Thursday, August 15, 2013

Belated Happy Birthday, Take Two

Now for my girl. She was turning 2, and while she most definitely has opinions on what she does and doesn't like, she is not as attached them to like Bjorn is.  Planning a party for her was much easier.

Let's face it, after Bjorn's shin dig, I really wasn't in the mood to plan another party. I just wanted a simple get together with friends and family. (Although I didn't learn my lesson and still created a "theme" for her party, too. Sigh. Will I ever learn?)  I even nixed The Hubs plan to grill hot dogs and hamburgers because it just sounded like too much work. Instead we ordered the world's largest pizza from a local pizza place. Perfect.

The party was at our house, which meant I had to clean (ugh!) but also meant I didn't have to pack the kids up and head out anywhere (yay!). And while 6 pm may seem like an awkward time to start a toddlers birthday party, it works well for our family. Peanut usually wakes from her 3 hour nap (yes! 3 hours!!!) about 5 o'clock, and heads down to bed at 8:30. It's so hot here in AZ that even in the morning, the sun would beat down unrelentingly, but in the evening, an outdoor pool party was a little cooler. I think by 7:30 pm, it was down to about 105 or 106 degrees. Positively cold for an AZ summer.


She wouldn't wear them, so someone had to wear the mouse ears!

Water logged and loving it.

Peanut loved every moment of her party.

From the minute her first little guest arrived, to the pizza, fruit and pasta salad. From the pool we could barely drag her out of, even for the prospect of black frosting and ice cream, to the way she stood so still and quiet, eyes wide and wondering, watching as everyone sang her a Happy Birthday song. From trying to blow out her candles herself, to opening her first gift and not letting it - a Baby "Pwincess" doll - out of her grip for the next two weeks. From sharing all her new toys with her friends, to waving happily as the last person left, she loved every minute of it.

The cake? Stunning. The black frosting? Not such a great idea.

What a big girl!

Not so pretty was the aftermath of black frosting!

Happy Birthday Beautiful Girl.

The Perfect Family Portrait

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Happy Belated Birthday!

Remember that time both of my kids had birthday parties and I forgot to tell you all about it?

Yeah.....I kind of got caught up with work and, well....life, and forgot to post. But never fear, I'm here now! And because it was so long ago, and I still don't have enough time to tell everything, you'll get the condensed, highlighted version. Lucky you.

Bjorn turned 4 early June and because it was so hot here in AZ already, and our house does not accommodate multiple screaming 4 year olds and their families very well, we chose to have the party at Chuck E Cheese. That also meant I didn't have to clean before or after, or prepare food. Score.

But being the over-achiever that I am, I couldn't just have the party at CEC and be done with it. No, I had to have a theme, and thus had to create aforementioned-themed-party-favors. Sigh. I don't why I do this to myself. As The Hubs said to me while I was stuffing one more ninja sticker and tattoo into a take-out box with custom printed Ninjago eyes on it, "Can't his theme just be "Happy Birthday?!"

(And, no, in case you were wondering, it can't. Don't ask me why. But it can't. And The Hubs did wind up helping me make his idea for Ninjago themed favors - Ninja Headbands.)

We ordered a cake from Sams Club, but they wouldn't make him a custom Ninjago figure on it. How hard could that be? I could totally make that, right?!

We picked up the cake the day of Bjorn's party and went to work creating a Ninja. Bjorn wanted to help, of course, and I needed black eyes for the ninja, so I put a bowl of white frosting in front of him, put some drops of food coloring in it, handed him a spoon and told him to stir the frosting.

"But I don't know how." he said.

"What?!" I replied. "Of course you know how! Take the spoon and just stir!"

I walked across the kitchen to grab more frosting and when I turned back to him at the table, I saw this.


He stirred the cake!
Because sometimes, no matter how specific you are being with a 4 year old, you really just have to remember that they are really just 4. It was a good reminder for me that perfection is not what matters here; what matters is that my boy is happy, safe and healthy. Although for a split second I was very upset (all this effort! his big cake ruined!), it passed quickly. He's 4. He was helping. He loved helping, he loved his cake and he loved that he was a part of each and every bit of his party. (He also wound up loving that a "ninja punched his cake" as The Hubs said.)

Bjorn and two of his buds. He wouldn't leave the air hockey table!

Devoured the punched ninja cake!

Chuck E Cheese was a huge hit, and I'm glad we had the party there, because there were 30+ people there. Ridiculous, I know, but I wanted all my friends from my MOMS club, and the kids Bjorn has grown up with from there, and he wanted all his friends from daycare. And they all came, because, let's face it, Chuck E Cheese rocks.

Except they don't serve beer. I might just boycott them for that. What kind of place can expect me to have 30+ people for a 4 year old's birthday with skeeball and games and a giant dancing rat and not expect me to have a beer? Seriously.

Her shirt says "I Love my Bro". Because she does.

4 whole candles this year!
It was a wonderful, Ninjago filled day.

Chuck E Photo Bomb!
**Peanut's birthday update still to come!**

Sunday, August 4, 2013

One of Each

After I had Bjorn, my stitches had barely healed before the question came.

"Are you going to have any more kids?"

Not that it was any of their business (my relatives, my co-workers, the cashier at the grocery store), but everyone made it their business. And not that we were going to do it right away or anything because I could barely think through one baby at that point, so two was pretty unfathomable.

Yes, I knew I wanted to have more. I had always wanted 6 kids, but that was when I met my Hubs when we were 19 and thought we would get married and have babies right away. Waiting 6 years to marry and another 2 to have kids changed my mind a little. The older I grew, the more I knew.

I was ready for the questioning after we had Peanut. Little did I know, the question had changed.

"Now that you have one of each, are you done having kids?"

One of each, I thought to myself, as I looked at my son and daughter.

One who is snuggly and likes to fall asleep on my lap, one very independent who likes space to sprawl when sleeping.

One who loves books and reading and making up stories and one who loves drawing and coloring and finding pictures hidden in puzzles.

One who can hit a baseball across the field and one who can bend themselves completely in half.

One who needs to wear a hat everyday, and one who consistently puts the shoes on the wrong feet.

One who cries and scuffs around and holds onto a grudge, and one who screams to the rooftops, then forgets about it a minute later.

One who lives for ninjas, garbage trucks and firefighters, and one who can't let go of the baby, Minnie Mouse or microphone.

One who break dances when the music is on and one who twirls and whirls to a tune no one but they can hear.

One who slept through the night from 6 months on, and one who still sneaks into our bed every night.

Both who love hugs and kisses. Both who love movies with dancing and singing and cartoon characters. Both who make friends as easily as they breathe. Both who eat string cheese and yogurt and blueberries every single day. Both who want to stir their own chocolate milk and press the microwave button all by themselves to start their oatmeal.

Both who bring something special and amazing and wonderful to our family because they are uniquely and specially THEM. Not because they are male or female. Not because I needed a set, a child salt and pepper set.

So will we have more kids?

I don't know. Maybe. Maybe not. But I know that if we do, it will be another uniquely special, uniquely amazing, uniquely wonderful one. Boy, or girl.