Happy 4th Birthday Addikins!

Dear Addison Rose,

Yesterday was a a bit of a blur. Finishing up last minute gifts, getting them wrapped, completing party preparations, baking cakes, double-checking lists and last minute shopping, yet sitting down to write this letter to you has been the hardest task of all. I just can’t believe that today you will be four years old.

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The past few weeks I keep insisting that you need to stay three – that you just can’t turn four. I’ve threatened to put books on your head so that you’ll stop growing. But every time I try to slow down time, you say the same thing to me, “No, Mama! I have to turn four. I have to.”

And that is your mantra lately…”I have to.” You are quite possibly the most stubborn and independent child known to man. You start the morning wanting to pour your own juice and you end the day choosing your own pjs, brushing your own teeth, and combing your own hair. “I have to do it, Mama,” you sigh if I so much as try to hurry you, or help you along.

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The precious moments in between those early mornings (for you are still an early riser) and when you finally give in to sleep in the evenings, you can be found trying to help Mommy around the house. You love to be a “help” and try desperately to please me. I hear, “Am I doing a good job now, Mama?” “Do you think this looks good, Mama? “How do you like this, Mama?” countless times a day.  And I only hope you hear in my voice too how very much I appreciate your willingness to help. Even if it is not so…helpful at times.

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We also hear a lot of your singing voice lately. I admit that I have an “Addie playlist” that I purposely play in the car because I know it is songs that you and Emma like to sing. I love to hear your little voice singing everything from Coldplay to Deathcab for Cutie from the backseat. And my iPhone is now full because “I have to sing you Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Mama.”  Even if you never make a dime in the music business, I know those recordings are going to be worth all the money in the world someday.

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I feel this year is going to be huge for you, Addikins. I think you are going to struggle with your “have to” attitude and it is going to clash many times with Mommy’s idea of what you “have to” do.

But I also know that you are an amazingly smart girl who will figure it all out. And it is going to be a spectacular year full of growth and possibilities for you.

Hope

I feel so very blessed to be your Mommy and lucky to get to be along for the ride. And if you have to turn four, then I guess I’ll just have to let you.

Wishing you the very best year, my four-year old girl!
Happy Birthday.
I love you,
Mommy

Another birthday comes along…

Wow. You all sure do know how to make a girl feel loved.

I had an amazing day. Possibly one of the best birthdays ever. And I didn’t even notice, or care, that I turned thirty -s*cough* *cough*… ahem. Well, I didn’t even notice that I turned one year older today.

Thanks so much for all of the well wishes, phone calls, emails, facebook shout-outs, etc. It was such a fun day.

My darling little six-year old made sure that Daddy helped her with a chalk birthday card first thing this morning…

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…and after gorgeous flowers (Thanks Meesh, Deej & girlies!) and some fun gift certificates, (and $$ towards a new lens!! Eeeee…Thanks J, Mom & Dad!), we headed to the happiest place on Earth. (Huge thanks to Jeff!) And, yes – Disney really is where I wanted to spend my birthday.

And it was perfect. No lines, hardly any waiting, no crowds, all the best rides, and beautiful weather. I couldn’t have asked for a better day. Plus, the memory of hearing my Mom on the Indiana Jones ride…I’m still not sure if she was crying or laughing…but it was hysterical!

Cinco de Mayo at Disney

Thanks everyone for making me feel so very loved. It was an amazing day.

More on “The Big Six.”

I already told you that I am not very focused this week. And even though I have a week’s worth of photos to post and write about, I just opened this folder from Saturday to edit. So today we will be reliving…Em’s birthday trip to Disneyland. (A million thanks to Uncle Jeff!)

You did hear that she turned six last week, right? I think everyone at DL knew after Saturday, compliments of her birthday button…

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…and her birthday ears.

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And during the parade, when they asked who was celebrating a birthday – she made sure to make it known…

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I think she liked being the birthday girl. What do you think?

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We crossed some stuff off of our list, including a chilly ride on Splash Mountain!
And then we hung around ToonTown for a bit…

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And tried to contain two little monkeys…

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And we borrowed Minnie’s mirror to primp a little bit…

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It was a jam-packed and fun-filled day. This is one of my fave pics of Addie…

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And my fave of Em, too. I just wonder what she was thinking when I snapped this.

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It was a great way to celebrate the big SIX! Thanks again, Uncle Jeff.

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And then…she was six.

Dear Emma Grace,

It has been yet another incredible year. Just about six years ago, exactly to the minute (figuring in the central coast – west coast time change) my water broke and we really knew that you were on your way at last. We ran, well I more or less “lumbered,” downstairs at 4:30am on that April 9th and I still remember Daddy saying to the night doorman who was standing watch, “Well, looks like a good day to have a baby!”

