Showing posts with label birthday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label birthday. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Belated Gifts



            We celebrated Jenna's birthday at the end of the month (see here) because of the move.  Sadly more would have showed up if we had stuck with the original date.

            Savannah and Bella had both shown up to the bowling alley with gifts, but Kyle did not have one - which is okay.  In the past we have always expressed our interest is with the guests themselves and gifts aren't even necessary. 

            Kyle was overly quiet that day.  Seemed sad, almost.  Was it because she hadn't brought a gift?  The other night we took her and Jenna to the movies as Jenna had been given tickets by the school earlier in the year for her good behavior.  They expire at the end of this month.

            Kyle must have loaded up between April 23 and this past Monday, as she entered the car with an armload of gifts - on top was a green and black fedora - which Jenna immediately put on her head before rummaging through the box of "treasures" that Kyle had handed her.



            So many wonderful gifts that Jenna truly enjoys, among which were: a little bubbled game of trying to get the candy into the frogs mouth, a small lava lamp which Kyle had made, two camouflage barrettes (one in the shape of a flower), green headband, notebook, pencils, fingernail polish, zippered pocketbook, playing cards, silicone popsicle maker, 4 packets of kool-aid, a small jar of body butter . . .

            We had taken them to see "Finding Dory".  Kyle was way more talkative than she had been at Jenna's party.  Maybe she just does better on a one on one?  Different girl.  Much happier.


            And yesterday Roland received socks and tee shirts for Fathers' Day from one of the boys.  He loves Superman and Superheroes.  These gifts were so awesome!




Sunday, April 24, 2016

No Clown This Year




     I had hired a clown the year that Jenna turned three.  Her first birthday party with friends – one redhead, five blondes, and Jenna with her dark hair.




     The clown’s name was Wheeler.  Two of my boys told me that I should hire my brother-in-law, Bill – who was actually not my brother-in-law at the time.  His wife, Annaleigh had some serious health issues and she would be a priority to whatever party plans I might have made.  At the time, I wasn’t aware that he really was trying to get gigs as a professional clown.

     So on Jenna’s 6th and 9th birthday, we had Rocko come entertain the troops.  It was on her 9th birthday that I realized she had had a clown at her party every three years.  I jokingly asked, “ Will you have a clown at your party when you turn 12 and 15?”





     She said if it were possible, she would have had Rocko again this year.  She decided on a bowling theme party instead.  We had planned on celebrating with friends on the 2nd, but decided to wait until after we closed on the house.  Poor Jenna hasn’t had her birthday plans fully carried out for the last three years.

     When she was ten she forfeited her birthday with friends.  We went out to dinner as a family -  Mom, Dad, three brothers, three sisters-in-law and a niece.  We celebrated her 11th birthday in McMinnville last year.  She had absolutely no choice about coming to Oregon.

I think she said she had invited twelve girls – most of whom said they could have gone on the 2nd but not yesterday.  She had three guests who attended and at least three of them seemed to have fun.  We still wonder if Kyle enjoyed herself at all.

     Bella was the first guest to arrive.  She was actually waiting there with her aunt before we had arrived.  The party started at 1:00.  Her aunt said she’d return at 4:00.  That seems like a long time, but at that point we didn’t know how many guests would show or how long it would take to bowl.




     Kyle arrived before Bella and Jenna headed towards the lane.  I typed in the names for the three girls who were bowling.  They each had bowled three rounds when Savannah showed up.  We got her shoes and added her name.  We had fries and cupcakes, but Roland wanted for something more.  He was hoping to order a pizza, but I misunderstood.

     Before the girls finished their second game, we asked if they would like to go out for pizza, but had each one call whoever would be picking them up so that there wouldn’t be a problem.  But there was.

     Savannah had the wrong phone number and wasn’t able to get a hold of anyone.  Bella was able to get someone right away and Kyle left a message – though I thought she had talked to someone in person.  I had told Roland to go out for pizza and bring it back so that we would be at the bowling alley when the rides arrived, but it was raining.  Savannah said her ride would not come early.  I wish I could rewind and make certain each parent had my phone number. 

