Today kicked off the Halloween festivities for the week -- the Youville Halloween Party. Arden had a great time -- best trip to see Nonna yet. She was very little girl today ... interacting with the other residents, letting Nonna show her off, no hiding behind her moms.
I must say though, the best part of today was how happy Nonna was ... each person that came within 50 feet heard "these are my grandchildre and THIS is my great granddaughter." Utter joy.
Arden trick or treated, watched the magic show, got a balloon sword (naturally) and then we celebrated Nonna''s upcoming 92nd birthday with a great cake!
This post comes to you from a snowy OCTOBER afternoon. We''re hopeful that Mother Nature is getting the snow out of her system early this year, and we will have a dry winter. Is that what they call wishful thinking?
We have had a busy couple of months since Arden''s birthday. Charlie turned 4, we went to his party at Smolak Farms, we hit up the Topsfield Fair a couple of times, and are, of course, getting ready for Halloween.
Arden continues to thrive in school. She has been starting to write words other than her name...at the top of her list are Mommy and Mama, and this weekend''s favorite has been ''arm'' -- who knows, maybe I''ll get my National Spelling Bee champion after all ;-).
Arden offically turned 4 this weekend. Her actual birthday was, by request, low key. We offered up a fair, a movie, a trip to a special restaurant but she was more than content to just hang out at home in her jammies, playing with toys and watching movies. It has been awhile since we had done that, and we were happy to oblige.
Let the record show, though, at about 7:45pm when the sun was setting she sobbed that her birthday was ending and that ''we didn''t do anything.'' Sigh. 412 times of asking and getting "I want to stay home" ... she''s so special, our child.
We DID bake brownies together, and she no longer runs away when people sing Happy Birthday. Dare I say, she actually enjoys it now. And she is a pro at blowing out the candles.
Today Bobby and Mandy hosted another birthday party for her. She is so loved, this kid, and we appreciate all that everyone does for her. Oh how her world will be rocked when another child enters the picture, someday in the future.
These days Arden is still a big fan of pirates. Nearly every birthday card she received was a Pirates of the Caribbean card. Like Dora, and well, all of the Ferraris, she is a huge fan of Disney World. She has told us the money she got from her birthday will be saved for the next trip there, and collects coins (and sometimes dollar bills) in a backpack...all with the focus of Disney.
She is in the pre-kindergarten room at school, and now that she has settled in is quite thrilled. If only she could get those boys to understand that girls can play Spiderman too.
Arden is unique and wonderful. We often say shopping for Arden is not like shopping for other 3 or 4 year old girls. And you know what? That''s great. We love it. She is an incredibly cool child, and we are so very, very lucky to call her our own.
Saturday August 8th was the annual Futures at Fenway. Annette got tickets months ago, and we had a great time. I''m not sure anyone really paid attention to the baseball, per se, but the kids enjoyed all the other good things about Fenway, hot dogs, ice cream, peanuts...
Arden''s 4th birthday just ahead of us. Her big birthday party is on the 15th. She has requested a Ghost Party. Naturally. We deduce this was inspired by the Haunted Mansion ride at Disney World. Annette discovered, just in time, I might add, the Monster Mini Golf place in Danvers. They have a party room.
This week will be dedicated to the making of the requested cake. A chocolate one, with a ''stinky pirate, nice ghost, and a baseball.'' She and I head for the store today to get supplies. We''ll do that, Dora will do the baking a decorating. A fair trade, don''t you agree?
We spent a blissful 2 weeks at Arlington Lake with Grandma Mary and Nonno. Arden spent two weeks in her swimsuit on her own private beach, finding pirate treasure while kayaking with Uncle Bobby, making Hippo food with Mandy, floating on a raft with Mommy and overall loving being the center of attention (as if that''s not normally the case). We roasted marshmallows on the gas stove to avoid mosquitoes, spent lots of time with friends and family, played a lot of indoor and outdoor games. A wonderful time was had by all, so thanks to Mary and Bob!!!!
We''ve just returned from Disney World. Dora had a conference so Arden and I tagged along for some Disney fun. Thanks to the crazy specials Disney is running we managed to stay a week at no extra cost!
Arden continues to be an adrenaline junkie as well as a pirate junkie. We went on Pirates of the Caribbean 12 times. Yep. 12. This time she was also tall enough to go on Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain, as well as Soarin'' and Test Track over at Epcot. She loved Thunder and Splash, though, like Dora, hated the fact that she got wet. You know, on the water ride.
