Saturday, December 31, 2011

Georgie, Let Down Your Hair!
No, these are not Halloween photos ;-) Anyone who knows Georgie knows that she LOVES Rapunzel and than Tangled movie. She's seen it probably 100 times. She knows all the lines and every song. She watches it and acts out the movie for us. When Rapunzel sits and sobs G sits and pretends to cry also. She also makes us play the other characters. Its hysterical! When I asked her what kind of birthday party she wanted there was absolutely no hesitation before she answered "Rapunzel party!" So, Rapunzel it is.

The party is not til next weekend. Thank goodness because I've barely recovered from Christmas. But, we did our official "Georgie Is Four" pictures today! Of course, G loved having her pictures done and she was as thrilled as can be when she saw the results. Little goofball. The dress was made by this seller who had also made Georgie a Cinderella dress awhile back. And... drumroll please... I made the braid! I'd been looking at pictures on the net for ideas for the last few weeks and it did require a late night, last minute trip to the Dollar Tree for more flowers but, after all was said and done, I'm really happy with how it turned out. More importantly, Georgiana loved it!

This one is my favorite of the bunch. Adorable!!
This is G's reenactment of the scene where Rapunzel is contemplating more painting on the wall. So funny.

Petting Pascal...

She's four!

One more week until she's officially 4 yrs old! So exciting!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Day
finally arrived! In actuality it felt like it sneaked up on me. I don't think I've ever felt so unprepared leading up to the big day. I did most of my shopping in the few days before and didn't purchase any of the food until about 4pm Saturday. But, it came together just fine. I love how our tree came out this year. We don't have a theme or anything. We just use as many of our collected-over-the-years ornaments as we feel like hanging and then call it done. And, even though I felt like I'd purchased hardly any gifts, it certainly looks like there were plenty.
I used the timer on my camera to get this family photo...almost everyone is smiling :-)
G was a bit miffed that she didn't have a grinch shirt. Sadly they didn't have one in her size so we went with green fairy pj's instead. Note to self: next year, we all have to match exactly.Last year, since it was the first time G had seen the Nutcracker ballet I got her a nutcracker of Clara. This year I got her a teacher to represent her starting school. I hope to make it a tradition to get her one each year. G was thrilled to find out that cookies are a perfectly acceptable breakfast on Christmas morning!

As it turned out, one of G's favorite gifts was a very inexpensive Rapunzel music box. She loved watching the little doll spin. So cute!

G made us a gift at school. It was two ornaments for the tree. I just love that kind of stuff!

G's gotten pretty good at writing her name. No small feat considering how long it is.

The Case man

Bobby and G showing off their Lakers gear

G's big gift was this Rapunzel tower. I really went back and forth on getting it for her. The online reviews of it were bad complaining about the quality for the price. Truthfully, its not the greatest quality but G really, really LOVES Rapunzel and played with it a lot on Christmas day. I hope she continues to get use out of it. If not, maybe I can find some solace in the fact that I got it on a super sale.

My mom came over for the day

Bobby and I celebrating "Kiss-mas" with G

G with her blanket that Grandma Christie made for her. She loves it!

Brett with his Lakers gear... I guess it was really the year for Lakers stuff. Good thing they're finally playing ;-)

We were lucky to have sweet Talin join us for the day

Overall, it was a nice relaxing day at home. Opening gifts and eating breakfast took several hours. Not because there were so many gifts, but because we didn't have anything we had to do, we could just relax and let G go at her speed. In my opinion, it was the perfect Christmas day!

Monday, December 26, 2011

G's First Holiday Sing
Georgie's preschool is associated with and on the same property as the school that Brett and Casey went to from K-8th grade. The preschool was started when Casey was in the 4th grade, I think, so they never attended. Even though the preschool is separate, they've adopted many of the traditions that the "big kids school" has. One of those is the annual Holiday Sing.

The school is very diverse with families of all races, ethnicities and religions. It makes for an interesting mix and a more broad world view than I think a lot of kids get. Out of the 18 or so kids in G's age group (she has only 3-7 in her class on a daily basis) we have families that celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali, Los Posadas, and Ramadan. Throught the school year they do presentations of each culture's holidays that often include food, crafts, stories, books, music and dancing, etc. I really like it and have found the presentations and interaction with the families very educational over the years. Plus, its lots of fun because it seems like every day is another party!