     Savannah and Bella had really enjoyed themselves.  Savannah said it was the best birthday party she had been to.  She also confessed that it had been the first birthday party she had ever been to.  That sounded sad to me. 

     Bowling was great.  Pizza was great.  Visiting and entertainment.  And then it was time to take Savannah back to the bowling alley.  Oh, no.  Her ride had already come and gone.  Now what?  I felt so horrible and kept apologizing and Savannah was trying hard to take the blame and tell me that it wasn’t my fault – but it was.  I left my number at the bowling alley (which is what I should have done in the first place) and headed in the direction of Savannah’s home.

     As Roland had seemed to shut off his phone, I stopped off at the Pizza Palace to make him aware of the situation at hand.  I took Savannah home. She told me that I could just drop her off where she catches the bus but I wanted to talk to her family who hadn't received our message until after the fact.



 
     Her family actually seemed cool about it and thanked me for talking to them and apologizing about the situation. I was invited to bring Jenna to come hang out with them sometime. Savannah may still be punished because she got in the car with strangers. I am so so sorry if that is the case. 

     As I was making my way back to the Pizza Palace, I heard my phone go off - twice.  I knew it was Roland.  He knows I don’t answer the phone when I’m driving I didn't understand the urgency. It turned out that Kyle’s parents did not get her message either - or perhaps it was never left? Roland was willing to drive her home.  I told her to call her ride to make certain that would be okay.

       Her dad arrived in a very angry mood.  Poor Kyle.  I felt so bad, especially because I don’t think she particularly enjoyed herself, but I could be wrong.  She just didn’t seem as vocal as the other three. Jenna says she will talk to her on Monday, and I plan on calling her parents later on today.  I hope there are no hurt feelings between Jenna and Kyle because of this.

     I have always stayed with Jenna when I don’t know her friends or their circumstances.  Maybe I’m just not trusting of others.  Of course Jenna is as oblivious as Kyle seemed to be as far as making proper contact.  I hope that Kyle understands that her dad’s anger was the result of love.  I hope that the situation at hand was a learning experience for each of the girls. (I know it was for me) I hope that this will not be the last party for Savannah or Kyle because of the scare that was involved.  

     We did not have a clown this year. I think Jenna may be too old for a clown coming to her birthday party anyway. Savannah, for one, was very glad we didn't have a clown.







Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Speaking of Not Being Able to Plan a Party Due to the Weather . . .



               Earlier last month, the neighbor next door invited Jenna to a birthday party for her niece.  The plans included outdoor bbq, games and a bouncy house.  She somehow had the impression that Jenna was/is younger than she is (that is actually the first time anybody has made that assumption. Based upon physical appearance alone, people have always thought that Jenna is older than she is.)
 


       
        I, too, had been misled.  I presumed her niece, Molly, would be a little older than she is.  She is actually younger than what Jenna and I had been expecting.  But still, the family really did want Jenna to come.  The weather put a damper on all original plans.







        The party had been moved from next door to grandma's house located downtown.  She (the grandma) had even stopped by our house an hour before the party started to extent the altered invitation.  The room was decorated nicely.  The girls wore crowns that said "Happy Birthday". Games had been thrown together to accommodate the last minute change.  And it showed.



        When we arrived, we were told that the guests were working on an art project, but there wasn't actually any evidence of any art related materials or craft projects that I could see.  Jenna tried to make the best of it, but I could tell she was bored out of her mind. 

        There were hot dogs served and a rather quick game of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey. 



        One of the girls wore a shirt with a "Merida" print. 


        I made the comment that Merida is Jenna's favorite princess in which the birthday girl responded that Merida is her favorite princess, too, because she's not so girly.  I was amused by her comment as the birthday girl was dressed in pink with frilly tutu and looked very girlish.








        Presents were handed out, and I was impressed by Molly's pleasant gratefulness as she opened each gift. 

        There were a lot more cupcakes than there were guests - probably enough for four each, but everybody took only one.
       


        About an hour after we arrived and presents had been opened, the girls were taken outside to break a piñata - of course Jenna was chosen to go last. 



        She managed to whack it open.







