Continued from my earlier post Welcome to Guam: 2002 (part 9).
“7/11/03 (e-mail to G8r from his mother): Mr DL is so funny. He has made a tie rack for your daddy for his birthday. He is so proud of it. He has it in a box and keeps moving it around the house so your daddy will not find it, and then he asks your daddy if he is going to go in the particular room that he has it hidden in. He left the box in the family room the other day, and he saw your daddy walk in the room. He saw the box and sauntered over to it so as not to attract attention to himselft, closed it, and started whistling and looking around the room as he carried it out and into another room. It was hilarious. SR and I saw him and tried not to laugh. He did not know that we saw him. He is dying to tell your daddy about it. He may last until Monday!!!! Love you, Mama”
Mr DL (our youngest) was 6 at this time.
“7/11/03: That is so funny, but it is Mr DL. He is such a neat kid. I wish I were there to see him. I know that they are having a wonderful time in Florida. I wish that they could stay longer. This last month has been challenging but the det as a whole is very strong and I like to think that I have done things right. It was nice talking to you on the phone today. Love, G8r”
“7/14/03: We finally got to go fishing on Saturday. It started out very nice and cool. We left the house at 6:30 am and arrived at the marina around 8:00. We started out at “Spotty Bottom” and caught fish immediately (shark and catfish). The action was furious then your daddy looked south and saw a (big!) water spout on the horizon. We could not tell which direction it was moving but later figured that we were about 5 miles north of it and it was moving NNW. We dashed back to the river and stayed there for about an hour then went to the restaurant for lunch. After lunch it was clear, so we went back out. All of the kids got to drive the boat and they really enjoyed that. We caught more sharks, stingrays, and one sailor’s choice (which we all tasted for lunch the next day). All in all a very successful day. Today we are baking a cake for your daddy’s birthday. Love you, Mama”
“7/16/03: Well, we just got home from the airport. Man it is quiet around here! They took off at 7:45 am and will be in California around 3 pm EDT. I hope they got to do all the things that they wanted to do. I know we certainly enjoyed the time they were here. One last thing we did before they left: We loaded the dogs in the back of the truck and let Jay drive around to the peanut field. He was grinning from ear to ear when your daddy handed him the keys. More later. Love you, Mama P.S. He also got to drive a tractor with James riding along. I know he enjoyed that also.”
Jay had turned 13 just before we arrived in Florida.
My youngest is 11 for a few more hours. He has been counting down the days to his 12th birthday – probably for the past 364 days. This will be the last year that we have a pre-teen in our house. Next year they’ll all be teenagers. Wow! Oh, the hormones that will fly.
I can picture in my head the events that took place 12 years ago today. I started to feel contractions around dinner time and we started timing them, of course. When they were coming regularly 3 to 5 minutes apart, we called a wonderful neighbor who came to watch our older two while my husband and I made our way to the hospital 25 miles away. As with my other two, even though I was having the regular contractions, I was told to go walk around because it wasn’t time. Twenty-four hours after they began, we finally had another son. I remember asking the nurses if I could stay in the hospital as many days as allowed; I think it was almost 3! As much as I love being in my own bed at home, I was really enjoying the rest I was getting in the hospital. I know that sounds funny, but I knew that when I got home, I would have 3 children under the age of 5 hedging for my attention nearly 24/7.
My son’s been asking me for the past few days if he can open one gift the day before his birthday, I guess a birthday’s eve present. I keep saying “no,” that tomorrow is his birthday, and he will enjoy opening all of them on his birthday. Well, my husband just came in to ask me, while on the phone with his mother, if our son can open the present she sent him tonight. I can’t believe after I finally convinced him that it wasn’t going to happen, that they come along and can’t wait any longer than he can! So we are waiting for our oldest to get home from lacrosse practice so we can all sit down together for dinner for him to open it. I know he’s going to love what she sent; it’s a Florida gator football jersey. She wants him to be able to enjoy wearing it to school on his birthday, and I think he will love it.
Hopefully, it won’t spoil him for his remaining birthdays and he won’t expect to have birthday’s eve presents every year. Thanks, Grandma!
I Christmas shop all year long. When I see something I think someone would like, I get it and stash it in my closet. It doesn’t fail, however, that when December rolls around that I still have quite a bit of shopping to do. I have been running around all week from store to mall and am still stumped on a few people. I need to get packages in the mail this weekend, or I’m afraid our gifts will arrive after Chirstmas. That actually wouldn’t bother me too much. Receiving presents after the holiday or a birthday makes the occasion last longer.
I’m taking a break from the shopping right now but will be back at it in a little bit to hopefully wrap it all up. I’ve been reading some of my blog friends’ posts on my break. They are all so excited; it’s the Friday that begins Christmas break…in their worlds. It’s just another Friday night here at our house. Our “Friday” will be next Tuesday. We’ll have our regular activities this weekend, basketball practice, a swim meet, etc.
But for now, our Friday night activities are beginning. I’m off to drop off two of the kids to holiday parties. And then back to the shopping. Merry, merry.
When any of my children have a birthday, I want the day to be special for them. I always make the cake; sometimes I’ve spent hours in the kitchen with food coloring and icing bags and end up with red- and blue- and black-stained fingers. I’ve made Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Spiderman, Batman, Strawberry Shortcake, Blue (from Blue’s Clues), and many others. Sometimes, I let the kids help me mix the cake ingredients and then just use the Betty Crocker premade icing to slather the cake with when it’s done baking. For my oldest son’s birthday this past year, we created a scavenger hunt to his birthday present. It was a surf board, and it was so big, it was impossible to wrap and say, “Guess what we got you?”!
This week is my daughter’s birthday. She is our only girl, so it’s fun for me to do the girly present shopping this time each year. Her birthday is always right after school starts, and it gives her a nice way to get together with friends she hasn’t seen since the end of the previous school year. With a lot of our military moves in the summer, however, she sometimes feels she gets the short end of the stick with birthday parties because she often hasn’t had enough time to make many friends when her birthday rolls around.
When I was a kid, I don’t think it was as big a deal to have friends over for a birthday. Most of mine were spent with my family. Today, I think some people go overboard with the parties for their kids, spending hundreds of dollars. And then there’s a goodie bag that each child must have to go home with. I thought the whole point was that the birthday child got presents. Don’t get me wrong; I follow the lead and have a creative bag made up with each invitee in mind.
This year, my daughter wants to have a luau themed party. Even though it’s not summer, per se, it’s still pretty warm outside, and it’s what she wants. I want the day to be special for her. Next summer we are moving again; it should be our last one. But she will still have to contend with the fact that she won’t have made many friends before her birthday, once again. So bring on the blue and purple and green food colors!
Hau`oli Lā Hānau!