Two teenagers in the house. Two. Seems like some cruel joke. Time. Not laughing!! Although, I have to say, that I have been blessed, so far with some pretty darn good teenagers! These guys continue to astound and amaze me...
Autumn doesn't take a lot of time to be a kid these days. She worries about her brothers. Are they doing their homework? Are they hungry? Are they getting ready for bed? What do they want for breakfast? Will they be on time for their ride to school? And she reminds them who is taking them and who is picking them up, too!
A few weeks ago, I realized that her birthday was rapidly approaching. It has a way of sneaking up on me, because Cody's is April 23rd and I'm dialed in on his, thinking Autumn's, in May, is another month off...except it isn't. And after Cody's, I typically take a deep breath, relieved when I've pulled it off and suddenly it's a week before Autumn's big day!! This year, I asked her early to make me a list:
1. Oz, the Great and Powerful DVD
2. A Tootsie Pop t-shirt
3. A new Jones of NY Teacher's T-shirt
4 "The Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd
She's so demanding. That was it. Seriously.
So, I get to work, pulling up Oz at Barnes & Noble...only to find the release date is 6/11...this would have been a nice gift, with Kimmy implications. Kim had been a fan of the original Wizard of Oz and her and Autumn had enjoyed the movie together.
# 2, also had Kimmy connotations. Kim had given Autumn a Tootsie Pop shirt years ago that she had picked up at Old Navy. I checked there...no longer carried. People kept their eyes open for me, to no avail. Finally, I googled it and found one on line! She talked about this one the most...having worn the one Kim got her out. Not to mention having out grown it.
#3...Kimmy connection! Surprised? Kim had read about a charitable drive that Jones of NY was doing - selling t-shirts to raise money for teachers! Around Christmas each year, they would come out with a new design and I would get one for Kim. Maybe you saw her wear them. I had gotten her one for Christmas the year she fell ill and gave it to Autumn that year, who, of course, was hooked. They never came out last year, not sure why...so now I was 1 for 3 finding Aut's requested gifts...
The book was the easiest one, as I simply picked one off the shelf at work...Kimmy inspired? You bet. Kim had wanted to see that movie with Autumn...
I filled in the gifts with the help of many others - thank you all! Next, I asked her where she wanted to eat for her special day...
"Dad? I know that my birthday is Friday, but can we celebrate it on Thursday at Viro's for the Italian Wedding Soup day?"
Every Thursday, the soup of the day is Italian Wedding Soup...
That is where we begin the 4 day celebration of Autumn's 13th!! I believe she deserved to stretch it out since she asks for so little and takes such good care of us!
We picked up the girls at school and they came over to help Autumn get her bday started.
These guys crack me up...they sure had a lot of fun...
They laid bets - who would show up first??
The boys entertain themselves playing games on Cody's phone...
Brinley is excited to see Breanna and Autumn
We had out grown the 'Big Table', so Vito had created the extra big table for us for Autumn's celebration!
Monsi is champ at pasta eating!
Kason and Mariah are all smiles after some pasta!
The little ones were the best part of the night! They were so good and so fun to watch. Brinley tries on Autumn's hat!
Andrea and Emilio get Maleah and Brinley together. They gave each other a big hug (my pic came out blurry!).
Rosa came out to wish Autumn a Happy Birthday and let her know she had something special for her...
A white cake with strawberry filling and whipped cream icing!!
Erica helps Autumn get situated...
The wish (hope it comes true!). Love Kason's delight!
Erica serves up the cake!
Autumn did not ask for much. And she didn't want anyone to bring her presents this night - she truly just wanted them to be there with her. For her. And yet, each one, generously and thoughtfully chose an Autumn perfect gift!!!
When we got home from Viro's, Autumn thanked me and went on and on about how nice it was of everyone to be there...whew! I had made her day 1 special (with a lot of help!)...I asked her if she'd like to stay home on her birthday and we'd go do something. Ever responsible, Autumn politely declined, saying she had too much to do in class the next day....but I could bring her favorite Subway sandwich (turkey with everything but cheese, onions and jalapenos) to school and have lunch with her!
I was happy that, even at 13, I was allowed to come and have lunch with her. Mrs. Marsh made Autumn blush a little when she announced Autumn's birthday. Singing and clapping followed the announcement! I brought her a big butterfly balloon with her lunch, too.
After school, I picked up the kids, Breanna and Lexy, and brought them home to help Autumn unwrap her presents.
The only other thing she absolutely wanted to do for her birthday, was go to see Ironman 3! Cody, Tonio, Chloe, Lexy, Breanna and Autumn, enjoyed some popcorn during the movie. We went to the foodcourt for dinner before the show. I love taking them there so they can choose their own favorite. Autumn chose Panda Express. Lexy, Chloe, Breanna and Tonio like Sarku - the teriyaki chicken is their favorite and the portion large, so Lexy and Chloe split a meal and Breanna and Tonio split a meal (so cute!). Cody and I chose Rubio's.
All the kids loved the movie and wanted to hit the mall afterwards. Autumn had some Aeropostale gift cards burning a hole in her pocket. They ended up shopping until all stores had closed!!
We got home after 10:00 and I had to break the news - that they all needed to be up by 8:00 so we could get Tonio to the Loft for his presentation...despite that, Day 2 was a hit!! Thanks again, to a lot of people for a lot of help!!
For the weekend, we were combining Autumn's continuing celebration with Mother's Day and remembering Kim. It was important to me that we do something fun for Autumn, but, also do something fun that we would have done for Kim, as well...Autumn loved that idea...
But, I need a 30 hour day - still have a lot to do and have a schedule tomorrow that begins at 5:15 a.m....packed all the way until I get off of work at 10:30ish p.m. - I'll try to get to the weekend when I get home...
Thank you all again for making Autumn's day special!!!