Baby is five! Vaile, actually. But she exclusively goes by Baby. Even though she’s no longer a baby or the baby of the family. When we brought her home from the hospital, the older three called her Baby. It stuck. For five years now. I’m pretty sure we have friends who don’t even know her real name. The irony is, I wanted one-syllable names to avoid the kiddos having nicknames. Like Abigail to Abby or Timothy to Tim. Or Margaret to Peggy (I’ll never understand that one). Nothing wrong with those, just not my style. And yet, we have a nickname that doesn’t even relate to her name. That’s two-syllables. Haha. Joke’s on me. Baby says when she’s 16 we can call her Vaile. And given that she has teachers call her Baby, I think she’ll be Baby for the long haul.

It’s been five years since the teeny-tiny little baby came home—to not really our home—during the most chaotic and stressful year of my life. But it’s been a great five years, she’s been a wonderful addition to the family! She completed our family unit. Or so we thought until Maive surprised us. But these past five years, she’s been a great kiddo. She’s easy going and happy-go-lucky, and has really added positive energy to the bunch. And I love her Babyisms. Like last week, we all got flu shots. As a treat after, we took the kiddos to get milkshakes. We asked the kiddos, “Do you want vanilla, strawberry, or chocolate?” They all gave an answer with one of the three options. Except Baby. Baby said, “I want blue.” We know what she meant; she wanted a blue slushy. But still, Baby being Baby. Another Babyism—Maive was putzing around downstairs while I was in the kitchen. Baby was running about so I asked her to run into the front room to see what Maive was doing. Her report was, “Maive is awake!” Hahaha. She is funny and lives in her own world. A world I wish I could live in also.

And a world in which she wants to become a werewolf when she grows up. She is convinced she will get werewolf teeth and claws, and that she will start growing hair over her body as she gets older. On her first day of outdoor school in September, we were the first ones there, like always. As we walked up to the teachers, she jumped and crouched, and howled like a wolf. This was her introduction to the teachers, haha. I absolutely love everything about her werewolf desire. We let her have it, because why not?! At five, dreams are supposed to be magical. She is slightly concerned about leaving home to live in the woods with a pack of werewolves. She says she’ll miss us. We tell her she is always welcome to live here, even as a werewolf.

For her fifth birthday we celebrated over two days. Her birthday fell on a Wednesday this year, and on Wednesdays it’s tough to celebrate with Laine heading to gymnastics practice, requiring a quick dinner at 5pm. The Tuesday before we invited her friend over, who shares the same birthday as her. Her friend has an older brother the same age as Laine, and a younger brother who is nearing three. All the kiddos play so well together. It’s always a great time when they’re here. And even better celebrating the girls together.

The plan was to make some art, eat pizza, let the kiddos get their play on, and then decorate birthday cupcakes. And that’s exactly what we did. The art project was fun… the kiddos glued marshmallows onto cardboard and then painted away.

Marshmallow artists. The clock battery is dead. We weren’t getting our art on that early.

Finished artwork. Saige wasn’t that into the project. It’s obvious which one is hers, haha.

Pizza was tasty. Well, as tasty as Carnation has to offer. When we moved here, there were two pizza joints. Then a third came to town. Keep in mind, we only have one stoplight. Small town. But pizza galore. None of the pizza joints are stellar. One closed, the other Brian got food poisoning from, and the third offers delivery so we go with that one. And the kiddos like it. Their breadsticks are good. I’ll give them that. The pizza is ho-hum. I like to lift up a slice and have it stay extended. Not flop. Maybe I’m picky, perhaps that’s the case. I want to fly the kiddos to Chicago to have deep dish pizza. I was going to take them this month but pandemic. I digress. I personally love how Baby selected Paw Patrol and Frozen decorations, a clashing mixture that fits her personality so well. We pizza’d with Paw Patrol plates. Before the kids were set free to play.

They played. And played. Played some more. Then it was cupcake decorating time. The kiddos gathered around the kitchen island and decorated away. I think they decorated quickly so they could get their cupcake on. We put a candle in Baby’s and her friend’s cupcake to celebrate the two birthday gals. Our friends left not long after, and then it was family dinner time.

Birthday cupcake decorator.

Family birthday dinner! Baby wanted noodles. Noodles it was. She requested penne noodles, with sauce for those who wanted some. Brian added garlic bread, broccoli, and some meatballs to the menu—both vegetarian and cow meatballs. Dinner was a success. Brian’s mom came over the the family celebration, which was followed with select present opening—we saved most for her actual birthday the next day—and then cake!

Birthday dinner!

The birthday gal surrounded by siblings!

Birthday eve present time.

Maive helped Baby open presents. And she wanted to help play with the new loot. Solution: Baby and her new toys went into the Pack ‘N Play. When Blaise was a toddler and Laine was a baby wanting his toys, he used to hop in the Pack ‘N Play to avoid her bulldozing him. Same with Baby and Maive.

Avoiding Maive.

Cake time!

Baby’s official birthday was on a Wednesday. Blaise and Laine had outdoor school, and then Laine had gymnastics that evening. The plan was to take Baby and Saige to our favorite pumpkin patch for the day. Yeah, that plan didn’t work out. Without taking over her birthday post, my right foot had been hurting for a few weeks and it wasn’t getting better with rest. And then it started to swell. Walking at a pumpkin patch wasn’t going to work. Luckily, my podiatrist was able to fit me in that afternoon… I have a fracture.

Instead of pumpkin patching, one of Baby’s friends came over in the morning. They were able to play a bit before they left for swimming and I had to leave for the podiatrist. It was a low-key afternoon, with Baby and Saige getting their Roblox on together.

When Blaise and Laine got home from outdoor school, we immediately opened presents. Baby was so patient, waiting all day to open them. She got right down to business and had everything opened within minutes. And back in the Pack ‘N Play she went, with even more loot.

Birthday gal!


Since we had a family birthday dinner the night before, it was a standard dinner at the counter for the kiddos on her actual birthday. She’s easy, it didn’t matter to her. Baby requested a pumpkin pie for her actual birthday, so pumpkin pie it was.

Birthday pie!

It was a successful fifth birthday. I still can’t believe she’s five. And I still owe her a pumpkin patch outing, when I can walk again.


  1. what a doll! happy birthday

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