Rowena’s 6 Months Old

Well, where did the time go? Rowena is already 6 months old and we have been in Singapore for about 7 weeks now. Everyone that has met Rowena has mentioned that she is one well-behaved baby. She has also started to show more of her personality compared to her 4 months old update.

[Of course, this post is up late and Rowena is already 6 months and 1 week old, but heh am still going to date this for 17th October.]

17th Oct 2015 Rowena is 6 Months Old

  • She has gotten so much more chatty these days.
  • She has gotten quite good at sitting on her own now (with minimal movement otherwise she loses her balance).
  • She is still very much a huge fan girl of her older sister, she is able to be in a room for a period of time if her older sister is in the room.
  • She has gotten quite good at jumping on her own (well with us holding her that is), hence she is still loving the song “5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed” before bedtime with her older sister.
  • I take back how she is more guarded and less smiley than Esmerelda, because Rowena is such a smiley baby girl now that it doesn’t really take much to make her smile.

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  • She is really interested in what we eat and drink. So much so, she smacks her lips when she sees any of us eating/drinking. If we have her in our arms, we have to watch that she doesn’t manage to grab a hold of our utensils.
  • She LOVES to put everything in her mouth, which was very different from Esmerelda. Esmerelda did not have a habit of putting things in her mouth.
  • She LOVES to get her hands on anything that is within reach.
  • She also likes to tilt her head back to look at you when she feels that you are not paying enough attention to her while she is in your arms (her back to you).
  • She LOVES being out and about and frequently gets overtired and hungry because she is enjoying being out of the house.

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  • She LOVES bath time (we also noticed that if she gets a late morning bath, followed by a bottle, and a nap in an air-conditioned room she will nap quite contently for about 1.5 hours or 2).
  • We have also started taking her to the wading pool so she could sit in the very shallow end and just smack her palm into the water causing water to splash all over her face.
  • She has been introduced to the world of infant biscuits (Rusk and Arrowroot) and enjoys taking her time to gnaw on them.
  • She still sleeps through the night unless she has had too much excitement and gets bad dreams. But still she sleeps through the night. *YES!*
  • She starts getting picky towards bed time on who can hold her. 外婆 (Maternal Grandma) is the go to person for bed time routine since I am having to settle Esmerelda. I have tried to carry Rowena from my mum just before her bedtime routine and she would turn away from me. Ouch. But so happy to see how much she has bonded with my mum.
  • She is still quite timid compared to Esmerelda but is slowly coming out of her shell. So we will wait and see on this one.

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Esmerelda’s Teddy Bear Picnic

So Esmerelda’s birthday isn’t till 26th September, but I thought it would be nice to have a lil party for her to celebrate with her friends in Edmonton. Recently, she has been obsessed with having picnics. Ever since my mum has arrived from Singapore, we have gone on a handful of outings to have picnic lunches in the park with Esmerelda. So I thought it would be fitting to have a Teddy Bear Picnic themed party in Kinsmen Park’s Grizzly Bear Lodge at the end of August just before we flew to Singapore for a holiday.

Esmerelda 3rd Bday Party Picnic Themed Invite Front

Created this invite for the party. 🙂 The bears you see in the background are Esmerelda’s and Rowena’s heartbeat bears from their 3D ultrasound session. The tea set was a birthday present that Esmerelda received for her 2nd Birthday.

You will see a lot of orange netting acting as a backdrop in all of the photos you will see of the party. That is because the area that we chose was in the middle of a circle of trees (shaded) with two large solid bench tables. The orange net (or barriers) were in place to prevent people from trampling the grass surrounding the tables so that the grass has a chance to flourish over the summer. Didn’t bother me too much because this only means that the area we are in is enclosed and provides us a little bit more privacy!

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Set up a lil picnic area on the ground for the children to play in. The picnic basket was borrowed as with the extra tea set you see in the corner on the right. Both the cupcakes and the cupcake stand were bought at the dollar store for a total of $5 bucks. Score!

