Thursday, December 8, 2011

This and That

We are now in full Christmas mood but you have been busy celebrating your dolls birthdays. As it turns out most of them were born in November like you... what a coinquidinc!
It is both funny and endearing to see you doing this around the house in preparation for each of their parties.

After we have sang happy birthday, you do all the pick up and save the paper for the next party. 
At this point it is mostly toilet paper dust!

We will be traveling three out of the four weeks of december so we limited Xmas decorations to a small tree in your bedroom.
Xmas trees and Xmas music are your favorite things about the season (after Santa of course). 



Also, Quito celebrates it foundation during the first week of Dec and at your school you celebrated by getting dressed up in colonial outfits and having some delicious typical food.

You loved your dress. I think this era suits your sensibilities a great deal.

This is Leandro. He is one of your closest friends at school.  
His last name is Moreira so you call each other Moreirita. 

His mom just gave birth to a 27 week year old baby girl and has been spending most of her time at the hospital. So we have had him over quite a few times for playdates during this past few weeks. You like to play he is your baby, a dog, karate and like to find places of which to jump from (including the top bunkbed!)

A few weeks ago we went to the Quito Zoo. Its a really nice zoo and it was great to be able to share it with Avi, who is an animal lover and actually likes it when you read the info in front of each exhibit.


 Giant turtles were awesome.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Wish



Our now traditional birthday video.
And have I mentioned that I love you?

Patronales: Abuelitos & Bday Party


The Abuelos arrived on Nov 3rd  and it was wonderful having them here for your celebration. They sang the birthday song over 10 times during the week (which you love), took turns reading bedtime stories and got down and dirty to play with you.

They also saved my neck! You see, this is the first time I plan your birthday as a full time mom and I may have gone a bit overboard and overestimated how much I could do. Thank God for your Dad and Grandparents willingness to help :)
Dad picked up the balloons, made all the burgers and took all the photos.
Abuelo prepared all the snacks for the adults (grapes with cheese on a stick and brie with walnuts on apples... yummy).

Abuela stayed up with me until 2:30am the night before as she prepared the sweet skewers (left) and building the pom poms (top right) for decorations among other things.

You were also really helpful, not only did you put glitter on anything that needed glitter but also helped place the balloons.
It was truly a team effort.

We had pink lemonade, water and strawberry shakes for drinks

There was popcorn, pink bubbles, Star shaped sandwiches (Ham&Cheese and PB&J), some pink lollypops, pink pinwheels, pink M&Ms, pink jelly beans and a cupcake tower with pink frosting which took me most of the night to bake and decorate.

As the girls arrived they were ushered into the make up corner where they put on tutus, got a tattoo and had their nails and hair done.  

Once you were all gussied up your Dad took a picture of each girl, which we framed and gave out to each guest as a thank you for joining you to celebrate your 4th year of life.

We had a crown decorating activity.

You also enjoyed the "saltarin" which you picked out of several on the internet.

There was a treasure trove, where each girl had to find the hidden coins with their initials. As soon as they found at least three of the hidden coins they could trade them in for ballerina themed rings.
You enjoyed helping direct the activity.

Finally each girl decorated her own cupcake in preparation for the Birthday Song

which still holds magic for you!

You all ate and played to your hearts content and I had a great time putting my planning skills to good use ;)

Salud mi amor que cumplas muchos mas y que sean todos años llenos de mucho amor, aprendizajes y felicidad. Te amamos y hoy estoy agradecida de poder celebrar tu vida.

Patronales: Tita & Andrew

Tita & Tio Andrew arrived on Nov 1st to celebrate your birthday early.  We had been in countdown mode for almost a month (we had 22 happy faces on a calendar and each day we would take one down).  As it is now becoming customary she brought you one gift per each day she was going to stay for your birthday (on top of two suitcases full of clothing, quilts, sheets and birthday supplies I ordered on line!).

Early on the second morning you already had a new puppy and the strawberry shortcake gang, to which you later added a Barbie Fashionista, some cool make up and even Tinker bell slippers.

You asked her how she knew what you had been wanting and she told you that a little birdie had told her.   Just a  few hours ago you were speaking in a funny voice, when I asked about it you said you were talking to Titas birdie :O. 

We went to Vulqano Park

were you asked Tita to ride the roller coaster with you

the Pirate Ship was fun too! 
More so for you than us I suspect ;)

Tita and Tio Andrew very patiently  waited for you to do as many rides as you wanted.


It was terrific having them visit and while they were here it was as if no one else existed. 
You wanted to sit next to Tita, play with Tita, sleep with Tita, have her take you to the bathroom and even eat what she was eating.  

It is lovely to see a bond that will last a lifetime strengthen like this.
Today I am grateful for my sister and that you love her as much as I do.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Party Anyone?

October has been pretty busy in your social calendar.

Avi's Birthday.  Avi has Indian and Peruvian backgrounds, but was born in Costa Rica ;) where his parents lived for 5 years before moving to Quito this year. To the left of Avi is Antoine who is French and has been here since last year. 

You got this really cool ring from the pinata at Eithan's birthday.  
When I asked if it was an emerald ring you said: No! It is a diamond ring Mom (bling!)

Leandro had a pool party. Need I say more?

Then we have the regularly scheduled BBQ with your Dads office crowd. 
One at our place.

Where you hosted Martina and Luciana.
Love that you wanted to wear your Costa Rica dress.

And the other a Colorados place.
With Rafaela and Lana


and Ximena. 

Colorado was nice enough to let you use his drum set

video

Check it out Tio Xavi: lo que se hereda no se hurta!

