Sunday, October 14, 2012

My Baby Turned 5

A little over a week ago, my baby turned five. FIVE! I don't know how it happened, but one minute she was hanging from a sling on the front of my body, and the next she was running off to pre-school. (And thank goodness it's still just pre-school. I'm not ready yet for the thought of my youngest going to the big world of KINDERGARTEN.) The following pictures highlight the fun ways we celebrated our little spit fire during her birthday weekend.

I always ask my kids what kind of cake/pie/cookie/brownie they would like for their birthday, and from the get go Rachael was clear that she wanted a lemon cake with strawberry frosting. So on the morning of her birthday after getting the big kids off to school, we started baking right away:
She was more than a little excited:
Later on her friend Maddie came over and I let them frost and eat a few of the cupcakes we made in addition to the cake:
Unfortunately, her birthday was on a really busy weekday so she had a minor melt down when she realized her friend party wasn't going to be on her actual birthday. I felt bad that she didn't understand, but eventually she came around to the idea of having TWO parties: one with just our family on her actual birthday, and then one the next day with a few friends. Here we are frosting the cake around 8pm after everything was finally slowing down. (Warning: this is what happens when you have older children and younger children in the same family--8pm birthday parties! I had just gotten back from parent/teacher conferences. . .) 

It goes without saying that she loved the super sweet and artificial tasting strawberry frosting from the store:
Talking with long distance well wishers on the phone:
We decorated this cake in about 15 minutes flat. She picked out the princess themed sprinkles (apples for Snow White, slippers for Cinderella, pearls for the chick in The Princess and The Frog--I still haven't seen it even though my kids loved it--and crowns for Sleeping Beauty) and I dug up some old candles (and party hats!) from previous birthday parties. Considering my artistic inability, I think it turned out pretty cute:
The best thing about this cake is the obviously used #5 candle. Rachael didn't notice OR mind:

She couldn't take her eyes off the flames:

THE TEA SET. Hard to know who was more excited about it:
After school the next day I let the little girls do all the cupcake decorating for the friend party later that evening. Don't you love Rachael's blue lips? She's always begging me for those gross candy bottles in the grocery store check out lane and of course I always refuse. Well, guess who got her one for her birthday? Her Dada:
This was the first time Rachael has ever had a friend party, and it was pretty low key (my style these days). A couple of days before the "party" I called her 3 closest friends who she has played with the most and quite luckily they could all come with us on an outing to Hee Haw Farms:
What little girl (or Cowboy) can resist a cute wittle bunny wabbit:

Elizabeth was the honorary party member. She's at that perfect age where the little girls look up to her, and she loves to show them the ropes of the "big kid" world:
Waiting for the hay ride to begin:
I appointed Kate to be the videographer. LOVE her and Will's faces:
Everyone had to get measured:
Even Will:
Finally time for the hay ride:

Why in the world this puppet from our Sunday church service quiet book was at Hee Haw farms I will never know, but I guess it's now part of our family history:
Love these next several pictures, especially the ones of Rachael lounging in the hay:


Off to the gunny sack slide:

The animal train: 
Check out Elizabeth kickin' back:
And then there was the petting zoo. This pot bellied goat had a thing for Rachael:

I wish this weren't blurry, because it's so doggone cute! Look at the goat looking at her with what looks like a smile:

Isn't this a cool picture?
My kids were in awe when they found out these children actually LIVE at Hee Haw Farms:
 We couldn't go home without doing this:
And last but not least, eating cupcakes in the cold and dark until everyone was begging to leave:
The thing that is absolutely killing me about Rachael growing up is that it really is going by too fast. She says the cutest things all day long, makes the funniest facial expressions, but my life is so crazy busy with the 3 other kids keeping me plenty preoccupied that I'm not always able to savor the moments with her like I want to. Every day is a mini marathon ending with me collapsing into bed, and then when I wake up the next day to suddenly discover she's FIVE. I know I can't possibly record everything she says and does that is just so precious I can hardly stand it, but I can at least write down what I still remember from tonight . . .

As I was snuggling her in her bed after prayers, she opened her eyes super wide (as she always does) and said that I smelled like "punkin" pie (I had just come from the kitchen where there was a fall-ish candle burning as well as the leftover aroma of a pear/apple/cranberry crumble I made for dessert tonight), grabbed me tight, started sniffing my face and neck, and then collapsed in a heap with a smile on her face as if she had fainted from joy or something. From there she went immediately into a detailed description of the imaginary (cat? dog? goat? I can't remember what it was now because this kind of thing goes on all day in various forms) animal that was sleeping on her chest since it didn't have a bed and did I want to pet it? When I "pet" it, she insisted it was bigger than that and I was just petting it's nose. This child spends about 75% of her life in the world of imagination (she can even console herself with imaginary candy if I say she can't have the real stuff) and it's usually in the form of pretending to be either a human or animal mother OR a human or animal baby OR (like tonight) simply the owner of an imaginary pet of some kind. She is super physically affectionate (always grabbing/leaping on me and hugging me tight while rubbing her nose against mine), VERY expressive and imaginative, extremely determined, and always wanting to be in the middle of everything. I just love her to bits.

What more can I say other than Happy Birthday, Baby!

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