This Four-Year-Old's Birthday is Now Extinct

Last Sunday, before our trip to Sesame Place and the Crayola Factory, I had 30 family members and friends at our house to celebrate Isabella's birthday, Dinosaur Train-style.

Aunt Karrie was here again from Seattle, and she brought Isabella's birthday sign, a masterpiece of countless hours. She creates for one for Isabella's and the twins' birthdays each year.


On the morning of her birthday, Isabella donned her "summer birthday" crown, given to her at preschool at the end of the school year, and opened the books and coloring books we gave her to use on the trip to Sesame Place. The Olivia books and tv show are big with Isabella right now.


Then it was time to get ready for the party, drink heavily, and then attempt to orchestrate a photo of my three children in which there is no crying, closed eyes, or darting out of the frame without warning.

This was as good as it got. Isabella is doing her best dinosaur roar.

Do you like her dress? Mamacita didn't. On Saturday, almost a full week after her party, my mother asks me, "Did you not have enough money to buy Isabella a party dress? You know you can always come to me if you need money." I had not a clue what she was talking about, as I thought the dress I picked out for her was very cute. Mamacita, apparently, thought it "was not special enough." My family does a lot for me, but family closeness always comes at a price. That price? Bearing the weight of Mommy Fail whenever they're around.

Her cake was made by the same woman who has made all of Isabella's and the twins' birthday cakes. She doesn't respond to my emails when I send her images and design ideas, but I can overlook her crappy customer service skills because her cakes look and taste so damn good.


I don't have any decent photos of Isabella blowing out her candles yet, since my friend was taking photos with my camera while I was standing next to Isabella, and my family (aka: The Scarily Militant Paparazzi), blocked her shots...repeatedly. Seriously, you would think my child was Lindsay Lohan leaving jail the way everyone wants her picture. I'm hoping Mamacita has some good ones on her camera since she had the prime spot (Ahem.) I'll probably update this post with her pics.

Isabella's wish once she blew out the candles? "I want the head!" (Meaning, the head of the conductor on the cake, and the same thing she said at the party with her peeps.) Any psychologists in the crowd want to analyze this one?


Then, she opened presents. Lots and lots of presents. Among others, she received many books, lots of dinosaur-themed gifts (books, stamp sets, sticker books,) a few craft/Play-doh kits, and some Thomas trains. But I think her favorite gift was all the Dinosaur Train cars, plus the dinosaurs themselves, from Aunt Karrie.
Any photos of Isabella in which she is smiling are always (and I do mean ALWAYS) the result of at least a full 10 minutes of orchestration, manufactured hi jinks, bribes, and the occasional threat of rescinding after-dinner tv privileges, and possible food the next morning. Girlfriend does not now, nor has she ever, enjoyed having her photo taken. Most of the time she runs from the camera. The rest of the time, she is either stone-faced or sporting a bizarre expression.

This was the best photo of the two of us taken on her birthday. One day, my oldest daughter will learn to smile like her younger siblings, who very willingly ham it up for the camera on cue.


Thanks so much for all the birthday wishes for Isabella, both here on the blog and on Facebook. She is very lucky to have so many who care for her.

And to my Mini Mussolini, (as a wise mama says to her precocious preschooler in your favorite book): "You know, you really wear me out. But I love you anyway."

7 Responses to “This Four-Year-Old's Birthday is Now Extinct”

  1. # Blogger Mom24

    As always, that sounds perfect. You do such a great job, and it really raises my hackles that your family can't/won't/doesn't see or acknowledge it. You're a fabulous mom.

    I love her dress, I think it looked beautiful and comfy, exactly what it should have been. Let your family go, seriously. I bet they think you're awesome, they're just not good at expressing positives. Some people are just like that.

    Glad too that your trip was so good. I'm very jealous that we never did anything like that.  

  2. # Blogger Jesser

    LOL. What a crackup, Kristi. I was going to tell you how CUTE I thought her dress was when I saw the very first photo, even before you brought up the disapproval over it. Crazy people. What's that thing about no one will like you or what you do 100% of the time unless you're a $100 bill? You just gotta laugh, because otherwise you might cry.

    Anyhoo, the party looks AWESOME. Glad she had such a wonderful, special day. Your sister makes GREAT banners and that cake is (was!) adorable. I think that is the best photo of all three you've gotten so far. Very cute!! Glad it was such a nice day. :)  

  3. # Anonymous Christine

    Your sister is so ridiculously talented it slays me. Also, you throw an amazing themed party.

    I like the dress! I think it looks perfect for a late summer child's birthday. It isn't prom. Can't wait to hear more about Sesame Place. I hope Isabella had a blast  

  4. # Blogger Rebecca

    I love the dress! I can't stand those really frilly dresses that some kids wear to special occasions. The funny thing is though, when I was a kid I would have given anything for one of those dresses. Go figure!  

  5. # Anonymous Lisanne

    I love her dress! I can't believe that your mom didn't like it! What's up with that??? Happy birthday!!!  

  6. # Blogger Holly at Tropic of Mom

    Happy fourth birthday to Isabella! She is such a special girl. You give your kids such great parties and celebrations.

    And I think her dress and shoes are just great!

    You look so cute too.  

  7. # Blogger Jeni

    I was waiting to see what this year's sign looked like :). Skyler LOVES the dinosaur train and would have coveted that awesomeness. Looks like she had a great birthday! And in a very cute dress I might add.  

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