Saturday, July 27, 2013

To My Three Year Old

Dear Gia,

 Today is your birthday. Today you are three. You've officially been mine for three whole years. Some days it feels like you've always been here and I can't remember life before you.  Some days it feels like you just got here, and we've only just begun to enjoy this mother-daughter journey together.

I've been thinking about writing you this letter for a few days now and I don't think I can possibly put into words all that I'm feeling. 

Let me start with this: I cried last night after you went to bed. They were happy tears, with only a tinge of sadness mixed in. It was the last  night you'd be two, and three just seems so big, so grown up. There isn't anything I love more than watching you become this amazing little person. But it's still a bit sad to watch my baby disappear before my eyes. 

Today was the most wonderful day. It's so much fun to celebrate you and your life. Last night daddy and I decorated the entrance to the kitchen so you'd have a fun little surprise first thing this morning. You LOVED it. 

Then we took a trip to the Maritime Aquariam in Norwalk, CT (aka "ee-quariam," as you say). You saw fish and sharks and meerkats and birds. We bought nectar for you to give the birds, but they were big and they scared you. One landed on your head and you kind of freaked out. You did get a kick out of daddy feeding them. Later you pet a crab and held a hermit crab and that was much more your speed. Then we had lunch & you napped on the way home in the car.

Once we got home we opened presents. Of all the awesome presents you received, your favorite is the $2 pair of safety scissors I got you at Wal-mart. You love to cut and we've talked about the fact that 2-year-olds are not allowed to cut, but when you turned 3, you could have your own scissors. Mommy made good on that promise and you were tickled pink. You spent a good half hour cutting up wrapping paper. Happily.

 Yadi & Joepa came over for dinner. You were thrilled that more of your people were here to celebrate with you. After dinner we went to the Melting Pot (aka "the chocolate restaurant") and you must have said "this chocolate is deee-licious" 75 times over the course of the evening. 

sign at the Melting Pot

And then it was time for bed, time to end this perfect third birthday. You insisted on wearing your new "Ree-punzel dee-jamas" to bed and you were so adorable in them, how could we say no? 

Gia, the past three years have been the best years of my life. You are a joy and a blessing and not a day goes by that I don't realize that and thank God for you. In this little family of ours,  I'm the lucky one: lucky to have YOU!

Happy Birthday Sweetie Girl!


Sunday, July 21, 2013

On the evening of your party...

Dear Gia,
Today was your 3rd birthday party--a carnival party! We had it at our house, in the backyard, and it couldn't have been a better day. The heatwave broke and although it was still hot, it was a beautiful summer day.
From the moment you woke up, you were a bundle of excitement. You were extra agreeable all morning. We painted your nails and toenails, gave you a bath, and set up all the decorations. (And then you a managed to eat two cupcakes while I was in the shower.)
The men delivered the bounce house and you stood there and watched them like a little supervisor. 
Daddy went to pick up some of the food and the balloons and when he came back your face lit up in a way that melts my heart. You were SO happy to see the horse balloon you picked out last week.

You were so excited to put on your party dress and you looked so beautiful and like such a big girl. 

When the guests started to arrive you were a gracious little hostess and said hello to everyone. You even got out of the bounce house to say hello to Aunt Dawn & Jenn Jenn! That was a proud mama moment for me. You're so friendly and appreciative of everything.

The petting zoo arrived and you were the first one to go over to the animals. You stayed by their side for the entire time they were here, petting them and feeding them every apple, carrot and cheese doodle you could find. 

You barely had time to stop and eat more than one bite of pasta and meatball. But, when it was time for cake and for singing "the happy birthday song," you were ready! You happily wore the hat we picked out at the party store last week (your new favorite store, by the way).

The princess ice cream cake, with your picture on it, was a surprise for you and you were thrilled with it.

Your expressions, while everyone sings to you, are priceless. It's pure joy and it makes my heart burst with love to see you so happy.

At the end of the night, after everyone left, you finally calmed down enough to eat some salami and Italian bread. You also had quite a few sips of sodie (aka soda), which you love. We asked you what your favorite part of the day was and you said "the bounce house, and the petting zoo and the swings".  So basically, you loved it all! We'll call that a successful birthday party!

Thank you to everyone who came to celebrate with us today. It means to world to all three of us that you were a part of this awesome day. Gia loves "all her people" -- and so do we!

Thursday, July 18, 2013


We're in full party prep over here. Gia's 3rd birthday is on July 27th and her party is this weekend. Much more to come on that. For now I've been busy making lists, food shopping, cooking, assembling goody bags and delighting in the overwhelmingly excited almost three-year-old that is Gia. 
 The mantra goes something like this:
"Mommy, I'm 2, but I'm gonna be 3 in a couple seconds."
"It's my birthday and we're gonna have a party!"
"There's gonna be a petting zoo with animals in my BACKYARD!"
 "All my people are gonna come and bring me presents!"
All of these are said in a high-pitched squeal. It's really freakin' hilarious. And adorable. She's just so happy about everything. 

