Sunday, May 5, 2013

Vanna is FIVE

Vanna turned FIVE a couple weeks ago (April 17th) and it just blows my mind!  We've noticed so often lately that she's not so little anymore and really seems to be growing up before our eyes.  She was so excited for her birthday to come and counted down the days for a couple weeks before hand.  When it finally arrived, we celebrated by taking cupcakes to her pre-school class.  Vanna loves, and I mean LOVES, bubblegum hence the cupcakes with a giant bubblegum center, hence the bubblegum cake and the bubblegum gift bags she helped me make her classmates.
Funny story about the cupcakes though: I made her cake and frosted the cupcakes the day before her birthday, while all the kids were napping, and when Vanna woke up to find them done she was so very disappointed because she had wanted to help.  So I caved and made another batch of cupcakes that she could help me frost.  I felt like cake batter was coming out of my ears.  It all turned out fine though because we just saved most of those in the freezer to use for Cash's birthday that I know I won't have time to prepare much for since his birthday is the very day we're coming back from our trip. 
After school, we picked up two of her little friends (Megan Winward and Kallista Smith) and went out for lunch at her favorite restaurant - Carl's Jr.  It's her favorite because it has an indoor play area and never fails to entertain.  The kids all had a great time playing around in there for a while until it was time to go to the movie.  All Vanna said she wanted to do on her birthday was "go to the feater" so ... to the "feater" we went.  We ended up watching The Croods.  We had the theater all to ourselves and the movie turned out to be much better than I had expected.  I actually found myself laughing out loud and the kids loved it.  They couldn't stop talking about it all the way home. 

Once we got back to our house, we topped all the fun off with some cake and ice cream and opened presents. 

Knowing Vanna loved dolphins, one of her friends got her this stuffed dolphin that she's slept with every night since.  She just can't get enough of dolphins and says she wants to be a dolphin trainer when she grows up :).

Later, after Daddy got home from work, Vanna opened her presents from us.  She got Hello Kitty earphones (which she lovingly calls ear muffins) to connect to my iPod shuffle that she's pretty much confiscated and called her own.  She also got a sandbox that she had been looking forward to for a long time, as well as some Magnaformers which are some really cool magnetic shapes you can build things with.

Her face when she saw she got some earphone that actually fit her little ears.

It was a wonderful day that was all about Miss Vanna Marie and she kept saying "This is the best day ever!"  Apparently, we nailed it!
Vanna is always remembered by her grandparents as well and received some darling cards with money to buy herself a gift and a treat.  She always loves to get her own mail!  She also got her first Barbie movie from grandparents as well.  She loves Barbie movies (we always just check them out from the Library) and was excited to have one to keep!  Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness Grandmas and Grandpas!
Happy Birthday Vanna Banana!!!
When the kids' birthdays come up it seems like a big reminder of how fast time goes by and how important it is for me to write down a few things (in an effort to remember each year/stage since I can't make them stop growing up so fast!).  Here's some things that just shout Vanna lately:

-Vanna loves to play in water - of any shape and form.  Because it has been a bit too cold yet to put water under the trampoline to play in (until just recently), Vanna will ask to fill up our big tub with water and will then get in her swimsuit to go swimming and play in the water.
-I've determined that Vanna is seriously addicted to sugar.  For example, when I fix Cherrios for breakfast, I'll put some sliced bananas with a bit of cream and sugar in with them and we'll find Vanna scraping what little sugar she can find off the bananas to eat it plain.
-Vanna still gets painful leg aches a lot which the doctors say are just growing pains so we're trying to find other ways of treating them rather than give her medicine for them all the time.  We will sometimes soak her legs in warm water and Epsom salt, we'll put heated rice packs on them, we rub them, we elevate them, we make sure she's well hydrated and eats plenty bananas and drinks lots of milk, ahhh.  I think the poor girl is cursed with them much like I was at that age (and even still once in a great while).  But if you have any other suggestions for treatment, I'd be interested in hearing them.
-Vanna has really taken an interest in the kitchen over the past few months and is always pulling up a chair to stand on and help me.  I bought a box of apples for a fundraiser late this past winter and so she helped me make apple pie filling and bottle it.  She made a sticky mess but boy did she love it.  I have to be careful and remind myself to nurture this interest rather than squish it by complaining about the mess it can create because I do want her to enjoy spending time in the kitchen when she's grown.
This stuff is so yummy and easy to use for a quick apple crisp or pie!

-I love Vanna's big, beautiful and even unusual/unique smile (she has a bit of a cross-bite).  It truly brightens up the room!  And I always tell everyone that Vanna has the best giggle and laugh I've ever heard.  The sound of it is the epitome of a happy or mischievous child (depending on what she's up to :) - sometimes both and it is so contagious!


-Vanna loves a dress she can twirl around in.  And speaking of twirling - she is a girl who can't get enough of dancing.  She has absolutely loved dance class.  We've discovered through her lessons, that really the poor thing isn't very flexible (Daddy says she must take after him) but she's very good at balancing.  She's always the first to answer, "What is passé?" and show her teacher the right position.  She's super great at headstands too - even better than Cash which she is extremely excited about as you can imagine.

