Ana’s First Fish

This morning we took Ana fishing at Horning’s Hideout.

We went with our friends, Rob and Shauna, and their two children, Beckham (2 1/2) and Shayla (8 months). Beck has been fishing several times before and was more than willing to “show Ana the ropes.”

They patiently sat watching the still water, eagerly waiting for their bobbers to wiggle and dance. Not wanting to push their two-year-old patience too far, after awhile we moved to the “easier” fishing hole. Within minutes their lines pulled tight and they both started to reel in their fish at the same time. I managed to get video of BOTH Beck and Ana catching their fish!

Ana wasn’t too sure what to think of the actually fish themselves. The minute the fish broke through the surface of the water and then flopped around on the deck, Ana scampered away. And forget about her holding the fish, let alone even standing next to them.

Regardless of her initial reaction to the fish, Ana is eagerly awaiting her next chance to go fishing. And she is happy to take anyone who asks down to the freezer and show you the fish SHE caught (the fish will stay in the freezer indefinitely).

You can see all the pictures from Ana’s first fishing experience over here. Enjoy!

Ultimate Dress-Up

The other day I took Ana to pick up her flower girl dress for her Uncle Jesse’s beach wedding in September. Nicole (Ana’s future Auntie) had already picked out the dress, but we needed to try it on to determine which size she needed. We ended up buying the smallest size it came in (2T) and still need to have it taken in. My skinny little princess. But while we were there Ana had the best time dancing around in her dress, trying on various accessories and of course, the shoes! Here are the pictures from Ana’s Ultimate Dress-Up session:

Ana in her beautiful flower girl dress.

Checking out the hair accessories.

Watching herself walk in the mirror.

Blowing kisses.

Trying on gloves.

In some fancy princess shoes.

Interviewing Ana

I read somewhere recently that parents should “interview” their children. The comment was regarding children in the 2-3 year old range because they are just starting to really think for themselves and the responses to their questions, while often hilarious, will truly let you see a glimpse of their personality and character. So tonight I had the Flip video camera out, recording Ana making up her own songs and dancing around the living room when I remembered the interview suggestion. I decided on the spot to ask Ana some questions. Next time I will be better prepared, as you will see sometimes her answers took me by surprise and I totally lost my train of thought. Regardless, they are highly entertaining and I hope you enjoy a little taste of my daily life.

This is take two. I tried to overlap some of the same questions and you will see that I often get very different responses. I couldn’t decide which video was better, so you get both. Enjoy.

Ohhh this is gonna be fun!

I recently upgraded my iPhone 3G to the iPhone 3G S. Not because there was really anything wrong with my old phone, but I was elligible for an upgrade and Simeon promised me that I would be so much happier with the camera, the speed, the Internet, etc. All things I love (and now have no idea how I ever lived without!) Plus it has video. Like, I can just shoot a video with MY PHONE. I just switch a little toggle from camera to video and voila! I can record whatever we happen to be doing. Plus I just figured out that I can email them directly from my phone to Flickr. How cool is that?! To be fair, I think I need to warn you…with how easy this is, there is going be A LOT more videos to enjoy. I may not load them all up here on my blog, but they will certainly be on My Flickr page. Enjoy!

The first video is from the 4th of July. We were playing on the beach and Ana wanted to go play in the water. There is also a cameo from our dogs, Ellie and Molly (who were dying to go play Frisbee with the guys further out in the water) and Ana’s best bud, Ayden.

Ana loved the sparklers this 4th of July. She even tried to “write her name” with the sparkler like all the grown-ups were doing. Adorable!

Here is a short clip of Ana during her last Tip Toes ballet class. Ohh I just love Ana being in ballet.

And finally, here is Ana just a few hours ago. She is playing with some pompoms she found in the kids room while we waited for my car to get an oil change.

A Letter: Thirty-one Months

Dear Ana,
Today you turn thirty-one months old. And what a busy month it has been. Now, more than ever, we are just go, go, GO-ing all the time. I strive to keep up with your permanently high energy level. While I rely a little on my morning coffee, your enthusiasm energizes my soul in a way that caffeine can’t even touch. Seeing your eyes light up and a smile spread across your face are all it takes for me to take your hand in mine and set out to conquer the world together.

You love to be on the move. And whenever our weather is comfortable enough (not pouring down rain or scorching hot), we are outside soaking up the Vitamin D. We go for bike rides (you behind Daddy in the Burley), walk to the park, or simply let you cruise around the cul-de-sac on your scooter.

But of course, all this takes place between all your classes. Ballet class has started back up again and you could not be happier. What little girl doesn’t love dancing around, wearing a crown–excuse me, a tiara–and waving a magic wand? You spend a lot of the class twirling around the room and checking yourself out in the mirror, but you still manage to learn some techniques along the way as well. Skill level aside, I’m just happy to have found an activity you continue to look forward to week after week. After all, this is our third session of ballet class and you still love it.

