Tag: Birthdays

43

Ice cream with a crunchy shell, whipped cream, and a candle copyright 2011 all rights reservedToday I am 43. Birthdays often cause me to take stock and I have to say all things considered, life is pretty damn good these days.

I have an awesome husband (but don’t mention it because he hates compliments), two beautiful children and scads of friends and family whom I rely on to stay sane.

My daughter wished me Happy thirty-second birthday this morning. I laughed but told her, I don’t mind aging. I’m happy with progress and I can honestly say while there are specific experiences I wouldn’t mind reliving, I have no desire to go back to any certain time in my life.

I read a blog post recently where the blogger said that people who say they have no regrets are full of sh*t. Well then I guess I’m full of it because I have no regrets. Regrets to me are big picture things that I truly had control over. I’m glad I went to college where I did, I’m glad I’ve chosen the careers I did. I’m glad I married the man I did and that we had two kids. I’m even glad we moved to New Hampshire. The big choices have all worked out well for me. Yes there have been (and continue to be struggles), and I do wish some things had turned out differently. But, to call those things regrets is making big stuff out of small stuff.

So, what’s next? Writing. I have a number of stories in various stages of draft. Consciously I know that the real work can’t begin until I get the story out of my head and into a setting (digital or analog) where I can refine it. If I could just get out of my own damn way, I would have something to edit in no time.

It is the getting out of my own way that I struggle with. I have a habit of planning ahead. I am always looking forward trying to do things as efficiently as possible so as to be prepared and to minimize effort. While there are situations where this is a handy skill set, often, it in my attempt to anticipate the future, I borrow trouble. I try to figure out what all the possible hurdles could be and I get overwhelmed. Once I am overwhelmed with all the ways I could fail, it becomes clear to me that I am wasting my time and I walk away. I have to keep reminding myself that with writing, it is the means that justify the end. Once I get the “sloppy copy” out, only then can I refine it and turn it into something viable. I have to turn off my planning instinct and just roll with it. In other words just write!

Also on the agenda is continuing my quest for weight loss and improved health. I’ve mad a good start and am thrilled with the results. There is nothing like the feeling you get when you put on a pair of pants that were too tight last summer only to find out they are just right or even a smidge loose this summer. Now I just need to keep it up. Thus far, I’m not finding it quite as hard as I expected and any challenges are tempered by the successes.

Those are my big challenges for the foreseeable future. If only it was that easy that I should focus only on those to things, I’d be svelte and published in no time! Back in the real world, I am married with aging parents and growing children. Relationships must be nurtured, bills must be paid, and schedules must be managed. I say that with no tone of martyrdom or malice. Like I said at the top, I’m happy with the choices I’ve made.

Onward towards 44!

Negi Hama Roll, Salmon and avocado roll, and philly roll
There are 3 birthdays in 4 days in our local extended family. Last night 17 of us went to a Japanese steak house to celebrate. I opted for sushi!

 

Birthday Cake

So, yes, Mim turned six with much fanfare. There was a family party where he and his birthday twin Auntie Jennie celebrated their birthdays. The menu included hot dogs hamburgers, french fries and chocolate cake. His choice as Auntie decided to skip her birthday this year 😉

On Sunday, we had Timmy’s birthday party with his friends. He asked for a Lightening McQueen cake, no shock there. This will be the third year in a row he requested a Lightening McQueen cake. The first year, we couldn’t get one, the grocery store didn’t offer a Lightening theme. Last year, we found one at Sam’s Club. It was 3 times as much cake as we needed, but Mim was stoked because it came with a functioning McQueen on top. The black frosting used for the road, was a little much though.

We’ve been watching a lot of Ace of Cakes lately, so this year I got brave (or stupid I wasn’t really sure which) and rented a Lightening McQueen cake pan from my local cake and candy supply shop.

The baking and frosting process was an adventure. I overfilled the pan, so the cake erupted all over my oven and took twice as long as I thought it would to bake. BUT, it came out of the pan almost flawlessly. I’m a function over form person, I will pick taste over aesthetics any day, so I made a pure butter cream frosting, no shortening for me. Pure buttercream tastes better, but it is also softer, so it doesn’t hold it’s form as well as a frosting made with shortening. Add to that the 100% humidity and things were a little squishy on the frosting front.

All that said, I don’t think it came out half bad. Most importantly, Mim loved it.

And Then You Were Six

Image Credit Target Portrait Studios

It’s here! It’s finally here! Mim, you are six. You have waited with baited breath for this day since your sister’s birthday in April. Your day is finally here. I’m pretty sure that everyone in our town and at least half the people in the surrounding towns know that today, you turn six. It is the only thing you have talked about for weeks.

If I could bottle your energy and sell it, I’d fulfill the world’s energy needs with enough leftover to fuel extended space exploration. From the moment you wake up, you are happy and in motion. Some part of you is always moving. Even if you body is still, your mouth is moving. There are so many questions to be asked, so many stories to tell. So much information to share.

Just yesterday, you told the woman drawing my blood at the blood drive all about your birthday, our summer travel plans and that your friend E is going to a wedding at the end of June. Your nickname of The Mayor is well earned. You know everyone, and if you don’t, you introduce yourself to them. Shy, you are not.

