Sunday, May 17, 2020

mae the four be with you

Happy fourth birthday, Mae!

Mae has been counting down the days since the beginning of May. Every morning this month, the first words out of her mouth have been, "Only 12 (11... 10... 9...) days 'til my birthday!" And thus begins another entire day of non-stop talking! (She even talks in her sleep most nights, so there's really no end to it.)

Mae's favorite foods are bologna lunchables, ham and cream cheese roll-ups, pizza, fried fish fillets, and fruit (all kinds). She's also quite partial to ice cream and cupcakes (but only the frosting part). We have lots of time to fill at home these days, and some of her favorite activities include Cosmic Kids yoga on YouTube (especially the Moana-themed one), playing with her Playmobil sets (mostly setting up elaborate meals for all the people), reading books with Grandma and Grandpa over Facetime, and choosing a theme for the daily coloring page I make her. On nice days, we try to get outside as much as possible with lunchtime picnics in the front yard, walks with the stroller or scooter, and playing in the baby pool or sprinkler out back if it's hot enough. We've upped our screen time allowances a bit, and she really looks forward to playing the Khan Academy Kids app on days that Dan and I both have to work. After dinner, she still likes to watch Octonauts, but has also added Doc McStuffins into the rotation. Her favorite movie is "Frozen II" (which I find much more tolerable than the first installment). Naps are officially a thing of the past, but she does "quiet time" in her room for an hour or two in the afternoons. She has just recently started reading and can get through the simpler Dr. Seuss books like "Hop On Pop" with a little help. I made flash cards with the words from “Green Eggs & Ham,” and she loves when we use them to build silly sentences like, "the green fox will eat a ham train with me."

We had a little birthday party for Mae yesterday. Since my family and Dan's parents have been well-isolated for the last couple months, we decided to gather for the weekend to celebrate. GranE and Batman arrived Friday evening just before dinner. We didn't tell Mae they were coming, and she was SO EXCITED to see them at the front door. She gave GranE a huge hug and her eyes teared up (as did mine and Dan's.) My parents plus Kevin and Kelsey arrived Saturday morning in time for Mae's birthday lunch. She was so happy that so many people came to celebrate her birthday. Isolation has been hard on all of us, but I think it's been hardest on our very social toddler. She was thrilled just to have someone else to play with and talk to.

She only asked for a couple things for her birthday: a magnifying glass to look at bugs and a telescope. A few months ago she also told me she wanted "a little clock... with clear on top..." and pointed at my watch. She was very excited about the pink unicorn watch we got her. She opened a mountain of presents from both families. Now she's all ready for a summer at home with lots of new warm-weather clothes and plenty of new things to play with! After lunch, she tried out the new walkie talkies, ran through the new sprinklers in the backyard, raced some hot wheels, and zoomed around wearing her reversible Batman/Superman cape.

After opening presents, we ate cupcakes (yellow cake with yellow and green frosting, per Mae's request). Mae ate the frosting and a couple bites of cake, and then ran to get the broom and dustpan from her new play cleaning set to clean up the crumbs on the floor. She's such a good helper!

My family stuck around through the evening and we had a little baby shower. (More about that later, since today is all about MAE!) We snapped some group photos before they left. We had so much fun celebrating our smart, silly, energetic, sensitive, chatty little girl! Happy birthday, Mae!

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