|Rachel is 4! Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting was the pick this year.|
Rachel turned 4 this year, and got her first friend birthday party. Jase and I decided that we would do parties for the kids when they turn 4, 8, 12, and 16 (and probably for graduations, etc. when they get older), just to spread things out, and do lower-key family things the rest of the time. We spent her real birthday just with family and enjoyed all her favorite foods. The Elliotts came over and we had cake and ice cream that evening. We got her a one big present this year, a dollhouse, which she really loves, since we knew she'd get a few things from grandparents and from friends at her party.
Rachel chose a "marine biologist" themed birthday party, and if you know her that probably doesn't surprise you. Rachel loves animals, but especially dolphins, sharks, whales, and fish. We kept things pretty simple with just a snack and cupcakes, playtime, present opening, and some games. We played "shark attack" with a hammerhead shark puppet (essentially hot potato to the Jaws theme) and pin the tail on the fish. Our crowd was mostly 3-5 year olds so simple was great. I'd call it a success, and since it was the first "drop off" birthday party for most of the kids in the group they all talked about it for weeks. I did learn one thing, and that is to never do chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting for preschoolers. It was Rachel's request, but it was So. Very. Messy.
|Place settings for Rachel's first real birthday party.|
|Pin the fin on the fish.|
|We are under the ocean!|
|Blowing out candles with friends.|
|Alden chose to work on saying his own prayers (he sometimes asks for help, but very often expresses himself quite well on his own), be kind to Rachel, and learn to go potty this year and wear underwear.|
January finally brought the first snowstorm suitable for sledding (and now that it's April, it was one of the few of the season). I took the kids to the local park. We were the only ones out there and although I was having a lot of fun pulling the kids around they didn't share my joy as long. After two or three rides down the hill they were done. I remember as a older kid staying out forever building igloos and forts with friends in Colorado, but I suppose when you are a toddler it's just not the same. Someday maybe I'll get them to build an igloo with me. They sure were cute though. We've also spent some time doing "winter crafts" since it's been pretty cold.
|Rachel put her snowman together all on her own.|
|Alden's snowman (I helped him with the hat and face he wanted, but he drew the arms and glued the "snow" in the right order).|