Anyway, the final presentation before winter break is Christmas and on that same day they did the holiday program during which the kids sang 17 songs!! Let's just say that I had been super excited about the day for awhile. Seeing all the kids in their holiday clothes singing their little songs is just about the most adorable thing ever! Luckily --even though it was at 11am on a Thursday--Grandma, Brett, Casey and Daddy were able to make it. G loves to have her family around her and she was thrilled beyond belief that everyone was there to watch her. Neither Brett nor Casey had been back to the school for awhile so it was kind of fun for them too as they met up with a few of the teachers and staff who are still working there.

All in all it was a great kick off to the 2 week holiday vacation!

The school day was fairly unstructured. The kids had lots of playtime then it was party/snack. Because many religions are reprsented at the school, the kids to a general prayer before snack and lunch each day. G really likes it and says it at home before dinner sometimes as well.
"Help us do the things we should,
help us to be kind and good,
help us in our work and play,
to be more loving every day."
G love, Loved, LOVED!!! singing the songs. Each song had movements that went along with it (think mock sign language) and she seemed to do a good job at remembering them all. At the end of each song the audience applauded and each time G would look straight at us (proudly sitting in the very front row!) with this absolutely HUGE smile on her face. She must have asked me a dozen times after the show "were you proud of me mommy? when I sang my songs were you impressed?" Again, adorable!
Sadly, these pix are not the best

Ringing her bell along to "Jingle Bells"

Brett and Casey with Mrs Donaldson. She was their lower school music teacher when they were there. I think its fun to think that when G starts at FCDS, she'll probably have some of the same teachers that Brett had when he was in kinder 20 yrs earlier!

G was very proud to show her brothers her classroom

In front of the school Christmas tree at the end of the day.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Santa's Christmas Wish
More Christmas related activities!! We always love the Candlelight Pavillion. Good shows, good food, good times. G especially likes to see a show. This one did not disappoint. In my book it started out a bit rocky... about 10 mins in I thought "uh oh, this is going to be corney." But then it got a lot better and turned out being one of the cuter shows I've been to.

G tends to be very attentive during live performance which I'm happy about. I asked her at the intermission what her favorite part was and she said "the singing." Personally, I think I liked the tap dancing the best. How often do you see tap dancing in a professional performance??

In the second act Santa and Mrs Claus finally made their appearance. All the kids in the theater were invited to go up and sit on the stage while Santa read off some of the kids wishes. G loved it! So cute. And, of course, at the very end G immediately said "do we get to meet the characters?" Adorable!

G doing her poses... "take my picture mama!!"
Inside the theater. G loves her "fancy" dresses.
After the show with some of the cast: Santa, Mrs Claus, and the elves Jingle, Jangle and Jorge Holly.

This concluded a very long weekend of pre Christmas fun!
Santa Train with friends!
We love the Santa train at Irvine Regional Park. Its always a fun time. This year we were joined by friends Paula, Sophie and Courtney which made it extra special. G loves to have her girlfriend time.

(Fun fact: We just met Paula's family a year or two ago but we figured out that we were in China, and specifically stayed at the White Swan, at the same time. We probably sat next to each other at the hotel breakfast! Such a small world.)

We were a bit worried about rain but it turned out to be no problem whatsoever. It was a bit chilly but that only added to the feeling of yuletide. We rode the train, saw the big red guy, listened to Mrs Claus read a story, jumped in the bounce house, rode a pony, colored a picture, decorated a cookie and played a game! Two tons of fun for sure!

This was G's 4th or 5th visit with Santa this year. She really likes Santa. She hasn't noticed, or at least hasn't mentioned, that they all look so different. Interesting.
I love this picture of G and Sophie together. So sweet!
A pony ride is a must whenever we go to this park. Usually Bobby leads her around but this time G requested "mama!!"

G remembered Mrs Claus reading a story from last year. While on the train she kept saying "when we get back we're going to hear a story, right mamabird?" It must have left quite an impression on her.

When the sun dropped it started getting really cold so it was time to go. Great afternoon with friends!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ballet recital
G loves to be onstage! Its funny too because people often think of her as shy. In a way I guess she is but she also loves to be the center of attention. Confusing sometimes. Anyway G didn't really know her routine that well because they mostly practiced it during November while we were gone. But G still did great! She watched the teacher --who is onstage performing the dance with them-- like a hawk! Good job Georgie! Bobby took video. I'm going to try to load it onto youtube in the next day or so.

She was thrilled to receive flowers from Daddy after the show. So, so cute!

