June 2011

Monthly Archive

june growth

Posted by lynn on 30 Jun 2011 | Tagged as: family, friends, melina, nalani

We’ve had a fun start to summer as our littlest girl takes on toddlerhood. (Or, as Melina calls it, waddlerhood. She’s in the Waddler class at daycare, after all.)

hellokitty

jupes

Nalani walks FAST, so fast it could count as running at times. And she is into everything! Favorite games include pulling things out of trash cans, and putting non-trash items (books, toys, cans of food) in them. She loves to run away from her parents, and will always give us a sly grin. She adores her two siblings and any other kid around her size. The other day she followed a fellow little sib across two rooms and out the back door at Melina’s preschool.

prettyinpink

tutu

Nalani has also gotten the hang of basic routines, and in fact seems to thrive on them more than our other two kids. She’ll help us put away bath toys as we sing the clean-up song, and even closes the baby gate behind her after crawling up the three steps to the kitchen. The other day as I was talking to Jeanie next door, she decided she was ready to go home so walked along the sidewalk and turned up the driveway to head to our front door. All by herself.

chickens

chicken_ bikes

Our baby adores music, and just started a music class for tots and parents. She’s the littlest one, but has a blast and knows the hand signs for “twinkle twinkle” and “head, shoulders…” Music aside, she also knows the signs for more, milk, and water. She uses “more” often when eating! She talks quite a bit (in fact her teacher at daycare says she tries to “chat” with kids in the next crib at nap time), and now has a repertoire of bona fide words. She says “mo… mo…” (more… more), “mo ma” (more milk), “aaa duh” (all done), “book” and at times “boo boo” (blue blue, for blueberries, her favorite food these days).

MELINAname

opu

Our big girl is also growing and maturing almost daily. Sometimes I look at her and wonder where my baby went, and who put this kid in her place. She’s still a night owl who loves ease into sleep with batches of books, and ease into her day with lots of hugs and giggles. She almost never wears pants, and now likes “all the rainbow” in addition to pink as a favorite color. She writes her name beautifully, and knows how to spell all of her preschool friends’ names.

Melina has a wonderful sense of logic, some of it due to how a four-year-old’s mind works, but I’m sure plenty innate to her being her. In a commonplace example, the other day I got a huge scrape on my nose. (Short story is our new minivan attacked me.) Melina noticed immediately and expressed concern, and when I said “I’m not sure what to do about it, I can’t put a bandaid on my nose,” she responded, “I know! You can use neosporin!” And she was right.

mama_nali

daddy_nalani

Her curiosity also continues to flourish, like in this recent conversation.
Mina: When was the first day?
Me: The first day of what?
Mina: The first day of everything.

In sadder news, good friends of ours recently lost a baby just two weeks before her due date. Melina knows them and helped me make banana muffins for a care package, so I told her what had happened. Her response, “but how can a baby die before it’s born, when it’s not even zero?” sums up perfectly the question we’re all grappling with.

princess party

Posted by lynn on 07 Jun 2011 | Tagged as: melina

candles

princesses

Melina topped off birthday party season at our house with a bang. Because I joined a moms’ group when she was a newborn, she now has eight little friends whose birthdays are within a month of hers, and three with birthdays within days. Emma’s birthday is just two days after Melina’s, and with the girls swimming together and both being HUGE fans of princesses and pink, I asked her mom if they might want to join forces with a party. In the end we let they girls decide. They “discussed” it during swim class one day and decided that a joint party would be lots of fun.

trike

josie_mina_maya

On to the planning… we soon decided to reserve a park area, and then Queen Mama Anna went straight to work on decorations, putting my enthusiasm to shame. She sewed a “marrying” princess tent (decorative bows and ribbons on a large mosquito net tent), made “throne” coverings for two folding chairs, and started creating castle facades to hang at the park.

kai_pinata

birdseye

Melina insisted on a pinata (check), princess plates and pink party-ware (check), and of course balloons (we put Grandma and Grandpa Weiss on that task, so check!) We had the Beelers over one night for a pizza planning session, divvied up food tasks, and decided to have the “fairy godmother” (Emma’s godmother) do face painting for the kids and my parents to run a craft station.

cakes

balloons

Melina wanted a princess castle cake, so we started looking at pictures online and brainstorming the best way to make her cake dream come true. A friend of mine found a perfect pattern, right before Anna did a practice run for Emma’s cake. (I wasn’t that organized.) Turns out her practice cake was based on the same 3D, square tower idea as my friend’s pattern, and Melina loved the picture she saw. Outside of needing to buy square cake pans, we were set!

spread

littlesisters

We should have been set. But we’ve had an unusually cold, wet spring this year, and as luck would have it, an unseasonable three-day storm was forecast to land the day before the party. The 20-kid, 25-adult, outdoor-in-a-park, first-weekend-in-June party, a date when rain should not be in the equation. At first we both avoided the thought of a backup plan. We saw 40% chance rain as 60% sun. But then it turned to 60% chance rain, and sudden downpours (sun one minute, sheets of rain the next) earlier in the week made second-guessing the weather a dicey proposition.

cake_almostdone

cakeprep

We went through a number of different ideas but in the end settled on having the party at Emma’s house, in their lovely basement room and garage that open directly to the backyard. We got lucky: It didn’t rain, and it wasn’t horribly cold. But it did threaten, so we didn’t regret our decision to forgo the park. All our little princesses (and a few princes and knights) had a wonderful time, and each got a chance to hit the pinata once before it was broken open by biggest-kid Kai.

In what Joey calls the ultimate princess move, Melina refused to wear a princess dress to her dress-up party and instead chose a new T-shirt from Grandma Rapoza and a pink tutu. She wanted to wear jammies. I told her she could save that idea for her fifth birthday party, and amazingly she agreed.

happy fourth, melina!

Posted by lynn on 02 Jun 2011 | Tagged as: melina

fairyland_giraffe

fairyland_train

This week has been birthday week for our biggest girl, who turned four yesterday. We started off the celebrating with a family trip to Children’s Fairyland on Memorial Day. Because of the special trip, Melina was a little confused about why she wasn’t turning four on Monday. And because we’ve been talking about visiting Disneyland this summer, she also confused the two and kept saying we were visiting “Disney” land, not “Fairy” land. She had plenty of fun at the pint-sized Fairyland, so I can’t wait to see her reaction to Disney come August!

princess_meli

nali_go_round

(Fun side bit: See an almost two-year-old Melina waiting for a treat at the very same pumpkin cafe.)

To mark her true birthday, we started with a mommy-and-Melina cafe breakfast. Melina chose a chocolate croissant and decided to eat nothing but the chocolate out the middle. That evening our full family – Kai included – dined at Zachary’s pizza (Melina’s choice) followed by ice cream at Dreyer’s down the street.

pumpkincafe

icecream

The best is yet to come: On Sunday we’re co-hosting a princess party for Melina and her friend Emma. It’s supposed to be a park party, but amazingly, the early June forecast is for rain. Melina claims we can just use umbrellas, but we’re opting for a backup plan, and if need be will transform our house into a castle. If Melina’s vision comes true, this will include triangular traffic cones on each corner of our roof, made to look just like castle towers.