It's official-we've got a big kid here at Steingruebl World Enterprises. Elise is five years old! I am still having a hard time wrapping my head around it.
We wanted to make the occasion special without going over-the-top crazy like so many of the parents we've met around here seem to do. My original hope was to have a party here with all of her friends from school and other places, and then I realized that it would be chaos, bedlam, misery and unpleasantness. The solution-celebrate with school friends at school, and then do some quiet things here. Worked like a charm!
First, on Thursday morning, we took a craft project to school. Elise has a friend whose birthday is the same day as hers, so we moms worked on a coordinated plan of attack. Yari's mommy brought muffins and party hats, and I brought felt and pompoms. (We are going to gloss over the fact that I mis-counted on the felt and thus put our celebration off by a good half hour, making Yari's mom spectacularly late for work. Numeracy is important, people.) The idea was that the kids could use the pompoms to make pictures on a felt work surface, and then I took pictures of them and their work to put into books for each of the two birthday girls. (I have the pictures and the books, now I just need to unite them.) I'd love to show off just how cute all of the kids were, but without permission of their parents I'm not going to post other kids' pics here. But, here is our girl:
At home that night, Elise got to open her gifts from us and from the Grandparents Schmiedeskamp. The log cabin set chosen by Grandma was an instant hit, and has been gracing the living room floor in various configurations ever since. Grandpa found some high-quality kid-sized garden tools, which pretty much took Elise's breath away. So cute! I've got to get out there and figure out what part of the massive garden ought to be hers to cultivate. Or at least show her how to use the hoe so we can thin out our pea plants and actually get a decent winter crop.
Our gift to Elise was a CD player for her bedroom, so that she can listen to her favorite tunes while she's up there playing. Part of that gift was the herculean effort we put in to find all of the various kid CDs that had been scattered around here and collect them in one booklet that Elise can keep track of herself. It's fun to see her making music choices on her own. I remember the little orange record player I had at her age and what a wonderful thing it was. She seems to be equally appreciative of this newfangled disk spinning device.
Finally, on Sunday we invited Rista over to play and celebrate. Yes, it was a two-girl party, but I think it was ideal for Elise. She really is happiest playing with her best friend, and I think any more excitement than that would have been too much. The girls played, the grown-ups chatted. Fantastic! At one point, Elise told us that this was the best birthday she's ever had. Awwwwwww.
When it came time to open her presents from Rista, Elise was excited but gracious. No idea where she learned that, but we were impressed. She got supplies for Shrinkydinks projects (Shrinkydinks!!! Mommy is excited by that!) and a little kitty kind of like Later, but different. To demonstrate the kind of appreciation our big, five-year-old girl has for thoughtful gifts given with love, I leave you with our favorite part of the festivities, which Andy just happened to catch on video. Happy Birthday, Elise. We love you and are so proud of you.