Ollie is turning 3 today. I didn’t think I really had much to say about him, but then I looked back on the post I did when he turned 2, and I realized he really has come a long way.
When he turned 2, he was just starting to talk. Now, he never stops talking. Then, he was starting to be able to do things on his own. Now, he can zip his coat, and can (mostly) go to the bathroom by himself.
Although he *still* has very little interest in getting himself dressed. I guess when someone has applied creams over your entire body and dressed you morning and night for every day of your life, you don’t have much motivation to change that. Who said all that time I spent watching Downton Abbey was a waste? It turns out I would make an excellent lady’s maid (or I guess a valet if it came to that).
In the last few weeks, he as DEFINITELY become a 3 year old. Hoo boy. All of a sudden he loves being contrary just for the sake of being contrary. I know that it is very typical of his age, but it’s also very surprising, just because he’s usually so accommodating. He would absolutely argue with you about the color of the sky. I know that this is all a part of becoming an independent “big boy”.
Speaking of being independent, I think he’s becoming slightly less cuddly as he gets older and more independent. Still pretty cuddly, but not as much as he used to be. Less cuddly towards his parents perhaps, but not towards his baby. Boy oh boy does he love his baby. He carries him everywhere, cuddles him, whispers to him, tucks him in to bed, and talks about him nonstop. He likes to make spontaneous statements like, “I’m a good daddy to my baby!” or “I love my baby and my baby loves me.” Actually, he’s pretty good about making similar spontaneous statements to his parents (I told you he was still pretty cuddly).
Aside from his baby, the thing Ollie likes the most is being goofy, especially if he’s tired. For some reason, he really likes to pretend to fall down. He also likes to switch song lyrics to things that don’t make sense. For example, he might sing, “Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the fork!” and then laugh, and laugh, and laugh. Another favorite thing he likes to do is complain that he has a tummy ache. I don’t know why.
The best part about Ollie is how well he gets along with his sister. He just absolutely adores her and wants to be just like her. He loves to play with her, and the two of them play by themselves for long periods of time. He’s never happier than when Evie is playing with someone else her age and he is just sort of trailing behind them. I think she can probably expect that for many years to come.
Happy birthday big boy. I hope the next year is as good as the last. I can’t wait for you to start school. I can’t wait to give you the birthday present I made you. I can’t wait to see who you turn out to be.
When it comes time for a birthday dinner, we turn to our favorite Chicago chef, Rick Bayless. This time we tried out Frontera’s little sister XOCO (pronounced “show-co”).
It was perfect! Exactly what we needed.
The food was amazing, and fresh, and unique, but everything was very low key. With the kids, we’re always looking for a compromise between something amazing and something where we’re not going to disturb people. That’s exactly what this was (at least before 5 p.m. on a weeknight). No waiting in line, no waiting for a table, and not many people around to disturb.
We had a couple of tortas (Baja Chicken Torta and Choriques to be specific). I thought they were both good, but the baja chicken was amazing.
(This is not actually what we ate, but I stole these pictures from the XOCO website and beggars can’t be choosers)
Sara had the Carnitas Caldos, which is a spicy soup with pork and avocado chunks. This was also good, but very, very salty.
Of course, in the midst of all this good food, Evie only wanted to eat tortilla chips.
Until dessert that is. We each had a churro and we shared a couple of mugs of their amazing hot chocolate. I don’t say cocoa, I say hot chocolate, because it was like drinking a delicious cup full of melted chocolate bars. It was so rich and thick that I’m really not sure I could have finished a glass by myself. But sharing it was just perfect, and gave us an excuse to try two different kinds. For my money, the almond milk one was better, but everyone else preferred the classic.
XOCO is great if you’re looking for something a little bit quicker and easier than Frontera, and well worth the trip downtown (even if the meter did cost me $3.50 an hour!) Thank you Mr. Bayless for never failing to exceed expectations! (P.S. We finally broke down and bought a copy of Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen, so we can stop checking it out from the library all the time!)
