I don't even know where to begin, but the kid's birthday was a HUGE success. If I just start with the presents, Maggie won't stop playing with her tea set, and my mom got her this super fun Ice Cream Set that they play with every night. And the car thing Aaron got? Cam wakes up early in the morning to play with it. Huge huge huge success.* The dolls I made, while cute, I think are a bit advanced for the kids - and the hair is getting pulled out. So I think I'm putting them up on a shelf and buying Maggie a Baby Stella for Christmas. But Maggie also received a cradle, and that is a HUGE hit. Both kids spend a lot of time putting the 'babies' to bed (which is every stuffed animal and doll in the area).
But the best part was the party. As you all know, I was SUPER nervous about the whole thing. It was just perfect. First, Cam was just so excited that Fellowship Hall, where we go for coffee hour after church, was decorated and set up just for him (it was lost on him that this was a joint party). There was a bounce house (a small one - perfect size for 4 pre-schoolers), tunnels for the kids to crawl around in, a table where the kids decorated a banner with crayons and markers, and another table where they made drums/noise makers (basically decorated coffee tins with rocks in them - the kids LOVED it). And even someone making balloon animals. The kids ran from place to place - screaming and laughing and having an absolute blast. And, since I didn't have to organize anything, I could just sit back and watch and enjoy.
About an hour in, they shut down the bounce house and had the kids sit still for some music (which was the cutest thing ever) and then had cake. Both of my kids had SO much fun, but the other parents wouldn't stop commenting on what a blast it was either. Just a perfect day all around.
Sunday we went to church. It was a rough day, as the 4th is the anniversary of Nora's death - but we stood up at the joy and concern time and talked about how this is a hard time for our family - with the joys of the birthdays and the sorrows of the anniversary... but that many people in that room helped us get through. It's been really hard for Aaron to go back to church - he always remembers Nora's service when he goes there - but the awesome birthday party I think helped him turn a corner. Which is nice too.
And Monday? Cam's actual birthday? We both took a half day off work and brought both kids to the Museum of Science. Cam was SO excited. It's still a bit old for Maggie, but she had a blast too. Then they got to bring Happy Meals for lunch at school, and ended the day with all our neighbors coming over for birthday cake.
Only funny thing is that when Cam woke up on Tuesday, he was pretty upset that his birthday was over. But he got over it.
* There are some issues with the build a road. The cars are battery operated and don't stop. The gearing is super high on the car - Aaron says that the motor and the wheels are probably directly connected - so you burn a battery within an hour of use. If you just let that go, it's a really really really fun toy.