Sunday, March 3, 2013

Ava's Birthday Celebration (Part three)

For Ava's actual birthday day we traveled to the happiest place on earth- Disney World! We actually checked in to the hotel the night before her birthday and had a surprise gift from Minnie Mouse waiting for her. The next day we headed to The Magic Kingdom!

First on our list of Ava's birthday activities was breakfast at the Crystal Palace with a few friends from the Hundred Acre Woods. They helped Ava celebrate with Mickey Mouse confetti and baked yummies! Unfortunately for them, Ava was not willing to share.

After filling our tummies, we headed to Main Street for Ava's first professional haircut. I had (of course) booked everything far in advance and had told them it was her birthday but even I was surprised when the colorful quartet strolled in to sing her Happy Birthday!

Ava is pretty fearless when it comes to rides. However, she doesn't seem to like Buzz Lightyear's ride at all. And, of course, It's a Small World remains her favorite.

After a quick dip in the pool, we headed to Downtown Disney for her birthday dinner. It was pretty low-key- just the three of us. We had bigger plans for later in the week.

The next day we visited Hollywood Studios. Ava enjoyed playing on the "Honey I Shrunk the Kids" playground and meeting a few characters from her favorite morning shows like Jake and the Neverland Pirates. The highlight of her day however, was probably seeing "The Little Mermaid" live! From the moment it started she was mesmerized. And when the bubbles floated down from the ceiling she squealed in delight! When it finished, the first words out of her mouth were: Again!

That night, we had dinner at Ohana's at the Polynesian Resort. There was so much food brought to our table for just the two (and a half) of us to eat that we started to feel a bit guilty. We asked the server what happened to all of the food that didn't get eaten. Did they give it to a homeless shelter? Did they take it home themselves? They said they threw it all away! There were bowls of food we never even touched! It seemed so wasteful to us both that we decided- even though we love the pineapple dessert- we could never in good conscience eat there again.

After dinner, we headed back to the Magic Kingdom to watch the Electrical Light Parade. Ava loved it! We now have the music downloaded to her ipod.

On Friday we headed to Epcot to ride Finding Nemo! Ava loves the movie Finding Nemo. Her Auntie Jen gave her a four piece playset back at Christmas and Ava has taken them everywhere. So she was pretty excited to ride it. But first, I stood in line to meet "the characters" while Ava and her Daddy went to the imagination station to check things out. Eventually they caught up with me just in time to be next in line to meet "The Mouse". Ava ran to him as if they were old friends. She chatted him up and gave him kisses. Everyone around us "oohed" and "aahed". Next was Minnie, and Ava did the same. She was pretty much friendly to all of the characters except Donald Duck. She wasn't terribly interested in him. Oddly enough, she wasn't that interested in Daisy Duck either. What does she have against ducks?

She loved the Finding Nemo ride! There was no line which helped because as soon as we stepped off the ride she said "again!" We happily obliged.

We strolled through the World Showcase for a bit and shared a pastry from France. As we left the park, Ava had yet another birthday treat- a Mickey Mouse ice cream bar! I mean, really, you can't travel to Disney World and not have one, right?

Saturday was another big day. We were meeting friends at Animal Kingdom for a day of fun, followed by a magical birthday party at Chef Mickey's at the Contemporary Hotel. Ava loved the Kilimanjaro safari and informed everyone around us that the animals lived on a savannah- Thank you Baby Einstein. We met up with our friends and strolled about the park a bit more. We met Minnie Mouse at Camp Mickey and a few other friends. Then we headed to the dinosaur portion of the park. She wanted to ride the Primeval Whirl but was too small. At first we thought it might get ugly but she finally settled for the TricerTop Spin. Shortly after we headed back to the hotel to clean up for dinner.

Ava celebrated her second birthday with some of her closest friends and family plus Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy. We all had a blast! Disney really knows how to make a girl feel special. Ava had her own place setting. She was "oohed" and "aahed" over, Mickey and Minnie played and danced with her. They sang to her. But I think the highlight was the awesome cake they made. Ava was definitely one special, little birthday girl that evening. It was a great way to end the week of activities and celebrate our baby girl's second birthday. We are grateful for our friends who traveled near and far to spend the day with us. But we did eventually have to say goodnight. Tam did have the Princess Half Marathon to run in the morning after all.

Is it too early to start planning for next year?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Ava's Birthday Celebration Part two

Tam began planning Ava's birthday party months before the actual event so we are not surprised that she developed a new interest in the interim. Unfortunately, the ball was rolling for the Minnie Mouse themed party.  So despite her new found love for anything Thomas the Train, we moved forward with our plans.

Lucky for Ava she has Aunts who adore her and wanted to grant her wish for a Thomas the Train birthday party! She's not spoiled at all.  The Sunday following her first party, we headed south to attend Ava's second, 2nd Birthday Party. 