You are almost finished Kindergarten and as expected, you’ve done well academically. Ms. J. was a perfect teacher for you. She challenged you academically and helped you grow socially.

You have learned to read and this new skill thrills you to no end. This year, you took swim lessons at the Y and you gained a world of confidence in the water. You have a huge heart and a very distinct sense of how things should be. It was challenging for you at first to acclimate yourself to a new group of peers, but you rose to the occasion and although you sometimes still need the a small reminder, you have endeared yourself to your peers.

Lightening McQueen rules your world. Your favorite TV show is Fetch with Ruff Ruffman. You have an active imagination and if your sister isn’t available, you and your “friend” Jason often re-enact Fetch episodes. Sometimes Jason says and does things you know are wrong, and you go to great lengths to educate him to the whys and how of the world.

You love you Daddy, and make a point of indentifying yourself with him whenever you can (Dad and I will fix the driveway while the girls go to the Girl Scout meeting). This sometimes annoys your sister to no end, but she learning not to take it personally. You think your sister is pretty cool and together, you go on many adventures as rock stars or life guards, wizards or scientists.

Your inability to focus on a particular task for an extended period of time can stand on my last nerve, and bust me out laughing all inside of 30 seconds. SQUIRREL! But, you exuberance for life and boundless curiosity make me want to be a more patient person and a better parent.

Happy sixth birthday Mim. I can’t wait to see where the next year takes you.

The First Weekend in April

BUSY! BUSY! BUSY!

Friday was Fish’s tenth birthday. So, there was some of this.

A chocolate bundt birthday cake with heart sprinkles

Grammy & Grandpa gave her a “Just Like You” doll from American Girl and we thought she was going to cry.

Fish hugging Grammy

The arrival of her new doll encouraged her brother to get his doll, named Sonic. (This is an improvement from the doll’s original name, Knuckles. Don’t ask, we don’t know).

Timmy Hugging Sonic, his Bitty Twin Boy Doll

Saturday brought gorgeous weather that just begged to be enjoyed, so after we completed a few chores, we headed for the local skate park so Mim could get back on his big bike and Fish could try her new skate board. I tried it too 😦

Mim and fish at the top of a ramp.  He on his bike her on her skateboard.  My scraped knee.

Sunday of course was Easter and the whole family gathered at Grammy’s house. There were deviled eggs, a ham, an egg hunt, a bunny cake and crack pie (a dessert that will have a blog post unto itself in the near future).

An egg dyed to look like a devil, the bunny cake, Grumpy old man smiling, dyed eggs, a hidden egg, Fish hunting eggs, Cousin Smiling, Group shot of kids counting their egg hunt loot.

We came home and while the grown ups settled into a food coma, Fish taught herself how to ollie.

10

Fish in "concert dress" teal striped shirt, black skirt, brown capri's polka dot socks and sneakersToday you are 10 years old.

Ten

Diez

A Decade

Double Digits

You are smart, but more importantly you are curious. You want to understand that which is new to you. You aren’t afraid to ask for a definition or an explanation. Explanations, that given the complexities of this world we live in, I am sometimes woefully unprepared to offer. Be patient, I am trying.

You are stretching and growing so fast. Everyday, the little girl facade cracks a little revealing a maturing you. Your thirst for maturity and responsibility grows by the day. Your dad and I struggle to achieve the delicate balance between encouraging your growth and maintaining your safety. Most of the time, it isn’t that you aren’t ready for new responsibilities, it is that we, your parents aren’t ready for you to be ready for those responsibilities. We’ll get there.

I am quick to grouse when the laundry STILL isn’t put away or when I trip making my way across your room. Yet, I don’t tell you often enough how proud I am of you. I assume you know, but I need to remember offer more praise, you deserve it.

You do what your supposed to do when you are supposed to do it so often, I forget to say thank you and good job. I come to expect it and yet I think the level of responsibility you demonstrate is remarkable for your age.

You are a fantasitc big sister. Your brother can drive you nuts, and you require your own time and space, but you look out for him and seek him out to play with him. He thinks you a pretty special too.

I love the way you move back and fourth between your roles as emerging tween and little girl. Never let go of the little girl completely.

I love that everyone who meets you has nothing but great things to say about you. Your teachers say you are a joy to have in class and they wish they could clone you. They are amazed at how you make connections between what you are learning and your own experiences. The neigbhor says you are kind and sweet and so patient when you work as a mother’s helper.

I love that out of the blue, you ask about a friends we haven’t seen in a while and say “we should get together with them soon.”

Your heart is huge and given easily and sometime that means it gets bruised easily too. I cringe on those days and while I want to go bop whomever has hurt your feelings, I hang back and try to help you work it through on your own. Never mistake my lack of action for a lack of caring. I’ve got your back baby!

You have a sense of style and organization that is all your own. Often it puzzles me, but I am enjoying watching it develop. I hope that you will continue to mix and match.

I can see some of both of your dad and I in you and yet there is a third part, that is all you. I am enjoying watching as you take the pieces we’ve given you, mix them with your own expereinces and desires and mold them into a person that is truly you.

Mother daughter relationships are notoriously fraught with challenges. We have ours and will, no dobut, have more, but I want you to know that no matter what, I will always love you and ultimately while I want nothing but the best for you, what matters most to me is that you figure out what makes you truly happy.

Happy 10th Fisharoo!