Thursday, May 16, 2013

Down and over and down once more...

...that's the way to make a four.  

Lilly turned four on April 11th.  I know everyone tells you how time flies, but I truly remember Lilly being born like it was yesterday.  I feel like I have blinked, and have a 4-year old.  It's hard to find quiet time to just sit and reflect these days, but when I'm feeding Hannah in the night, I find myself sitting and thinking quite a bit.  I keep going back to a moment that took place earlier this week.  After playing outside and having baths, Jack, Lilly and I were having a dance party waiting for Jim to come home.  I picked Lilly up and we were dancing in the living room together, and I realized how big she is.  She seemed so tall and such a little girl.  She seemed so far away from those baby days--the same ones that I'm going through with Hannah now.  It made me sad, so I held onto her a little bit longer than usual and reminded myself to remember these moments; she won't want me to pick her up and dance to Hakuna Matata with her forever.  She's still so little, but she's the oldest Little Clark, which makes her seem so much more grown up than she is.

One of my favorites...Lilly when she was 1 day old.
Lilly spent the weeks leading up to her birthday learning how to write the number 4.  She wanted it to be perfect.  When I taught kindergarten, we taught the children number rhymes as they were learning to form their numbers properly, and Lilly loves these rhymes.  During quiet time on any given day, you can hear these rhymes coming out of the not-so-quiet "Quiet Time Room".  March was filled with, "down and over, and down once more...that's the way to make a four."  Lilly was thrilled to be turning four!  On her birthday, she told us, "Now that I'm 4, I'm growing bigger and soon I'll be as big as Daddy!"  So so sweet.

Just like the past few years, Lilly's birthday celebrations seem to last for weeks.  The pictures tell the story better than I can.  Here is how Lilly's birthday morning unfolded.

Lilly saw her scooter! 

the butterfly garden!
Jack, Hannah and I went into school to celebrate with Lilly and her class, and it was such a treat!  Lilly passed out her snack, and her teacher, Miss Reilly, showed the class a picture of Lilly from every year of her life.  They lit a candle in the middle of their ellipse (where they sit) to represent the sun, and each time Lilly talked about one of her pictures, she walked around the sun to represent a year of her life.  It was very sweet.  Lilly showed everyone the picture of her with Jim when she was 1 day old, and all the children started laughing because they had never seen a baby with so much hair!

Making her birthday snack on her last afternoon as a 3-year old
Off to school as a 4-year old!
passing out snack
Jack wouldn't miss out on snack time!
Lilly got to call out everyone's names during attendance
Telling everyone about her 4th year, which included playing tricks on Dad, and Papa calling the "Nuny Nuny Police".  Thank goodness I didn't have to explain the Nuny Nuny Police to Miss Reilly!
Lilly and I baked a bunny cake together after school, and Jim and Lilly decorated the cake when Jim came home from work.

For Lilly's birthday party, she asked to get her nails painted with a few of her friends from school and her cousin, Lauren.  So, a few weeks ago, when Auntie Ells was here, we went off to get frozen yogurt and paint nails!  The girls were so sweet and had the best time.

Lauren, Lilly, Madeline, Lila and Ava

Lilly's first glimpse of her painted nails!

Lilly got a butterfly garden for her birthday, so we spent the past two weeks watching caterpillars turn into butterflies.  It has been pretty amazing.  I think Jim and I were more excited when the butterflies emerged than Lilly was!  Since butterflies don't have the longest lives, it was time to set them free yesterday afternoon.

And so ends another birthday celebration for our sweet little Lilly, who changed our lives four years ago when she made Jim and me parents.  What an amazing addition she has been to our lives.  Happy Birthday to our cheerful, clever, funny, full of personality, never-stops-talking 4-year old!