Saturday, September 27, 2014

Painting with Princesses

Like most young girls right now, Addy is 100% obsessed with all things Frozen. She adores Elsa, and finds great joy in belting out Let It Go numerous times a day. She has a stuffed Olaf, and an Elsa doll (like Barbie) that she takes everywhere. When I do her hair, she gets to choose from one Elsa braid or two Anna braids. 

Sporting the 'Anna' look

Earlier this summer, she caught her first lightening bug, and Matt told her to make a wish. She wished for Elsa to come real, and she wished it again when she threw coins into a fountain on a different occasion. 

So it should come as no surprise that 1) Addy is choosing to be Elsa for Halloween and 2) she will be having a Frozen themed fourth birthday party. A few people have told me that there are Elsa characters for rent in our area, suggesting I have Elsa appear at Addy 's birthday party. Now...I do enjoy planning and throwing parties, but I also have my limits, financially speaking. Elsa runs about $120 for 45 minutes, and I really have a difficult time justifying spending that...especially since come November, we will have double mortgage payments each month until our old house sells! 

Thankfully, my friend Alyssa told me about an event at a local pottery store called All Fired Up, where Elsa and Anna would be making an appearance! So for just $25, Addy got to paint pottery, enjoy a snack, AND meet Elsa and Anna in real life!!! 

She was totally star struck! Her face got bright red, and she could
only muster up a quiet 'Hello'. My hear was so full of excitement for her!

Addy chose a princess bank to paint, and of all the lovely colors they
gave us to choose from, she began by slappin black paint all over
her princess. It was highly comical.

She added in some yellow and some teal. The final product of this
art session will be interesting to see!

It turned out to be a really awesome event. Addy was over the moon excited to have met Anna and Elsa in real life. Leading up to the event, she had a countdown in which she talked about "Anna and Elsa come to real". She said she was going to tell them that they were her favorite characters and that she loves them. But she was so star-struck when she saw them, all she could get out was 'Hello"! She had a blast, and I know she will be talking about it for a long time to come.

The evening was made even better when, after the painting and out in the parking lot, her friend Gwyneth (Alyssa's daughter) gave her an Elsa dress as an early birthday gift.
Wasted no time putting it on when we got home
My heart melted at her sheer excitement in recieving it, as well as her wonderful use of manners in thanking Alyssa and Gwyneth for the dress. We put the dress on as soon as we got home, and she of course had to put on Let It Go for the ultimate performance!

Friday, September 26, 2014

New house, new rules

As the title suggests...we have moved to a new house!

Home sweet home

Our little family has relocated about 15 minutes away from our previous home, to a charming little town and into an allotment filled with kids and play sets and sidewalks and 211 mailboxes that are all identical. 

Entering the neighborhood

Some people would call it Suburban Hell. I call it My Piece of Wonderful. 

Coming from being the last house on a dead end road, surrounded by trees and no visible neighbors, this new living space does bring a number of adjustments. For starters, I can no longer walk around half naked. I actually have to put pants on when I get out of bed and get my coffee, and that's no fun at all! I have to be appropriately dressed to get my mail too, and that's really been pretty annoying so far. Sounds of birds and swaying trees have been replaced with the shrieks of children playing and the symphony of lawn equipment. But really, I don't mind that change too much. It's rather nice to hear kids playing. Despite the adjustments and allotment annoyances (nosy neighbors, conformity, restrictions and by laws), this place...My Piece of Wonderful...THIS is home to me. This is the environment I grew up in, and this is where I imagined I would raise a family if I ever had one. Plus, all the straight property lines and all those 211 identical mailboxes are very compatible with my OCD.

With moving comes lots of changes for everyone - a new bedroom, unfamiliar noises, a different daily routine environment, etc. So I decided, Hey? Why not throw in some more changes? 

First off, Addy must close the door when she uses the toilet, because there is a giant window directly across from her bathroom. 