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The children were really into playing in the picnic area longer than I had expected which is a win for me! 🙂

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The dessert and present table.

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My mum help me put together these teddy on cars treats the night before the party. Pinterest. 🙂

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Ordered the cupcakes from Save on Foods and the icing on the cupcakes were definitely a “MEH…” since they had cupcakes with ‘poofier-cloud-like’ icing for the cupcakes they sell in boxes of 4 on the shelves. Would have paid the $0.50 more for each cupcakes to get that icing on the cupcakes I ordered. The cupcake toppers were quickly put together with my cuttlebug and shaped dies. My mum had bought the foam ladybugs, bumblebee and flowers from Michaels at $1.50/pack. Another score!

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This was hung at one of the two entrance into our enclosed area. Frame is from Ikea, teddy bear was from a gift bag bought from the dollar store. So were the foam letters on the pennant banner.

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A simple teddy bear and pennant bear behind the dessert and present table.

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Time to blow out the birthday candle!

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Esmerelda : Could use some help here, Daddy. 🙂

Darcy made menu which included the following:
Food
1. Potato salad
2. Macaroni salad
3. Watermelon
4. Hot Dogs & Mini Sliders (with full trimmings – bacon, tomato, lettuce, cheese, ketchup, mustard, and relish)

Drinks
1. Juice boxes
2. Pop
3. Bottled water

We borrowed a portable griller from Nate’s mum to cook up the hot dogs and burgers for the mini sliders. I have to make special mention that I am really proud of my hubby dearest because aside from the hot dogs, watermelon, buns and trimmings, everything on the menu was made from scratch! Mmmmmmm…. yummy!

To keep the drinks cool and chilled we borrowed a cooler from our friend, Kari and put about 10 bags of ice into the cooler.

It was a really nice party. The first party I had organised that was outdoors in the park. Next year’s birthday party celebration has the potential to blow away all the other parties I have planned and it will be celebrated with a birthday month twin. 🙂 Now to start organising and planning for the second 3rd Birthday Party for Esmerelda for our family and friends in Singapore.

Rowena’s 4 Months Today

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So it has been a month since I have posted any updates on Rowena. It is the typical second child syndrome as Darcy would always say to me. I am trying to document Rowena’s growth and development as much as I did with Esmerelda but I find that it doesn’t happen as often as it should. Although, I consciously remind myself that I need to take more photos of her so that she can have her own first year photo album like the one Esmerelda has.

We have definitely notice more things that makes her her own unique person. Being the second child, she is always compared to her older sister. Not in a bad way. Just things that we noticed that are different in traits and personality.

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Rowena cries because she is tired and wants to sleep. Esmerelda fights sleep time.

Rowena gets excited to see mummy. Esmerelda doesn’t seem to care as much.

Rowena loves to ‘chat’. Esmerelda not as much.

Rowena is more guarded and less smiley. Esmerelda is our social butterfly.

Rowena is a thumb-sucker and loves her Sophie (the giraffe). Esmerelda did not want anything to do with Sophie (the giraffe).

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Rowena still sleeps through the night which is awesome awesome awesome (thank my lucky stars). Other than myself and my mum, Rowena adores watching her older sister play. Their favourite game to play together (more often than not on Esmerelda’s invite) is “Monkies on the Bed”. Which like the song says, the monkeys jump on the bed. Rowena loves being held and aided in her jumps on the bed while watching Esmerelda like a total fan girl. It is both amusing and heart-warming to watch.

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4 months. Wow. Why do they grow up so fast?

{Kids Say & Do the Darnest Things} ”But … Why Not?” Edition

This is our oldest princess. She turns 3 in September.

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Welcome to our family’s version “Kids Say & Do the Darnest Things”.

I was in the dining room with my mum and Rowena while Darcy was getting Esmerelda ready for her bath. We had walked in the door not too long ago from having our family photo session at Lion’s Park (St. Albert) and was running a little behind our daily bedtime routine.

