Archive for the ‘Birthdays’ Category

Birthday Recap

Filed under: Birthdays,Kaelin — Amy @ 3:25 pm

Kaelin’s birthday was a roaring success, even though there was no actual “party.”

We started the day off at Two Sisters bakery, where she got to have a brownie for breakfast.


The highlight of MY day was the old guy at the table next to us, who honestly mistook me for Kaelin’s sister and got all confused when I thought he was joking.

Next, Kaelin and Jens headed off to church while I stayed home to tackle a little surprise project.  See, one of the things Kaelin has mentioned that she really misses about Texas is her room.  And I can’t blame her, she had a cool room.  Her room in this house looks like your grandmother’s guest room.  The walls are a drab grey-green, and the furniture is a mismatched assortment of IKEA and stuff you’d find on Craigslist.  The bedding is green and flowery with golden-yellow sheets.


So while I didn’t have the means to completely make over her room, I did what I could with a new bedding set and window valance.  On a side note, do you know that it’s surprisingly DIFFICULT to find little kid bedding to fit a queen size bed?

I did realize a little too late that I was short a curtain rod, so I couldn’t put any window treatments on the big window.  Also, I wish I had gotten some wall decorations.


I also opened up this sewing table and put a shelf over the hole so she would actually have a place to put her books and toys. A place other than ALL OVER THE FLOOR, that is. We'll see how long it lasts.

I wanted to film her reaction when she walked in (we didn’t tell her about it beforehand) but I’m stoopid and had the camera ON when I was walking into the room and then turned it OFF when I was supposed to be filming.  That turned out to be ok though, because it was the most anti-climatic reaction to a surprise she’s ever given in her life.  YAY, Look at me making a SUCCEED out of two MOM FAILS!*

I think these monkey slippers were her favorite part. She wanted to wear them to bed.

After they came back from church, we headed off to a great lunch at Fat Olives, where Kaelin stuffed herself with pasta.


Then it was time to come home for cake…

Ah yes, the Red Wall of Hell makes another birthday appearance.

Why yes, I DID forget to buy candles. Again. Thanks for noticing.

I'm 99.9% sure she wished for a puppy.

Licking the frosting off the cake topper. This "cake" was actually 85% frosting.

And then, of course, presents…

One of the things I love about my daughter is that she is so much fun to give to.  Her excitement over receiving a toy or a gift is often, to me anyway, disproportional to the actual level warranted by said gift.  It’s awesome.

She starts expressing her “Thank you’s” before she has any idea what’s even in the package, and by the time she has it unwrapped, she’s practically jumping out of her seat.

The best present award goes to the FurReal GoGo My Walkin' Pup.

Finally she can have a "pet" to walk on a leash and be in charge of, and it won't mind being constantly dominated and held prisoner.

She dotes on this puppy. She coos and baby-talks to it as she leads it around and pretends to feed it real dog food. It has yet to leave her side.

The previously mentioned earthworm farm was also popular, but apparently you have to send off for your worms via mail.  So we’ll have to wait a while before delving into the joys of worm raising.

Koren, meanwhile, started his descent into the depths of toddler DOOM because he skipped his nap.  Suddenly in late afternoon, he went from:



"What? I can't take Kaelin's toys away from her and order her loudly to listen to the Doodlebops CD with me 500 times? Then behold, I will detonate your skulls with the sheer force of my screaming!"

Kaelin remained in good spirits throughout the evening and ended her Birthday sugar-and-carbs high by consuming a bowl of ice cream.  Blame her father, I had nothing to do with that one.

*as it turns out, she really does like the new room, she was just preoccupied with her puppy.  The new room got more kudos when it was time to go to bed.

Kaelin: 5 Years

Filed under: Birthdays,Kaelin,Milestones,Newsletters — Amy @ 4:30 am

Dear Baby Girl,

You are no longer anything resembling a baby, but when I complain about that, you still reassure me that you will always be my little girl no matter how big you get.

