Edited to add: Those of you seeing this in a feed reader, you might not be able to see that there is a slideshow here…click through to my blog to see it!
I woke up early (for me) and wandered down to the kitchen, to be greeted by Brenda with, “Happy birthday! I broke your garbage disposal.” In fact the disposal was fine but something was blocking the drain. We just used the other side of the sink and hand-washed dishes, figuring Troy could deal with it when he got home.
Bug apparently woke up on the wrong side of the bed, and had a very sad, ten-minute long crying fit over nothing in particular. She finally calmed down after some pah* time. Also I sat her on my lap and talked nonsense to her for a bit, pretending I couldn’t remember what we’d done at her birthday party…was it a Pink Napping Party? An Orange Swimming Party? She laughed at my silliness. Magical Birthday Girl powers to the rescue!
While preparing pancake batter, some bits of eggshell fell into the batter and stubbornly refused to be fished out. No one ever bit into them, though. Not sure what happened to them.
The chocolate-chocolate chip pancakes were delicious.
Heather, Rapunzel & Superchic, and Sue arrived at lunchtime. We immediately trooped off to Einstein Bros, which is one of my favorite places to eat. I deliberately chose to eat there for lunch when Troy wasn’t around, because although he will eat there it’s not his favorite. I had a very delicious, very messy Tasty Turkey on an asiago bagel with garden veggie shmear and ate every last bite. Yum.
Troy came home from work and fixed the sink in about five seconds flat. Yay!
Treasure hunt for the kids! Brenda and I had spent a couple of hours the night before drawing out clues and hiding them, placing bags filled with candy and toys for each girl at the end. We handed them the first clue, and they were off and running! They raced excitedly from one clue to the next, all over the house and the yard, finishing in what seemed like five minutes flat. In reality, it was probably about 15 minutes.
For birthday treats, I’d made myself cookies and cupcakes a couple of days before. JustJENN’s Praline Cookies were pretty easy to make and SO GOOD. Everyone loved them. I also made, for the first time, these Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Cream and loved those too. They were like lemon cupcakes with a little cheesecake in the middle. I also made lemon cream cheese frosting by adding a tablespoon of grated lemon zest (I like my frosting really lemony) to this recipe.
After the treasure hunt, we frosted and decorated the cupcakes with sprinkles and flowers.
I opened my presents, with the kids helping a lot. I was spoiled royally and got a lot of cool stuff. (In case anyone’s wondering about the prevalence of matryoshka dolls in my gifts, Brenda and Heather decided it would be cool to have a gift theme. I don’t collect them or anything (I own one that Troy bought for me on one of his deployments) but they knew I like them. And I loved all my gifts!
Heather had brought most of the fixings (Troy had to run to the store for one or two things) for homemade chicken enchiladas with her, and she made me my birthday dinner, which was very sweet of her. Thanks again, CC!
After dinner, we ate cupcakes for dessert and they were goooooood.
The kids played and the adults chatted and laughed. I think we would have gone all night if the little kids hadn’t started drooping visibly.
We dragged the kids into Annalie’s room to pick up the toys that covered every square inch of the floor. They resisted till we said, “Okay, see who can pick up 10 toys the fastest! And…GO!” Then they were giggling, whirling-dervish, toy-picking-up machines. I think Rapunzel won with more than 100 toys tossed into the toy box, but the other kids all picked up their share too. I love it when I can sneakily use kids’ natural competitiveness to compel them to cooperate.
Heather and her girls and Sue gathered up their stuff and said their good-byes. My mom did the same, because Heather was giving her a ride to the sticks where my Aunt Julie would come pick my mom up so she could visit for a few days.
Bug and Annalie fell asleep quickly, exhausted from such a fun-filled day.
I know we did something after that, but I don’t remember what. I am pretty sure Troy cleaned up the kitchen (which he often does even on days that are not my birthday, he rocks like that) but I have no memory of what else happened that evening. Maybe that’s the sign of a really good day, that in the end it’s just a happy, tired blur. Followed by doughnuts and lattes for breakfast the next morning.