Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Olesya!!

Monday was the 2nd of the 1st's...the first birthdays celebrated at home. Olesya turns 11 on the 12th, so we had her party that evening. 16 kids, 8 watermelons, and a ton of fun! I am NOT good at party planning or creative in any way, actually, so coming up with ideas is always a struggle. As I was on my way to the store yesterday I decided I might do a watermelon thing, so bought a couple carts full of watermelons and we were on our way. We had a watermelon eating contest, a seed spitting contest, a watermelon roll across our lawn and an attempt at a cake shaped like a watermelon in addition to our traditional LaJoy chocolate birthday cake with sprinkles on top and toothpicks in the middle. We lucked out and had terrific weather for it, despite the rain clouds that threatened for much of the afternoon. Our beautiful birthday girl was in Watermelon Princess heaven, and there were tons of girlie squeals and giggles the entire evening.

We had 16 boys and girls of all ages there, including Olesya's best friend...a 2 year old little sweetie who is the sister of Josh's best buddy. We had a long conversation a week ago about if it was OK to have a best friend who was so young. I pointed out that not a single friend of mine is my age, and that many are much older or at least a few years younger. I told her I thought it was wise of her to be open to having friends of all ages, as it opened up the world to her in ways others don't understand. She grinned, and that settled it, so she now has a new best friend whom she loves dearly.

Despite the chaos and mess, it was such a joy to finally have her home, to not be thinking of her halfway around the world without the chaos, laughter and cake. My heart is at peace now in a way it hasn't been for several years, and it is because of that smiling face and tender soul that has joined us along with her sister. Olesya is the sweetest daughter a mother could ever ask for, even Matthew wrote in her card how sweet she is and how much he loves her. We are a blessed family for a multitude of reasons, one of which is the presence of this wonderful, thoughtful little girl.

BUT...lest you all be living with the mistaken impression (Oh, how wrong you would be!) that the LaJoy Fab Five are perfect, let me share with you that this has been a tough couple of weeks in some ways, as we have steadily gone down hill ending with Mom at the bottom giving a royal chewing out earlier in the day.

We seem to be going through a stage with ALL of them, where they are zoning out, not paying attention, hearing me but not really hearing me. Yes, selective listening has arrived a little early in the pre-teen years at LaJoyville. In a conversation with Dominick yesterday I also admitted that my expectations might be a bit high as well, but all the kids also admitted they just haven't been stepping up to the plate and have been off kilter. None of it has been what I would call "bad", but definitely just not paying attention enough to do a job correctly or making me repeat myself umpteen times which annoys me to no end.

The good thing? Although I absolutely tore into them and let them all know in no uncertain terms that they were being put on notice that this will not continue, in the midst of the silent car drive afterward Angela through her tears said "In Kazakhstan everyone yell at us so loud and spank us so hard. Don't worry Mama, you not bad." And no, her tears did not move me all that much as I was officially "F-R-I-E-D" and said to myself "Good, at least they are paying attention finally!!"...hahaha! Then, as usual, I gave them Stage 2 of my Official Mom Lecture and said "Now, this is over as of right now...I refuse to lose more of our day to being mad and I hope you do the same. You know me, and after I have said what I have to say and chewed you out, I let it go. You know what the expectations are, so live up to them and it is done. Now...you wanna listen to some Mama Mia??"...and other than being a bit frazzled we went on to have a terrific evening.

We now are all gaining momentum for our road trip to CA, where extended family will finally be met and adventures will be had!! First ocean, first hug from new grandmas and aunts and cousins, first time to see a truly huge city, first avocado to eat, first GOOD Mexican food, first time through Vegas and seeing all the lights...it should be wide eyed wonder much of the trip and I'll take as many pictures as I can to share with you all. We leave this next Monday and our only regret is that Dominick will not be going with us. This year has been too much of a challenge with work slowing down due to the economy and then taking so much time off to travel to Kazakhstan, so he will remain behind to work, then take a few days off when Kenny has surgery in September to go with us then. I hate going without him as it leaves a hole in Team LaJoy but he insists that is why I am home, so the kids can have as many adventures as we can cram into their childhood, be it close to home or further away. So, off we will go, car filled to the gills and ready to take on the world! Hahaha!

In the meantime, we still have quite a bit going on here at home before we leave Monday, so I had better get off this computer and get to work!


Anonymous said...

Bon voyage on your journey into Olysa's next year, your trip to California, your continuing trip as a mother--and it is a "trip" which we are all enjoying--now that the tears are over. Well, they will be for different things now. And the prayers continue.

Love you,

And, as a P.S, you are a terrific party planner. Just because it was a last-day inspiration (in-spirited) doesn't mean it wasn't fabulous. It was!

Notes From The Frugal Trenches said...

Happy Birthday to Oleysa!!! California sounds like it will be a fabulous way to end the summer!

Lindsay said...

Happy Birthday Olesya and wishing you all a wonderful trip thru California. I'm green with envy :)

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to your Birthday Girl! What a great party idea. And have a wonderful trip to CA. Safe travels. Can't wait to see your vacation "slides".
Nancy in the Midwest

Karen said...

Strap me to the top of the van! I want to experience every moment of the LaJoy Road Trip!

4texans said...

What part of CA are you going to? How long are you going? Have you already planned everything? We love living here. If you want any suggestions, feel free to email me: mom2okayo(at)yahoo.com.