This is the point in the season where I remind myself to just breathe. We’ve had Quinn’s birthday, Thanksgiving, Mona’s birthday…. Just Aden’s sleepover to go and I can finally concentrate on Christmas. It would be so nice to spread out some of the festivities and parties and gifts over other parts of the year, but that’s just not how it works for us. We have a month and a half that feels like an avalanche of wrapping paper and sugar and then the calendar looks like a desert until piddly things like Valentine’s Day or 4th of July show up.
Quinn just turned five. Five! And he seems older. I mean, of
course he’s older, but there is something less small and fragile about
him now that feels new. He’s taller and he moves like a bigger kid.
His toddler proportions are gone. He still gloms onto me like the baby
boy I’ve always known, but Quinn has crossed some threshold into a
leaner more capable state of being that startles me sometimes. Five
just seems so grown up.
Mona’s party was a bit more work and very loud. My little girl is eight! Wow. She used to look like this:
Mona wanted a fish theme, with a cake that looked like an aquarium. This was easier than the dragon cake from last year,
but I still had to think about it. We ended up with four layers of
sheet cake and lots of frosting, and Mona cut out all the fish and
plants herself from sugar paper. We used a bit of brown sugar along the
bottom to look like sand, and Mona added details with some piping gel.
I finished it off with a little bit of leftover silver spray paint so
it might look more like it was behind glass.
Mona’s party included a game where the kids got to hunt repeatedly for clams she’d made out of duct tape.
When anyone found a clam with his or her name inside they got to ‘fish’
in the fishing hole where Aden was waiting on the other side with a bag
of prizes. Everyone had a fish bowl that they could pile their prizes
into, and Quinn, Ian, and Mona just kept hiding the same clams again and
again until the party was over. It was an easier game than actually
trying to organize all those kids into doing something together, but it
made all of them happy and kept them busily moving around.
Mona got some great gifts, including a big roll of yellow duct tape
(which I always have trouble finding for her) and an optical illusion
ornament from Ian’s mom that had everyone mesmerized. Her big gift from
us this year was we finally told her she could have a real fish.
Overall a lovely day, but I’m worn out. One more cake to make, and
our first ever sleepover coming up, and then I promised the kids we
could finally get a tree. And then after figuring out what birthday
gifts to get all my kids, I get to start looking for more gifts.
Because there is another event with gifts coming up, right? Yeah,
that. If I only I could convince them that half-birthdays are cooler
than actual birthdays….