Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Happy Birthday Lauren!

Happy Birthday to my precious daughter Lauren! Today you are 2! And oh boy, are you ever 2! Right this minute two years ago I was at the hospital, my water having broke at 5:30am, dealing with an epidural that only took on one side. Ouch, Lauren. You can read a full accounting of Lauren's birth here. Details aside, November 8, 2003 will always be a special, momentous day because it's the day you entered the world and entered our lives and made our family complete. We love you!

The birth of a daughter and sister.

Newborn daze. Lauren was a very mellow baby. What happened?? She's a far-cry from mellow now. She's rough and tumble and busy busy busy.

Pretty baby girl @ 3mos old. I LOVED how your hair curled straight up in the back! This was the photo that proved to me you bear a strong resemblance to me. This could have been a photo of me as a baby. You're my mini-me!

Nothing sweeter than two happy kids. Lauren brings a lot of joy wherever she goes.

Lauren @ 7 mos. She loved to jump in the doorway jumper thingy and would happily hang there while I cooked or cleaned or whatever in the kitchen.

Our UO Duck Baby with her first sunburn... This is one of Daddy's favorite pictures of Lauren. She looks very tomboy here, and that seems to be a pretty accurate description of her still today. Mama was a tomboy, too, Lauren. It's a good thing.

I like the slightly mischievious look she has here @ 10.5 mos.

1st birthday! Lauren took her first steps just 2 days prior. You've come a long way, baby!

Looking more like a little girl and less like a baby with her first pigtails @ 14.5 mos. We ditched the binkie for good just 6 weeks after this picture. Thank God - I was having a love/hate relationship with that stupid thing and I'm so happy it's gone.

The beginning of leaning out and losing the excess baby chub @ 20.5 mos. But don't let that fool you - Lauren is a solid girl weighing over 30 lbs already. I grow 'em big and healthy, I guess.

What a big girl! Heading in the right direction here @ 22 mos. Sadly, no progress has been made in this arena and I don't expect it to for many more months. But good practicing, Lauren! You just like sitting on the potty ring because it has pictures of Blue's Clues on it, and you LOVE Blue!

The beginning of her art career. Lauren LOVES to color - on anything. 23 mos.

Lauren just a couple of weeks ago as captured by her picture-taking brother. It captures her spirit pretty well: BUSY!

We're planning to officially celebrate Lauren's big birthday with a party on Saturday. We've invited a few local friends (who are also bringing their moms and older siblings who just happen to be Nicholas's friends, doubling the number of kids coming to this party in my small house ) and family from Portland. I think there will be about 13 kids and 11 adults squished into my tiny home. Fun, right? I'm trying to keep it as simple as possible and yet find ways to keep kids ranging in age from 2 - 7 entertained. No easy task.

Since Lauren loves to color I'm sort of going with loose art theme. I am putting together little gift bags for the kids that contain a box of crayons, a small spiral notebook (Lauren loves to carry one of these around with a crayon and scribble in it), some stickers and a silly bead necklace Mardi-Gras style. At least for the girls. The boys will get sucker balls instead (you mean you don't know what a sucker ball is?? It's a ball with a bunch of suction cups all over it and you throw it at various things and try to get it to stick. Much fun.). I bought a coloring book with large pictures of animals and will spread them out on our table with fresh new crayons and let the kids color to their hearts content in between running around, screaming, and causing general mayhem. After that, the coloring comes off the table and the cupcakes go on. I'm letting the kids decorate their own cupcakes. That's artistic, right? Several different colors of frosting and a bunch of different toppings = massive fun and sugar overload. Nichoals is ready to pee his pants in excited anticipation of this. He can hardly wait and has been taking pictures of the bags that have the various toppings. We'll open presents, run around like crazy people some more, and then send the locals home. 2 hours start to finish. I don't know if I'll make it. I would be more concerned about the state of the house but hell - we sold the place so it's not really my concern anymore! The party ends at noon so the plan is to go to a nearby pizza place for lunch with the family who travelled and let the kids run off their sugar-induced energy there. It's a good plan, I think. Then bye-bye, Grandma and naptime. Blessed, sweet naptime. I think I might just make it.

I'm pretty excited about the gift Mr. Chick and I are giving Lauren (co-gifted with Mr. Chick's dad). It's the most awesome wooden kitchen ever! Costco sold them and I knew she'd love it. You can see it here. (only we picked it up for $100, not $139. Score!) Isn't it sweet?! I always wanted one of these when I was a kid and never had one. I think that's why I'm so excited for her to have it. She seems to really enjoy playing with toy kitchens at the indoor playground we go to, so I hope she'll continue to foster her imagination with it at home. It even has a dishwasher that pulls out so it can be "loaded" with plates and cups and such. We'll give it to her, assembled, the morning of the party and hope that the party guests will play with it, too, and it will entertain everyone for a bit at some point.

What, you may ask, are we doing to celebrate this occasion on the actual day? Why, going to the doctors and getting a few shots of course! Is there any better way to say "happy birthday" than to have a needle stuck into your leg? I didn't think so, either.

Happy Birthday, Lauren!
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Sweet post! Happy Birthday, Lauren. You are one blessed girl! Here's to countless more happy, healthy years.
Oh dear! Happy birthday to Lauren! Time is flying by!

The party sounds awesome. Can't wait to see the pictures.

Happy "birth" day to you too, MP!
Happy Birthday to Lauren!!! What a sweet and beautiful post and pictures! She is a total doll! How on earth are our babies already 2?! I remember those baby pics of her like it was just yesterday!

Have a GREAT "birth" day and great party!

Love to you all~
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