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In spite of an inauspicious beginning to the day, my 45th birthday ended up being full of so many small and unexpected delights that I was giddy by the time I collapsed into bed around midnight. Might have something to do with that mojito at dinner, but I don’t think so.

First there was my husband’s beautiful card; it was so deeply moving that I wept. He is not a man of many words or effusive emotions; his actions speak volumes more than his words ever can or will. Yet each time he gives me a card, it says all those deeply heart felt things a girl could ever wish for. And I know he means every word of it.

Next, came a fabulous session of feeding therapy. It was fabulous for so many reasons but the true standout event was that Nik fed himself yogurt. Voluntarily. With a spoon. Many times. He even placed the spoon in his mouth in the “correct” horizontal position that most of the rest of us use; it was only once but it’s a start! Miss Michelle and I just sat there grinning at each other like we had just won the lottery. Best birthday present ever.

Until lunchtime.

My mother took us to lunch at a nice little downtown café. Nik was, again, a superstar. He kept asking Nanny “please” for a bit of her soup (no go, it was hot and had crab in it; I didn’t want to find out the hard way that he has the same shellfish allergy I have). He delightedly sucked on a lemon wedge —he is his father’s son, for sure —and even signed “apple” when he wanted more. It took me a minute to realize he was calling it an apple because of the same wedge shape. Pretty clever that kid!

He “ate” flatbread crackers, potato chips, tasted my chicken panini sandwich — I finally gave him a bit of the bread which he licked to death. He even tried my dill pickle. When dessert came —yummy crème brulée cheesecake with caramel sauce, raspberry coulis, and whipped cream garnish— Nik went wild. I offered him some bites from my fork but he wanted no part of it. Instead, he reached across the table (when did his arms get so long??), grabbed the extra fork the waitress had left, and simply dug in!

He was an absolute sticky mess and I loved it. I thought my mother was going to cry. I’m not ashamed to admit that I, um, perhaps, leaked a tad from the corners of my eyes. The photo quality isn’t great (cell phone) but it’s tangible proof!

Nik had an awesome afternoon at OT with Miss Debbie. He’s gotten very fast and accurate with sorting colors and objects and almost ready for slightly more difficult tasks. Nik even used some very intentional communication with Miss Debbie about an item he wanted from one of the cabinets. She was so excited by it that she had him do it again just to make certain she wasn’t imagining it; she wasn’t.

Niksdad, Nik, and I went out for a celebratory dinner. Ostensibly, it was a celebration of my birthday; it was also a celebration of Niksdad acing his test (as in a full 100%) yesterday morning and of Nik’s amazing progress in the eleven days since we stopped his Lamictal cold-turkey.

Nik was a voracious “eating” machine! He wanted some of everything that his daddy had. I wish I had thought to video the moments when Nik, pretzel or tortilla chip in hand, would watch with longing as his daddy would take a bite of a something. From the expression on his face, it was as if Nik were thinking “Hey! I wanted that one!” Priceless.

In all, my non-eating son tasted or ate all small quantities of more food in one day than he has in more than two years.

He enjoyed the following foods:
Yogurt
Peanut Butter
Pretzel
Lemon
Flat bread cracker
Potato chip
Dill pickle
Panini
Cheesecake
Fried green beans (a yummy appetizer at TGI Friday’s)
Horseradish dip
Sweet potato fries
Mashed potato
Gravy
Tortilla chips
Salsa
Lime
Strawberry

By the time we got home from dinner, Nik was pleasantly tired and went right to sleep. His final gift to me? Eleven hours straight through the night!

So, while I might not have had a wild surprise party or been showered with lavish, expensive gifts, I can honestly say that my cup runneth over. It almost makes me look forward to forty six.

Almost.
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From pigtails to perfume
I’m growing up so soon
Going to parties
I love having my own room
Don’t spend as much time at home now
There’s so much to do
But I know, it’s true

I’ll always be daddy’s girl
Out in the great big world
He’s taught me what’s right from wrong
I feel so strong
I’ll always be daddy’s girl

I fill up my diary
With all my dreams and hopes
My future keeps changing
Like a rainbow kaleidoscope
A special boy waits just for me but
Even though he’s so nice
I know, inside

I’ll always be daddy’s girl
Out in the great big world
He’s taught me what’s right from wrong
I feel so strong
I’ll always be daddy’s girl

Soon I’m gonna be all on my own
I feel ten feet tall
I’m not that little girl any more
I can do it all

I’ll always be daddy’s girl
Out in the great big world
He’s taught me what’s right from wrong
I feel so strong
I’ll always be daddy’s girl

The greatest gift in the world
Is being daddy’s girl
He’s given me the perfect start
Right from the heart
I’ll always be daddy’s girl
I’ll always be daddy’s girl
I’ll always be daddy’s girl
Daddy’s girl

Daddy’s Girl ~ Sailor Moon

You know, I didn’t fall for just any ol’ Tom, Dick, or Harry. Oh, oops —ahem— actually I did. My grandparents had a funny sense of humor and named my father and his brothers —one fraternal and two identical triplets born in 1931— names which could be (and were) shortened to Tom, Dick, and Harry. They were minor celebrities in their hometown.

Happy Birthday, Daddy!
Though the years have changed us, they won’t change my love for you.

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Wishing my dearest Drama Mama a very happy, happy birthday!

I tried to get the video of your recent party to add here but…funny…it was missing! I hope you enjoy this instead. (It’s “family friendly” but very funny!)

Here’s a loving wish for an awesome day for an awesome lady.

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Please join me in wishing Kristen a very happy birthday here.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KYRA!!!!

Kyra, who blogs at This Mom, is um…I don’t know, 29 again? No matter which birthday it is, she’s one woman worth celebrating!

Here’s a big ol’ wish for a fabulous year full of joy, discovery, adventure, laughter, love, passion…and IMPROV!

xoxo,
NiksFamily

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Wishing our new friend, Charlie (whose Mom, Kristina, authors Autism Vox),
A Very Happy 10th Birthday!
If you’d like to send a birthday message to Charlie click here.

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