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Posts Tagged ‘birthdays’

Whew! What a busy three days I have had. Friday was Maya’s first birthday. My daughter wanted to take her to a restaurant where they’ve gone for the first birthdays for the boys, to keep the tradition. However, it’s a pricey steak house and no one has any money. My daughter belongs to their frequent diners’ club and got a twenty-five dollar gift certificate for her birthday which was set to expire on the fifteenth of this month. Twenty-five dollars is not enough for all of us to go so I suggested that she and Chris take Maya there for lunch (cheaper menu) and I would take the boys to pizza at the same time. The pizza place was having a promo where we didn’t have to pay for the pizza if we bought a Pepsi product so it was a good deal. After pizza the boys and I went to the park but not until we went to Dollar Tree to get paper airplanes to fly at the park. We also went for a short hike through the park grounds which is a habitat reclamation project so it has nice trails. Then they wanted a slushy drink so we hurried to Taco Bell so we could get them for one dollar during their happy hour! Then finally, home. Or at least to my home where they watched an old movie, Harry And the Hendersons. Whew! I’m exhausted remembering it.

There were a lot of things to be done on Friday night to be ready for Saturday’s party so I was up late, putting together a photo “clothesline” of pictures of Maya’s first year and some other stuff I said I would make. I’ll have to remember to say I will make less in upcoming birthdays (we have Anderson’s in four weeks then Spencer’s four weeks after that).

Then on Sunday I was called to go entertain Maya while Tina got things ready for the party. The cake and pizzas had to be picked up and no one volunteered (meaning Chris didn’t go get them. Tina was busy the entire time. Finally, after one o’clock, Tina sent me home to iron on some transfers for five t-shirts and then to pick up the pizzas and the cakes.  I got that done and dropped off the shirts before picking up pizza and cake. Luckily, I dropped off the pizza before going to get the cake because guest were already there and unbeknownst to me, when I got to the store bakery to pick up our order of two cakes, there were no cakes. They had messed up and had put the order in under the wrong Saturday. By the time the realized they had messed up (after looking and looking for the cakes and calling the bakery manager at home) and solved the problem by giving us a different cake and I got back to Tina’s, it was three forty-five and the party was almost over. They were just waiting for the cake! I missed the whole thing.

That’s the whine which made me need the wine! I had a glass of wine spritzer my daughter had made then sat in the recliner after everyone left. I finally managed to get my weary bones out of the recliner and home by about six. I was in so much pain that I didn’t even make it to my bedroom. I sat on the couch and didn’t get up for about three hours! And today, after twelve hours of sleep, I am still very tired and my body is sore all over, as in where’s the truck that hit me kind of sore! But it’s all over for this month. I told my daughter last night before I came home, that I am not going to go pick things up next time and if I do, I won’t do it at the last minute. She needs to tell me in advance and I need to have time to rest in between because I just can’t do that thing where I go non-stop for twelve to fourteen hours anymore.

And the more! The party was a success. The decorations were fun and the photo clothesline turned out really neat. I stole the idea from my daughter-in-law. I printed out a bunch of pictures in tiny form (nine to a 4″ x 4″ sheet). They are cut out and hung with a tiny clothespin (I used pink glittered ones) on a clothesline made of the thinnest cord I could find. Very cute. The kids had fun. The pinata was a success. The birthday girl was happy and full of energy. All things considered, it was all worth the hassles. At least it was when I think of how happy the kids were!

That’s my whine, wine and more. What do you have to share?

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It has been one of those days where by this time I want to sit with a glass of wine but it’s only 5:30 here in Oregon and, while many do drink that early, I don’t drink until the end of the day when I know I am not going any place, unless it’s a special occasion and or I’m out for a special dinner. Besides, it has been a day that would make me have more than just one glass of wine and I only really have one glass when I do have some.

So if I can’t share some wine with you, I’ll share some whine! 🙂  Today it’s about driving and drivers who shouldn’t. In the past couple of days I’ve come across so many “iffy” drivers that it has just about driven me to have a lot more than one glass of that wine I spoke about! First, it’s raining every day here and it rains at least nine months out of the year here so why can’t people put their lights on when they are driving and it’s raining and they have to have their wipers on? I think it is state law in almost every one of the fifty states in the U.S. that you must drive with your headlights on when weather conditions require you to use your windshield wipers. That means that if it is drizzly enough to need your wipers, even on the intermittent setting, you must turn on your headlights! And if it is full on raining, as in buckets of cats and dogs, you definitely need to driving with your headlights on. I know it’s daylight but it is not so that the driver can see the road better. It’s so that OTHER drivers can see YOU! So they don’t hit you with their car! So you don’t die in a car crash! So you are not responsible for causing any wrecks!  Come on, it is not that difficult to remember! Ugh! At least three times in the last two days I have not seen a car coming until the last possible moment before pulling out in front of them because it has been pouring and they are speeding along without their headlights on. Well, I have more whining to do about “iffy” drivers but I’ll save it for a non rainy day!

