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"The Oop" Turns Four

Filed in:Alexandra

"The Oop" Turns Four

October 5th, 2007  · stk

Our little girl celebrated her 4th birthday, on Wednesday. According to her, she's now a "big girl". Read about her birthday celebration. (Oh yeah, and see the great birthday cake Scott made!)

A Low-Key Family Birthday Celebration!

On Wednesday, Alex had her fourth birthday. Rachel and I were a little apprehensive about the event, because Alex kept asking the same question, in the day's preceeding her birthday:

"Is [so-and-so] coming to my birthday party?"

Besides the fact that Alex's birthday was mid-week and all of her school-age friends would be away, we weren't planning a party for Alex. She seemed so intent on a party that we began to feel guilty and were worried that her birthday, instead of being fun, would be a big disappointment.

We needn't have worried. If there's one thing about the Oop - she takes it as it comes! Her family-only birthday was a huge success and she was so tuckered out from all her excitement that she even went to bed an hour earlier than normal, at 7 PM, instead of 8 PM.

Our little girl is FOUR! What's next, University? Geez! :roll:

Continue on to read about the Oop celebration.


The Night Before Her Big Day

The night before Alex's birthday, Dad was at the Fire-hall, as Tuesday's are practice nights. Rachel was at the hospital, finishing up a long, 12-hour day shift. Alex had been in day-care for the day and they'd visited a local petting zoo, as a way of celebrating Alex's upcoming birthday. After a quick run home to eat dinner (and more questions about "who's coming to my birthday party?"), Alex was back in Cedar, at a baby-sitter's house. She had a busy day and wasn't in bed till past her 8 PM bedtime.

On his way home from fire practice, Dad stopped to buy some balloons and a birthday card. We hadn't bought Alex any presents yet, though there were presents that had arrived from both sets of grandparents. We were planning on baking a cake (a "Dad's special" ... complete with custom frosting and such), but we were worried that Alex's 4th birthday might be a bit of a 'dud'.

At 11 PM, Dad blew up 12 big, fat balloons and we strung three from her door frame, with thread, so they hung at 'Oop level' and taped the others around the house. At least there would be a surprise to greet her in the morning!

Alex's Birthday - "I'm a big girl now!"

Alex woke up and (as so often happens) so did the rest of the household. The cat ran, Mom rolled over, grunted and tried to go back to sleep and Dad rubbed sleep from his eyes and ran a hand through his pillow-hair.

"Why are there balloons hanging from my door?" asked the Oop.

"Happy Birthday!" Dad said, "They're for your birthday!"

"Why aren't they level?" asked an observant Oop, "Can I eat some birthday cake?"

"No ... Mom needs to sleep for a bit, cause she has to work tonight, so how about you watch some cartoons for a bit?"

"Okay," she said. She padded down the stairs and plopped herself on the couch and Dad turned on the television. She ate "Ohs" (Cheerios) out of a bag and patiently waited for Mom to wake up, around 10 AM. Dad headed upstairs to do some work on the computer.

Soon, Alex came up. She was excited.

"Why is there a table and two chairs in the guest room?" she asked.

"What were you doing in the guest room? I thought you were watching T.V.?" asked Dad.

"I was, but then [something something] play and [ something something ]," she said. (The Oop is still difficult to understand, sometimes).

She'd found her BIG present from her Gran and Grandpa Pilley. They'd bought her a wooden table and chairs from IKEA and Dad had assembled them the day before and stuck them in the guest room, to hide them. The 'hiding part' didn't work out so well.

She was quite excited about having presents and wanted to open more, but unfortunately, Mom wasn't awake yet ... so it back to the cartoons for a bit, till Mom woke up.

Finally, Mom did wake and things started happening pretty fast. The Oop got a telephone call from Grandpa and Grandma Kimler.

"Here Oop," Dad said, handing her the phone, "Grandma and Grandpa want to wish you a happy birthday."

She took the phone and immediately said, "Happy Birthday" into the phone!

She opened their present to her, while they were on the phone (a set of pajamas, a bib-overall outfit and a couple of learning ABC/123 DVDs). "Thanks!" she said.

After the call, she opened her birthday cards. Great Grandma Miller, Great Aunt Karen (who makes wonderful hand-made cards), both sets of grandparents, ours and one from her uncle Jonathan (which included a couple of packets of Pooh and Dora the Explorer stickers)! Oh boy! (Stickers are always a BIG hit!) She also got a card from her Great Aunt Frances and an online greeting from Tom and Sheila ... two even!!

"Lot's of people must love you!" we said, "that you should get so many cards!"

"Yeah," she said, "That's because they think I'm cute!"

