Make a Birthday Special

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Collin just turned four. I wanted to make his birthday memorable. I wanted to make his day special. I planned on getting up early and making him pancakes and putting a candle in it. I wanted to blow up balloons and have a little party for breakfast. I wanted to surprise him with a smiley face and his name on the bathroom mirror. I found all kinds of wonderful ideas on this blog post from The House of Hendrix.

Well, sometimes I can be a slacker mom, but with good intentions. Needless to say, I didn’t make pancakes or do any of the ideas above (even though they are super easy, check out the link above). I am not a morning person and the chaos with four kids in the morning is enough to feel as if I have lived a whole day just with our morning routine (or trying to get a morning routine since school just started). But I did manage to pull something out of my sleeve at the last minute.

I had everybody at the table with their Cheerios like a normal morning. I was in the kitchen trying to wake up and feeling a little bummed because I didn’t get up early enough to make pancakes (and wondering if you can make pancakes the night before and just put them in the microwave?).

Then I remembered the doughnuts the kids didn’t finish that my dad brought over two days ago. I reached into the back of the fridge for the chocolate doughnuts that I had been hiding and kind of forgot all about. They might be a little stale, but totally edible. I counted what was left in the bag. Phew, just enough. Eight would be enough for the kids to each have two.

I rummaged through the back of the drawers and finally found four oddball candles. Good enough.

I set the doughnuts on a plate and poked the candles into the doughnuts. I lit the candles and walked into the dining room. All of the kids were surprised and happily left the remainder of their Cheerios for doughnuts. We sang him Happy Birthday. Oh, the look on his face.

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I might be a slacker mom, the doughnuts might have been a teeny tiny bit stale, but it was still a special and memorable birthday, even at the last minute. Mission accomplished. (And I think I will try to be a better planner next time. Bradley’s up next.)

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How do you make birthdays special?

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My Baby Turns 3

I can’t believe my little Collin just turned 3!

I think back to when I had him and how much he has changed. It’s amazing how they grow so fast. I want to catch every little memory and keep it, like collecting butterflies in a jar. But since I can’t, I will settle for pictures and writing the little things down. 

Happy 3rd Birthday, my crazy little Collin!

xxx

October/November Recap

It has been so crazy here I haven’t blogged in a while. I feel like I have missed a lot. So I am just going to condense it into one big recap.

First we had Bradley’s 6th birthday.

And then my birthday.

Then Halloween. The kids got a lot of candy. I ate a large amount of chocolate.

 

 

 

 

 

And the day after Halloween was Elsie and Mallie’s first birthday. They really chowed down on the cake.

And the day after that was Brad’s birthday. And then Grandpa Don’s birthday.

And then my computer went haywire, not all by itself though… partly because of me. But thanks again, Dad, for fixing it.

And between all of that was the everyday jobs of keeping up with dishes, laundry, and all that fun stuff.

And finally a break!

It has been so busy I kind of felt like this (check out the video below). DIZZY!

It just makes me dizzy watching it. The first time Collin did it, he stood up and fell over. It was hilarious. I guess he learned, because from then on he just crawled afterward.

Actually, this is just one example of Brad’s way of entertaining himself with the kids on Sunday when he is watching football. I guess you have to do something with those commercial breaks.

xxx

Bradley’s 6th Birthday

It’s the anticipation, the excitement, the adrenaline…of a birthday when you’re young.

The waiting for a whole entire year and the day is finally here.

Bradley has been counting down the days since the first of October.

Each day he would say, “Twelve days left until my birthday, Mom.” Or, “Mom, only three days left,” and I could see the excitement in his eyes as he jumps up and down.

“I can’t wait to turn six, Mom. Almost everybody in my kindergarten class is six.”

My boy’s day is here. His special day.

The sugar rush from frosting and melting icecream getting soggy in cake.

The presents waiting to be torn open.

The great big birthday smile.

Running around with cousins up and down the stairs, being as noisy as possible.

What a great birthday party.

I love you. I am proud of you. I can’t believe my first baby boy is 6!

 

 

Milestones

August 16, 2011

We have been hitting a lot of milestones, especially today. It’s Collin’s second birthday and Bradley’s first day of kindergarten. <big sigh> I’m trying to hold back the tears.

First day of school –  All over America moms of kindergartners are crying as they watch their little ones go into the very beginning of their school career. And I’m sure some mother’s of older children are cheering, “Yes! They needed to go back to school before they drive me crazy!” Right now, I’m the crying one.

I woke up before all the kids on the first day of school, feeling that old excitement and fear as if I was in grade school again. I wonder who I will sit by? I wonder who will be in my class? I hope my teacher sure is nice? I can smell the new notebooks, glue, and crayons now. I remember when I couldn’t wait to use my new paints, and sport a new outfit and book bag.

Bradley was still fast asleep. I love sleeping children. I didn’t really want to get any of them up, but it is the “big day” and there’s no putting it off any longer.

Ready for the first day of kindergarten.

I studied the photocopied pick up and drop off procedures for Bradley’s school the night before and in the morning before we left. I looked at it through blurry eyes as I tried to push back those big momma tears that always want to spring out and overflow when you send your kid to kindergarten for the first time. I tried to orientate myself with the streets and the map, doing a rehearsal in my head. My brain did not want to cooperate since time and places are so confusing right now. I mean, he’s only a baby! And now I have to pull up, push him out of the car,  and send him into the big brick building all by himself (along with the seventy other something kindergartners)?

And I kept thinking how scary for him, but as we pulled up I smiled and in my most cheery mom voice said, “We’re here! You’re first day of kindergarten! How fun!” Fun for him, not for me – is what I really meant. I’m going to so miss having him home with me during the day. I really thought of holding onto his book bag and giving him a hundred kisses before the teachers had to pull me off, but I restrained myself. I also held back those tears (a.k.a. uncontrollable sobs) that I think all mom’s get that first day. I mean, I didn’t want to scare the poor lil’  fella’.

