Thursday, December 31, 2015

Maya's fifth year recap

Dear Maya,

As mommy does every year, I'm writing this post just for you to celebrate your birthday. Yesterday you turned FIVE! As in one.two.three.four.five. A whole hand. How did that happen? I feel like you've been here forever and yet, at the same time, it seems like just yesterday you were toddling around and talking to us in incomplete sentences with your little New Jersey-ish accent. And now here you are, a schoolgirl with ever-increasing imagination, vocabulary, and compassion. Whoa...

We will be having your party this weekend but we celebrated yesterday as well. First, mommy took you on a surprise your great-grandparents' house and out with Poppy to pick whatever bicycle you wanted! You love your new bike, of course, and they were so very pleased to get it for you. It was a pretty special moment for mommy, too, as I remember them buying me my first 'big girl' bike when I wasn't too much older than you!

When we came home from our outing we had your birthday dinner. You chose to have waffles for the second year in a row! Daddy made them and some custard and whipped cream toppings, plus we had some delicious homemade jams from Grandma to add on top. After dinner you opened your gifts from Aunt Rhi and Uncle Matt (very cool kits to collect, observe and study bugs) and from mommy and daddy (a really fun book and your very own Ipod!). It was a great day!

And now on to the part of this annual post where I interview you. Previous years can be viewed here and here. Today you seemed to want to list all the possible answers instead of just one, but you did better than previous years. Again, mommy will be adding some explanations in parentheses.

  • Favorite toy: Octonauts and miniature animals and horses and masks and... (it's hard to answer this one right after Christmas when all of your new toys are on your mind!)
  • Favorite game: Scrape the tree (Uncle Matt's game actually called "Click Clack Lumberjack")
  • Favorite thing to do inside: play with Emi (aww...)
  • Favorite thing to do outside: hula hoop (it's been a while so not sure where that came from!)
  • Favorite place to go: the park, the zoo, and school!
  • Favorite book: the light-up book (this is the Usborn book you got for your birthday last night that you can see hidden pictures in when you put a flashlight behind the pages--it's really neat!)
  • Favorite TV show: Octonauts, Wild Kratts (your pronunciation of this show you just started watching again is a little inappropriate! also, you've been loving Little Einsteins lately)
  • Favorite movie: "What's a movie? Um, Muppets?" (we don't do screen time on school nights, then on the weekends you tend to just watch TV shows on Netflix so you've forgotten, I guess)
  • Favorite song: "the frozen fractals" ("Let it Go" again) and "Christmas songs--the special ones" (not sure which ones you mean but I will really miss hearing you sing Christmas songs along with the radio, whether you knew them or not!
  • Favorite animal: birds, zebras, and giraffes (and cats and horses and deer and...)
  • Favorite breakfast: banana smoothies
  • Favorite lunch: tortillas with cheese and corn
  • Favorite dinner: turkey (hmm...I was not expecting that)
  • Favorite fruit: pineapple and peaches
  • Favorite vegetable: carrot
  • Favorite drink: seltzer (your occasional treat that's not great for your teeth, but you've still barely had any sugary sodas in your life so I think we're good)
  • Best friend: Wyatt and Emi (aww again)
  • Biggest fear: shots from the doctor (at first you answered "hyenas" but then changed your mind after I asked if you were actually afraid of them or whether you were just answering something scary in general--what a funny and random answer, though!)
  • When you grow up you want to be a: giraffe or zebra (I re-explained this question, too, but you were over the interview by then so I guess we'll just leave this as is)
  • Things you take to bed: (you still have very particular requirements for your bed--your "nest" which is a bunch of blankets, pillows, etc. arranged in a large circle around you--and your "friends" which are your favorite stuffed animals: Shamrock the horse who has a new family thanks to Grandma and Papa Stan, Rudolph the currently noseless reindeer who will have a new family when Grandpa and Lori get here tomorrow, an octopus, two sparrows, a monarch butterfly, a bat, a sheep and a dugong...and this list is only shortened thanks to lots of bribery and the addition of a hanging organizer for the other few dozen animals!)

That was a lot of writing so now I'll add the yearly photo recap. Usually I find photos that haven't been on the blog before, but I've been putting most of the good ones on the blog this year so I'll just share some of my favorites. I can't even narrow it down to one per month!













Here's to another beautiful, crazy, funny, sweet, happy year with you. Love you!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

A warm, warm Christmas

Dear Maya and Emi,

Well, Christmas has come and gone in a lively, sparkly, sugary whirlwind. It was unusually warm--70 degrees on the eve and at least 60 on the actual day. That made it feel a little more like Easter than Christmas, but we still made merry for sure!

Two days before Christmas was your last day of school for the year, Maya. It was pajama day and mommy had you wear this old school nightgown. You looked so cute! You passed out cards and fruit snacks to the class and came home with a backpack full of crafts, pencils, books, candy, etc.

Grandma and Papa Stan came up on Monday, then went to pick up Aunt Bobbie on Thursday morning, Christmas Eve. While they were headed to get her, you and I made cookies, Maya. After a few years at this, I think we're starting to improve our decorating skills. Finally!


Christmas Eve night we had our first celebration when Aunt Kelsie, Uncle Shawn, and Cousins Grace and Will came to join us. It was a bit hectic now that all of you kids are mobile, but it was really fun, too. Everyone loved their gifts and Emi, you and Will didn't mind too much when we cordoned you off in a baby pen so we could do our adult gift exchange game. It took some concentration passing our gifts right and left and we wouldn't have been able to complete it while chasing you two around!

Drawing on the back of a letter to Santa--note the ornaments hanging off the tree
and the striped pajamas that we get for Christmas Eve!
Christmas morning Santa left your gifts and stockings upstairs on your little table so you two wouldn't wake up everyone downstairs. Maya, you got a lot of dress-up things, activity books, pjs, coupons for books, hair bows, etc. You couldn't wait to put on your queen dress and said you were going to marry daddy. Emi, you got a pull-along phone, a bunch of Little People toys, a chunky wooden bead set, pjs, snacks, etc. You really love the spinning propeller on your rescue helicopter.

Next we got all dressed up and headed to our annual Christmas brunch at Nanny and Poppy's house. After eating and opening more gifts (the big one being a train and Lego table for you two to share) we were able to go outside and take some photos in our short sleeves since it was so beautiful!

The fourth and final* round of gifts was after we got back home. We exchanged gifts with Grandma and Papa Stan and you two opened gifts from Uncle Matt and Aunt Rhi as well. We spent the rest of the day playing, snacking, watching Christmas movies, and just enjoying family. Perfection!

Well, mommy needs to get some rest for the week ahead. It's almost someone's fifth birthday!?!?!
Love you both!

*until Grandpa and Lori arrive, that is. So. many. presents!