You would not believe all the things one can do now that she is four and no longer three. It may seem as though most things are the same, but to Elsa, it's a whole other world of possibilities. Speaking of possibilities, Elsa's imagination has exploded this year. Sometimes it's a challenge to remember everyone's alter egos as they change on an almost daily basis. We discovered Star Wars this year, so at least when we play that, we have a fighting chance of guessing who everyone is. (For the record, Elsa is nearly always Princess Leia while Lena is R2D2, which makes sense because they're both little and make funny sounds.)
These games of pretend are also popular with her friends at school, so most accounts of her day included who was Mom or Dad (or Sister or Brother, etc.) Elsa continued attending preschool three days a week, but instead of going to Kindermusik (now Lena gets to go), she began taking ballet. This girl loves to dance, and we could not be happier with her wonderful ballet studio. In fact, the end of the year performance took place on her birthday, which was the perfect way to cap off her special day.
Elsa has understood and been excited about her birthday for a while, but this year, she was full of anticipation for months. Nearly every day, she asked whose birthday it was. I happen to have a pretty good memory of people's birthdays (and Facebook for the ones I forget), so I was often able to answer the question.
As usual, we stretched out the celebration for a bit. Jon was at Army training on her actual birthday, but we were so fortunate to have Grandma in town. The birthday girl was delighted to wake up to balloons and streamers and her favorite breakfast of scrambled eggs. Since it was a school day, Elsa got to share ballet-shaped cookies with her friends...that were delivered by that day's "Mystery Reader." Elsa was so surprised to see her grandma walk into her classroom to read that day's story--it was a special time for everyone.
After school, we took the birthday girl out for lunch at the "tractor restaurant" (Memphians will recognize this as Belly Acres) where she had ample time to drive the tractor before we ate some pretty tasty burgers. All the excitement must have tired her out because she actually took a nap when we got home--a birthday miracle!
I'm so glad she did, though, because that night was the aforementioned ballet recital held at the Levitt Shell, an outdoor amphitheater located at a nearby park. Elsa, of course, stole the show--not that I'm biased--but the sweet girl cried afterward because she only got to dance one time. Fortunately for her, she got to dance some more down in front of the stage along with many of the other little dancers.
|Getting sassy with the sheep|
We held off on Elsa's birthday party until Jon returned and celebrated at the park with "Sundaes on Sunday." It was a beautiful day, and everyone seemed to have a great time swinging, running around, flying kites, and of course, eating ice cream sundaes.
I just asked Elsa what she would like to say about her birthday, and she said, "I had a fun party after my birthday. That's what I would like to say about it." Couldn't have put it better myself.