After four kids, ten moves and nearly two decades, we are still blissfully in love (most of the time) and I found myself back in the state I was born and raised in. It has definitely been a journey. In fact, on our 18th anniversary we pulled the last of our stuff up over the pass and into Montana, leaving our surprise love, Idaho, behind. But Montana is a great place. The last best place according to some. And we fully intend to explore as much of it as we can! Join us on our continued adventure through life, love and other stuff that comes with it.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Birthday parties done "Heidi Style"

When my husband and I were dating and newly married, it took me at least three years to remember his birthday. Not remember his birthday in the sense that I forgot the actual day, but remember it in the sense that I knew the day and month if I was suddenly asked to supply it. (I'm having the same problem with our newest child. I'm still not 100% sure if it's the 14th or the 15th. Hopefully I'll figure that out sooner rather than later.) Basically, if you are my friend and I don't remember your birthday, don't take it personally, please.

Birthday parties are a mystery to me. I don't do birthday parties. Well, I do birthday parties. But I don't do them the way I'm *supposed* to do them. And I do them just because my kids like them for their birthdays and grandmas and grandpas like to come celebrate.

Calla turned three this past weekend. And she's been talking about and planning her birthday since at least August. Then about three weeks ago she started telling people that she was having a Tinker Bell birthday party. I was on the hook for that now, too. Dang it.

She's turning three. Her first birthday party we had to reschedule twice because she was sick. We finally had it sometime the end of February. Last year she got sick again, but only once. And then the day of the rescheduled party we had freezing rain. It was the best party ever. Grandma and grandma and grandpa braved the rain and mom and dad and her big sister were obviously there. Just enough company for a two-year-old and just enough presents for a two-year-old. It was perfect.

This year it was Tinker Bell or bust. And it becomes a story of how babywearing saved the birthday party.

Birthday party was scheduled for Sunday. I reserved the church since the thought of so many people in my house made me crazy. We live in a small house, now. A really small house. And I didn't want to clean it for a party. There. I said it. Judge me all you want.

My plan was to make a cake, buy some Tinker Bell plates and napkins and cups, open presents, and call it a party. As the day got closer, I started to wonder what else I should do to make it a party. My friends don't really have very high expectations for things like this. They know me. Blessedly my newest sister-in-law called inquiring about the Tinker Bell party. "Can we get some party hats and blowers or something?" Heck yea! I'm getting plates and cups and napkins. (The napkins didn't happen, but kids don't need napkins, right?)

Then our baby got a fever. On Saturday we took her to the doctor and they sent us to the emergency room for the evening. Grandma and the girls made the cake while we were gone. "Mom, just pour it in a 9 x 13 and bake it." I'm so fancy.

Sunday came and I stayed home from church with a sick baby. And I decided we should play a game at the party. Musical chairs. It's free, doesn't involve scary clowns, and it's fun to watch a bunch of preschoolers (and Ian) try to figure it out.

Clara! There's a chair! Sit in that chair!

This picture made me laugh. They were SO fast. Grandma got a kick out of it. And see her using her new camera? You go Grandma!

Cole was the champion. We played three games and he won two. See him sitting there all smug?

I tried to help Clara--as did everyone else. But alas. She just wasn't fast enough. Not by a mile. She barely beat Cole's sister. Mackenzie isn't even two yet. It must be a genetic talent.

Cake! Yay! See that excited little head under there?

SOOOO EXCITING! She can barely contain herself.

Took her a few tries to get the candles blown out. We'll have to practice before next year.

But she got them.

And her cake. Her Devil's-Food-out-of-a-box topped with whipped topping that we stirred strawberries into. Seriously good stuff. But we forgot the ice cream at home. Nobody missed it that I heard of.

And her presents. This one HAPPENS to be from her sister. Her sister is apparently SO excited for her to open it that she MUST help.

The game, cake and presents went so fast (the beauty of Heidi Style with the added urgency of a sick baby) that we still had time to kill, so we busted out the dot paints she got as a present. She was thrilled to share them with everyone. Better than party favors. The kids loved them. Including Ian.

If you must ask, yes, I made that dress.

I made Grace's too. They picked out their fabric.

Calla picked out the tights and shoes.

Don't argue with the three-year-old. It does no good to try to tell her that black tights and brown shoes do not go well with bright and cheery birthday dresses.

Thanks to Uncle Lance and Aunt Kristina, Tinker Bell made it to the part--in person. Calla was thrilled.

While the kids were painting, we cleaned up. The whole party start to finish was done in record time.

At home after she swept the floor with the broom and dustpand grandma got her (much safer than the adult sized one she has been wielding) she put the pajamas from grandma on and got out the doctor kit grandma gave her. She enlisted the help of Doctor Dad.


That kid. She's something else. I love her.

Happy Babywearing! (It saves birthdays.)

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