-Vanna has decided it's too hard to make her bed every morning so now she sleeps on top of her covers with her big cozy blanket that her grandma made her for Christmas rather than mess up her covers.  Now she only has to straighten things up in the morning and she's found that to be much easier - lazy bones. :)
-In Vanna's opinion, we should have Ramen Noodles for breakfast.  The rest of the family disagrees.
-I know I've said it before, but when I listen for Vanna, I most usually hear her singing.  In our last General Conference it was said that "a child who sings is a happy child" and that is Vanna to a "T".  She is our little songbird and loves to play "name that tune" when I whistle a tune and her and Cash try to guess which song it is.
 -One of Vanna's favorite things to do is to pretend to be my puppy.  She  always comes up to me and asks, "Mom, can we play, can I be your puppy?"  To which of course I answer, "Yes." because it is the easiest game to play on my part.  She simply goes around acting like a puppy by crawling, lapping up water from a dish, making a doghouse out of the furniture and blankets, etc. all without my having to do much of anything.  Wouldn't you play that game too? :)
My little brown nosed puppy.
 -Vanna never lets me forget what she believes is the most important thing to remember on my grocery list - Cheetos (one of her favorite snacks).  She also loves boiled eggs (however she always leaves out the yolks - they're not her favorite part) and olives (funny though that she doesn't like olives in any cooked foods - just plain) for snacks as well.

-Vanna likes to argue with and tattle on her brother.
-Vanna has Kindergarten Roundup this week and is so excited to be starting school.  She is definitely ready - she's pretty good with her letters and sounds and is so good at patterns, colors, cutting with scissors, etc. Funny story: Literally, as I'm typing this up, Vanna is next to me at the desk practicing writing her letters.  She just asked me, "What letter do you want me to write?"  I said, "How about a P?"  She looked at me and said, "Um, how about a different one?"  She's especially good at her numbers though (counts past twenty without missing one and thinks she can count to 100 but misses about 50 numbers somewhere in between 30 and 80 :) and loves to tell everyone her whole birthday and entire name, etc.  Like I said, it seems our little girl is growing up...sniff...sniff!
-Some of Vanna's favorite games to play are Uno, Mancala, Memory, and The Bee Game.  And yes, she usually wins me at most of them. 
Love Vanna's "oh no" face!
-Vanna is a great helper, especially when it comes to Rosie.  She has even tried to change her diapers, she loves to help me pick out her clothes, etc. but what she doesn't like helping me with is throwing away diapers!

-And when there's something I've asked Vanna to do repeatedly and finally make her aware of the fact I'm losing my patience, the new thing she's famous for saying lately is, "Oh fine." with a heavy sigh.

-Something I love about Vanna is that even for all her "prissiness" she's not afraid to get dirty and have fun outside.  She always loves to go to Grandma's and Grandpa's to help on the dairy.  Two visits ago, while things at the barn were a mucky mess, she lost her boot when it got stuck in the muck and slipped off her foot while she was walking through it all.  She kept going and stepped in all the mess with only her sock on.  Gross!  But instead of crying about it, she only laughed and thinks everyone needs to hear the story and how Uncle Nick had to carry her the rest of the way inside the barn.

Funny story:  A few days ago, we went to some friends' (an older couple in our ward) to learn from their knowledge about gardening.  While we were there, the older kids got to collect eggs from our friends' chickens and they let them each keep one.  Of course the kids would not accept our explanations that their eggs would not likely hatch and produce baby chicks - they were determined to nurture their eggs until they hatched.  Ty said, "What do you bet, by the end of the night, one of them will have dropped their egg and crumble to the floor in tears."  But he was wrong and for days, they babied them, slept by them, drew faces on them, kept them warm and wrapped up in blankets, took them for rides with us in the van, etc.  Vanna wanted to show her friends her egg and I was insistent that she NOT take her egg to school (she thinks everyday is Show and Tell at school and that she has to take something to show her friends).  Well today, she was very careful to remember her backpack which is highly unusual - she rarely remembers to bring it and if she remembers to bring it in the van, she often forgets it there and still doesn't actually make into pre-school with it.  So my suspicions were aroused and I asked her if she had anything in her backpack, to which she responded, "No."  Later, I found out from her teacher that she did in fact have her egg with her and when she pulled it out to Show and Tell her teacher started asking questions, "Is your egg boiled?"  "Does your mom know you brought this to school?".  Minutes later, the egg was dropped and ruined on the floor.  I was surprised to learn that Vanna didn't cry when she found there was no baby chick in it - both her and Cash have been so hopeful they'll get baby chicks out of them.  I had such a good laugh about it all with her teacher (and was secretly glad the egg had landed on the school floor than my own) and of course had a good talk to Vanna about honesty but I couldn't pass up writing this story down.

As always, I know that there's often things about Vanna that come to my mind from time to time that I think to myself "I've got to write that down" and then forget and regret not doing so each time I try to sit down and recall everything to record.  I suppose what's most important to remember is simply what a joy Vanna is.  She really does try to do what's right and tries to be a good girl.  She's learning and developing just as she should and we're so happy with the beautiful young girl she is - both inside and out! 

Early Spring Nature Walk

We went for an early spring nature walk around the Payette Green Belt towards the beginning of March.  Although it looks a bit overcast, it was a very calm and beautiful day.  It sure got us anxious for nice spring weather and even for summer to come soon. 
What a pretty view!

At this spot last year, looking over the edge of this look-out, we saw a turtle.  Of course the kids' memory pulled that up right away and so they were searching to see if they could find another one.



Making ripples with a little game of "How far can you throw a rock?!"

There's just something I love about seeing our babies walking hand in hand with their daddy! So precious!