What more can I tell you? Those of you who follow me on Facebook and Instagram might remember that Maya is turning one in a couple of weeks and we are having her first birthday party decorated with pink flamingos! It’s difficult to find anything with flamingos on it in the Pacific Northwest in January. I don’t know why; I think flamingos are apropos anytime of year! 😉  Luckily, my daughter mentioned in one of her Facebook groups that she was searching for flamingo décor and a friend of a friend put her in touch with a woman who owns a business that “flocks flamingos” and she had everything we needed for the party, except the pinata. And this said lady used to have a birthday party business but no longer does so she let us have everything for about twenty-five percent of cost so we got a bargain! For a kind of not so great day, this was the saving grace of the day!

That brings me to “flocking flamingos.” Have you heard of it? It’s a thing. The idea is that people pay to gift a flock of flamingos to a person. Sort of like the idea of sending a singing telegram. You pay someone to do it and they go to the house, preferably when the recipient is at work or school or otherwise engaged away from home, and they set up a flock of pink plastic flamingos in the yard. A flock, in most cases, being at least a couple of dozen. They are set up and remain for a specified period of time (usually two or three days) then they are picked up and the yard is once again flamingo-less. Now if there is a  special occasion or holiday coming up, you can have the flamingos “dressed” with ties for Father’s Day, roses for Mother’s Day, Santa hats for Christmas, etc. They do all sorts of costumes for the flamingos to go along with weddings, baby showers, birthdays, retirements, etc. It’s a neat idea and the lady that owns this business actually needs people do it out in my area so my daughter and I are thinking we might want to do it together. It might be fun!

So that’s my whine, wine, and more for today. What do you have to w(h)ine about? Please do tell! I think I might make this one of the things I do regularly on this blog. I kind of like it!

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What? Water Fun?

We are off celebrating Anderson’s sixth birthday. I thought I was going to end up staying in the room and reading or something. Nope. Anderson and Spencer had other plans. They each grabbed a hand and pulled me to the door when they were going to explore. So now every time they are going to leave the room, they look at me and say “Come on, Nana. You have to come, too.” The water park looked like so much fun last night. I went in with them to just sit and watch but it looks like fun. I ended up going to Kmart fifteen minutes away to find a swimsuit so I can go in with them today.  Oh, and my son drove down from Seattle and met us here at the hotel for a few hours and pizza and cake. It was worth coming just to see him!

I’m glad I came. I’m even glad that I let them convince me to go in the water park with them. I’m almost glad I had to buy a swimsuit. I have only ever had two in my entire life. The last one was worn all of three times over a ten year period. I have no idea what happened to it but I haven’t seen it in over fifteen years. I didn’t think I would ever own one again but after watching the people in the water park last night…if they can wear a swimsuit, so can I! I don’t swim. I can’t even float. But I can stand in the little depression that has water shooting out of it every four or five feet. And there is a wading pool. And there are these cute little “ride on” animals that squirt water at the other riders…and even adults can go on those. Looks like fun!

So that’s the update. Never say never. Never miss an opportunity to do something new.

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If we were having coffee, it would be very late (it’s 11:40 PM) and we would be (or at least I would) having one of my favorite drinks when I am wound up and need to get to bed: Fireball whiskey, and Kahlua (see I told you it would have coffee) over ice. Yum! I also have coffee infused rum if you prefer!

It has been a long, tough week. Mostly, it’s my fault. I over volunteered myself at Anderson’s school. I worked the book fair a total of sixteen hours over four days and then another two hours in Anderson’s classroom. On top of it, Tina was not well at the end of the week so I needed to help her out with the boys so she could rest and get better. Then there is the fact that my knee is not doing well. I’m using a cane more often than not as my left knee is not only painful but weak. It is getting better but I have to baby it so I don’t make it worse! I was absolutely exhausted, falling asleep about five minutes after walking in the door each evening. Whew!