Today, you are five years old.  FIVE.  I do not know how this happened.

I mean, I get how this:

Kaelin Baby

turned into this:

Kaelin Sailor Dress

But how this:

Kaelin Shoes

turned into this:

Kaelin Beachis a complete and total mystery to me.

(Insert the obligatory “WaaaaahMyBAAAAAYYYYYBEEEEEisGrowingUpTOOOOOFAAAAAST” mommyhood rantings)

You are active and friendly, setting up play dates with the kids at the library behind my back, and inviting the grocery store cashier to your birthday party (which, um, is going to be in Texas, so I hope you didn’t offer to pay her airfare).

Your main love at the moment is bugs and all things creepy-crawly.  In Texas, bugs are scary because of the huge variety of stinging, blood-sucking, biting ones.  But here?  You are thrilled beyond belief with the moths and other little winged creatures that make their way onto our porch and into our house.  Your teacher caught a butterfly for you and let you bring it home one day, and you would have thought he’d given you the moon.  We have to have daily conversations about how bugs aren’t pets and that you can’t bring them into the house, EVEN if they’re in a container.  I know that sounds cruel, but the container is inconsequential because of the fact that the bugs never stay IN IT.

You don’t know this yet, but you’re getting an earthworm farm for your birthday.  Because worms?  I can handle worms.  They’re still creepy-crawly and icky but they’re not bugs.  So when you’re talking to your therapist in a few years about how your mother restricted your childhood experience because I wouldn’t let you keep bugs, JUST REMEMBER THE WORMS.  I GAVE YOU THE WORMS.

(Please, please, please, please don’t let them loose in the house.)

You’re learning to read and write and do some math.  I have no doubt that you’re behind many of your Texas friends in these areas because your preschool seems to place little to no emphasis whatsoever on academics.  So the only academic environment you have is, well, me.  And the measly little homeschooling lessons we do at the kitchen table.  Which I will go ahead and apologize to you for because your Mama?  Was not meant to be a homeschool teacher.

You enjoy reading and your own progress as you begin to recognize and sound out more and more words.  You have begun to try sounding out words you see on cereal boxes and in magazines.  Also, you pick words and try to spell them in your head.  I often get random questions like, “Mama, what letter do you put in a word to make the ‘a’ say its name?”

Your writing needs some work because it bores you and I have to heavily reward you to keep you focused for 15 minutes a day.  Also, the concept of telling time is challenging and can be frustrating for us both.  You do enjoy math, because we use chocolate chips to demonstrate addition and subtraction. You’re pretty good at our little addition flash cards and can occasionally do the math in your head without the use of the chocolate chips.

You are becoming more and more independent and can play on the porch (catching bugs, of course) or in your room for long periods of time.  You have also developed the occasional ‘tude, which gets you sent to your room.

You are developing an interest in jokes, but don’t quite get the concept of a punchline.

“Why did the crayons color by themselves? Because they wanted to draw their owner!”

You have started a movement/dance class and are loving it.  I look forward to letting you try all kinds of extra-curricular activities this next year.  You have informed me that you wish to do ice skating and gymnastics when we move back to Texas.  Oddly, they don’t have any figure skating lessons available in this part of Alaska.

You have started thinking about the concept of marriage and are concerned about your lack of candidates.  You told me the other day that you couldn’t decide whether you wanted to be a boy or a girl (the concept of whether or not you actually get to MAKE that choice didn’t appear to be relevant).  It was good to be a girl because girls are better and more fun, but it would be a nice to be a boy because boys get to marry girls.  And it would be better to marry a girl than a boy because boys are mean and throw things.  And if you have to marry a boy, then you should be allowed to marry your Daddo.  Mama can just go marry someone else.

You are tenacious and think you can debate your way around any answer.  You are your father’s daughter.

You have a really selective memory.  You can remember a promise we made to you three months ago, but forget that I gave you a set of instructions within 15 seconds.  You are your mother’s daughter.

