Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Family birthday celebration!

We talked to the girls at the beginning of the year that we were going to only have a family celebration this year for their birthdays. Last year, both Sofia and Olivia had friend birthday parties in addition to celebrating with our families. We all had a great time and as far as planning a party, having it at a local ice cream shop and inviting only the girls from their classes was simple and sweet. Still it was a lot in the way of gifts and while it was fun, not something we feel we need to do every year. So begins a new tradition of celebrating with friends every other year. The girls weren't crazy happy about the idea but they didn't moan and groan about it for days on end either. We were still celebrating them afterall.

Now two days after Sofia's family birthday weekend, I know we made the right decision. We had a fantastic weekend and really celebrated as a family our big girl turning 8. Birthday weekend started off with mini-cupcakes that I made for Sofia's schoolmates and since she's very into Harry Potter this year she asked for a Harry Potter themed sweet. I found Harry Potter rings to adorn the cupcakes for her schoolmates and she was happy as can be to hand them out on her own. Thank you Amazon!

After a family breakfast out the day before her birthday to celebrate last day as a 7-year-old, Sofia and I went on a mini shopping spree. She had said she wanted some chapter books for her birthday and while I had already bought a few of those along with an adorable Hermione bookmark and wand pen (also thanks to Amazon), but I thought this might be a good year to take her out so she could pick out a couple additional gifts on her own.

Family shot coming home from a yummy breakfast...

To keep with the HP theme, I also found Harry, Hermione and Ron figurine's to top off her cake that she made along with daddy and Olivia.We went a little sprinkle happy in the decorating. She wouldn't have it any other way.

Sofia and her Harry Potter cake later her birthday evening at Nonno and Nonna Palumbi's casa.

After our mini-shopping spree on her last day as a 7 year old, we did go to the grocery store so she could pick out the cake she wanted. Rather than picking a fancy already made one from the bakery, she picked a very fun and colorful tie-dye box cake mix that she had a lot of fun baking at home with the family.

This girl loves being in the kitchen!

The three amigos hard at work!

Oh, I don't want to forget about her what Olivia did...Little sister went with me to Trader Joe's the night before for a few items and asked if she could pick out these for her sister since it was her birthday. I loved seeing Sofia's face when she saw them and the happy tulips look great on our counter, keeps me hopeful that Spring is in fact around the corner.

Baby brother just scooted around the kitchen while we were baking...soon enough he's going to want in on the action too.

After baking the cake Daddy surprised the girls with a trip to a local bounce house, Jumpers. It is one of their favorite places and Daddy said her smile when they pulled up to the place was so big!

Kind of like her smile the next morning, on her actual birthday, when she opened her gifts. The books she wanted...

bookmark, pen and cards from her little sister. Yes, cards. Olivia made two for her this year. Later after Palm Sunday mass, she picked out where she wanted to have lunch for her birthday followed by a mommy and daughters movie date. A lunch spot that she asked for and a movie she had been talking about seeing. FYI - we saw Cinderella and it was ADORABLE!

But the best present of all...a Sponge Bob doll. He brought it all together for me this weekend.

Now of course there's a story behind this. I don't care for Sponge Bob for my kids. The girls do have Sponge Bob books, a Sponge Bob memory game and they always pick out the Sponge Bob yogurt squeezies at the grocery store. I don't allow them to watch the show but Daddy has played a clip here and there for them and they do from time to time watch an episode in Italy. Only because they can't yet understand all that is being said. I just don't like him for my kids, I know parents out there feel the same way I do and I know parents that allow there kids to watch him. To each their own.

But at a carnival a few years ago, Sofia won at a game all on her own and she got to choose a prize. Of course she chose the big Sponge Bob doll to my dismay. Whatever, no big deal it's just a doll. She loved it. Slept with it by her bed every night almost. Until one night she was out of our house and had some chocolate. Ok, probably too much chocolate because then a few hours after returning home and going to bed, she woke up vomiting and Sponge Bob got the worst of it. We couldn't clean him up to save him and she was so sad we had to throw him out. She still says she wishes she never ate that chocolate.

2 years have passed and she still will talk about that doll on occasion and how she wishes she didn't throw up that night. Believe me, Daddy and I wish you didn't throw up that night too! But a couple weeks before her birthday Olivia was talking about her sister's 8th birthday coming up and she said to me "I know what I want to get Sofia. A big Sponge Bob doll from the time she threw up and had to throw her old one away." This coming from an almost 6 year old knowing exactly what her big sister likes and would want. While I didn't miss that doll in our house, I was so touched by my little girl's way of thinking. To think that a little kid can come up with the perfect gift all on their own!

And it was the perfect gift. Sofia's face that morning opening up Olivia's gift was amazing. It was better than amazing actually. Her smile was so incredible. It proved to me that deciding to have just a family celebration this year was the best choice. She loves her friends, she loves opening gifts and she'll appreciate that NEXT year. But this year having her family around her and opening up that 1 perfect gift is all she really needed.

Our daughter felt a lot of love this past weekend for her birthday. All that matters to me.

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