Sunday I will be taking Anderson and a friend to see the new Kung Fu Panda movie and to have lunch at Olive Garden, Anderson’s favorite restaurant. It’s all for his birthday, which is actually on Monday. He’s turning six! On Monday we’re all going out of town for his birthday, to a resort with water slides and all sorts of fun stuff for the kids. Of course it’s cold and wet out but I’m told it is all enclosed and heated. Tina got a Living Social deal so it is costing her less than one night’s normal rate for a two night stay for all of us, along with breakfast and unlimited use of the water park activities. I’m hoping I’ll get to relax a bit. I don’t swim so I won’t be doing any of the water activities but I’ll probably just go in to watch them and maybe stick my feet in the wading pool.

And this week I will have my first Jamberry party online (Facebook). I’m excited and it should be fun but it will also require a bit of work to set up the activities and graphics that I want to use. I know where to go to get everything. It will just take some time. That’s the beauty of doing this online…I can do it from home in my pjs or out at that resort, poolside! I just need an internet connection and my laptop.

Then comes the final planning and prepping for the shower I’m hosting for my daughter-in-law. The shower is on the 19th so we’ll just have about a week to get it all done when we get back from Anderson’s party. Hopefully, the rest of March will go a little less busy. Oh! I forgot to tell you that my youngest daughter will be moving up here next weekend so she’ll be about a twenty minute drive from me. I’m excited about that! It has been a while since she lived near me. She’s my baby so it will be good to have her here!

What is everyone up to? What’s your favorite late night beverage? Have you been to the movies? Any good books you can recommend? Tell, tell!

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Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Diana at Part Time Monster. Hop on over and check out the other posts!

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Quiet Times

I’m visiting my son in Seattle. It’s very quiet here. It has been very low key and very nice. Tonight we’re doing an early Christmas. I leave for Portland in the morning and they leave to my daughter-in-law’s parents in California in the evening so presents will be tonight. And maybe a movie.

I like the quiet but I’m missing my little ones too. Apparently, winds back home have taken down a lot of trees and power lines along with them do my neighborhood is without electricity until after 2 pm tomorrow. My daughter and the boys might have to find a motel if it gets too cold tonight. I guess it’s a good time for me to not be home. And our forecast now says snow on Friday!

Tomorrow’s drive home might not be too fun with a lot of rain but I’m looking forward to getting home and getting things for the boys’ stockings and wrapping gifts. Then I’ll be done! I’ve also decided I’m going to the grocery store on Christmas Eve to get myself a birthday cake. I haven’t had one in five or six years. They’ve opted for other desserts after Christmas dinner but this Christmas, my 60th birthday, I am gifting myself a birthday cake!

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Well, she’s not a baby anymore but she’s my baby.  Susie, my youngest turns 25 today.  It doesn’t seem possible.

A while back, we started (well, the kids started not me) to see who could be the first to wish the other a happy birthday and they tried to do it right at midnight.  If they were physically nearby, it was a hug and a “happy birthday”.  If they weren’t nearby, it was a phone call, and later a text.  With me, it was easy because everyone was always up at midnight on my birthday, but with the others, not so much.  One year, when it was just the two of us left at home, I was watching the clock and waiting for midnight.  She was in her room.  I went in about ten minutes before midnight and asked her if she was excited for her birthday.  I think it was the year she turned 17.  She said “It’s not my birthday yet. Not until midnight so don’t talk about it yet.” I left her room and went to my computer room right next door.  I figured I would check email.  Well, that was a mistake.  There was email and a friend was online and popped in with an instant message. Before I knew it, it was 12:06.  I ran into her room and knocked on the door.  “Go away.” I opened it just a tad and the lights were off and she was in bed.  Unusual for my night owl.  I went in and said “Happy birthday!” She turned her head to the wall and muttered, through tears, “You forgot!  I’m not important.  You forgot my birthday and now you’re late!”

Nothing I said would get her to turn to face me.  I left her room.  I was upset because she was upset and she’s my baby and it hurts to have her hurt, especially when I had “caused it”.  So I went to my room and called Tina, my other daughter, who lived about fifteen minutes away.  She was asleep but woke with the phone.  I told her what had happened and asked her to come make a big fuss.  I suggested balloons from the 24 hour grocery store and maybe a cake or ice cream.  So, she got up and got dressed and in less than twenty minutes she was at the door with flowers, balloons, cake, and ice cream.  She went to Susie’s room and pretended she didn’t know what had happened.  Susie was excited to have her sister there and to have all the special attention so she got up and came to the kitchen where we all had cake and ice cream and all was right with the world again.

