Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Birthday Party #3

So this post is almost a month late so I dated it correctly to post.

Ally attended a Yoga Birthday Party.

The whole class was invited and I would say all of the girls and a few boys attended.

Ally in position - I have no idea what that pose is called.

eating cupcakes with her friends

On the way home I brought 2 other friends home - yes 3 kids in my Civic - I was impressed with the capacity of the backseat.

Adalis, Grant and Ally - they had so much fun.

When we got home Ally and mama played together.

Ally had an imaginary game about insects and queens. It was all very complicated.

Then Becky decided to bake pies - but not a big pie, rather small individual serving pies. They made mixed berry pies.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Florida - quick post

I took 299 pictures and 7 videos this past week on vacation in Florida. It was great. We had amazing weather, a wonderful time and basically it was was everything I could have hoped a vacation could be. I have several posts planned for different aspects of the trip. But I thought I'd start with a quick summary.
Our first day at the beach. It was actually quite cold at the beach - windy. So windy one day we tied our kite to my beach chair and it stayed in the air un-assisted until we got cold an hour later and headed back to the house.
Ally played on her leapster a lot this trip. She kept saying her bed was cozy and enjoyed having time to herself there playing.
She started the week in a life jacket or with her noodle in the pool.
I am SUPER proud to say I went for a walk every morning - that is 7 days of vacation and I walked with Ally in the stroller every single day at least 45 minutes and sometimes we were gone for 90 minutes! It was great.
One night we played shuffle board.
Ally asked to go back to the Jungle Gardens - we visited there 2 years ago.
"The bird restaurant" is a must do. Another fun part of the trip was that Aunt Martha was there all week and Uncle Phil for part of the week.
We went to a state park and took a boat tour to see alligators and other wildlife.
Uncle Phil, Ally, Becky and I all climbed up the observation tower.
Here is Ally wearing her goggles and diving for coins was a favorite activity as was counting our fingers underwater.
Towards the end of the week Ally was leaping into the pool.
You'd think Ally was the bride in this picture but she's not. My cousin Katy is getting married in May and last year when she went dress shopping I ordered T shirts for her, my mom and my Aunt. Katy's of course says Bride. But these two just had to wear matching T shirts one day.
Ally just had such a great time every day on this vacation.
The last night we walked down to the beach to try and catch the sunset. It was cloudy and so not really possible to see the sun set but we had fun any way.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Hair Woes

Hair has been a huge battle for us lately. Well as huge a battle as anything ever is with Ally. Frankly I think we're so spoiled with how easy going Ally is that what would be a non-issue for other families is an issue for us.

A few months ago Ally decided she wanted to grow her hair longer. Her 2 best friends have school have really long hair, this fall I let my hair grown long again. And I think she wanted to be more like "everyone else". We cautiously agreed. It is her hair and her head. But we had one big caveat - long hair means you have to wear it back. Pulled back in ponytails, barrettes, braids, something.

For a while she would put a bow in for school and then take it out when she got there and put it in her backpack - she did this daily for a while. When I asked why she told me she was afraid it would fall out.

I've shown a few posts of the cute braids we worked on in January.

The kicker was gymnastics - its policy to have long hair pulled back out of your face.

One week I put Ally's hair - the front / top section in a pony tail. She freaked. On the way to the gym she would not stop talking about how nervous she was, how she just did not like looking different, that she was afraid it would hurt when she did her tricks etc. We talked about it and how long hair meant pulled back. We got there and there were tears - lots of tears. I finally asked her coach if she had to have it pulled back. Her coach said Ally's hair was not that long and that if Ally did not really want it back it was OK as long as it did not bother her. So we took out the pony tail.

Then I took a video at gymnastics of her doing their floor routine. After every trick she pushes it out of her face!

At our last Guatemala Girls group the other moms gave Becky and I a tutorial on french braiding so we could french braid Ally's hair.
The next week Becky worked hard on braids:

Mama in deep concentration while Ally watched TV before gymnastics.

But it was a repeat of anxiety in the car. We offered bribes for her to keep them in:

A new toy at Target

A trip to get ice cream

Another treat of her choosing

But she was "too nervous" and "worried" about it.

We explained that she could take them out, but if she did then she was getting her hair cut short again.

