Wednesday, June 26, 2013

June, June, June--Birthday Month

First off, I just want to say that if you have the option to plan out when to have your kids, don't make them be born within two weeks of each other (unless, of course, you are going for a Guinness record and happen to have them all on one day. That would actually be cool). Other than the fact that it is easier to figure out how old everyone is because they're in increments of two and all turn at the same time, I see no other benefit to this strategy. My excuse, if it is one, is that none of our June births were initially intended to be in June. One took me 9 months to conceive and one was not exactly planned (definitely wanted, just sooner than expected). But complaining about it will not change the fact that from June 3rd to June 18th our family experiences 4 birthdays--and, to make it sound that much worse, Father's Day to boot.

I know I shouldn't bother worrying about birthdays so much, and I really do try to not go overboard, but the fact remains that June is a really stressful month for me. If I don't do anything for everyone's birthday, nobody will. This June has been one of the most stressful, but that's another possible post. I guess I just want everyone to feel special on their birthday and do something fun that they want to do. I'm not talking about having some all out birthday party, just go where they want to go and eat what they want to eat. How hard is that?

To start off, Jared's birthday was on the 3rd. I think I was bracing myself for the summer and the rest of the birthdays, so I really didn't do much for Jared. I know he went to work and bought donuts for his co-workers. I also remember taking 5 children to the grocery store that day, making BBQ pork ribs and cleaning the house. What I couldn't bring myself to do after shopping with the kids was buy Jared's present. He's got to know I can only do so much. So after dinner we went to Lowe's as a family and got him a router (so predictable--my parents were not surprised that it was a tool either). As we got home and started eating some cherry pie, my parents dropped by because they were in the neighborhood, and amidst everything that was going on at the time, we totally forgot to sing to him. I put a candle in his toast the next day to make up for it. This is the one picture we have of him on his birthday. We also had all of Jared's family over the next Sunday and that was kind his party.
Next up, Marissa turned 5 on the 6th. Five!!! For some reason I can't believe that she is actually five. Connor turning 3 and Erin turning 9--those I can believe, but Marissa can't possibly be 5. Ever since last year when Erin got to go to Build-a-Bear on her birthday, Marissa has been saying that's what she wanted to do on her birthday. She picked a pink Hello Kitty named Sparkle with a sparkly dress and a cell phone. I think it's so funny to see what kids pick when they get to make all the choices. Definitely things I would never choose. When they got home Erin got hers out and they played some sort of exclusive game involving just Build-a-Bear stuffed animals.
She wanted to go swimming so I braved the pool with all the kids by myself, along with my neighbor and her kids (oh, and about 50 other people in our neighborhood). I am constantly counting kids when I go to the pool! Marissa had been wearing the same swimsuit since her second birthday (I'm sure it just stretched as she grew). It was definitely time for a new one. This is one she got for her birthday.
We had pizza and crazy bread for dinner and then went to Trafalga where the kids rock climbed and rode on some fun rides. That night our neighbors came over to help us eat her cake. She wanted a Strawberry Shortcake cake so this is what it ended up like. I will admit that it actually looks better in this picture than it did in person. I was just excited that my food coloring concoction actually made the skin color look like skin color.
And there were no pictures of her blowing out candles or opening presents. That's all she got in the way of pictures this year. In addition to Sparkle the weird pink Hello Kitty, she also got a barbie and an art set. I think she had a good day.
Just a note about Marissa. For probably 9 months now she has wanted her own scripture and prayer at night after our family scriptures and prayer. This is something Jared started with her when she couldn't go to sleep, and now she kind of demands it. I will admit that sometimes I just want her to go to sleep, but I love that she is sensitive to the spiritual things. You can't say no to a child wanting to read scriptures and pray.

