Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Two Years, Plus Easter

Happy second birthday to our niece! We had the honor of attending her birthday party this past weekend. I didn't realize it had been over 2 years since we had been to North Carolina to visit with DH's brother and his wife. We've seen N since then, but both times were at Luke's birthday parties here (Oct 2008/2009). Of course, when they planned her party, they didn't realize it was also Easter weekend, but that's okay; it actually worked out great. That weekend was the "overlap" weekend between my father's spring break (week before Easter) and Luke's (week after Easter). We'd been trying to work out a way to meet my parents somewhere for the weekend, but we never could make anything fit. Now we know why: we were meant to be somewhere else!

Jennifer (my sister-in-law) has two older sisters who both live nearby, as do her parents, plus some friends attended as well, so it was quite the full house. Everyone is just as nice as they can be, though, and it is always a pleasure to see them. I've even borrowed some of Jennifer's sister Gina's photos for this post (hers are the properly exposed ones! LOL). Here is the birthday girl, looking all coy and adorable outside:

The party theme was Wow, Wow, Wubbzy! We're a Disney Channel family, so all this Nick Jr stuff was new to us, but N clearly new who was on her cake.

In fact, everything was going great, until we started singing "Happy Birthday." Gina caught the deterioration with her camera:

I don't know if we scared her or what. (I don't think our singing was *that* bad.) I actually wondered if it was everyone standing away from her, leaving her alone in the chair, but it was Jennifer's other sister Laurie's birthday that weekend as well, and N also cried when we sang to her on Sunday, so it had to be the singing specifically. Poor N! She did eat come cake, though (unlike some children), and perked up when it was present time.

N is Luke's only cousin at the moment. As you can see, Jennifer is expecting cousin #2 in a few weeks, and we are all excited to meet our second niece sometime in late April or early May. But that didn't stop Gina's older daughter from adopting Luke into the family. He and S had a great time playing together, and I know Luke was exhausted both Saturday and Sunday nights.

In fact, all of the kids were exhausted by the time the party was over. Jennifer's family departed, and we returned to the hotel so that N (and L, and we!) could nap. We returned to Mike and Jennifer's house later that evening for dinner and egg dying, something neither N (obviously) or Luke (bad mom!) had ever done before.

After drawing on the eggs with the wax, they were ready to take the plunge!

Here is a close-up of Luke's first egg:

And all of the dyed eggs, which I think turned out just beautifully!

We intended to let the eggs dry overnight, then photograph the kids with them Sunday morning, but we never got to it. We checked out of the hotel and headed to Mike and Jennifer's house, where we gave Luke his basket that I had prepared the night before (and also forgot to photograph). He was most excited about the Spider-Man eggs! LOL He also got a small die cast car, a very bouncy ball, and a LEGO Star Wars watch (photos taken afterward, at home):

I had actually seen the watch on the Star Wars website many moons ago, but they didn't have the pre-orders available to ship until after April 1, which wouldn't work for Easter. I was so bummed! Then DH and Luke stumbled on them for sale at Toys 'R Us several weeks ago, and Luke has been practically *begging* for one ever since, not knowing that we had already bought it for him and were holding it for his basket. He would mention it every day or two, including in the car on the way to North Carolina. "Daddy, can we got to the toy store while we're gone? I still don't have a LEGO Star Wars watch." Luke, you will get a LEGO watch, I promise!

Mike and Jennifer were kind enough to get him a basket as well, even though I had told them I would be bringing one (I'm sure they wanted to have one, just in case I forgot). It was shaped like a Star Wars clone trooper helmet, and it was just too cute! We had also been invited to Gina's house to join Jennifer's family for Easter dinner, which was so very nice, and given what fabulous cooks Jennifer's whole family is (YUM!), we would have been fools to say no. They, too, had Easter baskets and stuffed animals for all of the kids, including Luke! He may have made out better with the Easter Bunny than he did with Santa last year. Check it out:

Yeah, I think the smug grin says it all. From left to right, the blue bunny and the dinosaur eggs (behind the clone trooper basket) were from Jennifer's parents; the clone trooper basket was from Mike and Jennifer; the wrapped basket was from Gina's family; the purple bucket was from his egg hunt at school the previous Friday; and the basket from us on the end.

Alas, we had to leave soon after we cut Laurie's birthday cake. As you all know by now, we had been out of town 4 of the last 5 weekends, and each trip was very long, though the path to North Carolina was the longest. We decided to leave Sunday night and head half-way home, then finish up the journey on Monday (neither DH nor I had the day off as a holiday, but we both took the day off anyway). But it was absolutely worth the trip to celebrate the birthday of our most favorite niece and to spend time with them. We see them all too rarely.

We had decided to stop at Charlotte on the way back. On a whim, I texted my friend Melissa (board folks know her best as melissawow or Ursula's mom) Friday night as we passed through to see if she and Ursula might be available for breakfast Monday morning. I knew the likelihood of both them being available and them being close enough to the interstate to make this work was slim, but sure enough, I received an affirmative reply to both queries. Melissa and I have been online friends for probably 10 years now (WOW!), and we've met only once, before either of us had children. Given that Ursula will be 7 in July, that means a minimum of 8 years had passed since we saw each other. I'd really like it not to be another 8 years before we do so again!

So, a most excellent Easter weekend for us! I hope your weekend was equally wonderful.

Currently feeling: hippity-hoppity

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