April 14, 2021

birthday flop

I have 15 minutes before I have to drive Curly to basketball. This is a new basketball travel league. Her other season finished, and her coach invited her to join this one. It's far, but when we went to check it out I was blown away. It's real basketball. The girls are serious. The play is intense. This is where she needs to be. 

Please sweet baby Jesus, let this girl get a b-ball scholarship to college.

I can't help but think, maybe she'll see the light and decide to drop Irish dancing (which will never give her a full ride, or a partial). In order to accommodate this team, she's doing dancing every OTHER Thursday night, instead of every Thursday night. Baby steps.

I fear know Mini's Monday birthday was less than spectacular. Her tutor for the SAT had to move their normal appt time from Sunday to Monday. Mini didn't tell her it was her b-day. The SAT test required by the school was on Tuesday, so she wanted to squeeze another tutor session in Monday night before the test.

Thanks to that SAT test, only juniors attended school on Tuesday. Translation:  both Tank and Reggie enjoyed a chill Monday night since they 'd be home doing asynchronous learning the next day. Poor Mini would've loved to stay up late and have some fun on her b-day, but alas . . . the SAT and all. 

Tuesday the boys just had assignments and prerecorded lectures to listen to at their leisure. I recognized that leisure and I cashed in on it. 

Reg supervised when I went for my 35 minute run. Then I played Memory with a couple of 2.5 year olds, that's not irritating, thanks for asking. Well, it isn't when you only lay out 12 cards. I know, brilliant. 

I showered and assigned Tank lunch duty with the 2.5 year olds and Reg lunch with the 8 month old. I raced off to get my allergy shots. Remember how I have to sit there for 30 minutes to make sure I don't die? Well, I was glad to get it done during my 'work day.' 

When I came home, Reg had only given the baby Cheerios on her tray which she tossed EVERYWHERE. Literally. He was like MOMMY, LOOK AT THE FLOOR. And then he laughed that teenage laugh. Fortunately I got home before the baby starved since he neglected to give her anything but Cheerios. Not complaining. I was honestly surprised all 3 kids were in high chairs eating. Wearing bibs.

The boys went to the health club, and when they came back and everyone was taking a nap, Tank and I went to Costco. 

Translation:  Tank begged me for stuff and pushed an extra cart. I ordered him to put a case of waters and some other big stuff in his cart. I caved and bought a few things he wanted. Having him help load the car was worth the price of a white cake filled with mouse cheesecake filling . . . that I can't eat.

Last week, Mini applied to be a student ambassador and made it to the interview round. She interviewed on Friday. The student ambassador attends board meetings and presents ideas, etc. (I'm fuzzy on the tasks involved). It promised to be a really cool experience. She said the interview went well. She got an email on her birthday that she didn't get the position. 

She literally took these cropped, stretchy pants off of me the night before the interview because I said I thought they would be perfect with (my old) jacket. She was like "OH, THESE ARE NICE. I MIGHT NEED TO KEEP THESE." And it occurs to me that I haven't seen them enter the laundry room. Must be on the floor of her room. Coach came into our room to go to bed and looked confused. I was without pants while snapping this photo.

She didn't expect to get it, so there were no tears or anything. There were speech club kids trying for it, and some of the brightest bulbs in the school. Still. That sucked.

Also, one of her BFFs has a b-day a few days before Mini's. They celebrated over the weekend. This family is more of the 'go-all-out' variety for birthdays, so . . . well, we kind of suck. I think it's more painfully obvious with their birthdays being so close. We suck even more on a weeknight:  Coach worked late, Curly had dancing, and Mini had the SAT tutoring and homework, etc. 

Run of the mill, but it's what she requested.
 Yellow cake, chocolate frosting.

I did make her favorite dinner. I don't make it often:  gluten. It's a crowd pleasing recipe from Beth (Hey, Beth!) called Mozzarella Pesto Chicken in a crockpot. I might have messed up the name. The fam rejoiced at Mini's choice. Plus I made a cake. 

Still, weak. I felt a  16 candles-ish vibe even though we didn't forget (and she was turning 17), we just didn't knock it out of the park. Oh, and I think she was unimpressed with the two pairs of shoes that I got her VERY much marked down. She sort of knew about one pair in advance, but I bought them a while ago so she forgot. 

