Monday, April 30, 2012

Solana's Unicorn Pegasus Party

Solana's Unicorn Pegasus party was a big hit! She had a great time and I think all her friends enjoyed themselves, as well. She already said that she wants another unicorn pegasus party next year but I'm not sure I have another one in me! :-)

Here are some pictures from before the party:

Solana specifically requested a unicorn pegasus cake. She wanted it to be in the shape of a unicorn pegasus but we couldn't bring ourselves to spend $80 on a cake. I had another plan, anyway.She was really disappointed when she saw the cake on the table (before the topper) but I promised her that she'd like it and to be patient. She was thrilled with the toppers.
 Little sister Chloe was so patient as we spent all morning preparing for the party.
 These are the streamers Solana helped me hang on Friday after school. We were pretty proud of ourselves.
 These are the ones I hung while she was at school on Friday. Some of them are left over from Dave's 40th party in March (yet to be posted). Solana requested we reuse them and I was happy to do so. My poor aching hands are still yelling at me after all that cutting.
 Pin the horn on the pegasus is ready for some action. I'm so glad my husband has some art skills.
 The craft/cake table is set and ready for the girls to arrive.
 As the girls arrived we immediately set them to work on the unicorn pegasus craft. I made a stencil and cut out the bodies, legs, and wings from poster board. Again with the aching hands. I filled muffin papers with Elmer's glue and others with glitter. The girls used painting sponges to paint their pieces with glue and then sprinkled (some dredged) on the glitter. After 30 minutes Dave sprayed them all with sealant. And right before it was time to go Kristine and I put them together with brads.

All the pieces are moving. This is the original post with stencil for the horses. Dave added the wing and horn for me. And this is where I found the idea. Can you see the huge woodpecker on the tree in the background?

 Chloe appeared at one point with icing on her fingers. I didn't notice until after I took the picture and wondered what was on  her finger. I immediately ran to see the damage on the cake. None to be seen. Whew!
 This picture is so funny. We were waiting for one girl to return from a potty break so I could give them instructions on the scavenger hunt. I didn't know Dave was taking pictures. Silly girls!
At least I can get Solana's attention...
 I made up clues for the scavenger hunt and Dave made these horns to hide the clues in. These were the clues:
A pegasus flies above your head.
She flies to her high bed. Go there (Solana's bunk bed)

What does a unicorn eat? 

If prepared with magic you don’t need a real kitchen to make her a treat! (The play kitchen)

Pegasus flies high.
If you play on this your toes might touch the sky! (The swing set)

Oh no! The unicorns are eating the spinach and carrots we planted!
Hurry! Catch them and maybe our wishes will be granted! (The vegetable garden)

That silly pegasus is bouncing up and down. 
Go to him. There’s only one more clue to be found! (The mini trampoline)

Go to Solana’s room! (Their treat bags were scattered around the floor in her room)

 We didn't actually get any pictures of them doing the scavenger hunt because they were completely insane. If screaming and running means they had fun then I guess they did but they were like little maniacs. I was completely beside myself.

Pinata time! Only two girls got to hit the pinata before it fell. Sort of a fail but at least we got a cute picture. :-)

They finished the scavenger hunt and pinata so quickly that we had tons of extra time. They hung out on the playground for a while as Dave and I set up for cake. (Dave just cleaned and stained it so I had to get a picture.) Thank goodness for our friends, Heidi and Kristine who decided to stick around for the party. They were life savers!

Top: Hannah, Abbi, Kate, Solana, Sophia
Bottom: Ari, Sarah, Maria, Anna, Kylie
 Chloe spent a lot of the party in Krisine's arms. It was her nap time but there was no way she was going down for a nap. Thank you for watching her Kristine!
 Spontaneous game of tug-o-war. Everyone against Solana's Daddy!!!
 The rainbow cake was a HUGE hit! This was definitely my favorite party of the party. I explained to the girls that, while shopping for unicorn pegasus things, I met a lady who said she could do some magic. She gave me magic sprinkles and some magic words for Solana's cake. We had to say the words while Solana sprinkled the magic sprinkles over the cake and something would happen. "Unicorn Pegasus help our wish take flight. Make Solana's birthday cake a special rainbow sight." We were disappointed at first when nothing happened but then we cut into the cake! The girls' screams were EXACTLY what I was hoping for. Here's the video. It's long - 6 minutes. But the ending is worth it.