Little girl, you’re getting less and less “little” every day.  You’re tall and lean and love to run and jump and climb.  Your hair is getting long and we’re going to have to take care of that soon because you have inherited your mother’s tender head and brushing your hair in the morning is akin to ripping your fingernails off with a pair of pliers.

“Mama, which laugh did Tinkerbell come from?”
“I’m not sure, hon.  The movie doesn’t say and I don’t know very much about fairies.”
“Maybe she came from one of my laughs.  Because I laugh a LOT.”
“Yes you do.  Maybe she did.”
“I think you’re beautiful.”

You are precious.  And charming.  And sweet (when you want to be).  You have my heart.



Birthday Stuff

Filed under: Birthdays,Family,I Give Up,Milestones — Amy @ 7:54 pm

Tomorrow is my birthday. In honor of such, I bought myself a much-needed birthday present: 7 new DVDs of BTB episodes.

No, I don’t have a BTB fettish…but Kaelin does. And we only have two. And we’ve been watching the same two over and over and over and I’ve got them both memorized and as much as I prefer BTB to some of the other wackos that people let their kids watch, if I have to see those same episodes any more my head is going to explode.

It’s tradition in my family to take the birthday girl/boy out for dinner at a restaurant of his/her choosing. My parents asked me where I wanted to go and I said something like, “I really want crab. I’d say Red Lobster, but I know Iris doesn’t like seafood and I don’t think they have much there besides seafood.”

Their immediate response was, “That’s irrelevant, it’s your birthday so if you want to pick Red Lobster, then pick Red Lobster.” I said, “Ok. I want to go to Red Lobster.”

Ever since that conversation, they’ve been trying to talk me out of going to Red Lobster. They’ve offered lots of other more expensive places, and my answer has always been the same: That’s fine if you guys really want to go there. But if it’s up to me, I’d rather go to Red Lobster.

They called me the other day and said, “You HAVE to give us SOME ideas for what you want for your birthday!” I can’t think of much this year in the way of gift ideas, but eventually I did come up with one idea.

The next day my mom tried to talk me out of it. “Are you sure you want that? What if they wrap you up too tight?”

What if they…huh???

Next time I should just send out invitations:

Please come to my Birthday Dinner, at __________________.

Gift ideas: _____________, ________________, and __________________.

Please fill in appropriate fields with what you were hoping I would say, because I probably wouldn’t get it right anyway.

Old Fart

Filed under: Birthdays,Jens — Amy @ 2:36 pm

Today is Jens’ birthday.   For the next 3 months, I get to tease him about being an old, decrepit loser while I remain wrapped in the essence of youth.

Then I have a birthday and that same age becomes no longer an indication of having one foot in the grave, but a perfect representation of health and vitality.

Happy Birthday, Old Fart.

Gratuitous Photos

Filed under: Birthdays,Milestones,Newsletters,Photography,Such is Life — Amy @ 10:52 pm

…Or, “Celebrating the ways my life has changed more over the last 12 months than I ever thought possible.”


1 Month:

2 Months:

3 Months:

4 Months:

5 Months:

6 Months:

7 Months:

8 Months:

9 Months:

10 Months:

11 Months:

12 Months:

Happy Birthday, my little munchkin! (Yeah, I know, a few days late – it takes me some time to get the pics off the camera and on the computer)

First Birthday

Note: Pictures are coming soon, but I’m too tired right now to mess with getting them off the camera.

Dear Kaelin,

Year #2 was off to a great start this morning as you cheerfully handed your grandfather a turd.

Apparently you found it stuck to the dog’s butt and felt compelled to share your discovery. Your gift was much appreciated …if only because you did something with the poop OTHER THAN shove it in your mouth.

We went to the Texas State Fair today in honor of your birthday and you had a fabulous time being overstimulated beyond belief. You enjoyed chunks of turkey leg and funnel cake, and riding around on Dada’s shoulders.