She’s too far for me to give her a hug to this year.  She lives in California.  Last night I knew she had to be at work early this morning so I didn’t call her or text her but I did post on her Facebook page with birthday wishes.  I’ll have to call her later, when she’s off work, and remind her that I haven’t forgotten her or her birthday.  With luck, she won’t be upset because I didn’t call earlier.  But then again, she’s grown up now so she’s not as sensitive.  And, I did see her last week when I was on my trip and I took her to dinner (twice and breakfast, too) for her birthday so actually, I was the first to wish her a happy birthday, a week early!

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Come on in and have some coffee with me. I really need to have some this morning. I’m totally exhausted.

If we were having coffee today, I would tell you about Anderson’s birthday party. It was yesterday. For once, we didn’t have a lot of kids. There are some that always come because their parents are friends with Anderson’s mom and dad but I think thse friendships are changing, distancing, so those people were not invited this year and that was fine. Most of the kids from his school didn’t come but his little girlfriend came (her name is Kourtney) and a couple of the other kids. So we ended up with four “big kids” (3 1/2 to 5 years old) and two little kids (2 or almost 2). Plus parents for all the kids. It was more fun that way. Anderson got to spend time with all of the kids and they played and watched the Lego Movie. I had prepared games for them and we played a couple of them. They liked that and they liked getting prizes for the games! Pinata time was fun, although Anderson refused to take a swing at the pinata this year. Cake and ice cream and presents were all fun and like clockwork, everyone was ready to walk out the door right at 4. Everyone left at the same time and we were left to just relax. I finally made it home about an hour later and promptly fell asleep for the rest of the day, not waking up until about 9 last night!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you about a movie I saw last night, after my long post-party nap. It wasn’t anything I had heard of but it was on the Recently Added to Prime list on Amazon so I gave it a try, mostly because I love Martin Sheen. It’s called Wrinkles and is a feature length animated movie from Spain, dubbed into English. It’s about life in a retirement home. It has a good story with the two main characters. If you get a chance to watch it, I would recommend it.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that today I can just veg out and read blogs. I’m behind and I’m not “on call” with the boys today. Their other grandparents are visiting from Tacoma so I won’t be needed over there today. I need the day off so that’s good. It will be a hectic week coming up so I’m glad for a bit of a breather today. At some point I’ll need to go get some of my stuff from my daughter’s house. I took game stuff and prizes and my helium tank and balloons. I also took a lot of extra stuff that she might need. It will all have to come back later today, or maybe tomorrow. I really don’t want to deal with it today but I don’t want it in her way, either.

What have you been up to? Do you remember a special birthday or birthday party? I never had a birthday party until the year I turned 40 and hosted one for myself. Do you have any movie recommendations for me? And of course, we can’t close up without talking about the weather. How is yours? Ours is changing. We have had a few beautifully clear days. Today it’s gorgeous out but my thermometer tells me that it is only 38 degrees out there so I think I’ll stay in, grab another cup of coffee, and wrap my blanket around me after you leave.

I hope your week is productive and that you find some time to laugh and have a bit of fun!

Mini poster I made from a magazine ad!  I think it's staying up for awhile.

Mini poster I made from a magazine ad! I think it’s staying up for awhile.

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Everything Is Awesome

Or so I’m told.

Today is Anderson’s birthday. I’m supposed to go get the cake in about 45 minutes. However, I screwed up my alarm and woke up an hour late so now I am having my coffee while I wait for my clothes to dry. Then I can go get the cake. The party is not till 1 this afternoon so I have plenty of time. I will just have to deal with parking issues at Costco.  Ugh!

Well, better go check if my clothes is dry so I can get the awesome show on the road.   I’ll do my weekend coffee share on Sunday.

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If We Were Having Coffee is a weekly blog share and link up hosted by Part-Time Monster. You can join in the fun too!
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If we were having coffee today, I would probably be lost in thoughts of my son and you might get bored. You see, today is his birthday. He’s my first born and only son and will always be the closest to me in a lot of ways. Tony is 33 years old today and while I can remember all of the milestones, it also seems like it cannot have been that long ago. He’s a wonderful son although lately he has been very busy and I don’t get to hear from him too often. He lives in Seattle (2.5 hour drive from me) with his wife, Sarah, and their three dogs. That’s actually one of the special things about both Tony and Sarah. Their dogs are all “last ditch” rescue dogs that would have been euthanized if they had not given them a home. One is both blind and deaf. The other two have degenerative conditions. One has a life expectancy of 10 years and is already 11. But both Sarah and Tony have big hearts that they have chosen to fill with the love and companionship of and for these special creatures.

