Nina woke up at 3am and immediately scolded me, "Mama you gave me too much Avatar!" I wanted to burst into laughter but was afraid that she'd send me to the moon :) What she meant to say was that I had given her too much Atavan. She is such a smart cookie. She listens to everything we say and remembers it. I proceeded to tickle her back until she fell asleep again. About 4 hours later I woke up. I couldn't sleep any longer so I checked my email and texts, as I always do. Eventually I snuck into the kitchen and made myself a hot cup of coffee. Nothing tastes better in the morning then fresh coffee. I still don't understand how adults can get through their day without coffee! This is one vice that I would have a terribly difficult time letting go.
Around 9am, I heard Teddy stirring so I went upstairs. I crawled up into his bed and he instantaneously wrapped his skinny little legs around me and nuzzled his nose into the crook of my neck. I kissed his forehead and wish him a good morning. Teddy has always had a spectacular way of using his words. He has always been precocious with his observations and comments. In the past few months, his ability to share his emotions through conversation has blossomed beyond my own understanding. It is simply a gift that God has given him and I am so thankful that I've been able to help him cultivate it! As we cuddled on his loft bed, he tightened his precious arms around my neck and said, "If I had a camera, I would take a picture straight away of us cuddling first thing in the morning!" I laughed, kissed the bridge of his nose, and asked, "Teddy why are you so wonderful?" to which he replied, "You'll get used to it!" What a character! We snuggled for another 10 minutes before both of our tummies summoned us downstairs.
After breakfast, Teddy played with legos while Nina, Eileen and I hung out in the living room. Nina has been excited about her birthday for months now! Over the past week, her excitement has grown fervently as she and Eileen have talked about all the details for her party. Nina decided she wants to have a "Patrick and Spongebob" party with Patrick as the main theme :) Yahoo...a Patrick party!!! The two of them spent time perusing the internet for the perfect cake and they had found it! It is a Patrick cake...the background made out of icing and Patrick and the flowers made out of fondant! I always make the kid's birthday cakes but I've never used fondant so this was going to be a fun challenge!
We are so blessed to have so many people who love us! Nina's friend from preschool, Justine, was celebrating her birthday today. Nicole (my friend and Justine's mom) recognized that the big group party might be too daunting for Nina so she asked if Justine, Samantha and Sydney (Nina's three gal-pals from preschool) could come by our place after the party to open some presents and share cake. What a delight!!
|Hugs from Nicholas|
|Look at my Patrick cake!|
|Scooters with Sydney|
|Rolling out the fondant|
|Sydney and Nina carefully decorating the flowers|
When the girls arrived, Nina was actually napping. I was a bit worried at first that she would not be happy to see them, especially since she was particularly tired today. This had been a very busy week for Nina and the level of activity we had engaged in had begun to take its toll on her; she was tired! But after Nicholas (Samantha's little brother) crawled up and hugged Nina, her mood perked up and she had a magnificent playdate wit her good friends. She was so happy!!! The happiest we'd seen her with friends in a super long time! She talked and talked and talked. She was especially happy to talk about her birthday plans and her friends listened attentively. She was so motivated that she even agreed to go outside and ride on her new scooters!! I was tickled beyond belief!!! The power of motivation was fully in display and I was so thankful my friend had thought of this idea! Nina needed to feel loved by her friends. She avoided them because she doesn't feel well about her appearance but being with them invigorated her with new life! God gives us friends to brighten and share our lives with because they help restore our spirit. Nina and her friends were perfect examples of that!
About halfway through the playdate, Nina asked if we could practice making the cake for her birthday party. I thought that was a brilliant sit-down activity the girls could do together so I quickly ran to Michael's and picked up all the necessary materials. Needless to say, the girls had a blast playing with the fondant! I had to make Patrick free-hand but he doesn't look too terrible. I will most definitely have to practice a ton more before the actually party!
Nina had so much fun that before Sydney left she asked if they could have another playdate! This made me and Beth (Sydney's mom) beyond excited! Eileen commented on how beautiful the playdate had gone. Beautiful was the perfect adjective! It was beautiful to see Nina joyful with her friends!!!!
Before long, it was time for my personal, week-long playdate with Eileen to come to an end. As her departure time approached, trepidation grew in my spirit. We got the kids and Todd settled with dinner and then snuck out for appetizers ourselves. We went to the Boat House on Hendry's Beach (where Eileen and Dave had gotten married here in SB) and watched the sun set. Through tears and bites of shrimp cocktail and crab cakes, we held each others hands. Life is bitter-sweet. Actually, it's mainly bitter but the spots of sweetness are so precious that they feed our souls and carry us through the next round of bitterness.
Finally, it was time to say goodbye. The kids hugged Eileen tightly. Teddy told her to hurry up and come back! Eileen and I drove to the airport, plotting our next time together. As I hugged her goodbye, my own heart plunged! I reminded her how thankful I was and how much I loved her!! She did the same and then she walked away. As I drove off, a flood of tears came pouring out. With Eileen here my days, especially my nights, were easier to tolerate. Goodness how I love her and appreciate her company. With her here, time went by with more comfort. This was particularly true in the evenings. I always feel desperately alone in the evenings!! But when Eileen is here, we can laugh and cry and even if we don't say a word we feel the companionship. Without her, I was all alone again. I ached! I loved my playdates with my precious friend and awaited for my next one with bated breath.
Thankfully Teddy was pretty exhausted so he fell asleep with ease. Nina was an entire other story. She tossed and turned and just couldn't find a comfy enough spot to fall asleep. At 11 pm, as Todd tickled her back, Nina looked up at me, precious hazel eyes penetrating my soul, and said as she pointed to her port, "I'm not your regular daughter....I have this thingie and had to go to the wiggly room." I instantly kissed her lips and told her she was my perfect Nina and that she was the bravest, strongest, smartest and most beautiful girl in the world! She smirked at me. I smiled back but inside I was dying!