After almost a month of celebrating, the kids have finally finished their birthdays! I might actually be relieved. While my paternal relatives always applaud the stretching out of celebrations, it was almost out of control (in a good way.) But, I'm not sure I can do what Shelley of Little Chickadees does, and stop the big celebrations when they turn 10, having only individual sleepovers or something with one friend. Which tells me something about myself . . . .
It started way back before school was out, with a disco dance party with a luau theme and even a Tiki pole. "Nikki Minaj" and "Psy" danced their hearts out with their friends to all their favorite Taylor Swift and Pink and Katy Perry songs and played various games such as Coke and Pepsi, balloon race, limbo, and this 1-2-3-4 cluster game. They ate pizza and homemade chocolate-frosted vanilla cupcakes, with crushed vanilla wafers for sand under mini-umbrella decorations, and danced some more. Once home, they opened lots of presents (no one up here seems to open presents at parties--I've never seen it done.) Since then, we've written half the thank-you notes and I have since lost the list and the notecards!
Then one Saturday, Mama and the kids headed to NYC to celebrate all the summer birthdays, of which there are four, with Ma and Gong and Goo. They had dim sum, ice cream from the truck, and special Japanese pastries, I believe.
We gave them each an early birthday present. Bud got the first three episodes of Star Wars, which we promptly watched. His favorite is #2; he really disliked Order 66 in #3. Sis enjoyed them, too, and they've both been playing Jedi non-stop since. Sis received two more American Girl dolls--the original Felicity and Elizabeth--which a teenager daughter of a colleague of Mama's was letting go of. Sis has now named that Felicity "Martha" instead, because she had named her Make Your Own doll "Felicity" first. Confused? No worries. We gave her the dolls early (and therefore Bud the DVDs) because Gommie was taking Sis to the American Girl doll store in Houston for a birthday treat and we knew she'd want to get their ears pierced. So we hauled all the dolls to Texas and she and Gommie had fun playing with them.
Then, as I mentioned in my Texas post, Gommie threw an impromptu party for them and invited all the aunts, uncles, and cousins for cake and ice cream (why is it that no one up here every pairs cake with ice cream at parties? It's the best!) If I count correctly, there were 17 adults and 12 youngsters, almost all relatives (the kids were no longer overwhelmed by this, even if Mama will always be.) There were cards, homemade ice cream (along with lots of Blue Bell), confetti poppers, kites, and water balloons, so of course they had a water balloon fight.
Later that afternoon, Great Aunt Sis and Uncle W had presents for the kids when we visited them--wonderful books, as always--as well as cheesecake and ice cream, fruit and cheese. We also gave Aunt Sis, another summer birthday, a Tudor Rose suncatcher from the Pre-Raphaelite exhibition to put in her window since she spends so much time in bed.
On their real birthday earlier this week, Mama and I played "birthday fairy" and decorated the house with streamers and Star Wars birthday banners and left the last couple of wrapped presents on the couch with a clear warning "not to open without Moms!" We could hear them crowing about it all at 6:40 the next morning! More Legos and the complete Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? dvd set. And tickets for all of us to see The Lion King on Broadway (their first real Broadway show!) later this summer! (I think this excites us more than them, even having seen it twice already ourselves. But they'll love it and we've long dreamed of taking them.) Needless to say, the Legos were done and the first disc of Carmen Sandiego watched before the day was out. We made Rice Krispie treats as part of the fun. Later, we went up to a little pool birthday party for them at babysitter M and Miss K's house in the afternoon, which was kind of them. Dinner was Italian.
And finally, last night, original Beloved Babysitter M came over, having returned from a week in London and Paris (about which I was very interested and the kids not so much!) She generously brought presents, the best being walkie-talkies which they've used non-stop since then, especially for playing a modified chase game outside. And Babysitter--about whom it is as hard to believe she is 21 as they are 8! She's been with us for almost 8 years!--then played their all-time favorite games of "Escape Zoo" and "Tickle Monster," just like they did years ago. So, even if they are 8, it's great to see that some things just don't change and they still are, while much closer to 10 than 5 in attitude and activities, pretty much kids.
Happy Birthday, Sis and Bud!