Friday, August 26, 2011

Happy 2nd Birthday Xander

Today my son, my little man... my baby, turns 2. Its official, you really aren't my baby anymore, even though you will forever remain that in my heart. I remember the moment I saw your little face, and the mop of hair on your head. The thought of having a son was both exciting and scary to me, but you instantly wooed me and wrapped me around your finger. You are indeed Mommy's boy!

So much has happened this year for you in terms of growth and change. Shortly after turning one you started to stand and then walk... which turned into running, and you haven't looked back since. Unlike your sister, you have that wild nature of climbing and jumping from great heights, without fear of course. This is something Mommy hasn't done well with, but we are both getting better. You have adventure in your soul and I look forward to seeing what you do with it as you grow.

You also have a sensitivity that I love. You snuggle and love us all with a fierce loyalty. You never miss a beat when Ariel asks you for a good night hug. Your kisses make my day whenever I am feeling down. Your giggle is infectious and we can't help but join you. I love when you cling to me, shy and nervous about sometimes meeting someone new. I know one day you won't need me like that, so I will enjoy this time while I can.

This year your love of anything with wheels has grown! You love McQueen and Thomas the Train, spending hours pushing them around on adventures in our living room. Having to locate them nightly is a bit of a chore but then its not too much to ask... except your hiding spots are getting more and more creative.

In the past few months your language has exploded! Suddenly you are using lots of phrases and new words. I love knowing what you want, rather than the whining, I think you agree, haha. We still don't understand everything you say, but its getting easier. Your voice is just too cute and I love when you make up a song and sing with your ukulele. You have a love for music and a true inner talent we think. Grandpa was pretty impressed with your drumming already, we hope you grow in this gift, as music is a big part on both sides of the family.

Your hat has become your trademark, and whenever we go out we constantly are stopped with people wanting to say how much they love it on you. Its so funny how you love it too, as we get ready to go out you always say 'where hat?' and put it on your head. Like father like son, its adorable and I hope you wear it for years to come.

Dear Xander, what else can I say except how thankful I am to be blessed with the gift of raising you with Daddy. I can't believe its been 2 years, they have gone by too fast but I look forward to the next phases with you with anticipation and glee. I can't wait to see what the year brings... I am sure there will be wheels, music and snuggles involved.

Happy Birthday my sweet boy, I love you.

Always and forever,

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Its My Party and I'll Cry if I want To!

That seemed to be the 'phrase' of the day during Ariel's birthday party this past weekend. We had a few 'rough' moments that Ariel resorted to tears to solve the situation, mainly brought on by her over excitement for the party itself and the lack of sleep leading up to it... I don't remember how many times the night before we told her to go back to bed, only to have her up at the crack of dawn ready to go! Then she refused to eat her breakfast (only taking a few bites), so really it was a recipe for disaster. She was excited and ready for her friends to arrive, and for awhile things were fun.

Lots of dancing, er running in a circle. Every girl looked adorable!

The table was set and ready for the princesses to feast at. The candle holder Ariel saw at the rental shop. After pointing out it looked like Lumiere from Beauty and the Beast we had to rent it for the party table, haha.

Things started off well until we played musical chairs, Ariel wasn't playing close attention and was the first out, oops. Note to self and others playing this game, always start with every kid having a chair, then they all get one round with a chair, haha. We did play a second time where she won, and boy did she watch those chairs.

We watched the annual Ariel slide show video only for a few tears at the end that she missed seeing a few of the picture. We watched it 3 times later, so all is good. Enjoy it, hard to believe how much she grew this year.
The next time the tears showed up was when Daddy read the story. Now bear in mind the story is about her. She is super sensitive to people being 'upset' at her, and it this story the elf character gets 'upset' and stomps his foot. Well this was too much and she went nuts. Of course after calming down and explaining her tears, she said 'I cried for a reason'.... rather than just being disappointed and embarrassed by losing the game first off. Here is the online link to our latest book for her.

Then... yes more tears... she cried when a few of her friends blew out her candles. Oops. The candles were lit again and we did it again with better results. Oh its hard turning 5! lol.

The cake turned out well, after a VERY long day in decorating it. Which also included a rush trip into Richmond to pick up the needed structural elements I needed when Ariel changed her mind in the design of the cake.

We also did a fun feast of princess food, using all of Ariel's dolls as the 'hosts'. I made them each a little sign to hold by their dish. Everything served were Ariel's favorites, however the moment one of the other girls said 'I don't want to have this' she would suddenly not want it anymore. However, once everyone was gone, she did gobble anything that was leftover, lol. Ah kids!

