Monday, February 8, 2010

Elise's Fourth Birthday

Elise's fourth birthday has come and gone, and what a week it was! Grandma Bourdon came for a visit and we had a busy time with lots of activities.

The week started with a ski trip to Blackcomb. Elise is progressing in leaps and bounds and this day was special. She skied down beside the Magic Chair three times on her own without any physical contact from either Grandma or myself. She was visibly pleased with herself and kept exclaiming, "I'm doing it all by myself". It was a great time, but Elise was not pleased when I told her we'd have to wait until after the Olympics to try again, due to the incredibly restrictive parking regulations that are about to go into place.

Riding the Magic Chair with Grandma.


Skiing "Hocus Pocus" with Grandma.


This movie shows Elise skiing Hocus Pocus, her first time down the run without any help.

video

The next event was the Olympic torch relay. We learned that the relay would go past our house so we made a point of trying to get out and see the display. There was a lot of vague communication regarding the timing so we wandered around the neighbourhood and waited on the corner for some time to no avail. Pam went off to an appointment and Elise, Grandma and I went back inside. We heard quite a commotion from the street, so we dashed back outside just in time to watch the torch parade make its way down Guilford, right beside our house! It was a moment to remember, for sure. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures as it was after dark.

Elise, Pam and Grandma waiting for the Olympic torch on the corner of Guilford and Westway in Valleycliffe, Squamish.



Elise has been attending gymnastics classes at our local recreation centre. It seems to me that her climbing skills are not translating very well to proficiency at the various gymnastic tricks, but part of that problem seems to stem from her lack of focus. She rushes from apparatus to apparatus and rarely tries to be very careful about what she is doing. Also, her listening skills need work. While the other kids watch the instructor carefully, Elise tends to spin around and look at the ceiling, rarely keeping her focus. Maybe she just has too much energy!

Here she is hanging from the bars. The instructor had them squeeze a stuffed animal between their legs and "throw" it into a hoop. This proved to be a challenging coordination test for most!


This is Elise on the balance beam, which is covered in stuffed animals. Elise tends to rush and occasionally jumps off the beam just for fun. She doesn't seem to understand the staying on the beam is the goal. As long as she's having fun...


The final, and most important, event of the week was Elise's fourth birthday. She's at an age where she totally "gets it" and we counted the number of sleeps all week long. She loves to party and was beside herself with anticipation.

She woke early on the 7th (her birthday) and we went out for a pancake breakfast at White Spot. Afterward, we came home and opened gifts. She got so many wonderful presents it's impossible to list them all here, but thanks to everyone for the thoughtful gifts. Here she is opening her Russian doll (a wooden doll that has multiple layers).


Here she is posing with two of her other gifts, a princess dress and a glass dolphin.


We spent the rest of the morning baking her cake. Pam did the grunt work (baked the cakes and made the frosting) and I did the structural design. She requested a starfish cake so I made a template and built a five-legged creature. It was tedious work, but it seemed to turn out quite well and was a hit at the party. After her nap, I took her to the pool for a pre-party swim, which was a nice father-daughter activity before the mayhem of the evening commenced.

The party started at 5:30 pm and the kids really enjoyed playing together. We had a pot luck dinner while the kids tore around the house and formed a loud marching band in the hallway. Here Elise is waiting for her cake. Kayan (the little boy in front) couldn't contain himself and had to help blow out the candles - all four of them!


The party went well and there were no major incidents. The kids tore apart Elise's room (as was to be expected) and the adults enjoyed socializing. Afterward, we cleaned up the house and read Elise some stories from her new books. She was thoroughly exhausted. At bedtime, she asked me, "how many sleeps until I turn five?" I replied, "just enjoy being four for now Honey, five is a long way off". As she lay down she said, "next year can you make me a rainbow trout cake?" Now that will be a challenge!


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