Birthdays are a balance. Wanting to make someone feel special without going overboard. I decided long ago that I wasn’t going to do a big birthday party every year, but I do want the day to be special for her.
This year felt extra challenging. Lately I’ve felt like I’m a student first and a parent second. I know that’s not really the case, but school has a lot of my focus. I didn’t have the mental space to form much of a plan until right before her birthday. Annelise also wasn’t much help. As sweet as it was the only thing she told me she wanted for her birthday was me. Had I not been so occupied with classes I would have like to plan something special for us to do together, as it was I was having a difficult time finding time to shop for a gift. Thank you Amazon Prime for coming through at the last minute.
When I asked about her cake, she told me she wanted a Bambi cake. At some point I’ll give in and just order her cakes, but for now I enjoy doing them myself. I thought a Bambi cake would be easy enough but a quick google search revealed a lot of fancy fondant and I just wasn’t going to have time for that. Thankfully Wilton did make a Bambi cake mold back in 1976 and it was surprisingly easy to find a used one online. This was the hardest cake I’ve ever done, but it turned out okay.
It was only an eight inch cake so we also made cupcakes. That worked out perfect because I wanted to surprise her with the Bambi cake but she insisted on helping me make her cake. So we worked on the cupcakes together and then after she went to bed I made the Bambi cake.
We didn’t do a big party. She hasn’t had a friend birthday yet. Originally I thought this was the year we would do that, but with the move and my being in school it just didn’t seem like a good idea. We had family over and ordered pizza followed by cake, ice cream and presents.
I think she had a great day. I had some guilt associated with school and not being able to do the party I wanted, but as I watched her play with her cousins, exclaim over the cake, and get excited about her gifts I know that for her it was a magical day.
One of her gifts was a camera. I’ve been wanting to get one for her for awhile. I thought it was something she would like and I also thought it would be a good way for us to stay connected on the days I’m away all day. I love to talk her about her day, but she often doesn’t “remember” what she did. If she can take pictures throughout her day we can talk about them. It was a big hit. She’s taking pictures of everything.
Overall I think it was a birthday success. I would still like to plan a special day for us to do something together. I’m contemplating taking her skiing, since she loves the snow and I thinks she’s ready to learn. Now I just need to find a day that I can make it happen.
When Annelise was younger I use to keep track of what she was like at different stages. I got out of the habit as she got older and the stages were further apart. On her birthday we do sit down and have an “interview” which I record. But I thought I would give a quick run down of what she’s like at four.
- She’s about 37 1/2 inches tall, and approximately 32lbs.
- Still wearing some 3t but mostly 4t. Size 8 shoes (although a couple of her 7s still fit).
- Still has not had her hair cut, ever! (Mama knows it’s getting time, but just can’t bring myself to do it).
- Still takes an afternoon nap, although sometimes she’s allowed to skip it for special occasions.
- Attends Head Start at Hart Public Schools.
- She can count to 20 (mostly) occasionally she gets in a hurry and skips a few teens. She can recite the alphabet and is starting to work on letter sounds. She can recognize several letters (A,D,S,Z,T,B,L,M -I’m sure there are a few more but those are the ones she gets consistently). And can write an ‘A’ for her name.
- For how concerned I was with her speech delay she has more than made up for it. She can be very wordy. Why use one word when you can use ten? I’m learning to be patient but sometimes she forgets what I asked her by the time she gets done giving an answer.
- She likes to do “school work” which involves sitting at her desk coloring and cutting paper. She also likes to paint. And when she paints she as adamant about covering every square inch of the paper so there is no white.
- She has several friends. Her school friend is D’Anna. John Henry is her BFF. And she talks frequently about Buck and Heys. Her favorite playmates are her cousins, Lincoln, Miles and Henry.
- Her favorite books are Clifford the Big Red Dog
- Her favorite movie is Bambi
- She likes to have “game and puzzle night.” We have popcorn and orange pop while building puzzles and playing games.
- She also loves Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer and penguins
- Her favorite things are her “animals.” She has a collection of stuffed animals. I call them her menagerie but she refers to them as “my club.” And like all good clubs she talks about reading books with them but so far I haven’t seen it happen.
- She doesn’t have imaginary friends but rather imaginary pets. Mostly puppies, but a few tigers also. Sometimes she lets them sleep in my room.
- She has a couple of dolls that she will play with occasionally (she named them Buck, John Henry and Annelise). Thankful she hasn’t shown any interest in Barbie type dolls. She prefers trains and match box cars.
- She likes to play baseball and ride her bike. She can pedal a two wheeler without training wheels but prefers her Strider because she’s more confident on it and can therefore go faster.
- She likes to do the “happy feet dance.” When I asked if she would be interested in taking dance classes she said, “No because I already know how.”
- She loves the snow.
- She wants to be a Mom when she grows up and for her job she wants to be “a teacher that teaches children to fight fires.” (Her Aunt Bethany teaches fire safety to third graders, and she wants to do that too).
- She prefers jeans to dresses. And likes to wear “cow boots.” She is very particular about her clothes and I’ve learned that simple is best (so much for having a little girl I can dress up).
- Red is currently her favorite color.
- She asks “why” a lot. Which I know is normal but she has taken it one step farther. When I give her an answer she often asks. “How do you know?” It’s to the point I have to cite sources to her.
I’m sure there are many more little things that I could share. She’s very much a little girl now and not a baby or toddler. Her personality is developing and she’s becoming a very distinct individual.