Thursday, August 19, 2010

Under the hill...

Happy Birthday to the Daddy in our house! Yes, you are now "X" years old! Not quite over the hill... rather, still under the hill. Chu lookin good there Pappi! ;-)

Daddy (hopefully) had a great birthday this year. He deserves good birthdays. He never really asks for much of anything. When he does, more times than not, he wants it spent with family or to share his birthday with others. This year, he received a new gas barbecue grill...which took approximately 3+ hours and a few carefully chosen curse words to put together. Once together though, we had no choice but to spark it up and try out some perfectly marinated birthday fajitas on it....and delish they were.

I thought it'd be fun to take Middle Little, Abbie, to a store, give her money and let her loose on a mission to score birthday goodies for her Daddy. So that is just what we did. All dolled up in her knee socks, side pony tail, 80's retro outfit, looking like a colorful jawbreaker candy that I just wanted to pop in my mouth and savor for forever... we were off to a local dollar store to run free and shop for exciting Daddy things. Little did I know this was going to be so much fun for me too... I watched her run up and down aisles and inspect ordinary items with appreciation that us grown-ups just barely glance at. It truly was a beautiful sight.

Upon arriving at the store, Middle Little did not know what to think about being let down in front of the shiny glass entrance doors.. this was the first time she has been allowed to wander into a store freely, versus riding in a buggy or being carried (I am not one of those parents who lets their children run wild all over the store... not only do I think it unsafe, it is very disrespectful to others - this day though, was special and I kept a close eye/camera on her). When the glass doors parted and the aisles of dollar store goodness came into view, the look on her little face was priceless. Must have been the view from a new perspective that got her. She was in awe and just stood there still in the doorway looking at me full of excitement as if asking if it was okay to actually go in.

Once inside this cornucopia of cheap fun, she was off and running with the buggy, scoping out every inch and crevice to find her Daddy the perfect "pecial presents" (as she says).


And then she hit the aisle with all the plastic buckets/containers. Stopped her dead in her tracks. Her eyes were as big as saucers and she looked at me with the hugest smile and ran back and forth in front of the aisle of stacked multi-colored containers yelling "Baseks for my veg-alls!!!" (Toddler translation - baskets for my plastic vegetables that I sleep with everynight. I appreciate and cherish her weirdness, I really do.) Yes my friends, who knew all it took was a plastic container to fill ones heart with such joy. ;-) She spent a good 5 minutes on that aisle alone searching for the perfect new "basek" for her plastic vegetables.

*On a side note... one night her Dad and I asked her why she sleeps with the vegetables... why not a doll/stuffed lovey? Without missing a beat, she said "Sissy gave me veg-alls." (Her big sister gave her a bucket of plastic vegetables for her 2nd birthday.) There you have it... thats why one must sleep with the veg-alls... they are important to her, they came from her sister. Yeah, so we had to wipe away tears after she said that.

I swear I should get her on some kind of game show that has an object stacking challenge. She would so win it! This girls got mad stacking skills. And yes, we made sure and did not mess the store all up for employees to clean... but I just couldnt help but watch her squeal and laugh these deep belly laughs from stacking every row of colorful paper cups she could find.



After searching high and low for the best ever "pecial presents" for Daddy, it was time for Middle Little to pick out her birthday card for him. I guided her to the birthday card section and let her do it all by herself. There is beauty in not being able to read written words yet... her card selection was made by picture alone. What kind of card did she pick out for Daddy? Well, lets just say she thought it was perfect and in her words a "pecial card". Yes, Abbie, it was special.

We finally made our way to the check-out counter after Abbie was satisfied with her shopping trip. She did it, all by herself...shopped for her Daddy's birthday. She was so proud of herself (I was proud too). It was time to brave the summer heat to get to the car and head home with her grape soda stained face, birthday bounty and new hand picked "veg-all" basket.

Once home, we snatched Littlest Little up and headed to the bedroom hiding the goods and giggling about what a surprise it will be for Daddy to see what Abbie picked out for him. I cut the wrapping paper she picked out for her into squares and gave her a roll of scotch tape and let her wrap her loot herself. If you have never seen a toddler in action with a roll of tape, you my friend, are missing out on one of the most entertaining shows you have ever seen. She made sure everything was wrapped to perfection.


Days later it was time for Daddy to open his presents that Middle Little worked so hard on. We let him open them the night before his birthday on his "birthday eve". Was he surprised, amazed, and wowed by Abbie's thoughtfulness and her expert gift wrapping?! You betcha'! (Some of her gifts were wrapped so well that the whole roll of tape she used on her few presents stuck everything together in the bag. :-)

Just what were in all those gorgeously wrapped gifts you ask?
Lets see...

  • A little red resin bird (Cardinal - which she threw over the edge of the buggy, and Im thinking the little chip in its head came from her throwing it into the buggy.)

  • Pack of super glue that she thought was candy.

  • A new hand towel because it had a barbecue grill on it and she knew Dad got one for his birthday.

  • A Donald Duck parachute toy, because she recognized the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse symbol on the package and she promptly did the "Hot Dog Dance" from the show in the aisle.

  • Two big heavy glasses.

  • A Sharpie marker (because she knows Dad likes them).

  • A toothbrush.

  • A lighter (one of those big ol' things you use to start a grill/fireplace/etc.)
And that card she stood in the card aisle for forever carefully choosing the most "pecial card" she could find for her Daddy's birthday? Even after me trying to direct her away to some other cards.. this one was it... she would not put it down and finally threw it in the shopping buggy. She knows her Dad loves pizza and the picture on the card got her... didn't matter to her really what the card said. Like the old saying goes "It's the thought that counts." So, "Happy Birthday Grandson" - from Abbie. Yeah, thats right, we do birthday's up right around here.

Birthday day, we celebrated with some family into the night. And of course, Daddy got his pizza and his chocolate cake.

Happy Birthday to you... wishing you many many more. We love you!

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