Archives for posts with tag: birthday

Yesterday was a two-birthday-party day, a day with both a brightly colored confetti-esque cake and chocolate cupcakes laid out in the shape of a horse on green grass. Yesterday’s parties involved a stint at a paint-your-own-pottery place and at Amy’s farm, with lots of kids (both human and goat) and pony rides and – best of all for Boy and, perhaps, all of the boys there and a girl or two as well – a big, big dirt pile to dig in.

Yesterday was Girl’s seventh birthday.

Neither of these celebrations was for her.

Instead, we celebrated her at home tonight. To be fair, her celebration began early with both sets of grandparents, and yesterday, we gave her some presents, too – including All-of-a-Kind Family, which she’s well into and loves (“I love it!”) and Cool Circuits Jr., a puzzle sort of game to create closed circuits (challenging but, we hope, not too challenging). We also began to watch Disney’s Mary Poppins, a favorite from my own childhood; on the way home from the pony party, we had finished listening to P.L. Travers’s book, and I thought they might enjoy the film after the book. I was right; they were rapt.

Tonight, though, we celebrated more fully with her other presents, including Break Your Own Geodes (she opened it, read through all the directions, and read aloud that “Geodes were once gas bubbles trapped in lava!”), plus a meal of her choice and the dessert from the Smithsonian Maker Lab book which she’s been wanting to try for a long time now: Baked Alaska.

Slightly adapted for our taste, there were homemade brownies on the bottom, cookies-and-cream ice cream on top of that, and meringue all around – and a sprinkle of pink decorating sugar on top for good measure. The warm-cool-warmness of it was delicious, an unexpected combination.

And that’s how it is. What’s the surprise hidden beneath the surface? Tonight, it wasn’t pie – or even just vanilla ice cream. What will be inside the geodes? Will they just be hollow rocks, or will they have crystals? As Girl read through the directions, she told me than an amethyst is “very rare.” Will there be a hidden gem?

Now that Girl’s seven and Boy’s four, what will we discover about them? What will time reveal? A bit of magic, like Mary Poppins? Secret powers, like the rodents in Emmy and the Home for Troubled Girls (our current bedtime reading and a sequel to Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat, which we greatly enjoyed)? Maybe their revelations don’t need to be as exciting as that – and their gem status isn’t hidden. To me, they already sparkle and shine and are multi-layered, exquisite in their own right.

“[Girl] is shaking my hand vigorously,” Boy said in the car the other day.

Vigorously? It’s true. She was.

According to my friend Lucie, when he turned two, he said, “I got to be two today!” Because English is her second language, she didn’t realize until she repeated it to her husband that it wasn’t quite right in English – but still, she said, she was impressed, and she repeated it to me today, these two years later.

My mother brought guacamole to celebrate his birthday this year, in remembrance of that same birthday, lo these two years past, when I served guacamole with a little kick. Boy loves guacamole and avocados, but not THAT guacamole. “This guacamole too spicy!” he said, and my mother enjoys reliving that moment, too – the things that kids say, the things that little kids say, the things that this boy in particular articulates.

Today he’s four. You grow older, you grow taller, you grow your vocabulary – and you grow stories, their roots snaking back to birth, pregnancy, conception, beyond. Last night, I told him, as a bedtime story, the story of the day he was born, and I found comfort in sharing his own story – our shared story – with him.

Today, I give Boy my birthday wish: that we – our little family, our larger family, our friends now and our friends to come – will tell tales, share stories, and make happy new ones for many, many years to come.

Because this is what we do. We tie ourselves together with stories, linking our pasts as certainly and inextricably as we can, hoping that nothing will fray at the seams, hoping that the fabric of our lives will only grow stronger, grow more vigorously, together.

“When geeses aren’t honking, they cry,” Boy informed me tonight as he was going to bed.

“Why do they cry?” I asked.

“Because they have to leave the sea.”

Oh.

“I’ll bet they miss it.”

“Miss it. They’re sad.”

How could he know that the geese feel that way? I don’t doubt it. We saw two Canada geese fly overhead today. Maybe he heard them honking to each other and knew what they were saying? Either that, or he misinterpreted his bedtime song tonight; instead of hearing “When I am king, dilly, dilly,/You shall be queen,” perhaps he heard “When I’m honking.” The chances are close to 50/50.

