Thursday, April 12, 2012


Last Friday, I attempted to have a "small family gathering" to celebrate Sylvia's second birthday.  I didn't want anything too big, since we had a huge party for her first birthday, and almost all of our friends have their own one-year-old birthdays to orchestrate this spring.  However, I did make two rookie mistakes.

1.  I forgot that our family is gigantic and once I invited the grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, we ended up with twenty people at our house.
2.  Her birthday was at the end of Spring Break, so I spent a week planning and prepping and cooking up all sorts of ridiculous ideas (i.e. let's blow up a hundred balloons and leave them all over the house!!  She'll LOVE it!). 

The party was not a failure by any means, I'm sure everyone had a good time, and I know Sylvia had a B.A.L.L. so it was actually a great success.  But I won't lie, it wore me out.  And I was glad when it was over.  Next year we're all going to Chuck E. Cheese, or some equally germ-filled snot fest, and I'll have a beer.

Anyway, here's the rundown of all the excitement: 

Two-year-olds do not understand the idea of WAITING to open everyone's present at the same time, so we let her open Gran and Grandpa's present shortly after they arrived.  Luckily, it was a Thomas the Tank Big Wheel (oh my WORD, the excitement!!!) and it took my Dad a good long time to put together, which kept Sylvia entertained until everyone else got there. 

Then, her best buddy Charlie showed up, and we no longer had to entertain/distract/wrangle her in any way.  They immediately started running and screaming and laughing.  Every time they're together, they shock me.  Within minutes of his arrival, they ran into her room, grabbed some books, ran back into the living room, climbed up in these chairs and started READING.  Thank goodness I was close and had my camera. 

Once everyone was there and had a plate of food in their laps, we let her have a free-for-all with the gifts.  Charlie helped.  I'm still finding wrapping paper and deflated balloons all over the house.  Sylvia got some wonderful presents that she has really enjoyed this week.  Lots of toys, THREE tea sets (that's how we roll, good and fancy!), quite a few outside toys (balls, kiddie pool, etc.), and a play kitchen with food and an apron!  What a lucky little girl.

 Uncle Jordan was there!  He gave her some new pink Nike sneakers and every time she sees them, she calls them "Unca Joe-din shoes!" 

After presents it was time for cake!  See that plate full of cookies to the left?  They are the reason I will curse Martha Stewart until the day I die.  That lady is NUTS!  My cookie plans failed miserably, and I was up until midnight the night before the party trying to salvage the remains of my pathetic project and turn them into regular old iced butterfly cookies, which turned out just fine, thank you very much.  Mom made the adorable bunny cake, I made the cupcakes (easy peasy, from a box, no complaints!) and yes, I put the 2 candle on backwards.  But I fixed it before we sang to her, so it won't bring her bad luck or anything.  I hope.

Matt and Claire, hanging out in the playroom.  Sylvia lights up when she sees her and shouts "Bay-bee Quare!!!"  She also thinks every baby is "Baby Quare" or "Baby _____" (our baby name, not approved for Internet posting, but approved enough for household use).

Four generations photo.  Sylvia, me, my Grandma Marge (Sylvia's "G.G."), and my Mom, Joyce (Sylvia's "Grammy").  Love those ladies!

Sylvia was pretty excited about the singing and the candles.  She certainly doesn't remember all this hoopla from last year, but she's been to a few birthday parties since then and she knows how this works.  It was fun to see her realize this was HER turn. 

Blowing out the candles!  Happy Birthday, sweet girl! 

Enjoying our birthday cookies.  Can we just talk about those pigtails for a second?  I'm pretty sure that when she walks across the graduation stage, or down a wedding aisle, I'm going to bawl my ever-loving eyes out thinking about her two-year-old pigtails.  No matter how big she gets, this is the face I will always see.  Always.

Sylvia and Cecilia were sitting at the table together, but when we pulled up a chair for Charlie, Sylvia decided she needed to be as close to him as possible.  Or maybe they were just fighting over the chair and realized they could both fit.  Either way, it was adorable.

After cake, we spent a few minutes playing outside with the new soccer ball, looking for airplanes, and watching the sun go down.  After everyone left, my brothers stayed behind to help Sylvain build a fire in the backyard, and I gladly joined them after I put my sweet girl to bed and cleaned up a little bit.  It was a day full of fun and blessings!  We are so lucky to be close to our family, and I'd gladly wear myself out time and time again if it means we all get to spend this much time together!

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