Remember how I had a 2+ month hiatus from writing here earlier this year? It coincided perfectly with the timeframe during which I was experiencing the worst of my first-trimester-of-pregnancy horrible morning sickness symptoms! There are a number of events that actually occurred during that time that I’d love to write about and share with you, but I think the most important is the 4th birthday of our firstborn, little Miranda Grace 🙂
We try to make birthdays special in our family, but we don’t spend a ton of money, and we don’t go party-crazy. I expect our kids will be more interested in having parties and celebrating with friends as they get older, but for now, they are quite happy to open a few gifts, get to choose a favorite meal to have for dinner, and make cupcakes – and for that, I am extremely grateful, since I could barely muster the energy for even that this year!
My mom was able to visit earlier in the month (and brought some gifts for the girls), and we all appreciated our time with her (and the gifts!). We don’t focus a lot on ownership for a lot of our toys. Special blankets and stuffed animals or sentimental things, yes, but toys like those in the following pictures we view more as communal property. Both girls just see that as normal and don’t object to sharing their toys, even birthday gifts.
(Note that Miranda is still in her pajamas; we were flexible on the need for getting dressed during my time as an invalid!).
This set of tape rolls has been one of the best gifts ever. The girls LOVE it.
My dad was able to be in town for Miranda’s actual birthday, which was great. He played with the girls…
…read to them…
…introduced them to new games (to those who know my dad, this should come as no surprise!)…
…and helped us make and enjoy birthday cupcakes 🙂
We were also able to spend some time using some of her new gifts – this girl loves her art supplies…and at least that day, apparently, her breakfast 🙂
I love that huge smile 🙂 It doesn’t appear incredibly often, but when it does, it is an expression of pure delight 🙂
Miranda also got a new baby doll, in part so that she and CaiQun would each have a specific baby doll that was their own. This is the first baby doll that she has really named on her own, not based on Matt’s or my suggestions, which I think is notable. Meet Nora 🙂
Especially now that the girls have such a great interest in pregnancy and fetal development and in motherhood, it has been good for them to have some sweet baby dolls with which to play.
For her birthday dinner, Miranda chose to eat at House of Chow, always a favorite for everyone 🙂
My big girl has been 4 for a few months now, and I have to say, it’s a delightful age. We are definitely working on a number of character issues, but we are also having so much fun. Her questions are generally thoughtful, and we’re able to have increasingly intelligent conversations. She and CaiQun often play so beautifully together, and she can be super loving and sweet and sensitive.
At 4, she loves to read. She can read simple words and books on her own and is looking forward to doing more of that as part of our school curriculum this year. Her favorite subject in school right now is probably math – I use it as a reward for getting through hand-writing, which seems to feel more tedious to her – though she also loves our science and social studies materials. She is having a blast at gymnastics and looks forward to it every week. While she enjoys fun, out-of-the-ordinary activities, she also craves the stability of routine and structure. I see her introverted nature manifesting itself pretty clearly – she really does use her afternoon rest times to re-charge, and I often find her curled up on the couch looking at books on her own. Food is one area of life in which she shows very little interest – if it were up to her, she’d probably survive entirely on chocolate milk and yogurt (with occasional crackers thrown in for good measure). But she has so many other passions. She’s creative and frequently makes up story lines for herself and CaiQun as they play together. She can’t wait for Atticus to arrive and is completely in love with our friend, baby Judah. And she loves to talk and learn about pretty much anything 🙂
I feel blessed to be this little girl’s mommy. These past 4 years have been amazing, and I look forward to what God has in store for all of us in the future 🙂