Monday, May 26, 2014

Sophie loves birds!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Calvin is 6!

Calvin turned 6 on the 22nd (how am I a whole month behind???) of April, and boy was he SO excited for his birthday to come.  He had been literally counting down the days for well over a month.  When you have two little sisters with birthdays RIGHT before yours, I guess that's a given!

I am on a new kick of having parties on the actual birthday whenever possible.  For little kids I just feel like it is less confusing, plus it lets me focus my birthday energy on one day instead of spreading it over more days.  I think I am a much better birthday mom if I confine it to one day, whenever possible :)  So even though Calvin's birthday was on a Tuesday, we still had his party that day, anyways.  And I was genuinely surprised at the number of people who were able to come, considering week nights are pretty busy!  He had so much fun with the planning, and of course execution of the party, and was just on cloud nine! 

This year Calvin requested a...wait for it....these were his exact words....SPERM WHALE PARTY!!!!!  He was adamant that it be a SPERM whale party.  Not a regular whale party.  But I just couldn't bring myself to put "sperm whale" on the invitations I was sending out to kindergarteners that I didn't even know.  So according to the invitations, it was a whale party :)  Calvin helped design the invitations, planned the activities, supervised the guest list, chose the treats, and helped choose the games.  He was so, SO excited.

Calvin's birthday started out great, with breakfast in bed!  Well, he started it in bed, but then asked, "Mom?  Can we bring this in there so I can chat with you guys?"  He's a sweetie!  He had waffles with berries and cream, a green smoothie, and a baby ruth bar (he REALLY wanted it for breakfast...), and he was a HAPPY guy!  Then we opened presents with him and got him all ready for school.  Then I took him to the store and he picked out doughnuts to bring to school for his birthday treat! 

After school we finished some party prep and before we knew it, it was party time!  We started a new thing where we do cake and presents as soon as possible during the party so that we don't keep parents waiting for us to open presents at pick up time :) So after a bit of education on cool and unusual sperm whale facts, we started with our healthy snack, and then dove right in with the cake, ice cream, and presents.  Afterwards, we let them crack open the sperm whale piñata, made by Michael and myself!  It was such a great piñata because lots of people had successful whacks where candy came out but the whole thing didn't explode.  It was awesome!  Then we played a couple of sperm whale themed games, and by then, it was pick up time! 

Calvin had so much fun having his friends over!  But the fun didn't stop there--once the party was ending, guess who showed up at the door??  Grandpa!  Calvin was SO excited to have Grandpa there, and we were so glad it worked out for him to be there!  So Calvin got to open ANOTHER round of presents, and then we all played for a while.  Calvin really had such a great day! 

So, here are a few things I hope I always remember about my Calvin boy at 6 years old:

-Calvin is a sweet boy--he loves to do nice things like pick flowers for me, draw pictures for Grandma, or leave a note somewhere for us.

-Calvin is the best at sharing.  He has a big heart, and even if they don't deserve it, he will pretty much always share his treat or his toy or his attention with anyone who needs it.

-Calvin loves the show "Wild Kratts", which is about two brothers who go on adventures and learn about different animals.  He actually does learn a lot from it!  But I'm still not convinced that it actually qualifies as learning time instead of screen time, although he tries hard to convince me!

-Calvin is apparently a  very eligible kindergarten man, as he is CONSTANTLY bringing home gifts and cards from sweet little school friends with hearts and "I heart you"'s all over them. 

-Calvin loves to dig around in the dirt outside.  He loves to climb trees, find worms, look at bugs, play baseball, ride his bike, you name it!  He LOVES being outside.

-Calvin is getting better at reading.  It's fun watching him learn and understand more and more.  Since he is in Spanish Immersion kindergarten, I think it has been a little slow-going, but he's finally putting all of the pieces together!  And he's started to use more Spanish at home.

-Calvin is usually the first one awake and his first stop is almost always my bed to give me a great big hug and snuggle.  He loves his mama!

-Calvin is an emotional little guy, but he's learning to have a little control over it, which is great.  Most days he can dig deep for some self control and find it and put it to good use :)

-Calvin is a good helper, especially when I'm willing to do a job with him.  He loves to work side by side.

-Calvin has a great imagination and is always coming up with awesome games to play.

We sure love you, Calvin boy!  You are so sweet, and such a joy to have in our family! 

Now, here are some pictures!

Last glimpse of 5!

Breakfast in bed!

Opening presents:

Playing in the back yard:

Calvin's whale cake:

Sperm whale piñata:



Opening presents:

Taking a whack at the piñata:

Hannah feeling troubled:


Cake time:

For his piece of cake, he wanted the whale's heart:


Grandpa's here!

Opening Grandpa's presents:

Watching the spinner things fly--the kids LOVED these toys!

Trying out the parachute man:

Michael offered to toss Katie while Calvin tossed the parachute man and see if she could fly, too.  She declined.

Goofy happy guy.

Loves his Grandpa!

Here are some pictures from Calvin's 6 year photo shoot:

Sophie really wanted to be involved, too.

Love you, buddy!  Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Sophie is 4!

Well, our little Sophie Loaf turned 4 on April 6th.  She is turning into such little lady!  Sophie had a fun little birthday celebration on Saturday the 5th with some good friends.  She requested a birdie birthday party, and so that's what she got!  It was a great little party.  We played a game or two, did one craft, opened presents, and had cake and ice cream.  And that was it!  She had a great time having some of her friends celebrate with her.  Since her birthday was on the 6th, we did a little more celebrating the next day, too!  We saved our family presents for Sunday, so Sophie opened them up in the morning.  I made Sophie a Queen Elsa dress, and she was deliriously happy when she opened it.  Very satisfying!  She loved the Frozen figurines from Grandma and Grandpa Walton, and was so excited to get her package from Grandpa Ernie with an Ariel charm bracelet and swim suit coverup!  She felt very special!  We ended up doing cake and ice cream again, but since the bottom layer of her cake hadn't been eaten, Michael suggested that I just re-frost the top of the layer and serve that up as a new cake!  That was brilliant!  She loved being sung to again, of course, and she had a lovely, happy 4th birthday!

