Sunday, December 13, 2009
As has been mentioned ad naseum in past posts, I am NO PHOTOGRAPHER! So for any important events in our lives I try to make sure that Auntie Peggy can be present with her far superior camera and photography skills. Saturday was a VERY important event but Auntie Peggy had to work and there was no chance for her to get a day off or trade with another nurse so I was on my own, yikes! We were remarkably organized given our usual modus operandi! We were up, showered, dressed, and in the packed car with plenty of time to arrive at the special destination. We arrived in good time and had the party supplies unloaded and set up before any of the guests arrived. I tried to snap pictures at the same time as I directed the arriving guests through the sign-in process. Now you all know from her birthday post that Julia is my easy going sweetie pie but this picture speaks more words than you could ever imagine!! This is Julia's BEST new friend at her new school and I've been listening for weeks about all their adventures together during recess. It wasn't until her parent/teacher conference that I discovered from her teacher just how kind my baby girl continues to be. You see, it turns out Paul has autism and has difficulty initiating and maintaining peer interactions but my ever so loving Julia has taken him under her wing and not only plays with him everyday at recess but has been acting as 'bridge' to the other children in the classroom. Auntie Peggy told me she witnessed him starting to act up at the holiday concert and that Julia had just quietly reached over and touched his arm and whispered something which calmed him right down! Yea, I'm one darn proud Mom!!!!!! But back to the story.... the parents had paperwork to fill out in order for their children to attend this party! I'm tough you know!! Ha, as if?!?! So as more and more guests arrived I was really getting distracted what with trying to take pictures AND making sure all were welcomed and directed to sign the necessary paperwork! Then see that Mom in the green coat? She asked if she could stay and take pictures!!!!!!!!!!! Not only did she stay and take 100's but she's sending a CD of all of them home with Julia tomorrow! Yeah!!! BUT THEN Auntie Peggy called and since their last pediatric patient was just discharged her co-workers were letting her be the nurse to take the early dismissal!!!! We went from one lame picture taker to two photographers (: So since I'm not getting the CD until Julia comes home from school tomorrow, the rest of this post has been done with some of the pictures Auntie Peggy took! So, see the lady in the blue sweatshirt in the above picture? She gave everyone their directions regarding the party and everyone headed out... trudging through the snow to get to the point of the party.... you got it!!!! This was a pick your own Christmas turkey party!!!!!! I'm so JOKING folks! Just trying for a little 'build up' in the anticipation. As if her friendship with Paul didn't make me proud enough I'd also like to point out that the other little boy standing next to her is also 'special needs'. She felt he needed to be invited because, "I don't think he ever gets invited to anything Mom so I want him to come to my party please?!?" How do you say no to that???? After walking past the outer barns we saw this...... even the horses need coats these days! Now the sight of this guy brought the excitement level up a notch! We trudged on and passed this.... and with that you must have some idea what the special birthday party entailed?!?!? So after lining up for helmet fits and a lesson or two.... the PARTY BEGAN!!!!!!!!!! Mounted and waiting for the signal to enter the riding arena! Everyone was all smiles for over an hour! Her BFF Mary Kate was thrilled to ride her first horse as were quite a few of the other guests! Now Julia has ridden before BUT any chance to be on the back of a horse makes for a great day. The BFF/Cousin was there OF COURSE! When Deirdre received her invitation her brother Daniel insisted on coming too...you see it was because of him we found this special location! Julia's comfort with Paul and Cyril can certainly be credited to the fact that she has been raised with Daniel who himself has Asperger's. This special location? A therapy riding center for those with special needs! All of the horse handlers are volunteers who have experience in special education. I called quite a few stables when planning this party and discovered just how expensive the horse world is so when my sister suggested I call the therapy center I thought, why not? They were not really cheaper BUT THE ONE THING that made the difference for me was that while the other barns were "for profit" ventures this one uses birthday parties as a way to FUND RAISE for their therapy program! I kind of feel we helped each other out with this party...I got a fun day for my daughter while they got some cash to help someone else's child have a therapy session...WIN-WIN wouldn't you say? So after the riding we came back to the nice warm hall and did the usual partying! The cake was typically Julia....one layer in chocolate for the chocolate lovers, one layer in yellow cake for the non-chocolate lovers, a filling of whipped cream and strawberries for HER, and all covered in white butter cream with horses in a field of green sprinkles. Add on the ice cream and juice and the energy level began to rise so we ended the day with a rousing game of musical chairs! So yes, this group partied down pardner!!!!
Posted by Spudsnsalsa at 9:56 PM