Birthday celebrations

We had a pretty full three days of celebrating Namine’s 14th birthday.

Accessible park

The day prior to Namine’s birthday, we picked up her cousin for a sleepover. Before heading home, we went to an accessible park so the girls could burn off some steam.

Breakfast cake

It is a years-old tradition of ours to make a cake of Namine’s choice for breakfast on her birthday. We’re not sure how it got started, but we think it’s because we all had a very busy — and late — day on Namine’s birthday. We probably knew we’d get home pretty late, so rather than go cake-less on her birthday (perish the thought!) we made it ahead of time and had some before we all had to leave in the morning. And we’ve done that ever since.

Jessica had made the cake earlier, one of the angel food variety at Namine’s preference. Since Namine’s cousin was spending the night, the two of them decorated it with peanut butter frosting, again at Namine’s request. (I thought that was a strange combination, but it wasn’t my choice, now was it?)

Pottery painting

It is ever Namine’s preference to receive experiences, not presents, for her birthday (and holidays, when appropriate). In keeping with that, we had planned a day of experiences: a picnic at a local park, a trip to the local art studio, and a trip to a children’s museum. Almost none of that came to pass.

The weather was to blame for the lack of a picnic, but we did make it to the art studio. It was a “free day,” meaning we all had our choice of what kind of project to undertake. Namine and her cousin each chose a (rather large) piece of pottery to paint, while Jessica chose to do an acrylic pour.

Due to the amount of time required to paint their pottery (or is it potteries?), we never did make it to the children’s museum. That bothered the girls not a bit, however, since they were both pleased with the longer amount of time spent at the art studio.

Tennis clinic

The day after Namine’s birthday, she had tennis clinic. Since we have three tennis rackets, her cousin (who came with us) was able to play too.

Close to the end of the clinic’s allotted time, Coach Jackie called everyone together so we could sing “Happy Birthday” to Namine. She also had a present for her: a tennis-themed picture frame.

After Namine opened her present, there was still enough time to squeeze in some more practicing. She teamed up with her old basketball coach Jordan. He worked on making Namine switch hand positions with no warning as to which direction the ball was going.

Namine surprised Jordan by not only switching hand positions, but also by completely switching which hand was holding the racket. (She is ambidextrous, after all.) She was also able to consistently aim the ball.

Having gotten the knack, Namine thought it was hilarious to hit the ball over the fence so I would have to go pick it up. After a certain point, it was simply easier to stay outside the court and wait for her to hit it to me. She did so without fail.

House party

After tennis, we headed back home where Jessica’s side of the family (well, some of them, there are a lot) were coming later that afternoon. Namine and her cousin celebrated the continuing heat by having a water fight. To their disappointment, I did not have any balloons to offer them. I did, however, have an assortment of Super Soakers.

After the girls had had enough and were ready to come in and dry off, we gathered on the back patio for presents and cake. Namine was especially delighted at the myriad of tiny Squishmallows (little plushies, for the uninitiated) and a new board game for us to try.