Sunday, March 30, 2008

Drugs + Batteries = Birthday Fun

I just love a good birthday celebration, especially when it comes to throwing one for other people.

The members of my immediate family are the usual recipients of my overly heightened sense of Birthday Excitement and Overkill, where I plant the seeds for what fun party will transpire and then entice/beg/brainwash them to actually desire the kind of party I already planned for them. 

So we both win.

I'm coming off a fabulous week-long celebration usually reserved for royalty and dead people. Or in my case, 31 year-olds.

After battling about three weeks of violent upper respiratory congestion, coughing, snot, sleeplessness, sinus trouble, and The Plague, I caved and went to the doctor. I know, I am weak and pathetic.

I hate taking medicine, so I resist at all costs. Plus, it never seems to have the desired effect on me. Tylenol PM keeps me wired for weeks when I should be sleeping. Even Mucinex and Ambien aren't enough to knock me out. My anti-sleeping genes are strong.

Well, my first birthday present came in the form of some absolutely magnificent prescription medications that caused me to sleep well for the first time in weeks.

The doctor might as well have put a big red (make that a brown grossgrain) bow on them. It was a beautiful moment. Especially after I had recently been told by a friend that I looked "green" and "really bad."

So yea! I am feeling better! Finally!

One of my favorite birthday traditions that Brad created involves helping the kids make cards and select gifts based on my perceived "interests." It's always hysterical and very sweet. And a grand display of my inadequacies.

Lilly's card:

Brad and I decided that Lilly needs her own font. To my knowledge, there is not another one out there where the "y's" curl around so cute that you could eat them and the "t's" look like a headless cheerleader. 

And someday she will not write like this anymore and I will curse her penmanship teacher. 

Jackson's Card:
Please note all the x's and o's he took the time to draw. And please note the fact that it took him all ten seconds to write this out. Because he is growing and male and could care less about handwriting.
In case you weren't sure, the "m" and the backwards "j" identify exactly which characters we are in his precious card. 

I love how he shows the height of various people by drawing longer legs. No matter if he's drawing Shaquille O'Neal or Mini Me, the head and torso size are the exact same. The legs just get longer and longer. If only that could happen in real life.

Brad's card:
Seriously, y'all. 

I love how Brad gets out his best cursive and then decorates the card as he feels I would really enjoy. I'm not sure if I'm more moved by the stars or puffy cloud surrounding the message. Or maybe I love the dramatic, two-color shadow technique he used on the letters. 

Even though Brad isn't exactly in touch with his artistic talent, I crack up every year at his sweet attempts.

Okay, now it's time for a journey through the fabulous gifts and prizes I received for merely continuing to exist another year despite the best attempts of my recent illness.

Brad brainstormed with the kids many things they thought I'd like/need for my birthday. He lets them buy whatever they want, as long as it isn't a new Honda (which Lilly was sure I would love. Brad talked her into just visiting the dealership and pointing at the ones she liked instead.)

Lilly noted that I have troubled with things running out of batteries. 

Me? Really? When?

"You know," she told Brad, "Things like phones, cameras, and computers. Mommy never has enough batteries for things."

So looky here:
Of course, the things which I regularly run down are all rechargeable, but that is clearly beside the point.

However, these are the kind of batteries the Wii remotes require and I won't shock and alarm the parenting authorities by reporting how often they need to be replaced.

Next up, Brad's gift:

I think back in 2003, when I was still optimistic about being organized, I mentioned I wanted a label maker. At 31, I am jaded and disillusioned, so this gift didn't quite make the impact that Brad intended.

Until he admitted he bought it for himself and he'd allow me to use it under direct supervision if I promise not to make mean labels and stick them on his back. (Which I refused to do.)

Also, he had a gift card at Staples. That is the love of a vibrant, nine year marriage, my friends.

Next up, my gift from Jackson, being modeled on my hairy, wrinkly, and aging arm:

My Big Pumpkin noticed that my sports watch died sometime last summer. It was the second of a few Nike sport watches I'd had that were not actually as waterproof as the label said. Also, Jackson has noticed that I am late. Often.

And this watch is also a strapless heart rate monitor. Whoo hoo! Now I will know exactly what my heart rate is when I fall off the spinning bike and pass out from cardiac failure. Today when our instructor made us SING the chorus of "Right Now" as we were at the top of a hill, I wasn't sure if my legs or lungs would give out first. Or both.

This fancy watch also tells me how many calories I did (or didn't) burn, which I admit did impact my decision not to have cheese fries for lunch. 

It also came with an alternate wrist strap in case I want to mix things up a little bit. Of course, my female offspring has already confiscated it and won't take it off.

Gives a whole new meaning to "a hair past a freckle."

I'm sorry. I had to.

And my family? They are the best!


Mandie said...

Lilly soooo needs her own font!! Her handwritting is to-die-for cute!

Lisa @ Take90West said...

Happy Birthday!
I think your best gift was that good cough syrup!

sue.g said...

I love the cards! Please look at your toes and remember we celebrated weeks ago.

side note - the express tan ROCKS!

Amy said...

Happy late Birthday Nicole! Hopefully you got my card so you didn't think this was the only way I remembered ;-) How sweet is Jackson?!?! Noticing that you didn't have a working sportswatch and getting you a FABULOUS PINK ONE?! I'm so impressed! He's going to make a great boyfriend/husband someday. Nice work, Nicole. And Brad.