Becky went in with her and reported that there were tears again and so she helped Ally take out the braids and come her hair back to normal.

This was Saturday.

On Monday I made a hair appointment with our stylist Feri and brought Ally in after school on Tuesday and here she is:

New (old) back to short haircut!

Ally and I talked about it on Monday and again on Tuesday before the hair cut.
I was pretty stunned at the level of anxiety she had for looking different (hair pulled back) - such a high level - that she chose the consequence (short hair) without any complaint at all.
I suspect she really does enjoy having short hair and so that is part of it - the desire for long hair just wasn't as strong as the desire to look like "herself".
And to be honest - this is Ally - she typically takes the consequences well - she may not always like the choices and will sometimes say "I don't like those choices" but she does comply with making one and almost always adheres to the program.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Valentine's Day 2012

Ally's babysitter Lauren texted me this picture of Ally in the morning before school:

Ally had been so excited for Valentine's Day - of course we do gifts! We usually do something small, but this year we went a bit bigger because some of the things are for our trip to Florida.

New markers! And on the couch is a new game for her leapster.

Mommy picked out some cool cupcake fleece fabric and mama sewed an edging around it to create a new blanket for Ally.

A kiss for mama as a thank-you for the new blanket

Becky was really busy sewing - I got new pillow shams for our bed. We have roman shades in Becky made a while ago out of the red flower fabric in our room.

Ally opened her package from Grandma Debbie and Poppy. A very cool handmade paper weaving heart - brought back memories for Becky.

And tucked inside was a pencil, a small pad of paper and a dollar bill! Ally was thrilled to get actual money!

After gifts were opened Ally got a pillow, laid down on the floor and coverred herself up with her new blanket.

And proceeded to eat there - apples, french fries, string cheese, and water while watching the rest of an Olivia episode on my phone.

Then it was time for more cards.

Ally made our cards at school.

I love it.

In case you can't see it in the first picture here is a close up.

I Love Yoo

is what it says

Becky got one too

Ally got a really scary shark bookmark from Aunt Beth.

Becky made pineapple heart lollipops!

I made heart cookies and decorated them myself the night before.

After much perseverating Ally chose a medium size red sprinkled one to eat.

Guess who chose the BIGGEST cookie?


I ate a very small one

After dinner we all donned our homemade Valentine Heart Shirts and used the timer on our camera to take a picture of us as a family.

I could not decide which one I liked best.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Another Birthday Party

Ally went to a birthday party on Sunday - and it was at her gymnastics gym! It was a blast for all of the kids. Ally loved showing her friends how everything worked and what neat things they could do. She was not a show off at all - it was great to see how much fun she had. Parents were not allowed into the gym (just like in lessons) so we all watched from behind the glass. I enjoyed watching Ally interact with her friends on what is basically "her turf". Its kind of rare to get to watch your kid in that way, forced to observe and not participate. It was an hour of gym time and then pizza and cake. Her friend Selin's mom is a cake baker and she created the most amazing Tangled (Rapunzel) themed cake:

The front has Rapunzel and her hair at the top of the tower.
And Flynn the prince was climbing up the back.

Inside the cake tasted even better than it looked. And I was impressed with the colors!

Here is Ally with her friend Willow - these two are pretty tight this year - and have such a good time together. Its a riot now too to see them together, as Willow has grown several inches this year and even though Ally has grown too, Willow now towers over her - at least 5 inches! But it doesn't bother them at all.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Walking home with a friend

Last Monday Alice came home from school with Ally and I. The girls had fun playing at the school playground afterschool and then we also stopped at their favorite park for more playing.

They looked so cute I had to take a picture, front and back.

They even have matching backpacks!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

So Excited!

This is Ally's excited pose - as in "I am so excited I can hardly stand still" pose She is wearing her new sun hat and just finished counting the days until we leave for Florida

Florida - Ally drew the picture of the plane so she would know that is the day we leave

The F of course stands for Florida - so Ally knows how many days we will be there.

And the huge red heart is of course for Valentine's Day.

So excited and so adorable in her pajamas with her sun hat on. She wouldn't take it off!

I was shopping and saw it and just had to get it - and she LOVES it. She put it right on and said "look it shades my face" and then leaned her head over mine and said " I can shade you too with my hat" so cute!