I would also tell you about how Tony, even though he was only ten when his dad left home, took it upon himself to be the “man of the house” and take care of me and of his two sisters. He was never asked to do that but he stepped right up and made sure that he did anything and everything he could to take care of us. Later, he drove his sisters to and from school while I worked and after school he would go around town paying my bills for me and helping the girls with their homework and if need be, he would get shopping done for me, too. I left for work very early in the morning and returned late and almost always had meetings and school functions to go to so Tony stepped up, without being asked.

When he went away to college, he had decided on going to a school that was an hour away from home so he could come and help out on weekends and even during the week if I needed him. But that wasn’t right. It wasn’t fair to him. I knew he deserved so much more. He needed to be off away from us to live his own life and take care of himself, not us. So I took him north instead of south and he fell in love with the campus at UC Santa Cruz. Although it meant he would be six hours away from us by car, I knew it was best for him. And so he left. But he stayed in touch. He knew that I am a worrier so he would keep his AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) on all the time. He would even put up away notices so that I would know when he was to be back. We rarely instant messaged but it was a comfort to see when he was online because I knew he was okay if he was online. And he kept in touch with his sisters online and by phone, too. They would even call him for homework help!

I know I’m boring you. I can’t say enough about him. If you let me we’ll be here all day and all night and I won’t shut up about him. But for now, suffice to say that I am relieved and happy to know that he is safe and thriving and happy. He’ll be off to Japan for a three month work assignment soon and it bothers me that he’ll be so far away for so long. He has been there before for work but usually only for a week at a time. This time it is for three months! If I could, I would get on a plane and go visit him during his stay but that’s a long and expensive trip and I am not one to go out exploring in a foreign country by myself while he is at work. So I’ll stay home.

Oh! Before you go, let me tell you one more thing about how thoughtful and special my son is. In My of 2009, I was in California to spread my brother’s ashes with some of the family. On Mother’s Day, my son took me to brunch. While we waited for our food, he handed me a package and a card. The package was store wrapped from Barnes & Nobel and was obviously a book. When I opened it, I thought it was a mistake. He was going to Australia in the fall and the package was an Australia travel book. I thought the store had wrapped the wrong book. I looked at him and said, “this is for Australia?” Tony smiled and said, “Yeah, you’re going with me!” He went on to say that he could never repay me for all of the sacrifices and everything I had done for him but he could take me on a special vacation. I was floored. I could not believe it. But then again, that’s how Tony is. Always thinking of others and of how he can help or make their lives easier. That’s my Tony!

It’s time for a refill on our coffees so you can tell me about your week. How was it and what do you have coming up next week?

My son, Tony, in Sydney on our 2009 trip.

My son, Tony, in Sydney on our 2009 trip.

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Last night and tonight have been spent scouring the internet for ideas and patterns, especially free downloadable ones, for Lego theme party decorations, crafts, favors, etc. Yup, it’s that time of year. It is about five weeks until Anderson turns 5! He has requested a Lego party which makes sense because that’s all he ever wants to play with these days.

I’m thinking of making individual rubber stamps of a Lego type figure or block that we can include in the goodie bags for kids. I’ve made hand carved rubber stamps before but it has been a while and I’m not sure if I still have my cutting tools. I’m hoping I can find them this weekend and settle on some easy graphics and buy my erasers and get started because I think I will need some place between ten and twenty! Then I can use a set to make some stickers for the goodie bags, too.

My daughter is making Lego brick shaped crayons and will get started on them as soon as the mold arrives. I think she’s making the cake or cupcakes this year, instead of me. I’m the one that usually makes and decorates them. But it’s her turn and she wants to do it so I’m good with that.

We have a couple of games for them to play and a craft, all with Legos! These kids will have fun and it will be a blast to watch them.

I’m glad Spencer is not old enough to know about requesting a birthday theme because their birthdays are only four weeks apart but within the next couple of years, that will change and we’ll have to do two themed parties in a four week period! Whew! At least they are both boys so there’s a chance the little one will be into some of the same things his big brother has been into so we can do a repeat!

This was the cake I made for Anderson's first birthday.

This was the cake I made for Anderson’s first birthday.

This is the cake for his fourth birthday.

This is the cake for his third birthday.

This was for birthday number 2.

This was for birthday number 2.

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