Thursday, February 25, 2010

Gabi's 5th Birthday

Our big girl is 5 years old already. It has been such an amazing five years for us. I would invite you, if you have the time, to look back at Gabi's original blog from when she was a baby, and when Mommy and Daddy were still figuring out parenting, not to mention this whole blogging thing.

Happy Birthday to our sweet Gabi girl!

Gabi helped bake this chocolate chip cookie cake.

Gabi shows off that she is five years old with her blue-frosting-tinged fingers.

We had a family birthday dinner with Lolo, Lola, Ninang, and Cousin Steven on Gabi's birthday. She requested specifically that Mommy cook her chicken pot pie instead of our going out to eat. Cousin Steven was almost as excited as Gabi about the several dozen balloons Mommy and Daddy filled her bedroom with.

Opening a birthday present from Lolo and Lola.

Steven knows all about static electricity.
We were all treated to a demonstration.

Gabi's big birthday present from Mommy and Daddy was a big girl bike. We couldn't figure out how to wrap the bike, so we wrapped the basket for the bike instead.

Gabi (genuinely excited): Ooh! It's a basket to put stuff in.
Dadday: Well, it's a basket for your bike. Do you have a bike?
Gabi (confused): Um... no...
Daddy: Really? Well, let's go look in the garage.

Gabi is surprised and excited when she opens the door.
"Mommy, I didn't know I had a bike in the garage!"

Bella was also excited about the new bike and kept running in front of it.

Gabi is now very good at making sharp turns and stopping abruptly.

No crazy two-year-olds were injured in the making of this blog post.

For Gabi's party, she requested that her friends come over dressed up like princesses, so they could have a tea party. If this sounds familiar, it's because it's exactly what she had for her birthday party last year. We fancied it up more this year, though.

Mommy had a treasure hunt in the living room to find pendants.
Snow White Veda found one hidden on the couch.

After finding the pendants, the girls used them to make necklaces.
Cinderella Samantha is hard at work on hers.

Afterwards, we had high tea with sandwiches cut into butterfly and heart shapes.
Tinkerbell Gabi enjoys a strawberry at her princess luncheon.

And of course there were presents!

A thank-you hug

Bella has grown into Gabi's Cinderella dress just as Gabi was growing out of it. Gabi got this dress for Halloween 2007 when she was 2 1/2 (Bella's current age), and it has remained her favorite princess dress for special occasions like Halloween 2008 and Gabi's 4th birthday. Gabi had originally requested to wear it again today, but agreed to go with the Tinkerbell dress she got for her birthday last year, upon finding out that Bella didn't have a princess dress to wear. Annabelle was very excited to get to wear the big girl dress, as you can see from this picture.

Cinderella Bella is less reserved than Cinderella Gabi was at her age.

Bella was also excited about the birthday cupcakes...

...and having real juice in the tea cups we usually only have for pretend drinking.

Gramma Jane, Grampa, and Uncle Brian all came out to celebrate with Gabi girl. They were dismayed to find out they weren't allowed to sit at the princess table at lunch. It was for princesses only, and neither Gramma Jane nor Grampa were wearing a dress (which is apparently a prerequisite for princess-ness).

A thank-you hug for Gramma Jane in the cute new apron she made for Gabi.

Bedtime stories with Gramma Jane and Grampa

Before bedtime after a long day of celebrating, Gabi impressed Gramma Jane and Grampa by reading them all of this new book they got her for her birthday. For more on Gabi's literary skills make sure you check out the post Mommy made just a few days ago. Gabi can also read the comments you make here, so we'll be sure to alert her if there are new birthday wishes below for her to enjoy (hint, hint).

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Gabi's letters

Gabi loves to write notes to her loved ones. We each get many letters daily, folded and wrapped in a doll blanket or baby burp cloth as a present. We love it! I had a very difficult time selecting which ones to post here.