They really did a great job, too! There was a huge train station set up in one room with tons of trains and accessories for Ava and her cousins to play with. They made mini sandwiches shaped like people to ride Thomas the Train. The centerpiece of the table was a Thomas the Train mountain set complete with a Birthday Thomas the Train for the birthday girl! Everything was done up in Thomas colors of red and blue. The party favors were even in Thomas shaped gift boxes full of trinkets and candy!

Ava's favorite gift was a "fish tank" her Uncle John gave her.

The cake was also perfect. Ava especially liked that it turned her tongue blue. Of course, it just wouldn't be a party without a little excitement. While we were there the field across from my sister's home caught fire and the firetrucks were called to the scene. Ava didn't mind. While everyone else was busy watching the firefighters, she was eating everyone's cake!

I'm pretty sure I had a desk like this when I was little :)

Next stop Disney World where Ava will have her third (and final) birthday celebration with 13 of her closest friends! Oh, and did we mention Mickey and Minnie will be there?

Ava's Birthday Celebration (part one)

I cannot believe my baby is two! What an incredible journey the last three years have been. How blessed are we? We have a wonderful, beautiful, inelligent, affectionate little girl and we have each other. We feel pretty lucky.

This month we celebrated Ava's birthday in typical fashion with three birthday parties and a trip to Disney World. In all fairness, we would have had to go to Disney regardless because Tam was running in the Princess Half Marathon again. So what better excuse for Ava to see The Mouse.  For this post we will focus on the Minnie Mouse themed party Ava had with her friends.

By now you are all aware of Tam's party-planning tendencies. If she ever wanted a career change I think "party planner" would be an excellent option. Or possibly accountant (She also loves to manage money.)

Tam ordered a lot of the supplies this year but she did make a few accessories like the Minnie Mouse topiary.

We invited four girls to the party and unfortunately two became ill the day before. They sure missed a great time! Ava, Ariana and Zooey had the run of the place and they took full advantage of it. There was plenty of "toddler-friendly" food, toys to play with and of course, cupcakes!!!

The set up

The food

The cake

Trying to be delicate...

Attacking the cupcake!

Ava's new ride!

Happy Birthday Baby!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Happy New Year Everyone!

This month Team Johnson focused on selecting a quality school for Ava to attend once she turns two. We decided that she really needed more interaction with children (despite the risk of exposure to illness and the great job her nanny was doing) and began interviewing local schools.

We literally investigated dozens before deciding on one and we're quite happy with our selection. She will only attend three days per week but we think it will help with some social skills.

We also put the finishing touches on Ava's second birthday party. Ava is having a Minnie Mouse party with three of her closest girlfriends. Tam, of course, has had most of it planned for weeks now but she has entered the execution phase of the project. It seems that nearly every day something or other is arriving for the event.

A few January events:
* We gave Ava her first bubble bath. Let me re-phrase that: We tried to give Ava her first bubble bath. We thought she would be excited but when Tam tried to put her in the tub she screamed "No! No! No!" and refused to put her feet down. Tam had to drain the tub and fill it up with plain, suds-free water. (She did eventually take a bubble bath and enjoy it. But not on this first attempt).

* Ava has a pair of red and white striped pajama pants and a white tee that whenever she wears them she runs around singing the "Olivia" song and reminds us she looks like Olivia. For those of you without children or who just have no idea what we are talking about, Olivia is a pretty little pig in a book series we read to Ava. It's pretty cute, check it out.

* Ava has also started asserting her independence but not always in a nice way I'm afraid.  She has begun telling people to "back off!" and "Don't touch me!" We truly have no idea where she gets this from as neither of us speak to her (or anyone else for that matter) like this. We discussed with her that her behavior was mean so she began saying "Back Off!" and then adding the sweetest little "please" at the end. Well played Ava. Well played.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Ringing in the New Year!

Gone are the days of late night New Year's Eve parties with friends. In the "old days" we would invite friends over to the house for a late dinner and drinks followed by drunken Wii game playing and staying up until the wee hours of the morning and feeling blessed to have such wonderful, weird friends. We are still blessed. Just now our dinner is served by six o'clock and the New Year is rung in by eight. There is no game playing unless you count the game of getting Ava's teeth brushed, jammies on and "wound down" enough to actually go to sleep? Here are a few pics to document the evenings events.

This is Ava heading to dinner at Piesano's (her favorite).

Giving her Daddy a New Year's Eve kiss.
Best two apps for the IPAD we ever bought: Elmo and a piano.
Ava's first Apple Cider Champagne toast!
Not quite sure how to "sip" it, so....
We sipped it from a straw!

We (sans Ava) did make it to midnight...barely. 2011 was a good year for us, we can hardly wait to see what 2012 has in store!