Today after the SAT her friends took her out for lunch and gave her a Comfy. She  really wanted one, so . . . super excited.  

Anyone want to share a lousy b-day experience? I feel we are doing our kids a service by keeping the bar low. Did you grow up with high b-day expectations? I did not - hello, 5 days after Christmas and 3 days after the king's b-day (aka my brother Pat). *

And yes, this took more than 15 minutes to write. 


Nicole MacPherson said...

I think that outfit looks really cute! One year I wrote a final on my birthday, that wasn't great. Actually, all through university I had finals either on or around my birthday (which is next week!). I hope Curly gets a scholarship too! Mini's outfit is cute (or, your outfit on Mini!) and that cake looks yummy.

ccr in MA said...

One year, when I was in college, I was with my parents on our way to my grandparents for the weekend and we got rear-ended! That sticks out as a low, even though it was bad luck and not a failure to plan.

I think I need a link to the recipe for the Mozzarella Pesto Chicken in a crockpot! Sounds delish.

Kari said...

I feel like most birthdays this year probably weren't high on the priority list due to the pandemic. That sounds like a pretty good birthday to me! Cake makes everything better. :)

Ally Bean said...

I grew up with very very very low birthday expectations. I remember my mother asking me what cake I wanted, and I got that, but as for a special dinner? Nope. As for parties with family members stopping by, nope. Birthdays just kind of came and went, but I did get a present or two so that was cool.

Martha said...

We aren't big on birthdays here. When the kids were little they got to be king or queen for the day lol, basically they got to boss everyone else around for the day. Other than that everyone is lucky if a cake happens. The kids are all out of the house now so we try to all get together for a family pizza party on or near birthdays. Good enough!

Ernie said...

Nicole - She borrowed my gold love sleeve dry fit shirt (school colors are black and gold) and then she remembered the black jacket (used to be mine but I gave it to her when I cleaned my closet). She was just going to wear jeans. She literally put on my pants a moment after I took them off and she was like, "OH, I LIKE THESE, I MIGHT HAVE TO KEEP THEM" and I haven't seen them since. Hmm. So, turns out every part of that outfit belonged to me.

A b-day around finals would be less than exciting. Similar to a just-after-Christmas b-day . . . not on anyone's radar.

Mini is a really good ball player, but it is hard where we live to find groups that have really good basketball programs for girls. When you play with kids who are really into it, it raises the bar. Fingers crossed.

Kara said...

My birthday is August 23. From grade 7-grade 11 I was at a church camp during that week. The camp would acknowledge all camp birthdays by making you stand on your chair during breakfast and EVERYONE sang to you. I hated it.

Costco Cake is my children's FAVORITE. I went yesterday and picked up a small (Costco small) chocolate cake and a small white cake. Because the birthday child loves chocolate cake, but no one else will eat it. I guess part of her present is her very own cake? There were also a few sweatshirts that I knew she'd wear, so that's her other present.

Ernie said...

ccr - That is a low for sure. I will look for the link to the recipe. It's super easy and my kids are crazy about it.

Ernie said...

Kari - Last year, Mini's bday landed on Easter when we were all doing a whole lot of nothing. This year was different because it was busy. When she turned 5 and her b-day landed on Easter, an older man at church gave her a few dollar bills when he heard it was her bday. While Coach and I were talking to friends, we were unaware that Mini was walking around telling other parishioners 'that guy gave me $5 for my b-day'. She took up quite a collection for herself and when we realized we were mortified. Yes, nothing like cake - especially when it's the flavors you pick out.

Ernie said...

Ally - My brother's bday is right before mine, so I often got his leftover cake. A bday after the Christmas is ripe with combo gifts and nobody noticing. The upside - I never once had to go to school on my bday. I had a friend in college whose folks raised the b-day bar so high, that nothing we did ever measured up. I was always blown away by her bday expectations.

Ernie said...

Martha- I feel like Lad lucked out. His bday is in June - what's more fun than inviting a few cousins to the local pool? With Coach's job, we rarely have the whole gang gathered. Sometimes my folks would come over for cake and maybe even dinner. My kids were always excited by cake and a few gifts. If we'd started over the top with the oldest, we'd be exhausted my now.

Ernie said...

