2.21.2018

Semi-Wordless Wednesday {Birthday Celebrations}

Annual birthday banner!


Trav got to do Watch D.O.G.S. (volunteering at Gwen's school) 
on her birthday! 


 After school we headed out to pick up Gwen's gift from us... 
a new bike!

That night she had steak, french fries, and strawberries for dinner.
 Her choice!

 Saturday we took a school friend to celebrate at Chuck E Cheese!

Donuts afterwards. 

Sunday we headed to a hockey game... 
not strictly for Gwen's birthday, but it fit in nicely! 
She took another school friend. 

Happy Birthday Gwenie!!

2.19.2018

Birthday Interview: Eight

Previous years can be found here

Me: “Hey Gwenie, how old are you now?”

Gwen:  I'm 8!  

Me: “Who’s your best friend?”

Gwen:  Maddie, and Henry, and Irina. And Amanda and James and Danielle!

Me: “What is your favorite thing to do?”

Gwen: Umm, I don't know.

Me: “What is your favorite color?”

Gwen:  Blue, green, red, and orange. 

Me: “Do you have a favorite food?”

Gwen: Steak, McDonald's, French fries, fried chicken.

Me: “What is your favorite thing to do with mommy and daddy?”

Gwen: Ski with Daddy, and when you read to me.

Me: “What is your favorite toy?”

Gwen: Legos.

Me: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Gwen:  I don't know.  

Me: “What makes you happy?”

Gwen: People being nice to me.

Me: “What is something that makes you sad?”

Gwen: People being mean to me.

Me: “Do you have a favorite movie?”

Gwen:  No, all the movies!  

Me: How about a favorite TV show?”

Gwen:  The Deep, Wild Kratts, Odd Squad, and Johnny Test.  


Me: “Do you have a favorite book?”

Gwen:  Boxcar Children, Magic Tree House, and Harry Potter

Me: What do you like to learn about?”

Gwen:  I like to do writing.  

Me: “What are you excited about for your birthday?”

Gwen:  My new bike! And my Lego police helicopter! 

Me: “Where’s your favorite place to go when we leave the house?”

Gwen:  Chuck E Cheese

Me: “What is your teacher's name?”

Gwen:  Mrs. Lowenstein!

Me: “Do you have a favorite treat?”

Gwen:  Every treat!  

Me: “What’s your favorite animal?”

Gwen:  Dogs, horses, cats... lions, tigers, and bears... lots of them! 

Me: “Do you have a favorite song?”

Gwen:  Frozen, Moana, and Rock & Roll All Night.

Me: “What’s your favorite thing to wear?”

Gwen:   I don't know.  

Me: “What are you looking forward to this year?”

Gwen: Hockey games, and skiing trips, Chuck E Cheese and Boondocks trips, and more traveling! Camping and Cape Cod.

Me: "I'm super excited for that stuff too! Thanks you!"

2.16.2018

Eight

 


Dear Gwenivere,
Today you turn 8 years old. Everyday you are getting bigger, more mature, and more opinionated, so for maybe the first time ever, I have no disbelief at the age you've turned. I've been wanting to call you eight for months now, and you've come so far from when you first turned 7.


This year you hit a number of milestones. Pretty quickly after your birthday last year we finally switched you to a full sized bed... something that was long overdue and really nice for all of us! Bedtime reading and snuggles are much easier now that we actually fit on your bed with you.


You also lost your first tooth halfway through the year, then pretty quickly afterwards your second tooth, a very exciting development for you! Ever since your cousin, Wyatt, lost his first tooth at Cape Cod, you had been waiting for your turn.


There are so many little things too, things that are harder to label or define... but you grasp emotions and concepts so much better then before. You take responsibility for things and want to be helpful (most of the time).


You also feel things incredibly strongly which can be hard for you, and us, to manage sometimes.


But what comes through most is how much you love your family. You love us with wild abandon, and crashing waves of affection.


You continue to be an amazing traveler, entertaining yourself in the car, helping with the tent, and loving all the new things you get to see.



You have a preference for caves and stone houses (New Mexico and Mesa Verde for example), but also absolutely love water in all its forms.


You love animals of all stripes, and have expressed the desire to learn to ride horses.


You are one of the coolest people I know, Gwen, and its been my constant mission to help you continue to always embrace your uniqueness. All the amazing little quirks that make you, you.


You are strong and flexible, you are soft and tough. Your blue eyes and killer smile light up a room!


You are dresses and long hair, and also Star Wars and LEGOs. You continue to be enthralled by Harry Potter, and really love all movies.


You've gotten braver this year, learning to trust your strength and face your fears. At times though, you've also let your fears overcome you, and I'm glad that you still find comfort just by having your Dad or myself present in those moment.




You love new adventures, but also thrive on routine. Your favorite way to start the day is with a cartoon (or two) while you eat breakfast.




But load you up in the car and you're willing to forget all that for the chance to check out something new and amazing.



You've gotten better about trying new foods this year, but you definitely have favorites: tacos, steak, white rice, green beans, chicken nuggets, and french fries. And "junk" of course (any dessert type food!). Ice cream and Icees are especially loved.



This year you kept up with swim into the fall, your second full year of it, but then made the decision to take a break from it. You weren't enjoying it so much anymore, despite your continued love of water and swimming itself, the lessons just weren't fun for you. So we stopped.


But this winter you took up skiing with a passion! By only your second time on the slope you were zipping down the mountain better then I can.


I'm so glad that you and your Dad can share this special bond/activity!



Lately you've been sad, and it absolutely breaks my heart to type that. I know that during your life there are going to be many points of sadness, ups and downs and trials, because that's life... but its never not going to hurt my Mama heart to witness it.


I wish I could take away your pain, and put it all on me. Especially because I've been there before. I've felt the hurt of thinking that I have no friends, I've experienced the sting of thinking that I'm not good enough. So let me tell you right here and now, your feels are valid, you are allowed to feel them, and I will always be here to listen to them.


That said, baby, you are so loved. I don't think you realize right now just how your smile lights up a room, I don't think you know just how strong and powerful you are, I don't think you know how much I admire your fierce determination and drive (even when it drives me a little crazy).


Sometimes people don't understand you when you have such a fire for life, but please don't lose that! True friends will love and admire you exactly as you are, and that fire will help you immensely as you grow. And the other people, well its important to know that not everyone has to like you! It is okay! You can't please everyone, baby, so the best thing is to stay true to yourself.



I am so honored, lucky, blessed to have you call me Mama. I'm so proud that you are my girl.

Love you forever,
Mama