01 October 2009


Ever since Alex celebrated her second or third birthday, we have had a very fun tradition at our house. I got the idea from my very thoughtful friend who would "heart attack" a young woman while she was gone at school - Going to her house and decorating her room with construction paper hearts and then the young woman would come home to this great surprise. I love special thoughtful things like that! So, the plan was to decorate the birthday girl's bedroom while she was asleep and she would wake up to a lovely surprise. She loved it, and so did I! What a great way to wake up on your birthday.

We have done all kinds of decorations throughout the years - times 5 birthday kids per year - Banners, ribbons, hidden candy bars, balloons, die cut-outs, streamers, etc. I love the planning and especially LOVE the sleepy happy birthday face in the morning! I know that the little one is so thrilled to have a birthday, and I like to think that waking up to a festively decorated bedroom adds to the thrill.

One of the most popular decorations among the parents in balloons and streamers. We have about a million yards of different colored curling ribbon and we buy balloons in bulk, so they are always on hand for all kinds of events and projects. And Hero has a VERY large air compressor so we can blow up all the balloons we want in seconds - Genius! (Sometimes the tank empties while we are filling so it will kick on. It is very loud in the middle of the night!) We can fill, tie and ribbon a bunch of balloons in a jiffy.

The real fun of the whole decorating process is sneaking into the birthday child's room in the dark while he or she is asleep. We used to be able to wait up long enough for them to be in a good deep sleep, but not so much anymore. (Now we get up extra early and do it before they get up!) If you have ever touched a balloon, you know how loud they can be. Try tip-toeing into a sleeping child's room with several balloons trailing on ribbons, with tape in one hand and a stool in the other, and you have quite the challenge trying not to awaken anyone! And the big trick is to balance on the stool over the bed taping balloons above the sleeping child - DEFINITELY a challenge! Sometimes we have to excuse ourselves from the room as we are giggling too much. Lots of fun making memories.

One year when Alex was about 12-ish, we didn't wait long enough for her to get into a deep sleep, although she was a trooper and pretended to still be asleep. Have you ever noticed how hard it is to keep your eyes closed when you are pretending to be asleep? She was so excited, too, which made it extra hard. She told us some time later that she woke up when the balloons were crashing around her, but she didn't want to ruin it for us. What a good girl!

Liam recently had his 12th birthday, and yet again we commenced the middle of the night decorating (except it was just me as Hero was at work). Sure enough, the compressor kicked on, the balloons crashed around and I found myself balancing over the bed to tape the ribbons up.

But there was no giggling. It's just not the same without Hero.

So, Happy Birthday to all of my kiddos every year!

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