Today’s my birthday.
It’s kind of funny how when you get older birthdays are both not a big deal and also a really big deal. I mean, on one hand, you still have to go to work, take care of the kids, clean the house, etc. So it’s not really much different than any other day. On the other hand, it’s the one day of the year where it’s all about you. The older I get, the bigger deal that gets to be.
So feel free to make a really, really big deal about me today!
Today isn’t my mother-in-law’s birthday, but here’s the poem I wrote for her when it was:
Some birthdays are bigger than others, and this is one such year.
When these milestones arrive, you should enjoy them with extra cheer.
Forget the rules, eat what you want, take cake and eat a bunch.
Don’t listen to your idiot friends, try not to drink too much.
Embrace your birthday, live it up, and all the days between,
because it is your special day, now that you’re sixteen.
What’s that? What did you say? You’re sixty not sixteen?
Wow, you’re like…waaaay older than you seem.
You’d better sit down, this advice might be a little harder to hear,
and anyway, at your age, your legs might give out I fear.
DO I NEED TO SPEAK LOUDER? Is your hearing okay?
I want to make sure you can understand what I’m about to say.
That advice I gave was terrible, please listen to your friends.
They might not have that long to live before they meet their ends.
Maybe put some cake back, how much do you really need?
I think prunes and fiber are more your body’s speed.
I hope that this is good advice, I hope you find it useful.
When I say don’t drink too much, I’m talking Metamucil.
It’s not all bad news though, being elderly,
because of all the wisdom gained in your long history.
Us younger folk depend on your advice to get us through,
and value all the different things that we’ve been taught by you.
You help us live a better life by sharing hardships, joys, and fears
accumulated through your many, many, MANY years.
Today is Sara’s birthday, and she is truly having a mom’s birthday.
Last night I made a cake while Sara pre-prepared her birthday dinner (from recipes that she picked out). She had to cook it herself today before I got home from work while also managing the kids. She suggested oatmeal for breakfast, even though she hates oatmeal. What she really needs is a vacation, but what she’s getting instead are some presents that “require some explanation”. I never had time to take the kids to get a separate present, so they slapped together a homemade card yesterday morning.
Aren’t birthdays wonderful?
Sara deserves better than I give her most of the time. Aside from the fact that I should probably put in a lot more effort on getting her a gift she would like (although I have been *dying* to give her her presents since I bought them a month ago…I just hope she likes them as much as I would, since they’re not something she would probably pick out on her own!)(mom birthday), family life can be rough, and tiring.
So thanks for putting up with your family. We really appreciate all the “mom” things you do!
Happy 5th birthday to my beautiful daughter Evelyn.
5 seems so old. I can’t believe it has been 5 years already. I guess that I am probably going to be saying that every year from now on.
Evie is so imaginative, and she loves to play pretend, specifically that she is a different girl (or angel or fairy) who is coming to stay at our house. We play that basically every night. Her favorite thing is to hear stories; stories about your childhood, stories you make up, or stories read out of a book. She will never, ever get tired of hearing stories. She likes to play with her friends, or make new friends. She doesn’t like to have relaxing time, but then when you go down to get her she is so engrossed in her games that she is reluctant to stop. Mostly she dresses her animals in crazy outfits, or builds elaborate towns with whatever she can find (blocks, duplos, and tiny pieces from any board games she can find, especially the cherries from Hi Ho Cherry O).
Evie seems so much older than she is. She is such a good girl. If she has any faults, it’s simply being too smart for her own good, which tends to lead to backtalk and thinking she knows better than her parents (I dread, dread, dread the day when she becomes a teenager!) However, we really don’t have to worry about her. She can manage on her own as well as any just-turned-5-year-old and she never gets into any real trouble. The worst things she might do are so much more minor than most of the stories I hear from other parents of kids her age. If anything, she is a goody two-shoes, and a bit of a tattle-tale.