And at nighttime, from the outside, you can see everything that's going
on in the bathroom if we have the light on
After two weeks here, she is finally starting to close the door on her own. Second, Addy must get dressed in her room, with the door closed, as opposed to anywhere else in the house. That might seem like something that should already be happening, but at the old house, I was in the habit of bringing her clothes downstairs at some point in the day to speed along the frustrating process of getting ready to leave the house. Therefore, she would typically get dressed in the middle of the living room. Funny thing is, I'm the one that's having trouble keeping up with this new rule; yesterday I brought an outfit downstairs for her to put on, and she kindly reminded me that "we don't do that anymore".

The biggest change I made is one that I have wanted to do for a while, and thought that coinciding it with a change in environment would make it easier. The big new rule is: all meals are eaten at the kitchen table. We have been very lax with eating in our house, so pretty much all food was being eaten at the couch. Yes, even a good portion of our dinner meals. Yes, I am aware of how bad that is...poor eating habits, mindless eating with the television on, not quality family time, lack of learning table manners, etcetera etcetera etcetera. Hence the change. I knew it would be met with sharp opposition, so my tag line for it was "new house, new rules". Any time Addy complained about sitting at the table or begged to take her plate to the living room, I simply stated my tag line. New house, new rules. And you know what? It took about three days, and she was completely on board with it. We now sit at the table for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I'm so pleased!

But I'm not the only one making changes. On our third night here, Addy surprised Matt and I both when we tucked her in to bed and she asked us to skip singing the bedtime songs. What?!?!? We have been singing the same four songs for almost two solid years...and on the third night in the new house, she asks us to stop? Upon our questioning why, she swiftly replied, "New house, new rules." 

Looks like we are all adjusting very well here. (-: 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Tiny Tumblers

Last night, Addy attended her very first instruction-oriented program, Tiny Tumblers, held at our local YMCA. It's an intro to gymnastics class for kids aged 3-5 years. She was one of seven students; six girls and one boy. 

Once I made the decision to sign her up for the class, I made a point to talk about it with her often, to make sure she was well prepared and had accurate expectations of what the new experience would be like. She always seemed very excited with no apprehension. When we pulled into the parking lot and I began to unbuckle her, she said, "Well...I'm a little bit nervous." I told her that was a normal feeling and that the other kids were probably a little nervous also.

Overall, I will say that the first class was a success. She didn't run out screaming and crying, she made it through all 45 minutes, and she thanked me for bringing her and said she liked it. Within the first five minutes, she completed her very first true somersault, which had her beaming. Unfortunately, repeatedly doing somersaults also became her focus, so the rest of the time was spent reminding her to follow directions and listen to the instructors. At one point, the kids were asked to crab walk down the length of the mat. Addy tried it, but had a hard time keeping her butt off the mat. Her frustration elevated and she stomped off to the corner pouting for five minutes, not wanting to participate. Thankfully, that was toward the end off class, and she rebounded when certificates with smiley face stamps were handed out.

Addy and the little boy were the only two kids that had trouble following directions and were kind of off doing their own thing. I was relieved that she had a partner in crime! I think she will do better next time now that the first class jitters are out of the way. 
I tried to get a picture of her somersaulting, but this is what I ended up with:

I have a feeling she will be giving me plenty of opportunities to try again.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Writing it out

Three weeks ago, Addy told me she wanted to write a card for daddy, draw a "love heart" on the front, and mail it to him. So I grabbed a notecard from the drawer, and wrote a message to Matt, as Addy spoke it. She asked me to write, "Dear Daddy, I love you so much and I wanted to send you a card." 

So that's what I wrote.

But what really made this card special is that Addy decided she wanted to sign it. My girl, the complete reluctant writer that refuses to try to write letters, finally found a good reason to give it a try. 

So behold, Addy's very first writing of her name:

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Totally Cute Tuesday

Addy made a roller coaster for the Care Bears, complete with seat belts, from play dough. As I write this post, she's making safety helmets. Adorbs. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

The ultimate compliment

A conversation between Addy and Matt...



"I love you."

"I love you too."

"You're great."

"You're awesome."

"No, you're awesome, daddy."

"Well, you're awesomer."

"You''re ELSA!"

...because nothing on this earth is better than Elsa.