Slideshow Image 1 Slideshow Image 2 Slideshow Image 3 Slideshow Image 3
Sunday, January 22, 2012

Setting Expectations

Dear Family and Friends,

Jeremy was pointing out that we are teaching Robyn to have high expectations when her birthday comes around.  Its not just a birthday - its a birthday week.  And with the festivities spread out she was one happy little girl and by the end of the week was tired out in a happy, dreams fulfilled sort of way.  Since she has been talking about this birthday for almost two years now I was glad she enjoyed her week so much.

Monday with everyone out of school we had Robyn's birthday party.  She and 13 of her friends ran around our house in happy mayhem for a few hours.  Allison and two of her friends were Mother Gothals and loved spending the day preparing for the event and then bossing little kids around.  Spencer and his cousin Garion spent the party hunched over a video game emerging to run a freeze dance game and for cake.

And the story of the cake.  Instead of following the instructions to the letter I thought it would be fun to make the bottom of the cake out of cake instead of Styrofoam.  It looked great for around 2 hours:
Then the tower fell over despite the dowel running through the whole thing.  We propped it back up and added a bunch more skewers.  Then the bottom cake just dissolved and cake went over the whole counter - an HOUR before the party started.  So we picked everything up and mashed it back together.  Robyn was just fine with it saying that the crumbs could be the dirt on the hillside that Rapunzel sang about.  Glad she had such a good attitude.
 So we made some more frosting and covered everything back up into a gigantic cake pop.
Kids could have cared less because as the girls pointed out - cake and frosting always tastes good, no matter what it might look like.

The kids colored, did some crafts, played balloon dancing games, and broke out presents, cake and ice cream.  Then they watched Tangled while I rescued our house from chocolate cake crumbs for a little bit.  They are like magic, I swear they multiply until your room is full of little pieces of cake.
Robyn's friend Raquel cracked me up as she was telling all of us how much Robyn would love her present - she just knew it
Jeremy then returned home early to help us launch some floating lanterns.  The instructions were the worst translation we have ever seen and despite being good for a laugh were not super helpful.
Despite cold and wind and some failed attempts we finally manged to launch one.  Launch is a relative term.  Jeremy was afraid to post the video, that friends would worry about their children's and house's safety.  The lantern drifted around our yard, open flame blaring, kids running around, me trying to catch it.  But then it finally took off and sailed off into the atmosphere.  We really were going to tie string to it but we didn't think it would go anywhere since it was having such a hard time.
Kids making a wish on the first floating lantern that just torched itself and never left our hands
So we all had fun, friends and cousins stayed for awhile and then we all collapsed.  Kids were asking me as I served dinner, what we were doing for FHE?  I told them that spending the entire day together doing the party counted as FHE for this one time and that everyone now needed to hit the showers and bed.

Robyn was star of the week at school so she enjoyed bringing in posters, show and tell, treats on her birthday etc.  One of her friends missed her birthday party so she had a mock birthday party a few days later where she and her friend go to play and have cupcakes.
And then on her birthday she got to have breakfast in bed, skip all her jobs, go out for lunch with Jeremy and play with friends all day.  And then for dinner she picked her favorite meal - soup and cheese bread.  She talked to family on the phone, opened up family presents and then had Meredith stop by with balloons and flowers.  Meredith's visit was seriously the icing on the cake.  After an hour she had to pry little girl arms off of her, tell Spencer he needed to take a break from talking and escape out the door.  My family sure loves her.
Jeremy and Robyn after their Daddy birthday lunch
Jeremy convinced Robyn this year that nachos was a much better birthday meal than chicken mcnuggets

Then on Friday she had doughnuts and dads at kindergarten with Jeremy and then her cousins took her out to a movie for her birthday.  And the kicker to the whole week was that our neighbor has 8 pure bred golden retriever puppies.  Tuesday after school we went over and played with them.  They are 6 weeks old and the cuttest, fluffiest things you have ever seen.  Robyn has been visiting them whenever possible.  She and her friend Luke one day even climbed their fence to go visit.  She carries them around wrapped in baby blankets and has begged every day that we need a puppy in our house.  So Robyn has had a very, very good week.

And as far as everyone else goes...

Taylor has had a few bad days this week where he can't stop seizing.  They aren't grand mal seizures but rather that static state where he is breathing heavy, eyes fixed and dilated, can't respond etc.  Don't know why.  But on other days he has been super cheerful and alert, trying to walk and eating tons.  So it sort of balances out.

Spencer spent Saturday at a scout pow-wow from 6:30 am (yes that is 6:30 am on a Saturday morning) until 5:30 p.m.  He came home tired, with 3 merit badges and some homework in his hand.  He got himself up Saturday morning, dressed, breakfast and out the door on time.  I went back to bed, feeling all proud and then 5 minutes later he comes home knocking and ringing the door bell because he forgot to bring paper and pencil.  Oh well, progress is two steps forward, one step back.  Flexibility is definitely not in his mind-set.  On Friday he had a junior high party after school that he didn't want to go to.  So we had a talk about how its easy for him to avoid social situations and the path that leads to.  So he ended up going for the last half and enjoyed it.  I just wish he had inherited more of Jeremy's social savvy instead of my nerdiness sometimes.

Allison continues to do basketball and everything else.  She had her best game this week where she scored two baskets and did one break away with the ball the full length of the court.  She was quite stoked.
Allison and her friend Kathryn have been sewing rice bags
Jeremy had a big photo shoot this week to create some stock photos for a client.  He has been pulling some late nights as he tries to get a bunch of projects caught up.  Saturday we hired a respite worker - Craig's list really does work.  Melissa starts next weekend.  So Spencer was our babysitter yet again on Saturday while we went to dinner with some friends.  Nothing like good food in a warm restaurant while you watch a snow storm outside.  Yep, I said snow.  Finally.  Not much but at least it looks a little bit like winter now.  And then back home to watch Real Steel.  A great way to end the week.

Nice guy that Jeremy is, he gave me a facial for Christmas.  So this week I had my first chemical peel - pumpkin.  I had no idea how many things you can do to your face.  Maybe I am lower maintenance that I thought!  Thanks to a thoughtful friend who let Robyn play I cam home relaxed and with a super clean, smooth face. 

A few weeks ago I bought one of my sister Christina's drawings.  This week the frame was finished and I got to hang it up.  Looks amazing and makes me smile every time I see it.
My brother and his family come into town this week about which we are very excited.  They always have the best timing.  This is the hump time of year for me when family visits in the summer seem so far away.

Best kid quote of the week is Robyn and Luke praying over lunch: "please let us never have to date, hold hands, get married, kiss or have kids".  I was trying really hard not to laugh too loudly as they were very serious - they don't want anything to ruin their friendship.

Love, Heather