Lizzie loves her pretty dresses and boots. From what I've heard it's because she likes to look pretty but the boots are easier for playing, jumping, splashing in puddles, or whatever else she needs to do.
Turning seven means discovering a love for science, wondering how the world works, loving the ability to expand your knowledge by opening a book, building confidence with karate, wanting short hair, loving blue jeans and jean shorts(after years of hating them), wearing shoes with laces that you tie, having several best friends, getting irritated when your little sister wants to hang out with you and your friends, wanting to be a teacher and going to Texas Tech like your Aunt KK to become one, loving green apples, needing corn cut off the cob and apples sliced because your front teeth are missing, loving the outdoors, creating all kinds of new inventions in the craft room, hunting with Daddy, imagining with your little sister, still wanting songs at bedtime from Mom, and just being the sweet girl she is. I love seeing you grow up Tay!
I started this blog a little while before having Taylor, but having kids really defined this blog. This is my digital scrapbook of them as little people and my backup in case something happens to all our files of pictures. For a while I actually did a weekly log of what we were doing and unique things about each kid. Taylor turned seven and reality hit that I don't feel like I've documented her life like I used to. She had me read the shutterfly book I made about her birth and I love pouring over each picture. I loved remembering each moment or trying to recall the parts that are a bit fuzzy since I had just finished having major surgery(a c-section). Sadly I won't forgot getting sick in front of all my family members(in-laws too) as the spinal tap wore off. Reliving those sweet memories made me want to rush onto Shutterfly and make each year that I haven't finished yet or sat down to do. I want to be able to take that visual journey with her anytime she wants and remind her of all the silly, frustrating, embarrassing, and loving things she did as she grew up. Until then I will settle for this collage to remind me of how my girl has grown over the years. There are two pictures from when she was three(middle row, left and middle pictures) but the rest are one from each year around her birthday from birthday until seven.
I try not to be shocked anymore when Lizzie comes down the stairs in random outfits. On this day it was more cuteness than a wow factor. Lizzie hasn't been in dance for over 9 months, has no desire to take dance class, but does find the need to full dress in dance gear every so often and request music videos. I sat back and watched as she rocked her little tutu off to Taylor Swift, Meaghan Trainor, Pitbull, and Ariana Grande. This girl likes her music and dancing makes her happy.
I was reminded this week of how much other people enjoy these emails and pictures when the girls 94 year old great grandmother kindly commented that she missed seeing their pictures. I didn't even know my father-in-law was forwarding them on to her. Her comment made me think about how I may see the girls everyday but some of our friends and family don't. Plus I know that years from now I will not remember why Taylor stopped to give me her sweet smile or why Lizzie was doing something adorable. So my loved ones, here is the girl who started it all giving us one of her sweet smiles that I love so much. Happy Taylor Tuesday on Thursday!
So I never got you a Taylor Tuesday or Elizabethursday, so here is your Sister Saturday. Love these too goofballs! I asked them to smile and got this. Funny how they do this without even talking to each other.
After a few requests they allowed me to have this one too. As much as I like seeing their sweet smiles, I love their goofiness more. I feel bad for my friend that is going to be taking our family pictures soon. Who knows what they are going to come up with for her.
It's hard to believe that it's already been 4 years since Lizzie was born. I asked her on Saturday how she got to be four and she told me 'Because it's my birthday today.' Well yes child I do realize that, but how have four years already gone by??? Some days it might feel like it takes forever to make it through a day with her, but other days I just want to slow down and hold her just a little longer each time she lets me. Lizzie has been debating party themes since we celebrated Taylor's birthday in April. My rule is that I need to get past one birthday before the next kid can even think about a party idea. Not to mention that I have six months to get ready for the next one. I finally took Lizzie to Party City and let her see all the options and pick one. Keep in mind that between the two girls we have had a Frozen, Strawberry Shortcake, Fairy, Hello Kitty, Minion, Bubble Guppies/Nemo, Princess, Ladybug, and Sesame Street themed parties. Lizzie decided to keep it fresh and chose Little Mermaid. She also wanted to do a sing-along style party similar to Taylor's so we decided to an Under the Sea Sing-Along. I have loved Little Mermaid since it came out the first time(I'm not going to mention how young I was) and Pinterest offered a full selection of ideas to plan with. Lizzie really wanted to help with her party so I let her pick a lot of the design and decorations. I surprised her with a few but what fun would it be if there weren't a few surprises. Lizzie loved Ariel's sparkly tail in this picture so I found a way to use it for her invitation. Poor Flounder had to get covered up by a star so that I could get all the information on the invitation without covering up too much of that sparkly tail.
Along with the paper invitation we included a CD with some of Lizzie's favorite songs. I did this for Taylor's Frozen party so I thought I had it figured out. Lesson learned when printed the CD inserts before trying to burn the CD. I was 17 seconds over what would truly fit on the CD so I had to carefully white out number 20. We love us some Kelly Clarkson, but she just didn't make the CD cut. We did play her video during the party. I am still trying to explain to Lizzie why Macklemore and Jason Derulo weren't the best songs to put on a CD for her friends.
Keeping with the Under the Sea theme, I made shell shaped tags for the goodie bags. Lizzie found small plastic slinkies with Ariel on them at the party store and declared them a must-have for her friends. We also included a sparkly bracelet and some Ariel stickers.
