Well, K was unable to come to Davan's birthday party. The poor kid is pretty sick and I know she'd have rather been partying with Davan than laying around on the couch, feeling like crud.
First off, Davan did cry the night before at the news that K wasn't coming, but really, handled it with pretty good grace. It wasn't long before she was campaigning for things she wanted to happen on her birthday with the newest plan. The poor kid had gone through a lot of iterations regarding this birthday and, for the most part, handled it all pretty darn well. There was really only one time she just didn't behave well about it, that being Sunday morning with the no snow news.
With this newest and final plan, Davan had a really good birthday. Anthony stayed home and we had a great family day.
Anthony and I got up and created an obstacle course through the house which Davan navigated by following the string where ever it went:
to find a stash of presents, which she then opened.
Then there was one more string leading her to the garage and this:
Anthony made it for her for her birthday. For those not in the know, it's a hand-balancing stand.
While she was making her way through the course, I was in the kitchen making baking powder cinnamon rolls, her requested birthday breakfast. I made a batch of ones with oil and actual sugar (turbinado, but sugar none the less) and a second smaller batch with pumpkin puree in place of the oil and a little agave and date sugar in place of the turbinado sugar for me. I was willing to just have a smoothie, but Davan really wanted me to get cinnamon rolls for her birthday, too.
We ate together in the living room on the snowman table cloth, also as requested by Davan. She and Anthony enjoyed hot chocolate soy milk while I had tea and we all ate pomegranates, as well, one of both Davan's and my favorite seasonal treats.
Then, while Anthony and I cleaned up, Davan opened the Advent calendar for the day, which, rather than the previously planned note saying, "Have a great birthday party!" had been changed to the start of a note to note search through the house, leading her to a short chapter book about a birthday. I read to her for about a half an hour, then we got our things together to head out (not taking the camera, sadly).
Next on the agenda was swimming at a community center pool that has a current channel with a whirl pool area. There is also a slide, but it's isn't open during weekday family swim time. Davan and I have swam there before, but this time we practically had the place to ourselves for the first 45 minutes. Anthony, who isn't a big swimmer, still got in and splashed around to the best of his ability. We'd brought a small rocket pool toy with us, which we played with for most of the time we were there. We played hide and find the rocket, monkey in the middle (Davan loved being in the middle, so we mostly did it that way) played all underwater and then finished up with pushing Davan back and forth through the water like a ball.
After showers and dressing, we were off to lunch at Noodles and Co, which is one of Davan's favorite places to eat. I mentioned it was her birthday when we ordered and the cashier offered her a free dessert, but Davan declined, as they aren't vegan. The cashier was really insistent, so I suggested that a piece of flat bread would be more welcome. Davan was delighted to get the flat bread and very pleased they'd done something special for her birthday.
Post lunch, we headed straight for Safari Sam's where we played for a little over three hours before Davan finally said she was getting a little tired from all the swimming and climbing about. Anthony and I were in better shape, having mostly taken turns with her. We played a variety of games such as avoiding certain colors, hide and seek, how fast can we do the Black Diamond Course, what ways can we swing across, how can we make the zip line challenging and the like.
One time, after Anthony and Davan had been in the structure, they came back for a drink and Davan went off into the Black Diamond course by herself. Anthony started telling about these two girls who were stuck in the Black Diamond course. There is a large padded block at the entrance and you aren't supposed to go in if you can't get yourself up that block or are accompanied by someone who can get you up. This is because kids do get stuck - unable to make it through - and an employee has to go rescue them, which they aren't fond of doing. I'd seen these two girls' mom boost them in and then not join them. Now, this happens a lot, too, but those girls just really seemed like they had trouble even with the boost.
Their mom was standing outside where they were stuck telling them they had to go on and get through or they wouldn't be playing miniature golf. Anthony reported that the girls were just kind of sitting there and commented that, if it had been Davan, she'd have been screaming her bloody head off (in fear and desperation, not being bratty) not only at being stuck but at the thought of missing out on the other activity. (As an aside, we don't play mini golf there, as that makes the price jump incredibly over just playing on the structure, which is free for adults there with children.)
As we were discussing this, I started to notice how long Davan had been gone. It's not that she can't go in and entertain herself, but that she just doesn't take that long to go through the Black Diamond Course. Her record is something like 35 seconds and it'd been a couple minutes. So, I told Anthony that she was probably rescuing those girls. The longer she was gone, the more certain I was. Sure enough, after many more minutes, first those two girls showed up, then Davan, bringing up the rear. The mom came around the side and said to the girls, "Did you say thank you?" The littler girl (about 7) flung herself at Davan, giving her a big hug. What a sweet kid we've got.
Later, Davan was telling me about the rescue and she said that at one point, she was climbing up a rope with one of the girls on her lap! The girl wasn't just holding onto Davan while she climbed, but had gotten scared part way up, so Davan climbed up to her and made a lap for her to sit on, them pulled them both up. She did say it was difficult work. I guess!
Davan was finally tired and we were all getting hungry, so we took off and went to Davan's favorite place to eat - the Paradox Cafe - for dinner. This time, at dinner, when I mentioned to a waiter that knows us by site and is getting close to being able to say, "The usual?" to Davan, at least, who always gets the same thing, that it was Davan's birthday, I also told him that an extra slice of French toast would be a welcome birthday treat. That is what they brought her, as well as a serving of real maple syrup (rather than the free table blend). Davan doesn't use syrup, but Anthony was glad to have it for his pancakes. Davan was quite pleased yet again.
By the time we got home, it was after 8:00, but the festivities weren't over yet. We still had crafts to do and dessert to eat. We made snowmen from socks, foam snowmen and snowflake ornaments, and wire and bead snowflakes. We're running out of space for ornaments! We ate Rice Dream bars and sang Happy Birthday to You for something like the 10th time.
Then, I made up the futon in the living room and Davan and I had a sleepover. We finished reading the birthday book, played guess which ornament I'm thinking of by the light of the Christmas lights, snuggled and then tried to sleep. Sadly, when I still hadn't slept by 2:00 am, I had to abandon Davan to try to get some sleep in my own bed. I don't do well the first night out of my own bed, as a rule, which really sucks for me I have to say, and I'd warned Davan that was a possibility, but I'd come back in the morning to snuggle if it happened. So, when the cats woke us up before we were ready this morning, that's what I did.
This morning we played some more guess the ornament, drank the last of the hot chocolate (for Davan) and tea for me, then Davan got up to open the Advent calendar, but came right back to bed to read out of the Christmas chapter book that was the Advent thing today. (If I haven't mentioned it before, the books are all library books, not books to keep.) Finally, around 10:00, we got up and I cleaned up all the birthday detritus before getting breakfast together - Davan's being left over cinnamon rolls and fruit.
And now it's on with our day and back to life as usual - or, at least, life during the holidays. Davan is in her room, working feverishly on Christmas presents as I type.