Thursday, December 19, 2013

Birthday Bash!

So, yesterday was my birthday, and what a fantastic day it was. After Ryan and Timmy got up to ready themselves for school, they gave me heck for my age (Ryan) and artwork from school (Timmy). Timmy also gave me a bazillion hugs and I-love-yous. ;)

Phil made breakfast, including chocolate milk, an indulgence we treasure of a morning now and again. And in a perfectly birthday-legal breach of Chocolate Milk Etiquette, I drank in a long drawl of it before I even took a bite of my fried eggs on toast. It was just that kind of birthday.

I spent the early morning get-ready-for-school time writing my little heart out. I actually was late getting Timmy up, so absorbed was I in the article. Thankfully that one has his routine down to an art form. It’s not that he’s so eager to get to school; he wants to make sure he’s exactly walk-out-the-door ready so he can spend every last nanosecond watching a show, or playing on the computer. 

I spent a bit of time on the computer, but since I had been so sick with a stomach virus the day before, I was really wiped out. I napped for two hours! Hey, it’s my birthday. Birthday Rules say that I can do anything I want, and I also don’t have to do any work, either. I chose to nap. Well, my body made that decision for me. ;)

We went to each of the boys’ schools and picked them up around 1:30, surprising them, and went out to eat for my birthday lunch. Growing up, it was tradition in my family to pick your birthday meal. I usually chose meatloaf. When I started having my family, we made it a tradition to go out to eat for the birthday supper. Lately it’s changed to be more of a lunch treat, as the prices are better. And besides, it was more funner to unexpectedly collect the boys from school and whisk them away to a local Chinese buffet. 

You gotta click on this and see it larger!
The place was great and had a larger selection than our former preferred buffet. The kids loved it, Phil and I loved it. Timmy was as off the wall as ever (when is that ADHD appointment, anyway??), but despite annoying and arguing with Megan, one of his favorite sports, spilling a puddle of soy sauce the size of Michigan from a capped bottle, and ignoring my decision that he should NOT sprinkle a few packets of sugar on his ice cream, he really was quite funny.

At one point he stood up to tell me about someone we all dislike, saying, “Mommy, you should see how crazy Maude is!” I was sitting on the opposite end of the table on the other side. Before I could stop myself, I muttered, “I already know how crazy she is.” Timmy stopped mid-chatter, snickered, and said, “Good one!” Then resumed his story about her. Caity put her head to the table, busting up laughing, and I just about choked trying to hide my own laughter. 

We finished up the afternoon with a little shopping, went home, and Phil and I spent the next few hours refereeing the boys as they “played” with the neighbor boys. “Play” being defined as: verb; to pretend you are going to sit around the computer and strategize in a civilized manner how to best win the game on it, when in actuality, you jump up and down, knock over chairs, spill drinks, grab each other’s snacks and then scream, “HEYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!”, smack each other on the head and then return the favor while screaming, “HEYYYYY DON’T HIT MEEEEEE!!!!!!!” and whine and argue about whose turn it is.

And let’s not forget, “HEY YOU MADE ME LOSE MY JOE!!! YOU STUPID STUPID-HEAD!!!!” I can’t use what they really say here because, well, this is a blog about family life and I want you to think my family and I are perfect. ;)

After about two hours of that torture, Phil and I sent the other kids home, and we started tree decorating. This is actually a tradition that started on my first birthday, way back in nineteen-shnkdhuah3nsvlareor6w. My family always decorated the Christmas tree on the night of my birthday, and I always carried it on each year. 

So the tree needed a little help standing up straight. I think maybe he had one night too many of standing out in the tree lot, chugging down Mike’s Hard Miracle Gro with the few buddies he had left. For ease, let’s just call him Bob. Phil and Caitlin worked hard to help Bob out, tilting him here, leaning him there, screwing and re-screwing the tree stand bolts until he stood as nice and tall as a skinny, oddly-shaped tree could stand. Bob ended up having his oddest shaped side turned to face the window, and the last I heard from him was, “ Ah camp breeeeve!”

While all this was going on, Ryan had taken the handmade quilted tree skirt and wrapped it around his middle, as a kilt. 

He went around the house talking in his best Irish brogue, which isn’t easy when you’re 13 and your voice is changing. I followed him and repeated the old Irish Spring commercial where the woman says, “Made for a man, but I like it too!” 

Ryan actually told me to take a picture of it, so I did. This was a rare opportunity to capture his emerging sense of humor, at *his* behest. Yes, I fairly sprinted for my camera and snapped the photo before he changed his mind. ;)

Soon the tree decorating was in full swing, with me in charge of the ornament box trying desperately to run interference as Timotheus grabbed at very delicate real German glass ornaments that cost a lot, almost slinging them through the air as I keep up a steady stream of, 

“No, don’t touch that. I told you I will tell you which ones you can hang. No, leave that one. Timmy, that’s very delicate and expensive! Don’t touch! I said don’t touch! Timmy, these are very old, you need to not touch them. Great Grammie made them. You can hang these unbreakable ones here. No, not that one, that’s my German glass chestnut. No, Timmy, stop grabbing them. Don’t touch. Don’t touch! I SAID DON’T TOUCH!!!” 

Ryan has reached the age where he would be careful, and I felt it was time to show him the confidence I have in him as he’s maturing, so for the first time, he got to help Caity hang the fragile ornaments on the tree. I’m so glad I did, because I think it was a big boost to his self-esteem that we entrusted this responsibility to him. He was very careful and almost business-like in his handling and placement of them. My heart still smiles thinking of it.

And when Bob was in full Christmas tree regalia, lights turned on, oohing and aahing completed, Phil made me sit and my precious family gave me gifts. I got pretty nightgowns and shirts, socks and chocolate,  and….BOOKS!!!! 

Have I ever mentioned my love affair with books?? I devour them ravenously. I read them voraciously. I consume them like a person gasping for oxygen…or maybe it’s they who consume me. ;)

Caity had made me a cake, and it was now time to sing the birthday song. I sang too. ;) Candles had been lit, and thankfully the number of them did *not* come anywhere near my age, or we would have had the fire department here last night! 

I blew them all out, and didn’t need my inhaler afterwards. I noticed later that Phil had bought a package of 80 candles. Eighty?? How old does he think I am?? Crypt Keeper??  

Seriously, though, Phil is the sweetest man to me, and the age thing...he always says my age is ten years younger than it actually is. :) 

The kids ate oversized pieces of my mom’s recipe Velvet Midnight Cake, and that was their supper! By then it was late, and the boys needed to lay their heads down for school in the morning, Megan was ready to go to her hidey hole and color until she went to sleep, and Caitlin had plans to go out visiting a friend. Phil and I slipped off to our haven to relax with a little white merlot and some ID channel shows. I can’t remember what we watched but it was something comforting like Wives With Knives or something. Just kidding, of course! It was the new one, Diabolical. ;) 

And so, as the night wound down, Phil and I chatted about the day, played a little Bejeweled Twist on our laptops, and ordered pizza in from Domino’s. And it was a good day, too, such a good day! I loved it and I truly am so thankful for my family making it so special for me. I hope you enjoy hearing about it. I didn’t even tell you the half of it. Maybe next time. ;) 

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