        I remember taking pictures, but somehow they didn't get transferred over.  I didn't get to view them.  I don't know what happened.
        In the meantime, Roland was circling around the house, but finally parked.
         We thanked Molly and her family for having invited us and they thanked us for coming. 


        I don't know how often we will see Molly in the future.  We don't close on our house for another two weeks.  We'll still be living in the rental next week when we celebrate Jenna's birthday.  But we'll be moved out before April is halfway through.  Or at least that is our plan.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Jenna's Birthday on April 3


             Before we had even packed, Roland and I stopped by the store for some gift ideas.  Jenna had recently told us that having footie pajama would be cool.  The first ones that I saw were bright pink with rubber ducks.  Jenna has always had a thing for rubber ducks but as I looked around, I saw something else that looked more like something that she would pick. We chose what she calls a “cheetah print” because she is somehow in love with animal print – first cheetah and then zebra.  



Jenna and Roland had gone to the pool while I had the opportunity of taking a hot bath.  (Roland is so good to me – knowing I have been wanting a bath in a large tub for some time – at that point neither one of us were aware of the hot tub located next to the pool)  Jenna was still in her wet swim suit when I got out of the tub.

I told her that she could open her first gift that first night.  I was thinking those would be the pajamas she would wear most of the vacation.  And so she stood in her wet bathing suit waiting for Roland (who had gone to get something to eat, unaware that Beth had invited us for dinner – even though we hadn’t really planned on showing up until the next day) to return before she opened her gift.

We had gotten a woman’s extra small because they looked like they ran big (pajamas almost always do) and they did fit – but not comfortably enough to sleep in.  And so we returned it to the bag to take home and exchange – hopefully.

Jenna turned eleven on Friday.  She was actually quite pleasant for someone who had absolutely no say in having to be in Oregon on her birthday.  And what we had planned was not all that exciting either as Beth had given us the names of a few surrounding towns that we might want to look at.

We enjoyed a continental breakfast.  Roland made waffles for Jenna, himself and me.  We drove to Forest Grove, Dayton, Lafayette and surrounding areas.  We did find a manufactured home for sale in Lafayette – a price we could afford.  But we learned it needs a new roof.  It is in a park verses its own land.  Roland would rather have our own land – but I’m okay with a structured community – at least I think I am.

We had stopped somewhere to get Jenna a drawing pad.  Roland also let her pick out a toy which she could have for her birthday.  She chose a stuffed frog marked “Hoppy Easter”.  She received texts from both Tony and her dentist to wish her happy birthday.


After four we went to meet Beth and Graham for dinner.  He made macaroni and cheese (Jenna’s favorite) asparagus (which she tried and ate one of) and chicken.  I forgot what fancy name he gave it.  It was good.  The whole meal was really wonderful – and filling.

Beth had made a cake earlier that day – a gluten free cake.  It was in a large stemmed bowl with eleven candles.  It was really good.  We lit the candles twice as I hadn’t taken my camera out until after she blew the candles out the first time.  I only got five pictures.




Jenna shared her wish as she was certain it wouldn’t come true.  She wished she had gotten a pool toy instead of her frog.  After she had excused herself from the table, Beth found a rubber duck that she could use.  So her wish came true after all.

Before we left, Beth taught us how to play Labyrinth – which may not be in production anymore.  I know I have never heard of it.  Jenna, Roland and I played with Beth.  Jenna ended up skunking everybody.  Beth offered to let us take the game for the night, but I knew Jenna would want to go swimming again.  I knew that I’d be too tired to do both.

The next morning Beth took us to a bead store so that we could make some jewelry in honor of Jenna’s birthday.  Both Jenna and Beth chose to make bracelets but I decided that I would rather have a necklace.  

necklace by LaTiesha, bracelet by Jenna

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Looking for Answers in the Skies



     Randy helped Roland put the A/Cs up on Memorial Day.  Roland had wanted to do central air, but the cost would have been more than remolding the bathroom (and getting a new tub – which is I wanted – but not the entire expense all at once) Three fires and still just barely getting by on Roland’s check.  

