Andrea turned four years old today! I can hardly believe it. I wanted to post something special for her birthday on her blog, so I thought it would be fun to look back through the years…
It’s been a while since I’ve posted, and I have a lot of updates, but I figured I’d jump right back in first with a recap of Andrea’s first ski trip!
We just returned home from a fun ski vacation in Park City, Utah, where my parents live. We thought this would be a good year to get Andrea on skis for the first time. We signed her up for a private ski lesson at Deer Valley the first day. We went first thing and got her rental gear, then I took her down the child care area, where the kids play while they’re not in their lesson. Her equipment was just about the smallest they make – it was so adorable! (For my records, her boots were 16.5 and skis were 70’s.)
We had been talking about skiing a lot in the week leading up to our trip, and watching YouTube videos of kids skiing, and she was really excited, but I was still a little nervous that she would get scared at the moment it was finally time for the lesson. But she did FABULOUS!!! She was eager to get her skis on and head up the “magic carpet” (a conveyor belt type of lift for small training hills). The first time down the little training hill, the instructor just pointed Andrea’s skis down the hill and Andrea skied right to her! I was so impressed.
We got some video of her first run down the hill, and a couple of other runs from her lesson.
Even though she was having a blast, she was done after 45 minutes of skiing. I think she was just getting hungry and tired, since it was noon and we flew in late the night before. She had already learned how to ride the magic carpet, do a good “pizza”, and even stop on her own, so we considered it a success for her first day. Once we knew she was really going to ski, we went ahead and bought her her own helmet. She’ll be able to wear that for years, so it’s cheaper than renting, plus she LOVES her pink helmet. 🙂
The next day, we took her up to the trainer hill at Park City Mountain Resort with Granddad and Aunt Alicia. It was warm, so she didn’t even need her coat. She got better at starting and stopping on her own, and every time she would stop, she’s bend over and draw a line in the snow between her skis to make her pizza shape into an “A”. She also loved falling down on her bottom after she stopped. Silly girl! Before she was done for the day, I told her to try just slowing down and speeding back up by making bigger and smaller “pizzas” instead of stopping all the way. She started doing that and then it was like it just clicked and she was really at ease on her skis.
For her third day of skiing, I took her back up to Park City Mountain Resort, and she rode the “magic carpet” all by herself. She saw another little girl go up without a parent, so she didn’t want me to go up with her either. Little miss independent! After a little while, we were joined by her Daddy, Uncle Thor, Aunt Alicia, and my cousin. After Andrea showed Daddy how to do the magic carpet, we thought we’d try Andrea’s first chair lift, aptly named, “First Time”. Uncle Thor and Daddy went with Andrea, with Aunt Alicia and my cousin right behind them. They lifted her up onto the chair and went up the lift, with her smiling all the way. She skied down the ramp at the top of the lift, and then without hesitation went right down her first real ski run. I wasn’t skiing, so I waited toward the bottom with the camera. When I saw her, she was cruising down the hill without hesitation. My cousin was skiing in between her and the edge of the run, blocking so she wouldn’t accidentally go over the edge, and Uncle Thor and Daddy were skiing backwards in front of her and she looked just as happy as could be.
She was tired after three days of skiing, even though it was only an hour or so each day, so we took the last day off to just play at Grandma’s house. But Andrea is already excited about skiing again next year!
We don’t usually do anything special for New Year’s Eve, but this year, some friends with kids invited us over for an afternoon/evening get together at their place. We had AMAZING weather for Dec. 31st here in Atlanta, so when we saw they had a nice flat yard and culdesac, Paul went back home to get Andrea’s Jeep and the kids spent some time playing outside even.
Santa brought our friends’ son a drum set for Christmas, so their boys were going to town on the drums when we got there. Andrea was really cautious about them at first, and wouldn’t go near them. But after a while, when everyone else was out of the room, we heard someone playing the drums and realized it must be Andrea! Paul snuck in and got these pictures of our little drummer girl!
I snuck in later and got some video of Andrea playing the drums. She’s not bad! 🙂
While my parents were in town, we drove to the Lights of Life, a lovely Christmas light display near our house that we’d been to before and enjoyed. Andrea loved the lights and kept pointing out all the different things and saying, “Oh, my!” a lot. 🙂 She pointed out every Santa, every reindeer, every snowman (all Frosty, according to her). Then after we drove through the light display, we parked walked through a carnival-type area they have setup with pony rides, a petting zoo, a little train for the kids, and a place to roast marshmallows. They also have a bunch of trailers filled with Christmas scenes, like Santa’s workshop, and before Christmas, you can sit on Santa’s lap too.
Andrea had a great time. She loved her pony ride, just like she always has in the past. But this time was extra-special because Granddad was with her. Now Grandma and Granddad have both gotten to take her on pony rides!
I thought it would be fun to do a top 10 for the year, or maybe 11 for 2011. But it was too hard to condense the year and narrow down my pictures that much. So here are 18 pictures to recap 2011. It doesn’t have quite the same ring as a “top 10” or “11 for ’11” would, but oh well. As you can tell, we had a lot of fun in 2011. And this doesn’t even include all our park playdates, or our trips to the Children’s Museum, the Georgia Aquarium, and Zoo Atlanta, or all her playtime at home, playing dress-up and doing arts and crafts, or a bunch of other random fun we’ve had throughout the year. But it covers most of the big highlights from the year I think. I’m looking forward to 2012 being another great year, and hoping to keep up even better with this blog in 2012.
We started the year with a snow storm in Georgia that had us homebound for almost a week! But we did have fun playing out in the yard! Andrea still talks about it.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Partly just busy with Christmas and then my parents flew in for a visit, plus I also had a hard drive fail that slowed me down even further. But now I’m back in business! I thought I’d do a big dump of Christmas stuff, and then I have some more posts in the pipeline…
For a little while, I was nervous that Andrea wouldn’t have many presents to open under the tree to open, since Santa was bringing her the princess dollhouse castle, and Paul and I just had a couple other things for her (a cheap camera and the Holiday Barbie that she asked for). But between our extended family and a few little things I picked up, she was totally spoiled. She got princess stuff galore of course, and my parents surprised us all with a ride-on Jeep for her!
This year, she really understood everything, and Christmas was so magical for her. She was obsessed with Rudolph and “his reindeer friends”. When she woke up on Christmas morning, the first thing she wanted to do was go see if Rudolph had eaten the reindeer treats she left. What a sweet girl. 🙂
Here are some highlights from Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, and the following days…
She was an angel in our church’s Christmas Eve performance. She was super adorable and sang Away in a Manger with all the kids. This picture cracks me up though – when everyone applauded she covered her ears. (She doesn’t like loud sounds.)
When we got home, we made sugar cookies for Santa. Andrea put on her reindeer antlers to help me.
We put out the cookies and milk for Santa, plus some reindeer food on the special “Reindeer Treats” plate they made at school.