Shortly after, I heard Darcy saying in a very loud voice to Esmerelda..

Darcy : Esmerelda, why did you run away when you were asked to go potty?

Esmerelda : [innocent puppy dog eyes expression] But … why not?

Darcy : We do not poop in our panties.

Esmerelda : [innocent puppy dog eyes expression] But … why not?

At this point, I had heard her saying “But … why not?” a couple of times and walked to the bathroom to see what was going on. I stood at the bathroom door, not saying a word just standing there quietly. I knew very well what had happened and Darcy was handling the situation so there was no need  for me to interfere.

Darcy : Where do peepee and poop go? In the potty, not in your pants.

Esmerelda : [innocent puppy dog eyes expression] But … why not?

Darcy : You are a big girl. Big girls peepee and poop in the potty.

Esmerelda : [innocent puppy dog eyes expression] But … why not?

Darcy : Cos’ it is not nice.

Esmerelda : [innocent puppy dog eyes expression] But … why not?

Now, I am pretty sure every parent can relate to doing that trying not to laugh out loud by doing the sharp intake of breaths. That was pretty much what I was doing as I walked away on the verge of laughing my head off. The last thing I want was for Esmerelda to think that this was a funny situation. We’re already having a pretty challenging time trying to potty train our strong-willed oldest princess.

I barely caught my breath from doing the quiet laugh and trying to share what had happened with my mum when from the Darcy yelled out from the bathroom …

Darcy : I can hear you laughing! Stop laughing!

Which made me laugh even more. I was doing the ugly laugh that looked like I was bawling because I had tears running down my face. I was glad that I wasn’t the parent having to face Esmerelda at that point in time because the moral of the lesson would have been lost on her.

Potty Training. Esmerelda = 1. Daddy = 0. 

Kdays 2015

[Meant to finish this post 2 weeks ago but forgot about it.]

Last Saturday, I took my older princess to her very first Kdays. I have been wanting to take her there so that she could experience her first carnival/fun fair. There is something about seeing a child’s expression when she experiences something for the first time that just tugs at my heartstrings.

When we first got to the fair grounds, we headed over to Expo Hall B to sign up for the mini rooms that were set up by Breakout Entertainment. THIS was the only way I could have lured and convinced Hubbie dearest to go to Kdays with us. We’re both big fans of breakout rooms. Ever since Hubbie surprised me with a session with friends for my birthday, we have been obsessed with trying out all the rooms we can.

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Hubbie had to attempt at least one of their free mini-challenge boxes puzzles before we could take Esmerelda to meet our friends so we could get her on the rides.

We cut through the “Kids Town” hall to get outside but had to make a stop because ‘Splash n Boots‘ were performing their tunes live on stage and Esmerelda was mesmerised by their performance.

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She has seen them on the cable channel – Treehouse and on YouTube. But to see them in person, she became really quiet and was all shy as if she was star struck and couldn’t believe she was seeing them up close and in person.

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“Is it really them, mummy? Really? REALLY?”

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Hubbie urging Esmerelda to go close to say hi to Splash. When Splash got closer to her, she just buried her face into Hubbie’s chest and was being all shy. It was just too cute to see my own kid being star struck.

We caught Splash n Boots twice (it had started to pour so back we went into the hall) and I was really glad to see Esmerelda dancing and being less self-conscious the second time round.
Before the rain came pouring down on us, I had taken Esmerelda on a few rides and one of her favourite ones had me squeezing myself into this small car. There were about 10 cars arranged around a track-and-field shaped circuit. As each cars approaches the bend, the car is spun quickly around the bend before cruising slowly till it hits the other bend. It was a fun ride but I had to call it quits after being on the ride for 10 times. Though Esmerelda was pretty game to going for more.

Am pretty sure I looked like a beached whale trying to get in and out of this ride. But I didn’t care how I looked to anyone else because the sound of Esmerelda’s uninhibited giggles and laughs throughout the ride was worth any awkwardness and embarrassment I felt. I can watch this clip on loop and not get tired of it.

