Thursday, March 13, 2014

Tidings of Birthday Joy: Henry turns six!

 "It looks like someone ordered snow for his birthday." I mused aloud. I'd caught sight of a familiar scene of white out our back windows. The sun, being slow to rise, was quietly highlighting the new snow. Considering how much we've enjoyed the recent surge of warm weather, it was hard to admit the snow was beautiful.

My thoughts were quickly interrupted by a series of excited foot steps rushing down the stairs. There he was; my six year old birthday boy! Right on schedule my brain went through the standard, seemingly cliche, realizations:

"I can't believe my baby boy is six!" 
"That went fast!"
"Is he really six? I believe that Eliza was six, but Henry? Really?"
"In another six years, he will be a deacon! He'll be old enough to go inside of the temple and will pass the sacrament and will be...oh my gosh... he'll be TWELVE?!" 

Slow down, self. Take a deep breath!

I confess that it seemed that Eliza may have been the most appreciative of the clean and tidy living area, the bright balloons and birthday banner. Either that or she was excelling in her friend post of garnering birthday excitement on behalf of her brother. He was happy to be six! And the Dunkin Donuts waiting for him in the fridge was also a fun little (unhealthy) surprise.

"I'm taking the entire day off from work." Andrew casually informed me the day prior. Bells of joy sounded within my heart!

"Really?" I was thrilled. Not just for Henry, but man do I like having an extra pair of hands on the day of a big family event! Not to mention, that man is my eye candy! I like looking at him too. Woo, woo!

With Dad there, we were able to eat our donuts breakfast as a family. Because he's a better person than me, Andrew scrambled up some eggs as well. Have I mentioned that we have eggs coming out of our ears?! It's true.
We reached the eight o'clock hour. Because she has a stellar memory, Eliza notes that the time of his actual birth is approaching. I realize she's right as another wave of maternal sentiment washes through me. I comb his hair, straighten his glasses and wash the sticky doughnut residue from his handsome face (he is capable of this, but I welcome the opportunity to spit clean his face while he'll still let me!). Finally, I kiss his cheek and ask him to go brush his teeth.

Returning downstairs after scrubbing his teeth, we secure his new "I am six" birthday pin on his shirt. He beams with pride.

"Can Mom take a few pictures of you outside?" Taking photos is my feeble attempt to freeze time.

Andrew then offers to drive Eliza and Henry to school. And with that, I begin finalizing a few last minute birthday details.
A birthday detail: "Shark you for coming"
Eat your heart out Pinterest. 
This is the extent of my creative abilities. 

It turns out, Andrew had a little business to take care of in Salt lake which was fine by me as it made me the only option of picking Henry up from school. Once his teacher spots me coming up the sidewalk, she gives Henry the green light to leave. Running as fast as he can, he tries his best to plow me over. Instead, I'm able to catch my six year old and scoop him up for a big birthday kiss. Reunions are the best and thankfully he isn't embarrassed (yet) by his affectionate Mother.

I offer to take him someplace "special" for his birthday lunch. He chooses a homemade turkey sandwich (a whole, not a half) with chips at our kitchen counter. Eating alongside his Dad made is what I think made it special.
We enjoyed a little down time in the afternoon as we waited out the hours until his birthday party. 3:30 finally arrived. As I stood on our porch to welcome his friends, I had to laugh at the weather. The back yard snow from that morning had long since melted. The sun burned bright, the wind softly blew and a flurry of unexplained snow flakes fell. It made no sense to see snow falling in the streaming sunlight.

I couldn't help but tie that scene to my son's personality. No matter the angst or upset he may feel in a particular frustrating moment, it is (usually) possible to be able to find a sudden smile or hear a burst of laughter in the middle of it.

We loaded up this cute crew and headed to Kangaroo Zoo where Henry and his friends enjoyed an afternoon of bouncing, sliding and running around like super happy, crazy people! 

"Did we rent out the entire facility?" Andrew asked. 

"No." I replied. But you would have thought we had considering how empty the place was. Tuesday afternoons are a great time to go to Kangaroo Zoo, for your information. It was nearly deserted until our lot took over. 
Other party highlights:
The Jungle party room! And that one time that Eliza pulled the blinds, and its accompanying hardware, entirely off the wall/ceiling. Oops! We're sure glad she wasn't hurt.

Watching his expression when he saw his shark cake for the first time was another highlight!

My talented friend Krystle offered to make Henry's birthday cake. He and his friends loved it and it tasted delicious. I can't thank her enough for the time and energy spent creating it. I have a lot to say about my friendship with Krystle and how grateful I am for her in my life, but I think that needs to be a separate post.
Henry was eager to open his presents. Considering that our gift to him was a trip with friends to Kangaroo Zoo, he was happy to have something in his hands to actually open.
Pulling up to the facility, I chose a parking spot next to my Mom's car. Not expecting to see her, Lottie looked over. Her big eyes grew bigger as she shouted,

"Mom! It's YOUR Nana!" Having two Grandma's with the nickname of "Nana," Lottie often asks if it's Daddy's Nanna or Mama's Nana. Having my Mom there to share in the merriment was great!
Big baby Forrest is ten months old!
Oh my goodness!!

Speaking of that cute baby, all the kids had fun watching him crawl and roll around a few of the bounce houses. Considering the small group of kids that were there, I felt it was safe to let him have his fill.
And here's a miscellaneous shot of Lottie that I love so much.
Those curls kill me.

And finally, here's one last 'highlight' courtesy of Andrew:

The girls plus Forrest drove in the van with me while Andrew was responsible for playing chauffeur to six hyper little boys. That being the case, Andrew was privy to an array of six year old insight. As for me, one little friend and I sang along to frozen, while Eliza and her friend took turns reading passages from the always delightful: Captain Underpants.

Returning to Andrew's car full of young yahoo's, one little boy, let's call him "John" speaks up above everyone.

"Hey. You guys! Shhhhhhhhhhhh!" He's kind of a natural leader, this boy, and so it didn't take long for him to have their full attention.

"I bet I'm the only one here who knows what twerking is!" He pauses a moment. "Well, do you know?" Had Andrew been drinking a cup of water, he probably would have spit it right out. He couldn't believe his ears! As for the boys, they don't respond to the question. Thankfully, it seems, the rest of the occupants are clueless. Full of pride, John rubs it in further, "I knew it! I'm the only one who knows how to twerk!" Neener, neener, nee!! Don't worry, he never enlightened anyone further.

This boy comes from a a great family, by the way. I'm being serious. It just goes to show how on guard we have to be as parents about what our kids are being exposed to well before they hit the locker room in junior high!

On that note! Let's return to being sentimental. 

 Here's a look back at a few of Henry's big milestones (a.k.a. why I won't give up blogging).

Made in Bavaria (Surprise! We're expecting baby #2)
Hospital Highlights (a summary of Henry's birth)
For my personal history (a little baby blues after his arrival)

A Year ago today (more details from Henry's birth)
Here he is (Henry's first birthday, eating cake)
Would you like some cake with that spit? (Henry turns two)
Going green (Henry turns three)
Legos and Leprechauns (Henry turns four, the birthday party)
Henry's Monster Bash (Henry turns five)

Floating around those posts are the birthday love letters I've written to him as well. They don't call me Ali McCheesy for nothing. Actually, no one calls me that. But y'all should. Because it's true.


*Jess* said...

Happy Birthday Henry!!

Teresa McCormack Flegal said...

Tell Krystle she did an awesome job on the cake. I am still your greatest blog fan. I don't always comment but I love reading and rereading them. Thanks for the time you take in doing this. Love you