Our gal is 6 years old, you guys! SIX and you know what that means – she’s officially a big girl. When Gracie turned 5, I thought to myself, this is the last year that she’s a baby. I don’t know why but 5 just seemed like the end of her baby years. Six-year-olds do go to elementary school, after all. They are big sisters and big brothers, who ride bikes and climb trees. They feed themselves, wipe their own butts, read on their own and are pretty darn self-sufficient in most aspects. They are old enough to have best friends, like real best friends and so for the Bean’s 6th birthday week, we knew it was kind of a big deal! She knew it was a big deal too and literally counted down the weeks leading up to her “birthday week” with every intention of doing something fun and awesome every single day of that big deal week! Her mom's were happy to oblige! ;)
We have a tradition that we started for the Bean’s first birthday that for breakfast on her bday, she gets a breakfast cupcake instead of the usual cereal, eggs, etc. Gracie’s first birthday cupcake was her first taste of real sugar when she turned one and she devoured it! Ever since then we’ve baked or purchased a cupcake for her birthday breakfast and it’s obviously one of her favorite family traditions. This year’s was from our favorite cupcakery, Smallcakes. It was vanilla bean with Bavarian cream filling and strawberry frosting with baby pink sprinkles on top. We decorated it with Peter Rabbit décor as that was the theme of her party this year and like every year before, we woke her by singing happy birthday with a delish cupcake in hand. She was all smiles!
We had a BIG birthday surprise for our gal this year! We filled her room with balloons, using all her favorite colors the night before her birthday and she thankfully slept right through our ninja like setup. We quietly placed her wrapped birthday presents on her toy box and could not wait to see her face in the morning! She was of course super surprised and just could not believe that we were able to fill her room with balloons without her waking up! She’s really into making and building things right now, so she LOVED her 3-D Magna-Tiles and Princess Aquabeads sets. I LOVE that she's into these big girl type toys now, because they keep her focused and busy for long stretches of time and what's not to love about that!
We had our work cut out for us this year in the: celebrate a birthday at school department. As I've mentioned in previous posts, Gracie's elementary doesn't allow sugary snacks at school, like birthday cupcakes. They also discourage parents from bringing food to celebrate birthdays, but ask that we bring things that encourage learning and being active instead. The Bean is an awesome reader now and she had the idea to make her classmates bookmarks to celebrate her bday. How great is that idea?! I was very impressed! G took the Bean to the craft store and together they picked out the bookmarks, stamps and colors they wanted to use and they got busy crafting. Not surprisingly, Grace was really into it in the beginning, but after her 5th or 6th bookmark, she moved on to the next thing and Georgia was left finishing the other 20, LOL! G also found the cutest little hopscotch kits complete with dice, chalk and game instructions, so Gracie gave her school buds each one of those too. I laughed telling Georgia, "who's birthday is it anyway?! These kids are making out like bandits!"
Didn't the bookmarks turn out so cute? The back has a pink heart stamped on each along with Gracie's signature. Props to the wife for jumping in on this project (as I was busy with birthday party stuff). We make a good team, babe!
Georgia and I took Gracie's actual birthday off mid-week to have a special day with her. Her bday fell the week of parent / teacher conferences and the same day as the monthly PTA meeting, so we figured we should just spend half the day with her at school and that's exactly what we did. Gracie didn't know it, but we also made plans with her bestie's mom, K who is a good friend of ours (our girls have gone to school together since they were 2.5 years old). We planned a Zoo day for the girls following the PTA meeting and when we finally told Grace as we drove up to the Zoo, she literally screamed, haha! T, her mom K and T's baby sister joined us and together with our big 6 year olds and their little sibs (both under 1), we had the absolute best day! As crazy as it sounds, all of Gracie's besties (all age 6) have little brother/sisters who are born with months of each other. The timing of several good friends all having siblings who are 5 years younger and all born within 6 months of each other is just crazy, but we love it! Who knew the 5-year age gap was trending. ;)
The Zoo was completely empty. Like zombie apocalypse empty, which is why it was the best day ever! The girls rode the carousel like 6 times in a row, with zero lines. They had their pick of endangered animals to ride, as they were riding the park's Endangered Species Carousel and just had to feel like royalty. We all had maps and let Gracie decide, along with T where we would go. The girls had us ping-ponging back and forth from one end of the Zoo to the other, but they were in charge, so we happily followed. Will and baby P did great and just loved watching their big sisters run around like crazy kiddos. Will got in on the mapping action and spent his day laughing at everything that was going on. It was just such a great day - top 3 Zoo visits for us, for sure.
After the Zoo we let the Bean pick where she wanted the group to have her birthday dinner and she picked Red Robbin, for the sole reason that they give out big red balloons, haha! We visited, had dinner, Grace got serenaded by the staff and we all shared her cake and ice cream, which was delish! The following day Gracie had her 6-year check-up and did great. According to her doc, growth/size is right on track as well as development and with that, we ended BIRTHday #6 for our first born. Six years, SIX. I just can't believe it.
I'm still working on a post all about sister bear's Peter Rabbit birthday party, so in the meantime, I'll leave you guys with a few clips from our sweet girl’s birthday week – a week that she described as the “best week ever”! #momwin