(Last night I was talking with Reeder about being sad- and I said that perhaps sometimes she feels sad. She quickly responded that yes- first she said quite loudly that she is sad when she fights with her brother, then her voice got very, very quiet- almost a whisper- and she looked up at me and said, "I'm sad when I am missing my Daddy..." )
So Clint just can't get here quick enough to suit all of us on this side of the world.
But as I said- having Marianne and our babes so close means that when it comes time for a birthday we're all just across town- and arranging a day just with the "birthday babe" and us is really quite easy. For Reeder it was a tea party- For Hayes it was trains.
We made reservations to celebrate Reeder's birthday at The Bonbonerie Cafe! We knew she was in for a real treat. I have to say that this was my first "Tea" and little did I realize just how formal one of these occasions can be. But in reality, what can be better than your own pot of tea and the three plate tier of fruit and scones, finger sandwiches (PBJ for Reeder) and fancy desserts all served on nice china dishes.
And she was!
And of course there was tea- well actually tea for Don and me- hot chocolate for our birthday girl!
Notice how very "correctly" she holds her little pinky!
Sometimes Reeder would remind Grandpa to hold his pinky out just right- but I think more often than not Grandpa would just forget!
And of course, what's a birthday without birthday presents!
Ahhhhhh success.... Yes, Reeder did again hit the Barbie jackpot.
Now as you might imagine the finer point of just exactly how to hold your pinky when drinking tea would be completely lost- and I mean completely lost- on our little redheaded Hayes. Hayes is the best example of a "bull in a china shop" as we have in our little tribe! And besides- Hayes knew exactly where he wanted to spend his birthday! This is a boy who knows his mind. So it was off to the Trains at the Entertrainment Junction, the world's largest indoor model train display! Now it's not that Hayes has never been to the Train Museum before- it's always his first choice of what we do when he spends his day with Grama and Grandpa. But for Hayes birthdays are about favorite things- besides- I'd told him that on his birthday we'd actually STOP at the toy shop and he could pick out his very own birthday present! (PS- Have you noticed how very cleverly all children's museums, gardens etc conveniently place the "gift" shop such that you HAVE to walk through in order to get out... Just noticing....) EnterTRAINment Junction is really an impressive place if you like scale model train displays. There are trains of all ages from the old steam locomotives to modern subways running under the city and visible through little viewing portals. There are passanger trains, coal trains, log trains, boxcar trains, trollys, subways, and light rail trains all moving through impressive landscapes, cities and work sites.
So it was off to the TRAINS with Hayes.
And of course we had plenty of time at the play area...
Now if you're wondering how difficult it is for a 3 year old to pick how THE PERFECT TOY- well let me tell you- It's very difficult! And if you might be wondering how long it might take this 3 year old to pick out THE PERFECT TOY- well- a very long time! But success was obtainable- and Hayes did find THE PERFECT TOY! Drum roll please....
a Playmobil-Road-Maintenance-Truck-Construction complete with a snow plow and salt spreader- and what Hayes called "rocks" which according to the insert were actually "salt". We thought after Hayes very first winter in Cincinnati this was quite the appropriate choice!
The afternoon was spent with Hayes supervising Grandpa in the "construction" of the Road Maintenance Truck. Don't think Grandpa could have done it without him! I must say I was somewhat surprised that this truck came in pieces with several sheets of paper instructions for putting it together. This was the IKEA version of toys.