Sunday, September 29, 2013

Gemma is Free (3)

For most of the last year when you asked Gemma how old she is, she would answer three. This only became worrisome if we went somewhere that had free admission under three and Gemma's confusion would get us in trouble. Now that she officially turned three, if you ask her how old she is she consistently answers, two. Go figure! 

Her birthday fell on a Tuesday this year so while we had her dinner party on Saturday we had to make her official birthday special too. She goes to preschool on Tuesday and Thursday mornings for two and a half hours. At preschool they have a birthday board you take home to decorate with pictures and anything you love to share with the class on your special day.
 Gemma was very excited about her birthday board. I would have loved to have been there to hear what she told her class and teachers about all the pictures on her board. I am guessing it wasn't a whole lot.
 On her birthday morning, as tradition dictates, we serve pancakes with M&M's. This is turning out to be quite popular and Lily asked for days and days prior to Gemma's birthday whether they would be getting the special breakfast. We even lit Gemma's "3" candle and sang to her and she blew it out again.
 They were delicious I might add and Daddy was not too sad he was already at work and missed out since he DOES NOT LIKE PANCAKES! I know! Is that even possible? Now he would interject here and state that pancakes are fine but they are not breakfast, they are dessert. Does that really matter on your birthday?
 When I picked Gemma up at preschool she was proudly wearing her birthday crown they gave her. I promise she was happy, the frown was saved for the camera.
 She even told her teacher that it was the best day ever!
The girls spent most of the afternoon playing with Gemma's new toys until daddy got home from work. We had saved a few presents for her real birthday and it makes it even more fun to spread it out.
 This time Gemma was more interested in opening the presents herself. I think having a good nap helped. Lily was not so thrilled in having to take a back seat this time!
 Barbie and Princess abound for this girl. She is also a big Clifford fan and loves all the new books she got. We are so happy to have new bedtime books to read, although I think I already have these ones memorized.
We had swim lessons in the evening and then we all went out to dinner. The girls love to eat at a restaurant (did someone say french fries) even though we don't really enjoy dining out with them. It was a nice dinner for all followed by a slice of chocolate cake and more singing. What more could a three year old girl want?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Gemma's Rainbow Party

 Knowing it was possibly the last year I would have a say in anyone's birthday party theme in this house, I took full advantage in "suggesting" Gemma have a rainbow party. This may have been aided by the fact that I promised to incorporate M&M's into the party.
As you can see the decorations were easy and so very festive! 
I hung these the night before the party and when early bird Gemma awoke she was very surprised. She was in fact afraid of the dining room and took some time to warm up to it. The dog was not a fan either.
The cake may have been the real reason behind my theme choice. I had this cake picked out shortly after Lily turned three and was not going to miss my chance. You take two bundt cakes, I made chocolate and snicker doodle, and cut them into a three shape.
Make your favorite frosting, the birthday girl chose chocolate of course. Big Sis was on hand to help.
 Then after frosting, you spend a good while doing this. I had already separated out a party size bag of M&M's by color.
 The finished product was pretty impressive. It was also huge!
 It was a long afternoon waiting for the party to get started. We blew up numerous rounds of balloons and then had huge tears after they all popped. We almost ended up with both girls in hysterical tears right as the party was due to begin. Finally the guests arrived and we had a great supper. We made carnitas tacos that we smoked on the grill for 10 hours! It was amazing. We had all the fixings but made sure to save room for the big cake!

Tiny girl ate her fill of tacos, watermelon, and corn salad!
 Even Benji boo liked his pork and guac.
 Finally everyone had their fill and we could move on to cake. Daddy lit the candles but somehow an over-eager birthday girl kept blowing a couple out.
 Uncle E made sure they would stay lit while we all sang Happy Birthday.
 Finally it was time for the big wish.
 This is one happy customer. She polished off her ice cream and the M&M's and declared herself done.
 Time to move right along to gift opening. We had to open each gift, remove the packaging and play with them before we could move on to another.
 Each and every gift was a hit! The birthday girl was getting weary and shy and did not want to open the gifts herself. Good thing she has a pushy older sister who pretty much shoved her out of the way to tear off the wrapping.
 Benji was less than impressed with Barbi. He doesn't go for that type of girl.
 We got a taste of what Christmas morning is going to be like with these two. They are both at the age where they really understand it all and get so excited.
 It was a fantastic party and we are all taking a slow day to recover.  We sent everyone home with leftovers and cake (which tastes even better the second day).

