I had my family and friends birthday parties this weekend! We went rock climbing. I had so much fun!
Along the other 108% of posts here, this week’s post is focused completely on Emelia. With Tuesday being her official birthday, this weekend was the one we set aside to have her friend’s birthday party. And with me having the weekend booked off work too, we threw in the get-together with the Teeter family for good measure. The smart thing we did this year, given that Emelia has a busy gymnastics schedule, we got away from having the two parties in one day opting for the Teeter gathering on Saturday afternoon and her friend’s party on Sunday.
The week leading up to this party weekend, I finally got back into the gym for the first time from Christmas, which given the extra bit of fleshy luggage I’ve been carrying around, could have come sooner. It felt great to get in a good couple of workouts this week, but man were my muscles feeling it the next three to four days. I’ve got a good extra ten festive pounds I want to lose, as well as another ten to get back to my goal. Given that we have the cruise in May we have something to focus on the calendar and the good news is the Fitness Challenge we did last year at work is back and I am going to do that again starting February 1st.
I’d like to have the gym back to a more regular routine but realize with my schedule being any one of four different shifts on any of the seven week days, I am okay with getting to the gym four times in a week. I have started to look into equipment that we could get for home that would allow for some sort of work out every single work day over and above the ones at the gym. Early research has landed at a rowing machine as being the best possible workout for your body and something I could easily see myself devoting 20-30 minutes on every day either when I get up or before bed. And the good news is we get a fitness reimbursement at work so that money we save from the gym membership helps offset the cost of the rower.
Now, back to Emelia’s birthday… as with every year Danielle does her research well in advance of the birthday. And, as with every year, Danielle knocks it out of the park, without breaking the bank. After hearing from a friend about a birthday party her daughter went to at Junction Climbing Gym, Danielle looked into it. And she was pleasantly surprised—it was priced right, took care of almost everything, and didn’t leave our house taken over with seven, eight-year-olds at all volumes and energy levels! But the best part was it fit right into Emelia’s super active style with her favourite two things in life being gymnastics, and climbing anything at the school playground.
But before that party could throw down, there was a gathering yesterday with all the Teeters that were in town and able to gather together for cupcakes and singing loudly and as obnoxiously as we can. We decided on gathering at Poppa & Grandma’s after Emelia was done her gymnastics for some cupcakes, presents and the aforementioned really bad singing of Happy Birthday. We then toddled over to East Side Mario’s (Emelia’s pick) for dinner. We had a great meal there and then got her home and to bed shortly thereafter as the tired girl needed to be ready for today.
Today was all about Emelia and her school besties! She woke up entirely too early—obviously too consumed with excitement to sleep in (or let her parents sleep in) which is a recurring theme in her life. After she rousted Mummy out of bed the two set up shop in the kitchen assembling the Kit Kat Cake they found on the web. Shortly thereafter I dragged my butt out of bed and we started getting ready for the party. As the twins were riding in our car with is, they came over early to the house and instantly the volume level and octave rose about thirty-nine percent. And the worst of the bunch was of course, Emelia!
After picking up the other friend we were carpooling to the party, we were off to Junction with a carload of noisy girls telling us precisely how to whip and nae-nae. Once we arrived, we realized the folks at Junction do a fantastic job with kid’s parties. The girls had a full hour of climbing on the amazing rock walls and there was a great amount of instruction, conversations about safety, and then letting the girls have fun and be eight-year-olds. They got to try guided climbs as well as bouldering and it was clear the every last one of the seven girls had an amazing time. And then after the climbing there was pizza, veggies and juice in a private room which we closed out with the cake that Emelia and Danielle made, along with presents. The car ride back, to drop off the girls we brought with us, was far quieter than the ride to the gym—I highly doubt any of the parents will have troubles getting their girls to bed tonight!
Tuesday is Emelia’s actual birthday and as is the tradition we opt to spend it, just the three of us, going out for a dinner to a place of her choice and doing something she wants. She’s once again chosen Palasad because they have bowling and games we can do after eating. I can’t think of a better place to celebrate her last year in single digits as she moves officially from eight to nine!
As hard as it is to imagine our baby girl is just about to turn 9, it seems like only yesterday we were waiting for her to arrive so I cannot believe she is already 9. As the week to her birthday was arriving we were getting all the final details in order. I have to say this was one of the least stressful birthdays I have planned and organized. The staff at Junction Climbing were amazing and we knew we were in good hands.
What this allowed me to do this week was get a handle on Emelia’s changing wardrobe. She has grown like a weed and once again I spent another few days cleaning out her clothes that no longer fit and organizing it to find their new home. I have grateful friends who happily dress their girls in Emelia’s hand me downs and it frees up space and budget to get the new wardrobe that she needed.
Just about every night this week she would come home from school and ask if her new clothes from Old Navy had arrived, she knew she was getting new clothes from us for her birthday so she wanted them and wanted them now. After lying to her each and every day that the package hadn’t arrived I wrapped them up and John and I gave her the big bag of new clothes Friday night. She spent no time at all and had tried on most of the clothes which meant we had to make a trip to Old Navy to swap out some of the clothes our tiny waisted girl would never fit into. We also made sure we had the last of the supplies for her party. When we got home we got a very tired girl home to bed and crashed quickly after her.
Saturday morning came far too early but I had a fair bit to get done before we got our girl off to her weekly gymnastics. The first on the agenda was getting the cupcakes baked and decorated for the family birthday party. Emelia loves to bake and I have to say my strong dislike of baking is lessened when I get to do it with my girl! We got everything in order just in time to bring her to her beloved gymnastics and John and I got all our weekend errands done.
By the time we were done at gymnastics we were ready to go to her family party with John’s side of the family. We had cupcakes in hand and off we went. Time with family is of course always amazing. Emelia got to play with her cousin and we got lots of time to catch up with everyone else. Emelia of course got spoiled by the family, she got a boogie writing board, a ton of American Girl crafts, a shopkins play kit, and a ukulele. I can tell you everything was a huge hit and she spent today before and after her party making her way through everything. Once she was done opening her presents we said our good-byes to Matthew and Shawn who had to head off for a dinner party and the rest of us went to East Side Mario’s one of Emelia’s favourite places to eat. The dinner was great but the company was even better! Thanks to everyone in John’s family who make our girl feel so loved and special.
Today was her friends party, a day she had been over the moon excited about for weeks. A few months ago I was on my friend’s Facebook page and saw her post pictures of her daughter’s birthday party at this new rock climbing place in the city. It had Emelia written all over it. Emelia is a total athlete, she adores climbing and it seemed like a perfect match for all her friends who are more athletic than girly girls. I sent an email to the party planner and we had a date and time set. After a number of emails back and forth we had it all in order and we knew the day was going to be perfect for Emelia.
We chose a later morning birthday party time to avoid the constant when is my party starting questions for the hours leading up to the party and since the party package we chose included pizza, veggies and juice I decided to have the end of the party to finish close to the lunch hour. It felt very strange that I had very little to really for this party, other than making the cake (which Emelia and I made a candy/kit-kat cake) and buying the stuff for the loot bags there was little else to do. They handled every detail and every single child there had an absolute blast! Every one of the girls made their way up to the top of the walls over and over and with constant smiles on their faces. I can tell you now this will be a birthday party that Emelia will remember and love for years to come. She has already told me that she wants her party back there again next year!
This week we will continue to celebrate our little girl. This last part is just for my baby girl. Mama loves you more than words can ever express, you are the most loving, giving, funny, beautiful person I have ever known. I am beyond proud of the person you are becoming, you are loved so much. Happy Birthday Emelia – you will always be my baby girl. Love, mama.