Thursday, October 30, 2014

Sunshine Lottie

Happy birthday to you!
Happy birthday to you!
Happy birthday Dear Lottie,
Happy birthday to you!

Our sweet Lottie turned four years old on October 18th! Today's post will detail the events of her special day followed by a sappy, albeit honest, emotion filled ("I'm sticking my finger down my throat now, Mom" - Flegal children) love letter. There remains the chance that my words will someday be appreciated by my sweet little yahoos; so while that hope remains alive in my chest, I thus proceed.  

Once more, Lottie's birthday fell over Utah's fall break, a.k.a. U.E.A. weekend; or in husband speak: it was the weekend of the highly anticipated deer hunt! (Run Bambi. RUN!!!) With Andrew's thoughts centered on his upcoming trip, the planning fell entirely to me. But who are we kidding? That's the way all birthdays are at our house. The big difference was he'd be absent for the festivities. :(

Thursday the 16th we went to the zoo with some great friends and then spent the afternoon playing at Nanna Teresa's. Having had such a good time, we decided to completely hijack Nanna Teresa's day by sleeping over. We headed home on Friday to catch up on basic errands and spruce up the place for Lottie's birthday. By this point, Andrew was well on his way out of town.

Keeping things simple, we indulged in Lottie's request by having doughnuts for breakfast. We sang to our birthday girl, ate breakfast, watched her open one gift and then it was time for us to hustle our buns out the door! We had plans to go to Black Island Farms, a pumpkin patch. Word on the street was that Black Island Farms is a happening place. A friend recommended we arrive as it opened. Her suggestion proved to be a very good idea.
A birthday sneeze! 
My birthday girl!
"Do you want to wear a Halloween shirt to the pumpkin patch 
or your Elsa shirt?"
Fish, fish, she got her wish. :)

Black Island Farm Highlights included:
  • Going with Nana Marie and cousin Emilee.
  • The beautiful weather.
  • The tractor ride to the pumpkin patch that included a bold and obnoxious Mother (me) asking all of the other passengers to join me in singing Happy Birthday to Lottie. I don't know who I embarrassed more: my kids or my Mom! 
  • We unexpectedly ran into Cinderella and Merida in the courtyard. Lottie loved meeting them. My guilt for not hiring an "Elsa" to come host a party at our house was lessened slightly.
  • The giant slides. And man, some of them were giant. 
  • The play pit of corn kernels. I'm pretty sure this same pit is the reason some of my kids now have a cold.
  • The darling cow and pig train that drove us through a corn maze. 
  • The food trucks. I loved smelling the delicious food. I hated that I was to cheap to buy anything.
  • The lovely arrangement of out houses. Actually, this was not a highlight either, but I remain grateful they were there.   
  • And finally, there was a variety of spots where we could position the children for a fun Autumn time picture. They did not like this. I loved it.

Later that night, we had a "quiet" party at our home with my parents, brother Mike and cousin Emilee. I knew that she was having a great day, but it made my heart sad when she asked, "Mom? When are all my friends coming over?" Mom fail. 

We still managed to have a fun evening of pizza, cake and presents.
Eliza was so proud of the doll she bought Lottie from the dollar store. She kept the purchase a secret from Lottie and then lovingly wrapped the gift. Seeing as how all of the gifts I had wrapped were void of ribbon, she kindly volunteered to tie them up herself in knots and bows that would make the most capable of Boy Scouts proud. Dealing with said bows extended the unwrapping process by several minutes. :)
Dear Lottie,

You are a dream of a daughter. I'm grateful everyday that I get to spend my day with you and your smile. I love the sound of your laugh; especially when it has joined forces with the combined sound of your sibling's laughter. You are our peacemaker. Like your Mom, you are a "people pleaser." If you see a conflict brewing between myself and an older sibling, you are quick to fall in line with my expectations (I sound like a dictator all of the sudden -- yikes!) and point out that you are being the good listener. Wanting to make others happy, you've discovered that utilizing your quick wit and sense of humor makes you happy as you love to make others laugh.

Sometimes I think you're my performer but your shy nature, at times, steals your courage. Music, dance lessons, preschool and playing pretend are some of your favorite things. I thought every little girl grew up with an obsession with Barbies and "playing house" but I soon learned with Eliza that is not true. Eliza would rather be decorating Barbie's mansion and styling the dolls. You, on the other hand, will spend hours playing with them. When Eliza invites you to be her "doll," the pair of you will disappear to her bedroom (which you LOVE) where she will choose a fancy outfit, style your hair and adorn you with jewelry and ribbon.

You and Henry remain close friends. Sharing a room, you two have settled into your own routine and rituals. Just this morning I learned that you alternate who gets to use the toilet first when you take your morning visit to the bathroom.. Ha ha ha! You will not leave your bedroom without him. Realizing that it's impolite to wake him up yourself, you'll wait quietly in your bed until he wakes up...most days. I've also caught him laying in your bed, reading you a story, after you both have been tucked in. Secretly, this makes me very happy. You play well together, most of the time, but usually find something to argue about whenever it's time to team up and clean your room. Frustrated, Henry will request that he finish on his own. This breaks your heart. 

You adore Forrest. You love to kiss him and say, "He's just so cute!" like he's a giant piece of chocolate that you simply can not resist. He is a lucky boy that so much of his day is spent playing with you. You are generous in fulfilling Forrest related favors for me. Thank you for being such a fantastic big and little sister. 

Watching you at dance has been a fun experience. You listen attentively and remain super quiet. While the other girls will goof off, laugh and blurt out questions, you do not dare step a toe out of line. It reminds me of your Dad who is so silly and relaxed at home. And then, when we are out in the "real world," he becomes so serious! However, that smile of yours, that I love so much, often betrays you when I am able to catch your eye in a setting like this. You love school and seeing how fast you pick up on things is very exciting. You are very, very smart.

Recently you have decided that you are ready to say your prayers on your own. This delights us all! You are thoughtful and funny in what you choose to pray for. When it's the other kids to pray, you plead and cry and beg for it to be your turn instead. You melt under praise and attention. Your hands come quickly to the rescue as they cover your face and eyes from the attention that to you, seems palpable.

Sometimes you're my quiet mouse. I told Daddy the other day that I feel like you and I communicate well without words. Knowing how much I love and use words, this is kind of a new thing for me! We understand each other. I know what your expressions mean and feel your moods. You're the same way.Your big, expressive eyes communicate much. I'm so thankful that you let me know when you want to be held. Sometimes, after I've been gone on an errand, I return home and suddenly find that I have a little shadow. You don't say much, you're just there with me. I love this. I love you!

Each night, you choose a song for me to sing while I tickle your back. For the past year, you have faithfully selected: "You are my sunshine." And so, night after night, I sing to you: 

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. 
You make me happy, when skies are gray. 
You'll never know dear, how much I love you. 
Please don't take my sunshine away.

I love you darling girl. I feel such contentment, with a healthy sprinkling of heartache, as I watch you grow. You love life. Being like the big kids makes you proud and happy As for me, I'm happiest when you are being my little Lottie girl. Please take your time. Enjoy each day. We love you so much.


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