The girls are fascinated by my Silhouette and the things I can make with it. I saw this scrap piece of wood in the garage and just had to make a sign for the front door. I figured we can also use it in the backyard later or give it to my in-laws for near their pool. Since I already had the wood and vinyl, it was pretty inexpensive to get a can of purple spray paint. I'm surprised we didn't have some already but I'm sure I'll find a use for it again in the future. Taylor had the idea to add bubbles around the mermaid to really make it look like she was swimming and then to have the bubble machine on the porch. Pictures wouldn't capture the bubbles but the girls loved it.
Chris' mom made the adorable shirts for the girls. She was so sweet to take Lizzie to the fabric store and let her pick the fabric for her mermaid shirt.
At a friend's birthday party this summer I saw how cute it was when you sewed two strands of crepe paper together and let it ruffle. I just knew it would be the perfect kelp look for the living room and a fairly inexpensive decoration. It took about an hour to sew up two of those huge rolls of green crepe paper together but the end look was awesome. Then I just used push pins to attach them to the ceiling.
We had the party in the morning so I just needed snacks for the kids. We had Under-the-Sea Sushi, Oyster Cookies, Grape Seaweed, Octo-ranch dip and veggies, Goldfish Bait, and Dinglehopper Cupcakes. The sushi is rice krispy treats with a swedish fish and wrapped in a strip of fruit roll-up. Sounds odd, but the combination is pretty yummy. For the Oyster Cookies, I used simple sugar cookies(store bought so they would be a bit firmer) with cream cheese frosting in the middle with a candy pearl(from Hobby Lobby). I learned that it helps to have thicker frosting for this(I refrigerated mine for about an hour first) and to put more towards the opening to give it that clam look. The ranch dip was supposed to have an adorable octopus made from an upside down red bell pepper, but I simply ran out of time. No one seemed to notice. Not everyone understood the Dinglehopper Cupcakes, but if you've seen the movie a few times you know the joke.
If kids didn't want to sing and dance to the videos, then they could play outside and/or decorate a crown. We had foam crowns, peel and stick jewels, and glitter glue pens. Lizzie had told me to make sure there were blue crowns for the boys and I was excited to see that they had as much fun making a crown as the girls.
Lizzie even ditched her fancy Ariel crown at one point to wear the self created one. Taylor was awesome about helping all the younger kids make a crown.
We wrapped the party with the pinata that Lizzie insisted on. I tried to get out of having one since her party was the day after Halloween but when we were at a friend's party and she informed the mom that she was also having a pinata I knew I was in trouble. Lesson also learned that pinata's with the pull strings are very hard to break with a stick. Every kid got to take several whacks at it and it still didn't crack. Then we let them start pulling the strings. I guess there was a candy-clog because barely anything came out. We let another dad take a whack and it split right open. I think he had more fun than the kids!
Our family likes to do a birthday dinner/lunch since the kid's parties can be a bit busy. Lizzie chose Hibachi since that is her current favorite restaurant. She would go there every week if she could. When I asked her what she likes about it she said the noodles, the soup, and the FIRE!
Lizzie insisted on wearing her crown to the restaurant and was a little bummed when I wouldn't let her wear it to church too. She was not shy about asking me to make sure they knew it was her birthday. We've been so much lately that she was predicting what would come next in the food show but she didn't predict that the chef would sing Happy Birthday during his show or that they would bring her out a HUGE ice cream sundae.
It was a wonderful weekend celebrating our baby girl and her fourth birthday. I'm sure Lizzie will try to find some way to keep it going for a few more days and I just might let her. I also know that there is still kelp hanging in my living room and I would rather just spend the time hanging out with my girls than finding the stool to take it down. Maybe I can find a way to turn it into a Christmas decoration.
Ah! I just realized that my last picture for you guys was in September. Surely you must think this is more of random thing than every Tuesday now. And here it is Wednesday and I'm getting this out. Well... Happy Taylor Tuesday/Wednesday then. With Taylor in school, it is rare to have her all to myself. Last week her school got out early and we had a little time together before having to pick Lizzie up from school. Her class met up at the park for a little bit to play. Both girls love this spider web at the park and immediately crawl to the top. It was a gorgeous day and I couldn't resist a picture of our girl.
On Mondays Lizzie and I go grocery shopping. She loves to go with me. Not sure if it's the slice of turkey that the deli ladies always give her or the dum-dum that I often have in my purse for her, maybe both. On this particular grocery trip she declared a little bit of everything from her wardrobe. A dress, cowgirl boots, jacket tied around her waist(in case she gets cold), bandanna for a face mask, and her purse full of random stuff. I'm pretty sure there are a few coupons in that purse in case you need one for cat food or fruit snacks. A girl's gotta have her priorities on what coupons to clip.
Taylor had been waiting for months to loose her first tooth. Almost a year ago the dentist said that two of her bottom teeth might be loose soon but nothing for months. Taylor even wrote two letters to the tooth fairy wanting to know when her time would come. Then she came home from school Friday mentioning that her bottom teeth were sore. Wiggling teeth grosses me out. I know I have many years ahead of me of children loosing teeth, but I just can't stand to watch it happen. Taylor's tooth was so loose this morning that she barely ate breakfast for fear of losing it. Luckily it fell out before lunch at school so I didn't have a starving kid on my hands. Props to the school nurse for having fun little treasure boxes for when you loose a tooth. Taylor went to bed tonight with a letter proudly displayed for the tooth fairy and her tooth tucked into her tooth fairy pillow.(I bet the tooth fairy loves that she doesn't have to find that itty bitty tooth under her pillow tonight) While she dreamed of fairies Chris and I were busy googling the going rate for a tooth. I heard that our fairy left $2(big money for the first tooth) and a Rainbow Magic Fairy book about the Tooth Fairy.
Here's our girl with her new smile(and sassy new haircut).