Illuminating Stella

June 2015 archive

Stella – Three Years Old!

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Dear Stella,

You are three big years old! We are so proud of you and cherish you more than you will ever know. Time is passing so quickly and we are doing our best to savor it all. You have been very excited to celebrate your birthday this year. We’ve had a Minnie Mouse Pancake Breakfast with your cousin Genna and some friends in the South Bay. We had a fun family party to celebrate your Grandpa, Your Uncle Tim (who has the same birthday as you) and you together. On Friday we are having a final birthday celebration with your preschool and play-group friends. After much deliberation on themes, we settled on a Butterfly Brunch in the park. Today your Dad and I are taking you to see your first movie in the theater, Inside Out. We thought it would be a fun milestone on your 3rd Birthday.

You are still a bundle of joy and energy. You are constantly in action, either playing, dancing, singing, scootering, running, jumping or some combination of it all. You are very engaged in imaginative play and like to line up your dolls or animals and teach lessons, sometimes classroom or ballet. You like to assign roles like line leader to one of the dolls and carry on elaborate conversations. Lately, you are a little mother and feed your babies in your play high chair or put them all to bed with a blanket over them. You love all people, kids and adults and chat up anyone that crosses your path. You know the names of all the kids and most of the adults we hang out with, which cracks me up a bit. Sometimes you’ll have a very engaging conversation with lots of questions and other times you offer up an assortment of funny little non sequiturs about your day or something on your mind. Everywhere we go, people are pretty entertained by you.

Your curly hair is just getting curlier and even cuter. You’ve really embraced it and you’ve decided Annie and Shirley Temple are your homegirls. You love to watch videos of them singing and dancing and follow along. It’s amazing how fast you memorize song lyrics. You still pretty much insist on dresses, jewelry, hair bows and sparkly jelly shoes every day. Pink is still your favorite color. You also continue to love dress-up play of course. If I wear a dress you shower me with compliments.

You love to read books with us and you also like to sit and go thru books on your own. If you don’t know the story, you just make it up. Playing in the water is a big thrill and you just started back up with swim lessons. You continue to love ballet and were thrilled to be in your first recital. Of course you were great on stage and loved taking a bow. Preschool is also a happy place for you and you still go two mornings a week. We just wrapped up the “school year” and launched into summer session. At the open house we got a great little report on you along with tons of fabulous art-work.

This last year you have matured so much. I can’t even believe the conversations we have now and what wonderful things your little mind is thinking about. The questions you ask floor me. You are an empathetic, joyful, emotional and spunky kid. You love with real passion and have a hug for everyone you know. Yes, you still have some areas for growth, but we’ll save those for another day. Today I want to celebrate our beautiful daughter. I’m gonna cry a little to myself all day, because you are just not a baby much at all anymore and that is simultaneously wonderful and awful. But they are really just bursting with happiness and pride tears.

So much love,

Mom & Dad

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Minnie Mouse Pancake Birthday Breakfast

Stella and her cousin Genna are seven weeks apart. Should have been five weeks, but guess which little fireball was stubborn about being born? Anyway, my Sister and I decided to throw a combo birthday party between the two girls actual birthdays to celebrate them turning three. I just cannot even believe they are three.

Moving on…We had a little Minnie Mouse themed brunch. Genna got an awesome bounce house for her birthday and the kids had a great time bouncing and dancing in the bubbles. We made Minnie and Mickey Mouse Pancakes (super cheat style with Trader Joes frozen pancakes, icing bows/bow ties, blueberry eyes, grape noses, chocolate chip mouths and a little whip cream for dazzle). Very easy assembly and the kids loved it. We had bagels, coffee cake and Mimosas for the adults. I made some Minnie Mouse Cupcakes too, which turned out very cute. All in all a fun little party.

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Palm Desert Holiday

We recently enjoyed a very peaceful and pleasant week in Palm Desert. The weather was just perfect and each night we were treated to a gorgeous sunset over the golf course that just melted the stress away. I think I’ve decided that the desert mountains views are more relaxing for me than the ocean. Huge revelation. We stayed at Marriott Desert Villas and pretty much spent most of the week on premises. Our unit was a huge two-bedroom with a full-kitchen, living room and two patios. It worked out great as we rotated three sets of friends and family in over the course of the Memorial Day Holiday. We also got in some great visits with friends that live nearby in La Quinta. We made almost every meal, including lots of barbecuing and ate al fresco. After dinner we would walk the golf course and let the kids just play, which they loved. Days were spent mostly at the pool, though I managed to make it to three water exercise classes and once to the gym. Hooray! Stella absolutely loved playing in the pool with friends and cousins and is for sure still a total water baby. We also took the kids to the playground a few times and some activities at the recreation center including a Desert Animal Show they loved, finger painting, kite making and rock climbing. Gotta say this was just a great trip in every way. We told Stella when we hit the road that we were going on holiday and she really embraced the word, though I think she thought it meant our actual suite. But she kept saying how much she loved our holiday, that just made me break a big smile every time.

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