Happy 5th Birthday Remy!
Last Friday, a few school friends bounced by Spider Monkey to celebrate Remy's upcoming fifth birthday! One of her favorite activities, after art and playing Shopkins or Calico Critters, is JUMPING!
Her May birthday always seems to fall on, or near, busy Mother's Day weekends and gets shuffled in with the graduation parties and other Taurus birthdays that seem to be bountiful, but we always have seemed to create a special day for her and carve out time to do a bit of partying. This year, I was such a procrastinator in planning that all the weekend slots were booked up and the place I had in mind to do the party turned out to be incredibly pricey and NOT what we wanted, and at the last minute, I found out about Spider Monkey randomly in a search on my phone for jumpy places about a week before! We were left with the selection of a Friday night which actually turned out just great since the primary guest we wanted to have there was her Baba, and seeing as he coaches soccer on weekends, a Friday night seemed to be best for us. We also seemed to have the place ALMOST to ourselves!
Although there wasn't much family at this year's party, we will see family at various times in the coming weeks, (I also have THREE nieces with birthdays this weekend!!!) we opted to make this more about her and her classmates she has become companions with over the last year. One of the great things for her in having her birthday fall at the end of the school year, is that she has plenty of time to socialize and build friendships and relationships over the year and really get to know people. Also makes it tough saying, "goodbye," like we had to do today after her Pre-K graduation. I got a teensy bit emotional hugging her teachers today whom I have grown to just admire so much and completely and FULLY trust in teaching and guiding my daughters. (Arlo is blessed to be able to go there next year!) I am happy I will get to see all of those incredible women again very soon. Each day she was at Holy Love Lutheran, she was immersed in spirituality, creativity and in a warm, nurturing, encouraging learning environment. She completed her first ever "Workbook," which I want to flip through one of these nights, and today we were sent home with a binder with I have a slight idea about as I turned to just the first page and had to stop myself because it is one of those things I want to be completely focused on, have a glass of wine, silence, and dive into alone one night. The thoughtfulness and details and effort and energy all of the teachers and administration put into each minute they are present at Holy Love is evident in the many crafts and projects I have accumulated, as well as her happiness, growth and knowledge gained from her attendance here.
Funny story: I wasn't honestly actively searching a pre school for Remy or looking to send her. We had a brief stint with pre school, not pre-K when she was two and half and we only lasted a couple months before I pulled her out and decided I was her best teacher at home until Kindergarten. One afternoon we found ourselves at Panera Bread in Centennial and the girls were walking up and cooing and oohing at a baby at a nearby table while I tried to coax them back to sit for lunch. A couple of ladies at a booth behind me complimented me not he girls and asked if they attended pre-school. I said they did not and mentioned I wasn't sure if I was planning on it because of the cost and the fact that I'm a stay-at-home-mother. They encouraged me to call and look into it. that afternoon I called and found out more about the school, and before long we had been blessed enough to get a spot and have her registered for the following fall year. God has a plan- trust that. No wait lists, no headaches, no searching, it literally came to us. And so thankful.
Remy's biggest lessons this year were not just in learning the alphabet, but discovering how complicated, how fruitful, how beautiful, saddening, maddening, and yet fun friendships are. Most of her bad days could be attributed to a disagreement over friendships and relationships with classmates. So-and-so was HER friend and how dare she play with someone else. Or, so-and-so wants to be her friend and talk to her all the time and sit next to her for everything, but she would rather be buddy buddy with so-and-so. Or, so-and-so and she were just becoming greta friends like she had planned on for so long, but then that person's best bud came back from vacation and broke up that closeness. Most of Remy's frowny days predictably came down to these sorts of lessons in socialization, a part of maturing and blossoming as a tiny person. She is very likable and friendly to EVERYONE, and seems that is where she is missing out on forming deep bonds with a select few. Instead, I notice she be-bops between groups of friends and on the couple of rare occasions I was able to see her in class, she seems to really truly follow the beat of her own drum, essentially getting her art and crafts in and flitting from one activity to another that suits her. I can only hope and pray the Lord continues to strengthen her innate sense of independence and leadership while softening the blows that seem to strike her when she is confronted with the fact that not everyone wants to play her games or follow her script.
She is a playful, sweet spirit. Smart, witty and full of life. She loves to perform songs for us at home, yet is disliking photos and videos when she spots me clicking. She is blossoming into an incredible big sister, genuinely excited and happy for Arlo in things she accomplishes outside of her and happy to hear about our time together when she is in school. The other night she encouraged Arlo to recite her favorite book, "Miss Nelson is Missing," if you caught that on my Insta stories! Each time Arlo read a line aloud, Remy would come over and kiss her head and whisper in her ear to keep going. Then she said, "I love Arlo..." I always follow up phrases like that with, "And she loves you! She looks up to you! You're sisters. You each others' best friend first and foremost." Of course they bicker and fight, but they're also inseparable!
We are very much looking forward to summers spent outside in the back yard! We cleaned off the patio furniture last week and they have already spent a few days out in the back yard in their bathing suits just being. Come fall I will have TWO tots in session for a few hours a day. Guess it's time to start jotting down a few ideas on what the means for ME.
Friday is her REAL fifth birthday and I couldn't be more PORUD and happy in the girl she is today! I am very blessed. As I always say they drive me CRAZY, but I love them so much and happy they're mine.
Here's some photos from her little after-school party and a fun video! A HUGE thank you to all of her little buddies and (cuzzies) that could make it and also to the ones she has made this year and learned so much from. What an unforgettable fourth year she had.
She is wearing a unicorn headband, I honestly forgot where we found it, but similar here. Her dress is from an Etsy shop, and I think they are on a pause now, but this skirted leotard would be a great option for a birthday party involving gymnastics or bouncing!