     Ten more days and Pamprin will be eighteen.  No more child support – well except what the stupid state is suspending from his paycheck on the two years that Roland was UNEMPLOYED – and what’s the point of fighting it when the lawyer may end up sucking more out of us than Maleficent did (still does)  Still we should notice an increase in his paycheck – at least I hope.

     It was 88 degrees in our city yesterday.  Roland had looked it up online.  He said there was a difference of ten degrees from what his family members were experiencing in Tucson.  It wouldn’t be so bad if the climb or drop in temperature was gradual, but it’s not (and hasn’t been) 

     62 degrees.  Bamm now 88.  Bam, oh we’re back to 40.  Gradual would be 62, 62, 63, 65, 64, 66, 67 . . . . I wish the temperature would just stay between 66-72 all year long.  I really don’t like these constant 15-25 degree jumps!

     We had the air on last night.  It often dries me out.  But I can’t stand the heat.  So my choices are to wake up dry (often with a headache) or not even sleep at all due to the heat (which I am actually surprised hasn’t killed me off)

     It’s that time of year when laundry has to be washed more often than once a week – particularly the tops and bras.  I’d just to braless if there wasn’t so much weight in my sagging chest – but they are needed.  I don’t own any air conditioned underwear.  Thermals were invented to keep us warm – where is the underwear that will keep us cool?

     Yesterday was hot!  Deadly hot.  Okay, perhaps calling 88 degrees “deadly” is a slight exaggeration (especially when I have lived through some ugly three digit temperatures) the 20 degree jump just makes it feel deadly.  And now we’re back to an indecisive sky.  Will we have rain? Will I need my sunglasses?  I’m not taking my umbrella.  It will be worth getting wet (should the sky choose to rain)

 

     Well, those were my thoughts this morning.  I could feel the wind.  I put on long pants, but changed my entire outfit before we left the house.  It hadn’t even been an hour since I dressed when the top of me was soaked!  It was gross. 

     I don’t pick Jenna up today.  On Wednesday s after school, she takes a charter bus to her practice for the 5K that she’ll be running on Saturday.  Today will be her last day before the run.  And she’ll be out of school next week.

     Today is my birthday and she made a power point card which she showed to me this morning.  I’ve always had access to power point but never used it.  My ten year old showed me how.

     I’d like the skies to rain.  It has rained on my birthday before.  I had taken Jenna to the doctor that year.  Tomorrow I will be taking her back to the dentist (initially she was supposed to have six teeth pulled but three came out on their own)

 



Google wishes me a happy birthday each time I sign in.  Facebook friends and others have sent me wishes – but only Google has said “Happy Birthday, LaTiesha” 
   

     One of my visiting teachers came and got me and took me out to lunch.  That was a surprise.  She took me to a place that I had never even heard of before.  Good food.  Good company.  It was nice to visit with her.  It makes me feel like I’m not a very good visiting teacher though.  I’ve never done that for any of my sisters.

     The day is not over.  It hasn’t rained.  Perhaps after I put my first load on the line.

    
    

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Nineteen kids is a bit Overwhelming

I usually have Jenna’s birthday party on her actual birthday.  This year it falls on a Wednesday in the middle of Spring break. I had a commitment of 4 children.  So I changed it to Saturday – still not believing that we would received the great amount of people that we did.  It was so great having Roland there to assist – well according to him . . . he actually did most of the work.  Well, him and Jenna.

 I think the best part about having Jenna's party on a Saturday is that Roland is at home to assist.  He is so organized at certain things and comes up with solutions that I’m not creative enough to think about.  He really amazes me at times. I think it is only the second party that he’s been to for Jenna.  And he actually couldn’t stay for the whole thing the year that she turned three.

I thought we might end up with more adults than children – but as it turned out there were 19 children total.  3 were cousins or brother who did not participate.  5 were sibs and a cousin who had come with the invited guest.  So 11 invited guests and I thought I had taken into account for sibs (hadn’t counted on cousins) but not everybody had RSVP’d – and I had taken that into account as well.  But still my numbers were pretty off.

It’s the most children that Jenna has ever had at a birthday party.  And I suppose it was a success.  I’m just always overwhelmed with such a large amount.

