We celebrated her birthday yesterday.
This year, for her cake, she wanted to do cupcakes. She thought it would be fun if they could put frosting on their own cupcakes and individualize them.
Having made snickerdoodle cupcakes with the kids a couple weeks ago, I knew the most enjoyable way of making the cupcakes was for me to measure it out, and have it ready to just pour in and mix, before they came to help.
(If it's just one or two of them, they can do the measuring, and it's fine. But trying to accommodate them all and take care of two babies at the same time, one of whom (Rhys) last time I caught holding the big container of salt, spout open, head tilted back, literally on the verge of pouring salt in her mouth...then add the stuff all the rest of them are doing out of curiosity and trying to be independent, is too much. Instead of it being a fun experience, I begin feeling like I'm on some type of crazy game show.)
Here they are about to start. If you're new here, Emma is the one in the middle. She's the birthday girl! She's showing her new bracelet that a friend gave her.
Lining the cupcake tin:
Watching it mix:
Meanwhile, Ella was hanging out on the couch. It's almost like a play pen for her. She will hang out there (without falling off) when I need to sit her down. I thought she looked so cute:
Then we cooked them (the cupcakes, not the kids) and the kids chose the frosting color they wanted and frosted them:
After we were done with that part, I made the ice cream. Only, I forgot to put the ice cream bowl in the freezer the night before. It ended up not being cold enough to actually make ice cream. Boooooo. So, I stuck it in the deep freeze. I took half of it out and turned it into some chocolate ice cream and put it back in to try to freeze it in time. I wasn't sure if it was going to work out in time or not.
Then it was time to open presents. I like Emma's face and how TS is flexing his muscles to help her via his mind powers.
She got a make up box (which is sitting behind Rhys in photo above), then some boots, new pjs, a musical DVD that she loves, and some other stuff. There's also a pocket watch (necklace watch?) that is coming in the mail. She's been asking for a pocket watch, so we'll see what she thinks when it arrives.
Here everyone is looking at the stuff, including Ella:
Look at her sneak in a step when no one (but me, the spy) was looking!
Most of the time, Ella was crawling back and forth between me and the herd of kids. It was so funny because she crawled this way most of the time. It's like she is doing a combo of crawling and walking. haha. She likes to free stand a lot, but she very, very rarely takes steps. I actually wish she would take a lot longer with the walking thing. Other than Emma, she's by far our latest walker (she's also the tiniest, other than Emma), and it's been really fun having her not be walking!
Here's the cupcakes we made:
Since we didn't have a big cake to stick ten candles in, we used all the kids cupcakes to hold them. I snuck in two "trick' candles. They're the kind that keep relighting and won't go out. I thought Emma would think it was funny.
The brown cupcakes were chocolate cream cheese frosting on white cake with some of those chocolate mint candy crumbled on top. It was yummy, except the cream cheese frosting didn't taste nearly as good as it usually does. I used a different recipe than my usual one, and I shouldn't have done that. But it was still fun!
My sister and her family were able to come over. They arrived at right about the time we were ready to have cake & ice cream.
I took only video of us singing the birthday song and watching her blow out the candles. I'll have to download it later and post it. But for now, I'll just explain how it went because it cracked us all up.
All of the adults were aware of the trick candles. We were giggling our evil giggles in our minds as we sang her the birthday song. She covered her face because she said it made her feel weird having everyone stare at her and sing. She loved it, though!
Tyler sat the cupcakes/candles down in front of her, and we told her to blow it out...while smiling amongst ourselves, imagining what she would do. hehe.
So, she blew them out.
They stayed blown out.
Nothing tricky happened, except the trick candles tricked us by thinking they were trick candles.
We weren't going to be beat by some stupid candles, so we quickly decided to relight them. We waited a minute, they started sparking, Uncle Rob sang an abbreviated version of the Happy Birthday song and then said, "Now blow them out!"
Emma was clearly thinking we were a bit insane by this point. So, she blew them out again.
They stayed blown out.
We were not taking no for an answer. Tyler pulled the candles out of the cupcakes and relit them while holding them and glaring at them. After waiting a minute or so, to the point that they were sparking, he blew them out. They freakin' blew all the way out again. What's up with that?!!