It was time to head out, as we were going to go buy the Oop her birthday present.

"We haven't bought you a birthday present, yet," explained Rachel, to Alex, the day before, "because we don't know what you want."

The Oop thought about this for a bit and then came up with a list.

"I need some new shoes," she said, thinking, "and a coloring book ... and a toy."

It was a pretty thin list. How could you refuse any of these items?

So, we were off on a present-quest. But first ... lunch.

"Where do you want to have lunch?" we asked (knowing what the answer was going to be - and we were not disappointed.

"Donald's," she said, without hesitation.

So it was off to McDonalds, where she had a grilled cheese happy meal and got two plastic bracelets as toys. Then we went to WalMart and their toy section, where the Oop wandered around, looking for her items.

We ended up getting Alex TWO pairs of shoes, a Barbie doll and a coloring book.

Dad looked at the $3 coloring book and said to the Oop, "You know, we could put this one back and go to the dollar store and buy THREE coloring books, instead of this one. Which do you want? This one, or three at the dollar store?"

"I want this one," said the Oop ... so that's the one she got.

She had a tougher time picking out the toy, as she was temped by a few items, but in the end, she stuck with her Barbie doll. We were pleased that she wasn't pitching a fit about not getting every toy in sight and that she stuck pretty much to her original list, with one exception ... she decided she needed a new DVD movie, as well.

They were having a two-for-$10 special on DVDs and so we bought her a 150-Classic cartoons and a Franklin Movie. We didn't feel that it was really overboard (and it sure beat some huge plastic toy that would take up the whole living room, as most toys seem to be based on SIZE and bright colors).

Back home we went with Alex and her birthday "loot". We stopped at the mailbox and behold ... another card and present for the Oop! Her Aunt Susan and cousin Toby sent her a card, a stuffed toy and a (cute) sock purse, with FOUR loonies in it!

Dad decorated the cake, while the Oop played with her toys (and made a general mess of the living room). It was getting close to dinner, so we fixed spaghetti, which is one of Alex's favorites. Then it was time for cake and ice-cream. She ate the vanilla ice-cream first, then the chocolate cake.

Soon after, Mom left for her 12-hour night shift at the hospital and the Oop was so exhausted from the day's activities, that she went to bed early.

Oh ... I almost forgot. Every "big girl" just-turned-four-year-old has their moments and Alex is no exception. She had two, on her birthday.

The first was when Mom moved the (unfinished) wooden table and chairs into the living room, for Alex to enjoy and went to talk on the phone. After the phone call, much to her horror, she noticed that the Oop was "decorating" the table and chairs - with Crayola crayons. When admonished, the Oop howled and cried, requiring a great deal of consoling, as she's a sensitive girl and takes parental disappointement very hard.

The second was late in the afternoon, after Rachel asked her to clean up the living room, she started to pitch a fit. We're not sure if she was hungry or tired or both, but she cried and nearly ended up having a time-out (on her birthday! horrible parents!) but managed to pull herself together and get some of her stuff back in their place. By the time she went to bed, the living room looked like only a minor skirmish had taken place, instead of World War III.

That's pretty much an accounting of Alex's fourth birthday. We ended by measuring her height on the growth chart. She's grown over 2 inches, since her third birthday! She's now, according to her, a "big girl", now that she's four years old (which she indicates by proudly holding up four fingers)!

Happy Birthday Alex!

(and thanks to everyone who helped to make her day special!)


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Updated: 5-Oct-2007
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1.flag Aunt Karen Comment
I'm so glad Alex liked her cards from Great Gradma Miller and Great Aunt Karen. Now that you know how tall she is, I can see her hair is getting longer too. Happy Birthday Big Girl!

Aunt Karen
2.flag Gary Comment
Happy 4th Birthday to the Alex, it sounds like she had a wonderful time and got some nice pressies. The cake you made was a great success huh! it sure looked tasty.
Its funny but when my girls were younger, their favourite was spaghetti, Jemma my youngest could never say spaghetti and called it either 'ghetti or spag-with-ghetti, kids say some funny things sometimes, don't they ? Hope she enjoys her colouring book and look forward to seeing a finished picture on your blog soon.

3.flag stk Comment
Aunt Karen - Yep ... Alex isn't as folically challenged as she used to be (but she's only ever had one haircut ... and that was only a trim)

Gary - I'll pass on the greetings! When Alex was little(er), she used to say, when asked - "How are you feeling?" ... "Happy!"

Now she just says ... "Good", which beats "crappy", but isn't as good as "happy"!!

4.flag Gary Comment
... Come on Scott, positive thinking now :)