The Weekly Peanut, Issue 73 SUPERSIZE HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PEANUT!
Seriously, though, kid, I've got a bone to pick with you. How am I supposed to keep up my popular new Hits/Misses format if you keep being as awesome as you were this past week? I'm going to have to wrack my brain for material in the misses department. Oh well.
We did have a very active week, though, so we'll have to recap as well. So I'm thinking we're going to integrate the hits and misses into the recap, otherwise I might be here all day.
I got to pull my groggy Yankee Doodle Dandy out of bed on her birthday and get her dressed in her ^ patriotic finest compliments Grandma Kadi. I was greeted with smiles and hug/snuggles. HIT I have been getting ALLTHESNUGGLES this week, and I can't help but feel like I'm karmically cashing in on some of the divatude I've been putting up with these past few months. We kissed Daddy out the door to a half day of work (yes, on July 4th), and headed out for some Mommy/D time.
We started out with some breakfast (and sweet nectar of caffeine for Mommy) at B3. MISS Getting D to be patient / remain relatively still in one place / respect other people's property / not cause a ruckus. Fortunately for D she is still adorable and most people smile at her antics, but I warned her that wasn't going to fly forever. Even with the offer of the Ipad to watch, my kid is still hell on wheels when she gets going. Like a teeny toddler tornado of cuteness and destruction, ready to knock over your drinks, "water" your plants, and kick up dust you didn't know existed.
After grabbing a birthday cupcake at Blue Bird, we took a quick trip to the grocery store. I told D she could pick out any balloon she wanted. HIT Tinker Bell. Tinker Bell and Disney Fairies EVERYTHING. Pirate Fairy and Secret of the Wings were the only movies D wanted to watch ALL WEEK. One of D's Birthday gifts was a Tinker Bell Ensemble, complete with Light Up Fairy Wings. D wasn't very interested in the wings, but they looked pretty smashing on Fiona.
Once Daddy came home we opened presents. HIT D loves presents. Unlike last year when she was mostly just fascinated with tearing paper, D seemed to really dig her gifts. Or maybe I'm just getting better at shopping for her. Lots of Disney books and toys, some stuffed animals, but they all went over really well. Particularly her new Frozen Playhut (more on that later, it's popular with everybody) and her beloved Elsa Wand. The wand has a snowglobe on top and plays an instrumental version of "Let It Go" when you push the button. D was obsessed. She fell asleep at nap time clinging to it. Eventually we had to turn off the music and tell her the wand was worn out, because there was no sign that she was tiring of the tune any time soon.
We let D take her nap late in the hopes that we could let her stay away long enough that night to watch some fireworks. We were invited over to a friend's to partake in some burgers, and since all we had to cook was frozen pizzas, we gladly accepted.
MISS Meeting new people for the first 5-10 minutes. When we got to Drew's house, D was CLINGY, burying her face in my neck, refusing to acknowledge anyone else in the house. I put her down to try to force the issue but she kept hiding behind my leg. Eventually she got distracted by the kitties in the house and proceeded to follow them around, yielding one of the cat toys like a ringmaster's whip, demanding they play with her. Sorry kid, you may think you're the boss of everybody but cats will beg to differ. HIT Meeting new people after the first few minutes. Once she warmed up, D was more than happy to play ball with everybody and carry on extensive conversations about her philosophies on cat-rearing (at least I think that's what she was talking about).
Yes, my child is wearing a Borg shirt. No, it wasn't her choice, and no, she didn't make it easy on me. MISS In fact she pitches a fit when I try to get her to wear anything other than a Disney or Gabba shirt. Most of the time I'll let her pick, but sometimes kid YOU'RE JUST GOING TO HAVE TO HUMOR YOUR MOTHER. Particularly when it comes to nerdy things like Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica. If I can watch endless hours of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Jake and the Neverland Pirates, you can wear a Borg shirt for a couple hours.
We headed home in time to get D cleaned up and PJ-fied for couch snuggles while watching Fireworks. On that note I have a somewhat surprising HIT : the illusion of choice. D has been becoming more and more of a chore at bathtime, and Ian has been over it, so he decided to try introducing D to the shower. She was NOT a fan, but we stuck with it until she didn't spend the whole time screaming at us. Most nights as we approach bathtime, this is what happens: "D, time for a bath!" "NOOOO! NO BATH! NOOOOOO!" and so on. A few nights ago, Ian tossed out "D, would you like to take a bath or a shower?" "No bath! No bath!" "D, would you like to take a shower, then?" "Yes, shower." She then marched right into her bathroom, grabbed the shampoo and towel, and marched to our bathroom for the shower without another complaint to be heard. This routine repeated last night, only she chose a bath that time where she could have tea time with Belle. She also insisted on "cleaning up" before leaving the tub (read: putting all the bath toys into a pile). I've read a million times that the key to getting strong-willed kids to do what you need them to is to present them with a choice so they feel like they haven't lost control. What did we need? For our kid to get clean. She just gets to choose how. SCORE.
