Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Birthday letter to my Clara Joy

Dearest Clara Joy, Kekai, Chunky,

You are two my darling girl! And in just this past year, you have given us a whole new perspective on life, love, communication, sacrifice, hard work, determination and lots and lots of reasons to rejoice.

You love to laugh. Watching kids play or chase each other always tickles you to giggles. Your favorite thing to do after breakfast is have me give you your ninja turtle multivitamin. Your most prized possessions are your blanket and bottle, and you sleep so well having both of them tight in your arms. You have to fall asleep with your brother on his bed. And why not? He is your best friend and you adore him. More than anything, you love to hold pens and draw on every.single.thing. But you are learning that I don't like that, so you hide behind the TV and color where I can't see you. You can hold your pens perfectly, which I love. You like to flip through manuals more than read books. Except for music books. You love those. You hate wearing pants and hike them up to your thighs. You have learned to take off your diaper, and roam free as can be. You are an excellent climber. You have learned to get on top of the washer and dryer, climb up the fridge and into the towel closet where you like to hide. You are freakishly strong and can often get up off the floor with just using your legs to push you up.

You are so beautiful. You have the nicest shaped eyes with the most gorgeous brown color. You have a cute little freckle on your cheek, and nice olive skin with a killer smile. No joke, when we are out in public, someone almost always comments on you and how beautiful you are.

You love magnets, balloons, necklaces and hats. Oh, how you love hats. You find all your favorites and wear them all day. Sometimes you'll hand us all one to wear with you, and we always oblige. You love music and have great rhythm. Your favorite songs to listen to are from the movie SING. When Ash's song comes on, you start to stomp your foot in tune with her, clap on beat and them jump around like crazy. It is theeeeee cutest thing to watch and we adore your energy. You are like your brother, where you can memorize movies fast. But in your case, you know all the parts where people jump, clap, yell, scream or laugh.

You sleep like a champ and eat like one too. You have not gotten sick nearly as much as your brother did, and you handle not feeling well like a pro. You love so much to be outside. You thrive there and truly come alive. Your favorite thing is to be in our backyard. You will collect rocks, cherries or small pieces of wood and hold them in your hands for hours, unless you need to put them down, you will come and give them to me. You could sit in our sandbox and play in it all day. You love to pull the lid on top of you and hide there with all of your toys, and enjoy feeling the sand on your face. You could play in the hot sun or the pouring rain and be content.

You are hard to go shopping with bc you always want to be held. I use suckers as my secret weapon to get you to just sit and be calm, or let you munch on grapes. Those work well. You do fine with strangers for the most part and are a good little girl when in nursery or being babysat. You always hate when your special needs teachers show up, but always warm right up to them and enjoy to sit in their laps.

You still don't talk. But you babble. A LOT. And sometimes it's super load and non stop. Which I usually love. You can say: Go, Bye, Boo. Which sounds like : guh, buh, and buh. :) You are getting so much better at signing. But you use the sign for "food" as your "please"  or " I want " sign for everything. We are working on that. You love to be tickled and rocked to sleep, and playing chase with brother is the best. Oh, and hide and seek with daddy. Oh daddy. You are so weird about me being with dad. You are possessive of us both, so it depends on the day. But you hate when we hug, hold hands or touch in any way. You cry, run over to us and try to rip us apart. You then want daddy to hold you and only you, and then it will switch to me me, depending on who you want that day.

You do great on car rides and even better when we have the tablet playing a movie for you. You really love to watch movies, especially Finding Dory or Curious George Halloween. You realize what is on, smile huge, and then run closer to the TV with pure joy and excitement!

Man we love you. We know that you struggle to communicate, and that it is very hard for you when we can't do so effectively. We know you have a good heart. You always kiss us whenever you get in trouble, and love to give hugs. We know you are our "calm waters", bc you often are so steady and tranquil when other things in life are loud and unstable. We know we are on a journey that we both don't fully understand, but you are so worth it.

My baby girl, please know that no matter how hard it may be, momma will always fight for you, protect you, be your advocate, guide, and walk to the ends of the earth for you. Whenever it is lonely, scary, loud, confusing or hard, we will be by your side forever. I want nothing more than to see you be happy and succeed and be who you truly are. You are doing so well in so many ways, and I can't wait to see how you progress and learn in this upcoming year. You have such a special spirit and have taught me to love in ways I had no idea were possible. God sent you to us to make our family strong and to show us that through Him, all things are possible. You are my sunshine and my special unicorn.

I love you forever and always.


Saturday, September 16, 2017

Unicorn party! (part 2 of Clara)

Oh my! Clara's birthday party was so fun. Erwin has always lamented the fact that Wa'a got a huge 1st birthday party, but Clara did not. Erwin also loves his special little girl, so he was more than okay with planning a big 2nd birthday party for her.
It took quite a bit of work and planning. But the hardest part was figuring out what to theme her party. I felt so sad at first that Erwin and I couldn't think of anything super concrete for her. Since she doesn't talk or show consistent interest in any one thing, we felt lost on having a party that shows who she is.
Then, it hit me. Call it cheesy or cliche, but when I saw unicorn pictures and supplies, it hit me!
I wanted to theme her party representing who she IS to us, and not what she likes.

Clara Joy is our unicorn. She is different from all the other horses. She is special, colorful, unique and one of a kind. She is beautiful and has a spirit that is quite magical, yet not in the least tamed. Not everyone understands the unicorn but most desire to be in the presence of the gorgeous creature, and that is how I feel about her. Cheesy? I don't care. It comforts me.

So we went all out for our little unicorn girl. We pulled off a great fun party, and had Ally, the Rivas' and my mom come. It was so fun, and we all had a great time celebrating her.

There were colorful decorations everywhere.
Unicorn balloons, plates, cups and napkins.
Unicorn cupcakes and cupcake holders and toppers.
A colorful and beautiful balloon arch
Unicorn blow ups
Unicorn suckers
Unicorn headbands for the kids to wear

We ate her favorite foods! Spaghetti, garlic bread, jello, corn and fruit. It was so yummy and we all gobbled up the food.

For an activity, we had the kids do what Clara loves! And that is stringing beads! So I had a cute set of beads for all the kids (adults too!) to make their own necklaces and bracelets. That was a a good time, and the end results were fun to see.

She got perfect gifts from everyone! And I really mean perfect. We felt so blessed to have everyone support her and show their love for her and have a good time all together in her honor.

Happy 2nd birthday my darling.

Clara got her own special unicorn outfit and headband. I was dying over how cute she looked!

The balloon arch and unicorn balloon

The wall decor

Unicorn hangings from the ceiling

Birthday banner and unicorn blow ups

kids table

Getting ready to eat

Waiting to be sung to!

Her cupcake tower was darling

Three generations <3
Lena's pretty bracelet she made

Waa beading his bracelet

Ta da!

Aunty Cami helping and also making her own

Finished product

Hanging out and enjoying cupcakes

Gift time!

This makes me giggle. 

More beading!

Nana playing with Clara and her new gift!

Unicorn girl and her posse. 

See their cute little unicorn headbands? 

Up close of the cupcake. Each one had pretty sprinkles on it.

Enjoying the unicorn suckers

Another great gift from Zempos