I will first say that it has been a good run. M. and I have successfully enjoyed hassle-free, TV-loaded, adults-only time for roughly 98% of the last 6 and a half years (with the exception of the odd newborn-intensive early months for each kid and the occasional sick night). That kid-free peace is probably the only thing that has kept us sane through the hustle and bustle of a life with two kids and two full-time, working-out-of-the-house-with-lengthy-commutes, jobs. For all those many years, we put the kids to bed, turned out their lights, and they stayed there.
Sure, sometimes (OK, lots of times) they called for us, to come fix a blanket, or schlep them more water, or change their pajamas because they're too hot. Two or three times one of them has actually come down the stairs from the bedrooms to the kitchen, where M. and I are usually finishing up the dinner dishes and packing lunches for the next day. Annoying, but no big deal, because mostly Finn and Lucy STAYED UPSTAIRS.
Tonight, M. and I finished up with kitchen duty on the early side, and we headed down to the basement to fold a bajillion loads of laundry with large vats of wine and some TV to distract ourselves from the task. We could hear Lucy over the monitor singing to herself, but since she wasn't calling for us, we left her alone.
Five minutes into an episode of Modern Family, Lucy appeared DOWN IN THE BASEMENT. Quiet and ghostlike. Scared the shit out of us. Thank god we were actually doing laundry and not something more, ahem, adult-like. But how the frack did our daughter, who refuses to walk down to the basement in broad daylight, find the guts to come downstairs all by herself, without a peep? She claimed to want one of us to put her "big red blankie" on her, but hadn't wanted to call for us (probably because we keep telling her not to). So she came ALL the way downstairs instead. M. paused the TV, and agreed to walk her upstairs to help with the blankie sitch.
And that's when she noticed the TV was on.
And then settled herself in my lap and refused to leave the basement so she could "watch for a little bit."
We managed to get her up to bed, and she hasn't come back down - I think she's asleep. BUT NOW SHE KNOWS. And she'll probably tell her brother. It's all over - THEY KNOW WE WATCH TV AT NIGHT. We're fucked - they'll never leave us alone now!
6 years, 6 months, and 26 days - it was a good, good run.
Alright, on to Lucy's birthday, numero quatro. I'd be remiss if I didn't link back to the post I wrote on her birth, since I love it and go back to read it at LEAST once a year. I love remembering that day, and I love celebrating my little girl.
Lucy's birthday was on a Thursday (April 25th). I made some cupcakes for us to have that morning as a family - none for her daycare class, because I invited them all to her birthday party and thought that a school celebration too would be overkill. More cupcakes for us! I have no pictures of her actual birthday, because I'm lame. But mostly, we ate a lot of cupcakes.
But I have LOTS of pictures from her party, which was the following day. We had 11 kids and their parents at the house - I was more than a little worried that it would feel super cramped. But thankfully the weather was awesome, so our bounce house was out, and we were able to spread people throughout the living room, dining room, playroom, family room, and the backyard. Lucy had a great time, and aside from the fact that M. and I were preparing furiously right up until the first guest arrived, it wasn't too stressful.
First, a few photos of the setting. We did a pseudo "tea party/pink and green" theme. I didn't take the tea party thing all the way, though - I found some paper party cups with tea pots and tea kettles on them, make some iced tea, and offered "tea time" type foods. No hot tea or real tea cups were harmed in the making of this party, though I did try - I hit the local Goodwill to see if I could find some cheap but cute tea cups I could let the kids use, but no dice. Here is the table with LOTS of balloons, including a huge mylar, hear-shaped one for Lucy with pink feathered trim. It was ridiculously gaudy, and is still floating somewhere above our living room.
Flowers, and the hit of the party - candy melt-coated marshmallow lollipops.
The kids went ape-shit over these things.
I'm going to do a separate little post on how to make these - it was SUPER easy.
The birthday girl, drinking from her "tea" cup.
The food spread - finger sandwiches (tuna salad, egg salad, ham and cheese, and PB&J), scones, cookies, and berries.
Found this cute little tea pot at Marshalls for next to nothing - I love it!
I worked so ridiculously hard on Lucy's banner last year, you know it had to make an appearance again this year :-).
Bounce house in action!
We did a piñata for the first time ever - M. bought it that morning at one of the local party stores.
After many, many hits from the kids, and dropping it off of the deck above, to no avail, it was determined that this must have been one of those "new" piñatas that you pull open from the bottom. Why don't these things come with instructions, exactly??
After the candy grab, we had CAKE!