We played the Butter Battle game by hitting a balloon back and forth with fly swatters.  They seemed to enjoy that a lot.  And then we played “Seussical Chairs”.  Randy assisted with that one.  I was quite grateful at how he enthusiastically took charge.

And just as we finished up with presenting the winner with a prize, Rocko the clown showed up like on cue.  And that was exciting. 


Jenna’s books didn’t get read, but Rocko did read this poem before Jenna opened her presents.  He also made her a really fun balloon hat.


So overall the party was a huge success.  My poor birthday girl did get sick last night and so is now moaning in bed.  But she did rather well at the party. 

Funny how we have had a clown at her party every three years of her life.  We didn’t plan it that way – I actually hadn’t thought that until I was chatting with one of her friends earlier this week.  I wonder if she’ll want a clown when she’s twelve or fifteen (LOL)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

You Can’t Trade Dragons




          Jenna was so excited to be going to Melody’s dragon themed birthday party.  We both wished we lived closer so that the girls could spend more time together – though my cousin is ALWAYS connected to a schedule – or it seems, wanting to make plans and have get togethers but rarely ever finding the time.

          She and her husband seem to spring for more elaborate parties than Roland and I could ever give – though we have attempted a few times – there was always a restriction on how many friends could be invited.  Always less than ten.  I’m guessing Melody’s invites have always been 30 – 50.  

          Michelle and John started out with Gymboree,  MusicTogether,  and other playful invites.  Michelle didn’t want to deal with the mess at her own house – though I don’t think this is actually the first year it has been at their house.  One year they held it at the Leonardo .  Jenna was unable to attend.

          In the past, Michelle had always given a definite time with instructions to PLEASE be on time.  I always felt that was awfully nervy of her as (for as long as I’ve known her) she has never been on time for a celebration event – unless she is hosting.  But even with that, she was not as organized as she should have been – and though she had left instructions for her guests as they arrived – the party did not really start on time in my opinion.  But then not everybody showed up on time.  In fact, most seemed to drag in on Michelle Standard Time.



          They were blessed with such awesome weather this year – awesome for all those invited and had to drive the hills to get to John and Michelle’s house – and driving there in bad weather is less than awesome.  I was happy that only the first day of November (thus far) was the only November looking day we’ve had thus far.  And I hope that this Indian Summer will linger forever for it is truly my favorite season (take away the politics)



          I wish she would have done name tags.  I have in previous years.  Jenna’s friends all go to different schools and not everybody knows everybody else – which is how it has been at each of Melody’s parties.  When Jenna turned 7 I had passed out tags with a colored shape in one corner.  That way I could mix up the children into teams without them saying: “Oh, I want to be on so and so’s team”  “Why can’t I be with so and so?”

          Each game I would scramble up the children.  “I need red and blue on one team and orange and green on the other.”  “I need triangles and circles over here and squares and rectangles over there.”  I think it worked out pretty well.  But that’s me.  Michelle is usually not as organized.  Although she appeared to have put a lot of thought into the activities this year – some of it just didn’t come together until the last minute.

          The kids were on a dragon hunt.  Jenna said she misplaced her paper.  She didn’t appear to be having fun.  She said it was because Melody wasn’t having fun.  I truthfully hadn’t noticed – but did hear from both mom and dad that she was being a brat.  Why are so many birthday children like that?  Enjoy the day.  Enjoy your friends.  Have gratitude to mom and dad for giving you a party. I’m blessed that Jenna has not acted bratty at any of her parties thus far.





          At one point I guess Michelle told Melody that if she didn’t behave, she would have to go inside and her friends would have her party without her.  Maybe Jenna heard that and misplaced her paper out of fear.  She didn’t finish the dragon hunt.  She actually didn’t seem to participate as much as she normally does.

          When it came time for cake, Melody said she had picked out specific dragons for specific guests and would be in charge of passing them out.  And I think she probably really had picked certain dragons out for some of her guests – but not all 18 of them or 22 or how many ever there were.  Michelle kept on saying who needed cupcakes still, and Melody practically threw a fit. 



