A favorite pastime around here.
Secondary pastime: nomming on chubby cheeks.
So it’s been a month since you turned 5 1/2, my sweet, but I don’t think you’ve changed enough in those weeks that this is too late to post.
Anja, at 5 1/2, you:
Anja, it is such a pleasure to be your mama. You are getting so big and the years go so quickly. I will take every cuddle I can get!
Markus wanted a “Lightning McQueen and Mater” birthday party, so we incorporated those characters with an idea he came up with last spring. We had just watched the first Cars movie as a family, and he said over the course of several weeks that he planned to open his own restaurant called “Burger Ka-Chow!” and it would serve burgers, fries and ketchup. We thought that a pretty good business plan for a 2-yr-old, and the idea stuck with me as I planned his birthday party this year. It was his very own Burger Ka-Chow! restaurant.
Husband and I spent a week secretly working on these guys in our laundry room. Markus was surprised to find Lightning and Mater big enough for him to sit in. They were inspired by this post. We weren’t expecting any other children than mine, and I didn’t have the time or energy to make a whole fleet of cars, so we just poured our creativity into these two.
The rest of the decor was simple, and the menu included burgers, fries, AND ketchup.
Anja added this sweet little picture she drew of Mater towing Lightning McQueen.
My mom had an old Wilton car-shaped cake pan from my brother’s birthday in the ’80s, so we souped him up a little to look like Lightning McQueen.
Happy birthday, Little Man!
We had a lovely weekend celebrating our newly-minted 3-yr-old. Markus, at 3 years, you:
We are blessed to have such an active, healthy, loving, passionate boy. We love you, Markus!
Back in June, we had a storm one evening that knocked the power out. The thunder was loud, the lightning bright, and the kids woke and we all went downstairs to cuddle. This was about 3 a.m. Around 4 a.m., things were letting up, and we headed back upstairs to bed. Anja tripped over the fan in her room (which was silent because of the power outage) and from what we discerned later, must have hit her nose on her bed frame. All I heard was “My nose! My nose! It’s bleeding!”
I found her in the dark and brought her to the hallway, where there was at least a tiny bit of light from the storm/moon/whatever. I gasped. She was not bleeding from her nostrils, as I had assumed, but through a giant gash across the bridge of her nose. I brought her to the bathroom and immediately clamped a cloth over it and pinched and screamed for my husband to bring something to see with. The kids had been playing with our only flashlight earlier in the day and had lost it, so he brought the only thing he could think of, the Kindle. As we surveyed the damage in the dim glow, I got a little panicky. We didn’t know where the nearest ER was (forgot to look it up after moving) or if she was in any shape to be driven there, so we called 911. The cops arrived first, then the paramedics. They said she did need to go to the ER and told us where it was so we wouldn’t have to pay the ambulance fee.
We arrived there around 5 a.m. and were there until 9 a.m., mostly waiting for Anja’s local anesthesia to take effect, getting her nose irrigated (they were expecting water to drain all the way through to her nasal cavity from the cut, but thankfully it didn’t go through), and stitching her up.
She was a trooper. There were moments of pain and panic, just like in any situation like that, but I was so proud of how maturely she handled it all. I’ve told her for years that she would make a good medical professional for her ability to tolerate pain and blood and needles. I stand by that claim.
Now all that’s left is a lumpy, crooked scar. We are looking into plastic surgery options, but I’m not sure if those will be doable until she is older. For now, she has a little reminder of her fall on her face, a reminder to me every time I look at her of how fragile we are, how I need to enjoy each moment, how things could have been so much worse. What has become a part of her has become a part of us all. Scars remind of past hurts, of lessons learned, and I think they can be very good things.
Markus, at 2 years and 9 months, you:
Markus, you are a joy of a boy! We love your energy, your fierce love, and your too-big words. Thanks to God for giving us you!
Before Anja was even born, I found a cute Candy Land cake on the back of a Taste of Home magazine. I clipped it out and put it in my binder (this was before Pinterest, people). Fast forward 5 years, and my girl starts talking about how she wants a Candy Land birthday. I freak out a little bit because I will actually get to USE the idea. After more scouring of the Internet for ideas and some creative-but-cheap homemade decor, this little party was born.
It was also her first party to get to invite friends. We kept the guest list short since we included them in our family party and our house is only so big, but Anja had a blast. I hope this is one she’ll remember forever.
I had so much help, too. My mom made the buns and the peanut brittle (yum!), and my friend Maggie made the amazing gumdrop topiary (she has much more patience for those type of projects than me, and I’m so thankful for that). Maggie also loaned me the chalkboard, the glass containers for the candy buffet, and the cute little vintage flash cards.
Oh, and guess who ended up decorating the cake? Husband. After all those years of anticipation, I decided it would be the perfect job for him, since his dad used to decorate his birthday cakes. And he did a stellar job.
So five, to me, is kind of the pinnacle of toddlerhood, when some of your ill-pronounced words (which I love) and completely non-self-conscious behaviors (like jumping up and down flapping your arms in excitement no matter the appropriateness) will disappear. I am dreading that. Since you start Kindergarten in two days, I have been drinking up every minute I have left with you at home…we’ve knocked almost everything off our “Summer Fun 2012″ list. We’re going to miss having you with us during playdates and errands and zoo trips. But I’m so thrilled that you will learn and make new friends and develop more and more into the girl God wants you to be. So…
Anja, at five years old, you:
All in all, Anja, we are loving being a part of your life, watching you grow. You are an enthusiastic, loving, strong-willed girl, and you’ll always be our little peanut.
Mama & Daddy
Markus, at 2 1/2 years, you:
We are so glad you’re our boy, Boofy. It’s hard to believe you’re already older than Anja was when you were born! We pray that you will grow into a godly little man.