Sunday, December 22, 2013

a special November

As soon as Halloween is out of the way we swap the pumpkin decorations for balloons and streamers. The first week of November should officially be named, "Olivia's Birthday Week Extravaganza!" Why? Because it seems that every day consists of some sort of celebration focusing on the day she was born.

It all started one week before her birthday when we took her to get her ears pierced. This was something she has wanted for awhile and we agreed that her 7th birthday would be a good time to take this step. Seeing my baby girl sit in that chair and wait for holes to be pierced through her ears made me realize just how grown up she has become.

I don't think she blinked an eyelash when those earrings went in and she was grinning from ear to ear the rest of the night. Goodness my girl is growing up!

We continued the week-long birthday celebration with Olivia's family birthday party. Each year she chooses her birthday theme and this year she decided on Hello Kitty. And as always, we go all out on the decorations, cake and party favors. My Mom whipped up her famous sugar cookies to look like little Hello Kitty faces and my niece once again baked an amazing birthday cake.

This year Cece wanted to be right in the middle of the birthday fun. She was right by her sister's side when she opened her presents and she was ready to help Olivia blow out her candles if she needed the help. It was almost surreal watching Olivia blow the candle on her 7th birthday. I am not quite sure where those years went, but I sure am proud of what she has accomplished in those years.

It was a small, quiet party but that made it even more special. For Olivia it wouldn't matter if two or one million people came to her birthday, she would still say it was, "the best day EVER!". 

The party did not stop there. In fact, it continued the very next day with her "friend" party. We picked a new place in town called, "The Painting Fun Spot" to celebrate her birthday with her closest buddies. What better theme for a little girl birthday party than arts and crafts.

The girls got to pick what item they wanted to paint. Using their creativity they carefully painted their masterpieces to perfection. Some were done in 5 minutes, others took their sweet time. As their creations were drying the girls moved onto cupcakes and present opening. 

Olivia and her wonderful group of girlfriends had a great time and once again it was, "the best day EVER!". It was also a really fun place to go and I am sure we will be going back in the future. Maybe next time we will bring Cece with us. We felt that bringing her to a store full of breakable items during her sister's birthday party was not the wisest decision. 

To wrap up "Olivia's Birthday Week Extravaganza" Todd's Mom took us all to Olivia's favorite Japanese restaurant for her official birthday dinner. Hard to believe that after a week full of celebrating her actual birthday fell on our final night of celebration. The girls enjoyed watching their meal being cooked right in front of them and we all enjoyed the end result. Olivia welcomed her 7th year with open arms. It should be a great one for her too!

So let's turn our attention to that little fireball, Cecilia. There are no words to truly explain this little stinker...but let me try. She is sweet, but sometimes naughty. She is smart, but extremely stubborn. And more than anything else she refuses to perform when we really wish she would. Case in point...parent visitation at her tap class. 

I was looking forward to seeing what she had learned so far this year. She demonstrates things at home for me, so I knew she was learning something. Once we got in the room the child froze and refused to move a muscle for the majority of the class. She spent a lot of time looking at herself in the mirror and coming over to give us hugs and kisses. I have been assured many times, by her teacher that she does in fact participate each week. I guess I will just have to take her word for it. She sure is cute in a leotard!

She is also cute when she is working hard in her classroom. We were able to witness just how cute during VIP day. For every year that Olivia has been attending Peace Montessori School my Mom has always been her VIP. Well this was the first year that we had two girls attending the same school and one person cannot be in the same place at the same time. So, my Mom and I split VIP duties, each spending half of the time in each of the girls' classrooms. I got to observe Olivia doing some very advanced math work while my Mom observed Cece sorting objects by color and stacking blocks. We were both very impressed with how well the girls seem to be doing in school. It's nice to see firsthand the things we only hear they do each day.

The start of the holiday season crept up on us and suddenly it was Thanksgiving weekend. Before breaking for the holiday the girls celebrated the holiday with a Thanksgiving feast at abbreviated version, anyway. The meal consisted of chicken nuggets, tater tots and carrot sticks. I guess they think that is a safer way to go when feeding kids. It was sweet to see the girls gathered around the table with their little friends enjoying a Thanksgiving meal. 

A few days later we celebrated our family Thanksgiving at home. We spent most of the day getting out the Christmas decorations and putting up the tree. Cece spent most of the day decorating for Christmas sans pants. Is there any other way to decorate for Christmas?

That evening Todd's Mom joined us for dinner. Once again this year my Mom spent Thanksgiving touring Europe so it was a quiet holiday, but it was nice just spending it at home with the girls. The turkey was delicious, thanks to Todd. I think Cece ate a whole 2 bites of food, but the rest of us enjoyed it all very much!

This is by far my favorite time of year. We have so many Christmas traditions that we love to do with the girls. Cece is just starting to really get into all things Christmas, and Olivia is probably at the height of "believing" in all things Christmas. Sadly, I anticipate that she will "catch on" to things in the next year, so for now we will ride this train as long as we can. Bring on Christmas!