Monday, August 04, 2008

Birthday traditions ~ old and new

If you have already read Vince's blog, then you know that yesterday was Nick's birthday! My son, my first born, is 11 already. And Kyle, my baby, is 7...sigh. The boys' birthdays have always been very nostalgic & sentimental for me. They are only three weeks apart, Kyle's was July 15th, but three weeks ago I was still in the throws of honeymoon bliss and the mayhem and chaos of those first few weeks of family blending and didn't blog about it at the time. But both of their birthdays were great - we blended some birthday traditions from both of our families, as well as started some of our own! Vince & kids have a red "You are special today" plate, as well as a "happy birthday" mug, so the person of honor gets to use those all day. The boys and I some time ago acquired a "It's my birthday today" pin, so they wore it on their special day. I made each of them a cake (I've usually done a "theme cake", or whatever they wanted). This year, Kyle's was a round layered chocolate cake with white frosting and red icing to make it look like a baseball. Nick requested his favorite cake - chocolate with chocolate chips, whipped cream and chocolate chips sprinkled on top. By the way, it's Ghiradelli Milk Chocolate Chips and nothing else. If you've never had them, you need to go out and buy a bag right now. I'm serious.

Speaking of chocolate I just have to take a rabbit trail for a moment and tell you about this totally lucious treat that we happened upon....we were at Woodman's grocery store on Sunday and at the end of an hour long grocery shopping session, and a cart full of groceries, I was tired and needed a chocolate fix. One of us spied some chocolate marshmallows on display along with some chocolate dipping sauce...sold. I was a little hesitant because it wasn't Ghiradelli, it was Baker's chocolate, but I thought it was worth a try. We got home, unloaded the groceries, popped the dipping sauce in the mic and ripped open the bag of marshmallows....can I just say it was AWESOME!!! Wow! Diabetic shock in a bag, but it was totally worth it and my husband thankfully survived. (I promise to take better care of him, but this had to be done.) We also tried it on a banana and can I just say, YUM!

Anyway, back to the birthdays...something new that we started was to make a "Happy Birthday" sign and hang it on the patio doors (the marker looks really bright with the light shining through it) and everyone signed it & wrote birthday wishes. I also put pictures of them on the cupboards around the kitchen, starting with their one year pics and each of their school pics =) Pretty cute to see them "grow" through the years! Hope kept asking "will you do that for MY birthday?" Yes, honey, we will =) I have always let the boys choose what they want for supper on their birthday as well (within reason). This year Kyle chose, above all things, salmon! This child will not eat mac & cheese, but he loves salmon! So after his baseball game, guess what we were doing at 8:30pm on July 15th? Yep...grilling salmon on our deck. We didn't eat supper until after 9 that night, but it was yummy! Nick's birthday supper last night was easier...Little Caesars Pizza and crazy bread! After supper it was cake & presents time! I am so very impressed with Vinny and Hope and their creativity and giving hearts. For Kyle's birthday, Vinny spent quite some time creating a lego baseball guy for him, Kyle loved it! And Hope, in addition to her home made cards and art projects, has started a tradition of her own of spelling their name out on a piece of paper with moon sand and hiding it the cabinet =)

One more birthday tradition that I've done with the boys is watching videos of them when they were little. I LOVE doing this, but it always makes me a bit sad to realize how much they are growing up. We did this as a family last night and we laughed and laughed watching baby Nick learn to crawl, and little 3 year old Nick dancing to the Lion King (with some Elvis-like moves) and singing "If You're Happy and You Know it" at bedtime with the hick ups...and many more cutie patootie things =)

The next birthday in the house will be Trevor's in the way, you should ask him about his babysitting adventures yesterday for our friend Kari's kids who are 1, 2 and 6! And yes, there were dirty diapers involved! Oh what he will do for cash =)

Happy Birthday, Kyle....and remember that you will always be my "baby boy"! And Happy Birthday, Nick...and remember that you were the one who made me a mom!

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