Soarin'' was a HUGE hit with her and Test Track, which freaked me out, had her screaming for more.
Of all the characters, Mulan was the one she wanted to meet. We called and found out she was at Epcot at a certain time. All through lunch it was "is it 3 yet? is it 3?" We finally headed for China, where we were told we would find Mulan and the child, who was dressed in her special Mulan hairdo and clothes, buried her head in my shoulder and claimed she was ''too tired and needed to go to her stroller to rest''. Yes folks, she was utterly, 100% starstruck. Mulan tried to coax her out of her shell but to no avail. Luckily thanks to a great photographer and a sneaky Mulan, we managed to get a couple of pictures without Arden being any the wiser.
We had a great trip and Arden is already asking to back to Disney...tomorrow. I told her we couldn''t go back since we spent all our money at Disney and she told me to go to work and work harder to make more money for Disney. I''d say Disney runs through her, wouldn''t you?
Today brought us the first really nice day of the year. Actually, we surpassed really nice and went straight for HOT.
We met up with Charlie and his parents for lunch at Cracker Barrel, then headed to a local park. They spent the first hour playing with their new bubble machines...frankly it was just too hot to do much beyond that. As it cooled they ran each other ragged. Then it was home for ice cream cones.
Another Easter come and gone...Grandma Mary and Nonno couldn''t stay away and came for several days.
Tis the beginning of a busy several weeks...Grandma Joanne and Pops will be coming in 3 weeks, and not long after that we''re heading to Disney yet again. Dora is going down for a conference and we decided to tag along. Turns out it''s during the buy 4 get 3 days free time, so the long weekend turned into "hey, we might as well stay the week!" Logical, no?
Dora will be busy in meetings during the day, so Arden and I will be left to our own devices, and we''ll have 3 or 4 days where Dora will be able to hang out with us.
In great news, we went to the pediatrician this week and Arden is now over 41 inches without shoes, meaning she is now free to ride Thunder Mountain. She''s thrilled, as it didn''t go over well last time that she had to miss out.
Arden at 3.5 is interesting. She''s hilarious, smart and can argue with the best of them. I wonder where she gets that ability...
Grandma and Nonno bought her a big girl trike while they were visiting, and she can fly on that thing. We take it over to the reservoir near our house and she goes for a mile at a time. If nothing else, she''ll whip both me and the dog into shape!
We''re looking forward to the first really nice, warm weekend of the year. I imagine the bike will get lots of use this weekend.
Arden has a team. We''re told that having an imaginary friend is a sign of intelligence. This must mean she is tremedously intelligent, since she has an entire team.
They come and go, this team. Last I heard we had left them in Vegas.
They reappeared this week, and have been going to school with Arden. She is quick to clarify is that while she is not on the team, she is the boss. Some are small, small enough to fit in the Mr. Bubble bottle, while others are bigger. They jump in and out of the car when we are driving, and demand mcnuggets when they are hungry.
No one can say she doesn''t have a vivid imagination.
It is pitiful how long it has been since we updated the site!! We''re without a camera right now, aside from our phones, and well, that takes the whole "email it to the computer so I can upload it from there step" -- indeed though, I should do that.
A funny story from today -- we watched the inauguration on Tuesday. Arden told me that night she wanted to be president. She told Dora yesterday morning. This morning, she asked for a donut. We said no, they aren''t good for your body, we only have those as special treats. The conversation:
"But I need a donut so I can grow up to be strong and the President."
"The President doesn''t eat donuts, he exercises and plays basketball"
"I need to go find my basketball."
Oh and then she wore a tie to school today, "like" she said..."the president."
Arden implores Obama to give Hillary an important job when he becomes president. Trust me on this.
Anyway, we figured it was important to note the first time Arden threatened to run away, at the ripe old age of 3. She stormed off, offended yesterday, up the stairs, cursing us under her breath (oh thank heaven for the monitor) - with a "leaving and I''m never going to talk to Mama or Mommy EVER AGAIN!!!"
In good news though, she''s quite good with a rake and is really into picking up leaves.
Arden had a great Halloween. This is the first year she''s really cared, and oh how she loved trick or treating! We covered our neighborhood in about an hour. She wouldn''t let me carry her bag (moms are not trustworthy, you know), even as it got heavier and heavier.
