Monday, June 24, 2013

The Fourth

Our fourth had her fourth birthday in March. There is so much I could say about this girl. Ansley is so full of personality and emotion—it’s usually brimming and overflowing out of her little self. She feels things deeply; she quotes and sings songs from the Disney Princess movies; she changes outfits and costumes many times a day; but fixates on certain items of clothing (she was and is obsessed with the two shirts she’s wearing in these pictures). She’s a fun and funny four-year-old.

For her birthday cake she requested, “rice crispie treats with chocolate and whipped cream on top.”  I don’t always fulfill my kids’ birthday food requests, but this one seemed harmless enough. So this is how we celebrated on her actual birthday. Everyone loved it.

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We decided Ansley could have her first drop-off “friend” birthday party this year…mostly because I thought it would be good for her to practice having other kids over, and being a good hostess and friend. I think I was feeling guilty for not orchestrating enough play dates for my poor neglected fourth child. In hindsight, maybe I should have just held a big play date, and skipped the party. These kids were a little young for an organized shindig.

Some were shy and just wanted their mommies, most didn’t care much about playing games, and they certainly weren’t impressed by the decorations and things I spent time preparing. They didn’t even dig the animal-skin capes I made all that much. Oh well. It was a little chaotic and more like baby-sitting, but I think the birthday girl felt special and had a good time.

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It was easy to choose the theme for her party. Ansley has got a VIVID imagination, and is currently very much into role playing. Most days when I call her by  her name, she shoots back, “I’m not Ansley, I’m Lightning, the mean hunter dog!'” or “I’m not Ansley, I’m Batman!” or “I’m not Ansley, I’m Steve…a dad!” It’s pretty funny, except for when she uses her alter-egos to get her out of doing things I ask her to do. And it’s pretty hard to argue with her when she is in character.

Anyway, one of her favorite role-play genres is wild animals. She is often found prowling around the house acting like a lion or tiger, so I thought she and her friends would have a great time dressing, acting, and eating--like wild animals.

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(I was so happy to find these animal figurines cheap at Michael’s—they were perfect decorations/party favors)

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This was a Price is Right inspired game. Punch your hand through the tissue paper and snag an unseen prize from behind.

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Animals obviously have to eat their snacks on the floor…

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I had some awesome assistants lead our safari scavenger hunt, musical animals, and bean bag toss games.

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All in all it was a great birthday! Ansley certainly fills our home with joy and laughter. I could write a book of her quotes and funny anecdotes. Just recently her bedtime prayer made be smile: “bless that we won’t kick and punch people, or act like the wicked witch or the mean queen from Snow White.”

I am so thankful for unique personalities and fun kids that keep me on my toes, and keep me chuckling!

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Monday, June 10, 2013

Eli’s 1st!!

My baby turned ONE!

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We celebrated with a simple banana cake…

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…and ONE simple gift, which he loved.

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It was great! No stress, no fuss—just lots of time with our favorite little guy. Eli is such a wonderful baby, a true blessing. I am still completely enamored with him…can’t get enough of his snuggles and kisses. He is something special. I was probably just as obsessed with all my babies, but right now it’s his turn!

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