Your favorite part (due in no small part to the fact that you were totally nap-deprived and sugar-high, I’m sure) was the Ferris Wheel. The little people walking around below were so fascinating and the couple we shared the carriage with even gave you a little stuffed frog. You got SO EXCITED over that frog, laughing and squeezing it as though it was your Kitty.

Then as soon as we went our separate ways, you threw it out of the stroller in announcement of your impending nap and BAM – you were out like a light. You snored all the way home.

When we got home and changed you into a new set of clothes, one startling fact became very obvious: You have quite suddenly and without warning grown into 12-month clothes. Today. Sometime between breakfast and lunch. This morning, you were still growing into the 6-9 month clothes. After being 1 to 2 clothing sizes behind for your entire life (doesn’t it sound like a long time when I put it like that?), it appears that you are finally catching up.

Perhaps it’s the massive amount of turkey, cheese and green beans you have been ingesting recently. But now I really need to update your wardrobe, as I was expecting to have several more months before you needed 12-month sized clothing. I hope you like onesies kiddo, because that’s what you’ve got.

When it was time for your second nap of the day, which was a necessity due to the birthday part we had planned for this evening, you absolutely refused. You have never been so stubborn about not taking a nap as you were today – and I have never been so agitated by it, knowing that if you DIDN’T nap before the party, you would be a little bear this evening.

Eventually, we resorted to driving you around in the car, which successfully resulted in a good 45-minute refresher nap. Enough for me, I was ready to take what I could get at that point.

The party was a success, and even though you were again overstimulated by all the presents, and overtired from an already big day, and were forced to stay up an hour past your usual bed time, you did very well. We were really impressed.

As expected, you received a totally unreasonable amount of cool presents, and completely ignored most of them – preferring instead to play with the wrapping paper. Evidently nobody listened to me when I told them ahead of time that would happen. You did develop an attachment to one particular toy – a little plastic horse-riding figure – and carried it around in your mouth for most of the evening. Apparently equestrians are tasty.

You ate cake and ice cream, and ice cream, and then you enjoyed some ice cream. Since our trip to the fair had been unsuccessful at reaching sugar-high energy levels sufficient for powering an airbus, we made up for it at dinner by injecting the sugar introveniously. While we learned at this point that you apparently have a pretty high tolerance for sugar, it did manage to keep you up long enough to get through the party. Just so you know, if you develop diabetes as a result of today, it’s totally Grandpa’s fault. And probably Uncle Jon’s too.

After some of the guests had left the party and things had quieted down some, you discovered a new toy that your Aunt and Uncle had brought – one that had previously been overlooked in lieu of all the Fun! Wrapping! Paper!

They bought you a stuffed Eyeore that’s really soft and has a long tail. We could see you make the connection almost immediately when you truely looked at it for the first time:

It’s a Blue Kitty!!!

Tired as you were, you actually giggled as you enveloped the Blue Kitty in a huge bear hug and tackled it to the floor, rubbing your face in the fur. You dragged Blue Kitty around with you for the rest of the evening, clutching it to you, and even tried very hard to pull it up the stairs with you – a very arduous task, as the toy is the same size as you are, and climbing stairs is hard enough when you’re too sleepy to keep your eyes open and move your limbs at the same time.

Happy Birthday, my little munchkin. It’s been a fun and full day, and I have a feeling you will sleep very well tonight. And so will I. It’s been a long time since I’ve been this exhausted.

Love Always,

Feeling: Elated

Filed under: Birthdays,Family,Feeling — Amy @ 8:58 pm

My great uncle turns 99 on April 12. I was wracking my brain trying to figure out what the heck you get someone who’s turning 99, when I accidentally came accross this information on a website:

Presidential Birthday Cards
You can receive a signed certificate from the President himself for anyone turning 80 or older. Send a request at least 4 weeks in advance to:

The Greetings Office
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20500

SWEET. DONE. And it’s free.

Birthday Pleasures

Filed under: Birthdays,Family,Such is Life — Amy @ 8:59 pm

I am picky.