Partially because of this, partially because she talks nonstop, and partially because of her love of imagination and stories, I sometimes really see myself in her. However, there are a few downsides to that as well. Evie can have a fiery temper. Much like me (or even more so, my sister), she does not appreciate being told what to do, and it practically ensures she won’t do it, even if it’s something she really wanted to do anyway. On the other hand, also like my sister, she is very independent and is not likely to allow people to push her into doing she doesn’t want to do, or to walk all over her. I’m hoping this can help at least a little bit against peer pressure in the future.
Ollie plays a big part in Evie’s life as well. Sometimes they can play together for hours. She mothers him like no other, and is more likely to cry if he gets hurt than he is himself. They only thing they really fight about is when they both want the same toy, which happens pretty frequently. Actually, considering he is 2 and hasn’t outgrown the idea that everything he sees should be his, this actually happens relatively infrequently, all things considered. Ollie is so rolled up in Evie’s life, she spends so much time thinking about him, playing with him, and caring for him, that I can’t really imagine what she would be like without him (although that goes double for Ollie, since at least I do actually have some memories of Evie before he was born). I just wish they wouldn’t keep each other from falling asleep at night.
So happy birthday Evie, here’s to a hundred more. I’m sorry that I’m too hard on you, and I can’t wait to see what kind of person you become.
In the past week we’ve celebrated a 60th birthday, an 88th birthday, a 39th anniversary, and of course Sara and my 8th anniversary. We also have Evie’s birthday coming up in less than a month, and then Sara’s right after. Busy times!
We didn’t exactly do much for Tom’s birthday, but I have to say it was quite enjoyable nonetheless. Basically we just had a big meal with everybody, but it was so delicious and it was actually a lot of fun. We all pitched in to make it and then sat down to a big feast (steaks, grilled romaine salads and a grilled squash medley, followed by homemade ice cream). There’s not much I like more than just sitting and visiting (for example, while the ice cream maker is running), so I guess it doesn’t take much to make me happy.
And then the next day we found out that 60′s not too old for a little wheel chair racing:
It seems like we’ve been planning Grandma Lois’ 88th birthday party for forever. Sara said afterwards that it wasn’t really that much work, but I think she is forgetting because it was spread out over a long time. However, it was all worth it, because it turned out really well. There were lots and lots of people there, plenty of food, and no issues to speak of, major or minor. We were running around like crazy the day of, but it was all worth it because I think Grandma was really happy.
The day of the party was super hot (as was every day this summer), but Sara only had pants to wear. So she improvised by borrowing some clothes from her sister. She needed a belt to match, so she further improvised by using one of her dad’s ties as a belt. Seriously you guys, she looked like a super model! It was amazing. And hilarious, because you don’t usually see super models at your grandma’s 88th birthday party. So if you thought we hired a “booth babe” to serve the ice cream, nope, that was just Sara.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get a good picture of her, so I guess I’ll just put some other picture instead.
That would be Oliver.
A couple of weeks ago, I would say I couldn’t believe Oliver was going to be turning two. A lot has happened in the past few weeks. He’s talking more now (8 word sentences are no problem), and more clearly. He’s gotten a few new teeth. He’s wearing big boy underwear (more on that next week). He’s just suddenly a two year old. It’s surprising how quickly it all happened.
Two gives us a lot more freedom: he can do things on his own, like get his shoes (but not put them on…he still has no desire to try to get himself dressed (boo) or undressed (yay)), we can leave the house without as much stuff, and he can travel under his own power occasionally, rather than in the stroller. However, we’ve also been seeing hints of the stubbornness and anger commonly known as the Terrible Twos. He seems a little more easy going than Evie though, so I’m not sure he will be quite as frustrated at being a two year old than she was.
Evie is giving him her old tricycle for this birthday (shhhh, don’t tell him) and she had been busy “polishing” it up in preparation. I think he’s going to be pretty excited.
Happy Birthday big boy!
Happy birthday to me!
Happy birthday to me!
Happy birthday dear proprietor of this bloooog!
Happy birthday to me!
