Touch of Spice

Sick and tired

The icing on the Bambi-decorated cake was a swirling mixture of white, blue and green. Beautiful.

It didn't look as tasty coming back up.

Nikki celebrated her first birthday Sunday.

She really wasn't into it.

Neither was Katie.

The two spent the day alternately throwing up every single thing that made it down their throats. That included water, 7-Up, saltine crackers and a bit of pink crepe paper.

They were both naked by the time guests started to arrive, their party clothes having long ago been thrown into a hidden pile labeled "laundry priority."

Evidently cousin Isiac shared the stomach bug he brought over Friday that made for a long, foul-smelling, mess-cleaning night for me.

As soon as I cleaned up the sick from couch number one, he soiled couch number two.

And that was just the beginning.

Between him and the girls, party preparations included a lot of carpet shampooing.

It wasn't a fun occasion for the girls or their father, who was out of clean shirts before dinner was served.

I have to say he took the brunt of it, God bless him.

Nikki wasn't into the traditional destruction of the birthday cake, so much so that she looked disgusted when she accidently dipped her arm in. Little encouraging tastes of frosting went unappreciated, but she got into it once she pried the plastic Bambi from the cake and got a whomping sugar rush from licking the icing off the bottom.

Minutes later, what went down came back up. I guess it was a good thing she wasn't more into the process.

Poor thing.

You know, on the early side of having a baby people tell you time flies, and in your sleep-deprived stupor, you dream of wrapping their tongues around their well-rested necks.

This side of ages one and two, I wonder where the time has gone.

Katie is just at that age where she'll give you the sweetest hug one minute and demand "go way, go way, go way," the next when you block the television as you try to pry off her shoes (I'm not sure if she's protesting the interruption of Monster's Inc., or the loss of her lighted Pooh sneakers).

Nikki is at the age where she learns by mimicing all she sees, and hears.

That combination means my sweet, cuddly little baby crawls onto my chest and tries to bite off my nose, while winding up (I mean hand clear over her shoulder) for a healthy smack.

One of her tricks (and I have to admit it is cute for now) is pointing at you and saying "don't." She doesn't really have a clue (neither do we) what she wants you to stop doing.

"Don't" will be logged as her second word, the direct influence of her two-year-old sister. It took Katie a lot longer before she injected such negatives into daily conversation.

Each day they grow and change, and every day they have some new trick to show off. Each stage they hit is so adorable, I want them to stay that way forever, but I'm constantly discovering the next stage is just as cute and special.

I'm growing, too. Not too long ago I wouldn't have considered putting my very limited culinary skills on display for a large group of people. I can't say I'll do it again considering seven people in attendance have reported they spent a day, or night, huddled against the toilet.

I'm hanging my newfound culinary reputation (if a reputation can be based on one success) on the fact that the sickness is attributed to the bug Katie and Nikki suffered from and passed along.

In either case, next birthday we're sending out for pizza, but the Pepto Bismol will be on hand just in case.

I don't want another birthday where the best picture of the special girl is her asleep in a birthday hat, although the look of tenderness on the man's face who felt blessed to be so trusted that she'd sleep in his arms was worth it.

I'm sure he didn't have the same look 24-hours later when he paid the price for that close contact right in the middle of a business meeting.

Oh well. Birthdays are supposed to be memorable. (He did say it was worth it, by the way.)

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