I was going to start out this post by saying the clichéd: “I can’t believe my baby is four.” But the truth is, I CAN believe she is four. I don’t know, so much has happened in the past four years her birth seems like an eternity ago, and not JUST four years ago.

And yet, as I just finished typing those words, I thought, wait…it’s also gone so very fast so maybe nevermind? I guess I’m not sure what to start this post out with. I remember when I first had Gabe someone told me that the days would seem like years and the years like days. And that is probably closer to the truth than the unbelieveableness of my “baby” turning four.

(Feel free to take some time to sort all that out and let me know if you’ve come to any conclusions.)

That being said and unsaid, I was, in fact, thinking back to her first days on this planet. While her brother would sleep anywhere, let anyone hold him, and was pretty much just a chill little dude, Julia had a mind of her own from the very first day. She had a very specific way she liked to sleep, eat, and be held. She didn’t like to sleep just anywhere. She didn’t want to be quiet and go to bed so mommy and daddy could sit and talk to friends. She wanted to be fed, held, rocked, and patted to sleep…and then two minutes later, when she heard my legs bend toward the couch…she wanted to again be fed, held, rocked, and patted back to sleep again. And two minutes later…and two minutes later…

And how much different is she today, at four? Well, every night she goes to bed after she’s fed, read to, and had 87 hugs and kisses from us. THEN, two minutes later, she gets up to tell us something. Then she goes back to bed. And two minutes later, she has something else to say. And two minutes later, and two minutes later…

While she’s always had an attitude, now she also has the vocabulary to go along with it. When we woke her up this morning (where we found her sleeping on the floor with Ted, the giant Costco bear) with our customary videotaping of us singing her the birthday song, her words to us over the singing were, “GET THAT LIGHT OUT OF MY EYES! WHAT ARE YOU DOING? THIS IS SOOOOOOOOOO ANNOYING!”

We have this on video if you’d like to watch.

So until she discovers this blog and tells me how annoying it is, enjoy some photos from her birthday weekend extravaganza—or what I liked to call All Bears, All the Time.

We started the weekend with a Saturday morning surprise trip to Build-a-Bear, a place we’d managed to avoid thus far.

She picked out this rainbow bear (which she named Rainbow Sparkles). The woman was nice enough to ask Julia if she wanted to put in a $5 heartbeat and a $7 piece that plays music. Of course she did!

Rainbow Sparkles gets a blow out in the bath.

This was Rainbow Sparkle before getting her Minnie Mouse outfit and flip flops. It was also before the woman behind the counter asked if Julia wanted to take RS home in thiscardboardbox or THIS AWESOME BACKPACK!!!! (forsevenmoredollars). We said box please while Julia bawled her eyes out over not getting the backpack. It wouldn’t be a fun surprise-filled morning if it didn’t end in tears. Am I right? (And thanks, b$*&%, for asking Julia what she wanted and not me.)

Sunday morning we moved on to festivity #2, her bear swim party! Here she is getting sunblocked by the help.

Just two weekends ago she started swimming without the swimmies.

Luckily, no one else gets to the pool this early on a Sunday morning so we had it all to ourselves.

There are no basic bear decorations for kids’ parties. I know this because I went to just about every store in the tri-state area. So, I made my own. That space-age thing in the background is attempting to keep the cake from melting.

Gabe in his finest bear hat.

Presents! The best part of any party.


Blowing out candles…

I finally remembered to get a family shot at this event.

When she got home from the party, waiting for her was the piece de resistance, the coveted Costco bear. Yes, we named him Ted. Rainbow Sparkles has since taken a backseat.

Ted is just slightly bigger than she is.


This morning, back with Bear. She may add to the bear family but Bear the bear still has place numero uno in her heart.

So there you have it. Happy birthday darling girl. I can only imagine what five will bring!