We have been on the warpath lately about homemade gifts, and so far, everybody has risen to the occasion. Since we made our decree, I couldn’t be more thrilled with the results! Yes, it is very difficult, but the gifts have really been amazing. And people have really come up with some amazing ideas, including people who thought they had nothing to offer in the homemade gift arena.
So I wanted to talk about one such gift, my mom’s present to Evie for her birthday. For those of you who do not know my mom, she is somewhat obsessed with the Wizard of Oz (along with the rest of her family…Aunt Emily and Aunt Laurie proved they have no problem reciting the script word for word!) And Evie is no slouch in this arena either, given her love of Wicked and the way she orchestrated a Wizard of Oz play for Oliver’s birthday.
So my mom’s present to Evie was a big box of Wizard of Oz dress up clothes.
Let me tell you why I love this gift.
First off, dress up clothes are infinitely variable, because they allow for unlimited imaginary play. The simpler something is, the more fun you can get out of it; think of how much more opportunity for play a doll offers compared to some super complicated, technologically advanced Barbie playset. With the doll, the sky’s the limit. With the playset, no imagination is required; you can only really play with it in the way it was designed to be played with. Your imagination can be lazy.
But second off, I’m sure one could go out and purchase a “Wizard of Oz dress up set” with outfits and props. But in this case, the items were things my mom already had, things that were handmade or sewn, or things re-purposed from thrift stores. Things were combined in new or different ways (like the Tinman’s painted oil funnel / hat, toy gas can / oil can, and Halloween meat cleaver / ax). It’s very clear that a lot of time and effort were spent putting everything together.
And I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s one of the best times anyone has had putting together a present!
Every homemade gift is so much more charming and special than a simple store purchase!
Of course, the set got some use right away, in an impromptu performance.
Thanks for the thoughtful gift! It’s well appreciated (especially by me!)
Since it is difficult to coordinate everybody getting together for Evie’s birthday, this year we decided to split it up. So we celebrated Evie’s birthday on Saturday with Sara’s family.
I have to say, the day was about perfect. I don’t know if Evie would agree, but I think she got exactly the right amount (and right type) of presents! Just a handful of homemade and re-used gifts, and yet, probably some of the best gifts she’s ever gotten.
I hadn’t gotten wind of the fact that Anna was making anything for Evie, so I was quite surprised when she showed up with the most amazing doll I’ve ever seen. It’s perfect! You would never guess it is homemade, but you would definitely know it was handmade, by the quality if nothing else. It is a mermaid, which is perfect, because Evie has a long obsession with the Little Mermaid (the doll was named Ariel immediately) and yet she doesn’t have any other mermaid stuff. Also, Anna customized it with eyes to match Evie’s. It’s so nice that I’m kind of worried about her playing with it. On one hand, what’s the point if she doesn’t get to play with it, on the other hand, it’s the kind of thing you keep and give to your children, and I don’t want it destroyed. So Anna, I think you really hit a home run with that one, so I’ll thank you more thoroughly than an almost-four-year-old can!
And that wasn’t even the only homemade gift. Barb made clothes for both Evie and Oliver, with matching owl pattern. Evie’s dress is cute, but in my opinion, Oliver’s shirt stole the show. It was reminiscent of the tie shirt, except in the shape of an owl, with button eyes. It is adorable. Both Evie and Oliver really liked the clothes, and we couldn’t get them to take them off (not even Oliver, who was wearing a long-sleeve, black shirt in 90 degree weather).
And while I’m on the topic, Barb, I never really got to thank you properly for Oliver’s handmade lion, the way I did for the mermaid above. So hopefully the fact that he sleeps with it every night will demonstrate the proper appreciation! We are very lucky to have crafty family on both sides, and I’d like to think that our recent “gift mandates” have really inspired people to new artistic heights. I can’t even tell you how much we’d rather have one high-quality, homemade doll, then 1,000 factory made, licensed characters.
