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Monday, April 28, 2008

The Year-Long Weekend

Day One: Thursday or "The Day the Camera Stood Still"

Erin's 1st Birthday was Thursday. Because we are good (read: terrible) parents we took her to Disneyland (you know, because she's been begging us to take her). This was her third trip to visit Mickey.

Let me explain something about my wife and I. We are a little bit insane when it comes to the Disney parks. My wife's engagement ring? From the jewelry store in New Orleans Square. Proposal in front of Sleeping Beauty's Castle? Check. Honeymoon to Disneyworld? Check. Multiple trips to Disneyland Paris? Check. Free Disney Cruise to the Bahamas courtesy of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Play It!"? Check. Trip to Tokyo in 2005 where we spent more time at Tokyo Disney than we did anywhere else? Check. For a brief period in 2005 we had been to every Disney park in the world. Then they opened Hong Kong. Next?


So, we're starting Erin early. We took her to Disneyland when she was 7 weeks old (for Father's Day), again at 8 months (for Christmas), and again for her birthday. We're not too happy about the Disney Princesses obsession that some little girls have, and we're going to try to temper that with some kickass Mulan-watching later, but we love Disneyland.

So, that was a long intro. Erin seems to love Disneyland too. We took her on Thursday. We went on lots of rides and even let Erin go on a few (Dumbo, Casey Jr., Pirates). The Dapper Dans sang "Happy Birthday" to Erin on Main Street:


And we met Mickey in his house for the third time.


Someone dropped the camera and broke it. I won't say who did it. I won't say who is now even with someone else for having dropped the previous camera in a river in the mountains on a camping trip with his friend.

Ok. It was Emily.

So the rest of the trip was photographed by my mother-in-law (bless her) and by me on my Blackberry (bless Research In Motion).

That night, at dinner, Erin had her first birthday cake, and she fulfilled her 1-year-old obligation and destroyed it.


Day Two: Friday or "Preparing for Jellyfish"

Friday was a blur, for more reasons than one. We had to buy all of the supplies for the party, which meant hitting up a party supply store, Michael's, and Costco all in the same day, as well as peeking into Albertson's. We then drove the supplies over to Emily's aunt and uncle's gorgeous house in Yorba Linda (next door to the lady who invented the Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles) and spent a little time there, putting food away and visiting with those lovely people and their 20 kids. No. Not 20. It just feels like 20, and there were visitors in town already and babies everywhere and it was just awesome.

After a couple of hours we headed out for Laguna Beach to take some pictures. Emily's cousin is a professional photographer (and she took a bunch of shots at Disneyland that I have yet to see) and she was in town with her mom and her little boy, who is one year older than Erin.

Laguna Beach, in the Spring, at dusk, is awesome. (I say "awesome" a lot).


After pictures we drove up to Huntington Beach to have some BBQ at Mo's. And it was awesome.

Then we went back to our Anaheim hotel. And as soon as we emerged from the elevator, vomit emerged from Erin's esophagus.

I don't know what triggered it. She had a couple of good coughs, and then urped all over.

We cleaned her up, thought about what she had eaten, wondered if it was just a water-flush from the dying-of-thirst-water-gobbling she had been doing at dinner. We put her to bed, and then we heard her coughing, sputtering, and barfing again.

Now we were a little worried.

We cleaned her up again and just held her on the bed with us. And she drifted off, coughed, barfed again. Now there was nothing left in her stomach, and she wasn't taking the water we were giving her.

So, a 1:30am Pedialyte run for Dad. Back to the hotel, dose some Pedialyte (way too much, as it turned out...but she was thirsty).


So, a 2:30am call to the advice nurse at our home hospital. Smaller doses of Pedialyte, and only if she's actually full-on awake. Don't worry about dehydration until 8 hours of barfing.

Emily went to the other room to try to sleep and I lay with Erin all night, towels spread out beside me for her to barf on at will.

A 3:30am wakeup and more barfing. And then what seemed like 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep. For me and Erin.

Emily didn't sleep a wink all night.

Day Three: Saturday or "Oh yeah, we still have a party going on today at 1pm"

Oh yeah.

We watched Erin take some good amounts of Pedialyte in the morning. And I let Emily go to sleep once she had assured herself that Erin was fine (if very very very thirsty).

But the extra sleep meant a very late start on a day when we were going to do some last-minute party stuff: pick up the cake, decorate the house, pick up the rest of the food, start cooking etc...)

So we were in a bit of a rush when we pulled in to the cake shop to get our cakes (a big one and a little "smash cake" for Erin). And Dad, rushed, on his daughter's first birthday, is not in a particularly good mood for hearing "I don't see your order anywhere."


I tried to decide if I had the time to kill him before rushing off to another bakery to pick up a last minute cake that would not be Jellyfish themed. I didn't. Have the time, that is. But I did have time, and the patience, and the "don't get thrown in jail on your daughter's birthday" presence of mind to double check that Gaby worked there. She didn't. I was at the wrong bakery entirely. The bakery I had ordered from (online) was actually really close to the hotel and I had just wasted half an hour being a stupid Google-trusting ass.

Also forgot the Jellyfish DVD at the hotel.

So, we picked up the cakes at the correct, awesome bakery and they were awesome:


And we rushed back to the hotel so I could pick up the Jellyfish DVD.

