Monday, July 30, 2012

Aiyana's 4th Birthday

Aiyana's birthday was on Sunday.  We had planned on letting her open her gifts on Sunday because she refused to open them at Chuck E Cheese the night before.  What we didn't plan on, but it was a super nice surprise, was having Aiyana's best friend from daycare come over.  We had invited Makenzie to Chuck E Cheese, but there was some confusion in the text that I sent Makenzie's mom (Sandy) and they were picking out Aiyana's gift while we were having the party.  I got a text that night and Sandy said they realized that they had missed the party :o(.  So I invited Makenzie over to play, have cupcakes and help Aiyana open gifts on Sunday.  It was a surprise to Aiyana and it was perfect because then we got a chance to get to know Makenzie's parents.  Funny thing is, Aiyana acted like it was nothing unusual when they arrived.  She was like "Hi Makenzie, lets go play". I was expecting a different reaction, but I know she was happy to have her over because she hasn't stopped talking about it since.


Gift from the Kendall's... Thanks Jocelyn! 
Clara has since confiscated the Minnie Mouse that she has dubbed "Minnie Boutique" after her favorite Mickey Mouse episode.

Tangeled Doll from the Saliego's.  Thanks Jolie!!! 
Jolie knew that Aiyana liked Tangeled so she picked out the gift for her. Makenzie told me that she has the same doll, hence the look on her face when she saw it :o).

Rapunzel/Tangeled hair styling set from the Van Dykes. Right up Aiyana's alley.  
Thanks Makenzie!!!

cute bag too...

I think this one is from uncle Travis and aunt Karen.  A movie and a bedtime book.  
Thanks Travis and Karen!!!

Two pair of flip flops from the Timmerman's. They are perfect.  
Thanks uncle Zach, aunt Mary and Mason!!!

My Little Pony remote controlled car from mom, dad and Clara.

My Little Pony train and train track from Nana. She loves this toy.  Thanks Nana!!!

Not sure how I missed the picture of my dad's gift on here, but my dad got her a My Little Pony Castle and play set which she LOVES.  Thanks grandpa Timmerman!!! Olin and Lori (Dana's parents) got her a gift card to Target.  Thanks grandma and grandpa Cummings!!!

Time for cupcakes... It was cute listening to them talk about how they only eat the top of their "ice cream".  That's what they kept calling it.  They did only eat the top (i.e. the frosting).

No pictures of me because I looked and felt terrible all weekend.  I think my mom grabbed a few of me at Chuck E Cheese though.

...and lastly, the haboob that swept in later that day.

Aiyana's Chuck E Cheese Party

The day before Aiyana's birthday we celebrated at Chuck E Cheese with a small group of friends and family.  I made gluten free cupcakes...

Chocolate with strawberry frosting and chocolate sprinkles and vanilla with buttercream frosting and rainbow sprinkles.

Once we arrived, the girls took off and we hardly saw them again the rest of the afternoon.

The Birthday Girl

Playing with her cousin Jolie...


The girls had so much fun in this thing.  I actually had to go in and get Clara out of it because once she climbed up into it, the only way out was too difficult for her to master. She was content playing in it for a good hour, but I eventually heard her crying for me and had to go in and rescue her :o(.

Happy Birthday to You.... Aiyana was very shy about being sung to.  She had to have her cousin Jolie by her side for support.

Daddy had to help her blow out the candles.

Each guest got a gift basket with sidewalk chalk, sunglasses and a light up bouncy ball.

Jolie bought beast friends necklaces to share with Aiyana.  How sweet :o)

Aiyana refused to open her gifts.  After we left she said she was too shy to open them. So we saved them for her actual birthday.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Aiyana - 4 Years Old

My baby girl is not so much a baby anymore.  Aiyana's 4th Birthday was today.  Yesterday, we celebrated her birthday with a small group of friends and family at Chuck E Cheese.  Today (on her actual birthday), we surprised Aiyana with inviting her best friend from daycare over for cupcakes, play time and gift opening.  The girls had so much fun both days.  I will post more pictures later. I love you so much my beautiful Aiyana.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dear Clara