Notes from December 2009:
the cat sat on mat bad boy Nathan Merry Christmas

January 2010 pictures from Gabi:
Gabi's favorite color is light blue.
She colored/glitter-painted this especially for her Daddy.

A portrait of Daddy

January letters from Gabi:
Colors for Lolo & Lola
(The butterfly is stenciled; the other drawings are free-hand.)

Do we pick up Bella and take her to the store
Gabi is learning about punctuation in school,
so she wanted to write me a question.

Do we pick up Bella and take her home and wrap a present
Gabi was excited to use the ? stamp
from "Uncle" George for Christmas.

Thank you
Gratification for Daddy's taking her to school before work
(even though it required that she wake up extra-early and go to before care)

A sympathy card after Daddy got hurt while playing with her

Gabi doesn't want to leave anyone out! She even includes her not-yet-born sister.
To Bella from Katya
A painted note to Bella, "from" Katya
(with a Tinkerbell stencil)

Sleeping Beauty trace
Gabi traced Sleeping Beauty all by herself
and then colored her drawing and embellished it with glitter paint.

Wuffel Bear
Gabi sounded out Wuffel Bear (Daddy's childhood teddy)
and wrote her sister's name in bubble-letters.

February 2010 drawings:
Gabi's drawing of Rintoo,
Kai-Lan's tiger friend

Gabi used a stamp for this person's shirt decoration.

Books by Gabi
At school, Gabi's PreK class has started working on "wordless books" in which the children write a story to go along with the illustrations. Here are a few examples of Gabi's work. (Gabi sounds out the words on her own, then her teacher writes in the correct spelling.) I'd really like to post every page of these books, but I'll limit myself.

The next ball and the arms.

These are the eyes.
(I love her spelling "izs")

animal book
The baby chick hatched.

in book 1
The monkey jumped in the car.

in book 2
The monkey laughed.

At home during afternoon quiet time, Gabi made her own Alphabet Book with a page for each letter. I scanned the entire alphabet (4 pages at a time), but I decided to post only one.

alphabet book
E is for elephant
F is for fish
G is for Gabi
H is for helicopter

Monday, February 15, 2010

Winter Comes to the South

The second week in February, it snowed about 6 inches on Sunday night and Monday morning, plus perhaps another 2 inches overnight on Monday, canceling school Monday and Tuesday. Even with a delayed opening of school on Wednesday, driving conditions were still icy in the neighborhoods (especially on residential hills where the snowplows or salting trucks had not ventured). Here in the South, we aren't used to snow sticking on the ground past 10 AM the morning after it has fallen!

Watching the snow

Gabi had no interest in going outside on Monday to play in the snow. It looked too cold! She only got dressed after I promised her that I would not make her go outside. Bella wanted to put shoes on and run outside in her pajamas; however, she refused to get dressed, so we ended up just playing inside. The kids did carry small chairs over to the window and stare out at the snow a la The Cat in the Hat.

The girls' window view

On Tuesday, I coaxed the children outside. Monday afternoon had brought freezing rain/snow mix before the overnight dusting, so the previous day's snow had frozen into an almost-solid crunchy layer. Unlike our Little Rock friends who played in the fresh snow on Monday, we were unable to build a snowman taller than the kids. That didn't stop the kids from having fun, though!

Gabi drawing in the snow

Gabi's snow drawing

Gabi's snowball toss

Bella making tracks

Bella happily declared this chunk of icy snow to be diamond-shaped

Gabi sinking into the snow

Sunday night's snow was still covering the ground on Wednesday evening! (Although, as you can see in the next picture, the sidewalks were more covered in slippery ice.)

Bella showing me the snow

A full week later, we still have patches of snow in shady spots and along the sides of the street where the snowplows piled it up. The roads and skies are clear, though, and we've had nice sunny (albeit still freezing) days.

Gabi and Bella's play picnic

Michael just returned from touring Vanderbilt, and it snowed the entire time he was in Nashville. We're glad he made it home safely driving through snow in the dark!