Friday, April 29, 2011

Easter Weekend

How is it April 29th already? Where did the month of April go? I have completely lost track of a month!!!

Easter weekend was last weekend and I spent Good Friday and Saturday recovering from our spring break va-ca. We were suppose to have a town egg hunt on Saturday morning but it was cancelled due to rain. Don't fret. You had THREE egg hunts. One at home after church on Easter morning, one at Grandma and Grandpa's house after Easter dinner and one at Nonna and Nonni's house on Easter Monday (thanks to Aunt Molly who filled the eggs with her treasured fortunes).

The Easter Bunny left you TWO baskets filled with goodies hidden in the yard. The Easter Bunny even left a basket for Daddy! His had Star Wars trinkets and beef jerky instead of the traditional Easter treats. I found you on Monday morning downstairs where you had discovered an open bag of jellybeans. I'm not sure how many you ate before I stumbled upon your feast.

We went on Easter Monday to visit Nonni and Nonna. We took a stroll around Brookside Gardens where the tulips and other early spring flowers were putting on quite a show! We even spotted ducks, lots of turtles, birds and geese around the pond.

We dyed Easter eggs on Saturday and had a lazy relaxing day at home! Hooray! Easter morning was spent in church with the Wagmans, where you proceeded to flirt with the 80 year old men behind us. I know you were flirting when one of the old men exclaims at the exchange of peace, "She's quite the flirt!" You also decided you wanted the little girl's purse who was sitting next to us. You tried to get on her good side by holding hands with her during the Our Father. Her mother complimented you on how well behaved you were. Then you proceeded to take off your shoes and socks and finish out the mass bare footed. Charming.

We were able to spend Easter afternoon with Grandma and Grandpa. Aunt Kaarn and Uncle Cliff couldn't make it up for a visit. We missed them, but that didn't stop the annual Jothen egg hunt. Grandma had hidden the eggs the night before. As a result, some of the plastic eggs had been infiltrated with garden residents including ants and a snake! The snake had actually popped open two eggs and to his / her disappointment, nothing but chocolate was inside. We know this because we stumbled upon the snake opening one of the eggs in the garden which freaked you and I out. But it wouldn't be a Jothen hunt without some sort of thrilling excitement! Oh! And I let you play outside by yourself for all of two minutes. I came out back and you were nowhere to be found. Finally, you came running when my calls became more frantic. You had discovered a patch of mud on the side of Grandma and Grandpa's house which was really a bag of gardening soil. You excitedly showed me your mud and hands. Lately, you have been fascinated with mud and dirt. You love to dig around the yard and in some of my house plants. It's a good thing the Easter Bunny left you a pink gardening shovel at Grandma's so you can dig around without getting your hands so dirty!

This was your third Easter. Your first, you were only 2 weeks old. Last year, you had just had your 1st birthday. Now you are 2 and I want to slow down time. You were so enthusiastic about hunting for eggs, singing songs in church, putting on your dancing shoes. You bring such joy to our lives. You bring such joy to people around you, family, friends, even strangers, like the woman in church who is battling cancer. Your pure elation for life is contagious and I want to bottle it and remember it forever. My wish is that you will always appreciate things like a triumphant tune or dancing shoes. You will always have this zest for life and inspiring people to enjoy it right along with you.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spring Break Va-ca

I know I have been horrible at keeping up with our adventures. This is partly due to our hectic / never stop schedule and partly due to I was hit with a severe case of bronchitis. No worries, your sister and I are on antibiotics and a tablespoon of honey for the persistent cough. I hope you never have to swallow that much honey at once, without tea or milk or a biscuit. Yuk.

Anyway, back to our riveting and wild spring break. Cancun has nothing on Forest of Fun at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Forest of Fun is the Sesame Street themed portion of the park. You would have thought we were seeing the Beatles live. You squealed in delight and screamed the names of the characters as they appeared. If you were allowed, you would run up and hug each character. Elmo, Abby (she's a newer Muppet), and Cookie Monster were celebrities to you and not teenagers dressed up in probably very hot furry costumes. I wasn't sure if you would be into the whole giant characters thing. Some kids get pretty freaked out, but not you. So I had to finagle a lunch time with Elmo and the rest of the Sesame Street gang. You got to eat with Cookie Monster and you hugged Big Bird (at least 5 separate times) and you interacted with "Grouch" in his trash can. You were in absolute heaven. You even got Ashley to tickle Elmo's toes with you! I have a sinking feeling you are going to be that type of girl who is swooned by every fresh face in the media. Let it be known that I will not attend the 2021 'Justin Bieber replacement concert.' You will have to ask Jessica to take you and Ashley.

But the Forest of Fun was not the only attraction on vacation. We also swam in the indoor pool, played at the numerous tot lots, went on tons of kiddie rides, we saw HUGE beer horses and saw an Irish dancing show.

But the best part of the vacation was not the rides or even the Sesame Street characters who would obliged your every whim for a hug. It was the time we spent with Jessica and Ashley, her two foster brothers, Kristy (Jessica's 13 year old cousin), Jimmy and Jane (another cousin and aunt of Jessica's). We were one big, chaotic group. You loved being part of a group. We did everything together. You loved being with Ashley 24/7 and playing with her. It wasn't all grand. We all had our moments of meltdowns, but it was such fun having all 4 of you kids just be with one another. It was exhausting but gratifying.

You are this sweet person inside a toddler body. Sometimes you just beam with maturity and an knowledge way beyond your years, and then you have a breakdown and I have to give you my ice cream cone so that you will not heap and we can make it back to the car. I find myself frustrated at you when you start to whine or throw a fit. I know you can act better but I need to remember that your mind and body are trying to deal with a world still so fresh and new. I should be more frustrated at myself for not meeting you where you are. I should not expect you to act as if you know what this world is all about. But then there are times, like this vacation where you demonstrate such a mature but silly personality that it makes me wonder you do know more about this life then you let on....

Friday, April 22, 2011

Catching Up

Oh my what a week it has been! We extended our mini vacation and came back last night after lunch with Elmo and his friends but that is a story for another post.

This post is about your joint birthday party with Ashley at My Gym. Last Saturday, our area had torrential rain all day. Flood / tornado warnings littered the TV and radio. But everyone came to the party. It was quite fun with all the gym activities including a "car wash" and parade and obstacle course and one cannot forget the trampoline or slides. The staff even set up a circus tent for everyone to play in. All the games and stories and fun things to do were that much sweeter since Jessica and I didn't have to plan a thing. We brought the cake and juice but that was it. The party staff even cut / served the cake for us!!! What a deal!

You and Ashley had a great time interacting with all your guests. Ashley loved it all! You did too. After spending the week with Ashley on vacation, it's clear the two of you are already very good friends. You play and interact with each other so naturally. After all Ashley has known you since you were 6 weeks old and you have known her since she was born. Ashley lovingly refers to you as NoNo, which is just adorable. And it makes my heart smile when you instantly respond because you know that's Ashley's nickname for you.

You received some pretty cool gifts. A guitar / microphone combo that you love. A Melissa and Doug Birthday Cake playset (to go with our cookie and pizza sets). A magnet doodle thingy that was a very hot toy on vacation. Everyone wanted a turn.

This finally concludes the 2nd birthday saga that has stretched on for weeks. Amen.