For our part, we wanted to get her a “big girl” bike, with actual peddles. She was doing so well with the balance bike, that we thought she would be able to ride a regular bike, with no training wheels, no problem. We had planned to buy a new bike, but then we saw and advertisement for a bike that someone was giving away for free. The bike was very used (the lady had gotten it used from someone else, even before her two daughters had used it) and my consumer-culture background made me feel bad for a second about that. However, we definitely made the right decision: Evie couldn’t have cared less, and even insists that the places where the paint has rubbed off were intentionally painted to look like that.
So we got the bike for free, but it needed a little work. In particular, both tires were flat. We bought two new intertubes, and I changed them myself. It was a lot harder than I was anticipating. Don’t you hate when you spend a really long time working on something, only to have it blow up in your face? Literally, in this case, and it took me a few hours to get the hearing back in my right ear. Somehow, when I was inflating it, the tube ruptured with enough force to blow a hole through the thin tires (and it was only inflated to just over half of the recommended psi).
So we ended up taking the bike to a repair shop and getting new tires, and another intertube. All told, we spent about $50 for our “free” bike. At first I felt silly for spending that much on a pretty used and abused bike, when I could have gotten a new one for not a whole lot more. But on the other hand, we did save *some* money, and more importantly, there’s one less bike in the world, and one less piece of junk to end up in a landfill.
As documented, it took Evie about an hour to become a peddle-bike pro.
Evie had very specific requests for her birthday lunch. She wanted, “fruit salad with mangoes, strawberries, and blueberries”, “the apple muffins like Grandma Kathy makes”, “kale chips”, and “chocolate cupcakes with pink frosting and red sprinkles”. This seemed pretty reasonable, so we obliged her. With all the goings on, we didn’t have much time to prepare supper, but both she and Oliver enjoyed our impromptu picnic in the winter garden on the Midway.
All in all, a good birthday weekend for the little miss. She worked it to her full advantage. She got us to sing Happy Birthday to her multiple times, convinced Aunt Anna to take her to the park at 6:10 a.m., and showed off her bike riding skills to everybody she could find. At one point she interrupted a bike-tour-guide’s speech by riding through the middle of the tour singing, “Look at me! Look at me!” She’s all moxie, that one.
I’m having the biggest and best birthday party a person can have…
On Saturday we had a little get together for Sara’s birthday (not nearly as big as what she planned for mine). We had a pretty good turnout, in fact, big enough that I had to make some last minute adjustments in the amount of food I had planned! Everything went more or less smoothly.
I felt a little guilty since Sara had put so much effort into my party, so I wanted to make something special for her cake, something a little fancy. So I ended up making a “honey bee” cake, complete with marzipan bees.
The cake was sort of interesting. There is 1/2 cup of honey in the cake and another 1/2 cup in the glaze. However, it mostly just tastes like chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate. Still, my mom said, “This is the best chocolate cake I have ever tasted.”
I think Evie was a little confused as to whose birthday it was, since somehow things always end up centered around her. She was having a blast playing with everybody and even convinced everyone to walk a block away to the nearest open patch of grass and play parachute with her.
I asked her, “What do you think we should get mommy for her birthday?” “Adult stuff,” she said. “Like what?” “Like books and things.” So I didn’t think much of this conversation until much later when Evie suddenly got it into her head that we should buy mommy a magazine, because “she likes magazines.” So I took her to the store and she picked out In-Style. It was funny to see how excited she was to give Sara a simple magazine.
I also helped her use the scissors and construction paper to make a card for Sara. She took each rectangle of paper and cut a long slit up the middle, almost to the top. “It’s pants!” she said. It did look like pants, and Sara got about 3 pairs on her card.
Anyway, I think everybody had a good time. Happy birthday Sara!
There was a party yesterday, of which there will be an update, but so far today has mostly been dominated by Pretty Pretty Princess. I’m sure pictures will show up on facebook, whether we like it or not…
Happy Birthday Sara!
Three years old today! I can’t believe how fast the years have gone!
Evie wanted cupcakes for her birthday, but she wanted 3 candles on each cupcake!