Kara - Oh, Costco cake. Yum. That's my go-to for graduation cakes. My kids get territorial about the leftovers of their birthday cake.

Standing on a chair being sung to is how I ended up with the nickname Ernie. My dad's bad handwriting that the waitress thought said 'Ernie' and my mom's insistence on cutting my hair like my brothers' was a recipe for disaster and a lifelong masculine nickname. (very few people call me that anymore).

We once had a restaurant sing to Lad when he was turning 5 or 6. He balled. We were like, OH! Didn't see that coming.

Suz said...

Crossing my fingers that Curly starts choosing BBall over dancing...hello: COLLEGE!
I had a feeling you took 2 carts for your Costco runs; how could you ever do it alone?
I'm laughing at Mini taking your pants off of you. Literally. Nothing is sacred in your house! LOL.
Birthdays. Hmmmm...never ever a big deal for me. I shared mine with my Brother (4 years and 7 days apart) when we were really little and I only know that from a few photos. I have NO memories.
Never a big party for me as a kid or teen, so she's not alone.
My worst was my 29th....I came down with the chickenpox that morning. Of course, I had 2 toddlers so it wasn't going to be a big deal anyway, but still, it's memorable.

Ernie said...

Suz - I'm placing an order for a new Irish dancing dress and I'm sort of thinking/hoping that it's my last waste-o-money dress ever.

Chicken pox as a 29 year old? Ugh. On your b-day no less. I think I've made a sufficient stink about my bday always being glossed over growing up, that Coach makes dang sure the kids behave that day if he's at work. Since it's Christmas break, they're always HERE.

Yes, the pants right off of me. I now have to guard those pants with my life. They're kind of like workout pants, but a step up. Hard to explain, but they come off as somewhat nice when needed. For Mini's interview, convincing her to go a little dressy was a conversation. Because of course I know nothing. Wouldn't do flats. Just sneakers. (eye roll)

I do have 3 kids with birthdays around Christmas, but none close enough to consider combining. The year we moved to Chicago from Davenport a few days before Christmas, he and I celebrated our b-days with the remaining gumdrop sidewalk from a gingerbread house. I mean, come on - a little effort would be nice. ;)

Beth Cotell said...

Yay for the Mozerella Pesto Chicken in the crockpot!! I'm so glad your family likes it! We keep birthday celebrations to a minimum here. Usually, we celebrate on the Sunday closest to their birthday at Sunday lunch at my mom's house. There are always a lot of presents because family members send them as well as what we give the kids but we don't go all out on big parties or things with friends. My kids have a lot of rich friends since they attend a private school and these kids tend to go all out. One of my daughter's friends cried and cried until her dad agreed to fly a little-known boy band in from the west coast to play at her birthday party. Thankfully due to Covid last spring this was canceled. It was going to cost thousands of dollars. My daughter thought the whole thing was insane.

Ernie said...

Beth - Yes, the Mozzarella Pesto Chicken recipe is a hit. Apparently I don't make it enough. Celebrating with family has always been our speed, too. The busier the kids get, the less likely we are to gather cousins, etc. Mini is the 12th and my nephew is the 11th - there have been many Easter celebrations with a bunny cake when we sang to the two of them.

That boy-band birthday party that didn't happen is nuts on so many levels. It never ceases to amaze me how crazy parents can be.

Bibliomama said...

Eve turned 18 in June, and we were in lockdown, so her friends drove by with balloons and presents and we had a family dinner. We went to Montreal for the Van Gogh exhibit with all her friends last year just before the shit hit the fan last year, though, and she never really expects much. At least Angus is in the States for his 21st and will probably actually be able to go out. Hopefully when Eve turns 19 next year she can too, although she doesn't really like alcohol. Or caffeine. She's practically a Mormon.

Ernie said...

Ali - Last year Mini's friends came and decorated our front porch for her lockdown birthday. A few of them came and sat on our deck wrapped in blankets a good distance apart for a bit too. I think I prefer that my kids spend their 21st birthday at school so I'm not aware of how nutty it gets. Eve and I have a lot in common - I don't do caffeine. I've never had a cup of coffee. I don't mind alcohol, but only in small doses . . . preferably in the Mike's Hard Lemonade dose. I think I swear too much to be Mormon-like. I sure hope by next year we will be celebrating birthdays in a more normal fashion.