16 May, 2011
The eldest turns 12
Twelve years ago today I was cradling a one-day old newborn in my arms. In fact, this was the scene:
This is one of my all-time favourite photographs. I’m glad we have a scan of it, because it’s one of those things I’d run into a burning house to retrieve.
It was sunny and beautiful and spring that day, May 16, 1999. And this photo is exactly how I remember it, inside and out.
And here is that same baby, 12 years later, with what has now become a tradition in our family on birthdays… breakfast in bed:
We had a great birthday weekend. A LONG weekend. Today, on Monday, it’s rainy and grey and it all seems like just a memory. I can’t seem to reconcile how quickly these days pass me by.
The breakfast photo above was taken Saturday morning. We spent the rest of the day preparing for her last big birthday party. (12 has been deemed to be the cutoff.) Her party was supposed to be a modified Survivor style (with confidence-building feats of bravery instead of competitions that get you voted off the island) but bad weather forced us indoors to undertake more traditional fare.
… and then waited anxiously for all of the girls to arrive.
Want to know what a birthday/slumber party for a 12-year old girl looks like?
- Guests arrive at 4:00 p.m.
- Everyone hangs out and plays Dance Dance Revolution on the Wii
- Pizza and salad/veggies are served for dinner
- Freeze dancing and freeform dancing takes place in the living room to a playlist designed by the birthday girl
- A new game is played: Say Anything (a great game for tween parties)
- Birthday cake is served and eaten.
- Bedtime preparations are made (a.k.a sleeping bags laid out, pjs found)
- A movie is watched (by request, it’s Tangled.)
- Gifts are unwrapped
- A DIY sundae bar is unveiled, sundaes are made and eaten
- A couple episodes of iCarly on the PVR are watched
- Teeth are brushed
- There is chatter and gossip until the wee hours
- There is about 2.5 hours of sleep
- Wake early
- There is more chatter and gossip
- Breakfast is inhaled (I made bacon and waffled french raisin toast… a bit hit)
- Nails are done, pillow cases are decorated (the latter was in lieu of a loot bag).
- Guests go home with pillow case and helium balloon in hand at 10:00 a.m.
But I am getting ahead of myself.
Our birthday cake was a holdover from the Survivor theme. It was dirt cake with lollipop flowers, which was about to go up in a burst of sugary flame:
This is what our living room looked like:
Someone else really enjoyed having all those sleeping bags, pillows, and air mattresses at her disposal:
Here’s a view of some of the DIY sundae toppings:
And I took a photo of each guest with her sundae, just for the record:
After breakfast the next morning the girls did their nails:
… and here are the pillowcases they decorated with fabric markers. I thought they turned out really well and made a nice parting gift. I just wish we’d had more time to spend on them:
The guests all left around 10:00 a.m., after which point we all collapsed in a big heap. I had a nap.
When we’d revived, Emma tried out our gifts to her, which included a new helmet (from Tall Tree in Westboro!) and some roller skates.
You don’t see these around very much anymore, do you? I bought them off eBay years ago and finally bequeathed them to Emma.
Later on in the day we went to Mark’s parents. Here she is, just at the moment she’s figured out what her gift from them is:
And here she is, trying it out:
Emma’s time of birth was 10:15 p.m (after a solid 24 hours of labour). Did I mention she was 10lb 3oz when she was born? Ha.
I woke her up at 10:15 last night to officially wish her a happy birthday but she barely woke, and just mumbled, turned over, and went right back to sleep.
I hope you’ve had a happy 12 years Emma. And I wish you many many more.
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