As usual, I’ve been bad about blogging. Sometimes I feel like I have so much to say and so little time to say it, and sometimes I feel like, who really gives a shit about the dessert I made last night?

But the kids’ birthdays, I think that’s something we can all get behind.

I don’t know what it is about your youngest growing older that’s so much harder than your oldest. I think it would be the same if you had two kids or 20. At least for me, I think it’s exciting to see Gabe blaze the trail and try new things first because I still have Julia doing the little kid things so I had both ends of the spectrum. But now Julia’s doing the big kid things and fewer and fewer little kid things. It’s like reading a never-ending book where as you read your way through, more chapters appear at the end while the earlier chapters dissolve.

I’d like to go back to the beginning and start over, refresh my memory as to how we got to where we are, but that part is gone. I’d like to flip to the back of the book and see how it all ends but as the new chapters are written the pages are also glued shut.

I think this analogy is getting away from me.

She’s going to start kindergarten this year. I’m glad she’ll be able to ride the bus with her brother but the thought of putting her on that bus and not seeing her till she gets back off has me really nervous. I didn’t put Gabe on the bus till about halfway through his kindergarten year. I just wanted to know FOR SURE that he was going into the school building so I had to take him myself. Then it started to get cold waiting outside the building at pickup so the bus seemed like a great option.

There’s no point in putting him on the bus and driving her to school so I have to actually trust her to do this by herself (I’m sure Gabe will help and there are parent helpers but still). In my head she’ll be this scared little girl but in reality I know she’ll be the girl who strikes up a conversation with anyone, and who tells me about all the new friends she made at Gabe’s baseball practice.

She’ll be the girl who, on vacation, wanted to buy a stuffed dog with her own money. She pulled her wallet out of her purse at the cash register and when I made a move to help she put up her hand and said, “I got this, mom.” And she did.

She’ll be the girl who insisted she could go off the diving board by herself at a friend’s pool. Jay thought she wouldn’t be able to get herself to the ladder. She got so mad that she stomped off and refused to talk to him. Sure enough she broke him down and he let her go off and she got herself to that ladder, by God. Even if it was scary or hard she would never in a million years let us know.

Gabe had to give up his mimi when he was five and for a few months now I’ve been telling her that she would have to leave Bear and Mimi at home too when she turned five. The morning of her birthday she asked me about five times, “Am I five now?” I kept saying “yes.” She told me that she would leave Bear and Mimi home today. (And took a different bear to the sitter’s instead.)

After Jay dropped them off, he texted me to say that Julia forgot Mimi but he told Cathy and Gabe just not to mention it to her, that maybe she wouldn’t remember. Then I told him that she left them at home willingly, that she’s five now. And dammit if I don’t already miss seeing her toting around that stupid bear and blanket.

I see so much of myself in her. I can’t help but be both proud and scared. But I’ve always been able to take care of myself and I turned into a fairly high-functioning adult so I feel pretty confident that she’s got this one too.

And now for the birthday party! True to form, my darling girl asked to have her third pool party in a row. We were happy to oblige. It was a cool morning but the kids (and two brave adults) went swimming anyway. We had a little luau theme. The decorations got blown around quite a bit but I thought it looked pretty cute anyway.

Here are my candid (non-edited, unprofessional, not all taken by me–don’t judge) photos:

Some decorations before the wind blew them away.

Some decorations before the wind blew them away.

You know my loathing of party favors. Everyone gets a beach ball, a lei, and some sunglasses and candy. The end.

You know my loathing of party favors. Everyone gets a beach ball, a lei, and some sunglasses and candy. The end.

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Gabe helping blow them all up.

Gabe helping blow them all up.

The awesome, adorable cakes made by our family baker, the Kit-ster.

The awesome, adorable cakes made by our family baker, the Kit-ster.

Mooooooooooom! Hurry up!

Mooooooooooom! Hurry up!

Julia readying her goggles.

Julia readying her goggles.

Gabe trying to be nice, I think...not Gabe the moment before he pushes Julia underwater.

Gabe trying to be nice, I think…not Gabe the moment before he pushes Julia underwater.

Kids.

Kids.

More goggle prep.

More goggle prep.

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee?

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee?

I'm freezing but I won't get out.

I’m freezing but I won’t get out.

My lovely helpers/Julia's minions.

My lovely helpers/Julia’s minions.

Time to eat! You can tell all the parents know the drill by now.

Time to eat! You can tell all the parents know the drill by now.

It was pretty chilly in the shade so some of the kids and adults were being all smart and sitting in the sun.

It was pretty chilly in the shade so some of the kids and adults were being all smart and sitting in the sun.

Jules and Olivia waiting for cake.

Jules and Olivia waiting for cake.

We had a lot of candles but could only keep the "5" lit long enough for her to blow out.

We had a lot of candles but could only keep the “5” lit long enough for her to blow out.

Opening presents--she had the best faces.

Opening presents–she had the best faces.

julia11

And the cherry on top--Build a Bear!

And the cherry on top–Build a Bear!

Hurray for Princess Julia! (The bear's name.)

Hurray for Princess Julia! (The bear’s name.)

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