So Claire turned 6 on Saturday.
She was, of course, very excited. Claire is excited about everything- she glows most of the time, and birthdays, any birthday, are a reason for extra wattage. She's genuinely thrilled for anything exciting that happens to anyone - she's our sunshine girl and it was wonderful to have a day to celebrate her.
We did our little decorations on the kitchen table for her to find in the morning and put out our present and the gift my parents left for her after they watched the kids. Apparently Claire had asked them to hide it so she wouldn't be tempted to look at it while we were still gone (the girl knows herself), so we spent much of Friday night looking around our room for it, wondering if perhaps Claire was wrong and my parents had taken it back to Houston with them. They're in Sweden right now and it was about 5 a.m. so I couldn't exactly ask them, but eventually, after MUCH searching we found it behind my show bins in the top of my closet. My dad, the former Easter Bunny and hider of baskets has seriously upped his game.
We had a birthday party for another friend to go to that night, so we did donuts for breakfast and whatever else Claire wanted (french toast- on Trader Joe's cinnamon swirl bread because why would you bother making it with anything else, and fruit. Done!). Claire got to blow out her birthday pig and then open presents.
A monogrammed swim bag and a Kindle.
SO EXCITED; her first electronic device- totally goes in the baby book. She also got a bag of dresses from my mom- Claire's favorite thing. She loves her clothes and accessories. We also got her 18k gold plated earrings with bullet backs that won't press into her scarred ears and they've been great! They're little pink rhinestone flowers and they look adorable on her ears. After only 3 days of wear it's like a whole new world- it really was the nickel/metal and just a few days of active avoidance have cleared up so much of her bumps and rashes and outright wounds.
After breakfast I ran off to teach my barre class and the kids played around the house. When I got back Landon had a bunch of friends over (they're obsessed with playing Four Square; obsessed. We let him have 3 friends over and they played outside on the driveway for 3 hours. James brought them water and goldfish after 2 hours and played with them for the last hour. According to one mom I was chatting with at Claire's party yesterday her son came home wide-eyed exclaiming, "Landon's dad has some trick moves mom! Trick moves!" Oh James, the six-square champion of UT swimming, you rise again.)
Claire and I went and got birthday pedicures. She was thrilled.
She'd never been to a salon before and as soon as she put her feet in the swirling water, she exclaimed, "when I'm a grown-up I'm doing this EVERY DAY!"
You and me both, girl. We discussed her future- she is going to be a teacher, swim coach, mom, doctor, and yoga teacher. I thought all of those things sounded fantastic. Her favorite thing in school is math and her favorite color is rainbow. She told her technician all about her big brother and "little baby sister." She was patient and polite and grinned like a crazy person the whole time.
She got a little flower and heart on her toes and polka dots and it was all so cute.
She took great care getting into the car afterwards only to enthusiastically jump out of the car directly onto her big toe on the exit. So back to the salon we went for a one-toe redo. That complete, we packed up for Landon's friend's pool party (her sister is one of Claire's besties) and Cora turned into a fish and insisted on swimming the ENTIRE time. I don't know that anyone had more fun than she did.
Sunday was Claire's party. It wasn't until 2, so we bummed around the house in the morning and then decided to run to Academy to get Claire a new bike with her birthday money from my grandparents. She's still riding the one we got her for her 3rd birthday, so it was time- she's a 2-wheel riding big girl now, she needs new (bigger!) wheels. At the store Cora hopped onto the small sized bikes and rode it up and down the aisle and then fell apart into a thousand sobbing pieces when we plucked her off it when it was time to go. So she and I sat in the car while the purchases were complete and then once home, we set out for a long family walk to try out Claire's new wheels.
She did great- she just has to push off the curb to get going. But at the rate her limbs seem to be extending, I'm sure her feet will be on the ground in no time. After our walk we started party prepping, and doing all the other usual Sunday stuff- laundry, grocery shopping, hanging balloons from the back porch roof- you know. We kept it simple with bowls of snack foods on the tables, watermelon slices, juices, iced sugar cookies, a cookie cake, and grown-up pink drink. The kids swam and swam, and somewhat unusually spent a lot of time on the playground and driveway (more four-square!). This might have something to do with the fact the pool is still about 50 degrees. Come on hot summer days!
We woke up Cora to join the party (we're starting to truncate her beloved 4-5 hour naps; they're affecting her ability to sleep in and I care about that than my afternoon break), but she mostly wished she was still in bed.
Claire was all over the place- the pool, the playground, the driveway, the pool, the cookies...
We took a break for cookie cake and I did have a moment realizing that the first time she blew out a candle in that seat, at that table, she was turning 2. Crazy.
After the party James had to head straight out to his summer pool so I finished cleaning up and turned on a movie for the kids. Landon retreated to his room to read and after finishing up in the kitchen, I walked into the TV room to find the girls like this.
A position they stayed in for the next 90 minutes of Finding Nemo. They have so much love for each other- and Claire ("Yaya," specifically "my Yaya") is the first person Cora also needs to see when we reunite at the end of the day. Their growing bond, and the care Claire bestows on Cora is a great source of joy for me. Claire is a generous and loving big sister- she takes Cora's need to mimic her and appropriate all of her toys as the compliment it is and Cora gives her back all the love and adoration she deserves. I love watching them together.
And outside her star role as a big sister, I'm just so glad this little/big 6 year old had such a fun filled weekend. She's a true creator of joy, our family's cheerleader, and such a smart, fun, athletic, smiley, super affectionate, and amazing kid. We love you Clairebear.
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