Ariel's friends gave her some lovely gifts, lots of crafts, stickers and coloring goodies along with with other surprises. The biggest being from Grandpa and Rita, her own 2 wheeler bike! She was so excited and something that she has wanted for months. Looking forward to her riding to school this fall, yay!

Earlier that week Ariel and Xander both received their birthday gifts in the mail from Grammy and the Uncles. Ariel got some cute outfits for school, her Julie doll got a cute outfit and a backpack so she can be ready for school too! Haha. Uncle Dan got her a Star Wars playdoh set because he thought she needed some more 'nerd' influence, haha.

Xander got a Thomas wooden train starter set, and some Cars duplo sets which he loves. The boy just loves wheels!

Thanks Grammy!

On Ariel's actual birthday we visited the American Girl store outside Seattle that just opened this summer. We headed out early to try and beat the boarder traffic, er, not. We still sat in the line for 40ish minutes (yes Dad I am filling out our Nexus application). For once we got a nice boarder guard! We said we were going to the AG store and he actually said oh I have seen some other girls heading down this morning too. I think it was almost shocking for us not to be hassled for once... whee!

Ken dropped us off and took Xander to go to a church service. Ariel was pretty excited and overwhelmed at first but quickly calmed down once I laid out the plan for the morning. First up Julie got her ears pierced and hair done. Ariel was thrilled!

Next up we checked out all the dolls and clothes. Grandpa Priebe had sent some birthday money for us to pick out something for her, so let her lead me around to what she liked. Of course she loved it all, but we quickly discussed either she get a doll or a few accessories, and she chose the accessories.... but did give strong hints to possible Christmas ideas, haha.

We had lunch booked in the bistro, in which after recommendation from others got the birthday package. It was magical and she LOVE IT! First off she got a special birthday crown and Julie got one too, haha.

Our meal included a starter so we both got the spinach and artichoke dip. Very yummy, but Ariel was concerned it was a tad hot and didn't really want it until it cooled down.

For our main course Ariel wanted the macaroni and cheese, her fav, and it came with a fruit skewer which was a hit with her.

Then came the cake, she was so giddy!

They brought us each a slice with ice cream and a goodie bag for the birthday girl. It had a little t-shirt, balloon and shopping bag for her doll, some stickers and an activity book for her. Thumbs up!

Then we hit the store and Ariel picked out her goodies. From us she picked out Julie's birthday dress outfit, her birthday picnic goodies which included a doll sized bbq, haha, and Julie's record player and tape recorder set. Then with Grandpa's money I picked out Julie accessories set that included her purse, necklace and hat and a cute food set that included a mini version of the cake, ice cream and pink lemonade we had in the cafe (which also happens to be a store exclusive that you can't get online - here she is at home with her goodies!).

We met back up with Daddy and Xander to do some outlet shopping, although we didn't find anything I was looking for. I did find some pjs to put away for the kid's for Christmas gifts though, so that was a score. Dinner was at Red Robin and since Ariel was still wearing her birthday sticker from AG, they brought her the ice cream and sang for her without us asking, very cool! She was tickled pink to get 2 special songs that day.

The border on the way back was awful. About an hour and a half at least we sat. Ugh. Thank heavens for netflix on my iphone, the kids watched Dora and Thomas cartoons to pass the time, as our little man was fed up with being in the car at that point.

So that finishes up Ariel's birthday week! Now we get ready to celebrate our little man's big day this Friday as he turns 2! Then the following weekend we will celebrate with his party. So stay tuned for more birthday fun!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Our Princess is Five

5 years ago I was holding the most amazing gift ever given to me. I was blessed years later to have that blessing again, but this was a first, a moment in time in which forever I was changed from just a woman into that of a mother.
My sweet baby girl, who healed this broken spirit and brought forth joy where there was sadness. My 'lioness of God' who came in a way that challenged me physically and mentally... not only 14 days late but against everything that I had prepared in my head. In typical fashion, she came with originality and with an audience as everyone was so patiently waiting on her grand arrival HER WAY. Not much as changed really, haha. She loves to perform, and she is going to do it her way, the best she can be.

Ariel there is so much I could say to you on this day, but the main thing I can not express enough is how much your Daddy and I love you. Your smile is beautiful and kind, your eyes dark chocolate with a sweet sparkle that dance like you do. I am amazed at your grace and delicate nature at such a young age. Your determination is always noticed by those around you, and I hope it stays with you as it will help you to succeed always. You are always convinced you can do better not only in activities but in your heart. The kindness you have for those around you melts my heart and makes me proud.

Your feet ever since you could stand were ready to dance. I love how you spin and twirl whenever you get the chance. I laugh when you deem a dress wearable by its 'spin out factor'. The hair you continue to grow to great lengths to match that of Rapunzel is reminiscent of your love of fairy tales and dreaming. Never stop dreaming Ariel, anything is possible with God in your heart.

