So I guess the biggest news around here is that JAMES TURNED SEVEN! I have never thought much about what having a holiday birthday would be like for him, but so far it seems to be a mixture between guilt-fueled over shopping and last-minute slapped-together birthday dinners. Come to think of it, the other kids also get last-minute slapped together birthday dinners too. Every family has a culture.
We always start birthdays with cupcakes, but we already had a thing of cookie dough all made in the fridge, so Ryan whipped these up while I was at Geeks Who Drink with some friends.
We took the traditional birthday cubby shot.
Fussed over him what felt like an appropriate amount and then whisked everyone off to the orthodontist's office so Charley and Wes could get their expanders put on. Merry Christmas!!
Sent this picture to my friend and said "You have an asthma attack on my birthday, I schedule a ninety minute orthodontist appointment on yours.
It worked out quite well for him because I felt so bad for the Expander Brothers that we went to both Sonic AND Torchy's after the appointment for drinks and tacos, respectively. I made everyone sing Christmas carols in the car so we could directly address the fact that neither of the big kids could pronounce R's, S's, or W's before they got pissed and wrecked the rest of the day. Also I had to use a fork to pull a piece of lettuce out of Charley's expander right in the middle of the restaurant. Parenting is so neat.
They spent the rest of the day at a movie with our sitter while I did a little birthday shopping slash secret Christmas preparation. For James's birthday dinner we loaded up his presents and two flats of store bought cupcakes and went to his current favorite restaurant that also happens to be a few blocks away from church, P. Terry's, and met my sister for an impromptu party. We ordered our burgers and while we waited for the food, he opened his presents.
He asked for a new diary. We gave him one, and a big pack of colored pencils and a new pen shaped like an electric guitar that he LOVES, but his favorite present was a clip on lamp for his room. He's been reading by night light after bedtime and I figured he is now old enough to be trusted with access to a real lamp after bedtime (of course he is, I know this. Poor poor middle child).
With ten minutes to go before we had to leave to make it to a rehearsal for Christmas Eve church I passed out the cupcakes and we all sang "Happy Birthday to James". The other people in the restaurant clapped. A sweet elderly woman with a German accent came over and gave James a big hug and caressed his face while she cooed "You're going to have many, many, many more!" James said this morning "I don't remember what she said because her skin was SO SOFT and she was rubbing my face so nice."
I went in feeling silly and a bit guilty about his last-minute party and all of the friends I should have thought to invite (even though we *literally* only had forty minutes), but after singing to him and watching him open his presents all I could think about was how sweet it is to celebrate James, no matter how small the party. Our relentlessly positive little lovebug that we call Olaf because he likes warm hugs and is the family cheerleader (Some people are worth melting for). I *LOVED* his party and how special he felt.
When I asked him what he thought about his party he said "I liked opening presents and singing at P. Terry's. It was kind of weird, but really fun."
It was weird and wonderful. One of my all time favorites.
Also between dinner and cupcakes for everyone it set us back a whole twenty-six dollars.
In other news, today is Mary's last day of school for the break. She's already written out cards for her teachers (her idea), so when it was time to leave, when I was making a mental note to deal with teacher gifts at afternoon pickup, she grabbed the last two of the random pile of Trader Joe's gift items I bought for the occasion and walked out to Ryan's car. Girl knows what's up. I don't know if she's that independent because she is a girl or because she's the fourth and she has figured out that Ryan and I can be relied on for only the most basic food, shelter, and medical needs and nothing more. Future college housemates who go to Mary for bandaides, ibuprofen, and tampons? You are welcome! Shoddy parenting is the key to success.
The boys are at the movies with my mom now, so it's time for me to MAKE CHRISTMAS MAGIC HAPPEN. This will require a trip to the store and probably also a shower.