Wednesday, April 2, 2014

We're Five!

I have been planning the kids' 5th birthday present since before Christmas--to move their bedroom upstairs and make it like a treehouse theme. It has been all hands on deck and a race to the finish to get it done.

Shannon and my mom painted the walls and the ceiling sky blue. One of my friends from the twins group painted a tree and wild flowers on the walls.

Grandpa George spent hours building the lofts with lots of love, through cold winter days and struggling with pain from gout in his hands. Shannon drove to Iowa to pick up the beds and was up late with Grandpa and Grandma staining.

My mom had to stain extra boards to be used for trim. Shannon installed some trim by himself, I installed some by myself, and Shannon worked on it all day with his dad the day before their birthday while Grandma Sue stole the kids away for some fun time.

My mom sewed the curtain for the closet. She also helped me move the beds in place and get the mattresses on, as well as watch the kids a few extra days so I could work on the room. I strung the rope to make a safety rail and did all the decorating.

The kids had no idea all of this was going on upstairs right under their noses!

At 7am I couldn't contain my excitement and let them see their present. For months there was a child safety lock on the door knob. Now it was wrapping paper.

Adam found his bed right away and said "It's like a treehouse!"

Sara was confused and said "You should have built a bed down low for me." We told her she had a bed and she needed to turn around. "Where?"

It was so much fun to see their excitement as they discovered more and more things.

And my cousin Emily was ready to sell her blue chairs just in time!

They kept sneaking away to their new room throughout the day--reading books in bed, carrying more things up there to decorate their shelves, and snuggling in bed with some stuffed animals. When my mom came later with her presents, they took her up there and ran ahead to shut the door before she could see. Then Adam opened it and yelled "Surprise!" They did the same thing to our favorite neighbor when she stopped by with gifts.

After breakfast we got dressed nice to open gifts from the grandparents. We kept it very low key today because of all the energy that went into doing their rooms. We just wanted to enjoy some family time.

They were very excited about all the gifts they got! Clothes and books and Legos and rain boots and Barbies and hula hoops, oh my!

Then we enjoyed some mini cupcakes.

After dinner we had our traditional birthday excursion to the NICU to deliver treats for the staff as our thank you for all they did while Sara and Adam spent 44 and 61 days in the NICU. There was a handful of staff at the window and the kids walked right up, set down their note, and said "We're five!" The nurses laughed and one replied "I remember when you were born!" I love that the kids know their history.

They couldn't wait to go to bed. I was prepared for it to be a challenging night. We got pajamas on and turned out the lights for them to see how dark it would be to get down their bed steps and make it to their new bathroom. And we tucked them in bed.

5 minutes later Adam got up to go potty.

2 minutes later Sara called for me. I stood next to her bed and she said "Mom, I just wanted to tell you something. Today was the greatest day ever!"

2 minutes later Sara got up to go potty.

5 minutes later they were whispering.

10 minutes later they were roaring with laughter and we had to go up there. They had snuck lanterns into their beds.

After an hour and a few more trips into their rooms, I had to threaten if they didn't go to sleep they could sleep in their old bed. Finally, it was quiet.

It certainly is strange to have the door to their room downstairs open and they aren't in there. The start of a whole new season of life. I remember when we were married and there was no sound of feet running in the house or belly laughs. How different life was then. Being a mom to Adam and Sara has been the absolute hardest and most satisfyingly joyous journey of my life.

Happy 5th birthday, my loves!

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