!   :-)

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The lucky first piece of cake might be a regional thing, MrMattyMatt.  I know that's a tradition in my family as well (we're from the Midwest) and has lasted through the generations.  Of course, the oldest members of the family are in their 90's so having a birthday is something of a lucky day anyway!

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I thought the party was great.  A little over the top for me, but typical of what many parents do these days.  And it was their first real party for one of the kids.

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Yes that cake was a letdown for me as well...didn't do much for Hannah's advertising.  Judy's birthday cake for Will's 3rd birthday looked amazing and delicious inside too, at least they said in that episode she had made it.  I wondered why the zoo didn't have their party room partially decorated to save hauling so much to and from. Hope Zoey gets a zoo theme so we can see them all again!

 

Well it was nice to see Jen relax somewhat at the party after being so bossy at the table including drawing out the plan of how the 6 tables should look just in case Judy and Kate weren't quite sure how to do it.  In fact Jen got so relaxed she forgot about the daughter she had who got lost in the crowd of bigger kids and Bill had to call out to Jen not once but twice to look after Zoey.  Why wasn't she paying attention and what was wrong with Bill that he couldn't get her?  Bill, bless his heart, always trying to make Jen look the best....then Jen comforts Zoey....he needs to watch the show, pretty sure that was Judy's knee Zoey was laying her head on while Judy stroked her....all you could see was Jen's arm on her back...and I thought Jen might drop Zoey carrying her out of the crowd and what on earth was she doing carrying a purse???  She was seated, Bill got her attention finally and she goes to get Zoey WITH her purse?  Did she think she had to pay someone on the way or couldn't trust anyone there with it....like Judy who she was sitting beside?  Yes and I wondered why Kate wasn't around being proactive too.  

 

I replayed Will reading the letters and had closed captioning on and the first H he said was R and yes they showed his back for the first few letters then his face and when he got one right I was so happy for him.  He is still very babyish in his speech, one word comes out and if it is two one is shortened or the beginning consonant is missing.  I just love the way he says caKKe almost with the emphasis on the K, so cute...I just can't wait to hear him talk and hear a sentence!   

 

I loved Will feeding the giraffes and Jen is right about that, he is a caring person and shows it to others and loves to see everyone EAT and she says he equates that with happiness.  Not sure how she knows that because I am pretty sure Will can't tell her that.  We know Will is happy when he eats.  

 

Loved the little train but it seemed awkward and Zoey looked a little squished and I also wondered why Bill asked Will to hold her hand other than to show off the caring of MY SON...as Bill thumps chest.  They both should be very thankful for getting Will and such a caring and loving child so eager to please.  I had to laugh when Will was eating his cake and Bill kept saying smile....Will goes super cheesy and shuts it down in a second when he knows the pic has been taken.  

 

And it would have been nice to see more of the kids playing together and interacting.  Our birthday cake tradition was serve your guests first then you have your piece and the piece the birthday person got was always the one with the coin wrapped up in wax paper inside the center.  I didn't see Will's caring if anyone else got a piece!  But sharing is next week's epi!  

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Our birthday cake tradition was serve your guests first then you have your piece and the piece the birthday person got was always the one with the coin wrapped up in wax paper inside the center.

 

Our birthday cake tradition was the one celebrating got the choice of the slice.  In my case it was the one with the most frosting or the frosting "rose".  It wasn't always the first peice.  I grew up in a failry remote area of Wisconsin, so obviously this is a regional thing. 

 

Also, like we predicted, no mention of Bill's family.  I suppose they can't be expected to come for each and every little event, that would be pretty excessive. 

 

Have we seen of heard of Will's "gym" before?  I am glad he gets out to socialize, that will help tremendously with his speech.

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Have we seen of heard of Will's "gym" before?

No, which only reinforces what is so often forgotten.  The audience only sees about 1/120th of their lives and what we do see are bits and pieces edited together like a jigsaw puzzle.

 

I thought the party was nice.  I thought the cake needed more frosting, less fondant and really does it matter at a 4 year olds party how, when and to whom the cake is passed out. I doubt anyone went without.

 

Loved watching Zoey and her grandfather. 

