Wednesday, February 29, 2012

M's Never-Ending Birthday Celebrations

So let's pretend that it's two + weeks ago and I'm on-time blogging about M's big 5th birthday. Are you all pretending with me? Thanks. Now if only pretending my house were clean would make it so ....
Anyway, as I'd already mentioned, there had been quite the build-up to M's birthday with her claiming birthday privileges all year. She also drew pictures of birthday celebration expectations, requested watching birthday episodes of any show we happened to be watching, and told everyone who would listen that she was going to be 5 (and then next year, 6). She really had two main requests though. She wanted to go to John's Incredible Pizza, and to have a pinata. So here we were celebrating the big day (a week in advance because that's when we could get to Portland):

Good times! Nana, Bopa, Grandma and Grandpa Smith, Patti, Jim, Elena, Kyle, McKaylee, and Marlee joined us and it was a blast. What a place! It so out-Chuck-E-Cheeses Chuck-E-Cheese. It is spacious and clean and full of fun. Also, the food buffet is fantastic! And there's plenty of roomy seating that doesn't make you feel claustrophobic. We are officially fans. I think it's safe to say everybody had fun!

Then we raced home to celebrate with the Bernes, who joined us for pink cupcakes (of course). The girl is easy. I considered (briefly) making some fancy, impressive cake, but she REALLY REALLY loves to decorate her own cupcakes and just requested that they be pink. Then she and her sister had a blast dumping buckets-full of sprinkles on them while I kicked my feet up and relaxed (feeling only occasional semi-insane twinges of guilt that I hadn't been supermom).

Isn't she cute? And, as mentioned, this was all a week before the actual day! More to come.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Green Education

Not entirely sure what M was "studying" in preschool today but these were the first 2 things asked for in her prayer tonight: "And please bless that the earth will have no more trash on it, just recycling." Followed by, "And please bless that nobody litters." In her defense, I had asked her to think of something different to say tonight.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Good times at the Portland Zoo

 It had been a REALLY long time since we'd been to the zoo (I realized the other day that our little dude has never been, despite his total love/obsession with animals. And he's 17 months). It was a little chilly with the wind, but there was a gorgeous clear blue sky, which is as much as you can ask!
 The little guy was just thrilled to be outside and was happy in the stroller for a bit, but he couldn't really see the animals. But life was so much easier with him in the stroller. But he loves animals. But I'm too pregnant to chase after him. But what's the point of being at the zoo if you can't see the animals? But we'll never get him back in that stroller. But ... ah, there are just too many difficult decisions to make as a parent. I let him out when we got to the penguins, which were basically the first animal that was doing anything. I won't mention that we lost him at one point during the trip later when he ran out of a tree-surrounded play area and across a whole field when I merely turned my back to grab something out of the diaper bag. Shudder.
 But he did LOVE the penguins. And he's REALLY cute.
 Thankfully, I wasn't alone to chase after him and keep track of the girls at the same time. Grammy and Papa brought us to the zoo as a little pre-birthday celebration for M. Little man appreciated this greatly, and showed it by allowing them the great privilege of holding him every now and then when he needed a lift.
M likes to take full advantage of her birthday. The actual date was February 13th, but starting shortly after New Years, she was claiming birthday privileges. You know, like I get to go first in this game because I'm the birthday girl. J wasn't always willing to go along, but did more often than you'd think ... for a whole month.
Oh, and here's little man in the petting zoo. Grammy had been helping protect him but turned her back, and despite being no taller than the pygmy goats, he took off to tap each one of them on the back - like he was responsible for counting them or something. She turned around and saw him walking amidst a very tightly clustered group of 3 of them, shoving them a bit so he could get through. No fear. Just a love tap to each, and he moved on.
 Big Red could take some cues from her little brother. This shot required minutes of pep talks before she had the courage to get that close. Oddly she won't get anywhere near the head and prefers petting the back end. I, personally, would think avoiding the rear would be advisable. I guess it's just me.
Good times! Oh, here the girls are showing off their zoo stamps on their hands, not doing some weird salute. Thanks Grammy and Papa!


Way to grow Spike! Spike (J's "pet") has been outgrowing Bobo (M's "pet") all along, and while M was sad about it for a few days, she decided it was all in the name. Neither her nor Bobo were to blame. Spike was just more motivated, thanks to being more appropriately named :)
 Man they've been looking forward to this day! Ha! It's pretty much as good as having a real pet, with very little clean-up involved.
 See what I mean about not growing as well. This is what Bobo's mane looked like BEFORE she started cutting. Kind of more like a clown-do than, you know, a serious little soil monkey head growing grass on our kitchen counter.
A buzz cut evened things out a bit. And made everybody happy. And left grass clippings all over the table. Still better than doggie doo-doo I say.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Are we having fun yet?

We were doing a new birthday puzzle this morning as a family--a puzzle that turned out to be a lot harder than expected (one of those lenticular ones that change picture as you move back and forth. Yeah, we don't recommend them). The girls had a couple of gems about the experience:

J: This puzzle says it's for ages 6 and up, but it's so hard for me! It's even hard for 30- and 31-year-olds... and those are BIG numbers (we laughed and pointed out that most people don't like being told they're old. It's one thing to tell mom and dad that, but please try not to tell other people that)!

M: Yeah. This puzzle is stupid-hard.