On Sunday, Sara started feeling contractions at about 5:30 in the morning. However, they didn’t hurt, so she wasn’t sure if they were the real deal or not. By about 3 in the afternoon, they started to hurt. However, ever since they began, the contractions were about 3 minutes apart. So even after they started to hurt, we still weren’t sure they were the real thing. I mean, everything you see or read or people tell you agrees: contractions start far apart, maybe 10 minutes or so, gradually getting closer and closer together, and when they get between 3 to 5 minutes apart, you go to the hospital. So it didn’t make much sense that they were 3 minutes apart to begin with.
So we didn’t really want to mention it to anybody, since we really didn’t think it could be the real thing. Plus, we were just really sure that Oliver would be late, not early. In fact, I was talking on the phone to my mom during this time, and I didn’t mention it. We just didn’t want to get anybody worked up. Finally, around 8 p.m. or so we called Sara’s parents and told them what was going on. We didn’t want anybody to miss any work or anything, especially if it was just a false alarm. On the other hand, Evie was sleeping and her parents were 3 1/2 hours away, so if we waited too long to call them, we might have some trouble. After some deliberation, they decided to make the trip.
In retrospect, it was a good thing we called them when we did, because the contractions continued to get worse. Sara was breathing through the contractions and spending some time in the tub. The warm water seemed to help. She was lying under a towel and periodically I would dump warm water on her.
Me: “This reminds me of when they transport whales.”
Sara: “You’re going to make me pee!”
Me: “You wanted the water to be warmer!”
(Sara would also like to point out that I may or may not have referred to her look as “humpty dumpty” one time while she was pregnant)
So, by the time her parents got to our place around 11:30 p.m., we decided we should go right to the hospital.
It turns out, that was a pretty good time to go. After watching the World Series of Poker for an hour in the waiting room, I was finally allowed to come back to where Sara was, and found out she was farther along than we were hoping she would be. Sara asked for an epidural around 1 and they finally got around to administering it at about 3:30. It was kind of ironic, because Sara mentioned how it took 2 hours to get one last time and everybody was aghast. Well it took even longer this time! Sara made a joke about how badly I took the last epidural, but the doctor didn’t find it all that funny, and I was relegated back to the waiting room for another 30 minutes or so.
The epidural wasn’t as strong as it had been with Evie, so the contractions were still painful, but they were better than they had been with no epidural. I slept for about an hour, but Sara wasn’t able to get any consistent rest. At about 5 a.m. Sara was still making good progress, and they broke her water. They checked her again at about 7 and we knew it would be soon. We were sort of led to believe it would be like any minute, but really it wasn’t until 8:30 or so when Sara started pushing. Finally, at 9:13 a.m., Oliver was born!
Stay tuned for our next installment: Oliver, Born at Last!
So Sara planned a surprise party for me on Saturday, and I think a good time was had by all. The star of the party, of course, was the tower of homemade cupcakes in lieu of a birthday cake. These weren’t just your average cupcakes either; the green ones were chocolate mint, the orange ones had orange cake, the strawberry ones had strawberry filling. The schnozberry ones tasted like schnozberries. They were amazing.
Now the first question you’re probably asking yourself is, was I surprised? Well, I’ll have you know that I am extremely brilliant, and you have to get up pretty early in the morning to fool me. And by that, of course, I mean that I’m so oblivious that most people pretty much stopped bothering to even pretend around me, and I STILL probably wouldn’t have caught on if it hadn’t been staring me in the face.
I knew my mom was coming this weekend. So the first clue was when I called her to see if she had received my email about bringing her snow pants (Evie wanted to play in the snow). The conversation went something like this:
Me: “Did you grab your snow pants?”
Mom: “Yes, and I already called Rachael to tell her to bring hers.”
Me: “Oh, is Rachael coming too?”
