Okay, so he’s been five for over a month now. Even so, I still want to record the memory of his fifth birthday here on the blog. I remember when he was born how age 5 sounded so old, so far away- and now, here we are. 5 is such a big age- a year of changes. From a preschooler to a kindergartner. Definitely no longer a baby. Always my baby though.
Thankfully, I had prepared for a small family gathering before Brynlee was born. I knew that a big birthday bash was out with a newborn and I’m so glad I had the forethought to order some decorations ahead of time. We had no idea that our newborn would be just a little more complicated than a typical baby or that she would spend 20 days in the NICU. I just assumed she would be home, celebrating her big brother’s 5th birthday with us. Because I had ordered the decorations, plates, utensils, etc. from Oriental Trading, the only thing we had left to do was order a cake and pick up some chips and ice cream. Oh, and buy his gift. He asked for a Toy Story party this year, but I purchased Toy Story party decorations from Oriental Trading, ordered the cake from Walmart, and bought him the Toy Story 1-3 Box Set and a Pull-String Talking Woody.
We started the day off with a trip to the NICU to see Brynlee. Bryson and Bella saw Brynlee for a few minutes right before her transport but other than that, they had not gotten to know her at all. Bryson was allowed 15 minutes in the NICU so he went back with me to see Brynlee as a little birthday gift. I could tell he was a nervous but he acted fantastic and enjoyed seeing his baby sister. He quickly became bored and was ready to go back out, haha. After that, he went back into the family lounge with Justin and Bella while I visited with Brynlee. After my visit, I came out to find the amazing family support woman (who I cannot remember her name) entertaining Bryson and Bella by making crafts with them. They were decorating foam Christmas tree with stickers and lots of glitter glue. It was a touching moment for me and just one of the reasons I absolutely love Huntsville Women & Children’s. Not only do they have an amazing, top notch staff that knows how to care for the most critical of babies, but they take care of the entire family. When Justin & I visited the next day, family support had pinned those decorated Christmas trees on Brynlee’s board.
After our visit to the NICU, we had planned to treat Bryson to Chuck E. Cheese, but he threw an attitude (he didn’t know our plan) so we skipped it. We had to stop by Highlands to pick up the documents for Brynlee’s birth certificate then we ate lunch at a local mexican restaurant before heading to Walmart to pick up the cake and snacks.
After a stop by the house to pump (pump, pump, pump- that’s the life of a “breastfeeding” NICU mama), we opted to celebrate at Nana & Pop’s house. In other words, I didn’t have the time or energy to clean my house for guests. I was 3 days postpartum with a child struggling in the NICU. Gangan and Aunt Brandi came over to help us celebrate Bryson’s 5th birthday. It was small- just the 8 of us but it was what we needed. I was afraid Bryson would be disappointed, but he declared it “THE BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!” and that made me smile. He was over the moon with our small little party, his new toys, and couldn’t wait to watch all three Toy Story movies.
Thanks to Oriental Trading for providing a gift card for party decorations and supplies. I purchase our party supplies from OT every year so I’m happy to partner with a company I use and love. All thoughts and opinions remain my own, as always.