Everyone began singing happy birthday when I placed the homemade car shaped cake down on the small plastic kids table. Everyone that loved my children the most were here, I looked around at the smiling faces.
There were Ryan's parents, Marie who was still going strong, then Molly and her boyfriend Tony with their eight month old son Tommy, Liam and his fiancée Lisa and lastly my parents.
Mom sat beside me on the floor, Carlie Belle sat on her lap and Phil stood behind her taking pictures. I had the twins sat on each leg; Casper was trying to stick his fingers in the cake while Casey wanted to blow out the candles too soon.
I was there wrestling my sons trying to keep them away from the cake until the family was done singing, it was always difficult especially once they'd started walking and causing mayhem. Carlie Belle could be just as bad sometimes.
"Blow the candles now." I told them, Carlie joined in too and it was an effort as the twins quickly became disinterested, wanting to dive for the cake.
"Yay we did it!" Carlie shouted once they were out then I let them attack the cake while our family laughed. I took the camera out of Ryan's hands and hugged him, watching out three beautiful kids cover themselves in frosting.
Ryan kissed my forehead, "It's your turn to put them to bed, good luck with all that sugar in their systems."
I smiled up at him, my chin resting on his chest, "I swear it's your turn."
He smiled and tucked a strand of loose hair behind my ear with a smile, "Nope."
"Yes, I did it last night."
"I cooked dinner." He pointed out.
"And you left the kitchen in a mess which I had to clean because you did such a horrible job of it as usual."
He raised an eyebrow, "Do I have to tickle you wifey?"
"Don't even think about it hubby."
We'd been married almost three years now and we were still immature around each other, it explained why our kids were very funny to watch. I had finished my psychology degree last year and I'd been lucky to get a job as a clinical psychologist right afterwards.
Casper tugged on my leg to get my attention, "Mummy look, cake." said one of our two year old identical sons.
I ruffled his blond curls, "Is it nice baby?" He bobbed his head and stuck his sticky fingers in his mouth then went to join his brother and sister in their destruction of the cake.
I looked at Ryan, "Fine but bath time's all yours." I couldn't believe how lucky I was when five years ago a life with Ryan had seemed unlikely.
It was crazy that at the age of twenty one, I was a married mother of three children under the age of five, but I wouldn't change it for the world. Carlie Belle, Casey Beau and Casper Blake were the most wonderful gifts we'd ever been given.
I'd been completely shocked to find out that I was pregnant again just a year after our wedding. I'd been feeling weak for a while and thought it was just stress from school. Then I'd passed out one time and Ryan had freaked, taking me to hospital only to find out that I had a bun in the oven, at the time I hadn't known it was two.
When the midwife had said babies at the first scan, I almost had an aneurism. Of course Ryan was delighted. I hadn't wanted another baby so soon in the first place now I was getting two and I'd said to him once we got home, "I bet you did that on purpose." still in shock.
He'd asked me what I meant and I'd replied, "You made sure we'd get two instead of just one so you can have your big family and I have no say in it."
He'd laughed and I'd hit him playfully then he'd made love to me to apologize.
I grew to believe that having them at that time was actually not so bad when Carlie started singing to my pregnant belly every night before we put her to bed and I could feel them moving around inside me.
At times it had felt like they were having a fight in my tummy. Sometimes she still did it when the boys were being restless.
Things were starting to work out for Ryan too on the job front, he was now working as a well-paid assistant at the accountancy firm and he got to use his math skills everyday which made him happy and he was good at his job.
My mom had apologised the Ryan, still slightly unwillingly and even now they both tried avoiding having to speak to each other but at least she wasn't so disgusted by our relationship. She was a good grandmother, the kind I'd always wanted for my babies.
Now she and Phil would come over to visit at every family occasion, I'd forgiven him too and we were almost back to how things had been six years ago before I met Ryan.
There was a loud crash and we turned to see the table toppled on the floor and the cake splattered everywhere, thank goodness this was happening outside on the patio of our large garden so it would wash away when the rain came.
"Not me." I said quickly before him.
He groaned but with humor and went over to clean up just as Carlie Belle came up to me saying, "Mummy I fell over." she wasn't crying so I knew all she wanted was a cuddle.
She'd been getting less of them since the birth of her brothers and she made up excuses to get cuddles for me and Ryan all the time these days. I felt awful about it but it was hard juggling the twins and making sure they weren't hurting themselves, which took up a lot of our time.
I lifted her up and she buried her face in my shoulder, "Belle you know I love you don't you?"
She was smart for a four year old. I felt her nod, "I love you too mummy."
I loved the sound of her English accent so much and I hoped that I'd have one too in the future. She spent more time with English kids at school so it had been natural for her, the boys had one too now that they were in nursery.
I saw a chance to give her my full, undivided attention while the twins were being occupied by the rest of the family and I said, "Hey why don't we go bake a cake and we'll put sprinkles and pink frosting on it, anything you want. A nice girly cake for just you and me, I won't let your brothers spoil it."
She grinned, lifting her head, "I don't like pink anymore mummy."
Wow, this was the first I'd heard of it. I'd just been really busy planning the boys' birthday and working so this threw me off a bit.
"Oh...so what color do you like now?"
"Blue." She informed me.
Just like her brothers.
I nodded, "Ok I think we have blue food coloring somewhere, let's go have a look." I walked us inside our new house, this one had more space and bigger rooms so the kids had plenty of space to play inside when it was cold or raining, which was about ninety percent of the time.
"Mummy?" she asked wrapping her arms around my neck as I took her to our big, brightly painted kitchen and sat her on the counter, she swung her legs back and forth in her frosting covered purple dress.
"Yes sweetie?" I said as I took out cake ingredients from the cupboards.
"Can I lick the spoon?" she asked me.
I chuckled, knowing how much Ryan hated it when we licked the spoon, "Sure, just don't tell daddy."