Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mallory's Splish Splash 2nd Birthday Bash

There's no time like the present to get started, so here goes nothing. I know my last post (well, the last post before the last one :) was about November of last year. So, I'm a bit behind. But since I feel like I might never get caught up, I figured I'd just start now, and work backwards. And maybe forwards when I have a new even to blog about. Confusing, but hey, that's just sort of my life sometimes!
So, Mallory's birthday is August 21st. That falls over Friendship Fest (I'll blog about that next) here at Yokota, so we had her party the weekend before her birthday. This year's theme was "Splish Splash Birthday Bash". We set up several kiddy pools, a slip and slide, a bubble table, a fishing pole game, some squirt guns and a tent with food and drinks and let the kids have fun. They most definitely did!
Ali and Rowan (and her mama) playing in the big pool
The snack table.
I had "water themed" snacks: cheetos=coral, gummy worms=bait, pretzels=driftwood, twizzlers=fishing poles, "seashell" pasta, "captain" crunch, nilla wafers and icing=oysters, fruit loops=life preservers, marshmellows=floaties...you get the idea

The cupcake stand with personalized cupcake decor
Cupcakes, fruit tray, and presents. I'd told our friends they didn't have to bring gifts, but could donate to the Japan earthquake relief fund in Mallory's name if they would like. We got gifts anyway, and some donations too. We have very generous friends!
Some of the parents hanging out under the tent
The Pease Place Possy
Rowan, Ali and Mallory LOVED the big pool!
Ring toss in the pool!
Tristan and Conner playing at the water table
Chillin' in the pool
Kirsten had a whole new use for the slip and slide- a water fountain!

Checking out the slip and slide. Mallory didn't really want to slip or slide, but just wanted to walk up and down and get all wet from the water spraying up.

Snack time!
My little 2 year old- all wet!
Squirt gun wars
Kirsten, Mallory and Rowan having a serious conversation about...something
Mike was telling Mallory she is "2". Mallory was trying to hold up 2 fingers just like Mike.
My little fishie
Dada and Mallory
Cupcake time!
My sweet family
Mallory's birthday banner, and a delicious cupcake (I think that was her favorite part of the party)
After her friends left, Mallory wanted to keep playing in the water.
Hanging out in the tent with the neighbors after the party
After the party, and a nap, Mallory opened a few of her gifts. She was funny and wanted to "read" the cards herself.
She got a cool new guitar from her friend Haley. This qualifies as the loudest gift she received, but she loves it!
A new Mrs Potato Head, also a gift from Haley.
Mrs Potato Head's glasses on my little chubby cheeked girl
I'd made her a party hat to wear at the party, but forgot to put it on her, so I took so pictures of her in it later.
A girl and her doggie
She was tired after the party, so we said she could open 1 gift each day, until the next weekend, when her real birthday was (the 21st). So, the next day when Daddy got home from work the first thing she wanted to do was choose a present to open! So many to pick from!
Again, reading her cards
You can have the paper Dada.

Wonder what's in this one.
A new Elmo coloring book and crayons. Very much a hit! She LOVES Elmo!

She also got a Baby Tickle Me Elmo. She was a bit scared of him at first, but warmed right up and was excited.
Talking to and tickling Elmo

Elmo laughs when you tickle his toes. She was trying to get Elmo to eat her own toes- ha!

She had a great birthday and is a very happy, healthy, friendly 2 year old little girl. We feel blessed to have her in our lives, and to have so many great friends to help celebrate her birthday with us. Thanks to each of you, and Happy Birthday Mallory!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Happy Birthday #2 Mally-Moo!

Oh wow! "Behind" doesn't even begin to describe this blog and I swear, one day soon, I WILL catch up. But, tonight, while it is still fresh on my mind, I just had to write a birthday letter to my baby girl, who isn't so much a baby anymore as a sweet little girl.
It's hard to believe that 2 years have already gone by since Mallory Isabella Cochran entered this world. I remember the exact moment she was born like it was yesterday, and I know I always will. The moment they laid her on my chest I felt a flood of emotion and the purest form of love- like I've never, ever felt before. I knew at that moment that I had just been given the biggest blessing and gift of my entire life. Here it is, 2 years later, and that sweet gift just gets sweeter by the day. Seriously.
I LOVE babies and there is nothing like holding a newborn in your arms (our neighbors here just had a baby 3 weeks ago, so I've been freshly reminded of that newborn sweetness). I thought that was the best stage. Then she reached the smiling at you stage- that seemed the best. Then she could sit up and coo at you- loved that. Then crawling, getting teeth, making messes and cute faces while eating solid food, walking, talking- each one seemed like "the best" milestone. Each stage and milestone add so much to her amazing personality and I each one just adds to my joy of being Mallory's mother. Watching her grow and change every day just brings a smile to my face.
I know that 2 year olds come with challenges (I've already picked her flailing self
up off the floor of the post office and hauled her out like a football) but man, does it come with lots of fun too! I love having "conversations" with her and understanding things she says. Just last night she held her sippy cup up to my coke can and said "Cheers Mommy!" and then followed it up with "Kumpai!" (Japanese for cheers- I have NO IDEA she knew that)!! I love watching her play and playing with her. Solving a wooden puzzle, having a tea party, cooking pretend food or even watching an episode of Sesame Street have never been this much fun before! I love seeing how excited she gets to go to school and see her friends, or go swimming in our backyard pool or play with Mavie dog. I love how she wants to help me do everything these days- feed the dog, sweep the floor, take out the trash- she's always trying to help and is so sweet natured.
She has grown up and changed so much in these past 2 years and I just love being her Mama. I'll admit I got a little bit teary eyed when I put her to bed last night, the last night before she turned 2, because she is growing up and changing right before our eyes. But, I reminded myself that watching her grow and change is the most amazing thing ever.
I pray that as she grows, she becomes the amazing woman I know she was born to be. I pray that she becomes a Godly woman, who respects herself and others. I pray that she sees not only her beauty outside, but inside herself as well. I pray that she is intelligent and uses her brain and skills to help others in need, and knows to put others before herself. I pray that she will become a Godly woman who gets just what she deserves out of life, and makes the most of every moment.
Being a mama can be tough, and demanding, and tiring and draining, but it is so worth it. There is never a moment so bad that a hug, kiss and a "I wuv you mama" from her sloppy little chocolate pudding coated mouth can't fix. Mallory, thank you for making the last 2 years of my life the best 2 years ever. Happy Birthday baby girl. I love you to the moon and back and all around the sun- more than you will ever know!

Mallory @ 1 day old
Mallory @ 6 months old
Mallory @ 1 year oldMallory @18 months old Mallory @ 2 years old
Growing and changing into such a beautiful little girl. I love you with all my heart Mallory!!