Saturday, June 28, 2008

Happy Birthday MW!

The time away from MW flew by with party preparations! I deep cleaned upstairs, moving furniture and wiping down walls and baseboards…I didn’t realize how dusty things had gotten. I purged through the playroom toys and hauled out things the children don’t play with…and I did a bit of rearranging and freshening up! I crossed off one more item on my freelance list…and I spent a good bit of time working in the yard. Our little vegetable garden is coming along! We’ve enjoyed a few tomatoes form our very own garden! Hooray! I adore tomatoes! Oh, and I found a sweet deal on blueberries, so we’ve been enjoying those as well. I’m thinking about planting some blueberry bushes…hmmm…I also planted some zinnias from seed, and some green bells of Ireland…I’m hoping to have a small cutting garden. Our squash is doing okay, the watermelon vines have taken off, but no fruit yet…we’ll see…

Friday my Mom came down and spent hours helping me in the back yard! Our (as in, mine and T’s) focus has been on the front of our house. We’ve never touched the backyard, except for the normal cutting, raking, etc. One time we cleared out a lot of overgrowth, but we really haven’t done anything…I can’t wait to see how it will look when we actually tackle it! However, Mom and I worked outside clearing and cutting and raking and hauling until dark. We made HUGE strides! After a yummy-o dinner of Chinese take out and good cold beer, we all turned in for the night, as the next day MW would be arriving with JJ and GJ for her first ever birthday party where she would be celebrating with friends! (Thus far we’ve just had family and close family friends…)

Saturday morning came bright and early. I quickly downed my coffee and Mom and I headed outside, followed by T. We finished the yard, hauled out baby pools and backyard toys. Mom took T3 to run errands – picking up balloons, ice, etc.

MW arrived with T’s fam in tow around 11am. We gave her her big gift – we all went in on a child size bicycle that attaches to the back of a full size bike. T had already put everything together so it was ready to go. We brought MW outside to the garage and made her close her eyes until T wheeled the bike out.

One, two, three….OPEN!

Nothing. No smile. No “hoorays!” Just the comment, “but I wanted a bike that your bike could hook onto and that T3’s trailer could attach to so we could all ride together.” Arf!!! How to teach your children to be gracious and appreciative?

Once we convinced her to get on it and take it for a spin, she was in love! She and T rode it up and down our street for a good twenty minutes before the party. It is awesome! We’ve taken many family bike rides since then. MW’s bike attaches to T’s bike and we put the trailer on my bike. Man, it’s different pulling something behind. I’m definitely getting more of a workout!

Guests began arriving a few minutes before 12. We had a full house, or rather, backyard. I thought for a four year old’s birthday party it was rather low key. The kids pretty much stayed in the pool and sandbox. The adults snacked. We had a fun lunch of pizza and chips. The boys pretty much ran around inhaling their pizza while the girls spread their towels on the driveway and had picnics. Again, the difference in little boys and little girls amazes me! God made them different! So different!

Post swimming and lunch we brought out the cake. It was quite a hit! (I made it and at the time really felt like it looked like I’d randomly dumped pink and purple icing and sprinkles all over it…however, the look on MW’s face made me think otherwise!) She was quite pleased with it!

We gathered around the table to sing “Happy Birthday.” MW squatted down below the table, seemingly uncomfortable with all the attention. I coaxed her to stand and we had a grand time celebrating that our baby girl is FOUR YEARS OLD!

The crowd had thinned, except one little girl. She and MW disappeared into the house to play in the playroom. I went in to check on them after a few minutes and this is what I found. Can you tell what you're looking at? MW was sitting on the potty, while her friend sat on the edge of the bathtub. They were hiding beneath the shower curtain, talking and giggling! GIRLS!

Post party the fam gathered round the driveway and watched as MW opened gifts, one after another. We were humbled by the kindness and generosity of so many. MW is funny about gifts. She opens them slowly, enjoying each tare of the paper and then wants to spend a little time playing with each gift. The whole process lasted a good part of the afternoon and was so much fun.

Shortly after the gifts were opened the fam pitched in to restore order to the backyard and driveway. Thank y’all! And then, as fast as it began, it was over. Everyone loaded their cars and headed to their homes. The house was fairly quiet, the cake eaten, the gifts open, and we had two tired children.

Sunday morning T3 woke first. I was reading to him and rocking him in the nursery when MW, with her sleepy eyed look, stumbled in and crawled up on my lap to snuggle beside T3.

I asked, “do you know what today is?”
“Yes. My birfday.”
“That’s right! Happy Birthday!”
“Where’s all the people. It’s my birfday and nobody is here!”

Oh my…so we gave MW one gift before church, dress up shoes to match the dress she saved and saved for. I was certain they’d be a perfect fit. I was wrong. They were too small. But MW was adamant that they fit…so Bobo, in her EXTREME generosity, took MW to Target before church to exchange the shoes for a pair that fit. Unfortunately none were to be found. However, we decided a few sizes too big was better than a super tight fit. T, T3, and I met Mom and MW at church.

Afterwards, we asked MW where she would like to eat lunch…her pick since it was her birthday…and of all the places, she picked McDonalds. We encouraged other places. We suggested and even pleaded, but McDonalds it was!

And so we joined the Sunday afternoon chaos of McDonalds and their playground. It was exhausting, but it was MW’s birthday and we had told her she could pick…

After lunch we headed home and gave her the rest of the gifts from us. I think the biggest hit was the tool set T had picked for her. Sporting her new Sunday dress, she quickly put on the safety glasses, hard hat, and tool belt and loaded her tools in it. In lieu of a nap, MW and T headed out to the garage to build a birdhouse, utilizing MW’s new tools.

They’re still working on painting it, and it’s going to be gorgeous! I can’t wait to see it hanging in the yard!

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