Monday, May 26, 2014

Happy Birthday to Moi!

I just loved my 36th birthday!

The Day Of....
In May, we celebrated all day, starting with a lovely walk for bagels in the morning, an afternoon of flying kites in downtown Milwaukee's Kite Park, and finishing with a fabulous lobster dinner! I felt so loved!

The V.S.D.P. (Very Special Dinner Party)
We planned a very special dinner party with some of our dearest friends. Because their friendship is a gift to me, I wanted the party theme to be a celebration of them.

Rob delivered the invitations!
We found a date in mid-June when everyone could attend. And so our dear friends Michelle and John Buresh, Virginia and Cam Redden, Lucy and George Judy and Emily and Chris Byrnes, all marked the night on their calendar. My dad and Ning were so incredibly generous to not only offer us their elegant high rise apartment (overlooking Lake Michigan) for the dinner party, but to also sponsor two talented servers, Kim and her daughter Hannah, to manage every detail and create a gorgeous event. I never lifted a finger! What a gift!

The party absolutely sparkled. It was one of the most beautiful, magical, memorable nights of my entire life! I gave each of my girlfriends (and of course, Ning too!) a journal with a hand-written note inside telling them all the things I love and admire about them, as well as a J Crew necklace. An absolute highlight was when my friend, Michelle, shared her family's tradition of all saying something about the birthday girl or boy. And so in the warm glow of candlelight, I was moved to tears as each of my friends wrapped a verbal gift and passed it across the table. And I was completely taken by surprise when a gorgeous cake arrived from behind me, a gift from Rob! Right on cue, in walked my dad and Ning from the airport, straight from an international flight. It was perfect.

We finished the night with a silly game of charades -- everything we acted out was somehow relevant to a guest, either as a hobby, a shared memory, a place or an inside joke. We laughed. A lot. A real lot. I felt truly blessed!

Michelle, Meg ( and baby Elizabeth!), Lucy, Em and Virginia

Monday, May 5, 2014

Number Four!!!

This morning, we told the kids the biggest news of all...that soon they will have another brother or sister! Rob and I were giddy. I set the breakfast table, and asked them to sit down. Then instead of filling their bowl with oatmeal, I set a wrapped gift in front of each of them while Rob ran the video camera behind me. As they opened their miniature baby dolls, I told them that mommy had daddy had some exciting news to share with them about our family....we're going to have another baby! Their reactions were darling. Madeline immediately looked at my stomach, then after about a two second delay as she processed the news, her face flashed joy and excitement! Charlie took another couple of seconds, but then he exclaimed (with his signature enthusiasm), "You mean a real baby?!" Yes! A real baby I told them!

I asked the kids if they wanted to see a picture; they couldn't wait. I explained that the ultrasound would look a little silly because the camera had to take the shot from the outside of my body. Madeline said our baby looks like a seahorse; Charlie saw a running dog. And when I asked John what he thought the baby looked like, he glanced down at the Rescue Bot in his hand and said it looked like Optimus Prime (leader of the Transformers). Maybe a nickname is born? Madeline cracked Rob and me up when she said she hopes it's a girl, saying there are already two of "those things," as she affectionately pointed at her brothers with a smirk on her face.

Then the kids named their new babies, which I told them they can take care of until our real baby arrives this fall. Madeline named hers Caitlin, Charlie named his Cutie, and John named his Wee, then quickly changed the name to Earo.

What fun to share this news with our little family. I've been imagining the day for so long. Rob gave me the promise of another child as my tenth anniversary gift during our weekend away on Washington Island -- no gift has ever meant more (I jumped in his arms and did the ugly cry in public). Due in early November.

We're through the moon!

Friday, May 2, 2014

No Training Wheels!

Easy as pie. Sandie and Madeline took Charlie outside, turned his training wheels up off the ground, and three tries later, he was riding his two-wheel bike! He was so proud of himself! And Madeline was cheering him on and giving him his starting pushes. Now he rides everywhere with total confidence!