Here are some of the rides Esmerelda was able to ride solo.

Another 'Car' ride. Esmerelda definitely loves her cars.

Another ‘Car’ ride. Esmerelda definitely loves her cars.

Flying solo.

Flying solo.

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I even tried my hand at a carnival game and managed to win a plush dragon for Esmerelda. Okay, it was a sure win game. I just had to pay the amount for the plush I wanted and go through the motions of playing the game. In my defence, I did net all the balls I threw at the hoop. And who cares how I ‘won’ the plush dragon. Esmerelda loved it and that is all that matters. Dragon has joined George (plush monkey she had since she was a baby) and Momo (plush Elmo I got her last Christmas) in bed with her. This is an exclusive club as Esmerelda is very selective of which plush toys joins her and becomes her sleep buddy. 😛

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Overall, it was a successful outing at Kdays this year. Next year, this lil group of trio will become a quartet when Rowena will be able to join Esmerelda on some of the rides. 🙂

"Daddy, we're coming back next year, right?"

“Daddy, we’re coming back next year, right?”

Urban Art Bar

Was invited to join a couple of my fellow mummies from daycare for an ‘Urban Art Bar’ experience hosted by ‘The Urban Scrapbook‘.

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The above picture is the sample of what we would be working on on Friday night. Personally, I was more interested in the techniques that I would be picking up and the materials that we would be using to create our own recreations of the sample.

Step One 

image On our canvas, we were to choose and tear from the tissue wrap by Tim Holtz titled “Postale”. Once we have placed our chosen pieces onto the canvas, we would brush on a product called Memory Craft Gesso by Faber Castell Design in the areas chosen. Then place our tissue wrap on those areas and brush on another layer of Gesso over top and make sure everything is sealed and dry by using hair-dryers/craft heat gun.

Step Two

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Using a photo that I had taken of the sunset a few days ago as inspiration, I decided I wanted to do a sunset-themed background instead of the blues and greens shown to us in the sample work. We were also given bubble wrap and white acrylic paint to add depth to work and also cover up any ‘imperfection’ that we may have.

Step Three

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Using the pages ripped from a book that were provided, we cut circles for our flowers. At this point, I realised the way I had done the background would mean that the flowers would be covering up the number ’23’. 23 is my favourite number so I wasn’t keen on covering it up. So instead of flowers and looking at how I had arranged the circles, I could do a bunch of balloons floating in the air instead of flowers on the ground.

Step Four

imageTime for some colour!

Step Five

imageUsing a small squeeze bottle filled with white acrylic paint with a small point metal cap, I outlined the balloons to make them ‘pop’. Then added some fun, colourful buttons to really go with the whimsical feel of my work.

Step Six

imageBorrowing a quote from the movie “Up”, I scribbled ‘Adventure is out there” along the right side of the balloons. Added a lil more colour the balloons …. and viola! My very first masterpiece on canvas!

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I loved how all three of our masterpiece differ in style, colour and arrangement. 🙂

I had so much fun and this experience put me back in touch with my creative side. While I was working on this mixed media art work, I was also sending photos of my work-in-progress to my Hubbie dearest and I was really excited to get home to show him the finished product in person!

The next day, I commented to Hubbie that I can’t wait for the next Urban Art Bar session because I had so much fun and it was such a cathartic session for me. I felt lighter and more upbeat and it showed in me having more patience when I was spending time with both Esmerelda and Rowena. I guess this is why mothers are always told to take care of themselves first before they can take better care of their family and loved ones. It really does make a difference.

{Kids Say & Do the Darnest Things} ” Let’s See” Edition

This is our oldest princess. She turns 3 in September.

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Welcome to our family’s version “Kids Say & Do the Darnest Things”.

Yesterday, after dinner, I placed Rowena in the corner of our couch so she sits supported while I play and talk to her.

Then it happened.