Your spiritual growth has been a blessing to watch. The questions you ask are so though provoking or at times make us laugh with the view of childlike innocence. Its amazing hearing you start to sing a song you learned at church around the house while you play.

This year is one of great change and you are so eager and ready for it. Kindergarten being the biggest event, and one that makes me truly realize how much you have grown. Its a milestone, one that starts the great journey of school that I hope you continue to love over the years. I will miss you during the day, but know how much you want to learn and grow. Its so cute to see you play 'school' with your toys, in your eagerness to start.

Your little brother admires you so much. He loves your silliness and your antics together may drive me nuts at times, but they make me laugh like nothing else can. Always be there for each other, for one day when I am gone, I want you to be close. Family is forever.

Ariel, today you are 5, a whole hand! I wish you a year of adventure and joy. You are our princess, we love you!

Much love,


Sunday, August 07, 2011

Hello August!

Well we are finally getting summer it seems, pretty hot and our place is extremely uncomfortable when dinner time rolls around. Blah. The kids seem not to mind it much, so that is a plus. Ariel has been taking swimming lessons this past week and has another week to go. I may sign her up for another 2 weeks since we don't have anything booked and she is enjoying them. We shall see...

I have had a few BIG orders with my cakes keeping me hopping. One was on the holiday Monday, a 4 tier cake for a huge Indian wedding. My Dad helped me to deliver it as I didn't have enough room in our car with the kid's seats, so we went off together to drop it off. We were both stunned at the sight of this reception! It was gorgeous and straight out of a magazine for a celebrity with a 150 foot tent filled with tables in gold linens with extravagant centerpieces. There was a separate tent for the food and a giant ice sculpture that was stunning. Large golden arches were in place leading from the main tent to the sitting area outside with the traditional Indian musicians playing. Dad was trying to calculate how much the whole thing must have cost, I was asking why I didn't get a gold elephant when I got married? Haha.

The one thing that comes with a large wedding is craziness. I came at the time they asked for the cake to be dropped off, but my contact person wasn't there yet. So one of the family called and they said just to set it up on the table in the main tent... only there was no cake table set up. After another call, I was told to find the decorator. Once found I asked where the table was to go, she points to a table out in the middle of the open field. I then said, they told me it was to be in the tent to keep it cool since its super hot. She then snaps at me that she didn't think I was coming and I can move it myself. Now this is no small table, its a massive round table covered already in linens and roses petals that would need at least 3 people to move. Since I was choked by her rudeness, I held it together and stood my ground, 'no I am sorry, you are going to move it, that is YOUR job, I am here to drop off a cake, that is all, thanks.' I can honestly say she didn't seem pleased that I was fighting back, and sent some of her assistants to move the table into the tent. I did offer to help at that point but they turned me down, oh well.

Then Dad and I carried the pieces in and I assembled the cake and took a picture, always key in these situation so you have proof that you left the cake perfectly in tact, in case someone comes and knocks it down before the client sees it. I was really excited since this was my first 4 tier and it looks so nice, yay! Then we had to wait... as my contact still hadn't arrived with my payment. Thankfully the groom's mom eventually did and proceeded to pay me my few hundred dollar fee with 10 dollar bills... yes that was a lot of bills.

This week I was featured on a blog called Big Dreams Mama with an interview regarding my growing business. It was fun to do and exciting to share with everyone. Check it out if you haven't read it yet!

The rest of the week was pretty quiet but Xander wasn't feeling great so it hard. Stuffy nose and a cough, making him look very sad and miserable but I am happy to say he is finally back to his adorable self. (The happy artist at work) Ariel has been a touch cranky, but I think its due to the lack of real schedule, we are eager for school to start... how many days left? Hee.

We did go and hit some of the back to school sales and get a few things for her wear, this one is one of my favs, just too cute for words! Ariel is loving the plaid skirts and knee socks, which make for very adorable looks and very Rachel from 'Glee', which makes Mommy grin, hee.

We had a quick visit with Maureen and Andrea who were in town and they brought the kids early birthday gifts of paper and markers, always a hit and they have been getting lots of use. I also got to go to coffee party and it was nice to see the ladies and catch up.

The remainder of the week was cake business, a castle, a shark and a drum. The castle was a challenge, mainly because I kinda made it up as I went along. I had a basic idea what I was going to do but somewhere along the way I changed the plan, lol. All the cakes have been hits, and it makes me smile, I love seeing their reactions and the excitement that comes from seeing their ideas come to life. This week I have another smaller wedding cake and a Dora cake, whee.

Well its time for bed, hope you all have a great week.
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