Some things about Sophie as a four year old:

-Much like her mother, Sophie keeps her emotions very close to the surface.  This leads to a LOT of drama, but there are times when I am so proud to see her fighting so hard to let sanity over rule the excessive emotions--when I can hear her voice cracking and see her struggle to keep her composure and then ask for something as calmly and politely as she can, or share the toy that she really, really didn't want to share, or forgive her brother for hitting her in the face and saying in one very strained holding-back-tears breath, "It'sokayIforgiveyoubutpleasepleasepleasedon'tdoitagain!"  These moments might be less frequent than the dramatic outbursts, but it is sweet and satisfying to see her try so hard sometimes.

-Sophie has two best friends in the whole world.  Calvin and Jane.  Sophie would rather play with Jane than with anyone else in the whole world.  She loves Jane, and I love that those two can play together so often and be such great best buddies.  But when we're at home with just us, Calvin and Sophie are two peas in a pod.  I will miss these days when Calvin and Sophie have the afternoon to play together when Hannah is sleeping and Ryan is at school.  They play such inventive, awesome, imaginative games, and they have the best time.  Today they had so much fun pretending in the back yard.  I hardly saw them for two hours.  They are such great buddies!

-Sophie loves pickles, peanut butter and honey sandwiches, cookies without chocolate, crackers, bananas, berries, yogurt, pancakes, and bread and lunch meat next to each other on a plate.  Sophie REALLY doesn't like lunch meat sandwiches (?? Not sure why the meat ON the bread makes such a big difference...), chocolate, sweet potatoes, and mustard.

-Sophie almost always asks for a cup of milk with a meal.  And there is almost always an entire cup of milk left when she is finished.  I am always asking her to come back and drink her milk "or else I won't give her any next time!"

-Sophie loves baths and hates showers with a passion.

-Sophie is a great big sister to Hannah.  She is endlessly patient with her little sister, even when Hannah pulls her hair, slobbers on her toys, or what have you.  Hannah loves Sophie so much.  She is always coming up to her and giving her big hugs and slobbery kisses.  I love to see their relationship.  I am totally impressed with Sophie as a big sister.

-Sophie is usually asleep at night by 7:30 or 8 and wakes up around 6:30 in the morning.  If I ask her to, she will almost always nap for about 2 hours.  In fact I can't even remember the last time that I asked her to take a nap and she really fought it.  I think most days she knows she needs it.  Sometimes she even skips off to bed saying "I LOVE NAPS!"

-Sophie is a mama's girl, through and through.  She wants to do exactly what I am doing all the time, down to doing her hair just like mine and putting on makeup just like me.  If she sees me one day with my nails done, she usually melts down because I did them without her.  I have never had a child like that before, and it took me a while to figure out how to embrace it, but I feel like I am figuring it out now!  I love having Sophie help me with a cleaning project or draw or play nearby while I work on something.  If she ALWAYS had to be RIGHT NEXT to me, I think it would be a lot harder.  But Sophie is pretty good at going off to play or work on something by herself if I have given her the attention that she needs for a while first.  She is a great helper, and she certainly makes me feel loved!

-Sophie can often be found scooting around on the floor with her legs crossed or hopping around with her legs crossed.  This means that she is playing mermaid.  She always asks if we like her tail, and often has to change her pants before playing mermaid so that her tail is to her liking.  She is funny.  Today she wore 1 sock and when I asked her why, she said, "Oh, because I want my tail to have two different flippers!" 

-Sophie loves to sing the songs from the Frozen soundtrack, much like most of her contemporaries.  She knows all of the words and loves to belt it out.

-Sophie loves to dig around in the dirt in the back yard with her brothers and find worms and get horribly dirty.  But if an ant or a spider crawls on her, she pretty much freaks out!

-Sophie is a little sponge, and it is fun to hear her talk about her primary lessons from church.  A couple of weeks ago, everywhere we went Sophie just kept telling random people that she loved them.  They were all pleasantly surprised and I could tell that it brightened their days.  When I asked her why she loved everyone, she said, "Well, my primary teacher said that we should show love to everyone, even strangers!"  She is a good little girl and tries hard to do what's right.

I sure love my sweet little Sophie girl!  I can't believe she is four already.  Here are a ton of pictures:

Sophie started out her party day digging in some dirt, of course!

And swinging!

And relaxing in Hannah's rocking chair.

She was very specific in her cake request.  It was to have a red bird on top, a white square top layer, and a yellow square "ruffle-y" bottom layer.   I did it!

I bought gummy worms and made little felt birdie hair clips for the party favor bags:

I made these "birdie bushes" so the birdies could eat the berries and worms off of their bushes.

Waiting for the guests to arrive:

She had so much fun having so many friends there!

Here's our craft--birdies and an egg in a nest.

Opening presents:

Cake time!

And here she is on her actual birthday!  Michael made her a huge S pancake with berries and cream.  She was one happy girl!

Opening family presents:

Modeling her Elsa dress:

And her new Ariel gear from Grandpa!

Cake, round 2!

And here is the 4 year old photo shoot I did with Sophie.  She wanted to wear her ballet shoes.

Love this one:


Happy Birthday, sweet girl!