I farted.

Esmerelda heard and exclaimed –

Esmerelda : “Daddy, Mummy pooped!”

There was no response from Daddy, so Esmerelda walked over to Mummy pulls up her shirt and pulls down her pants, peeks inside and says –

Esmerelda : “Let’s see… Ewwww mummy!” (Laughs)

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I just about died laughing!

[Side note – We do that to her when we think she pooped in her pants.]

Sunrise over My Neighbourhood

So I have been awake for about 3 hours now. 3 hours. Ugh! I woke up around 3:30am and couldn’t go back to sleep. So I surfed the Net (aimlessly), went through my Facebook and Instagram feed, and even talked to Darcy for a bit. Still I wasn’t able to go back to sleep … so  I thought I would watch the sun rise over my neighbourhood for once.

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IMG_0711 Thought I would get artistic and take a shot of my coffee mugs with a reflection of the window across from the kitchen.

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Even my fur babies taunt me by sleeping while I idle my time away … awake.

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Update : My oldest princess is awake and had her breakfast. My younger princess has had her morning feed. I am finally starting to feel tired but it is time to start the day … or is it… Ugh.

  

Rowena’s 3 Months Today

Rowena turns 3 Months today.

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3 Months. Weight – 4.4 kg (9.7 lbs). Length – 58.5 cm (23 inches).
These numbers are up-to-date as we saw our paediatrician a few days ago. According to their weight and height chart, she is in the 5th – 10th percentile for weight. 57th percentile for length and about the 50th percentile for her head circumference. So she is an average baby except she is tiny/skinny/underweight.

Now to me, those are new words to describe my own child since Esmerelda was average in everything but had a big noggin (95th percentile). I have NEVER been skinny. Never in my life. So to be honest, having a child who is skinny is kinda new experience. Nothing bad just new. We aren’t concerned about her weight because she is still gaining weight along the curve that she has always been at and everything else has been normal (number of wet and dirty diapers, feeding amount and times, etc.). So instead of throwing her feeding schedule off to ‘force’ more calories into her for her to gain weight, we’re just going to carry on as per normal.

She recently started to take the bottle from both me and Darcy when previously the only person who could have fed her the bottle was my mum. That is a HUGE relief because this means I can leave her at home with Darcy for a few hours to take my mum out to just hang out and get away for a little bit.

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Both my two princesses have slender, long fingers with pretty fingernails. Mummy is envious because she has short, chubby fingers and even tinier fingernails.

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Her eye colour is different from Esmerelda. Esmerelda had blue eyes to Rowena’s greenish-brown.

She definitely is a talker. About the only time she really smiles and laughs is when she is interacting with us and carrying a conversation with us. In ‘coos’, ‘ahs’ and ‘bahs’ of course. The other evening, my mum had a good laugh because the more she laughed the more Rowena giggled at her. It was the cutest thing!

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She has also started to roll to her side and seems to want to go all the way and roll onto her tummy. However, she doesn’t really like tummy time very much. She has also learnt to turn herself 90 degrees when we have her lying on her back.

She started to follow (with her eyes) the people who walk by her and she is really intrigue and interested in what her older sister is doing. She seems to be mesmerised by everything Esmerelda is doing, even when Esmerelda is having one of her tantrums and meltdowns. She also knows that mummy, daddy and 外婆 (Wai Po aka maternal grandma) have different styles and preference when it comes to holding her. Mummy and daddy can be busy at times and would hold her while they get things done (especially when in front of the computer) and she would just sit quietly in our arms or keep herself occupied by looking at her own fingers or chewing on them. 外婆, on the other hand, is not allowed to sit down while holding her because she knows 外婆 will give in and walk around rocking her to soothe her.

Kids they are smart like that. Even when they are only a teeny baby.

Best thing of all, she sleeps through the night. Sleep! Glorious sleep! I am praying this does not change as Esmerelda still wakes up in the middle of the night and is wide awake wanting to play and interact. Am so thankful that Rowena and Esmerelda’s sleep patterns are different. Cannot imagine having two kids who don’t sleep!

