But then the party planner in me got an idea. It's always dangerous when that happens. I was at home cleaning the house so it looked nice for our night together at home. (Yes my house is frequently messy, I just try not to show that in my photos.) Ainsley had made a mess in her bedroom with the play kitchen so I was cleaning it up when I thought of surprising her with a matching doll birthday party. I really wanted to spend the night playing with Ainsley. I don't get to do that enough (you know how it is cleaning, cooking, homework, sports, other plans etc.) and I knew she would enjoy that and expanding the pretend play would make it extra special for her. It was so simple but worked. I think she had the best time as if I'd thrown the most amazing party and all it cost was $3 for 3 extra balloons for the dolls' table. It was brilliant if I do say so myself. You'll see.
She LOVES it! She was SO ready for this. She will take off the humidity mask and pulse-oximeter probe by herself. Now she can get in and out by herself. I was worried that she might fall out and get tangled up in the cords she has to sleep with. She has a fallen out a couple times but I think she just needs to get used to it and will be okay once we have the money to buy her a bigger bed. Lord knows she's big enough. Her feet touch the rails. She's tall. I'm very happy it looks like we can avoid buying a medical bed (essentially a twin size crib) even though insurance would have paid for it. But we'll give it a bit longer to make sure she's "safe".
She has had more fun playing with her quarters from the tooth fairy that you see her getting out from under her pillow (she remembered how it works). I had planned to take her to buy something but I think the quarters have better play value.
Evie leaves at 6:40 so she made this cute sign for Ainsley to surprise her in the morning since she wouldn't be able to wish her a Happy Birthday. I think Ainsley liked it.
I had a birthday party setup for the dolls at her table using things we already had: tablecloth, china dishes, felt party hats, a plastic cake with candles. I brought in a purse from the playhouse dressup that was Evie's when she was little, and filled it with fun things to play with.
She LOVED the cell phone. I had to laugh thinking that now even our play cell phone is outdated. I still love my flip phone. She loved pressing the buttons and hearing the phone ring. She played with the money, cards, and put on "lipstick".
We used the phone to pretend that her doll called her up to invite her and her baby to come over to her birthday party. She loves pretend phone calls.
We packed baby up in her baby carriage, got the diaper bag and purse ready and headed out.
Down the hall and back to "Samantha's" house.
Before we hit the road we had to feed the baby.
And change her diaper and pack everything up.
The real "party". Pie for dinner and a hamburger for dessert.
A couple close-ups.
I entertained the idea of homemade but Marie Callender's chicken pot pies are delicious. Good call, I was able to play while dinner was cooking otherwise it would have been another night with no playing.
I didn't make this either.
They called for a show of hands "who likes chicken pot pies". Kids are so funny, that never seems to get old.
The happy birthday girl.
Ainsley couldn't wait to get started. I thought this was so funny.
But she did eat. A little chicken and she had gobs and gobs of Caesars salad. That is her very favorite. I didn't limit how much she could take, even though she didn't swallow it and I sat with her a half hour after everyone else was done while she enjoyed her birthday meal before we gave her a tube feeding.
Grandpa called to wish her a happy birthday and she had a great time "talking on the phone".
She had so much fun opening presents. She's at that stage where she wants to rip them open quickly and move on to the next one. It was quite funny to watch. Thank you to all of you who sent cards with birthday money for her "trike drive". We'll continue to the collection through Christmas and hope we can raise enough funds.
Evie got an adorable Calico Critters school a few years ago, but darn it it didn't come with any school furniture and CC doesn't make any. So I bought a Playmobil add-on school set and it's perfect(good enough) so now the Critters can go to school just like Ainsley.
It came with a little chalkboard and a special pencil to write on it.
My mom always sends the kids the amount of money that corresponds to their age. She is so good about always sending cards for every occasion. They're always covered with cute stickers and special stamps so the kids love it.
Here is Ainsley opening her main present. Her "unlocked" communication device. It was pretty funny to see her reaction. I could tell she was like, "Hey I already had THAT!!! What the heck?!" For insurance to pay for the device the Android (Samsung Galaxy Tablet) features, i.e. Internet and games had to be locked out. They call that a dedicated device. For $100 we got a code that allows us to "unlock" it and fully use it.
Ainsley's actually pretty tech savvy and plays with Evie's IPodTouch all the time. So I knew she would really love this gift. I've been wanting it unlocked since we got it in May so that I could add some games that would help support speech. It was hard to wait. I was disappointed to find some of the SLP recommended speech games are only available for IPad but I still found some good stuff and loaded about 8 games to her device as well as a new beefed up Nova 7 vocabulary.
When finished it makes the picture and you can "color it" with your finger. It's awesome! And educational.
I'm really hoping that having some fun things on her speech device will encourage her to carry it around with her and she'll start using it more for communication. You can't use it if it's in the "other room" and never handy when you need it. Anyway...back to the birthday.
The kids wanted to buy her presents themselves and used their own money. I was so proud of them for being so generous. Evie got Ainsley Calico Critter squirrel babies for the school.
We tried to have her blow out the candles herself. She really tried. Someday.
I blew and they went out, but let her think she'd done it.
Isn't this cute, even inside the buns are white and the patty is brown?! I think the pound cake french fries and frosting ketchup are my favorite part.
I forced her to eat a bite of cake. I wish I could say she enjoyed it. But she was happy that I made a big deal about it. Now that she's swallowing table foods I couldn't control myself. I'm sure some day we'll laugh about how she hated cake.
Finally the party was over and I cut a balloon free for her. She had so much fun with it. She loves balloons.
She and Adrian goofed around before bed with their balloon and cars.
I've never seen so much smiling. I think she had her best birthday ever!
I'm sorry but the Remlinger Farms photos will have to wait. We're headed out the door to therapy in 20 minutes.