Saturday, February 19, 2011

Valentine Love

As a child my mom would often leave little treats on our bed leading up to Valentines Day. I try to do the same thing with Finn & Berlin. This year I make heart pouches to hang on their door handle. Each day they got a little treat. Of course there were a couple days where they were so bad that they didn't get anything.

[don't you just love the no girls allowed sign ... he wasn't happy when I told him that it didn't apply to me :)  ]

Then, on Valentines Day they each came home from school to find a pillow pet on their bed. They have wanted one of these forever, but I think they are a waste of money so I refused to buy them up until now. But since they went on sale I caved and got them each their favorite one:

Finley  = Dolphin

Berlin = the Unicorn

Their reaction was priceless and so worth it. Here they are breaking them in:

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Birthday Girl Festivities

Berlin had a friend party this weekend. When she woke up on the morning of, she had an early present waiting for her. Inside was a new mermaid dress & shoes. She had been begging me to make her one for the party, but I just didn't have time. Needless to say, she was giddy ... and she's worn the shoes every day since then. They are her new favorite.


She wanted an Ariel party, but we (mostly I) decided to forgo all references to Disney's Ariel and went with a generic mermaid party. I kept the decor pretty simple, just shells & sand dollars in the apothecary jars. And then I made these cute strands of paper circles to hang from the ceiling.

Each girl decorated a treasure bag, fished for treasures in the sea, played mermaid bingo, and ate lemon cupcakes & ice-cream. My AWESOME sister Val came to the party dressed as a mermaid. The girls loved it.

As each girl left they got a goodie bag and a mermaid headband with starfish & sand dollars on them.

It was such a fun day for Berlin and she had such a great time with all her little mermaid friends.

Later that night we took Berlin to dinner. She chose to go to the Spaghetti Factory. Leave it to us to try and go out to dinner the same night as all the High School Valentines Day dances.  I was bugged, but Berlin loved all the girls in their fancy dresses. Fortunately for us we got their early enough that we didn't have to wait too long.

On her actual birthday we awoke to squeals of delight. The night before, Ryan stayed up super late assembling a Barbie Doll-house that is HUGE. We were so tired that we didn't even see her reaction. We just heard, "Oh my gosh. OH MY GOSH!!!" as she saw this upon coming upstairs.

That night we had a small family dinner with our friend Amy. Berlin chose tacos for dinner. Then we had presents and soda floats. Apparently, after watching her unwrap 3 books, 1 coloring book, a leapster game, and a stationary set, he wasn't impressed with the amount of gifts she got. He must have been tallying up the total amount of gifts thinking ahead to his birthday because after she opened her few other presents he says (all bewildered), "That's it? That's all she got? That's not very much." Um, hello? Did you not see the big doll-house? Looks like I need to prep him for his bday because he might not be happy with the downsizing from last year when I went out-of-control on gifts.

 Aren't they just the cutest little boogers?

On Monday night we had our monthly FHE with Ryan's family where we celebrate the birthdays in that month. Berlin wanted cupcakes originally but I wasn't in the baking mood. So I convinced her to go with Rootbeer floats. Since candles don't do well in floats, she got to blow out candles on her Aunt Shannon's cake who also has a bday this month. Here she is in the hot-seat with Grandma Lynne.

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

We had a birthday - shout hooray!

Berlin celebrated her 4th birthday this past week. 
I can't believe my little baby is 4! She would be so mad if she new I called her my baby. She'd stomp her size 7 little foot at me, hand on her hip, and say, "I am NOT a baby!" - all while rolling her eyes. Oh the sassy little thing. Girls really are full of sugar and spice (sometimes a bit too much spice).