Magic sprinkles

It turned out just the way I hoped and was really delicious, too! Here's the recipe for the cake. I just doubled my own cream cheese icing recipe, though, because her icing seemed way too complicated.
Ice cream? But of course! Look at those tired eyes. She went on to play a vigorous game of toss the balloons into the air purifier wind with Ari. She passed out as soon as everyone left.

Time to open presents. After the first present we were fighting off girls from practically crawling onto Solana's lap. It's so funny how kids do that!

All in all it was a big success! Happy birthday Solana! We love you!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Solana is 7!

Our big girl turned 7 today! Solana is such a sweetheart. She enjoyed her birthday fully and was excited for every special moment. She told me multiple times that this was a great birthday and she loved it. She started off with her special birthday pancake.
Our neighbor, Donna, made the girls princess crowns. They're really amazing. It's a double layer of thick felt sewn together and all those little beads and flowers are individually stitched on. They're even adjustable with velcro in the back to make sure they fit perfectly. Chloe got one, too. They wore them all day yesterday and Solana plans on wearing hers for her birthday party.

Then Solana took brownie cupcakes with cream cheese icing to school. There are 21 kids in her class and I made 30 cupcakes. I anticipated having a bunch of cupcakes left over but Solana kept thinking of teachers and teacher helpers that needed a cupcake so they all went with her. That's Solana. Ever generous and thoughtful. I was also grateful not to be left alone with a huge pile of brownie cupcakes.

After Solana got home from school she helped me with some decorations for her party on Sunday. She's been counting down the days until her birthday and party since February. It's been slightly annoying but also very cute. I'm glad she's so excited. She's also been anxious to decorate for her party and was thrilled to help put up streamers. That was even listed that as one of the best parts of her day. :-)

She chose the Cheesecake Factory for dinner but she kept calling it the Cake Factory. I suspect we didn't go there for the food. Dave, Ann, and Little Dave met us there, along with Dave and Dorothy Goe. (4 Dave's and 5 girls at the table! Haha!)

We learned that Dorothy likes to shop. She went on a huge shopping spree for the girls and spoiled them rotten with gifts. Chloe skipped her nap and her fuse was non-existent. Her new dolly was a lifesaver! Dave and Ann gave her a gift card to ToysRUs. I wonder if she'll become as good a shopper as Dorothy...

I'm so glad Solana had a good birthday. She's wonderful and we love her so.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Night-Time Panties

I bet you saw this picture and thought this was going to be a potty training post about Chloe. Nope. I tricked you. This is a funny little post about Solana and her "night-time" panties. Here's the background story. I bought these 3T panties when Solana turned two and we were about to start potty training. I wanted them big so she could pull them up and down easily. Then we used them for a while when she was still having accidents. Solana did a pretty good job potty training and we really didn't need them at all after a couple of months. We switched to regular panties and put her in these for bed. She stayed dry through the night ever since she was little so we didn't really need Pull-ups. The night-time panties didn't really do much good when she had the occasional accident because they're just thick panties. Nothing especially absorbant or leak-proof by any means. Still, the night-time panties stayed....and stayed...and stayed. Fast forward 5 years. Solana is still wearing the same 3T night-time panties. Seriously. And literally. These are the very panties that I purchased at BabiesRUs when she turned 2! She hasn't had an accident in years and there's absolutely no reason for her to be wearing them except for the fact that she likes them. I've suggested to her over the past couple of years that she can just wear regular panties to bed but no. She absolutely must change her panties for bed. It's a must. And they can't be her regular daytime panties. They need to be special. I think it's like a security blanket type thing. Last year I even went as far as to shop online for training pants that would fit a 6 year-old. They make some but they're way too expensive and the concept was just ridiculous. Fortunately, these still fit. Of course, they fit more like bikini panties now than the huge granny fit that they used to but they're not tight so we just let it go on. I finally went shopping last week and bought some "boy short" style panties to offer her. I was worried she wouldn't accept them as proper night-time panties but she likes them. They came in vivid colors and look pretty comfortable. Dave and I think Solana just might keep her tradition of night-time panties for the rest of her life. It'll just be one of those things. And these faded thick training panties are where it all started. Funny girl.