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I was so pleased how much Zoey is bonding with Jen's dad.  He really loves that little girl.  It's a shame she didn't recognize him when he was Santa and felt they needed to terrorize her. 

 

Now that it's been mentioned, I wonder if there was enough cake for everyone there?  I'm sure Jen had that all planned out though and we just didn't see it.

Edited by MrMattyMatt

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There was a long shot at one point and no one was waiting for cake and there appeared to be maybe a little less than half left, Will was probably thrilled with the left overs.  LOL.  Having cut more than my share of round cakes at weddings, once you get the first piece out, you start cutting the cake so you serve squares instead of wedges.  The cake goes farther that way. 

Edited by LegalParrot81

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Wow, was this episode heavily edited.  When well the powers that be learn that reality show fans have learned the "tricks"??

Tricks? An activity that lasts hours and condensed into 22 minutes or so has to be heavily edited. The powers that be most likely assume that reality show fans already understand this.

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Loved last night's episode.  I thought the party was great and I'm happy to see that there were no meltdowns.  Will is too adorable.  Loved him in his safari jacket.  I just love watching him.  I totally agree with Jen's assessment that Will likes to eat and associates that with being happy, so he tries to make others happy around him too.  I thought the cake was cute, but its not my cup of tea.  I don't like fondat.  Its look pretty, but taste wise...yuck  I personally like whipped frosting or a cream cheese frosting.  Does the fondat cut down on the amount of sugar?  Anytime we've had celebrations that involved cake, the person being honored always got the first slice (or slice of their choice).

 

Loved seeing more interaction with Jen's parents.  Loved Zoey's relationship with her grand baba.  They seem to have more shy/calm personalities, so I wonder if that is a special bond for them.  Not to say that the grandparents play favorites, but I feel personality wise Zoey=Dave and Will=Judy.

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Tricks? An activity that lasts hours and condensed into 22 minutes or so has to be heavily edited. The powers that be most likely assume that reality show fans already understand this.

 

Agreed.  When I say "Tricks", I am referring to dubbed in chatter that wasn't actually spoken (by Will and Zoey)  Voiceovers or talking head interviews where Jen and/or Bill say something happened, yet what we are actually shown is something different.  Over-dramatic snippets just before the commercial break which lead to you to beleive somthing more dramatic is going to happen than really does happen....  Yeah... I call those tricks...

Edited by MrMattyMatt
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It was a very cute party and it played out well.  However, it made me glad that my children's-party-giving days are over--I forgot how utterly exhausting they can be!  And I loved seeing Zoey reach her arms up to Grandbaba so he could pick her up.  They are lucky to have grandparents so close by in distance.  Those children are precious!

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Will's smile & demeanor can light up a room.  A favorite moment during his party was when Jen asked Will and Zoey if they wanted some bubbles.  Zoey said...yeah BUBBLES!!  Then Will took his over by Bill who was eating at the time and blew some bubbles onto Bill's plate.  Haha   Bill said...What are ya doing man?  Are you blowing bubbles onto my food?  And then Will gave the cutest, most heartwarming smile & little boy giggle, as Bill laughed along with him.  Those kids have an amazing life with Jen and Bill and their parenting skills are really shining through more and more with each episode.  And all the children attending the party were so well-behaved.  Much of that can be attributed to Jen's organizational skills...and her knowing how to keep all the attendees actively entertained, while they enjoyed Will's party.

 

The cake was so perfect for Will, as it depicted his personality.  The baker put a layer of frosting under the fondant...looked like whipping cream and then there was another type of layer under the whipping cream.

Edited by Phoenix
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Something that made me chuckle was when Will was standing in front of the cake, I believe standing on a chair. His grandfather was standing behind him, Grandpa's hands around Will's upper arms. I don't think it had anything to do with making sure Will didn't fall...

 

I agree with those who would like to see more shots of the kids interacting with each other, no parents hovering around. I know this show always has to have a "plot" but they could freestyle it once in a while. I'd like to see how the kids communicate with each other, if they play together, how they play. Minimal voice over.

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My two favorite quotes from this episode:

 

"It's like choosing between diabetes and fate!" -  Bill

 

and of course...