The thing that drove me crazy is I should have parked and made sure he got in the right line, etc. But I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to keep a handle on Collin, there wasn’t enough time, and there wasn’t anywhere to park anyway.

I got out anyway and helped him put on his book bag, gave him a kiss, “Have a good day. Mommy will be here in this line when you get out. Look for our car. And make sure you see Mommy in the car (for fear he might get into some other black SUV) before you get in.”

I asked one of the school staff standing there, “Where is he supposed to go?” I couldn’t really leave the car since Collin was in it, and you’re not supposed to park there (drop off only zone).

“Just go and get into the Kindergarten line,” she said motioning over to the hundreds of  lined up kids on the other side of the playground. “We goota keep this line moving. Your teacher will be holding up the Kindergarten sign. Oh wait, you probably can’t read yet. Ummm…” she was clueless. “I guess you could go park.” I looked around, park where? Two blocks away? I doubt we would make it to school on time. Cars were zooming in and out as they dropped off their kids. Movement was everywhere, and I just wanted to stay planted to that spot. “No, don’t go,” but I didn’t say it.

I took control of the situation. “Bradley, do you see that lady standing there in the white pants? See, there are two ladies, one in white and one in black? Go run up and there and ask her where the kindergarten line is.” And I held up the drop off-line while I watched and made sure he reached the ladies and was in place in line. Ticket me. I don’t care.

He was so happy and proud when I picked him up.

My dad was watching the girls, so when Collin and I got back home my dad says, “Happy Birthday, Collin! How old are you? Are you two?”

“Holy crap! I have been so busy running around to be on time this morning I forgot it was his birthday!” I mean, I remembered a week ago, two days ago…but it just slipped my mind this morning. I spoiled him the rest of the day.

He even got balloons and candy delivered from Connie at Miller’s Florist.

And…

He even got to eat the extra vegetables after dinner. (He helped himself.)

Cake and icecream for dessert.

*I forgot to get frosting. Oops. It just makes the cake healthy. ;)* And he’s two, so he doesn’t know any better yet. It also went well with the banana split icecream.

Other milestones, Mallie is crawling and pulling herself up on everything. This girl can get around…and gets into everything. I can tell she is going to be Collin’s partner in crime.

Don't eat the dog food, Mallie!

And Elsie has a tooth! Just one coming in on the top. If she gets the other one, I’m gonna call her Bugs, like Bugs Bunny. “What’s up, Doc?”

Elsie and Mickey

Oh, my sweet girls.

Second day of school – I actually cried more than I did the first day. Bradley jumped out of the car, “Bye, Mom!” as he went running. He forgot my kiss. He ran up to a teacher, “Where’s the kindergarten line?” And he was off.

Tomorrow my dad is taking him to school…on the Harley. Bradley is super excited. He is getting too big! But he will always be my baby.

xxx

Baking a Birthday Cake

I read the back of the box of the cake mix. Awww, crap! I don’t have a mixer. So I climbed back up the step stool so I could see the top shelf, where I stash all of the stuff I intend to bake but barely get to, and grab a different cake mix. Oh, good. This one says beat at medium speed for 2 minutes or 450 strokes by hand. Guess I will have to do it the hard way. I stirred, and stirred some more… I counted until about 150 and gave up on the counting. I really wish I had a mixer.

I counted aloud to the kids. I did a little dance as I stirred. I thought about all the arm muscles I was working out.  Bradley was racing cars across the kitchen floor. Elsie was trying to eat one. Mallie was tugging on my skirt. “O.kay, kids. Mommy needs to concentrate and read the directions,” I say to them and continue reading the back of the cake box aloud. I have my doubts. I’m making two cakes just in case. I have my anxiety. I will feel horrible if there is no cake to eat. I really hope it turns out.

Why do I have this job anyway? Do you not know my credentials or cooking/baking background?

But I do like the idea of baking for the kids and that motherly kind of stuff. I’m just not good at the food part of it. I’m excellent at the making a mess part of it. I can do science experiments and arts and crafts, but for me to make pancakes can be a challenge. I can’t flip them. More ends up on the spatula. They are burnt on one side and barely browned on the other. They can be soggy in the middle. I try to blame it on the pans. I try to blame it on the electric stove because I rather have a gas one. But it is all the same. I’m just not a cookie baking mom. I’m a cereal mom. (Even though I can make some good jell-o and a mean meatloaf).

I called my mom, “Hey, I’m making Cedrik’s birthday cake.”

She immediately interrupts me, “Oh, by yourself?”

“Yes,” I say, trying not to laugh. See, even my own mother knows. She had to throw a cookie sheet away once because no matter how much scrubbing or scraping my Snickerdoodles were stuck like glue to the cookie sheet.

“Why didn’t you have Hannah (my 13 year old niece) help you?”

“I didn’t think of that,” I say.  “Well, it doesn’t matter because I made the first one, but I forgot the oil. Will it still turn out? I was making the second cake and after putting the oil in that one, I realized I didn’t do it for the first one,” I whined. “I’m making two, just in case one doesn’t turn out.”

“Well, I’m not sure,” mom says. “It might be kind of dry.”

“As long as it’s edible,” I say hopefully.

The house filled with a delicious smell, which usually only happens when I light a candle. I watched the clock so I wouldn’t burn them.

I pulled them out of the oven. They looked pretty. They didn’t collapse. AND they tasted good. Nobody complained, anyway.

Phew! Success!

I just need to practice more. 🙂

xxx