The big TWO x 3!

Birthday number two turned out to be greatly different than the last year’s. The original plan was another large party, at the same place as last year, surrounded by visiting family and friends of all ages, to celebrate another birthday milestone.

Well, that did not happen. With impending quarantine in Anchorage, and many other places across the country already implementing the new rules for a couple of weeks, we knew our big birthday party was not only not happening, but probably not the smartest thing to do given current circumstances.

The recreational center canceled the party and closed due to public safety concerns, so we considered doing a smaller scale party at our house. After the passing of another week, even more things are closed and people seem to have more questions than answers relating to the spreading virus.

With any plans outside our little kingdom (house), we tried to make a fun and eventful day, as much as possible, for the girls.

Frozen hoods as mats

Everyone woke up in good spirits and ready to take on the day. Finally able to give a present, I pulled out their new, Frozen themed hooded blankets. They love to wrap up in blankets and run around and these blankets allow just that. While a big big, they are soft and the girls happily “wore” them until they pulled the next gift off the table, a tiny, metal pot and pan set.

Does anyone else have a hard time not giving presents to their kids as soon as they buy them? It took a great deal of self control to keep those hoods upstairs this past week and not give in and go get them. I feel that this is going to get more difficult as they grow, since new things bring so much excitement and enthusiasm!

First birthday photo of the day.

The girls played with the pots/pans until breakfast was ready. The set also came with a strainer, whisks, and other realistic kitchen utensils, making their stir stir stir exclamations and motions completely adorable. Any birthday should start out with something delicious, and what better breakfast than some bacon and chocolate chip pancakes with whipped cream topping? I assumed Reagan would scarf everything down immediately but she and Harper remained more skeptical. Emerie, on the other hand, probably ate half a pancake as she repeated chocklat, like she couldn’t believe it was in her breakfast!

After breakfast birthday dresses were dawned, ones that specify the day and say TWOnados, and everyone sported pigtails. Grandma Sue and Papa Lon came by for a visit and we did a couple other presents. The letter magnet boards I’ve been saving were opened without much help from adults! The coloring boards only keep their interest so far and after a while, they need something new to try when everyone is sitting for a few minutes after or before a meal. Reagan ensured her sisters opened everything satisfactorily and ripped her wrapping paper like a pro. Harper and Emerie more daintily pulled on the wrapping paper. It was quite the change from Christmas time, when they couldn’t be bothered to sit for five seconds and open something.

New toys and birthday dresses

We didn’t go wild on presents this year because we already have so many different things in the house. If I could have predicted the possible quarantine, I might have purchased a few more things to peak their interesting when stuck at home all week and weekends, but for the most part, we can be creative enough to survive.

All in all, the morning was full of new toy exploration, snuggles with Grandma and Papa, and hanging out in the living room, enjoying the sunshine. I finished a batch of triple colored cupcakes (pink, purple, teal of course) that turned out great, and the girls played in the backyard with Grandma for a little while.

It is always nice to have a beautiful, sunny day when stuck at home. I’m spoiled by the amount of sunlight that flows through our windows and it makes the mood cheerier, even when outside boasts huge snow piles and ice. Last year at this time grass was showing; this year the front yard still has four feet of snow.

The warm day prompted an afternoon walk. With Grandma in-tow, we stopped at the playground just off our normal loop and let the girls check it out. Reagan confirmed she still enjoyed collecting handfuls of playground rocks and testing out a few of them for flavor; hopefully this will be over by the time all the snow melts.

They did great at the park, climbing right up and sliding down the slide unassisted. Emerie climbed all the way up and didn’t even wait for Craig to meet her at the bottom. How they have grown! The girls again played out back after a little more ice chipping on the driveway, taking full advantage of the sunny day. I cannot WAIT until spring gets here.

The rest of the day remained uneventful. We face timed Grandma Anne and Papa Cliff simultaneously as we all sang Happy Birthday and the girls enjoyed a cupcake. Everyone devoured the frosting and questioned the cupcake; Harper at most of it, Reagan only a little, and Emerie shared hers with Koda.

All in all, three clothing changes, two hair changes, triple 1.5 hour nap, one toddler escape (Harper) and fun day with Mom, Dad, Grandma Sue and Papa Lon.

Mini Birthday Party

This year’s birthday party consisted of inviting the best friends over for a play date (Paris and Kaden). While it was not as fun and exciting as I hoped it would be (and legally had to stay under the 10 person rule recently implemented), the girls had fun, opened a couple gifts, and played with their friends, nanny and grandparents.

Dr. Emerie?

The doctor play set, even after a few days, is still a popular item. Depending on who has stolen which part from the briefcase, the girls will come up to you and “check” your ears, listen to your heart, and give you a shot. Not all ear checks are considered sanitary, as everyone enjoys sucking on the end of it and then shoving it into your ear, saliva and all. Maybe that will give us ear infections for them to “check.”

We opened up the living room for the play date and haven’t closed it back up since. Now that they are in year number two, closing off part of the living room almost seems like more of a hindrance than a help, with their main game plan to figure out how to escape. Luckily the main floor is well blocked off, with the stairs going up and down gated off and impenetrable for the time being.

Cupcakes!

My spur of the moment cupcakes ended up turning out great! I mixed the batter into their three colors, with pink on the bottom, purple in the middle, and teal at the top. Craig “whipped” up a whipped topping (see what I did there?) that was devoured with requests for more.

Colorful streamers were hung across the living room, out of reach of the tiny hands, and even a fancy tablecloth put out! The girls definitely tried to empty off the table by pulling it, but didn’t knock anything off.

We sang happy birthday and the girls enjoyed a cupcake for their morning snack for the second day in a row! They did not understand blowing out the candles, looking at all the faces smiling their way and wondering what in the world to do. After helping blow them out, Kaden and Paris joined in on the sugar and everyone calmly munched down their treat. It was cute and Janelle captured a little of it on video for all of you to enjoy!

Birthday number two varied from last year’s in a couple ways. Last year they were crawling and just starting to learn to walk; this year they RUN everywhere. Last year the baldness was still real; this year enough hair exists for tiny pony and pig tails (yay!!!). Last year’s party had 25+ pre-toddlers yelling and playing; this year just a handful. Last year the sleep deprivation was real; this year…oh wait. Yeah that’s not that different haha.

The whole birthday felt very laid back- staying home the whole day and spending time together. I feel that we were able to better it and process the fact we’ve made it two years! They played with gifts, dressed up in fancy dresses read new books and spent some time out in the snow. I recognize this will likely be the calmest birthday we will ever have!

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