Tomorrow, as I turn 41, I leave the sea of my 30’s even further behind. Maybe I’m a little sad about that – but with such a thoughtful Boy and an equally thoughtful Girl, I guess I’ll choose to spend my time honking instead.

“I get to go in the attic!”

Yup. For her birthday, she got to go into the attic. (It’s right up there with getting gum for her Christmas present when she was two – what terrific, but unlikely, things to anticipate!) That was what she was excited about today. She got to roam around and poke in boxes and bags, standing at full height – unlike us – and looking like Alice in Wonderland, taller than real life. When asked at dinner if it was as exciting as she thought it would be, she said, “No.” We looked at each other, knowing how great anticipation can lead to great disappointment. But she wasn’t done yet. “It was funner!”

Climbing up

Climbing up

Alice - in Wonderland

Alice – in Wonderland

That – and her new fishing pole – might have been the highlights of this, her fifth birthday.

“…in that party dress.
Balloons and cake,
Two kinds of ice cream –
Guess [yes?] you’ll be a mess!

“Share the fun with your [little] brother
As friends go, he’s your best.

“Make a wish; it just might come true –
Blow those candles out.
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I won’t forget the day that you were born
Five years ago
We were happy and excited
and we loved you so
You’re growing up so quickly
Now, I feel a little sad –
That’s to be expected;
after all, I am your daddy [mommy].”

Five years ago

Five years ago

Loudon Wainwright III’s “Five Years Old” – it’s the song for today.

And she DID have two kinds of ice cream – but she said she didn’t like the first, and she didn’t eat much of the second. She did eat her birthday dinner – she’d asked for bacon and hotdogs, and she got bacon-wrapped hotdogs and lima beans. Chocolate cake, white frosting with sprinkles – and a party dress, the kind she’s wanted, with a flouncy under-layer and a sash around the waist. And we did go out and get balloons, like we have every year. It was a full birthday!

Like Alice, she’ll continue to grow – but, we hope, at regular speed; these five years have already sped by, and I am not prepared for it to go by any faster than this. Happy birthday, Girl!

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday!

“I will be two!” Boy said tonight, holding up one finger on each hand.

I gave a sentimental sigh, the kind that whooshes out of you when you look at your child and realize that he is nothing like the baby that once, well, whooshed out of you.

“You are two,” Daddy corrected him, as most of his birthday lay behind him, a montage of meals (he requested noodles for his birthday dinner) and family and outings and napping.

Unconcerned, he hopped on his new ride-on airplane and zoomed away, naked as the day he was born. Maybe he does have more in common with that newborn babe than I thought…

Happy birthday, Boy!

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Door.

That’s what she said just weeks ago when asked how old she would be on her birthday.

Yesterday, when it really was her birthday, and she wore her very favorite twirly dress (because only twirly dresses will do now), she put her teeth to her lips and, very carefully and slowly, said that she turned “fffour.” (Diego also swings from a “vine” now and not a “dine.” It’s both exciting and sad, at least to this mama. Probably easier for Diego, though.)

When her daddy told her that she’d be four at 10:31, she told him no.

No?

No.

She wouldn’t be four, she said, until she blew out the candles.

She did, and now she’s four. FFFOUR! Happy birthday, sweet girl. We love you.

Swinging into her 4th birthday

Swinging into her 4th birthday

Here’s what I want to know: Can I put off my next birthday if I just let the candles burn down? No, probably not. The resulting fire would bring a neighborhood bucket brigade, and I’m pretty sure that would ruin the cake.

One year and one and a half days ago, we looked like this:

April 10, 2013 - late morning

April 10, 2013 – late morning

Not quite five hours later, we looked like this:

Being in the world requires a nap

Being in the world requires a nap

About seven and a half hours later (Baby Boy’s maybe three hours old here), he and his big sister met:

Baby and big sister meet

Baby and big sister meet

And he was small and beautiful and perfect:

Two days old

Two days old

Now he’s one year old

Carrot cake for the boy who loves carrots

Carrot cake for the boy who loves carrots

and we’re so excited to know him, to have spent this year together, to have learned more about this sweet-tempered, inquisitive boy.

