Every year Andrew for the last few years Andrew has been at a conference during his birthday. This year he came home around 1am so he could be with us for his big day! The kids and I spent the four days he was gone planning and preparing for the event.
On Saturday Emily remembered we needed to hang the Happy Birthday sign. She also found the gift bags and wrapped a bunch of presents for Andrew on Saturday (bean bags so they could play a game with them, her favorite play cards, a few clay items she had made, paper (book worthy) and pencils so they can write and draw together, a flower, and a paper creation she had cut and taped. This was just a small diversion from dancing on the elaborate stage she and Nathan made that morning to dance on.
We also went to the annual Fiddlers Gathering at Battleground park. I’ve been wanting to go since we found out we were moving to Indiana in 2013 and this was the first year we were in town. Our neighbors also joined us. We went to the kids concert and then I went to part of an Irish master class while the kids ate lunch. I’m just proud that I went with three kids without Andrew and took my violin along!
Laura started sitting up and playing all by herself – zero assistance (once she’s been put into the sitting position anyway).
On Monday we pulled out our parents day gift – a jig saw!!!! – and cut out blanks for chopsticks. Andrew loves eating snacks with them and he just has cheap ones he picks up from Chinese restaurants. While the kids played outside I cut and carved. They are still a work in progress but it was wrap-able and obvious what the end product will be.
Emily and Laura started feeling sick in the afternoon so we slowed way down for Monday and most of Tuesday. There was lots of book reading. Nathan was in heaven for all the extra time to just hang out at home and build with duplos by himself (Emily was sleeping). We also built a pretty elaborate train track that went through the doll house that the kids played with together for awhile.
On Tuesday Emily was feeling a lot better by the afternoon and had the idea to get Andrew’s favorite pens to help him write his dissertation and new hot pot holders since he loves to cook and ours were falling apart. We also made up a silly birthday song, “Happy birthday dear dad! It makes me so glad, to see you turning 29, and your looking so fine!” They also wanted to get a bunch of balloons to decorate with.
We also cleaned the house really well so he would come home to a clean house. This was a huge feat because the kids were sick while Andrew was gone and I got little sleep for those four nights/days. It ended up being a huge blessing because we were inspected on Wednesday morning in a clean home instead of one that could barely be walked in.
We started Wednesday morning off with Andrew opening his birthday presents post breakfast. It was so fun to watch Emily experience the joy of gift giving in a big way. He was getting ready for work and I was going to take a quick power nap. I woke up at 11:30 to smells of chocolate cake and a crew of inspectors.
He also surprised the kids with sunglasses that he picked up at the conference.
We had lunch and then were going to head out on a walk, but I laid down for another quick nap and woke up at 3:30. Andrew got his birthday dinner ready and we all sat down to eat and enjoy the fancy cake the kids and he had made. Emily remembered to sing our new birthday song.
Nathan spent the week singing, “Happy birthday to you” and making cakes out of all sorts of objects.
For Andrew’s birthday adventure we took him to back to Battleground for berry picking. We went on Thursday with a group of friends and enjoyed picking wild blackcaps. The kids were super excited to pick more blackcaps with Andrew. It was a super hot day but as long as we stayed in the shade and ignored the dense humidity it was pleasant.
Nathan finds circles made out of any object and says he’s taking a shower.