Saturday, October 15, 2011

Marie's 14th birthday

Poor Marie--she's been 14 years old for over three weeks, and I still haven't blogged about it! For that matter, although I'd uploaded (and backed up to my external hard-drive) all the photos between Helen's birthday and last Saturday, I hadn't even LOOKED at those photos yet! However, now that I have, I'm pleased to post them here. We didn't go overboard with photos of Marie's birthday--too busy having fun, I guess. (Yes, the younger children's birthdays are fun, but I'm more an observer than a participater, so take a lot of photos...)

Marie had originally hoped to have a sleep-over, but far too many events were coinciding to find a possible date within a reasonable length of time from her actual birthday. So she settled on a pizza party at home, the evening before her actual birthday.

With store-bought pitta breads and a bunch of prepared toppings, everyone created his or her (the only "he"s present being Marie's male siblings and parent) own pizza, which was much enjoyed by all. It did amuse me to have one of the girls compliment me on my "cooking" on Facebook, referring to the pizza she'd had at our house, considering that I had NOTHING whatseover to do with them! Okay, so I kept the smaller children away while my husband cut up vegetables for toppings. That was about it. And I did make my own pizza, of course. But didn't take a photo of it, or anyone else's.

I did, however, bake and decorate the cake. True to my usual style, it wasn't finished until well after the guests had arrived, but at least it was finished before dinner. (Oh, and that would be another reason I wasn't taking photos...I was in the kitchen decorating the cake.)

Marie's been playing the violin for five years, and is quite good. I didn't even like violin music much before she started playing and I tried to discourage her from starting lessons. I told her she had to learn piano (from me) first, and that then she had to practice every single day for a month, without being reminded, before I'd even put her on the waiting list for violin lessons at the city music school in Mülheim, Germany, where we lived at the time. She did it. Then I hoped that the waiting list really was as long as they said, but she got in within a couple of months. Much to my surprise, however, she wasn't squeaky at all, even at the beginning, and now I love listening to her play. Anyway, so much to the theme of the cake. I guess I'm making up for lack of photos by rambling.

Fourteen candles is a LOT of candles to light. One of them turned out to be a trick candle, which kept appearing to be out but then re-lit itself when she blew them out. (Yes, I re-use birthday candles. They're all in a big jar and I just mix and match. Or not match, as the case may be, because I'm not coordinated like that.) I think we'll be going with the rule that as of 18 (or maybe after 18?) the birthday person no longer gets the correlating number of candles for his or her age.

On Marie's actual birthday, September 22nd, Jacob made her a jelly roll (Swiss roll), and this time she only got two candles, and one of them was even a new one, straight from the package. The "4" was left over from my last birthday.

Happy birthday, to my first baby forever, no matter how old she gets!
I think there's probably an "awareness day", or week, or month, for just about every issue or event imaginable, as well as for a whole lot more that aren't imaginable. I don't know how much they actually accomplish. Maybe I'm just too oblivious to too many things anyway, but I generally only notice the ones that do mean something to me, so they don't actually help me, personally, to become any more "aware" of anything.

So with that disclaimer, here's the announcement that today, October 15th, is International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. I did remember that it was in October, but I never remember the actual date until one or two (or three or's amazing how many people there are that are touched by this, and I don't actually follow that many blogs) of my blogging friends and acquaintances mention it. Come to think of it, I didn't even see a mention on Facebook. And I'm not going to post anything there, either, because I'm too busy praying for good friends in New Mexico, USA, who had a baby on Tuesday and are all praying that she doesn't join the statistics of "infant loss."

The dates I do remember are, selfishly, my own private ones. February 25th. December 1st. April 17th. Birth-days that all came far too early and were cause for mourning, not rejoicing. Dates which are remembered usually only by me, and not celebrated by anybody.