I booked a trip for Chicago and the Quad Cities and I want you to know how sad I am that I cannot take you.  I debated on it for months, but I finally decided to take Aiyana since you went with me once while Aiyana stayed home. The airfare is very pricey right now and managing both you and Aiyana in a public place is challenging these days... I'll tell you all about it when you are older :o).  The last time we made a trip back home was Mother's Day 2011 and our whole family went.  The time before that was in the spring of 2010 and I brought only you with me.  At that time, your great Nana was not as sick as she is now and she could hold you.  She would kneel down on the floor and talk to you.  We stayed at great Nana's house and she absolutely loved having you there.  It was like you brought back a motherly love and instinct in your great Nana that her Alzheimer's Disease was slowly taking away from her.  All of your great aunts and some of my cousins came to see you and everyone kept talking about how beautiful you were.  When I brought you back in 2011, one of your great aunts held you and couldn't stop staring at you and telling me how gorgeous you were. Now that you are two and a half, your little personality has really come out.  You are an amazing little girl who is eager to please, make people laugh and loves to entertain. You are such a little character, always willing to sing a song and do it with so much emotion.  I love the way that you give kisses and I love how you say "I love you mommy".  You are beautiful inside and out and I am so blessed to have you in my life.  Mommy loves you so much. Butterfly kisses, Eskimo kisses and regular kisses too.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Dear Aiyana

Sometime last night you crawled into our bed, like you often do, to lay your weary head between mommy and daddy until the sun came up.  When I woke this morning, the first thing that I saw was a glimpse of you.  Your eyes were closed and you were sound asleep... you looked so precious.  I couldn't help but think of how beautiful you are.  Your eyes, which resemble mine, and your thick eyelashes and full lips that you got from daddy. Not wanting to get up quite yet, I layed there thinking about how blessed we are to have you in our lives.  You are such a caring soul and even at your tender young age, you have so much concern for others. I love you so much.  You made me smile, first thing in the morning.  Thank you sweetheart.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

What I Accomplished this Weekend

We didn't have much of anything planned this weekend, but we sure got a lot accomplished and accomplishment feels great. Friday, when I got home from work, I finished up the front yard work that I couldn't complete after work on Wednesday because of a dust storm that snuck up on us.  It was 110 outside on Friday evening, but I didn't care... I wanted it done.  So I suffered a bit on Saturday feeling pretty sore and very run down all day.  I don't feel right about it, but I really want to pull some of the lush bushes out of our yard and switch to desert plants that won't need pruning (i.e. cactus).  These bushes look nice when they are pruned, but they get unsightly very quickly.  The bush in the front of the picture gets pretty little purple blooms, the one on the left grows vibrant yellow blooms, the one in front of the two tall bushes (by the house) gets dainty little white blooms and the two bushes that are trimmed into trees get beautiful orange bell shaped blooms.  It all looks wonderful when everything is in bloom, but the maintenance leaves something to be desired.
My lovely neighbor, despite all of the crazy stuff going on in his life, was able to help me finish off the indoor studio/stage set-up I've created by hemming and ruffling the skirt material that I cut for the edges of the stage. Doesn't it look great? This platform serves so many purposes for the girls.  They love to use it for some of their toys that require flat surfaces and they also like to put together their puzzles on it.  As for me, I have had a total of 4 indoor photo sessions using this stage and I have two coming up this weekend that I am super excited about. I ordered three new backdrops and I am having so much fun creating beautiful photos for my clients.
On Saturday morning, we woke up and took the girls to a splash pad for some good ol' free entertainment.  It was a lot of fun and the girls, of course, had a blast.  I didn't bring my camera... Can you believe that? I got a few pictures with my phone, but I was too lazy to upload them.  If you want a visual see THIS POST from a past splash pad trip. 
Dana and I swapped computer spaces, we have been wanting to do this for quite some time.  Dana wanted more space and privacy for tax work and I wanted to be in a room where I could keep a better eye on the girls, especially when I will be at home during the day.  So I now reside in the kitchen/dinning area.  I need a new computer chair, but that's about it.  I can now run two computers simultaneously and this allows me to get my photo editing done more efficiently. My regular PC doesn't have internet access in this new spot so it forces me to use my MAC wi-fi more often.  That's good for me because eventually I need to weed out my old PC and old editing software and start using my Adobe Photoshop on my MAC only.  My only hesitation is that I am so fast at the other editing software.  I dislike change :o/, but I do like my new space and there are no limits to what I can do with Photoshop editing.

I'll leave you with two videos of our little Clara pigging out at the dinner table tonight.  She made us laugh.  I wish I would have caught all of her antics on video, but I didn't pull out my camera soon enough.  She was lapping up her spaghetti, out of her bowl, for a long time before I caught the last few seconds of her doing it.  Her gold chain and spaghetti face crack me up.  Oh, and the house is a disaster in the background... We were home all weekend... remember? :o)