Hard to believe, but 8 very short years ago (plus 1 day), Tim and I were taking a beautiful stroll along the Columbia River enjoying the trees in bloom and waiting for Chardy to arrive. I kept insisting that things were moving along, but the hospital kept telling us to wait. They said, "If you can talk that easily, you aren't really ready to come in..."
So, we went to Olive Garden, where there was a very nice lady who sat us down, and asked (like everyone did those days), "When are you due?" And, we told her "today", because we knew (even if the hospital didn't) that Chardy was coming. She looked a bit startled, because really, who goes to Olive Garden a few hours before they are about to have a baby? But, we do love Toscana soup...and to this day, that lady still works at OG, and every time we see her, she still remembers Chardy and the day she was born...
Our family has delighted in every second of Chardy's existence...her funny quirks, her hearty laugh (that almost always makes her "toot", which makes her laugh even more), her huge crooked smile, her insightful comments on every day life, her spunk, and thousands other traits that escape me at the moment. But, you parents out there understand.
So, to celebrate Chardy's birthday, I took the day off work (Tim was out of town), kept the 3 older kids home, and we had a packed day. The morning started with crepes, of course.
And, then, it was time to open presents. There was also a gift for Aaron to open that Chardy had made, because Chardy said he always wants to open other people's presents on their birthday! (If you can't tell in the pic, she made him a large railroad crossing sign for his Thomas Train Track set.)
While she loved all her gifts, there was a special pair of presents from her Uncle Javed and her Grandma Aslam. Javed (master woodworker) made a cherry (?) doll bed from scratch and Mom sewed a mattress complete with sheets, matching pillows, and a hand-quilted blanket. A perfect place for Chardy's WebKinz to rest.
After presents, we went to Chuck-e-Cheese's for lunch (where Chardy has, by request, celebrated 3 out of the last four of her birthdays). Following lunch, we had planned to go swimming, but the pool was at capacity, so Chardy came up with a unique consolation prize: pedicures for everyone (yes, even Aaron...)
Everyone in the shop had a blast with the 3 girls and Aaron getting their nails done! (And, yes, I will be sure to delete the pictoral evidence before Aaron goes on his first date.)
After the nails, Chardy had requested mashed potatoes (just mashed potatoes) for dinner, so that's what we all had. For her "cake", she wanted the special Best Lemon Bars Ever recipe from Grandma's Bread and Water prison cookbook. Yum. My teeth still hurt, but man, those lemon bars are awesome...
Today, Chardy had her b-day party with friends at the climbing wall. She said it was her "best birthday ever", at which Alli indignantly asked, "even including France?" (as if we had gone to France just for Chardy's birthday). But Chardy replied, "Yes, because Aaron kept popping all my balloons at that party". It's kind of funny that that's her main memory from her fifth birthday.
Right now, she has two friends over for a sleepover, and then her birthday will be over (until Monday, when she gets to celebrate it again at school). But, hey, kids are so special...3 days aren't nearly enough to celebrate their existence.