The next week was Connor's 3rd birthday.
 He said he wanted a "Fiderman" cake, which means Spiderman in Connor-ese. This cake didn't look any better in person either, but I think most people could tell is was supposed to be Fiderman. At least it wasn't my worst cake (that was Jared's infamous fly swatter cake of 2012).
In the morning, he dressed like a dinosaur...
...and in the day we went to the dinosaur museum where he played in the wet sand play area and the dry sand play area.
 We went to get some ice cream at Thanksgiving Point, since we were already there.
 They love the sitting on the bar stools.
And, oh yeah, I went to Lowe's to pick up some sand for the sand box that we'd built but was sitting sand-less. And when I say "some" I actually mean 700 pounds of sand! Yeah. I could barely move the cart let alone get it in my car. But according to my calculations, that is how much I would need to fill it up (and it's not even that big!). So the kids finally had sand to play with on his birthday. He got a whole bunch of sand toys, a giant tennis ball, a Spiderman glove thingy and another ball and mitt sort of toy. I'm sure I will read this in years from now and wonder what the heck those descriptions actually mean.
The sand box is a huge hit around here. It gets played with every single day by our kids and about 20 others. I love that there are seats, and I love it when they track sand inside... They are learning rule #1: go in through the garage, meaning they have to walk across the grass before they come inside. And also rule #2: no throwing/flicking/dumping sand. I'm glad we have it.
I don't have a picture of it fully closed, but here is a shot of one side closed when we were still building it. I still think it is such a clever design and I only wish I had been the one to think of it.
Lastly, Erin turned 9 on the 18th. She is growing so fast. She is no longer a kid, she's like a tween now. Weird. Her day ended up being really busy. We had swimming lessons for 4 kids, gymnastics for Erin, lots of playing and Activity Days at night. Alex also had a piano lesson and while I was running over to take him, Erin decorated her cake. She started with purple frosting, and when I came back I could hardly see any purple at all because of all the sprinkles she used. Always the artist.
Activity Days was a Daddy/Daughter Olympics so they had to dress as matching Olympians, racquetball players, of course.
These are her presents. One had slippers and Mad Libs, another had a Barbie color and make-up artist set and the last one had a huge box that she was dying to know the contents of since we got it several weeks ago. It was a hammock chair for her room. It is really comfortable and fun. I just may have to get a couple for me and Jared.
She had been planning a birthday party for over a month, all on her own. She made some invitations and goody bags from random things she found around her room and wrapped them in cute fabric. She only wanted to invite two friends, and in the end one of them couldn't come. Erin didn't want to invite anyone else (even though she gets invited to lots of girls' parties), so it just became a two person party. Sometimes it worries me that she relies so much on one friend, but it dawned on me the other day when there were six girls playing over here that she gets really stressed out when there are so many friends around. Marissa needs tons of friends, Erin only needs one really good one. Right now that friend is our neighbor, Emma.

So the party was a spa party and it was really easy and inexpensive to do, since we mostly just used things we already had. We set up her room as the spa with candles and relaxing spa music. I think the music was the best part for me. Even though I was the worker at the spa, I felt so relaxed afterwards too. They started with Satin Hands and then a foot bath with Listerine, Vinegar and water (thank you Pinterest). I served them ice cream during the foot bath and then used a pumice stone and gave them foot rubs. I also buffed their finger nails at this point.
After the foot bath we did pedicures and manicure (just painted nails).
Next up was the face masks with cucumbers on their eyes.
Then I put a little make-up on them. Such pretty girls! I also did their hair and gave back scratches. In the end I'm glad there were only two girls and that Emma is such a calm girl because it made it so fun and relaxing for everyone. Seriously, it was the perfect birthday party. Oh, except for the part about Marissa and Alex crying about not getting to stay up late or have a spa like Erin.
 Happy Birthday Family! I love you all!


Lisa said...

Oh my goodness, your June was definitely more exhausting than mine and I thought mine was bad. Great job on the birthdays. That sandbox is incredible! Bring on July!

Network Ace said...

beautiful pics...nice

Drew Watts said...

Love these June birthday cakes. I truly loved how everything turned out to be. Well, we have also started preparations for my twin’s first birthday. It will be an extraordinary glitter inspired party. Have already availed the discount offers that were available at rental party home studios NYC.