          As Michelle continued to pass out cupcakes as Melody pretended to put thought into them, I heard some of the children ask one another if they would like to trade dragons.  One guest, aware of Melody’s feelings and behavior said, “You can’t trade dragons” which came out more like, “If I’m getting stuck with this dragon, than everybody has to keep the dragon that they were given.”

          Michelle’s sister, Rosa, had asked me about mom – and I started bawling as I spilled off my descriptions of her.  Mom had actually called me while I was at Michelle’s house.  She sounded normal – like had been two Saturdays ago.  That’s when I like to visit.  When she knows I’m her daughter and isn’t oblivious to my being there even – like she was on Thursday, for example.  She (her mind) wasn’t even there for the most part. I am having a very hard time with it.  I think possibly worse than Corey.



          After the party had ended, Jenna asked if we could continue to stay so that she could play with Melody.  I had told her okay, and tried to get a hold of Roland to find out his plans.  He didn’t answer the phone.  

Friday, April 27, 2012

Make Every Second Count: You just Never Know



          Two weeks ago we left the state to be with Roland’s family.  We spent most of Friday driving, checked into a room and spent two days there.

          We didn’t meet up with the family until after 4:00 pm on Saturday.  Roland and his brother had both come from out of state to celebrate their mom’s 85th birthday.

          The eldest sister had actually sent the invitations out in January.  We had told her repeatedly that we just didn’t have the finances.  And just the week prior, we didn’t even have reliable transportation.  We ended up borrowing my mom’s car and our expenses were paid for.

          There was Elvis, and dancing, and hugs, and kisses and a tremendous surprise.  Roland’s mom had an exceptional birthday.  Cameras went off in all directions.  I would guess over 600 flashes – but that’s just a guess. 



          The next morning we posed mom and four of her five children (there was one who was unable to attend) before Roland’s brother and his wife returned to their home state.  More pictures were taken with I don’t know how many cameras.  It is nice to have those memories.  Especially now.

          Last night the family called to tell us of Roland’s older sister’s passing.  It was so unexpected.  I am still bewildered over the news.  Who knew that all of those pictures would show her in her final moments?  Wonderful, happy photographs of the very last memories we will have of her.

          We’d gone down visit before.  Maybe every other year.  Twice to bring mom back for a visit, once for the funeral of Roland’s uncle. 

          I’ve been to a lot of funerals during my lifetime.  Most have been LDS.  I like LDS funerals.  I can’t say the same for non LDS. I think I’ve been to about five that have been of another denomination.  And with each of them it has felt cold and so non-personal to me.  For it seems that anyone could be lying in that casket and the sermon would be exactly the same.

          Not all LDS funerals leave one feeling good about the person or the way the arrangements were made – but for the most part (at least in my experience) LDS funerals are beautiful and filled with love and devotion.  For the most part, even if you may not be familiar with the deceased, by the time the services end, you will know something.

          We sat around for two hours at Uncle Gil’s.  There was a small amount of hushed visiting and family members taking a break for their smokes and returning to the mostly empty pews.




          With most LDS funerals I have attended, there is a viewing beforehand.  And there has always been a line.
          The services are usually done by friends or family members – remembering and honoring those that have passed on.
          The Relief Society (women’s organization) rallies around the family – often providing the family with a meal for after the services.

          Roland’s family doesn’t have any of that.  They could.  But choose not to.  For Uncle Gil they hired a preacher, a minister, a man of the cloth – I actually don’t know what his title was.  A handsome sum of money was donated by the family members who might attend on Christmas and Easter (if that)  It felt as though they were trying to buy Uncle Gil’s way into heaven.

          I think the family would find a lot more comfort if they were to allow Roland and myself to conduct – because we would honor his sister by holding the kind of funeral that I am used to attending.

          I’ve given talks at funerals before.  I spoke at my great-grandmothers, my grandma’s and my dad’s.  I thought my dad’s was wonderful.  I talked a bit about daddy’s childhood and how he had met my mom.  Patrick took over with honoring him as a family man. 