Actually, I prefer the term “choosy.” When I go to a restaurant, I find the best thing on the menu and I order that dish. Every time.

My slectiveness extends past food and into the rest of my life almost to the point of neurosis.

It can take me hours to go shopping. In a single store. I sweep through the store and pull everything that I’m interested in. Then I make a round of putting half of it back after comparing items to eachother. Then I try things on, weigh the pros, cons, and prices of each, and try to estimate if this is an item I will still be excited about after it isn’t “new” any more. Then I make another sweep around the store putting more things back until I finally approach the counter with one or two items. I prefer to shop alone.

I’m a researcher by nature. If I make an online purchase, you can bet I’ve spent a good week and a half researching the item, comparing prices, versions, retailers, etc. For instance, in creating this new blog, I have tried just about every blog software available before finally deciding on this one.

If it’s something I want, believe me, I’ve picked out the EXACT make, model and version of it and nothing else will do.

As you may have guessed, gift shopping for me can be a bit difficult if I don’t have a detailed list. My family got smart this year: I got my two favorite gifts – cash and gift cards.

To Sit or Not to Sit

Filed under: Birthdays,Thinking — Amy @ 8:33 pm

This is the problem with not coming up with a detailed list of birthday wishes. My mom just called to see what kind of chairs I wanted for my birthday.


Birthday Not-Wishes

Filed under: Birthdays,Makes Me Happy,Thinking — Amy @ 7:50 pm

My birthday is Monday and for the first time in my life, I don’t have a long string of items on my wish list. I suppose that’s a good thing, as it must mean I’m relatively satisfied in life, since I can’t think of anything that I just really need right now…except a Jeep Liberty because trying to put a car seat in a 2-door sports car can be a real killer on your back…but that’s not really a birthday gift kind of thing. So…I guess I’m just happy. And my happiness is really irritating the people around me who keep asking what to get me for my birthday. Somehow “I don’t care, surprise me” doesn’t seem to be cutting it.

2nd Chance to be Five

Filed under: Birthdays,Family — Amy @ 12:08 pm

Last night we went to Adventures Landing for my sis-in-law’s birthday party.

SOOOOO much fun!

Have to admit, I wasn’t really looking forward to it, especially once my doctor told me I couldn’t do the go-carts. And it was cold. Like, REALLY COLD.

But we had a great time. We started out at Sonic and then proceeded in true Progressive-Dinner Style to Cold Stone Creamery for ice cream cake.

Then off to Adventure’s Landing where we all played mini golf and J won. No big surprise because my husband has this UNCANNY KNACK at COMPLETELY ANNIHILATING everyone on silly games he never ever plays. He even beat my mom who got 4 – count them FOUR – hole-in-ones. It was always that way in college. Tennis, Pool, Ping-Pong, you name it. He could have played twice in his whole life and still wipe the table with everyone else.

I also got to play Laser Tag for the first time ever. Of course, that game wasn’t really fair because we were playing with Ryan, who spent a few years in military school…so naturally, he totally obliterated us lowly laser amateurs. He ended up with like 5000 shots. I got 75 in and thought I was doing pretty good.

BUT – I did pretty well at the token game where you try to hit the button in time to stop the racing light in just the right place. Won enough coupons to buy my brother an Airhead and a Whistle. THIS IS THE PART WHERE YOU ALL STAND UP AND APPLAUD MY BUTTON-SLAPPING SKILLS.

And just for the record, that crack in the button was ALREADY THERE.

Birthday Fun

Filed under: Birthdays,Body Issues,Confessions — Amy @ 5:58 pm


Wanna know the best thing about being pregnant?


And a birthday shopping spree to Victoria’s Secret – sweet!

About Me

Hi. I'm Amy. I started this website in 2005 as a place to deposit my journal and photos. It has gone through a few incarnations and masquerades as a family site, but since I'm the only one who contributes to it, it's really all about ME, ME, ME.

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