Vianne's First Dance Recital ~ April 2016

Posted by Amy Evelyn Oden , Tuesday, April 12, 2016 11:30 AM

Three months of dance class & practice culminated in Vianne's first recitals, which happened to be scheduled on the week of her birthday, on Wednesday night & Friday night.  The recitals - held at the 24th Street Theatre in downtown Sacramento - were holiday-themed, so every group took on an interpretation of a different holiday.  Vianne's group got New Year's Eve (and thankfully placed at the very beginning of the program!) and tap-danced to "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?", a routine they'd practiced with a moderate amount of focus and a huge amount of adorable for weeks!  They were assigned party dresses for their costume, which was great since Vianne's Christmas dress was perfect for occasion (read: we didn't have to buy a costume :-)).

 Vianne & her dancing comrades ~ after Wednesday night's performance

I was backstage so I didn't see the performance 
but Vianne seemed very pleased with & exhilarated by the experience!
Getting ready for Friday night...(love that she's letting me do her hair these days!)
Friday night I was in the audience, with Daddy, Oliver, Granma & Grampa!  It was so fun to see her waiting excitedly in the wings before coming out, and in a very sweet unexpected surprise, before her group came out, they announced it was her birthday!  Their teacher (and the owner) Ms. April led them in their dance (we couldn't ask for a better teacher ~ she's wonderful!).

 She adorably gets a bit distracted by her family in the front row :-)...
 Spazzing out after the recital (or what we managed to sit through of it...)

Vianne's Fourth Birthday ~ Ballerina Party

Posted by Amy Evelyn Oden , 11:00 AM

For the day of her 4th birthday, Granma & Grampa Oden came up from SoCal to join us for a party!  Vianne & I decided on a ballerina theme this year, since her first dance recital was scheduled for the day of her birthday and we found some totally adorable decorations on + balloons from my favorite balloon vendor, Dollar Tree :-D.

A lily for our Easter baby girl :-)

Granma brought some party horns!
Vianne requested "mashed 'atatoes', green beans, & chicken nuggets" for birthday lunch
 - so we went with KFC...
A little balloon popping game (adapted from Vianne's beloved "kids shows").  
Hidden inside were Smarties & Shopkins.  Vianne was thrilled!

Then time for presents!  
She was utterly delighted to open Jasmine, Rapunzel, & Joy and a Tangled book from the Storeys...

...Pinkie Pie & a matching shirt from the Blairs...

...and a whole bunch of fun things from Granma & Grampa ~ new dresses, new coloring & sticker books, ballerina necklace, leotard, playdoh set, fancy jewelry box with a dancing ballerina...
(while little brother modeled the Pinkie Pie shirt!)

...and an Elsa dress, which of course she put on immediately!
Then time for dessert!  Vianne chose strawberry (cake mix) with pink sprinkles
and a rainbow 4 candle :-).

Daddy fulfilled another party request: homemade ice cream ~ two kinds, honey lavender and strawberry!

Vianne's Fourth Birthday ~ "Surprise Day"

Posted by Amy Evelyn Oden , 10:30 AM

We told Vianne we wanted to take her somewhere special for her birthday this year and kept tantalizing her with this forthcoming "surprise day". A few days before her birthday, we took her to a very fun place we've been hearing about since we moved up here, Fairytale Town!  She didn't entirely know what to expect upon arriving, but was pretty sure it was going to be great from the fun Humpty Dumpty entrance!

 King Arthur's round table
 Mary's (not so) Little Lamb(s)
 Everyone loved the Old Woman Who Lived In A Shoe slide!

 I think the tractor at Old McDonald's Farm may have been Oliver's favorite part...

 Vianne would later say that the Owl House slide was her favorite thing!

 Brave girl!  It's a high climb...
 ...and a steep chute down!
 This is Charlotte...
 ...and another very steep slide out of the barn.

 Cinderella's pumpkin carriage

 Three Little Pigs
 The brick house, still standing
 Three Billy Goats Gruff

 The Cheese (that) Stands Alone
 The Little Engine That Could
 The Hare...

 ...and The Tortoise

 Cutest Bathroom Ever!
 Checking out the koi in the Japanese Garden

 Down the rabbit hole!

Oliver was so worn out by this point, he settled for riding the pole instead of the horses :-)

 Lunch at the Dish & Spoon Cafe
 After enjoying all the fun playthings, we headed home for presents...

 ...and (thanks to Raley's, free!) cupcakes & lovely Moonstruck ladybug truffles 
in honor of our little lady.
 As any 20 month old would be, Oliver was very upset about a pile of presents that weren't for him...but sweet Vianne welcomed him to join in the unwrapping.  It was a beautiful moment.
 New picture Bible - like the one Daddy grew up with!
 Vianne's been particularly into Batman of late...

Sheriff Callie toys from Oliver
 Thank you hug :-)
 She also opened her gifts from Grandma Gustafson...
  She loved her ballerina card!
 Little Anna & Elsa
 Sleigh with Sven

 "Sven, meet Cinderella..."
 ...and a new Anna dress, all to her great delight!