Though I made a great effort to be present for the day of, remembering her pride, joy, and youthful beauty in her special birthday dress, I was so overcome with lingering exhaustion from my maladjustment (and the kids' as well) to the time change that I had to cut corners in all sorts of ways. Instead of imposing the usual two-hour video limit, I gave the kids screen time for the entire afternoon, napping in short spurts as I tried to keep one eye open to track the various activities of my youngest and most curious child. I couldn't bring myself to plan a meal, much less prepare one, so pizza was ordered, and Tom was dispatched to pick up a last-minute cake.
In the end, though, I think it was a wonderful day for the birthday girl for- as Tom so sagely pointed out- if his mother had allowed him near-unlimited TV time and a pizza dinner for his birthday, he would have considered it the best one ever. I only hope that even at a mere four years old that truly ended up being the case for Abigail.
As for the rest of the week, it's a blur in my mind of panic, anxiety and party planning. Though I hardly had a straight thought in my head anymore by the time her party began, I still rediscovered those moments within that make all the worry and work worthwhile: the familiar faces, the happy meetings of friends and acquaintances and pleasant conversations over good food and children's laughter. Many good things. Many priceless things. Many wonderful distractions from the unavoidable fact that- despite the unbelievableness of it all- my very first baby is a baby no longer.
|The birthday girl in her birthday dress.|
|Getting her favorite dolls, which now include a genuine Elsa, ready for bed.|
|After many weeks of successful independent spoon-feeding, this is now how we yogurt. Apparently, the spoon is just a distraction.|
|Typical evening around here these days: Elsa is dressed for bed, but Abby is not.|
|Move over, Linus!|
|Abby is determined to re-create the scene.|
|This is exactly how I feel about the time change, too. Too bad I can't catch a cat nap on my mommy when the morning feels too long.|
|The morning after the party, a furry neighbor goes after the bowl of nuts we left, forgotten, out on the deck. Can you spot the little thief as he makes his escape?|
|Abby discovers the true purpose of Autumn leaves while Mommy tries to overcome her terror of all the theoretical ticks that may be lurking within.|
|Somehow, the only picture of the week that includes Michael, and it wasn't even taken by me... Whoopsie.|
Overheard this week:
In response to my imposed requirement that she had to use the downstairs bathroom after declaring a need to go again when I had finally gotten her, kicking and screaming, down to the basement for the morning: "I'm allergic to the downstairs bathroom!"
To her brother, as they played together the morning before her party: "Michael, we're gonna have a party, and we'd better start getting the room clean so all of my friends don't hurt their toes. I don't want my friends to get hurt!"
Between Tom and Abby
T: "I think I'm going to put on your new princess cape because it's so warm."
A: "No, Daddy! You can't!"
T: "Oh, Abby, I'm just joking."
A: "This is no time for joking."
Between Tom and Michael
T: "Michael, there's no need to scream. Just say, 'Abby, don't sing.'"
M: "Abby, no sing!"
"Want more fruit."
"Winnie the Pooh"
"Mulan fights bad guys!"
"Throw leaves [at] Abby!"
"Hi, Mama!" (This her greeting to me nearly every afternoon when I collect her from her nap, and it makes my day.)