NOTE to readers: This is a long post ... so grab some popcorn and a drink :)

Some things about her birth that I'll never forget:

1. She was due the last week of Feb. but my doctor had a medical conference he had to go to. Because of the extremely difficult delivery we had with Finley he wanted to make sure that he delivered her. Thus, he offered to induce her a week early on the 14th. Well, we soooo did NOT want to deliver on the 14th. Being a December baby myself, I did not want my child sharing her bday with a holiday - cause, that just sucks in my book. So,we opted to go a bit earlier. The morning was very calm and quiet. Just Ryan and I were in the room along with Shannon, his step-sister, who documented the event with photos. It was so different than Finley's delivery. It all happened so fast & was super easy. Ryan & I had so much time to just snuggle her & love her without the chaos & confusion I had with Finn (that's what it was like after 14 1/2 hrs of labor and baby Finn in the nicu and me on codine).

2. It snowed the day she was born.

3. Finley was very quiet & cautious when he came to the hospital. It kinda broke my heart because I was so nervous what it would do to him to have another little baby. But I quickly learned what great buddies they would be. Berlin has loved him from the start...and still does.

4. Berlin just wanted to be held. If I was holding her, she slept like an angel, but the minute I put her down, she would get fussy. So I held her almost the entire time I was in the hospital and just soaked up my time with her.

5. Because of # 4, I got VERY little sleep. And it didn't help that I hated my recovery nurses. They were rude, rough, and annoying. I didn't stay the full time. Once my pediatrician gave me the go-ahead, we were outta there, a whole day earlier than normal. I couldn't get out of the hospital fast enough.

Fun facts about her today: 

Most treasured possession: Her fleece blanky with it's one special tassel that has to be in her hand at all times. When she's upset, it's the only thing that will calm her down.

Favorite food:  She LOVES kiwi and pink grapefruit and would eat it all day if I let her. She also likes spicy food as long as she has milk nearby, especially spicy noodles & spicy buffalo wings. Her favorite place to eat out is Shivers (a local burger joint) where she always gets a corn-dog & rootbeer.

Favorite things to do at home: Play with her dolls, draw, do stamps, color in her coloring books - pretty much anything and everything that makes a mess. She also loves to sing and can be found most hours of the day singing away ... in the car, at home, in the bath, during mealtime, etc.

Favorite Princesses: Cinderella and Belle

Favorite thing to do with Daddy: cook. She is such a good helper and loves to be with Ryan in the kitchen when he cooks. He's much more patient than I am in the kitchen :)

Favorite thing to do with Finley: She has to do everything that Finley does. Especially when it comes to homework. If Finley has to do 15 jumping jacks, draw a house, count pennies, etc., she has to too. 

Favorite games to play: Busytown & I Can Do That
(these are seriously the BEST kid games ever!)

What I love about her: Her sense of style has surfaced and she is VERY opinionated about her wardrobe and what outfits she wears.  Outfit of choice: leggings, skirts, and tops. She hates jeans because they are itchy and uncomfortable (I kinda agree). And, she hates socks.

Her bedtime prayers are so sweet. She always remembers to ask blessings for our family & friends and she is very specific in the things she asks for. 

I love hearing her ask, "So, how was your day?" every time we sit down to eat.

The minute Finley is at school or at a friends house, she pulls out all his toys and plays with them. From his Bat-cave to his Leapster games and even his Lego figures. She knows she has to make good use of the time alone with his toys because he refuses to share anything with her. It's kinda funny & super cute catching her in the act ... like here (note that Finley does NOT think it's funny at all):

What she's most proud of right now: that she can write her name all by herself. And she loves to constantly show us how she can do jumping jacks, skip, hop on one foot, and run fast.

Things she does that get her into trouble: tries to cut the rubber-bands out of her brand new Barbies hair, but instead cuts chunks of hair off.

Markers ... She knows she is not allowed to color with markers. Yet, every once in a while I will make a special exception and let her. Then she proceeds to color all over her arms and face. Her excuse is always, "I was just drawing on my arm like Mulan does."

*  *  *
Seriously, I just love this girl - even when I think I am going to lose my mind when she has her meltdowns. She brings so much happiness into our family & home - we are lucky to have her.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

the Dark Side

Our friend Patrick sent this video to Ryan. Apparently it reminded him of Finley. After watching it I have to say I agree.

click here to watch it in full screen in HD.

Needless to say, we are lovin' this commercial.