My girls love to read and that makes me so happy. As a parent I'm constantly worrying about the influence I have on the girls. If I tell her to brush her hair does that send her the wrong message about the importance of appearance or am I teaching her to take pride in herself? If I make her finish her vegetables am I teaching her that healthy eating is important or am I removing an opportunity for her to make a right choice. It's not easy knowing the right thing to do. But when I see how much they love reading I know we've done something right. Yay!

Solana was reading and Chloe decided to join her. She brought a book and her pink blankie and climbed up on the couch with her sister. Love this.

What?!? The TV is on and Solana's back is turned? Is it a full moon or something?

This picture also makes me giddy because this marks the week when Chloe began drinking on her own. I think it was a combination of something Dave did, the cups with straws vs. sippy cups, and Chloe wanting to be like Solana. But a lightbulb went on somewhere and Chloe randomly began drinking. Now we don't have to worry about her hydration all the time. Yay!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Chloe's Eyes Update

Amidst all the excitement over Solana's new glasses I forgot to mention Chloe's eye exam report. But first I'd like to mention how awesome it is that Chloe's vision exam is so unremarkable that I failed to mention it at all!

Chloe is still favoring her left eye (the one from which they removed a couple of cataracts) and turning her head to the side to settle the nystagmis. The big concern is that one eye will take over and the other will give up. But she seems to be using both eyes. No patching order again and Dr. Bloom thinks she's stable enough to see her again in six months. That's the first time we've gone more than three months without a visit.

We still don't know what the future will hold for Chloe's vision. Our hope is that her eyes really are stable and that she just has to work on dealing with the vision she has now.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Glasses for Solana

Solana has an astigmatism. Hmm. I wonder where she got that from...

A few weeks ago Dave noticed that she couldn't see some things at a distance that he could see. Dave has exceptionally good vision so I joked that "not everyone has your super vision." But I went ahead and added her on to Chloe's upcoming appointment with Dr. Bloom. The nurse did a quick vision test and said that she's near-sighted. Then they dilated her eyes. Dr. Bloom took a look and immediately said, "Oh yeah. She has an astigmatism." RX: Glasses for school, reading, and computer work. She doesn't need to wear them all the time but she can wear them as much as she wants.

Solana was thrilled to pick out her new frames. She must have tried on 20 pair. I preferred one pair in particular and really wanted them for her but they're a lot like mine. I bit my tongue because I knew she's be unhappy with her glasses if I chose them. She asked my opinion, though and we narrowed it down to four. Then asked the two ladies and one guy working there for their opinion. Everyone agreed on the top two pair and then Solana took them to the mirror to make the final decision. She picked the ones I wanted! Yes!

As I was getting the order placed Solana asked if she could pick a case. She helped herself to all the cabinets stuffed with cases and came up with a heart-shaped case that would fit her glasses. Who knew picking a case would be as (if not more) exciting as picking frames?

We came home for a quick lunch and then I took her to school. She got to wear her sunglasses to school. A very exciting day, indeed. Poor baby.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Oooh Goodie! I love those!