Here are a few collages I put together of party pics. Gemma's actual birthday is Tuesday and she has school in the morning. There will be more celebrating with her preschool friends and swim lessons in the afternoon. I am sure there will be a few more presents reserved for that day, the fun never ends.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Missing Mullet

Gemma will be three in a little over a week and we felt it was high time she passed another big milestone in a young girls life. The first hair cut. In case you haven't paid much attention to Gemma's hair (or often lack there-of) she has never excelled in the hair growth department. It is very fine, thin, and wispy. She really doesn't have a ton to speak of in the front even now. She has no bangs in her face, we just put clips in for decoration (which she promptly rips out with several strands of her precious locks). The very back of her hair was getting a bit ridiculous though. This is after swim lessons recently.
 This is how her hair looks 100% of the time after waking up in the morning and 99% of the time after nap. It also looks like this about 47% of the time on any occasion but don't tell GG. It is fondly referred to as her rats nest.
 We decided it was time to at least trim the back and remove some of the "Kentucky waterfall" as some fondly refer to the mullet. I thought about taking her to a cute little kids hair salon where you get to sit on a rocket ship or something and they make a great big deal out of it. We don't have any of those near us and I didn't feel like shelling out $20 for someone to take one snip to my daughters fine hair. So I did it myself. We set up the "salon" outside.
 She wore a drape and we spritzed her down with water. As you can see this was such a thrill for her. A real momentous occasion she will treasure forever.
 The "after" look. It is a sweet little bob with no sign of a mullet.
 A happy customer and it only took about 90 seconds total.
This is all the hair that the little mullet came to. Such big style from such little hair.
Her prize came in the form of a ride with big bird at the mall. 
Much to our pleasure her little sweet curls weren't totally chopped off either. If anything they look a little fuller now. Guess we should have given her a chop sooner. We were just worried if we removed much of her precious hair she would look like a boy.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Preschool for Gemma

Lily started school a week before Gemma did so we had plenty of Mom and me time. This included a trip to target with a chocolate milk all to herself! Gemma asked me if she could save half of it in the fridge for her sister. She did actually manage to polish off the whole thing herself. These girls are used to sharing. 
Gemma had preschool orientation on Tuesday while Lily was at school. She was so excited! She picked out her outfit very carefully and could not wait to get there. We even had to pose with her sign in anticipation.
She had a great time playing in the outdoor area of the school while the Mom's and Dad's went inside for a meeting with the director. 
The moon sand was a big hit. I guess I need to finally make a batch.
Her actual first day of school was on Thursday. It just happened to be Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) and Lily had no school. Gemma was once again excited to go to school and picked out a new stripey dress to wear.
None of these photos were prompted, whatsoever. She is all personality this one.
Her "I am nervous for school" look.
Her "I don't want to go look."
What you talkin' about Willis?
We arrived at school and headed outdoors. The three year old class spends the first hour of school in the outdoor classroom. This included Gemma's favorite thing in the world. The swings.
Lily had a great time showing Gemma the ropes.
Then it was time for Mom and Lily to leave. Gemma was not impressed and started saying I don't want to stay, I don't want to go to school. Her teacher picked her up and we said good bye. She did not cry but she was not terribly pleased. Lily, on the other hand, declared Rosh Hashanah her new favorite holiday. We took a starbucks break for Lily's turn to get a chocolate milk all her own. We read our Highlights magazine and had a nice chat. 
In the blink of an eye it was time to pick up Gemma. She was hot, tired, and crabby. She did not reveal too many details of her day but over the next few days we deduced she must have had a pretty good time. After lunch she helped me make strawberry jello. We cut them in alphabet shapes for dessert.
We have day two of school on Tuesday so we will see how it goes. I think having Lily along, leaving with Mom did not help. I am sure after a few days (or weeks) she will quickly run off without a glance my way.