You manage to find ways to be a princess outside of the ballet studio as well. In fact you have taken to climbing rocks (or anything you can pretend is a rock, for example, your overturned Pottery Barn Kids Anywhere chair) and re-enacting the scene from Little Mermaid where Ariel sings “Part of Your World” on the rock. Belting out the “Ah ah ahhh, AH AH AHHH!” just like Ariel does when the Sea Witch takes her voice. Always the little drama queen, you take your performances seriously.

In an attempt to keep your princess time in check, I also try to balance our overly girly activities with some more dirty, farm-friendly ones. We have gone berry picking several times in the last few weeks (strawberries and raspberries) and while you don’t mind getting dirty and even occasionally help me pick berries (rather than just eating them) you simply love the farm life that tends to accompany our local produce. While driving to Smith Berry Barn last week we drove past cows, horses and even stopped to roll down our windows at a deer wandering through an apple orchard. Then once we actually arrived at the farm they had chickens and goats that you very enthusiastically got to feed.

You also have several friends of the opposite sex to keep your interests rounded. Case in point, your friends Ayden and Everett recently had a joint 4th birthday party with a pirate theme. Everyone ran around flexing their (temporary) tattoos, shouting “Arrr!” and raising threatening hooked hands. You had an amazing time and even allowed all the pirate garb to join your princess costumes in the dress-up box.

But I just can’t seem to keep the girly stuff from you for too long. In celebration of the 4th of July, we painted your toe nails OPI’s “I’m not really a waitress” red. Now I’ve been painting your finger and toe nails for awhile now (since you were the flower girl in Aunt Darcie’s wedding to be specific) but I have only used sparkly clear nail polish. Mostly because I cannot stand when nail polish chips and there is NO WAY to keep a 2 year old from chipping her nails. (The clear basically fades away.) But you have recently become obsessed with my red toe nail polish and tell me practically every day, “when I get bigger I can have sparkly red toe nails.” So one morning last week we sat down (I took many calming breaths) and painted your toes. You were so excited you showed everyone your toes for the next several days.

We went to Seaside for the 4th of July this year. Partly because it was on a Saturday and was feasible but also partly because it was going to be in the 90’s here in Portland and your parents do NOT like the heat. So we escaped to the beach and enjoyed the balmy 70 degree weather. We kicked off the celebration with the Seaside Parade. You knew what to expect at this parade, having been to the Rose Festival’s Grand Floral Parade recently, so you enjoyed the fire trucks and marching bands, but you were tickled pink by the fact that this parade threw candy to the watching crowds.

Later in the afternoon on the 4th of July we went down to the beach and staked out a spot for us to watch the fireworks. You had the best time playing on the beach. You have recently gotten over your aversion to sand (slightly to my dismay) and decided that it is The. Best. Thing. Ever. There isn’t anything I can do to keep you out of your friends sandboxes, so being entirely surrounded by sand was like a little taste of heaven for you.

And then we took you down to the ocean. Oh man, the smiles I saw on your face made me forget about how the sand was now going to be glued to every little crevice on your body. Watching you skip down to the water line, your curls bouncing behind you, and cautiously step into the crashing waves, then run will pure glee from the water that was lapping at your ankles, made my entire week. I loved the way you would squeal with delight every time the waves chased you down the beach.

Once you were finally soaked from the ocean we went back to our spot and built a nice bonfire to dry you and your clothes. Then we decided to make some s’mores. You savored your little beach treat; nibbling gently on the graham cracker and licking at the ooey gooey toasted marshmallow. You got about half way through the decadent dessert before the sugar started to kick in. I’m convinced that s’more alone kept you awake to see the very last firework that night.

I was so amazed by your utter lack of fear with regards to the fireworks. The first (illegal) ones that went off sent you running back to our blanket with your hands over your head like it was World War III, but upon seeing that no one else was frightened, you quickly adjusted to the loud bangs and pops. Before I knew it, you were ready to hold your own sparkler and even pretended to write “A-N-A” in the air.

I am so blessed to have you as my daughter. To get to spend my entire day with you, playing and having fun, making memories that will last forever is more wonderful than I could have even thought possible. I know that at your age, these aren’t memories you will retain (even with the steel trap of a memory you have) but I hope that these letters together with the pictures I have taken will help you understand why these are the best days of my life.

All my love,

I couldn’t have said it better myself…

Last week Ana and I met with a lovely photographer, Meg, who had a photo shoot with Ana. They played with dolls, had a tea party and even did some jumping on the bed. But I have to stop myself. I don’t want describe it, because Meg said it better than I ever could have myself. I will just point you directly to Meg’s site and the article she wrote up about Ana.

Thank you, Meg, for taking some time out of your busy day to remind me that I have the best job on earth. Your photographs are priceless and your words brought tears to my eyes.