Monday, November 4, 2013

Day of Birthday Parties

Saturday was another day with an overly full schedule.  It didn't help that we were all sleep deprived from Jackson having two night terrors that lasted nearly an hour each.  The morning began earlier than I'd have liked with an 8:15 chiropractor appointment for Maddie.  The good news is she was exited from regular chiropractor visits because she no longer shows any misalignments or trouble moving her neck.  The bad news is the reflux cannot be improved from adjustments.  Overall, I still consider my chiropractor to be a miracle worker.

Once home, I had an hour and a half to make my niece a princess birthday cake for her 3rd birthday.  While I love experimenting with new recipes and fresh ingredients, I was feeling overwhelmed with our schedule and cut every corner I could.  I used a vanilla cake mix, quickly whipped up a batch of vanilla buttercream, and threw a 97¢ tiara on top.  Voila!   

We had two birthday parties and a visit with an out of town friend planned, which meant we would be gone for just over nine hours.  Therefore, we had to pack an entire day's worth of diapers, bibs, burp cloths, and spare outfits.  I needed to bring bottles, the pump, and emergency formula just in case I don't pump enough.  (I've never had to use it before but knowing my luck, the day I don't bring it will be the day I don't make enough milk.)  At the last minute I decided to also bring the pack-in-play in hopes that the babies would nap. 

The first birthday party was a cookout an hour away at my brother's house.  We gathered to celebrate my niece's 11th birthday.   My favorite thing about having a large family is that my children will always receive ample attention and affection, which is something I feel I can never provide enough of by myself. 

My brother's home had a strangely unpleasant odor, so we spent a good deal of time outside.  After pigging out on hamburgers, hotdogs, chili, slaw, and beans, we all needed to stretch and walk around a bit anyway.  The younger kids ran races and played with the dogs.

Every good birthday party ends with cake and presents. 

After the first party we had 2.5 hours before the next birthday party.  We met up with one of my closest childhood friends.  Unfortunately, the babies and Jack had other plans as they were all getting cranky and tired.  I regret not taking any pictures, but we had to head on to help prepare for the next party.  Thankfully I brought the pack-in-play so by the time we got to my brother's house the babies were able to nap.  Jack had some downtime while I helped cook dinner. 

Maddie was so darn cute sitting (with obvious support) in my niece's princess chair and talking away with the sweetest sounds.  She demanded attention from everyone.

Before cake and presents we discussed how we want to handle Christmas presents this year.  Now that we have nearly 20 nieces and nephews, my siblings and I voted to draw children's names for Christmas this year.  My oldest sister orchestrated everything and all the kids gathered around sharing their requested gift items.  Jackson's top three choices were "candy, candy, candy".  I joked that the babies choices were various gift cards to Starbucks, nail salon, Mexican restaurant, etc.  We ended up suggesting Ikea high chairs, baby food, interactive toys, and girly dresses and headbands for the babies.  For Jack we wrote down a small basketball goal, play tool kit, and candy.

To say that the past seven months have been challenging for my brother is an understatement.  Despite immense grief over the loss of his wife, our family (mostly my oldest sister) has come together to support him and his children.  I'm so thankful that we can celebrate birthdays together.      

Make a wish!

It was yet another marathon day with a late night drive home.  Exhaustion did not deny us a joyful day, though it nearly won over.  At least we got an extra hour of sleep thanks to Daylight Savings.

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