Thanksgiving With A Side of Christmas

This year we celebrated Thanksgiving in Ohio with Craig’s family.  We decided to take Dagny to Doodle Bugs in the morning while we packed the car and took care of things around the house.  We have done this in the past and find this works best all around. Dagny is able to work some energy off before a long trip and we don’t have to worry about a 4-year-old slowing us down.

The men of the family requested something non traditional for Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey is overrated anyway, but prime rib is not. Yum.

The Johnsons.

Here are my two loves doing the chicken dance.  Can I just say how much I love these two.

And, here is my goofy child.  She has taken the ham factor up a few notches lately. Love. her.

We got back in town on Saturday, which gave us Sunday to go out and get our Christmas tree. This year we decided that Dagny, and mom and dad, were old enough to truly enjoy the experience of picking and cutting a Christmas tree.

I love this photo that Dagny took of us.

My big girl.

Craig and I surprised Dagny with her very own Christmas tree for her bedroom.  She is so excited about having her own.  She had a blast decorating it and us watching her.


Bonus Photo: I love this girl so much!

Happy 4th Birthday, Dagny!

Dearest Dagny,

It’s been a long time since I have written you an open letter.  But, I feel the time has come again to share with you what wonderful things you have experienced this past year.

First, of all, Happy Birthday, Sweet Girl! I am still having a hard time grasping that you are four years old.  I just can’t believe how much time has passed since the moment I held you in my arms for the first time. And, how much you have changed just in this past year.

You’re third year started off pretty rough.  Your dad and I thought we escaped the terrible-twos, but very soon we realized you were just saving it up for the Terrific-Threes.  Okay, so terrific is not the adjective to use to describe your behavior.

You went from a good kid, to a kid that scared your dad and I.  We were honestly not prepared with how you were acting, it was so foreign to us.  We really were pampered up until then. After reading up on it, talking with people going through it recently, and having a conversation with your doctor, our minds were put at ease.  You were growing up and learning about boundaries.  It was still hard experiencing your tantrums, but I was very grateful for one thing; you did it all at home!  You were always good outside of our house.  Thank goodness for small favors.

I am happy to report tantrums are at an all time low, in fact you are very good about stopping it from ever getting bad.  You still whine at times and want your way, but we are able to sit and talk about it.  Most times we are able to come to terms.  Have I told you how much you amaze me?  I am still at awe at how much you have changed.

So, I covered the rough stuff, now let me tell you about all the great stuff.

This year you started in dance, gymnastics, and moved on to Pre-K.

You had your first dance recital.  You were adorably shy.  You were so stinking cute in your ballerina dress. You were nervous and kept putting your hands to your eyes.  I guess you figured if you couldn’t see anyone, they couldn’t see you.  But, you know what you did it, you didn’t run off the stage you did your best.  What more can a parent ask for?  I was so proud of you that day.

Gymnastics is possibly your favorite extra-curriculum activity.  Simply put; you love to go!  We noticed from the first parent observation to the most recent how much more confident you are in yourself.  You are much more focused on your routines.  You have improved tremendously.

You stared Pre-K this fall.  What a difference.  You are shinning in your class. You are really honing in on your writing skills.  You have been writing your name for quite some time without any help. One day you asked me how to spell, “Mommy” after I told you once, you wrote it all by yourself.  You sometimes come home from school with it written on a paper.  I saved them all. You are also know other basic words all from memory.  One day you were sitting on daddy’s lap and you guys were looking at a new deck of sight words I got you.  Daddy was reading them to you and you stopped him.  You said, “Stop Daddy, I know that word, that’s her.”  Your dad and I just looked at each other.  That’s the first time you read a word all by yourself.

You are just as good with your numbers.  You are able to subtract and add with not much help.  Your brain is just so well wired.  You are able to pick things up very easily.  I am jealous.  I wish my brain worked like that.

Your newest thing is to sit at the dining room table and do “homework”.  I have no idea were this has come from.  I have never referred to your activities (puzzles, mazes, dot-to-dot, letter & numbers) as homework, but you seem to like to.  And, your serious about it too.  You sit there for a long time doing your activities.  Sometimes it’s just coloring and drawing, which by the way you are really improving.  You are more concerned with staying in between the lines when your coloring.  I can make out your drawings now.  Your people all have wonderful big smiles on their faces, with eyes, nose, ears, and hair.  And, in 99% of your pictures there is always a big yellow sun shining from the top.  I take that as you’re a happy little girl.

Dad and I toyed with holding you back an additional year from Kindergarten because you will be one of the youngest.  But, after talking with your teacher and doctor they both felt it would be a shame to hold you back.  You are very bright.  You are already ahead of your class. They are concerned you would be bored.  So, daddy and I decided we would move forward and send you to Kindergarten this coming year!

Other milestones that you hit earlier this past year is sleeping in a big girl bed  and becoming potty trained. You never had one accident from the moment we stopped using pull-ups. You went from a tricycle to a bicycle this year. You’re still using training wheels, but you are so much more confident on it.  You are a little speed demon.

You’re very sociable. You have lots of friends that love you. This was the first year that we threw you a birthday party outside of our house.  We invited your friends from school and dance, and you had a great showing.  You had such a great time and so did dad and I watching you.

We decided to sign you up full-time at Doodle Bugs.  The days that you were not going were not your best.  You are a happy child if you’re around other kids playing, learning, and keeping busy.  That defines you.  You like to be challenged and always doing something.  You are not the type of person that likes to sit around and do nothing.

It’s been an amazing year to witness your transformations into the little girl you are today.  You are so much fun to be around.  I love snuggling with you and listening to your heartbeat. One of my favorite moments with you is our bedtime story time.  I usually stay a little longer and we just lay in bed and just talk.  I love it when in the morning you jump into bed with us.  I love it that your goofy.  I love how you laugh at things.  I love how compassionate you are. I love how you see the world. I love how you are able to communicate like an adult.  I love you now and always.



Today is my little girl’s 4th birthday.  Not quite sure how that happened, I mean she was just one yesterday.

In the morning, when Dagny came downstairs, she saw her presents waiting for her.

Here is my silly 4-year old.

She had a very busy day.  Craig and I picked her up early from “school” and we took her out to dinner. Afterward she had gymnastic where parents were invited to sit in and observe.

The long day ended by us surprising Dagny with a birthday cake.  Here is her reaction.

Happy Birthday, Sweet Pea!


Halloween 2011

Halloween gets better every year where Dagny is concerned.  She had so much fun at her school celebration, which included a parade and trick-or-treating.  She got plenty of practice for the evening in our neighborhood.

Little D looking over her loot, after a great night out trick-0r-treating with her friend, Greta.

And, the winner is for the first candy eaten… a hamburger shaped gummy.

Bonus:  I just love this photo of my little ladybug!