And then, of course, there's the heat. We've been spending a lot of time indoors. It's just too hot for this pregnant mama to be outside for long. The most I can handle is going from the house to the car to a store. Thankfully, Gia has gymnastics camp and swimming lessons, so she's able to get out and be active, despite my inability to deal with this weather.
Hope you're all enjoying the summer!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Make-up Maven

Gia is such an awesome combination of traits. I never want to forget all the little things about her that make her uniquely her
 Gia is kind of a tomboy at times--she can run and jump and play with the best of them. She likes checking out worms in the driveway after it rains and she doesn't mind getting dirty.  Yet, she can totally be a girly girl. She loves hair bows and jewelry and lately, if it's not a dress, she's not wearing it.
 She also loves to watch me putting on my makeup in the morning. I have a 5-minute routine that I do every day and, as soon as I'm done with it, she loves to take the big brush I use for bronzer and do herself up. When she was a baby I could just give her the brush. Now she knows there's nothing on it unless you "dip" it into the "that black thing with the makeup". 
The other day she was watching me put on mascara and she was fascinated--more than usual. I told her she had to wait till she was older to put makeup on her eyes. She said "ok mommy" and skipped off.
And then, the next morning I was on the phone with my mom. Gia was watching tv and Jon was outside watering our plants. And this happened:

Gia decided she didn't want to wait till she's older to wear mascara. Or TONS of bronzer. In this next shot you can really see the job she did.

The best part? She didn't see anything wrong with her handiwork. In fact, she was mad when we found her & told her makeup time was over, because she wasn't finished. She goes, "But I didn't get to do the other eye!"

Gia, my dear, there will be plenty of time for you to "do the other eye".  

Monday, July 8, 2013


Gia absolutely loves carnivals and rides. The weather this past week has been spotty--they predicted thunderstorms nearly every day. So, we didn't tell her we were planning to take her to a local carnival until the very last minute, just in case we got rained out.
An hour before we were going to go Gia came up to me and said, "Mommy, let's go to Yadi's house. Not now. Later."
I told her that Yadi wasn't home but there was somewhere fun we could go. She looked at me and waited. "Do you want to go to a carnival?" I asked.
"A carnival! I can go on rides and see the animals!" She was so excited. It was awesome.
From the moment we got there, until the moment we left, Gia was in rare form. She was wild with anticipation. Rides! Games! Food! Animals! She didn't know which way to turn and was just buzzing with energy.
We went to the petting zoo first.

Then she asked to ride a pony. 

(Side note: This isn't the first time Gia has been on a pony. She rode one at a farm in Florida when she was about 20 months old and she wasn't too sure if she liked it or not. Then last year she rode a pony at the NJ Meadowlands Fair and liked it more than the first time.  About a week ago, out of no where, Gia announced, "I've always wanted to ride a horse."  It was so funny at the time. Ever since, she's been talking about riding a horse, hence the extreme happiness in the photos you're about to see!)

Finally, she went on some rides.

Her favorite ride was this huge bouncy slide thing. It was 3 tickets for 3 rides. We gave the carnival lady our last 9 tickets and just let Gia go up and down a bunch of times. She was in heaven.


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Summer Days

It's been really, really hot lately. It seems like, only a month ago, I was praying for the heat. Be careful what you wish for though--being pregnant in the summer is no joke. With Gia I was due in mid-July, and I had no kids. So, being a beached whale and hanging inside, on the couch, with the AC set at 68 was a no brainer. 

This time? Not so much. Gia loves being outside and wants to play, and I can't justify letting her watch hours of tv just bc I'm housing her little brother in my belly. 

Enter our new Hello Kitty sprinkler: perfect for a hot day.

Gia absolutely loves water and loves to play with it. She could stay in the bathtub for hours and uses her water table all the time. 

She was a little unsure of the sprinkler at first, but then she got into it.

And then she got really brave and let it get her pretty wet.

She played for about 40 minutes (that's long in toddler time!) and had a ball. I foresee many sprinkler days ahead!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

One for Everybody

One of the things I want to start doing more is posting quick little posts that remind me what Gia is up to now. Kind of like a snapshot, just with words.
Sometimes I get so caught up in writing that each post becomes a novella in and of itself.  For longer, more involved events and happenings, that's not a bad thing. I know I'll look back at all these stories one day and be so happy to have them written out in such detail. But flip side is the stuff that happens every day: the cuteness, the hilarity, the very essence of Gia.
So here's a start to a series of "daily life" posts that I hope will happen more often. 
Gia is really into equality lately and thinking about other people in addition to herself. It's a really cute milestone in her social development. If she picks a flower, she has to pick one for me, for her and for daddy. And sometimes the cat even gets in on the action. She's a great sharer and will always give you something she has -- even if it's ice cream or candy (her faves!).
The other day Gia was painting pictures and, of course, she had to paint three. After they dried she handed them out: one for me, one for daddy and one for Abby. 
But, it was the middle of the afternoon and Abby was no where to be found.  She was likely off somewhere napping. So Gia said, "Mommy, I can put it right here" and she held the picture up in front of Abby's food bowls.
So, I gave my sweet little girl a piece of tape, and she hung the picture low on the wall, so Abby can see it while she's eating. Adorable, if I do say so myself.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Swim Lessons!

Last summer, at barely 2,  Gia took swim lessons and loved it. All winter she talked about Sara, her swim teacher, and all that she learned (kick, kick, kick....paddle, paddle, paddle). So naturally we signed her up again this summer.

Sara lives around the corner from us and has a gorgeous in-ground pool. She makes the lessons fun, with boats and planes and kick boards and pool noodles. Gia looks forward to it all week.

She learned to keep her mouth shut as she jumps in, so water doesn't get in her mouth. Check out the puffy cheeks:

She also learned to move swim all around the pool with just the noodle to support her. She was so proud to be swimming without her puddle jumper.

Ahhh, summer. You make me so happy!