She has had a weeklong Halloween, starting with trick or treating at Nonna''s last Saturday, a parade at school on Thursday and then the real thing on Friday. ACTUALLY she really started back at Disney World when we went to Mickey''s Not so Scary Halloween party (twice). :-)
Arden would like to thank Nonno for his fantastic choice in candy bags...what better for a pirate than a pirate bag?
We had Arden''s 3 year well child visit this week. She''s doing swimmingly and continues to be at the top of the height chart. She had a shot and a blood draw and boy is she stoic. As soon as the ped finished, she just said "I need two stickers now."
We''re home from 9 days at Disney! Arden had a fabulous time.
Do not call her a princess, she is a pirate. Ask her, she''ll tell you.
Her favorite ride is Pirates of the Carribean, closely followed by Buzz Lightyear.
She was overjoyed at Chef Mickey''s....LOVED meeting Mickey, Minnie and all that gang.
Not a fan of Cinderella''s mice...they will kiss you on the head and you will then have to spend the entire rest of the meal with one hand on your head...just in case they show up again.
She loved the petting zoo and Safari at Animal Kingdom and the Nemo ride at Epcot.
She got to ride in the nose of the monorail...big hit.
The kiddie roller coaster at the MK, she got to ride it over and over and over. And over.
The Halloween party was BEYOND worth the extra money...which is why we went twice. No lines for the rides people....no lines.
She really got into trick or treating ... and we have candy coming out our ears.
She LOVED the water parks....water slides and the big raft ride were a huge hit.
Overall it was a great trip...Arden burned the midnight oil night after night, the kid just kept on going. We had a wondeful surprise visit from Grandma Mary and Nonno for the first couple of days so they got to experience some of Arden''s first time at Disney.
Dora is ready to go back already. I''m still working on that. ;-)
Arden turned THREE a week ago. How is that possible?
She''s doing well, sassy as always. She requested trucks for her birthday and boy did people deliver, she is the proud owner of 4 (or more) new serious trucks as well as a matchbox track and car set that she absolutely loves. And that her dear Uncle and Mandy put together on the night of her birthday. Boy were we relieved not to have to do that!
She continues to have a seriously independent streak, which isn''t exactly surprising, is it?
We''re terrible at tracking milestones, but she talks a mile a minute and her brain is a scary, scary place that never forgets anything. Anything. She went to Fenway twice this summer, once for a game and once for the kids day at the park they do every year. She''s a big fan of baseball. She started swimming this summer at the local Y and has absolutely no fear of the water. She jumps in without any thought...tells us to scoot back....is an underwater champ. Formal swim lessons will probably happen this fall, after all, we''re training for her scholarship to Stanford (and the 2020 Olympics).
We head to Disney World this week -- we''re pretty sure she won''t want to leave. She constantly asks to go back to Canobie, which is just up the street from us. The kid loves her rides.
**I''ve uploaded pics and for whatever reason they are in a really screwy order...but it''s a look at her 3rd birthday.
We''re rocketing towards 3...only a month away, so hard to believe.
Grandma and Nonno are in town now, so Arden is running them off their feet for the next week and a half.
She regaled them today with her political knowledge (Hillary for President...mommy''s not quite ready to call it quits on Hillary yet ;-) ).
She''s quite the water lover, we go to the pool at the Y every weekend, she''s fearless in the water, which is good and bad. We''re thinking we should look at colleges with swimming scholarships. Stanford, perhaps.
As we were driving home last night, it was close to 9pm to it was dark and the moon was out. Arden was looking out the window, found the moon and said "you want to come home with us moon? okay, follow us home moon."
We just had a lovely visit with Grandma Joanne and Pops. Arden basked in the glow of being the only grandchild. She had her first swimming pool experience at their hotel and oh how she loved it. No fear at all. Her favorite thing was to climb out of the pool and jump back in (yes, I caught her) over and over and over.
We went to Canobie Lake Park and, as usual, Arden had a great time. Went on a couple of new rides which we hadn''t seen before, and of course all of her regular haunts.
It was a wonderful time and we were so sad to see Grandma and Pops head back to the hotel tonight, off on their flight home tomorrow. It sure is lousy having all the grandparents so far away!!
I guess Arden is now officially a New Englander...she went to her first Red Sox Game today. One of Annette''s friends had an extra ticket so we took a chance and took her. She was so well behaved and oh, she loves baseball! And the Red Sox! And hot dogs ... and cotton candy....