Finally, what will october be without Halloween

From L to R: Eithan, Gabriel, Spidergirl (thanks Tita for the cool cosutme!), Ana Victoria and Naomi

Con la Sofi 

Trying out some of Spideys moves

With the wicked witch of the west ;P

Today I am grateful for candy! wohooo!

Education

The most wonderful thing happened this month.

Since you started going to school (at 20 months) you had, at least once a week, dragged your feet and complained about having to go.  However, during the month of October you have not complained once, not even a little bit and I think this is WONDER-FUL mostly because it makes me WONDER-LESS: I don't have to wonder if someone is bullying you, or if your teacher is nice to you or if you are making any friends or if you are bored.  Ahhhh... relief!

This is your class: Spacehouse.  
You think your teacher Tia Lore rocks and you have 3 very close friends.
La Sofia who is standing right next to you and who refuses to wear her uniform.
El Gabriel (first boy standing from left to right), you think he is the funniest kid in your class.
El Leandro (third boy sitting from left to right) who is very active and whom you have learned to calm down by stroking his head.
You've had cool stories about both play and learning at school almost every day.
Estas dos ultimas semanas has aprendido mucho acerca de la Amazonia. 
Has hecho serpientes, cervatanas, has explorado la ropa y hábitos de los indios.

Every time we go by a bookstore you ask to go in and either you browse through a book on your own or ask me to read you one. Last week while at the bookstore, you asked me to find you a book about the Amazonia :D. I ran like a mad woman looking for one, ecstatic that you were motivated to learn more about a subject that had peeked your interest.

The timing of this event could not have been better, since I had been obsessing the past couple of months over choosing your "big" kid school by doing research, visiting campuses, meeting with teachers, filling in applications and weighing things like:
collaborative or competitive?
curriculum based or themed based?
small or large?
diverse or homogenous, and then what kind of diversity (nationality, economically, religious)?
solid art programme or solid sports programme?
What about the friends you have now, would it be better for you to go to the same school most of them go to, given all the changes you have been and will continue to be exposed to?
and so on...

So when you asked for that book I was reminded of the single most important expectation I have for any learning institution and that is for it to nurture the natural curiosity children have and allow for them to run with it.

This was a calming realization and so we choose the Cotopaxi Academy. You went in for you admission evaluation with the school psychologist and "played" with her for well over an hour and were eagerly admitted.  I took you on a tour of the facilities and you liked them a lot. So hopefully the transition will be a good one a year from now.

In the meantime, there is still plenty of time to continue to enjoy playtime and the friends you have made there. As well as those activities you have come to love
like ballet

while we explore new ones like baseball
video
Sweeeeet!

Today I am grateful for that spark of self directed learning.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Twinkle Toes

We checked out a new place last weekend, its called Hosteria San Jose. Hosterias are very common place here in Ecuador, they are a combination of hotel, meeting place and park.

It has a great playground, indoor pool and 

horses! It was a good way to spend a day out and about.

Las week we also visited your Dads office for the first time. You had been asking us to take you for a while and just had not gotten around to it yet.


Your Dad took us on a tour of the operation floor and were introduced to many of his co workers. We even had lunch at the cafeteria. You were very impressed :)

Every night before your bedtime story, I ask you what your favorite thing of that day was and then we thank God for it. That day you grinned real big and said visiting my Dads office!! 

This new school year you have chosen ballet as an extra curricular activity. 
Its your second go at it. Last time you opted out because you did not like been told how to dance.  Two things have changed since then: the ballet teacher introduced a period of free dance in the class with music from all kinds of cultures and all kinds of rhythms, which you love. And you are more open to instruction now. 
You are loving it. 

So much so that for your birthday this year you have chosen a ballet tea party, instead of the princess theme you had been taking about for the last 6 months.

So let the party preparations begin!  


video
You get your mike (gracias Kicks por el regalo!) and dancing shoes on 
and I will ready everything else for your big day!

You know, I was never much into dancing when I was a kid. In fact, I was forever asking my mom if I could trade ballet for karate ;) .  But watching you do it makes me realize dancing allows you to simultaneously move, think, and feel. It gives you the opportunity to make creative decisions and communicate from a very young age. After all, as soon as you turn a strong beat on in the presence of a baby, most will bounce up and down and sway to the rhythm. All kids are born artists and its fantastic!

So today I am grateful for your grooviness. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Happy Endings and New Begginings

Well the impromptu visit of your grandparents is over and you miss them.

It was a lot of fun playing in the jacuzzi

and hanging out with abuelita

And watching movies and riding your bike with abuelo.

On the morning the abuelo was leaving and as we are dropping you off to school, you took your fake phone out of your purse and informed us that you would be calling the planes pilot  to tell him to leave  immediately, "this way you will miss your plane abuelo and have to stay". 

I am very happy they were able to visit, very happy you got to strengthen your bond with them and happy that you love them enough to miss them a lot. A happy ending in my book.

Fortunately, November is just around the corner and we will enjoy their company again then, as well as Tita and Andrews', the coup de grace would be if the Moreira Vial clan would make it too ;) 

On Sept 9th we celebrated your Dads 34th. This is the first year you really get into the celebrating of someone else's birthday.

You worked really hard at making this painting for him (over a period of three days) and I helped you wrap it.  
The anticipation was driving you nuts and you wanted to give him your present the night before. We asked you to wait and put you to bed; but you walked over to our bedroom in the middle of the night with your pillow in one hand and Dads gift in the other. He loved his gift, which now hangs in his office.

Happy Birthday Dad.  We love you.

Ah the start of a new school year.
I love brand newness.
Brand new uniforms, books, shoes and brand new friends too!
Here's hoping its a great year for you my love.



 
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