Sometimes I Underestimate My Child

In the wee hours of Thursday morning, Esmerelda was still up and awake at 12:30am and I was the one who let her stay up way past her bedtime. Why? Because I took her out to celebrate Canada Day with friends and catch the 11pm fireworks.

I had my trepidations about keeping Esmerelda up. She does not do well when she is tired. Nor does she react well when she does not get her way. I will have a throw-oneself-on-floor-screaming kinda child while I stand there trying to calm myself before my knee-jerk reaction gets me into trouble.  I only have my husband and myself to thank for in gifting her with such strong-will and stubborn personality genes.  So there I was waiting for a meltdown from my oldest child like watching a ticking time-bomb’s timer countdown till it goes ‘ka-boom!’.

However, throughout the day, when I had expected a meltdown or tantrum to happen, Esmerelda surprised me by actually listening to what I was saying and reasoning with her. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t like I don’t remind her what is expected of her beforehand. It is just that I know there are times when no matter what I do to reason with her, she will be so emotionally riled up that I just have to let her get it out off her system and calm down. Talking to her in these situations is like talking to a brick wall. Nothing gets through. Which means that I will have to ignore and tune out the stares and looks I will be getting from the people around me.

One of the hard lessons I have come to learn as a parent – be thick-skinned. Yes, it is embarrassing that my child is lying on the floor throwing a tantrum. Yes, I may look like a parent who has not taught her child how to manage her emotions. Yes, I may not hold up to all the different social standards that have been placed on parents. But I am not perfect. Never will be. But, damn it, I am doing the best I can. Hence, why I constantly try to remind myself that I should be less judgemental towards other parents. Trust me, it is easier said then done and ironically I plan on writing another blog post on other parents I saw around me that day.

But I am going to catch myself here before this turns into a long rambling post about the many challenges about being a parent. Because I want to talk about Esmerelda having a really good day.

A photo of the two of us. Trying to take more photos of myself with my princesses.

A photo of the two of us. Trying to take more photos of myself with my princess.

She held my hand as we walked through the huge crowd and didn’t run away from me.

She stayed close to me when we were in the wading pool while squealing in delight of splashing around in the water.

Esmerelda was a lil hesitant as she walked into the pool. But I could tell from her face she was happy to be there.

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Esmerelda and Ena. Ena adores Esmerelda. 🙂

She sat down quietly and ate her dinner without running off every now and then.

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Yep, not going to win Mother of the Year award with this dinner. *lol* Fries with gravy. She ate about 1/2 of it without having to constantly tell her to sit down and finish her food. I call that a win. 🙂

She walked even though it was too much to ask of a 2 1/2 year old toddler as we did walk a fair distance to get to our spot for the fireworks after a full afternoon in the wading pools. She asked nicely to be carried and I felt guilty I was not able to (either I didn’t have the stamina or my hands were full).

She waited patiently for 3 hours for the fireworks. 3 HOURS. Personally, that is quite a feat for a 2 1/2 year old. She had friends and activities to keep her occupied (brought the iPad, packed snacks for her, etc.) and asked to go home a few times but overall she was patient and quite.

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She used my camera tripod as a telescope. I thought this was just too adorable not to snap a photo of.

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Watching Bubble Guppies – The Puppy and the Ring. Yes, it is a spoof of The Lord of the Ring. 😀

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The view we had as we sat waiting for the fireworks. 🙂

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She was scared as the beginning of the fireworks show until we explained that they were pretty lights and stars going up into the sky. Now, when we asked her if she wants to go watch fireworks (pretty lights and stars going up into the sky) again she smiles and nods her head. 🙂

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“Mummy, pretty lights go up in the sky!”

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“Pretty lights, Mummy. Pretty lights!”

MY CHILD HAD A REALLY GOOD DAY. I WAS ONE PROUD MAMA!