happy birthday, Malayna

Happy fourth birthday to my favorite little girl in the whole world.



Malayna LOVES to decorate for Christmas. She especially likes anything little, shiny or just plain garish. Luckily, I'm okay with giving up control of Christmas decorating - there was a time when I would've waited until she went to bed and then "fixed" the decorations. Actually, that thought DID cross my mind. But she's so proud of her work that I didn't have the heart to move anything. We got a Christmas tree the other day, and Malayna was very excited to get started with the trimming. Unfortunately, since she's under 5 feet tall, most of the ornaments are on the bottom half of the tree.

Over the weekend, Jimmy and I took Malayna to Reading Terminal Market. On the train. It was her first train ride, and now I know why we didn't take her before now. When I told her that we were taking the train, she immediately got upset and started to cry. She got used to the idea after a little while, and we drove to the Jenkintown train station (which we've driven past many, many times). When I went to get her out of her carseat, she started to cry again and freak out. She told us to go back home, that she didn't want to go on the train. Um, no.

Luckily we only had to wait a little while before the train pulled in. I carried her onto the train {to make sure she actually got ON}, and she started freaking out again. Of course the train was packed and there were no seats. Malayna was screaming, crying and flailing. We had to walk the entire car in order to find an empty seat. Which means we had to pass EVERYONE on the train.

{giant lollipop}

Thankfully, we were facing away from everyone when we sat down. She was fine after about 5 minutes and the rest of the day was great. We walked around the Market, she talked to a woman playing a piano, and even requested a song. {What?! She started a conversation with a stranger?} We had a snack and bought ingredients to make pizza {which she and Jimmy did when we got home}.

Hopefully we'll be able to take train rides without the fuss from now on. I'm sure she freaked out because it was something new. Have I mentioned that she doesn't like change or new things?!

{This was on the ride home. There was no smiling
on the ride to the Market. From any of us.}


for dog lovers

All you dog lovers out there, grab your tissues before you watch this 10-minute Japanese short film about a girl Mika and her dog Marimo. It's a little long, but worth it.


dreary day = dreary child

It seems like it's been weeks since we saw the sun shine around here.

If it weren't for the gray weather, the day would've been perfect. It was warm enough to go outside this morning without heavy coats and gloves! And it would've been a perfect park day - if the ground weren't so muddy.

I made the mistake of telling Malayna we were going to story time at the bookstore this morning. She started to cry {don't know where that came from!} and said that story time was scary and she was too old for that. Seriously - she cried for about 20 minutes about it. That's when I knew it was going to be a looooong morning.

Instead of the bookstore, we went outside to chalk. I figured we could both use some fresh air. Chalking was going great until the leaf collection truck came down the street. Do you know how long those leaves have been sitting by the curb?!

As the truck came closer, she insisted on going inside. I convinced her to stay outside but to play on the porch - a safe distance from the leaf truck that was going to "suck up my baby dolls!" She then covered her ears and trembled while the truck collected our leaves. I picked her up and showed her the big vacuum on the truck. That seemed to calm her down a little and we were able to continue to play outside.

{Is that not the sweetest face? Read on.}

But then when it was time for her to go upstairs for her rest, she got very upset about the snack I was giving her. More crying. I managed to steer her upstairs where she told me, "I will never, ever listen to you again!" Then she threw a toy.

Oh my.

When is the sun coming back?


drawing and painting and coloring

{a mommy, a boy named Trey and a baby}

Malayna created this last night - her first drawing of people with bodies, legs and arms! She's been drawing heads with very happy faces for a while now, and sometimes even adds hair or hats. For the largest {mommy} figure, she drew the left arm with her left hand and then switched the crayon to her right hand to draw the right arm. It was so cool to watch!


Aidan's mom Wendy had to work for a few hours on Tuesday morning, so Malayna and I "kid-sit" Aidan. I told Malayna we would be babysitting him, but she corrected me by saying, "Aidan's not a baby! He's a kid - so we will kid-sit him."

The two of them usually follow a routine when Aidan comes over. They get very excited to see each other (although sometimes Aidan needs a few minutes to adjust before he starts acting crazy), then they chase each other around the house. After a little while one of them asks to paint or play with Play-Doh. They help by getting the paintbrushes ready and the table cleared. After painting {and usually getting really messy} they like to clean up in the kitchen sink.

{cleaning up}

{still cleaning...}

The day ended on a bad note, though. They both wanted to play with the same toy, and I think Malayna said something not very nice to Aidan and then he told her he didn't want to be her friend. Malayna got very upset and cried {and cried, and cried}, but Aidan wouldn't budge. He said he didn't like the way she talked to him. It was time for Aidan and Wendy to go anyway, so after they left I told Malayna that sometimes people say not very nice things when they're angry or upset. She just kept saying over and over, "But I want Aidan to be my friend." Wendy talked to Aidan when they got home and told him that telling Malayna he didn't want to be her friend wasn't very nice - that he could've told her he didn't like the way she was talking to him.

After Malayna's rest that day, she told me that she was "having a really bad day." I wonder if they'll remember this the next time they get together?