July kicks off with a bang at our house. We aren’t Canadian but live awfully close. So while we could celebrate Canada Day on July 1, we instead celebrate our youngest, baby girl, Anika. Her birthday morning started with her crawling into bed with us in the middle of the night and with her sister Elizabeth standing by my bedside at 5:15 a.m. wide awake telling me she had a bad dream that Anika went to jail, as a child. I reassured her Anika was not in jail on fifth birthday because she was snoring right next to me. Elizabeth felt some reassurance and crawled in next to me. But then we were up soon after to get ready for our big, kick-off to July and celebration for Anika.
A princess party! We had a few princesses over along with a couple little brother princes joined us too with their mamas. Anika set the menu: small meat sandwiches, cherries and grapes, potato chips, cookies and tea. Except Princess Tea at age five was chocolate milk or punch, in my china tea cups. Anika loves Sophia The First on Disney Junior and it’s about the only television show she watches consistently other than The Pioneer Woman on the Food Network.
Sophia has brown hair like Anika and has an older sister and an older brother. She relates. While the little princesses didn’t notice, I hope my Great-Grandma Esther noticed from heaven that her tea cups and pink glassware was put to fantastic use by princesses. Great-Great Aunt Ada’s hand-painted creamer and sugar set were also used. Anika opened each gift with care and even listened closely to her singing card, which she was still talking about it at bedtime. Princesses celebrated. My friend Sarah, thankfully took my camera and snapped some pictures to document the party. Look. There I am in the midst of present opening! These are princesses from our long-time Sunday School class Nathan and I have taught, princesses that have gone to daycare with Anika, princesses that are her dear friends and will be soon classmates. They each are special and sweet friends. I hope they felt extra special dressed up as princesses today. Miss E, the older more organized sister to Anika and more organized than me most days, had each girl parade down the stairs and we announced them. Each princess had her moment to shine today. And each princess had their moment to eat. My husband started the rain gutter ice cream sundae tradition with our son Hunter in elementary school.
Flashback to 2008 and we learned this is a popular birthday event.But today’s July 1st weather was “like a blizzard” according to Anika. It was cold and windy! We brought the rain gutter inside and the girls filled it with chocolate, strawberry, raspberry and vanilla ice cream. Then they had an array of toppings and sprinkles to make their own sundae with. As you can imagine with little girls, sprinkles were popular. These might be the first princesses to eat ice cream from a trough aka rain gutter. But they did it with an enthusiastic style. Princesses on the prairie we know can swing a bat with enthusiasm. They showed that off to us as they each had a turn to swing and bust open the princess pinata.
Anika never holds back and she gave it a final swing before all the candy came crashing down for the girls to pick up and fill bags.
My friend Tammy made the fantastic Sophia The First cake. It’s made around a doll! As she started to put in candles for Anika I realized we didn’t have many photos of it yet. We quick snapped a few to capture the cake with the matching Princess Anika. Anika was an elated princess today to celebrate with so many friends by her side. Tonight when I was laying beside her before bedtime, she told me EVERY year is going to be a princess party and EVERY year she is going to be Sophia for her birthday.
The simple joys of age five, “a whole hand” as she says now.
Every one tells you “Oh it goes so fast” and in a blink of an eye you will wonder where your baby went. I had a few of those moments today.
I want to remember Anika at age five, forever. Since I don’t think I filled out anything in her baby book, this blog post will be my way of remembering.
Anika is our most spirited child. She is driven. She is focused on what she wants, when she wants it, whether you agree or not. There are days she makes me tired. But then she cuddles in, says her sweet little thoughts like, last night, “I know I am growing. My brain is growing. Sometimes it is growing so much, my head hurts!” Anika is indeed growing. She is no longer our baby. She is her own original, authentic self, with her own sparkle and strong will. Today she is a princess and tomorrow she might be a cowgirl. She will tell you confidently she wants to be a veterinarian, which my mom blogged about a cowgirls’ education today. Anika is interested in books and while not reading yet, she will read books to herself now as she has them memorized. I used to worry she would never have the attention to learn. I don’t worry about that anymore. She loves learning. She doesn’t like sitting still.
But her sister’s birthday morning bad dream that she went to jail? I might worry about Anika’s antics and that bad dream in about ten years. We have our work cut out for us to channel Anika’s energy into positive successes. I am up for a challenge and thankful I get to be Anika’s mama