Hard to believe, but our baby girl turned four on December 3rd! We were super excited to plan her party and celebrate. She chose a princess party, which fit her so well. I was scouring Pinterest for ideas and really getting into it. I love having birthday parties for my kids--not because I'm great at doing all the decorating and stuff, just because I like having a special party to honor the kids. It's a way of showing love.
We had always gotten someone to do the kids' birthday cakes, but last year that changed after a conversation I had with one of my friends. She has three lovely little girls, and she learned how to decorate cakes just so she could make their cakes every year. She told me it was her gift to them, and I really liked that sentiment. Now, the main difference between me and her is, she's good at it and I'm NOT, but they, it's still the thought that counts, right? I made Selah's cake for her 3rd birthday party last year, and Korban's for his 7th birthday party this past April. And just to clarify, when I said "I made" what I mean is "I had a great idea, tried to make it look good, inevitably messed it up someway, and my husband stepped in and saved the day." Seriously, he's better with that kind of stuff than me. But I'm not supposed to tell people that. So let's keep it our secret. Brad=Peeta. ;)
This year Selah wanted a castle cake. No problem, right? I looked online and got several ideas and bought the stuff ahead of time. This was going to be a pretty big cake, and take some time to work on. As usual, I planned to get started early, but as usual, it didn't work out that way so much.
We scheduled the party the Saturday after Thanksgiving. We usually have it the next weekend, after her birthday. But this is just such a busy time of year, and that usually falls on the same day as the Winter Wonderland at Crossroads Arena and the Corinth Christmas Parade. So this year, I thought I was really getting a jump on things by having it early.
On Friday afternoon we drove to Alabama and picked up my sweet cousin Courtney, who was coming to stay the night with me and help me get things ready for the party. I was really excited she was coming to stay with us, and the kids were too. They'd never had anybody stay the night at our house before, so it was a new experience for them. We picked her up and went out for Chinese food, which we all enjoyed. Then we went home and started getting the kids ready for bed. Brad had laid down with Korban and Courtney was rocking Selah for me while I started the cakes I was supposed to have baked that morning. Suddenly I heard Brad calling me in that tone of voice you immediately know means something is wrong. So I hurried back to the bedroom and saw that Korban had thrown up all over the bed and his daddy. I was hoping maybe he had just eaten too much and it wasn't the beginning of a worse issue, but it was not to be. The Stomach Plague 2013 had descended on the Essary household. I spent the next several hours with Clorox wipes, Lysol, and every set of bedsheets in our house. Poor Korban was miserable. I felt so sorry for him. And then at 2:00 a.m., Brad joined him in his misery. Korban grabbed my hands, crying, and said "Please help my belly get better. And daddy's too!" Pitiful.
They spent a long and painful night and I got pretty much no sleep. By Saturday morning the worst appeared to be over with, but there was still a party to prepare for and of course, I couldn't let the boys anywhere near the party goodies. So they quarantined themselves in the bedroom with some DVDs and Courtney and I went to work. My mom also came over that afternoon and pitched in, and I was extremely grateful for their help. I didn't get everything done that I wanted to do, but I managed to hit the high points I think. And I didn't have Brad to fix any cake disasters for me, so I just had to accept it was what it was and move on.
We got everything loaded up, and the birthday girl was so excited. Brad and Korban had to stay home, of course, and I felt bad about that. I was really worried Korban would be upset and have a meltdown, but I honestly think he just didn't have the energy for one. I could tell he was disappointed, but he was so sweet about it. He said "Are you going to Selah's party?" I told him that we were and that I would find a way to make it up to him. He hugged me and said "I sick. I stay here with Daddy," and went and snuggled up to Brad.
So Selah, Courtney, Mom, and I headed to Corinth with one very massive cake perched in my mom's lap. I could just see me doing something to make the airbag deploy and blast the cake everywhere but thankfully that didn't happen. We had the party at our church's gym and we rented a bouncy house for the kids to play in. There was a bouncy castle available, but Selah opted for the dinosaur one instead. Because princesses love dinosaurs. Or at least, our princess does.
We got to the church and started setting up and Selah started playing. Her little friends began showing up and she was happy to see everybody. They played and enjoyed themselves for awhile. I began to get ready to cut the cake and realized that I had left the lighter at home, so I had to run down the street to a gas station and buy one. Leave it to me!
But I finally got myself together and we sang happy birthday to my sweet princess and served up cake. I noticed Selah was just kind of sitting slumped over, and not really eating or playing. I asked her if she was okay and she said she was just tired. And then she got up and threw up everywhere. (Go on and sing "Another one down, another one down, another one bites the dust!")
I scooped her up and ran across the gym to the bathroom with her. And while I was doing that, she threw up down my back. I don't think I even really noticed until my mom wiped me off. Thanks, Mom! :) So that pretty much effectively ended our birthday celebration, but our guests were so sweet about it, which I really really appreciated.
The grandmothers cleaned up for me while I stayed with Selah. Then we waved at our guests and thanked them from afar. Poor Selah saw her pile of presents and asked if she could open them. I said "Why not?" and she opened them. She loved all her gifts and I could tell it really cheered her up.
She told me later "That was the worstest party ever because I frowed up. But it was still fun because my friends came and me and Josh raced on the tricycles and I winned. And you made me a princess cake that was real pretty, even if I didn't feel like eating it." Sweet girl. I explained to her that things don't always work out like we plan them, and that it's not anybody's fault. It's just the way things work out sometimes. But I was glad she still found the positives, even if she did "frow up" at her own party. Because there are always positives, and it could be worse. I was just glad she didn't throw up in the bouncy house or on the cake when she was blowing her candles out. ;)