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Why have a large family? I do it for the buttercream

“Hey, Sam!” the group of boys yelled at my son as he climbed in our van after school.

He turned, “Yeah?”

One of them asked, “Is that your mom or your daycare?”

“My mom.”

The three boys started laughing. Sam shrugged and climbed into his seat, having no idea why someone would confuse his mother for a daycare. The side of our van doesn’t sport a phone number and stick figure children promising quality care for ages 6 weeks to 12 years.

When “The 10 Plagues” is the Theme of Your Birthday Party (Think: Lice)

This year, I’m having a humdinger of a birthday: I am celebrating it on Maui (be sure to follow my Instagram feed and stay tuned for the details of our whirlwind family vacation).

I’ve had some great birthdays. In years past, I:

* Was on my honeymoon in Costa Rica.
* Had the time of my life on a cruise to Belize and Honduras.
* Attended the quarter-finals for hockey at the Olympics.
* Received a new car.

Now, lest you think my birthday has been all about extravagance let me assure you it has often coincidentally fallen during such occasions.

There was a respectable amount of fanfare surrounding my birthday five years ago. Lunch with a friend. Dinner with family. A night out with my husband Jamie while the kids slept over at Grandma’s. A couple’s massage the next morning.

What I planned was very different from what I got: LICE.

Jamie and I were sitting on the couch a few hours before the festivities were to begin when he discovered a wretched little black bug in my hair, then another. He rushed to the store, consulted with the pharmacist and the rest of the day was not filled with celebrations but with disinfection and exorcisms.

We were delighted to discover