Thursday, May 22, 2008

Purple Party Times 2

The past two weekends have been a blur. However, amongst the blur we had MANY celebrations! On May 9, Elsie celebrated her 4th birthday! I can't believe she's already 4 and we only have one more year left with her before she goes to kindergarten! She really wanted a purple princess party, but since one of her best friends is a boy, we couldn't let that happen, for his sake! So, we had a purple party. I should mention that 2 weeks before her birthday Elsie asked me if people could not sing to her and if they did she would cover her ears and hide. I asked her why she would do this and she said because it was going to be too loud and she was shy (we have a very sound sensitive daughter-she hears EVERYTHING!). I told her we would sing to her, but we would whisper. She was really preparing herself ahead of time. Anyways, Elsie had a fun time with her friends and their siblings. We had purple chips, koolaid, grapes, and cupcakes of course. Everyone came dressed in purple, even Matt! We played a couple of games, for like 5 minutes (4 year olds do not have much of an attention span), opened presents, and then said goodbye to our friends. Matt bought Elsie a sleeping bag, with a tent, and backpack for her birthday. They went to pick it out together. Of course, he came home with a complete princess camping set (I am so over princesses at this point in my life!). Elsie was very excited. We told her she could sleep in it that evening and that we would have a camp out in the living room. Matt and I slept very uncomfortably on the futon, while Elsie slept very comfortably in her tent (oh the things we do for our little ones!).
Saturday, was quite busy as we made our way down to Costa Mesa for Jack's graduation from Vanguard University. After a ridiculous drive down to the beach (gotta love So Cal traffic), we made it just in time to see the processional. All the grandparents were in town and we were able to celebrate Jack and see him for the first time in 5 months. He is currently serving in Tunisia and supporting a cultural arts center there, along with other various things. He was in town for 2 weeks and has now returned until he comes back for good in December. It was great to see him on his visit. The nieces had a fun time with him too (although, Elsie was a bit freaked out over his graduation regalia and she wouldn't even talk to him!).
Then came Sunday...Mother's Day...Purple Party #2. I read in a magazine once, that a mom had their kids paint a ceramic tile (at a paint place) every year for Mother's Day. Then after they grew up, or collected enough tiles, she framed a mirror out of them. So, I thought I would like to start that tradition. The week previous to Mother's Day, Matt took me and the girls out to paint a tile. We just had them paint a 2 x 2 inch square. I figured if I was going to get one every year from each kid, it would need to be somewhat small. Elsie had such a fun time painting. She got to draw her own design, a heart, and then paint it herself...more or less. Then she helped paint the background of Carson's. And then Carson got to use a round dot sponge and make dots on it! I put their initials on it and dated it and they came back so cute. I can't wait to see them progress every year in what they make and how their artistic abilities grow. While we were there we ended up having Elsie paint a coffee cup for all the grandmas. That was a bit much and took a lot longer than expected!! But, the grandmas loved it and will use it; it is a great memory to have.
We spent another fun day celebrating the moms and grandmas at our house and then on to celebrate Elsie again with purple party #2. She had a fun time opening gifts and again making everyone whisper happy birthday to her. We had a great day with family and were very happy to have the evening to ourselves so we could crash on the couch and watch 3 fabulous hours of Survivor!! Now that is how I like to spend my Mother's Day!!

Here is how we were greeted by Elsie when we came in to sing to her the morning of her birthday. Picture this with a loud "stop" while covering her ears!! What a joyous birthday morning!!

Elsie with all her birthday gear.

Elsie's friends at her party. I love how all of the older siblings are trying to keep their younger sibling in place for the picture, it was quite funny to watch.
(Left to Right: Isaiah, Zoe, Savannah, Kaylin, Trevor, Elsie, Carson, Abby, Megan)

Elsie covering her ears in preparation for the whispered birthday song!

Sleeping in her princess tent. I thought I would spare you from the picture of Matt and I in the futon.

Happy Graduation Uncle Jack!

The brothers: Matt, Jack, Todd, Scott

The family representing

Happy Mother's Day!

3 generations

BBQ at it's best, dogs, burgers, and family

Each year Papa gets the girls a CD of a musical that they will collect throughout the years: this year, Peter Pan and Sound of Music!

Carson and Elsie's painted tile: dots and a heart!

This was taken at 16 weeks (roughly 4 months)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Your Must Have Baby Pictures

Isn't it funny how we always bust out the camera when our kids are doing something new or silly or unusual? It's natural to want to capture that moment on film to look back on several years later, particularly those "first" moments. Parents (me included) love taking shots of our kids doing something for the first time - first nap, first time in the car seat, first time at home, first bath, first steps, first words (on the video camera), first performance up front, first day of school, and so on. However, there is one baby "first" picture that I can't stand; the first picture of a child eating solid foods. I can't count the number of times I have received an email of a friend's kid whose face is covered with crap. Though I appreciate the thoughtfulness, I am honestly not interested in seeing a young child with bean burrito, rice cereal, and chocolate ice cream all over themselves. This is not cute, this is freaking disgusting. I don't mind future pictures of kids going crazy at their first birthday party with cake everywhere; it's just that first close-up shot of kids covered in organic broccoli-peach-soy-cookie dough baby food that is not endearing. So here is a picture that is always a first and won't make your stomach turn...Carson's first bath time Mohawk! Actually, she probably has had many of these but we never captured it on film. Hope you enjoy these cute, clean, smiling faces!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Ode to the Panfilios

For those of you who don't know, the Panfilios are one of our closest friends. We used to see them very often when they lived nearby, but since moving to Fresno, our visits have been limited to special occasions. Elsie LOVES Auntie Lala, Uncle A, and Paigie. I cannot emphasis that enough!! Well, for about the past month, every day (not an exaggeration), she has been saying, "we haven't seen Auntie Lala in a LONG time." Or for her birthday party we asked her where she wanted to celebrate and she said, "how about at Auntie Lala's house!" We have been trying to find a time to meet in Bakersfield for the day so Elsie keeps asking, "we need to go to the park to see Paigie, when are we going?" So, all that to say, I couldn't take the sad comments any longer, so I asked if she wanted to make a video for them to see how much she misses them. So, here is the clip we got. Carson is even saying Lala now. It was quite funny to us. So, enjoy our Ode to the Panfilios!!