Somehow it’s November – wait, almost December! – and my last post was back in September. And it did not include EITHER girl’s birthday! Bad mom. Thankfully, something I do every year around this time is print the blog, ending with the birthday post. So here I am today to actually write that one!
Let’s start with Zoe, who is now [gulp] 11 years old! That’s right. Double ones. Closer to teenager time, in so many ways. But that’s for another post. If you look closely at the t-shirt above, you’ll see the best “Hey, I’m 11!” shirt for any self-respecting middle schooler. Her math teacher loved that she was wearing the square root of 121. I found it online and take full credit.
On Zoe’s actually birthday, we went to her favorite restaurant, Miceli’s, with singing waiters (masked and distanced but still great) and old school Italian food:
The pandemic prevented a “normal” birthday party again this year, as did the fact that I was still recovering from a hip replacement, but Daddy came through, as usual! Zoe invited a few friends to the Van Gogh Experience for her birthday celebration, preceded by an outdoor dinner at Shake Shack (how can you go wrong with that?!).
Oh, and for the car ride over, we bought some small canvases, paint pens and a laminated Starry Night poster, so they could make their very own masterpiece while listening to an audio track about how Van Gogh cut off his own ear… I thought everyone knew that (Zoe did not). But back to the paintings, my clever husband literally hung the poster between the seats in the minivan like this:
Here’s Zoe’s interpretation of Starry Night:
Not too bad, right? I think they had a great time:
This year didn’t include a Daddy cake (I swear I’m going to get back to making him, I mean, asking him nicely to make a really challenging cake for their birthdays…), but our friend made a delicious one that we enjoyed close to Zoe’s birthday but decorated with Roblox characters as a nod to Ella’s birthday, too:
Yes, Ella took BOTH the Roblox action figures for herself, so let’s move on to her birthday.
Before you ask, that’s her actual hair. It looks like that most mornings, in fact. And in front of her are the yogurt with sprinkles and homemade crepe (thanks, Dad!) she ate for her birthday breakfast. Again, thanks to COVID, we weren’t allowed to send cupcakes to school, but what we were allowed to do was send a book for each child. Ella chose Dragons Love Tacos, and she signed each one of them personally (also writing “Happy Birthday” to herself, of course).
Ella is an avid reader, though she loves to point out that she “reads chapter books”. Most of the kids in her 1st grade class do not (thus, the Dragons book choice), and she also loves to point out that she “already knows all this stuff, Mom” (meaning “kindergarten”)… She claims she had kindergarten twice, but really, it worked out perfectly. Near the end of TK (transitional kindergarten), the whole world shut down, and for almost an entire year of kindergarten, she was remote, and barely paying attention. So I’d say she had just enough kindergarten.
Regardless, she’s reading at a 4th grade level, so I think that no matter what she’d believe she “already knows all this stuff.” But that’s a blog for another day. Back to her birthday. Like her big sister, she loves Miceli’s and their singing waiters, so we went BACK for another round of birthday magic.
She also got to have a friend over for a special birthday sleepover “party”, and honestly, Ella doesn’t need much of anything to keep herself entertained. Check out this outfit she assembled, all by herself:
Gloves on her feet, multiple hats, and a leg warmer on her arm. She’s clearly all grown up and past the point of needing parental assistance. This kid’s a (wonderful) nut.
And so, we survived another year of pandemic challenges, and managed to pull off two low-key but happy-girl birthdays. I’ll take it. Sure, I have two other months I never got around to blogging about, but at least now I can print the blog before Christmas! Happy Holidays!