We couldn’t love you more, Baby Boy, and we look forward to all that the next year – and the year after that, and the year after that, and…well, you get the picture, right? – will bring.

Baby Boy's first birthday

Baby Boy’s first birthday

My math for the day: Months in = Months out. Nine = Nine. A balanced equation with nothing to solve for. (Apologies to my preposition-at-the-end-of-a-sentence hating mathematician of a husband.)

Today, Baby Boy, formerly known as Baby Baby, is nine months old. Sure, if you want to quibble, my math isn’t exactly right: He was born at 40 weeks + 1 day. That would be January 18th. Some two weeks of that were pre-conception, however. 38 weeks + 1 day would put us in the past, on January 4th.

So I made a choice. Life is often about choices – what to eat for breakfast, which shirt to wear, whether you can find enough calm in you to gently admonish your shouting daughter while trying to lull your son to sleep. This time, I choose to celebrate today in two ways: happy nine month birthday, Baby Boy, and happy balancing day. Right now, your story arc makes a perfect “v”; soon, one side will grow longer…and longer…and longer. And longer and longer, if my hopes become reality.

For the moment, I’m enjoying the balance. Nine months = Baby Boy = happiness.

Who knew carrots were soothing?

 

It’s here, and it’s almost over.

It’s her birthday. Big sister turned three today.

February, pre-3

February, pre-3

The picture with the “3,” however, is from February, pre-3, pre-baby brother, from a visit to a local park. A grandmother was there to take pictures of her granddaughter for her upcoming third birthday and let us borrow their number three. Sure, my daughter was mostly interested in trying to figure out how to take it apart (Does the outside layer peel off? Could I pull off the ribbon?), but we had some fun with it, too – and did manage to return it unharmed to its creator.

Now the real deal is here. Today, the sun also shone, and the number three is here to stay, not to be taken away by someone else’s grandmother.

Happy 3rd birthday!

Happy 3rd birthday!

 

And the cake in the picture? She helped make it, even after a poor night’s sleep, because she’s three and has that kind of talent (although we’ll ignore the fact that she refused to pick up her messes today and other crankiness that resulted from the aforementioned poor night’s sleep. One of the times she woke up last night, thrashing and crying, she said, “I want a real puppy!” We, of course, hope this was largely in response to her daddy’s comment last night that, when she’d dropped a mushroom on the floor, our imaginary puppy would eat it for her. I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure we don’t need a dog right now. OK, I’m absolutely certain.).

She also picked up her baby brother today, all by herself. Almost gave me heart palpitations, and I haven’t crossed the few steps from the sink to the family room as quickly as I did this morning. I’m so glad she loves him…I just wish she loved him from a greater (and safer) distance.

But she’s three now, right? Who knows what changes this year will bring. I’m just glad that we – no longer three, but all four of us – will be on this adventure together. Happy 3rd birthday, baby girl.

Baby boy became his own person on April 10th, one day after his due date. Baby girl will celebrate her 3rd birthday tomorrow, her Earth Day birthday.

I’m overwhelmed and shocked by all of it.

After waiting so long to meet baby boy (that is, in fact, what Baby Baby turned out to be), it’s still surprising to realize he’s here, warm and sleepy on my chest, squeaky like a little mouse when he first makes sounds, bleating like a lamb when he gets a little more upset. He’s here, and he’s our boy. Our sweet, sweet boy. Our girl is a big sister.

And she will be three. When she came with her Nene and Poppa to the hospital to meet her little brother, I could hardly believe the big girl who appeared in the door, this girl who had taken the place of my baby. When did it happen?

We’re still only eleven days out from his birthday, so I think I can still get away with blaming my overly emotional self on the fluctuating hormones, postpartum. Baby boy did his best to remind me to stop taking myself so seriously the other night, though, when I cried to Matthew: “It’s all going to go by so fast!” Cue baby pooping, loudly and undisputedly. Plllbbbbt. Chill, Mama, he told me.

Time goes by. It has, it does, it will. I should go snuggle my boy, peek in on my girl, and call it a night.

ML kisses BB