On the day before her birthday, we had all the Goodman cousins and aunts and uncles in Utah come over to celebrate with cake and ice cream and dinner type things. She decorated the cake herself. With all the sprinkles we own.
On Emma's actual birthday, she was so excited to go to school, get her crown, and pass out her birthday treat. I didn't let her. She was sick. The cold she had been kind of fighting for a few days became full-blown that morning with hacking and wheezing, and there was no way I could send her to school like that. She was heart broken, but tried to understand. We told her how fun it would be to get 3 days of birthday fun because of the cousin party, her party that night, and then the birthday girl fun when she went back to school. That cheered her up a bit, but what really did the trick was letting her pick what she wanted for lunch. She wanted Old McDonalds. I deserve a medal or something because I HATE that place, but I took her anyway and got them both a happy meal and didn't complain once (although I did try to change her mind a few dozen times...)
I was touched by this because The Monster at the End of the Book just happens to have been one of my very favorite cherished books from my childhood, and somehow I just hadn't thought of it in years. My mom would read it to us all the time, and we thrashed at least 2 copies of it between the 4 of us. I contacted my mom later that day to send on Emma's request because I had a feeling she would want to be a part of the introduction of that literary love in our house.
It took some snooping, but she finally found a copy, and Emma was THRILLED when she opened it. Good work, Grandma!
Finally, the big present of the day was this play kitchen/laundry center/ restaurant/ grocery store/ doctor's office/ whatever their little minds cook up. Our last play kitchen had been well loved and destroyed, so it was time for a new one. Just when we were ready to start looking for another one, the Church ended up having to get rid of all their big toys and needed a new home for this one.