G with her BF after the show.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas time at DL
is so beautiful. Main Street, the castle, Its a Small World (IASW) and the Haunted Mansion are incredible at this time of year. I almost feel sorry for people whose first visit to DL is during the holiday season. I think they are probably forever ruined for future trips.

Several months ago while I was looking at something online, G caught sight of a disney princess Christmas dress that she absolutely fell in love with. I did too actually. I'd ordered from the seller before and had always been pleased with the results. The dress did not disappoint. The appliques are fantastic and feature the princesses in holiday wear --even the little mermaid :-) --and it has lots of twirl!

G really wanted to visit the princesses. Even on a slow friday that can mean a wait so Bobby took her to Dumbo while I waited for the princesses to arrive. It worked out perfectly with Bobby and G meeting me when I was just at the front of the line.

Ariel has always been one of G's favorites. Her absolute favorite is Rapunzel but she has her own meet and greet with its own very, very long line.

After the princesses G spent some time in Mickey and Minnie's houses.
Next stop was IASW which is by far my favorite Chrismas time attraction. Its just so pretty. At almost the last second right at the end of the ride I whipped around and asked the guy behind us to snap our pic. I think he did a pretty good job for being put on the spot like that!!

After that we hit Haunted Mansion (G's favorite) and the newly reopened Pirates. Then we popped over Calif Adventure because we'd make a reservation to go to the princess lunch. G and I have been several times but Bobby never had. I think the food and atmosphere is really good. We were early so G was able to ride on the jumping jellyfish ride. This is something she's wanted to do on previous trips but only recently made the 40" height requirement. It was a hit!

We then took a required ride on Little Mermaid and had just enough time to visit with Duffy in his Christmas attire before heading into lunch.

Not only did G love her dress but it was also a huge hit at DL. In fact the photographer's assistant at the princess lunch --who has probably seen just about every princess themed dress known to man --could not stop talking about it. G enjoyed showing each princess their appliqued counterpart on her skirt. Lots of fun!

After lunch we kicked around CA a bit. Santa was there with hardly a line so we thought we'd have a quick visit.

I like the Mickey wreath made of christmas ornaments in the background. Cute detail!

G rode the carousel which she really loves but I think the real attraction to going over there is so she can splash in the fountain!

Because we have the passes, we've been to DL about 25 times this year but never at night. Normally we arrive at opening and leave around 2-3pm to beat the traffic home. What this means is that G has never seen the fireworks. In fact, G has never seen any fireworks. I know, I'm a horrible mom. But in my defense she gets up so early and she is in bed like clockwork absolutely no later than 8:30. It just never seemed worth it. But G's been asking and asking to stay for the fireworks. We finally made a deal with her. We would stay if she promised to take a rest midday and, most importantly, NO grouchiness. She agreed. So after the carousel she laid down in the stroller and went to sleep. Then we thought we'd go see the Aladdin show. This required taking sleeping G out of the stroller. No worries, daddy naps work too!

About 6pm we headed back to DL. The lines just to enter were awful. They weren't even lines really so much as just a mob of people pushing their way forward and thinking "why the heck is this taking so long?" After 20 mins we were finally in and I was a bit bugged but as luck would have it we walked onto Main Street at a great time! We had made it about halfway between the entrance and the castle when they started the tree and castle lighting. It was a first for me and, although only a few minutes, really pretty. At the end they make it snow! G was up on Bobby's shoulders and loved the falling snow.

It was early still and G said she wanted to ride IASW again but talk about crowded! Just walking anywhere took forever. By the time we made it back near IASW the crowds were crazy, 40 min line! I was so not going to stand in line for 40 mins to go on a ride we usually walk on so we gave up and thought we'd go scope out a spot for the fireworks. It was still about 1-1/2 hrs away but with the crowds it was nearly impossible to maneuver around. There were already hundreds and hundreds of people waiting for the fireworks so we found a bit of curb and parked to wait it out until 8:45. Wouldn't you know, G feel asleep about 30 mins before the show was to start! After devoting nearly 3 hrs of our time to the singular purpose of her seeing fireworks there was no way I was going to let her miss it. With a bit of effort we were able to rouse her from sleep just in time. I have to say, it was all worth it. G loved the fireworks!!! I did too. They're actually quite well done and a bit more than the usual 4th of July things I've seen in the past.

Needless to say after 13 hrs at DL we were all pretty exhausted and it was time to go home. What a great day!!