Chloe and I made several stops today after her gymnastics class. One of those stops was to Once Upon A Child, a second-hand clothing shop. We needed a couple of onesies to go under her pajamas. As soon as we walked in she ran to the clothes and said, "Ooooh Goodie! I love these!" Seriously! Where does she get that from? I don't think I've ever felt that way about shopping in my entire life! Her Grammy and Aunts love shopping but they live across the country. Weird.

I couldn't get my phone out fast enough. She rested her cheek on the clothes and hugged them as she said it. This was right after she did it.

Then she started going through the clothes like a seasoned shopper. So weird!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Rainbow Magic Books

After I wrote the last post I decided to text Leticia and Angela to let them know about the Rainbow Magic series. Maybe their 1st graders would like them, too. Leticia suggested she buy some of the books for Solana's birthday. "Great!" I thought. "Now Solana can get the books that the library doesn't carry and I don't have to buy them." So I told Leticia I'd let her know which series the library doesn't carry.

This is how I spent the last 45 minutes. First I had to locate the list of series online. Then I had to copy, paste, and format so that it all fit on one page (didn't want to waste too much paper or flip pages while crossing off my list.) Then I pulled up all the Rainbow Magic books from the library and crossed them off one by one. Either I'm exceptionally neurotic or these kids don't appreciate us enough. Look - I even wore out my pink highlighter!

Solana Parent Teacher Conference

I met with Solana's teacher a couple of weeks ago for a regular conference. Solana's doing great in first grade. She gets along well with other children. She's reading well beyond first grade level. And this doesn't surprise me considering the way she devours books. It's almost embarrassing to pick up our Hold Request books at the library these days. Her pile is HUGE! Her current obsession is the Rainbow Magic series. They're chapter books about magical fairies and each book is devoted to a different fairy. So far she's read the Rainbow, Jewel, Weather, and Pet Fairies series. There are seven books in each series and probably about 20 series. I'm in trouble when she finishes all the ones the library carries. You know how cheap I am when it comes to buying books.

She's also doing well in Math. I was surprised to hear this since I help her with her math homework every day. Math always came easy to me when I was young which is why I think I have a hard time teaching it. But her teacher said she's doing well so that's reassuring.

Solana's currently in speech therapy. I hesitated putting her in it. My mom told me that I was in speech therapy in first grade. They said I mixed up my sh and ch. My mom wasn't convinced that I had a problem. She suggested that perhaps they just thought that because of my ethnicity except that I didn't speak Spanish at all. Already reluctantly allowing me to do speech she arrived at school to pick me up early one day. Upon arrival to my classroom she discovered that I was in speech. The fact that I wasn't there wasn't the problem. The problem was that the other kids blurted out that "she had to go to speech because she can't talk right." Well, that was the last straw. My mom pulled me from speech and I think I "talk right" now. Anyway, Solana definitely has trouble with her S's and R's. I spent a good 45 minutes on the phone with the speech therapist, who reassured me that speech would be a positive experience for her and, as far as she knows, all kids love it and there's no stigma attached. Indeed, Solana loves it. Her speech therapist arrived for part of the conference and used words like, "charming," "a joy to have in class," "hard worker but not too serious to be enjoyable." She glowed when she talked about Solana and made me feel great.

Solana's teacher also made sure to tell me that she has a special gift for poetry. I was not aware. Oh yes! She not only writes poetry but she writes it completely on the spot and TO MUSIC! The music teacher played a tune and Solana immediately came up with the words to go to the tune. Not only did the words fit the tune but they rhymed. She was amazed and so was the music teacher. They agreed that they'd never seen a student do that the way Solana did it. She went on to tell me that Solana sparked an excitement in the entire class and they ran with the assignment. All the students wanted Solana in their group as they wrote verses to the song Solana began. I remember Solana coming off the bus a couple of weeks earlier. She was excited to tell me about the verses she wrote and sang them to me. I didn't know the rest of the story but I'm sure glad I made a big deal about them. It's no wonder she was proud. Apparently, the teachers were beside themselves.

I'm so proud of Solana! She's a great kid. I'm tough on her and don't gush about her nearly enough.