And then that dumb doorman, instead of finding a cab for us like he was supposed to be doing, thought he would be funny and said, “Oh, but it is a Wednesday. Wednesday’s child is full of woe!” Come on! Who says that to a woman in labor? At any rate, a few minutes later we were cruising to the hospital and the doorman (and his stupidity) was forgotten.

But occasionally, that line will pop up into my mind, and at the oddest times – usually when you are wailing or having a dramatic meltdown over some inconsequential thing. But no matter how “woeful” that moment may be, I will never, ever agree with that man. You are anything but full of woe!

emma sunbeam

I see an insane physical growth in you nearly every week – usually when yet another pair of jeans gets passed down to Addie because your legs have decided to sprout at least an inch overnight. But I also see the growth you are making as a person, on the inside. I went back to read your five-year old letter and just kept nodding my head and thinking, “Yep, she is still like that, she still does all of those things, only with ten times the force and intensity.” Your heart, and your capacity to show love to all of your friends and family, seems to be growing as much as those long legs of yours.

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And I marvel at how your mind is growing and how much you have accomplished in your first seven “official” months of school. You are full-on reading (Everything. You even read over my shoulder as I try to type blog posts.), you are becoming a very prolific writer (Keeping several different journals of your own, even ones not prompted as schoolwork.), and you love all things nature and outdoors. Science experiments and getting things to grow have opened your mind to a whole new and exciting world of knowledge. You just continue to soak it all up.

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And your learning has only meant that I get to relive my childhood again. I get to explore all of the wonders of the world with you, and just see them as you do – all new and shiny. It has given me a chance to take a second look and really see the beauty in so many things that I may have otherwise overlooked. Whether it is an interesting new bug, a fun new park, a new sprout in the garden or a new book about the planets we haven’t read yet, they all seem much more exciting when I can learn it through you.

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Emma Grace, you truly are the perfect mix of joyful, serious, sweet, excited, and curious. (Ok, maybe a hint of woe sprinkled in every once in awhile, just to keep Mama on her toes!) And I don’t think anyone who knows you can imagine life without you.

The happiest 6th birthday and year to you, Gracie Girl.
I love you,
Mommy

All-American Girls

Em wanted to go to the American Girl Cafe for her birthday this year, and since her birthday week coincided with the cousins being here, we made the trek to the Grove and brought along two of Em’s best friends as well.

Yep, count ‘em – seven girls, two Mommies…

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…oh, and don’t forget all of the dolls -they all brought their American Girl dolls. Emma was so excited because the bathrooms are equipped with little hooks to hang your doll while you “do your business,” and the cafe has special high chairs.

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They do pay attention to the little details (teacups above, pretty centerpieces below)…

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And everyone (dolls included) seemed to enjoy the lunch!

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The girls all had butterfly pasta (appropriate for our garden theme!) and Lexer had the tic-tac-toe pizza.

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They have little conversation starters, and now that the girls know how to read, they we are asking each other questions and giggling. I think Emma was asking everyone, “If you could be any animal, which would you be?” here…

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And of course they had cute little desserts, Em’s had a candle and we all sang to her.

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I think all-in-all, the party was a big success. Em got a gift certificate and had quite the decision to make. She brought home a new cat for her doll, Elizabeth, and has some money leftover for a trip to the doll hair salon the next time we visit.

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Then we all made some wishes in the fountain on the way out.

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My wish definitely came true.

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Crafty Tuesday

Only one thing to show today.

We are busy preparing for Aunt Meesh and the girls’ visit (on Thursday), Em’s little birthday deal (next week), her actual birthday and Easter (also both next week!). So we are busy, busy little bees around here.

These are the invitations that I made for Em’s birthday lunch for next week.

Em's Birthday Card

I got the idea for the “garden” and then wanted it to be a little 3-d like. And since I only had a few invites to do, I printed them out, cut out each piece separately and used the little block adhesives to make them pop off the page. I think they turned out pretty cute. Em really likes them, so that is all that really matters, I guess.

Anybody else have some crafty goodness to share today?

How do we get the candy? ~ Best Shot Monday

Technically, this was a horrible shot. That was indeed a very plaid sofa behind the girls. So I tried to tone down the colors by editing the photo and making it black & white. Plus the lighting wasn’t so great and it was what I imagine it would be like to be a member of the paparazzi at a Hollywood movie premier, with about ten moms and dads jockeying for position, trying to take photos, flashes going off left and right.

But all of that aside, I cannot stop looking at this photo and just smiling. My two princesses, (it was a Princess-themed birthday party for Addie’s little friend) anxiously waiting for someone to just bust open that pinata!

Such concentration and seriousness! How can it not be my Best Shot Monday for today?

Pinata Watching

Happy Birthday, Uncle Deej!

Welcome to the 30 club!

Hope you have a great day and a fantastic year! (It was a bit hard to find a photo of you from our trip. You’d think we have five beautiful girls running around to photograph instead or something! But I do like this one of you and the ever-elusive Steve!)

Happy Birthday!

Love you,
J, C, E & A