Fireworks went over reasonably well. She was a little loopy from staying up so late, but she seemed interested. Particularly when they played Idina Menzel's version of the national anthem, and I got to tell her that Elsa was singing.
Saturday D played the "I'm terrified of new people" game for the first few minutes of a birthday visit from her Aunt Shelley and cousins Aria and Ciera, even going so far as to cry and scream. Ridiculous. Shelley is very smart, though, and started waving a Bubble Guppies gift bag at D to entice her out of her silliness. D was especially excited about her new Anna dress and getting to dress up with her cousin as the Frozen sisters. MISS D is not good at sharing yet. Even though she was not playing with it, when Aria saw the Frozen tea set and started to play with it, D was NOT having it. I had to have several little chit chats with her about how nice and fun it is to play with toys with others, something they are also apparently working on at day care right now with her. She got better the longer they played; eventually they were both holed up in the play hut on their own planet.
D wrapped up her evening with Tinker Bell and some rain watching. D's schtick right now is to call out every item she sees on repeat until you acknowledge that she has correctly named the item. For example: "BROW SHOOO! BROW SHOOO!" Yes, D, those are brown shoes. If you don't acknowledge, she will just KEEP saying it. The good news is that D's speech is getting clearer and easier to understand. To me, anyway.
Our family continues to mourn the continuation of our Disney blackout dates. Even though we haven't used them since our Disney passes were purchased, we decided to take the plunge and give Universal a try, especially since we'd heard rumors that Diagon Alley would be having a soft opening. Also, we needed to take D's birthday gift from Grandpa Marc and Grandma Debbie for a test drive: the City Mini GT.
HIT Ladies and gentlemen, we are now ridin' dirty in the Lexus of strollers. It steers like a dream, has one-handed handling, a hand break, a sunshade that could be mistaken for a biodome, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, D seems to love it. Because of the lap bar, we don't necessarily have to strap her in, plus the seat is deep and she's able to lean back and relax without her legs or knees spilling out. For the first time EVER, D did not fight us on getting into her stroller. It was a little big when it came to maneuvering around some tight spaces (like inside the stores), but that one-handed fold when we had to get onto the Hogwarts Express? Fantastic. We were even stopped by another couple and asked about it when they saw the fold, wanting to know what brand it was and where they could get one for their grandkids. It carried all of our bags and swag, the parent console we added held all our drinks and sunscreen in easy reach. Nine MILLION thumbs up for our new stroller, from us AND the peanut.
HIT My teeny peanut fearlessly (mostly) taking on new challenges and activities at Universal. Although we'd hoped to do the minion ride with her, the line was redonk (come on Universal, get with the FastPass program), so we went straight back to King's Cross. Diagon Alley was temporarily closed for a private vent, so we hopped onto the Hogwart's Express with no line. It was very loud and potentially intimidating, but D faced it all down with wide-eyed wonder. Even when it got dark and a little spooky during the cabin ride, she pointed everything out through the windows (Yes, D, that's an owl.). We found at that D is surprisingly close to being tall enough to go on rides, only maybe 1-2" away from the Pteronadon flyers in Jurassic Park. Instead we took her through the exploration area, which we'd never seen. There's a really neat "underground" cave area you can climb through that was pretty dark and spooky, but D held my hand and took all of it in. She even climbed all the way up to the observation towers with us, then took on something that made even Ian and I flinch.
This walkway is at least 20-30 feet in the air and only about as wide as one of my feet. She LED us across that thing, no hand-holding, with just the occasional "go ahead" from me. Didn't stumble once, either! That's net on either side, wide open with a view of exactly how high up we were. FEARLESS I tell ya!
D also went down giant slides, met some superheroes (you'll notice I'm in those pictures, not quite as fearless and she is with princesses) and the Grinch, rode on a CRAZY FAST carousel, and faced down EPIC THUNDERSTORMS. After emerging from our Diagon Alley induced haze of happiness, we found ourselves being pelted by a thunderstorm that was heavy even by Florida standards. The new stroller yet again excelled at keeping D dry, but we still had to wait it out under an awning. She jumped occasionally at the thunder but not a whimper could be heard. That'll do, peanut, that'll do.
One last HIT for the Birthday week: dancing. D continues to take every musical opportunity that presents itself to prance, hop, boogie, swirl, and shake.
Even with all the busy days, this kid stayed pretty positive, perky, and happy. Sweet, merciful baby Jesus, I know it's probably a fleeting thing, but if we could have more weeks like this? That would be greeeeeeeat.