My Baby

8 years old. My first baby is 8 years old. How is that even possible!!

Maya at 8, what can I say. She is walking a fine line between the little girl she was and teenager she will become. Part of her still loves to play with dolls and live in make believe worlds, while ¬†another part of her likes to sit around chatting with friends talking about fashion and what life will be like when they are older. She cares more about what others think about her now, a phase I hope passes quickly. She is passionate and smart. She feels things deeply and is full of “why” and “what if” questions. Reading and writing are her two favorite subjects at school right now. She can’t stand math, but still does pretty well in it. Science gets her curious mind thinking and she loves when they get to do experiments at school.

The year from 7 to 8 had a few struggles in it for Maya. She felt pulled in too many directions by the needs and wants of others and thus learned to find her own voice and stand up for herself. She learned that sometimes it is okay to step away from someone for a little bit and that we all need time to decompress.

It is amazing how much growing up has taken place this year. Maya at 8 is smart, passionate, curious, spunky, a challenge ¬†sometimes, loving, and beautiful. I can’t wait to see what this year has in store for her.

This past Tuesday was the first day of the new school year and the beginning of Maya’s 2nd grade year. She has been a ball of nerves the last few weeks in anticipation of the start of the school year. There were so many things she was worried about from who her teacher was going to be, to who was going to end up in her class, to being upset that her amazing teacher from last year wasn’t going to be her teacher again this year. In her little prone to anxiety mind she built up the nervousness and was truly a bag of nerves on the first day.

One Monday we met her teacher, Mrs. Henson. She is a new teacher and Maya was really excited about that. We learned that 8 of the kids from her class last year are in her class again this year and her new teacher lived up to Maya’s expectations. Maya declared her to be super nice after just a few minutes of reassuring conversation with her.

Tuesday was the first official full day of school.

Tuesday, after some tears and declarations of not wanting to go to school, we made it out the door and headed to school. She put on a brave face and was even a tiny bit excited for what the first day would hold.

Maya came home from school saying she had a good day, her teacher was awesome and super nice and there are a good bunch of kids in her class. I was very proud of her for fitting through the nerves and making her first day a good one. Although her anxiety is still pretty high she is handling it well and has had a great first week so far.

Here’s to a great 2nd grade year for this girl!

For months now, literally 4 months, Maya’s top front tooth has been wiggly. Shortly after she lost her first tooth her one top tooth started to get wiggly. Since the first one came out fairly quickly she was expecting this one to follow suit. She waited and waited and waited, growing ever impatient. A trip to the dentist a little over a month ago showed (in xrays) that the adult teeth were right there and the baby tooth was hanging by a thread. The dentist predicted it would be days, maybe a week or two tops. But the tooth had other plans and just kept hanging on for dear life. She wiggled it and pulled on it and even got to the point where she could twist it a bit, all in an effort to get that sucker to fall out!

Last night, as the girls were getting ready for bed Maya just had to show me that she could twist her tooth far enough to fit her thumb in between her teeth. It got stuck and she said it really hurt. There was blood, and blood and Maya do not mix, at all. After much convincing she let me try to pull it out. I promised to just tug very gently and if it didn’t work I’d leave it alone. I tugged, ever so gently and out popped the tooth!! She screamed and told me to stop, and then realized it was already out and her tears turned to a giant, semi toothless smile :)

She was so incredibly happy to finally have that tooth out!! She wrote a little note to the tooth fairy telling her how brave she was and tucked the tooth into an envelope. With hopes high of what she would find in the morning she drifted off to sleep.

The Tooth Fairy was caught a little off guard by this sudden development and was a little ill prepared. But she didn’t let that get her down. A fairy sized note was quickly created, complete with glitter and some glitterfied money, of course, was left in the envelope to be found this morning.

Maya was super happy with the results of last night’s visit from the Tooth Fairy, and was so excited to go to school this morning to show off her new semi toothless smile and tell her friends all about the details of how she finally lost her tooth.

It is no secret that Maya loves all things art. She spends a good portion of her free time creating things. So, when she requested an art themed party for her birthday I wasn’t surprised! My mission to throw her a birthday party to remember began. After I got over the fear of completely failing at throwing a decent party I set to work hunting down the perfect ideas on Pinterest. I found a few project ideas I thought would be perfect and some decor ideas I hoped I was capable of pulling off. With me to do list in hand I set to work creating what I hoped would be the perfect Art Party for Maya’s 7th birthday.

The decor came together so well. I had so much fun creating this party. From the mini easels, to the mini paint cans, to the rice crispies paint brushes, to the “Maya’s Art Studio” sign it was all so much fun to create and put together.

I decided to make a couple of examples of the art project we had planned for the party and display them along with a “Maya’s Art Studio” sign I made. I figured this would give the kids a chance to see what the project looked like once completed and it gave the party a nice artsy feel.

Since we were going to be painting had aprons for each girl and I bought fabric markers so they could decorate their own aprons. I had a friend of mine put each girl’s name on an apron with puffy paint to personalize them a bit for them. I also made a mini easel out of popsicle sticks for each of the girls. During the party it held their name tag but I figured it would be a fun way to display their artwork at home.

Decorating and personalizing their aprons was a great way to kick off the party and the girls had so much

fun. Each girl did a great job making their apron their own and using their creativity.

Once everyone had finished their aprons we moved onto the main project. I chose a watercolor project for the party. I provided each girl with a canvas and some watercolors. The idea of the project was to saturate the canvas with as much color as they could, once their painting was complete we sprinkled salt on the canvas to create some starburst effects and drizzled a little glue to create further unique effects on the art work. The girls did an amazing job and created some beautiful pieces of art. I hope they are proud of their pieces and are displaying them at home on their little easels!

This is Maya’s finished artwork. I love the tie dye effect created with the watercolors and the starburst created by the salt. I opted for sparkle glue and that was a big hit with the girls. This project was so fun and so easy. I highly recommend it if you are looking for a good kid friendly painting project.

After the art work was completed we moved on to eating. The rice crispies paint brushes were a big hit and so fun and easy to make.

I had a lot of fun coming up with creative food and drink ideas for this party. Turns out an art party is a great way for the host to channel their creativity as well :)

The final art spin of the day was with the cake. I opted for cupcakes and picked up some paint trays with a large center. I placed the cupcake in the middle and filled the paint tray with sprinkles of various colors, sizes and textures and had the girls decorate their own cupcakes. It was another huge hit!

This party was so fun to throw. The birthday girl was very happy with how everything turned out, which is the most important thing!

At 11:30pm on this day 7 years ago I heard the cries of my first baby as she came into this world. I cuddled her soft baby skin against mine and basked in the glory of brand new motherhood.

The last 7 years have flown by. My first baby has gone from a helpless bundle, to a waddling toddler, to a rambunctious preschooler, to a full of life first grader in the blink of an eye!

Maya, you are one heck of a little girl. You are smart, creative, loving, fun and passionate about life. Your favorite things right now include reading, gymnastics, dancing, playing with your friends, and being artistic. You crave knowledge and spend so much time reading and learning. You want to be either a teacher or an author when you grow up, or both. You are a good friends and your friends love spending time with you. You are a good big sister, you set a good example for your little sisters (most of the time!) and they both look up to you and love being around you and playing with you. 7 years ago when you came into this world I could hardly imagine you were finally here let along imagine that one day you would be a big 7 year old! I’ve loved watching you grow up and can’t wait to see what life has in store for you.

Happy Birthday, Maya!! Love you to pieces.