Thursday, July 05, 2012

Happy birthday, Travis!

Today my first baby turned 14. Oh my. The years are going way too fast, but we are enjoying them, and I am so proud of the fine young man he is becoming!

(He is so easy to please, too. Strawberry cake (from a mix) with jam between the layers and chocolate icing.  No special breakfast request, but I tempted him with BLT's for lunch on his favorite homemade bread. And for dinner we are eating out -- yay!)

 Katie knows just what to give her big brother.... candy and an Angry Birds t-shirt!

 This was his favorite and much anticipated present from my parents -- a Bamboo tablet, which hooks up to his laptop and lets him draw in fancy new ways. So exciting!
 Books, candy, a new Nintendo DS game, a t-shirt, and the super-cool tablet! He is feeling very spoiled!

 Here is the tablet, in use.

Yesterday, the Fourth, was pretty great too! We watched the parade in the morning, Travis treated me to my yearly barbecue sandwich, and the kids participated in the "athletic" events.
 The parade was, as always, amazingly long! All the fire departments had their emergency vehicles sparkling and sirens blaring, there was every imaginable variety of tractor, John Deere and otherwise, and Ed had a field day identifying old cars! And there were family floats (I particularly liked the one under the tractor picture, which included a wading pool with two small children swimming in it!), horses, and even a few politicians. Good fun.

Katie and Travis worked together for all the "team" events...
 I suggested that Travis might be better as the wheelbarrow than the driver in the wheelbarrow race, but they didn't believe me. I think I was right, though!

 Katie is on the far right in the sack race. She didn't place, but she didn't do badly, either!

And Travis actually did quite well in his sack race! He fell over close to the finish line, but otherwise he might have placed!

And they gave it a good effort in the three legged race...

By the egg toss they were tiring. And Travis found Katie's gentle (short) tosses frustrating. But neither of them got egg in the face or egged anyone else this year, so we figured it went well!

After the games we watched musically gifted friends perform...

They really are impressive.

And then I decided I had time before company started showing up to donate blood at the blood mobile. Dumb me! My iron and blood pressure, etc. were okay, but I got the most unfriendly, incompetent phlebotomist ever! My word. First she messed up on my one good vein (she accused me of moving, which I didn't!), jammed the needle every which way trying to fix it, called in other people to see what they could do, and eventually to decided to give up. On the left arm. I told her my right was no good. No veins. But she had done all that paper work and by golly she was going to get blood. So she poked around in my right arm, criticized my poor quality veins, and eventually got a trickle going into the bag. Meanwhile the ice pack she had put on the carnage of my left arm was starting to leak and I had a bad moment when I felt liquid running down my side and thought I was bleeding to death. Except, I realized, that even my blood probably isn't ice-water cold. So, things were going okay (though Very slowly) when a sweet little woman was squeezing past me in the narrow aisle toward her couch when she bumped me. And quickly grabbed my arm (right at the needle) to apologize. I confess I gasped. But eventually they got their pint and I didn't die. But it is going to be a Long, Long time before I give blood again.

And by the time I got back into the house our first guests (the musicians) had left their kids to play with our kids (yay!) and gone home to drop off instruments and boxer dog. With no blood left and both arms tied up in tourniquets I wasn't moving fast, but I did get my last two pizza dough balls made and rising. Which completed my efforts as hostess for the day! I'd made the cookies the day before, and Ed is Pizza Man, so all I had to do was sip beverages and socialize. Which I did. Over the course of the afternoon and early evening various friends showed up and set up their lawn chairs. The kids alternated between playing at our house and enjoying the bands and activities across the street. We snacked and talked. It was great. By evening we had five families (including our own) with a grand total of twenty kids, which is the perfect sized crowd for sparklers and a very fine fireworks show (since last year's were cancelled because of rain, this year's show was a "double"!). It really was a glorious Fourth!

And again, happy birthday, sweet boy! I love you!

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