Friday, July 6, 2012

Marissa's Birthday!

Since June was so busy, everything is kind of a blur. But I want to document my kids' birthdays, so next up is Marissa! She turned 4 on June 6th. The day before her birthday she was throwing up, so I was hoping she would be okay on her birthday. You have never met a child that was more excited about it than her. She kept asking how many more days it was and telling me exactly what she wanted to do and what cake she wanted and who would be there. I knew no matter what happened, she would be excited, but I also didn't want to let her down.

That morning I woke up early and made her cake. After that we went shopping. I kept telling her we would go buy her a new bike on her birthday.  But after going to two stores where I had previously seen bikes for her, we couldn't find anything. I was starting to feel like I was failing by not getting Jared a present on his birthday and then not getting her one either. Ugh.

Instead of a party, we met up with our next door neighbors and our across the street neighbors to do some activities together. We started at Thanksgiving Point where they happened to be giving out balloons for story time.
 For some reason, she hardly ever looks at the camera when I take her picture.
 Here they are playing on the structure they have there. I was sort of planning on them playing in their splash pad, but a cold front came through (notice the jackets).

 After Thanksgiving Point we made our way to Arctic Circle for lunch. They love this place because it has a great play place and they give out free mini ice cream cones. I could tell Marissa still wasn't feeling too well because she hardly ate any food (not that unusual) and she didn't touch her ice cream (unusual). Here are the three little neighbor girls. They are all only a couple of months apart and they get along really well. We are lucky to live by them!
Here are the other kids. I didn't get the other neighbor boy in the picture, but it just so happens that the same neighbors also have 5 year old boys with birthdays only a month apart from Alex. Nobody Erin's age though. She usually just hangs out with the boys.
After lunch, I went to one more store where I finally found a bike for her. I was so happy to find it and that it was already assembled. These were the only two pictures of the bike and they aren't great, but you get the idea. It's really cute. Probably my favorite kid bike we've gotten. I love that it is 14"--so not too big, but with room to grow.
We left for our trip to San Diego the next morning so I never got any of her actually riding it outside.

What she was most excited about was going to Trafalga. They have a bunch of rides that kids her age can do. Jared took the girls on the water blast ride where there is quite a potential to get really wet. And it was cold. But Marissa loved it! Even though she was still a little sick, she was not missing out on all this fun. I love these pictures.

Somehow, thanks to the negligence of the teenaged worker, Connor got to ride on the airplane one even though he is way too small for it. He loved it.
After Trafalga, we came home, ate pizza and cake, and opened presents. The cousins came over as well as the neighbors. It was kind of a long day. But, I didn't have to plan a party. The cake she chose was Hello Kitty. I have to say that this is a big improvement over the flyswatter cake. I thought it turned out pretty cute.
We had this cake and cupcakes that people decorated. Marissa didn't eat a bite of either. Poor kid. I know her stomach hurt all day.
 Opening presents.
 With her play jewelry. Too bad I was so rushed all day that I couldn't have done her hair any cuter. Oh well.

So, just to remember what Marissa is like at this point in her life... here are a few things about her. She is a middle child, but will never let herself be forgotten. When she wants something, she will ask and ask until she gets a response. She's a persistent child. And she always has a plan. If she asks to do something and I tell her to do something else first, she says, "and then can I do it?" I told her two days ago I would buy her some arm floaties and I cannot tell you how many times she has asked me when I was buying them for her and if it's on my list and if they are going to be Barbie ones and if we can go right now. It's been many. She is singing about it right now. She gets very excited about things. I love her excitement over little things. It's a good quality, even if it can get tiring for me. Now she is talking about what she wants to do for her next birthday... 11 months from now.

One thing she loves, is doing her workbook. She went through quite a few preschool workbooks last year because she wanted to do like 15 pages a day. I finally had to limit her to 4 pages because she is also kind of demanding of my help (see last paragraph--persistence). She is working her way through a giant kindergarten workbook and after that I am going to have to teach her how to read so that she can read the instructions herself. (Side note: I got Erin a cursive workbook and she loves it about as much as Marissa loves her book. Cursive is so fancy, you know.)
Marissa is very brave and will try things my other kids never would have tried at her age. She loves rock climbing, water slides, bike riding and anything adventurous. She is not afraid to get up in front of the huge primary or say things in front of everyone at story time. This may not be odd for other kids, but it kind of is for our family. I was always too shy to do any of that stuff, so it's weird to have a child like her. One day the "mean girl" came over and asked if anyone wanted to play on her swing set with her. My other kids just stared at her, but Marissa went over and played. I was amazed.

This girl is very, very social and always has been. Even at age one she was socializing with her friend Sam. Like really playing with him, not just parallel playing. Now she has so many little girls her age in our neighborhood and she loves it. I sometimes wonder what our future will be like with her.

In addition to being adventurous, she is also a girly girl. She loves princesses and jewelry. She wears a dress or skirt almost every day because she loves to twill in them, and I think it is so cute. She loves to watch me put on my make-up. She loves her dolls and Barbies, and she mothers Connor sometimes (when he's not whacking her).

She is sometimes sneaky and is still getting over her whining, but I think it's getting better. She doesn't like to look you in the eye when you are talking to her, which is another thing we've been working on. But, she is an eager helper. When I deliver door flyers for my calling, she is the best helper. She runs from door to door because it's just so fun. When we play games to clean up the play room, she has the most fun doing it and ends up being the best helper.

She still sucks her thumb. For months she told us she would stop when she turned 4, but nobody was fooled. This will be a hard habit to break.

Her favorite foods are pizza and rice with butter and salt. We will usually make gravy to put over it, but she will eat four servings of just plain rice with butter and salt.

Sometimes I feel bad for her because she gets picked on by Erin and Alex. Mostly Erin. I don't blame Erin for being annoyed by her because she is always following her around. But I can totally understand Marissa wanting to be like her and fitting in. I was a middle child after all. Connor and her get along pretty well, but there are definitely fights between them too. My one consolation is that she will always have many other friends besides her siblings.

I love my sweet Marissa and couldn't imagine what our family would be like without her spunky, sweet personality. Happy Birthday!

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