My Girl and Her Peeps.

My baby girl turned 11.

Eleven!

How is that possible? Honestly, a minute ago she looked like this:

And in a blink of an eye, she became this long-legged, chicken-and-horse-obsessed tweenish creature.

She slays me. One minute, she's still my little peanut, hiding snakes in her tree house and dressing up chickens. The next moment, she's sneaking lip gloss into her bag for school picture day.

(Just wait until Peter sees the bikini she picked out for vacation—I fear Kristen may be locked in her room until she's forty. And I nixed one that she really, really wanted!)

To celebrate the big 11, we kicked off the weekend (which is also the beginning of the kids' spring break) with a sleepover/birthday party.

The theme?

Why, chickens, of course!

I thought about whether there should be a theme. These are, after all, tricky years. One day, a themed birthday might be fine—or, if the hormones are running rampant, it might cause utter and complete humiliation.

Still, knowing our girlie and her ongoing chicken obsession, I decided to risk it. After all, I spent the week stalking our local feed and seed store, calling for hourly updates on the arrival of Kristen's new chick. It seemed appropriate to center the birthday celebration around the chicks.

First, we were told the chicks would arrive on Wednesday. Kristen was thrilled—she awaited the arrival of her new Barred Plymouth Rock pullet with as much anticipation as any expectant mother.

(I promised to pick her up from school so she could select her new baby, then return her to school afterwards. Her sweet teacher even allowed her to take a test a day early so that she could leave school to meet her new peep.)

And much like a mother-to-be who is sent home from the hospital with false labor, Kristen arrived home from school extremely frustrated and disappointed.

The chicks were a no-show.

Thursday, same plan...

Nothing. No chicks.

Finally, Friday...the chicks arrived! Of course, their arrival also coincided with Michael's class Easter party, and I had volunteered to help hide more than 350 eggs.

Daddy saved the day.

While I hid eggs and served high-fructose corn syrup-laden treats to 6-year-olds, Peter and Kristen raced to the store to meet her new baby:

Introducing Saltine!

(We plan to add two more chicks—Golden Campines—which will hopefully arrive this week.)

While Kristen settled Saltine into her new home, I finished preparations for the Peep Party.

Peep Cupcakes (How did we ever survive without Pinterest?)

Peep shirts for the girls to decorate.

Treat bags featuring candy eggs, chicken note cards, and other chicken-related silliness.

It was enough—but not too much. Being a mom, it's in my nature to micromanage parties. BUT—now that my girlie is older, the last thing 11-year-olds want is a mom lurking over their shoulders too much.

We're lucky, because Kristen's friends are really sweet, nice girls. And—I was amazed at their creativity. Their artwork on the shirts was adorable!

As much as the girls are growing up, they were excited to have a nature scavenger hunt the next morning. (Honestly, I had planned to blow it off, but they asked to do it.) One of the girls even asked if I'd print out a copy of the items so that she could take her sisters on a scavenger hunt when she went home.

I love when kids are excited about nature!

The friend party and the family party are done, we're midway through Spring Break week, and guess what I'm doing?

I'm once again, stalking the feed and seed store, waiting for word...

...that the peeps have landed.

Stay tuned...

XO ~

Julie

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tagged under: backyard chicken raising, birthdays, chickens, chicks, cupcakes, sleepovers, t-shirt crafts, tween, Growing kids