Despite this, I still wasn’t suspicious yet. Not suspicious enough to not notice the 6 lbs. of beef thawing in the fridge or to think anything was amiss when Sara proceeded to make 45 cupcakes while I was in the kitchen (to be fair, this doesn’t mean that I didn’t notice all the cupcakes, only that I didn’t see a problem with someone making me 45 cupcakes).
However, on Friday night I was opening up some presents from my mom, and the card said, “I hope you were surprised!” “About turning 30?” I asked (I quite expected to make it to 30, thank you very much). I thought maybe there was a surprise in the present. “Was I supposed to open the present first?” So I opened the present and it was jeans. My mom tried to play it off. “Aren’t you surprised I got you the same present for Christmas and your birthday?”
This was decidedly odd, but before I could even think about it, I opened the birthday card from my dad that came in the mail. “Sorry we couldn’t make it to your party.” “I don’t know what he’s talking about,” said Sara. Now I might be oblivious, but when you put the word “surprise” and “party” so close together, combined with all the other weird stuff (I thought of some other odd stuff later too, in retrospect), you’d have to be pretty dense not to get it.
Not to take anything away from anybody though, there were several highly successful ruses. For example, Tom and Barb calling to wish me a happy birthday when they were really in the car a couple of blocks away. Rachael also calling to wish me a happy birthday and talking to me for a long time, even though she was going to see me the next day. And also my mom making me go the long way around to backtrack and see the people on the ice rink for like 10 minutes. I did not detect that I was being delayed (though I may have been a little exasperated about it!)
One final word about birthday parties, I think it is hard for Evie to imagine any situation that is not all about her. This is not entirely her fault. I remember at one point, she was sitting at the table eating a cupcake, the only one, while she held court with about 8 people crowded around her. From her point of view, there wasn’t much difference between her birthday party and my birthday party.
Today is the big day. I’m turning 30.
To be quite honest, it doesn’t really bother me. I kept waiting to have this big, “Holy crap, I’m old!” moment, but it never really happened. Maybe it’s because I’m doing pretty well with myself. I would probably feel worse if I felt like there were things I should have done before I turned 30; like my life was lagging behind my expectations. If anything, it’s exactly the opposite: I am married with a beautiful daughter and another kid on the way, I have a job that I like, a Master’s degree, I own my home (by which I mean I owe a whole lot of money to the bank, but hey, they don’t call those payments rent!), and I have some dough in both my savings and retirement accounts. What more could a 30-year-old ask for?
I’m not saying there’s nothing that could be improved in my life. I need to lose some weight (but isn’t that supposed to be what I say when I turn 30 anyway?), my hair is hiding who-knows-where, the house could be cleaner, etc., etc. But all in all, when I look around at my life, I think I’ve got a pretty good thing going.
Is this normal? Will it hit me at some point? Am I missing a good excuse to make a big deal and get a lot of attention? Do I need to turn the histrionics up a bit? (I mean aside from posting this early in the morning so I can get compliments all day, instead of posting it at the usual time) Anybody have any good getting old stories / discussion? Feel free to post in the comments.
Happy Birthday Sara!
I’m not sure if she cares or not, but I won’t say how old. Of course I did use two question marks, so that does narrow it down to between 10 and 99.
As mentioned, Sunday was Evie’s second birthday. Our party was a little more low key than last year, with just family attending. We planned it so that we would have presents in the morning, eat during her nap, and have cake in the afternoon, so that people could come and go and everyone would get at least part of the party.
Before her birthday, Evie had only a few requests:
Sara: “What do you want for your birthday?”
Evie: “I want a gift with a prize in it.”
She was also very specific that she wanted a “pink cake” with “sprinkles”, which was delivered to her satisfaction.
She got a lot of good presents, probably better even than she knows. Being a kid, she was more excited about things like socks and purses than things like books, even though she will probably get more enjoyment out of the latter in the long run.
One of the cutest things was practicing with Evie how to stick two fingers up to show how old she is. She would concentrate really hard, staring at her hand until she put the correct fingers down, using her other hand. Then she would slowly cover them with her thumb to hold them down and take her hand away. Then she would get a really big smile on her face, hold up the hand and proudly proclaim, “Two!”
