Our Tuesday nights are so chaotic that we decided to do the bulk of our celebration on Monday night, and even that was rushed (Andrew always feels swamped on Mondays (probably due to taking family time on the weekends) and this Monday he was feeling particularly swamped (because of having just returned from his trip(s)) so he ends up not coming home until around 6:30...which is fine, except that cramming dinner and FHE in before bedtime ends up a little tricky when he does that). Miriam chose Cook Out for dinner (Grandma's treat) and we ate until we were stuffed and decided we had better open presents before doing cake.
My mom had been nervous about her selection of Miriam's card since Rachel's birthday (when Rachel received the same card from both sets of grandparents). Well, the first gift Miriam chose to open was from Sister Wood, who selected some excellent books for Miriam (one about Eleanor Roosevelt and one about authors), as well as a beautiful new dress (which she is rather excited to wear):
She read the card and worked on the riddles a bit before grabbing the next gift to open—the one from my parents! My mom's card arrived in the mail yesterday (just in time!) but I'd also wrapped up a book that my mom had sent a while ago. Zoë was pretty intent on opening the package so while she worked on that, Miriam opened her card and found...
It was the exact same one that she'd received from Sister Wood!
Grandma breathed a huge sigh of relief. The seven-year-old slot had been empty when she went card shopping for Miriam so she had to choose a different one (otherwise she could have received the card in triplicate). Pretty funny, though that both girls got double cards on their birthdays!
This was certainly a birthday of books, which are a hot commodity in this household. Everyone wanted to see what books Miriam had gotten to see which ones they also wanted to read.
We got her a few Basher Books, which she's been pining after for several months so I thought she'd be really excited to get some. Instead she opened them, smiled and shrugged, "Cool." I guess they weren't quite the topics she'd been hoping for (there are zillions of Basher Books to choose from).
When she opened the next couple of Basher Books—which included one on past presidents of the United States—she was a little more excited, but her excitement didn't hold a candle to Rachel, who nearly pounced on Miriam, exclaiming, "PUNCTUATION?!?!! Can I read that one?"
Rachel's the editor for a group project, an assignment she's taking very seriously, which she should.
"Editors are pretty awesome," I said
humbly when she told me the role she'd been given.
"Oh, I know that!" she quickly agreed.
Next up was a colouring book from Grandma, which Miriam is rather excited to try out. She's been begging to take it on the bus, but I told her not to because she'd probably just find it frustrating—all the bumping and starting and stopping would make colouring difficult.
"But, Mom," she objected. "It's a zen colouring book. Colour me calm? That's supposed to unfrustrate you..."
She makes a good point. But I still said that the bus ride was for reading time (because I'm mean like that).
When Miriam opened the front cover to look inside she was ecstatic to find a twenty-dollar bill.
"Oh, that's mine," Grandma said. "Bring it here. Silly Grandpa!"
It wasn't a twenty-dollar bill at all, much to Miriam's disappointment. It's a cardboard twenty-dollar bill from an advertisement that Grandma and Grandpa have been passing back and forth to each other for over a year. They never know where it's going to turn up or when they'll find it.
Grandma has found it in a ziplock bag in the shower, underneath the air mattress she used at Auntie Emily's house when she went up for baby Logan (Grandpa had stuck it in the bag, not knowing where it would end up when she inflated it), inside a tissue box. Once Grandpa taped it to her office wall and Grandma didn't find it for three days!
Grandpa has found it in the oatmeal container, in his shirt pocket, and has taken it to Mexico and probably a few other business trips. And now it's been to North Carolina to visit us.
Miriam was a little let-down by the whole situation (even though the rest of us were laughing, listening to Grandma describe all the places she and Grandpa had hidden it on each other), which only served to amplify her reaction when she opened up her birthday card from Grandma and found an actual twenty-dollar bill...
...plus some change.
This picture proves that Benjamin was getting in on the action, too (though I think he mostly took advantage of this time to snuggle with Grandma while his sisters were so occupied with presents).
Miriam's last gift was a beautiful beaded hummingbird necklace that Grandma had been given in New Mexico (if I remember correctly). She'd been on a road trip with Aunt Dorothy and they'd stopped to get some lunch. There was a family in front of them with a few little kids and a brand new baby and Grandma decided that she wanted to pay for their lunch. So after they'd ordered, Grandma stepped up and offered her credit card to the cashier and paid for their lunch.
The family was very grateful and after they'd eaten, the mom came back with a necklace that she'd made to give to Grandma. Apparently their young baby had been born prematurely and they were just taking him home from the hospital and had decided to stop for lunch on their way home. So they felt very blessed that Grandma had stepped in to help and Grandma felt happy that she'd unknowingly helped a little NICU family out (because those NICU times sure are stressful).
Hummingbirds are Miriam's favourite animal (de jour) so it was a very fitting present.
When all the presents had been opened we decided we were still too full for cake so we played a couple rounds of our Halloween Twist game (which some of the children understood better than others).
Zoë, for example, didn't get it at all and was mostly a hazard on the board, but she did try to mimic what the others were doing. And look how nicely her bruise is progressing. It's gone from a deep purple to a sickly green. Delightful.
We were still too full after playing games and it was definitely past bedtime so we decided that we'd sing to Miriam and let her blow out the candles, but that we'd save the cake for her actual birthday (I worked it out, though, and celebrating her birthday on the 24th is almost as legitimate as celebrating on the 25th because she was born at 7:45 AM on the 25th, which is only 11:45 PM on the 24th MST, which is the time zone our families live in (and where we likely would have been had she not been born in Egypt)).
This year Miriam requested a pencil cake because she loves to write, so here it is:
She was pretty happy with it.
And here's Miriam blowing the candles out:
And just in case that wasn't enough, we put the candles back on the cake after we got home from our soccer craziness and sang to her again—on her actual birthday this time:
Double wishes for her this year, I guess!