          Corey was out of the country at the time.  We played a message that he had recorded prior to my father’s death.  And Kayla (who was in her last year at high school) sang “My Father’s Eyes” There was music.  It was a really nice service.
          After Bill’s (my brother-in-law) first wife died, I learned things about her that I hadn’t known before her passing. There were some really nice talks at that one as well.

          There are many LDS funerals that seem to go on and on – but as a whole, I think they are nice tributes and find a lot more comfort in them than these “impersonal sermons” as I call them.  I just don’t find the same sense of peace that I do with LDS funerals.

          We are still awaiting details.  But these are my thoughts at this time.  

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Superhero Birthday


          Roland and Jenna have birthdays exactly 50 ½ years apart.


          Roland enjoys comics.  He has read DC, Marvel, Black Horse, Gold Key.  He enjoys Hulk, Batman, Green Lantern, Green Hornet, He will watch programs that feature superheroes, Justice League, Dark Knight, Iron Man.  His absolute favorite is Superman. 
He has collected comic books, posters, George Reeve tapes, Christopher Reeves, and more recent than that.  He has watched Lois & Clark, Smallville, cartoons and whatever else might be Superman related.  And Jenna has watched some of his programs with him.


For her birthday this year, she decided to have a cake with Superman.  Oh, really? We talked about doing a superhero themed birthday party.  She had watched Justice League with Roland and was aware of Wonder Woman and decided to go as her.  Now she would like ALL the superheroes on her cake and not JUST Superman.

I have yet to attend a children’s birthday party where 50% - 80% of the cake does NOT end up in the trash can. I wasn’t about to fork over an added expense for such a luxurious cake – not that Jenna doesn’t deserve it – but I could really find other ways to “waste” my money.




Roland decided that we would do cupcakes.  He said that we had all the ingredients and made the cakes from scratch – but as they rose higher than anticipated, they actually turned out to be very ugly cake. 



Now, in Roland’s mind, it’s all about presentation.  Food has to look good – even to an eight year old. Embarrassed by the cupcake mutilation (they did lose form as we have tried to pry them out of the tins) he didn’t even bother to try to hide their deformation with frosting but went out and bought store bought cupcakes instead.  12 for our guests and a special one for Jenna.




We ended up with eight children and a sib, two moms (well three with me) and my oldest son – who took the pictures as I engaged the children in games and such.  They had fun.  And Biff got some really cute pictures.  After Corey returns and teaches me how to insert pictures, I will share some.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

It hurts just a little bit

          Since we were children, mom has made it a tradition to take each us out for lunch or dinner on his or her birthday.  I don’t know how old we were when the tradition started.  We used to go out as an entire family and gradually just the birthday child.
          This continued for the grandchildren after Patrick and his wife started having children.  I remember going out with the oldest two with the entire family – which gradually turned into just Patrick’s family and then just the grandchild. 

          I know my youngest nephew was four when my mom took him out.  His mom and I just happened to be with them.  I don’t know where we went to eat (probably somewhere exciting – like McDonald’s) but I do remember him choosing a pair of green overall shorts that probably only fit him just that one day. 

          I remember him saying, “I am four.  Today is four.  And I wear four”  The overalls were marked size four – I think they must have been mismarked however.  I seriously don’t believe he wore something that small since he was two. (My nephew is quite large in stature)

          After I married, my mom continued to take out Patrick’s children, but never mine.  She did acknowledge the boys’ birthdays for the most part.  But she stopped remembering when Jenna’s birthday even is.

          My mom and sister were both in the hospital with me the day that Jenna was born.  But my mom does not remember.  It’s not her fault.  She may have dementia.  There’s a lot that she doesn’t remember.

          My sister’s baby is almost two.  Grandma’s favorite grandchild – or so it appears.  But I don’t know if she remembers what month she was born either.  Although she might have an idea as their birthdays are only a week apart (eight days).

          So it’s not just Jenna who won’t be celebrating birthdays with Grandma.  My sister’s two children will probably never know my mom the way Patrick’s children did.  Before she had dementia.  Before when she had more independence and a driver’s license. 

          I miss my mom.  I’m sad for the loss that her three youngest grandchildren may never know first handedly.  I am grateful that each of us have memories to share.