By this point we're thinking that we're going to throw them all in the fireplace and melt them down into blobs if they don't start doing some type of trick. We grabbed a couple new ones, lit them, let them burn for a while until they start sparking. Then we blew them out.
Mine blew all the way out (?!!).
Tyler's did not. It blew out and relit right away!
Throngs of people cheered. Victory!!
He blew it out a few more times, and then it stopped working again.
By this time, the ice cream had melted considerably. And seeing as how it wasn't exactly in a more solid ice cream form to begin with, it ended up looking more like mashed potatoes and gravy...or blended up beans? But it tasted DELICIOUS.
Here's Emma's (haha!):
It was so yummy, in fact, that Kyrie excitedly got up to eat more of it. She may not look terribly excited here, but she was when she got up to get more.
Seeing how it looked on her plate, combined with her excitement, made me laugh just a little too hard. (I won't explain beyond that.)
Then the kids got their party bags, which were actually little party boxes. I put little packs of bandaids, wet wipes, rubber duckies, balloons, mini-spray bottles, a craft to paint, chapstick, and other stuff. A lot of it was stuff they don't usually get to play with (like bandaids and wetwipes) that they really love.
I took a few pictures of Rhys, trying to catch a good one of her looking through her stuff. Siouxsie kept being in the background, and I kept catching her in the weirdest expressions (not on purpose). It got pretty funny. Here goes with Siouxsie's expressions:
We finally told her to just hide behind the balloon so we couldn't see her face anymore. haha. Then she scratched her head right as I was taking a photo, making it look like she's picking something out of her hair (not on purpose). It was hiiiilarious... And Rhys looked uber cute, as usual.
Rhys LOVED her little party box. It was so fun to watch her, and the other kids, look through their stupid party treats (haha).
Rhys was sooo excited about her chapstick. She's so cute! Where Ella is tiny and so baby, Rhys is soooo sweet and squishy. She's one of my most favorite people in the whole world.
Ella hung out with Kyrie for a bit. Ella is so tiny and cute. It's hard to handle her sometimes.
Then after Uncle Rob told a really neat story about forgiveness (that had to do with a rather tragic story involving a dog and a wolf), we watched our night time Bible video with the kids about Jesus. They really like them. They have a ton of them here (most any Christian would like these).
It was a really fun night. So many funny things happened and everyone had a lot of fun. It was a great little party. Emma really enjoyed it.
(now...to the next day)
Her last present came today, the day after her party. She had been asking for a pocket watch. She said she wants to be able to hang it from the chain and look at it. I think she must have seen it on a show or something. She really wanted one.
When it came in the mail, I went in to wrap it up. But first I pulled it out to look at it. Here it is. It's silver with a pretty little butterfly because she loves butterflies:
It's quite beautiful.
I was in the room by myself as I was looking it over (that's code for, I had a few moments to myself to actually think and feel, without too much distraction, except for the pounding on the door as the kids tried to break in), and all these emotions bubbled up unexpectedly. I was a little surprised at the sudden intensity of my feelings, though I probably shouldn't have been. It happens almost every time during some of the most fun & exciting times in our family that there is a point where sad feelings surge. I took my time and stood there looking over her pocket watch, crying to myself...thinking over our lives with Emma.
The reality of FA was so strong right then. For some reason, this watch suddenly, briefly symbolized the reality that Emma's time is running faster than most of the rest of us. I thought about her birthday and how we used to wonder if she would live to be this age and how wonderful it is that she has. I thought about how last night, after we had cake and "ice cream", Tyler came over and whispered to me that Emma keeps getting out of breath. She's been looking really pale and getting tired easy. She might have some heart issues again or she's low enough on blood that it's affecting her breathing, like it has before (anemia can affect the heart). Or maybe it's nothing more than usual. But, it makes my heart sink and my stomach feel sick. With FA, you just never know what the future holds.
I've decided I hate time. I want to live in a reality where time doesn't go by. Where we all just are and we all are always together and no one can be sick or be taken away from the rest of us.
Then I wrapped up her little pocket watch, and we gave it to her. When she opened it and saw it, she was speechless for a second. She couldn't believe we bought it for her. She's been carrying it around ever since - it is actually a necklace. Besides her makeup, I think it's her favorite present.
I love my little family and treasure all the times we get to spend together.