She’s not supposed to sleep in our bed on weekdays. Her bedroom is perfectly cute and full of neat girl / curious soul playthings.
And school nights mean having as much undisturbed slumber as possible.
But on the mornings that follow the nights she talks her way into sleeping with us, there’s absolutely nothing as stunningly beautiful as seeing her face next to mine.
Rules are meant to be broken sometimes.
Somehow or another, another year has slipped by and Ella is almost ready to celebrate her sixth birthday with the kind of glee that only an ‘old 5′ year old can.
She’s a beautiful force of nature, a hurricane of hilarity and insight. The kind of spirit that takes your breath away and makes you want to stop blinking to avoid missing a single second.
Every year with Ella gets better and better. Her 5th birthday this year was very low key – especially as her first day of kindergarten started the very next day.
We ate birthday brunch at Radical Eats, played like crazy people and opened gifts with cake before hitting the sack early for the big day to come.
Birthday loot included:
- Super fab hot pink Tony Hawk BMX bike (her very first – with training wheels of course)
- Spiderman glove / web shooter thingie
- Buzz Lightyear toy
- Light up, spiky bouncy ball (much loved)
- Hello Kitty lip gloss set
- Cars candy
- Book of flower and heart tattoos (a big deal around these parts)
- Strawberry cheesecake with Spiderman candles
We’ve graduated to a new neighborhood with a great (public = no massive tuition!!!, Vanguard program) school within a 30 second drive – but unfortunately we found ourselves one street away from the appropriate zoning.
Seriously, one street. After an initial application, testing, interview and lottery process (WHEW)- we got the good news, Ella made it! I hopped up and down like it was Harvard.
Her first day was great, especially since her birthday was the day before (5 years old, holy cow) and she was basically crowned princess of the class:
This year has started out effortless, she has a fantastic teacher who communicates regularly via email and notes home (super responsive) – with NO TYPOS. Is this heaven!?!? Active PTA, super cool parents, really great building and just down the road from our sweet little home.
Important Kindergarten items of note:
- Backpack = turquoise Lands End backpack / clip on lunchbox (thanks Aunt Peggy!)
- Water bottle = Threadless ‘Funkalicious’ astronaut design Thermos
- Class folder = baby Emperor penguin
- Favorite lunch = peanut butter and jelly sandwich (followed closely by my green beans and potatoes)
- Best part about school so far = new sandbox, ‘spinners’ and dinosaur bones on playground
Oh the joy of flight. A thrill that Ella got to experience for the very first time (OH EM GEEEE!!) on our fantastic trip to Pittsburgh last weekend.
The formula for Ella’s first airplane flight went thusly:
- 1 set of pilot wings from the nice lady who checked our bags
- A Nintendo bag full of snackies (sugar free gum, gummy peaches, dark chocolate M&Ms)
- Transformer motorcycle toy from Daddy
- Borrowed Nintendo 3DS from Mommy (with Kirby and PilotWings)
- Bright pink stuffed Kirby doll
- Dad’s iPod with Sesame Street video podcasts loaded and ready
- An uncle and Grammy sitting behind us, sending Ella presents along the way
- 2 favorite books to read and notepad to write in
- 4 weeks of excitement building up!!!!
Ella did great on this first flight – most likely the first of many. Nice that she was so natural and patient – and especially funny with the flight attendants and, well, every single person on the plane should could strike up conversation with.
The kid’s got jet setter eyes – note the oozing of nonchalance with the whole experience below. We heard some squeals of amazement as we took off, but shortly after Ella grew accustomed to the whole flying thousands of feet in the air and was far more eager to get to playtime.
Our shortie is a pretty mellow gal – all she really needed was the occasional dark chocolate M&M, sip of water and a bit of entertainment material (the inflight magazine was a big, big hit – as was the Nintendo 3DS with 3D mode off for her little eyeballs).
I took a peek at some traveling with kiddos-type websites, but found that for this under 4 hour trip, common sense was really that’s all required for a reasonable traveling experience. That and sitting in front of Ella’s Grammy and Uncle Mark who showered her with gifts and snacks the entire flight – an amazing morale booster to be sure
What’s the best flight that you’ve taken with your kiddos like? Any war stories, hilarity to share or favorite kiddo travel hacks
The happyfamily has been uber-busy this summer. Lots of big and wonderful changes all while Ella continues to grow and grow and grow.
It’s amazing what an intelligent little quirky conversationalist Ella has become. She catches mispronunciations, new words in conversations and anything else that comes her way. Absolutely amazing. So here’s what we’ve been up to.
Lot’s of splashing:
What have you been up to? Long time no see!
Ella has taken to swinging (finally) for the first time in her short life. No more shrieks of panic and glaring looks. Phew
We spent last weekend at Great Wolf Lodge, an indoor water park in the lovely Grapevine, TX. The lodge’s PR team invited us out to check out their digs – which was pretty swell as we certainly didn’t have this on our weekend adventure list as of yet.
Ella had a great time – even as a shortie toddler (they are very strict on height requirements for their slides) there were moooore than enough things to do. In fact, with the exception of the 3 giant adult slides that were open, Ella did everything!
The weekend was a bit eye opening from a mommy perspective – watching her climbing, jumping and exploring, all things I’m used to her doing at the playground on any given weekend. But watching homeslice stand in line on her own for a (really quite large) water slide – and then slide down all by herself… holy cow.
We had a fun time, it’s something we’ve never experienced before and we loved watching Ella in the water. Our stay lasted less than 24 hours and I don’t know how much longer we could have lasted – we were all pooped by the end of 2 rounds of swimming and playing – kudos to the GWL warriors who stay a week