Cake, February 2010
We celebrated Aisha's fifth birthday today.

Last night, Aisha decided to read two books to David. He insisted she read one of them twice, and after sounding out the hard words, she got it perfectly right.

This is a bigger milestone than it may sound because it has meant that Aisha has decided for herself that she can read. Previously, although she was capable of sounding out words and reading lessons, she baulked at reading storybooks. Somehow she thought that it was my job, and perhaps she feared that once she started reading books, I would stop reading stories to her.

So when Aisha came out and told me that she had read the books to David, I agreed that we would have a party today and celebrate her turning five years old. We tucked Aisha into bed, and David and I went down to the shed to start blowing up the balloons — the easy way.

David + Lauren, February 2010
David used his air compressor to blow up 100 balloons, and I tied the knots.

I brought all the balloons up to the house before we went to bed. A couple popped randomly through the night, but it didn’t seem to disturb any of the children.

Our house, February 2010
I had strung the balloons up in the living, dining and kitchen areas.

As soon as Aisha woke up, she came out and told me that she knew what was going on. Late last night, she had heard the air compressor in the shed and and had come out and peeked at me as I was stringing the balloons together. (My kiddy-detecting radar must have been turned off — usually I’m aware of these kind of shenanigans.)

Delaney, 6 weeks old, + AIsha, 5yo, February 2010
First thing in the morning, Aisha asks for a cuddle with Dell.

Delaney, 6 weeks old, + AIsha, 5yo, February 2010
Aisha still loves to take the time to hold Delaney every day. She was already wearing the party hat I had hung on her door knob.

I made sure everyone ate a decent breakfast because I knew the rest of the day would be a write-off nutrition-wise. Then when we didn’t eat a “proper” lunch or dinner, I wasn’t so concerned.

Aisha, 5yo, February 2010
Aisha opened up a little parcel with some lolly rings from Auntie Renée.

Brioni, 3yo, February 2010
Brioni liked sucking on the lolly as if it was a dummy.

Throughout the day, the girls enjoyed chips, slices of cheese, blueberries, mangoes, apricots, some chocolate eggs and even (gasp!) cordial! I baked a couple of very thin cakes and cut them to create the shape of a five (pictured above).

Lauren + Delaney, 6 weeks old, February 2010
Sometimes it's really hard to put the baby down. I was ready to decorate Aisha's cake, but I didn't want this cuddle to end.

I took a photo just like this one (it’s easy to get a photo of yourself if all you have to do is aim at the mirror!) when Calista was four months old. Cali had a lot more hair than Dell, and it seemed likely that she may go red, but she hasn’t. (So I’m not holding my breath with this one.)

When Delaney started to fall asleep in my arms, I put her down again. (She’s only awake for about an hour at a time.) Then I went into the kitchen and finished decorating the cake for our little “party”. When everything was ready, we had to wait for Daddy to wake up from his late siesta before we could begin.

Aisha, 5yo, + Brioni, 3yo, February 2010
We were all ready to light the candles when David received a phone call from someone who wanted to look at the house.

The house was not in perfect order — there were balloon bits on the floor, the kitchen was well-used, and toys were strewn throughout the living room. However, when someone wants to look through the house (and they’re RIGHT OUTSIDE), how can you refuse them?

So David brought them through. I raced ahead through several rooms trying to desperately tidy up, but I’m not sure it made much difference. (Note to self: Keep the house tidy, even if you think it’s safe to relax. Not everyone will give us twenty minutes’ warning.)

Aisha, 5yo, February 2010
Finally we sang the birthday song, and Aisha got to blow out the candles! The girls loved having ice cream with their cake.

Aisha’s spent the whole day working through pages in a schoolbook, and Brioni is feeling a bit left out. I saw Aisha “teaching” Brioni how to sound out words, and I wonder how long it will be before B starts reading too!