And my camcorder. Gah. What a dumbass I was that morning.

And we rushed over to the house, arriving 5 minutes before the start-time of the party, but not before other guests started arriving, some of whom actually don't know the hosts at all. Good times.

But, long story short (too late!) the party went off with a hitch (that's not a typo), but it was still awesome. And I bbq'd awesome burgers and hot dogs and other stuff. And Erin fell in love with a dog. And she smashed the hell out of her smash cake, which is really what the day, and weekend were about anyway.


And so what if some of the decorations didn't go up. And so what if I didn't have my camera. And so what if we were late.

My little girl was healthy, and happy, and well-loved by the 35 or so people who showed up.

And I'd do it all over again, every bit of it, to see this face:


"Bye bye, guys."


Aunt Becky said...

So cute!

I'm a bit of a cake nut, so I highly approve of the cake.

My_Dog_Is_Better said...

Did anyone at the party call the jellyfish octopi?

And dude, when did you ever go camping?

Jennifer said...

yay, happy birthday Erin :) That cake WAS awesome. Too bad about all the puking though, yuck!

for a different kind of girl said...

That face in that last photo? Awesome.

Totally awesome.

Glad the birthday celebration turned out so well. Well, minus the puking part, which really came 20 years too soon for a birthday.

(to conclude, I'd totally marry Disneyworld. I've professed my love for it many times, and I'm just waiting for it to realize how happy we would be together. Which should be clear, based on the money I've given it over the years.)

Marly said...

What a weekend! Happy Birthday little one!

Diana said...

She is so cute! What a lovely first birthday celebration. The cake rocks!

Mandy said...

I'm exhausted reading all that! Sounds like a whirlwind, jam-packed weekend.

Barfing? Kids always pick the worst time to do it.

Whit said...

Glad she's okay.

We're Disney people, too. Our youngest (2) has been to Disneyland more times than most people go in their entire life.

You know how it is.

Samurai Beetle said...

I love the smash cake idea!

Don't recommend Hong Kong Disneyland. It's really small, you can walk it in a half hour, mostly traditional food, I had to search really hard for a sandwich and it doesn't seem to have the Disney excitement of the other parks.

Backpacking Dad said...

auntbecky: I can only hope all future cakes equal or surpass these.

My_dog_is_better: No one called the jellyfish octopi. There were enough jellyfish decorations around the house that people were tipped off. And I've camped. What? I can't camp? My friend and I went up to the Sierra Nevadas in August of 2006, just after we found out Emily was pregnant.

Jennifer: awesome :}

FADKOG: Invite me to the wedding.

Marly: thank you.

Diana: she is cute, isn't she? I'm doomed.

Mandy: at least she didn't barf during the smashing of the smash cake. Even though we were up all night it could have been worse :}

Whit: Yes. Yes I do :}

Samurai Beetle: Thanks for that. Maybe we'll wait for Shanghai, and then hit all three Asian parks in one trip.

Patti Mayo said...

Poor peanut. I hate when little ones get sick. Glad to hear she was much better for her party...and speaking of which, except for the vomiting part, it was the perfect birthday weekend.

Those cakes were great. Makes me want to do something 'nautical' for the twins birthday next week (hard to come up with a gender neutral theme for boy/girl twins).

I swear, I'm in love with lil Erin. She is adorable and that sunset picture is amazing. Hopefully you are able to get a copy of that blown up into an 8x10.

Headless Mom said...

She is 365 kinds of one-derful!

Glad the barfing didn't last long.

THopgood said...

Holy canoli! What a day! Your daughter is beautiful btw...

KJTD said...

I'll be mailing the CD of pictures tomorrow...they're awesome!

Backpacking Dad said...

Hooray for awesome picture CD!

Anonymous said...

Awww! So glad she stopped puking for you!
Happy 1st Birthday!

Heather J. said...

How wonderful!
Except the barfing,thing.

kittenpie said...

Cute kid, awesome jellyfish cake. But... DISNEY proposal and continuing fetish? I suppose it's nice that you are comfortable with your masculinity...

Backpacking Dad said...

kittenpie: Back slowly away from the Disney fetish...put it down...I'll be over here, on "Star Tours" and "Space Mountain"....:}

Mumma Boo said...

Dude - takin' on the jellies! Those cakes are awesome! Glad your little cutie-pie got over her barfiness quickly and that you all had a great time at the party. I bet she requests the "Barfy First Birthday Party" story over and over again when she gets older.

Miss Grace said...

My she's cute.

I never went to Disneyland as a child, and when I did go (in college) I didn't have any accompanying nostalgia so the whole place was really....creepy?

I've always felt like I was cheated and should have gone when I was a kid for the sake of the good feelings and the memories, but at the same time I don't really want to take Gabe on account of I find the place creepy. Sort of a catch 22

Kristen said...

Looks like a great party! I can't wait to see Laguna Beach in six weeks! I hope Erin is feeling better now....

tjs said...

Good parents start their children on Disneyland/Disney World early. Your daughter is lucky to have such wise parents! ;-)

There's a downside to raising WDW-loving children, though. When our two sons (ages 20 and 22 at the time) found out we went to WDW without them last fall, they pitched a hissy fit.