So Evie was kind of into ages and Sara asked her how old the day care lady was:
Sara: “And how old is Florence?”
Evie: “Too much.”
Evie had a blast all day, running around like a crazy person with a big grin on her face. We couldn’t believe that she took a nap, but she was so exhausted that she stayed out until we woke her up. It was a lot more fun than last year since she actually kind of knew what was going on and was excited about it.
So thanks to everybody who came, I hope you had as good of a time as Evie did!
Today’s the day, our big girl is 2! I can’t believe how much she’s changed in the last year. Here’s to 200 more!
And I am gracious enough to share my birthday with several lesser known celebrities:
And a couple of people not quite as smart as me:
For my birthday we went over to Dixie Kitchen. I mentioned that we have tried to go there several times but it was always too busy, so we went elsewhere. So we figured we better get in there before the episode aired, or else we’d never have a chance.
The food was really good, well worth a birthday meal. They give you complimentary johnny cakes on your table, which was unique and they were pretty good. We had fried green tomatoes as an appetizer and I was really impressed with them. I don’t think I have ever had them and these were just perfect. Slightly spicy. I thought they would have some sort of sauce, but they didn’t. The cornbread muffins were really good too. They actually had little pieces of jalapeno in them. I knew it was a southern place but I didn’t know it was a specifically a Nawlins place. I had catfish, mashed potatoes and red beans and rice and Sara had blackened chicken, mashed sweet potatoes and greens. I thought it was better than Calypso, but Sara said she still prefers Calypso. Oh, and did I mention it was pretty cheap? Anyway, Mr. Obama has good taste and I will definitely be back some time!
So as I mentioned in my previous post, we had a pretty busy couple of weeks and the end cap on all of it was Evie’s birthday party. We didn’t invite as many people as we could have (have I mentioned how large my family is?) so it wasn’t as bad as it could of been. All in all I think we were expecting about 30 people, mostly immediate family, co-workers and Chicago friends. Still, 30 people are 30 people and especially coming back from vacation just a day and a half before, we had our work cut out for us. We had a lot of cleaning and setup to do and a lot of food to prepare. Sara was pretty stressed out, but I think everything came together in the end. Special thanks to my and Sara’s mom for helping with last minute stuff.
First let me say that something about the fresh air seems to stimulate Evie. She just loved camping. So much so that I was sad to have to come home and force her to be inside! She learned many new skills over the trip. She learned to point to many new things like the tent and the trees, she learned to kick a ball (“goaaaaaal” as taught by Bad Uncle Nathan), she learned a few new words, especially “shoe” and “hat”. Every time she goes outside now she reminds us, “Hat! Hat!” And, of course, she learned how to walk. She has improved every day since then and she will now walk > 20 steps no problem.
So everything went great, although it went very fast once it got going. I don’t think I talked to a single person at the party. If I wasn’t working on something I was snapping pictures of the birthday girl. All of the presents she got were just absolutely perfect. I thouht we might get a bunch of random toys, but every toy and every outfit was well thought out and just perfect. There was one duplicate present, a Melissa & Doug band in a box, but it was such a perfect present for her that I can see why two people would get it.
I think the most important (but least mentioned) part of the party was my awesome grill master skills. I had > 30 hamburgers plus at least 2 packages of brats and a package of hot dogs going all at the same time. I actually got to bust out all my grilling tools that I never get to use, including my “Pirates get all the booty” apron. Everything was grilled to absolute perfection and, though nobod complimented me, I could see in their eyes that they respected, nay feared, my awesome grilling prowess.
We ended up having a lot of extra food, so we will be eating good for a while. Everybody said the food was good and I think we had a good selection. Evie didn’t particularly rip into her cake that Sara made special for her, but she liked it enough I think. After everybody left it didn’t take too long to get everything back to normal (and upload all of the pictures to Snapfish!)
All in all a good day, but not one I’d be looking to repeat any time soon!