Thursday, August 18, 2011

Under the Sea Tea

Bella likes swimming and mermaids...

Bella likes tea parties...

Mom likes having someone else throw the party and not having to deal with the details and mess....

Perfect! We decide that this year, the perfect place for Bella's party would be at Girly Girlz. You can not possibly get any more girly than this place. It looks like a fairy exploded in there. But Bella is getting older, and I may only have a few years left to enjoy this young, girly stage with her, so I am embracing it all. And I have to admit, the party was just about the cutest thing I had seen!
Each girl got a mermaid tail when she arrived at the party, and the tea room was decorated in all sorts of "under the sea" stuff. Waaaay more creative than I could have come up with!

First stop was the salon, where each girl got her hair done in a special "mermaid braid twist" , complete with fake hair and glitter. * Note to all moms: the glitter sticks to their scalp and stays for a while no matter how much you scrub their hair. I have discovered this the hard way!*
And then after hair, came the nail salon, where each girl got her nails and toes done all pretty =)

Then they played some fun games like "diving for sea pearls", making sea shell bracelets- and of course, a little freeze-dance session =)

I think maybe the funniest moment to watch was when Bella pulled out her new camera that she got from her birthday, and instructed all of her friends to pose for her. It was hilarious!!

One of the things I loved most, is watching and observing Bella with her girlfriends. She is so social and bubbly and giggly.... and just such an adorable little friend. They all had their own little conversations going on, and talked about which first grade teacher they got for this year... it was kinda surreal to see her have her own little life. She's not just my little girl anymore, she has her own little world at school with all her friends, and this is just the start!

Happy Birthday Isabella!

You are so so so so SO loved. =))

She's 6.

I still can't believe it.

Our little girl is growing up so fast, and each year I feel like I'm still in denial. But despite the fact that I don't like it, it still happens. She's getting older, and I am just loving every minute I have with my sweet girl. I took her out to take some special birthday pictures (you can see them HERE), and as I was looking at the images, I could already see the change sin her face from last year.

Less round and full. A little older looking. More expressive and mature. Ugh, it just kills me.
Grandma and Papa came into town, and we started the fun with a party on Saturday night with just a small group of family and Bella's godparents, Uncle Matt and Aunt Heather. We played and had desserts, and most importantly- sang to our sweet birthday girl.
Then on Sunday, we started her birthday with a special breakfast (certain items at her request) and then she was eager to get into her presents. This year was really fun shopping for Bella because she is growing into a new and older phase of gifts. She got some "real" make-up and a make-up case, cute clothes and shoes, an adorable purse from a "grown-up" store (I got it from one of my favorite boutiques, and Bella felt sooo special that she got a real purse and not a pretend dress-up purse), new earrings, books (she is such a fabulous reader- I'm SO proud!!), and then her BIG present.....

Like mother like daughter- what can I say.
And notice we keep it in the Nikon family. Had to represent. ;)

She's always bugging me to let her use my camera, which isn't a great idea since my camera and lenses could cover the cost of her school tuition. But I want to allow her to explore this new passion of hers, so I thought it was only fitting that I got her a real camera- just for her- and in a lovely shade of purple of course.
And boy, was it a hit. She has that thin everywhere she goes, and it is absolutely hilarious to watch her "pose" all of us for pictures. In fact, I think I'll make a blog post out of her pictures from her camera pretty soon. She's really got a talented eye for it! I love that we are in that phase where we can share interests, hobbies and activities. I just love my little girl!!

* modeling her new purse and getting ready for her party with her friends,
which is coming up.....*

Painting, and Bowling, and Skating.. Oh My!

For those of you local friends reading this- you understand my quandary.

We live in a desert. Yes, the shopping and restaurants and entertainment spots are all awesome with their cool AC and misters everywhere you go. In fact, I find that there is more to do here than when I lived in California (northern- not southern). But let's be real- it's still a desert. And as a California-girl, born and bred, I still never fully adjust to the summers as I have been told I would. There are 9 gorgeous months during the year... and then comes summer.

And as a side-note, I am really tired of people reminding me that "at least it's a dry heat and not a humid heat". It doesn't help. I'm still hot.

So when it comes to keeping kids entertained and happy (and mom happy), I seek out all the ways to play inside or in water! So here are a few ways that I enjoyed playing with my munchkins, while avoiding the heat:

Pottery Painting
Bella loves it, and I'm not gonna lie... it's pretty therapeutic. I may have made a "MOM" mug that I kinda love... =)

Ice Skating
What is the opposite of boiling? Freezing! Enough reason.

And it doesn't hurt to add in a little ice cream before skating... and a sweet kiss from a cute little brother.

Ty wasn't sure about it at first...

But then quickly caught on, and had a blast.

I have tons of video I took with my phone, so I'll try to figure out how to post it all.

My kids have played that bowling game on Wii Sports about a million times, so I was pretty impressed by how well they did at actual bowling! I think Ty may have thrown the ball a few times.... we may have left a dent or chip in the flooring if you looked closely enough. Oopsie.
But what's better than bowling?
Disco bowling!
We stayed and played a second game when they turned on the disco lights, because you just can't deny how much more fun that makes it!

Anything Water...
And of course, we live in our pool during the summer. But it's also pretty fun to meet our best friends at the aquatic center and play in the beach pool and float down the lazy river =)

Lots of Indoor Play Areas
And I mean lots. I can count at least 8 places that we frequent regularly, just to play and let them run off some energy in the nice cool indoors. We have everything from indoor bounce house places, jungle gyms, indoor mini golf and amusement parks, indoor trampoline parks, make-believe "play cities".. I mean really, you name it, and it can probably be found here. Indoors. Thanks goodness for A/C!

So here we are. Summer is almost over... and I'll have 9 months to enjoy the weather until June hits again. Sometimes I don't think 9 months is long enough to recover!

There Are Times...

... they fight non-stop.
And don't even get me started on the tattling. Sheesh.

But then there are times, every now and then, I walk into a room, and find them like this.

Snuggled together. Totally on their own. Just because they love each other.

And a little part of me melts.

We must be doing something right.

Anderson Adventure #3

Playing catch-up again... don't judge. ;)

Before I can fully take a step into the fall (although we are still enduring the hot temps of summer, so I can't quite wrap my mind around fall just yet...), I need to catch up on all the fun things we had filled out summer with. I guess it's a good thing that I didn't have all this extra time to blog- because it just goes to show how much fun we were having! Sorry computer, I know you got neglected. But the Anderson family was out doing fun stuff like this! ...

It is imperative that we take little trips and get-aways as a family, to help stay balanced and have fun together, so this was the perfect afternoon trip. We loaded up all the kids (and by all, I mean Em and Arece too ;) ) and headed up to the mountains for an afternoon of four-wheeling. The kiddos were super excited, and not even the least bit scared, so I was surprised by that. But when Emily and I decided to hop on one together and take a little spin with Arece leading the way...

well, let's just say that we had some mechanical trouble, and Arece {ahem} forgot to check on us. So we stood there stranded for a while until he finally came back to get us.

Sad face =(.

But we had so much fun, and the mountain air did us all some good.
Sometimes you just have to get away... =)