Monday, April 29, 2013

Six.

Oh my.  
Yesterday my baby turned Six. Years. Old.

It does not seem quite right that my youngest is 6.  It was one thing when Ava turned 6...I still had a little 4 year old.  It feels very different with my baby being this age.  Birthdays, while so fun and amazing, also make my heart sink just a little.  I can't help but feel like the sand is slipping a little faster through the hourglass.  These delicious years of after the chaos of babyhood/toddler hood yet before the chaos of the teen years.  I want to freeze these times.  Since this isn't possible I have to try to soak them up, each and every moment.  Enjoy them and capture the memories that I can carry with me forever.  

Captured memories from the day of celebration.

Layla's Pig Party.  

I love little girl giggles with hands on their mouths

This classic game is fun for the littlest...

And the biggest...
 
The weather delivered and my vision of little kids on a blanket in the yard opening gifts came true...



Checking things out through the sea of little girls
The party was all things pigs and pink.  Including little pig snout cupcakes...


 Happiness was just radiating from her...

My two ladies are very different kids.  Layla is full of spirit.  She came out screaming 6 years ago and continued screaming for three months straight.  The saving grace was every night she would find her little thumb and sleep solid for 10 hours.  After the months of crying ended, the years of tantrums, biting and such began.  Those ended appropriately after toddler hood, but this girl can still throw a fit like nobodies business.  This may all sound like complaints, but that is not the case.  I am in awe of her fire and her spirit.  She is strong willed, knows what she wants and fights for it.  She is outgoing and hilarious.  She is confident and not afraid to try new things.  She is all the traits I admire so much and many I wish I had.  There have been times she drives me crazy and I wonder how she can be so different than her calm, always wanting to please, sister.  But then I realize I don't want to change her or crush her spirit.  I want to encourage her to be her most beautiful self.  I want this for both my girls.  Ava in her quiet introverted way and Layla in her wild ways.  That's what makes the world go around, right?  Different personalities, spirits, colors, opinions.  My job is to help them figure out their own awesomeness.  And, they are pretty awesome if I do say so myself.
Peace.
This whole weekend was all about the kids.  Seriously.  From Friday night to Sunday it was school carnival, a day trip to Billings for Build a Bear, the Zoo and then the birthday party yesterday.  It was all a lot of fun, but I did feel like we should have gotten a special parenting award by the end of it all.  

First up...school carnival fun-
  
They do it all.  Face painting, cake walk, games, prizes.  I don't remember having school carnivals when I was a kid.  It gets a little crazy and the kids were sugared out and over stimulated by the time we left, but it's all good.  The next day we headed to Billings, which is about 2 hours away from here.  We had decided to take the girls for the day so Layla could finally make a Build a Bear.  Ava has one from several years ago and Layla has been talking about them a lot recently.  It seemed like a fun idea to make her gift more of a family outing than just gifts.  I think she liked it...
Empty Bear..

Fluffing her up...
Finished product
After an hour in this store and lunch we went to the little zoo they have.  We have been to this zoo, but I heard it had changed a bit.  Matt and I were hesitant, but the girls really wanted to so we gave it a go.  I have mixed feelings about zoos in general.  There is a part of me that finds it fascinating to get the opportunity to see wild animals close up.    There is the other part of me that feels bad for these animals locked up in unnatural habitats.  This time around I leaned toward the latter feelings throughout most of it...it all seemed a little sad.  The girls enjoyed it though and it was a beautiful day to be walking around outside.  They especially enjoyed the snow cones at the end.


It was a long day, but a wonderful family day.  Something about leaving town and spending the whole day just us four.  We aren't home so the girls aren't lost in their own play world.  No distractions of anything else.  Just us enjoying the day together.  These moments make me feel very happy and content.  The views on the drive home don't hurt either...
The Crazies.  One of my favorite mountain ranges.  I think it's the name.  
My birthday month is now officially over.  We have celebrated each of my girls turning one year older.  We have added notches on the growing wall to see how much taller they are this year.  We have sang bad versions of "happy birthday" and my babies have made their wishes on candles.  My wish for them is another happy, healthy year.  For them to continue to grow into the kind and brave young ladies they will become.  For them to be their beautiful selves.
Even my feisty youngest...

She is so full of love and life.  And, those big brown eyes turn me into a puddle of mush. I am one lucky mama.  

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