 

"Cake!!!" - Will

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I agree with those who would like to see more shots of the kids interacting with each other, no parents hovering around. I know this show always has to have a "plot" but they could freestyle it once in a while. I'd like to see how the kids communicate with each other, if they play together, how they play. Minimal voice over.

YES YES YES let's have LESS LESS LESS of Bill and Jen is my vote please!!

Edited by jodo

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So they should rename the show "The Little Family"? That would be more accurate.

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I agree with the editing too of putting words into the kid's mouths now that I watch back this episode and a couple of others recently.  I often put closed captioning on to catch what the kids are saying because it really isn't audible a lot of times or the words are not understandeable because of Will's limited vocabulary....his words are usually Baba, eat, yeah, cake, hum (for home), MO, mine come to mind.  However in this episode his back is to the camera when he is saying the letters first of all and we obviously can't see his face or mouth and yet we hear loudly him saying the letters.  I know we have seen him do letters before but doesn't always get them right when they look alike like H and R in Happy (Birthday).  They inserted UH OH about Jen going shopping, that was really obvious and it irks me that Bill went on and on about it like it really happened, a blatant lie!  He twittered about it, it was all over their FB page and all the fans bought it!?!  And have also noticed when something has been dubbed in as if the kid's have really said it that Jen/Bill repeat it over and over....and often the kids have something like a spoon/fingers in their mouth already making it impossible to speak, grunt yes, speak no!

The show is becoming more contrived and I wish of the "20-22 minutes of their lives" we are seeing it could be the truth and nothing but the truth and I feel viewers are being led down a garden path.  

Jen and Bill HAVE to receive lots of help!  Yes it was certainly obvious who those kids ran towards to be picked up and taken to the car, it wasn't Bill and Jen, they can't physically do it nor will they ever be able to.  They are very lucky to have Judy and Dave there and those kids love them!  

We didn't see any meltdowns because they were edited out in my opinion.  

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We didn't see any meltdowns because they were edited out in my opinion.

And for good reason. Who'd want to watch that? Or watch diapers being changed, noses wiped, potty training, crankiness. I want to see the process of people learning and growing and adjusting to life's changes. For 22 minutes, I assume that what I'm seeing is the "best of". All I have to do is look at this family and know that these people face or will face massive challenges in life. Throw in cancer and....well, yes, I'm happy to watch the "best of" for the 22 minutes. No need to harp on the negatives; I know they exist.

Edited by mojito
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Unfortunately, the very essence of "reality" TV has taught us to expect the dirty-low-down on those we are following.  The Kleins have said repeatedly that they wanted to bring to their viewers the challenges they face on a daily basis and how they strive to tackle those challenges, showing us that although they are "little people," they are like everyone else in most respects. I agree that we are seeing highlights of their lives together, and I am relieved to view 22 minutes that do not include infidelity, unhappiness, sadness, disrespectful kids and yes, dirty diapers.  I can't imagine being followed by cameras all day, then having my 18+ hours of daily grind being condensed to 22 minutes!

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No need to harp on the negatives; I know they exist.

 

I totally agree.  It's so refreshing not to be hit over the head with the down side of family life and Jen's reaction and approach to cancer was really inspiring.  I know I went through the "poor me" phase and she may have done so as well but that point in your life should be private.  Positive thoughts can bring positive outcomes and Bill's support undoubtedly kept Jen on the positive side. 

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The  party times on the Houston Zoo website indicate that they only had the pavilion for two hours.  I can see why organization was required.  They had to get in, set up quickly, welcome the guests, see the animals, have cake, and clear out.  If Jen hadn't organized it, then Judy would have to keep to the schedule.  I can easily see the kids not having a tantrum for two hours.  I see two year olds regularly go days without tantrums so a two year old and four year old can surely manage a couple of hours believably.  They had actitivities to keep their minds engaged and when Zoey needed a nap her grandma was there.

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Seems like 2 hours was perfect for a 4 year old's party--especially with all the activities to keep everyone busy and attentive!  Jen has said on many occasions that being neat, organized, etc. is  just part of her OCD personality, and it would seem that sometimes that comes in handy.  Still, I bet they all went to bed early that night!  lol

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