Double Birthday Celebrations

This time of the year is crazy for birthday’s in this house, not long after celebrating Charlotte’s 5th Birthday along came Oli’s 10th Birthday followed the next day by the man’s 30th Birthday. And as soon as we hit May we then have Dylan’s 7th birthday, yes my children are getting way too old for my liking. I’m going to be heading off to Florida next month with a 5, 7 and 10-year-old, crazy stuff. For his birthday we took him shopping for a few bits he liked (pokemon cards, remote control cars and Xbox One games) which was a strange concept for us not buying surprise gifts for him to unwrap on the day. We’ve arranged for him to have a few friends to sleepover during the Easter holidays where he can eat pizza and game all night long. 

For the last couple of months, I’ve had the plan to throw the husband a surprise birthday party and have his family from England come and stay as a surprise at the same time. It was Oli’s birthday when my sister in law, her husband and my 3 nephews flew into Ireland; nobody had any idea but me, I would have thought the man might have clicked that something was going on with how much cleaning I had been doing for the last few days. It was so funny as I watched as he answered the door to them in surprise and then watch as Charlotte came out of school to see them at the stairgate and Oli having the best surprise as his cousins jumped out of hiding places as he walked in front school. Now the in-laws turning up was meant to be another surprise, but nephew #2 accidentally let slip ‘Nanny & Grandad are coming over on the ferry tomorrow’, bless him.

It has been an exciting, exhausting and funny few days; it seems that anything that could go wrong, indeed went wrong. The sister in law go a puncture on their hire car, so that had to go to the garage for a replacement tyre and continuing on the theme of car problems, the man headed to work one morning only to break down just as he was about to head onto the motorway. Luckily his brother in law is mechanic which meant he came to the rescue and spent the rest of the afternoon fixing our car, installing a new clutch to save us a potentially large garage bill. There was also a hand being sliced open (my hand), the in-laws having to leave stupidly early on the Sunday morning as the fast ferries were cancelled due to high winds and then the Monday morning we wake up to see Charlotte covered in chicken pox.

But all that felt like nothing when we consider the fact the boys got to spend their birthdays with all their family and the cousins had a whale of a time together after not seeing each other for several months. We spent the husband’s 30th showing them the sights and sounds of Galway, we knew our kids loved exploring it via an open bus tour on our previous visit, so this is what we did with the nephews. Everyone had a lovely day and that evening was spent with fish and chips courtesy of the in-laws back at our house. Waving goodbye on Monday evening had us all feeling lost, we went up to the guest room to find all the nephews airbeds gone from the floor, and the place has such an emptiness to it which had continued ever since they left, I’ve not been able to go back in it since. It was the first time I’ve really felt a tinge of being homesick as I saw our eldest get emotional at saying goodbye to his 10-year-old cousin and us waving off our cheeky nephews knowing that it may be a good few months until we see them again, but on the plus, that makes our time spent together even more precious.