Friday, June 20, 2014

Mimi's Sleep "Under"

Tonight, Madeline had her first "sleep under," which is like a sleep over, but the fun ends right before bedtime (or a bit beyond, as ours did tonight). She and her best friend, Elle, have been cooking this up for more than a month, and at last, the big day arrived. The night before, Madeline was so excited that she was buzzing in bed until 10pm, then woke up at 4:30am to get things started. She's very sad that she'll miss her friend's birthday party, which is a month after we move, so we decided to celebrate a little early.

Right after Elle opened her birthday present, the girls had a store front on the driveway, selling homemade bracelets, random trinkets from Madeline's room, and best of all, miniature marshmallows (5 for 5 cents). I watched from the window as they yelled "marshmallows and stuff" to people and cars. One preteen boy stopped with a quarter and picked out a plastic lion Madeline made out of beads you melt with an iron -- he was a little confused (I think he was expecting lemonade), but very gracious. Eventually I went out with a dollar for each of them and bought a bracelet. That's all they would part with in case they had a rush of customers.

Next, they raided the dress ups. Then they had a ballet and gymnastics performance involving quite a few cartwheels and leaps off my bed. At last, Rob got home from work -- he took the boys out for pizza, and I took the girls to The Bay for baked mac 'n cheese. On our walk home we stopped for ice cream cones. The moment we came in the door, the girls ran upstairs to put on their matching "BFF" (Best Friends Forever), grape-scented pajamas from a store called Justice, which I have avoided like head lice for two years. But I figured since we're leaving the country, I'd take Madeline there so she'd have the experience under her belt. We cued up The Lego Movie, and I loved listening to their adorable chatter as I sat in the next room.

Rob ran Elle home the moment the movie ended; of course Madeline wanted to go along. When she came home, she literally ran across the room to give me hugs and kisses. I think it was a smashing success!!

Monday, June 16, 2014

It's a.....GIRL!!!!!!!!

We decided we wanted to find out the gender of Baby Number Four. We just couldn't wait! We loved being surprised with the boys, and we loved finding out with Madeline, so we knew it was a true win-win. This time around, now that the kids are a little older and more aware of what's going on, we really wanted to bring them into the fold and help them feel like they know "our baby" before the big arrival.

So we asked the doctor during our perinatal ultrasound (the wonderful benefits of being a year over 35!) to write it down. Rob drove the mysterious little slip of paper straight to the bakery (it was sealed in an envelope), and Sendik's created a very special cake for us. Chocolate frosting on the outside.

But would the frosting on the inside be pink or blue?

We all got ready to cut the cake at the same time, while Rob captured it on video. John started just a little early, so I closed my eyes while we counted to three. And it was a......


Monday, June 9, 2014

John John Turns Three!

John has been so excited about his birthday ever since Madeline and Charlie's big days in February and March. He wanted a green-themed birthday, with green balloons, green cake, green frosting and green sprinkles. And he wanted to invite his best friends, Madeline and Charlie. We talked about it every night before bed for months.

His special day landed the morning after Rob, Madeline, Charlie and I got home from house hunting in Luxembourg....we would have planned the entire trip around our little guy! Sandie had a fun party planned for him in Geneva, and we celebrated again in Whitefish Bay...starting at Dunkin Donuts, picking out a toy at Winkies, and celebrating at the Cheesecake Factory for his birthday dinner. He woke up to balloons (green!) outside his bedroom door too! Papa and Ning celebrated as well, taking him on a big boy adventure and putting together his very own kite.

John is an absolute joy to all of us! He's hilarious, full of personality and has a little twinkle in his eye so we never really know what's coming next. He's quick as lighting and disappears in seconds -- before you'll know it, he'll have climbed up on a table and devoured a cake with his hands. His little laugh, husky voice and beyond-his-years vocabulary make me chuckle, even as he lies sleeping in the next room. When he hugs, it's truly an experience; he wraps his tiny arms so tightly around your neck, tucks his head into your neck, and squeezes with all his strength. I'm so happy he isn't going to preschool next year in Lux so I can have every second of him to myself.

We love you, John John!!