This weekend we celebrated our oldest daughter's fourth birthday. We had a fun-filled, active weekend.
Saturday we traveled down to Louisville for Cecilia's celebration with my family. We grilled bratwurst and hot dogs and enjoyed a pleasant afternoon on my mother's front porch as Cecilia, Naomi, her aunt Katie, and her cousins Mason and Sam played with my siblings' and my old Fisher-Price toys.
I even got to see my friend Dodd briefly as he arrived to pick up my brother. I understand his house renovation is proceeding apace, and we certainly wish him the best of luck. (My lovely wife, who restored a house in the Germantown area of Louisville, definitely sympathizes with the amount of work he has to do, and knows how rewarding it can be as well.
It was such a big day, Cecilia actually fell asleep in the car on the way back home -- a rare occurrence these days.
Saturday night, my lovely wife and I attended a party thrown by the parents of one of Cecilia's preschool friends. Several of the guests perfromed old '50s and '60s cover tunes as a house band. It's relatively rare these days that we get to go out and enjoy an evening of grown-up activities, so we certainly appreciated the chance to socialize.
Sunday was Cecilia's party for her preschool and neighborhood friends, which we held at Chuck E. Cheese's. It was, not surprisingly, somewhat chaotic and overstimulating, but a lot of fun for all the kids. Cecilia really enjoyed the animatronic character's show; she and the other kids stood at the foot of the mechanical Chuck E. Cheese yelling to get his attention. (I explained that he couldn't answer them while he was singing...it's technically true, after all.) The kids had pizza and cake and got to play the various games and activities. At 4, Cecilia is still a bit too young for skee-ball, but she'll grow into it, I'm sure.
When we got home, we prepared the aquarium my brother gave Cecilia for her birthday. Jeff gave us the sound advice to consult a local pet store -- not a chain -- about how the local water needs to be prepared, and we added the appropriate solution. Cecilia also chose the gravel -- black, with neon-colored bits -- and a tropical reef backdrop. We capped off the evening by assembling the bicycle we got Cecilia for her birthday. (The task was surprisingly easy -- all I needed was a crescent wrench, and the entire process took less than an hour.) I had hoped to cap off the evening with a little Grand Theft Auto 3, but a line of unusually pyrotechnic thunderstorms that rolled through the area put the kibosh on that notion.
This morning, Cecilia was absolutely delighted to see the beribboned bicycle waiting for her at the bottom of the stairs. Tonight, I'll cook her the dinner she's requested (spaghetti) and bake her a chocoloate cake. After dinner, we'll troop out to the pet store to buy her a fish for the aquarium.
I've already been thinking about my own 36th birthday, coming up later this month. My lovely wife has bought me a new Palm computer to replace my old one, which inexplicably fried a couple of months ago. And I took advantage of a sale at HKFlix.com to order six assorted Hong Kong movies for less than 35 bucks. These orders have both arrived, and are sitting in my closet until the day I get to open them.
And while we're celebrating birthdays, many happy returns to Susanna as well.
Update: Added the photo you see above.