Well, she''s into college already. Arden will be going to preschool at a local university starting this fall. The waiting list is miles long, we applied a year ago with the hope she''d get in, and we did!
They start in September so all the kids start together, so she''ll stay at her current center until then. She''ll be moving in May to the preschool classroom and will remain there through August.
Arden continues to be very independent. We took her new trike out for a spin this week and although it has the "parent handle" she wanted to do it all herself, of course. No clue where she gets that. :-)
We are in the throes of potty training and Arden is a potty rockstar. It''s been about 2 weeks now and she''s out of diapers except for nap and bedtime.
Her school has been great and she was having a harder time there, so they made her a sticker chart to put on the door of the bathroom and man, she likes that.
When I picked her up from school yesterday she was "feeding" a little boy named Jason. Turned, saw me when I walked in, and went back to feeding him with a play fork. Hilarious. She was so excited to see him this morning, my goodness, has her little man Charlie been replaced already?!! :-) Ah, young love.
There was a change in her classroom around the holidays and though we worried with the departure of Madelyn, Arden absolutely loves Nicole, whom she was termed "Mickel" -- we have no clue why as she has SAID Nicole before and it''s not like she can''t say the word, but this is just what she will call her and we do not question this.
She''s just a little girl in ever way these days. We''re looking forward to the warmer weather so we can get out more. Arden would like to get back to riding by Mommy is too wimpy to take her over to the barn to see Mama in the snow. Sorry, but they are stingy with the heaters in that place. Arden is never phased when we are there in the cold, but hey, she''s a warped horse person, what could I expect??
Now that Arden is 27 and a Harvard Law Graduate...it''s time to update her site! :-)
As usual, we''ve been remiss about capturing her on this site and we apologize and, per usual, swear we''re going to try to get better. We should probably just put Arden in charge.
To recap -- we journeyed to Vegas to visit all of the grandparents. Our trip started with a bang...a 5 hour delay at the airport. Our plane was one of the only planes that was left off the ground that night. We were so thankful to be on that lucky plane.
Arden had a dandy time getting spoiled. Presents from each set of grandparents every day. A month later she''s still talking about Santa. Apparently, he comes every Friday in her world. And he lives at the North Pole. With Grandma Joanne. Her world is an interesting one!
She continues to do well in daycare, in fact just this week we had a parent/teacher conference. It''s clear they are amused by her antics and well, the curriculum centers around all of Arden''s favorites. They''ve found it''s just easier that way. Ah...controlling her world already. She is first to the arts and crafts table and refuses to leave until she has completed her project. Dare they try.
Favorite programs at this time include Dora the Explorer, Diego, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Little Einsteins. She will act out scenes from all of them. She has a flare for the dramatic. We''re not sure where she gets that. ;-)
She''s into Dr. Seuss in a big way, and Curious George...both the screen and book version. She continues to chatter on constantly. Her brain is constantly moving. These days she can''t get the words out fast enough. She has opinions on everything, which I''m sure is shocking.
She continues to run her mothers into the ground. Nonna thinks it is a blessing she has two mothers, as she doesn''t think anyone else could keep up with her. We think she''s probably right.
New pictures and a video for your viewing pleasure!!
Thanks for checking in, even though we never post.
New Pictures and New Videos added! I know....you thought it would never happen.
Arden''s doing splendidly. Every day she''s more little girl and less baby/toddler. It''s wild how quickly the months and years pass, isn''t it?
We went to the Topsfield Fair this weekend and she had a ball. She loved, LOVED the goats. I mean...we had to go through that barn twice, and the second time she went from pen to pen examining each goat.
She also went on a few rides, including the gigantic slide with Aunt Annette. Oh how she loved the slide.
She ate her weight in fair food, and of course was complaining about a belly ache at the end of the night. ;-) But, the fair only happens once year, right?
A good time was had by all, and Arden was tickled purple that Aunt Annette left the confines of the city to join us!
Arden was in her first horse show this weekend, at the ripe old age of 2. It was a last minute entry into the leadline trail course. She placed 4th of 8 and was the youngest by a year. The judges were impressed with her abilities and her age, and simply suggested that she hold onto her reins throughout the course, rather than dropping them at the completion of each obstacle to cheer for herself.
Unforunately it was so last minute there are no pics of the event, BUT stay tuned for some of her time at the barn this weekend. Fun pony rides are over, this weekend she started learning to steer, stop and start the pony on her own. Time to get down to business if we''re heading for the Olympics, dontcha think?