We didn't have her for her first birthday but we are blessed to have a picture of her with a round birthday cake. We know that this was "staged." Chinese don't celebrate birthday's with cakes and Jenna had only the week before her first birthday had her paperwork submitted to the CCAA for international adoption. It stands to reason that knowing she was going to be adopted her orphanage began to take photos of her to give to her new family. We did receive about 10 photos of her but it is obvious that they are all taken after she turned one.
Her second birthday was low key. Life was in chaos. (So what's new???) Darrell was in hot pursuit of another job and Jenna didn't have any friends other than her siblings so a family birthday was reasonable.
Jenna's 3rd birthday occurred in the middle of tragedy. Darrell was in the hospital at the time of Jenna's birthday. Our life was a crazy roller coaster but there was a little girl old enough to know what a birthday was. One day the week before her birthday Darrell had one of his many surgery's and it was in the afternoon which meant I was at the hospital late. Jenna ended up spending the night at a friend's house. So I got home on a Thursday night about 9:00 and Ross and Julia (15 and 8 at the time) got in the car and we headed to Walmart. We were there until after 10:00 doing our regular shopping but also buying Jenna's gifts. I felt like Worst Mother of the Year keeping my children out so late on a school night but they had so much fun-- something they desperately needed-- and we got to spend some time together. Jenna's birthday was the next week, celebrated with a cake way too big for the five of us (Darrell's niece Sue was with us) but it was a Disney Princess Castle cake and Jenna loved it, anything to make her birthday more special. At that time Darrell was in a medically induced coma and the nurses told me Darrell would lose about 2 months of his life. So Jenna's entire birthday video was devoted to and spoken to Darrell so he would be able to celebrate Jenna's birthday too. None of us have ever watched Jenna's 3rd birthday video. Eight days after her birthday Darrell died.
Jenna's 4th birthday slipped into obscurity. I meant to have a friend party for her but it never got planned. Bad Mommy.
SOOO, for Jenna's 5th birthday I planned to make up for all the past birthdays and I think this was accomplished! Jenna had a Birthday Week with her Grandma and Grandpa from Missouri here to celebrate. Her actual birthday had her grandparents, her two brothers and their girl friends, Julia and her friend Anna, Emma and I, about 4 of Ross' friends and eventually Anna's mom Beth and her brother David.
Jenna chose spaghetti and meatballs for her dinner. If you look closely you can see spaghetti sauce smeared around her mouth. (nice, good mom)
She got a chocolate 4 layer cake with pink frosting which was lovingly made by Julia and Anna since they all got a gift for Jenna's birthday-- a snow day!
On Saturday was the party of all parties, a Princess party at Sweet and Sassy! For those of you who might not know, Sweet and Sassy is a children's hair salon that alos has birthday parties. You can check them out here: http://www.sweetandsassy.com/ Jenna invited all 8 other girls in her class, the little girl next door, Julia and Anna. Everyone came!
Here is a photo of Jenna getting her hair done after she put on her princess dress
And here is a photo of Jenna getting her nails done.
Here is my princess at her crowning ceremony. They walked down the runway and knelt on a pillow and were "crowned." They got to name their kingdom and name the official animal. Her official animal is a unicorn. Because if you are going to be a princess in the Land of Happiness it makes sense to have the unicorn as your official animal.
What I love about this picture is that you can see Ross and his girlfriend Catherine in the background doing what teenagers always seem to be doing, texting.
And fnally, here are all the princesses after their crowning ceremony! Aren't they beautiful? I think it was the Pre-K party of the year. Ah, finally, Mommy came through.