If you don't already know this about our family, we LOVE birthdays. They last a week long and every day includes some sort of rendition of the birthday song. Mia's 1st birthday was way back in May so you could imagine how excited I was to celebrate Bella's 4th year. When I look at the number 4 as I type it doesn't seem so big but when I think of Bella, the feeling is much different. She's maturing so much-so fast.
Her birthweek celebration began Tuesday morning with my ever popular personalized pancakes.
The celebration proceeded into Wednesday morning at our little library story time
The giddyness continued into Thursday as we put together little takeaways for her classmates. Personally, I think it's pretty ridiculous to give away little gifts to the class, but since the other kids did it for their bdays, Bella wanted to follow suit as well. And come on, a reason to be crafty and creative, I'm all about it! But really? Giveaways? I know!!!!!
Our assembly line consisted of Bella, Aunt Christine, Mia and myself.
Remember that scene in I love Lucy when she got really behind at the chocolate factory and everything starting going crazy. Yeah, um, that was Mia. So, I put her in charge of putting discarded labels (that were 5 cm off-center, how anal am I) on a sheet of paper. She was in heaven!!!
The final product:
a very gender neutral giftbag with a Crayola notepad and two little markers. Cute, right? Thank you dollar aisle at Michael's.
On Friday we made brownies. Cuz that's what she wanted. Cuz she was going to be 4. Cuz she was listening and her tummy was telling her that she needed chocolate. I wanted to tell her that she had me at the word "brownies." I'm 5 months preggers, I don't think I need a reason to justify double fudge brownies but I appreciate your art of persuasion Bella. And btw, thanks for the brownies Castaneda family. They were delicious!
On Saturday we headed to the city for some sight-seeing.
Which of course included a stop at The American Girl Place.
I've got to admit that all these years I've been harboring secret doll envy because American Girl became big just after I was too old for such a craze. But privately, I totally wanted one. In fact, I totally wanted Molly. Preppy, little Bostonian Molly.
So of course, me taking Bella here for her bday was clearly fulfilling something in myself. But this store, oh my holy lord, it's a cult. Here's the salon. FOR DOLLS.
I could go on and on about that store, but I'll save it for another post. I did realize, however, that Bella is too young for these dolls. Maybe in another 3 to 4 years she'll get into to it. With the ridiculously artificial Barbies and dare-I say slutty Bratz dolls that stock the shelves, you better believe I am going to push dolls that represent a time where they fight for civil rights or where these dolls/characters petition for womens' voting. It's crazy, they've now introduced Kaya, a Nez Perce Indian girl growing up in 1764 who has to stand tall to revoke her "Magpie" nickname (untrusty and selfish bird). Hee hee.
It came as no shock that all Bella and Mia wanted to do was sing and dance on the little stage.
We ended our downtown tour with a birthday lunch at Ed Debevics.
Bella woke up Sunday morning, her actual birthday, with a new sense of self. She was SO excited to be four. Which I'm assuming isn't the same feeling when you turn 4-0. But she seemed so different to me today. As I watched her cautiously eat her oatmeal oat by oat (AAGGHH) I couldn't believe how fast this time went. Four years ago to the date, all she did was cry
Three years ago she tasted cake for the first time
Two years ago she jumped on the trampoline laughing so loudly
Last year she blew out the candle that topped her castle cake
This year she gave a smile bigger than I've ever seen before
Mia spent a good portion of the morning helping me stamp out her sister's banner
Rather than have a "friends" party (cuz really, she's in preschool people) we had a party with our immediate family. Back in the days at Bradley we always started the year off with a graffiti party where everyone wore a white shirt and "tagged" eachother. Bella loved the idea. So, we had ourselves a very sober 4 year old graffiti birthday party. It was so much fun!
Here's Bella admiring her Cinderella cake that my mom and sister baked for her.
I mean, come on, how cute is this!
Tag you're it!
Mia, so true, so true.
Fun with balloons
We dined on a menu that consisted of cheese pizza and spaghetti, per the birthday girl.
After opening her gifts, we were ecstatic to show Bella our gift to her. We had the girls sleep in our room the night before while we spent the night rearranging their room to accomodate a "stage." Complete with curtains, and hooks to organize all the tu-tus and costumes. Even more hooks for jewelry and hats that we scoured the second hand stores for. All in all, a perfect little area for her and her sister to put on their shows. She had not been able to see her room all day until we let her in.....
I'm not sure who loved it more, Bella or Mia
Getting ready for her debut!
Here's their entrance......
After several costume changes and a few dance numbers, Bella and Mia were READY for cake. They waited patiently, staring at the cake for almost 10 minutes before we were able to round everyone up. All the while drooling over the frosting.
I can't thank my mom and sister enough for making this cake. It was so thoughtful of you and not to mention super yummy! I mean, really really tasty. Bella spent the rest of the day into the evening trying on every possible costume she could put together. It really was a perfect day.
Happy Birthday my little sweat pea, Happy 4th Birthday!