Sunday, February 12, 2006

Another Birthday

Okay, this first section was written on Saturday morning while my kids were at play practice. I knew I wouldn't have time to write anything till Sunday night otherwise, so I...kinda...predicted what I might say about a birthday that hadn't actually been celebrated yet, figuring I'd just have to polish it and post it.

The day actually went nothing like this. But just for fun, these were the plans....

This is the first year to have two February birthdays in our family (since Bitty Bantam just turned one--see post below for a great shot of him in his birthday suit!!). Today Bantam 6 became Bantam 7, amid much ado and happy hoopla.

Personally, I hate planning kids' parties--so birthdays around here are planned by the birthday child. Usually they just pick a theme and the main activity is: playing. We've had Lego parties, dress-up parties, army parties and police parties. Occasionally, if I see an easy tie-in, we'll plan a "field trip" to go with the party theme: a trip to the police station one time, or a visit to a local park where retired tanks reside on beds of kid-friendly recycled tire strips, perfect for jumping and falling off them. We serve frozen pizza, birthday cake and ice cream and--voila!--a birthday party.

Today's party started with the simple idea of having two friends over after church. Since one is a girl, a battle theme developed in which the sides would fight with swords over her, the princess. (It was assumed, accurately, that she would enjoy this role.) Since Papa Rooster and I enjoy having friends over after church too, we invited over the parents and siblings of the party guests--two more children, four more adults. Deciding that, to cash in on the party momentum, we would celebrate Bitty Bantam's birthday at the same time, Grandma and Grandpa were also invited. To top things off, since the mom's birthday is the same day as Bitty Bantam's, we invited over another family we're close to.

(Tangent: What are the odds of this? There are 7 members of their family, 8 of ours. Between us, we share 3 common birthdays--my husband and their #4, our #2 and their #5, and Bitty Bantam and the mom of this family. And our #5 was born just two days after their #3's birthday!)

...So, 10 adults, 12 kids, 48 brownies, 3 loaves of bread and one huge pot of chili later, three birthdays have been delightfully celebrated.

Great post, eh? Just add a few more details about Bantam Now 7, maybe a picture, and it's good to go, right? Well, here's what actually happened....

When I picked up Blondechick 13 from play practice on Saturday afternoon, she said she felt sick. When we arrived home, I observed that both Chicklet 3 and Bitty Bantam's formerly slight runny noses were now copiously flowing ones, and when I listened to Bitty Bantam's lungs with my handy-dandy disposable stethoscope they let me keep after his hospitalization last year, I could hear slight wheezes in his right upper lobe. He sounded better after a breathing treatment--my handy-dandy nebulizer was standard issue with an RSV hospital discharge slip--and Blondechick slept for three hours.

We decided that the next morning I would stay home from church with the two girls and the baby so they could all get some extra rest, and hopefully the party could still go on.

Sunday morning Bitty Bantam did not sound good. I could hear crackles and a few wheezes in all four lobes, and he was retracting slightly as well. (Don't I sound knowledgable? You can't help but get educated during a 15 day hospital stay.) So, I spent Sunday morning in the ER, Papa Rooster went to church with the three older boys, and Blondechick13 stayed home with Chicklet 3, after sleeping in until I left.

Four hours, two chest x-rays, two snot cultures, and one hour-long breathing treatment later, Bitty Bantam got to go home. The doctor, the nurse and the respiratory therapist each assured me that we had done the right thing to bring him in, and if he gets worse, we're to bring him right back in, but thankfully the cultures for RSV and influenza were both negative and the x-rays showed no sign of infection.
Thank you, Lord!

In the meantime, the Bantams 10 and 7 were invited home by another family at church (with four boys, one girl) who had heard that Bantam Now 7's birthday party plans might be cancelled. They had helium balloons, streamers, plates, napkins and forks (all purple) left over from the wife's 40th birthday bash the previous weekend; they picked up a gift and an ice cream cake and--voila!--a birthday party! He loved it--what a blessing.

One family and all but one child of the other one bowed out of the originally planned party, understandably wanting to avoid the germs, but we still had Grandma, Grandpa, a 6 year old friend of Bantam Now 7, and the family with the wife who just had a birthday on Bitty Bantam's birthday. Those who couldn't make it still sent gifts, and the battle theme got scrapped in favor of playing with the cool new toys received (if I weren't so tired I'd do some links here!).
Bitty Bantam fell asleep early and so we didn't get the traditional first birthday cake-smeared-face picture. But we enjoyed chili, bread and brownies...and the birthday boy delivered the performance described at the end of this post for his delighted guests.

There you have it--the imagined and the actual!

Please pray for Bitty Bantam--his health is our primary concern, but as thankful as I am for that hospital, I really don't want to spend another day there this week!!!

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