Sunday, December 16, 2012

Abby, the four year old.

Saturday was a nice day - it was sunny and relatively warm with the highs in the 40s.  I had pitched the idea to Abby a few days prior about having a photo shoot with just her and me.  She asked, "but what about E?" to which I responded that E could come too if she wanted her to.  Abby added, "No.  I don't want her to come"  

And fair enough.  We don't get one-on-one time.  Any of us.  I can't remember the last time I did something with just Abby beyond playing with her for a while when I let her stay up during nap/quiet time.  And E and I only get one-on-one time in the rare minutes that she wakes up before Abby.  So, you could tell that Abby liked the idea from the get go.  

So we set out to the nearby park and picked out picture location after picture location.  Abby switched with me and took some pictures of me for a while.  After about half an hour, she was getting cold so we took a hot chocolate break.  A few more pictures after that and she wanted to play on the playground.  So, we did that for a while until we were both getting chilly.  We decided to extend our time together with a treat.  Abby picked donuts and we sat in a warm Dunkin and shared chocolate donuts while Abby marvled over and over about how the cashier had given her a donut sticker AND had given one to her bull, Ferdinand.  That detail - about the stickers - was what she would recount about the day to Kyle over and over.  :)  

Abby is a joy.  At four, she's developed a new level of...what's the word, maturity?  Poise? She's more kid than ever before.  She has been telling me for a week now, "I'm big now, so I can do all sorts of grown up things"  

Knock on wood - 4 seems to be the easiest age yet.  Abby really is able to do things herself most of the time, and more importantly, she has an understanding and handle on her emotions.  She's never been an overly difficult child where tantrums and such are concerned - but she just seems to process things with more understanding now.  If she's told "no" to something, she may pout - but she doesn't typically do much else.  If she does talk back or anything, a quick reminder about manners sets her back on track.  

Overall, Abby is a kind girl.  Thoughtful and affectionate.  So loving.  Creative, smart, and funny.  She is everything I ever wanted my little girl to be.  She is the best big sister to Elizabeth.  Their spats are short and few.  They play together - and entertain each other and they just love each other so much.  This age, for both of them, has proven to be so much fun.  I'm really enjoying it - and I already know that this will be one of those periods of time that I eventually look back on fondly.

I'm the luckiest lady in the world to be this little one's mom.  

Thursday, December 13, 2012


This year marks the first year that Abby has had a really good concept of "birthday"  Meaning, she has had the mind to anticipate it.  For months...since summer, perhaps. :)

With the ability to anticipate things - comes the growing excitement of the event itself.  And Abby's excitement and anticipation of her birthday were contagious and fun to watch.

We decided, after thinking about what it is that Abby is into right now, to have a painting party.  The child is at the age of arts-n-crafts.  This is the age I imagined when I thought about becoming a mom one day - crayons and glue-sticks, glitter and construction paper.  It really is a lot of fun.

So, we had a painting party on Tuesday this week during our normal playgroup time.  I think everyone Abby knows came, and we had a very full house of little ones and parents.  I was a little worried that the party supplies I had ordered weren't going to make it when they hadn't arrived an hour before the party.  But, the FedEx man pulled through and we got everything just in time.

For the party, we ordered 8x10 canvases, smocks, and paint brushes and put them together for the kids. We had paints and glitter for the little artists to enjoy.  We had paint palette cupcakes and paintbrush rice krispie treats for favors. We kept the rest of everything pretty simple.  Some easy appetizers, ordered pizza and bought ice cream cups.

The kids had a great time and the mess was actually minimal ;)  At one point, Abby turned to me - beaming from ear to ear and declared "Mom!  This is the BEST birthday EVER!"  And - what else can you want to hear?  Abby played with her friends - the girls mostly escaped to her room to play dress up and doctor while the boys threw balls around and played chase.  The moms got to chat and I think it all went very well.

That night, after the girls were in bed, I went downstairs to clean up a little more.  I grabbed a piece of pizza and sat on the couch.  I woke up an hour later - 1/2 a slice of pizza still in my hand.  Ha :)  I guess I was a little worn out.

Wednesday was Abby's actual birthday.  It's a hard concept of having a party on one day and a "real" birthday on another day.  When you're 4 - a party = birthday.  Abby quietly asked me first thing in the morning, "Mom?  Am I four now?"  When I said "yes" She beamed and chattered on about how she was a big kid now and how she could do all kinds of grown up things.  Indeed.

I had to work of course for most of the day, but when we got home, we opened a few presents from the family and I loaded the girls up for a "birthday surprise"  Abby tried to guess where we were going the whole ride.  It was, E, however who - upon seeing Chuck-E-Cheese - started shouting and clapping and saying "Basketball!" was the one game she could see through the window.  They girls had a great time.  It was pretty empty - much to my relief.  They played games, collected tickets, rode rides, ate food, watched the scary robot characters and got prizes.  E was nonstop motion the whole time and Abby didn't stop smiling.  So - birthday surprise - success.

My big girl had a really great birthday - she keeps telling me so.  Thank you to all of you who helped make it special.  :)  Here are a few pictures for now....I took "real" ones with the camera before the show, but it'll take me 6 months to get them pics win.

Monday, December 3, 2012


We decided to get a tree this weekend.  In the past, getting a tree has always been a question of timing.  Do we do it before Abby's party and then have a house full of toddler and birthday decor competing for attention with a big tree and christmas decorations?  Or, do we wait until after her birthday and only have the tree up for a week or so before we leave to fly home to AR?  

This year, we decided to enjoy the tree all month and get one early.  It snowed on Saturday morning.  Just a dusting, really, but it added a nice feel to the morning.  We packed up the girls and drove to our church where they sell trees.  We let the girls run around a little bit and we eventually picked out a tree that we thought was not too small and not too big (of course, it's about twice as big inside the house as we thought it would be, but -eh)

Doesn't E look so old here? Not a baby anymore. :(

Abby was so excited about decorating.  We made her wait until after nap time so we could get out the decorations and let the tree dry off for a while - and that was SO hard for her.  She kept sneaking little pieces of play-doh on the tree as ornaments and sticking socks in the branches and such.  Eventually, however, the girls were up and we decorated the tree listening to Christmas songs.  It was nice. They did a very nice job. 

That night, Kyle and I did something uncharacteristic.  We went out.  Like, we got a babysitter and left the house to go to a dinner party.  One of Kyle's friends had invited us to partake of a tradition amongst his friends called "Piemas"  It's a night of eating where every course is some sort of pie.  We had pie appetizers, dinner pies, dessert pies.  It was interesting, fun, and yummy.  We had a nice time.  And the girls didn't miss us.  They got to stay up late- drinking hot chocolate and watching movies.  

After piemas, we came home and prepped for the next morning when Abby would get the elf she's been wanting.  But, I think I'll save that for another post.  Till next time!