Well Isn’t That Special

Clara’s preschool gives each kid a “Special Day.” It’s sort of like a birthday, but since not every child has a birthday during the school year you pick an arbitrary day for the kid to get some special attention. And last week Clara had hers!

There’s not really a set guideline for what you do to celebrate their special day but we decided, like many of the other families, to make a poster so Clara could tell her classmates a little more about herself.


After we cut out the letters of her name and printed some photos at Target, Clara wanted to take over and do all of the gluing herself.

She did a great job at putting them down on the poster board right where we had laid them out (with a nice little potty break in the middle).

She did need a little help adjusting the placement every now and then. But overall I was impressed with how much she was able to do on her own.

By the end of it all, she was very proud of her first ever presentation board.

When the actual Special Day arrived, we partook in another tradition of bringing other family members in (aka Grammy & Tom Tom). And oh yeah, it also happened to be “Crazy Color Day” to celebrate the end of their color unit at school, so the kids were encouraged to wear as many wacky / bright / mismatched colors as possible. Clara loved it.

When her 15 minutes in the spotlight rolled around, she got very shy and pretty much retreated to Sherry’s lap while we showed everyone the pictures of who was in her family and the things she liked to do.

After looking at the pictures, my parents and I took turns reading one of Clara’s favorite books (of the moment) – Dragons Love Tacos – and then Clara finished off the Special Day by handing out stickers to her classmates. Fortunately the 75% boy class didn’t seem to mind that she had picked out princess stickers for everyone. There were even some “I want Belle!” requests from the guys.

All-in-all it was a sweet little celebration for our special little lady. And a crazy reminder that she’s less than two months away from her real birthday. Where did this year go??

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Alexandria’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade

Even though St. Patrick’s Day is about two weeks away, we got the month started off in full holiday mode by going to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Alexandria, VA this weekend (as some of you may have seen on our Instagram feed).

We went as part of a quick overnight trip to see some of our family that lives in Northern Virginia (about 2 hours away). You can see them all the photo below, starting from left, my little sister Carrie, her boyfriend Robert, Sherry, some guy we don’t know in the background, my cousin Travis (holding almost-2-year-old Edison) and his wife / Sherry’s BFF Cat (who is sporting a “Kiss Me I’m Iowish” shirt to show off her Iowa pride). Oh yeah, and that’s Clara and Elsa (Travis & Cat’s 3 year old) in the strollers.

As you can tell by how everyone’s dressed – particularly Carrie – it was FREEZING. The forecast was originally for somewhere near 50 degrees, but instead was in the mid-30s. We thought the temperature might make the outing miserable – especially with three toddlers. But, surprise, they seemed oblivious to the weather (yanking off their gloves every chance they got) and everyone had a great time. Phew!

Clara must take after her Grammy, who could be happy watching parades (or fireworks) all day every day.

Since we were in the historic part of Alexandria (Old Town) there of course had to be some old school marchers (complete with fifes).

We ended up finding a spot on the parade route after hitting up a very cool toy store called Why Not? (see my bag below) – which gave us the chance to encounter this dog character who Clara absolutely adored (just check out that smile). She was convinced it was Snoofy (that’s her version of Snoopy) and totally leaned in with a giant grin.

And these sweet Irish dancers got us all into the Irish spirit (my mom’s maiden name is Kelley after all). You should have seen Clara’s face as they danced by. She was mesmerized.

I’m not sure these Kena Shriner cars are Irish, but I’m not one to complain whenever they show up in a parade. They’re always a crowd pleaser – along with the free lolly pops that banks or credit unions hand out as they parade by (Clara screams “thank you lady!” or “thank you man!” whenever she gets offered one).

And of course, there was an appearance from the fabled St. Patrick’s Day Unicorn who’s believed to show up at your doorsteps in the night so that the leprechaun on his back can deliver chocolate gold coins to the good little boys and girls inside. Okay, I totally made that up. I think this was just a local restaurant’s attempt to be festive. But I think the St. Patrick’s Unicorn should become a thing.

We didn’t quite survive the temperatures all the way to the end of the parade. The kids were doing fine, but us adults were starting to loose feeling in our hands and feet since we didn’t get to be snuggled under blankets. We felt terrible ripping the girls away from the fun, but luckily we still got to watch a bit more as we the made the long (and toe-numbing) walk back to where he had parked.

How hilarious is Elsa in that pic above? She’d doing the classic toddler expression of “You told me to smile. Am I doing it right?This is a smile, right?”

Happy early St. Patrick’s day folks!

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