Tonight during our rock-a-bye time, I read Janessa the story of Beauty and the Beast (for the third time today). Afterwards, my very articulate 2 year old told me, in her usual continuous chatter--barely stopping to get breaths in . . .
"Mommy, you Belle. You go get dressed and then you can dance with daddy! And then (spoken with a scary voice and scrunched up nose with much emphasis) the beast comes! (resuming happy chatter) But then daddy saves you! And then you dance with daddy. Daddy is much stronger then the beast. He can't get him. He keeps us safe, right mom? The beast no get him. Mom, you Belle. Okay mom?"
Okay, Janessa, I'll be Belle if I get to dance with daddy :) and wear a beautiful dress . . . after all, she is my favorite disney princess. :)
Today was such a fantastic day. It started off with a wonderful birthday breakfast and celebration of Carson. I cannot believe my little boy is 5!
Today was also Zoo field trip day for one of my preschool classes. Last week Janessa had joined Carson and I with the other class. This time, Janessa spent the day at a friend's house and I took all three of the older boys (had them skip school to join us). It was wonderful! We have a zoo pass and have gone several times this year, but Janessa can only handle a couple of hours and I spend most of my time chasing her around. Today, on the other hand, we were able to spend the entire day there and I could just focus on wonderful learning experiences with the boys. Most of all, though, I absolutely loved spending the time with them and watching their enthusiasm for learning and feeding their curiosity. It was such a great day! We stayed until it closed for the evening (long after the rest of the preschool friends had gone home). The last few hours it felt almost as though we had the entire place to ourselves.
Some zoo highlights . . .
Getting up close and personal with two sleepy lions . . .
Passing out birthday treats while eating lunch with preschool friends
Wild Animal encounter with snakes from Africa and getting a chance to ask questions (Jaron had a ton!) and get great answers.
Getting up close and personal with the farm animals . . .
And cooling off at the end of the day in the children's we play area.
And a whole bunch more fabulous experiences we were too busy having to take pictures!
I absolutely loved spending the day with the three older boys just exploring, learning, and not worrying about getting anywhere or doing anything except just having a wonderful day together. They are such great kids and feel so blessed to be their mother.
A few weeks ago, much to the delight of the children, Jonathan set the tent up in the living room and strung it with Christmas lights. We started off our evening of festivities with a few (hilarious) rounds of darts, followed with marshmallow roasting and then reading in the tent. So much fun! Good thing too-because the next night the stomach flu hit our house hard . . . followed by scarlet fever the next week.
Two days later . . . sick in mom's bed with the flu . . . all the kids got it. Not so much fun.
I finally passed on Janessa's beautiful dresses, the tiny baby clothes and sweet little headbands. I put away the changing table and crib, the sweet little baby blankets and tiny shoes. I was doing okay until I came across three little cards written to us and our sweet newborn daughter. My precious little newborn and her tiny little hands and feet.
She isn't so little any more.
She is so much fun right now--with new words almost daily, funny expressions and silliness to try and make us laugh and her funny little waddle-run. I love the way she interacts with me . . . hiding behind my back and then popping out in front of me saying "boo!" followed with giggles and a big hug and kiss. I love how she will find "trash" and then not be content until she finds a garbage to put it in and loves to help clean up. I love her little hand on my check as she says "sorry!" after playing too hard (or getting mad.) and the way she absolutely loves dancing to anything that makes music.
But today for a moment, I missed the precious newness of my tiny little baby girl and wanted her to slow down. She is so eager to grow--but I know too well how quickly it all passes. It wasn't long ago that her 9-year old brother was a toddler too.
I will continue to enjoy and cherish each sweet stage as she grows . . . but today my heart aches to slow down time and keep her little a little longer.