So long, five! Baby is six! And yet she’s still Baby. The nickname we never intended on having and yet it’s weird to call her anything else. Now that she’s started kindergarten, she’s starting to go by Vaile. Which is so weird to hear. We’ve never used her name, ever. She’s Baby in all of our eyes. I even think we have friends who don’t even know her actual name. A few months ago, I got sucked into some website, and there was an article about two social media influencers (I cringe even typing that) who both have daughters named Baby. Apparently one spells it Baby and the other Babyi, and they’re feuding over the names. I couldn’t bring myself to read the entire article, only gathered the gist. I’m over here, a total nobody, with a daughter essentially named Baby. So, take that, influencers! Haha.

Our Baby had a fun birthday this year. She was SO excited for her turn. First was Laine, then Blaise and Saige, and finally her special day. We kicked off the day heading the the pumpkin patch. The older three had wilderness school, leaving Baby and Maive with me. One of Baby’s buddies met us at the patch, and we enjoyed the morning hanging out at Craven Farm.

The girls climbed on the old tractors, truck, boats, and whatnot until they were ready to race rubber ducks. You’d think I’d bring the ducks we bought last year, or the year before, or the year before the year before… but nope. Every year, I buy new rubber ducks. Of course Maive wanted in on the duck racing action, and got a duck also. They pumped water to race the ducks before wanting to move on to the corn maze.

I have to laugh, as we were waiting to buy tickets for the corn maze, there was another family with two young daughters at the counter asking the worker about the corn maze. They were wondering if it was okay for their youngest, who looked about three, maybe four. The worker recommended a shorter maze—the hay maze—since the corn maze required much more walking being on 15-acres. They opted for the hay maze. And then I bought tickers with my not quite two-year-old… she was going to do the 15-acre maze because she’s number five and has to deal with life. It probably helped that I’ve done this corn maze many times, with different aged kiddos. I knew what Maive was getting into. And maybe their youngest kiddo isn’t used to walking so much. I get it. But I was internally amused.

Corn maze, check. On to picking pumpkins. Man, the patch was picked over. I think they take all the good pumpkins and put them for sale in their market area, leaving the awful ones in the field. It’s not like we were there the day before Halloween. It was October 7. There should have been some nice ones left, at least I thought there would be. We still nosed around the patch, looking for the perfect pumpkin that we never found. The girls selected pre-picked pumpkins—along with a few smaller ones—before calling it a morning.

We also left with some kettle corn and Halloween-themed cookies. Baby was sad that she didn’t get the big pumpkin cookie with frosting, since it was her birthday. I had bought five of the smaller, sprinkle-covered cookies. After packing into the car, she stated her case that it was her birthday and that she really wanted the big pumpkin cookie. Of course I gave in, and I gave her some money to go buy it on her own. I had already buckled Maive in and we had started to leave, before pulling back into the parking lot for Baby to jump out and get the cookie. She did a great job buying it on her own! I sat in the car with Maive. Back with her cookie, we left for home.

At home, a friend texted, asking if she could swing by to pick up a bookshelf and desk I was passing along to her daughter. She stopped buy with her youngest kiddo, one of Baby’s favorite friends, and we ended up having an impromptu playdate. Baby was SO excited. Best birthday ever, so far! They played for about two hours before we had to leave to grab the big kiddos from wilderness class.

Laine has practice immediately following wilderness class. And the other three older kiddos had ninja class. We had already cancelled their registration for the next session, but they still had a few classes left in the current session. Blaise and Saige had already stopped going; they were over class, especially after a long day outside at wilderness. Baby really wanted to still go, mostly because it was her birthday. Brian was on his way home—about 20 minutes out—so I left Blaise and Saige home while I left with Laine, Baby, and Maive. I dropped off the girls at the gym and killed the hour while Baby was in class with Maive, at Homegoods. It was a small moment in the busy, fun-filled day, that calmed me.

After picking up Baby, we headed home, leaving Laine at practice. Driving to the gym, Laine was super sad—in tears—that she was going to miss Baby’s dinner, cake, and presents. I asked her if she wanted to leave practice early but she said no. And since she had a meet that Sunday, she couldn’t miss a practice the week before or she wouldn’t be able to compete. They have serious rules. Kind of annoying even though I totally understand.

Brian was home and waiting for us to arrive to leave and grab the pizzas. Baby requested Red Pepper for her birthday dinner. And the cake Laine had on her birthday. Thankfully it was still in stock on Amazon Fresh; I ordered it the night before. We ate pizza and made the decision to wait until Laine was home from practice at 8:30pm to have cake and open presents. Baby agreed, and we let her open one gift after pizza. The gift, a Roblox gift card. We figured letting her open this gift—and then letting her play Roblox—she’d be more willing to wait. We were right.

Brian and his mom left to grab Laine, taking some pizza for her to eat on the way home. Laine was happy to hear we had waited for her to have cake and open presents. And I’m glad we did, even though the next day we realized it was a really bad idea to have Saige and Baby stay up so late, especially after a day of excitement. Talk about moods.

After we were all reunited at 8:30pm, it was cake and present time! Baby was SO excited. She takes her birthday seriously.

Cake, check. Presents, check. It was another birthday on the books.

We had already had Baby’s birthday party, a joint one with Saige the Saturday before her birthday. I’m copying exactly what I wrote on Saige’s birthday post and pasting here.

Saige and Baby had a joint birthday party with their friends. They mostly have the same friends, and since their birthdays are so close—three weeks apart—it’s easier to do one party. I feel bad asking the same families to give up 2-3 weekends so close, when factoring in Blaise’s birthday. Several of the kiddos’ friends are siblings.

We rented out the Tolt MacDonald Barn Shelter, and it worked out perfectly. It was outdoor and Covid-friendly, and large enough of a space to have friends and siblings. I think we had 34 kiddos, including Saige and Baby’s buddies, and their siblings who are all friends with Blaise and Laine. Granted, five of those kiddos were ours, haha. It was a fun party! I was a bit overwhelmed planning the party; I usually have the kiddos’ parties at places that do it all—we only have to show up, with food.

I was worried about filling the time. I shouldn’t have been. Parties are really glorified playdates. But I planned just in case. Blaise and Laine were helpful with one game, where each kiddo tucks a bandana into their pocket and then an elaborate game of tag happens. That was a fun one. And it went on longer than I expected since all the kiddos were having a blast. Fox Tails I think they call the game. As for crafts, I bought several small terra-cotta pots for the kiddos to decorate, put out rocks to decorate, and made a nature scavenger hunt. Looking back, it was probably too much but it all worked out. I think everyone enjoyed themselves. And I was happy to have checked off the last kiddo birthday party of the season. Friend birthday party that is… we still had Baby and Maive’s home birthdays coming up.

There aren’t many pictures from the party. I was busy chatting with parents and watching the kiddos enjoy themselves, leaving pictures to Brian (thankfully he did grab a few!). It was nice to see everyone together, like pre-Covid times.

The party!

Preparing the night before. Laine was making an example pot. She’s so creative!

Four birthdays down, one to go! Maive is last but not least.

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