My sister has five children (number six is due in less than a month!) and of course we have five children. We live just over an hour apart from each other…. going back and forth to birthday parties has neither been practical nor desired as we both seem to prefer the calmness and routine of more everyday kind of days. But we both enjoy a good celebration two or three times a year.
We have three regular gatherings: Christmas, Fourth of July, and a summer “thing.” Other sightings of our dearest each others happens on occasion, but these are our main traditional get-togethers. When our kids were all “babies,” we got together to go “camping” at our house up here. We put up tents for the bravest little ones (and their dads) to sleep in, tempted them to try the big pool and roasted hot dogs over the fire. We mothers slept in the house with the babies. We got so good at stuff that we went actual proper camping for the last two summers at a nearby lake and enjoyed the freedom and freshness and nearness of water (and dirt?) and look forward to trying that again.
This year, however, Melissa is 36 weeks pregnant and Daniel and Jordan don’t like leaving home much. So we took the occasion to plan an “all cousins” summer birthday party. Cupcakes came with Melissa along with a few gifts and Brian and I organized a treasure hunt true to my Uncle Kevin’s legendary style. Well, it wasn’t exact, but it involved little sheets of paper with clues and sticks making an “x” on the spot and… of course… lots of candy and trinkets. Kevin even mailed us some of his leftover treasures to take our treasure boxes up to the next notch!
A note on my boys: Jordan lost his marbles a few times, but always brought it back together and he most definitely enjoyed his time in the pool and the freedom of lots of outside time. The first hour and the last couple hours of the party he self-regulated with his favorite music and his swing in his play room. Daniel also spent the beginning and end of the party in his safe zone (his bedroom in this case), even dropping off to sleep at about 6pm from all the excitement and warm weather. During the outside part of the party, he made buddies with Melissa’s 2-year-old and even wanted to go into the pool for the first time! Huge success!
I’m proud of my sister for how well she’s handling summer schedules and late pregnancy and five children. Melissa, you make me proud. Don’t forget that you were going to take time to stop and rest.
I’m proud of our husbands as they navigate the rigors of parenting and husbanding even through energetic and tired and stressful situations. You both make it look easy and are absolutely essential to this whole thing working. Thanks for being you.
Without further ado…. pictures and video!
Daniel in the pool!