Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Turning Four: The Big Surprise

We love birthdays! And this year we wanted to make it extra special for Josie. Let's be honest - she had one helluva year. Poor girl moved away from the only home she ever knew, started preschool, had a very sick mama while I was in early pregnancy, then lost me to full bedrest. And it all "ended" with getting a new sister.  Her third year was one that ended very joyously BUT there were loads of really stressful and trying transitions  for her since last summer.  More on this thought in a later blog post - but she really is a totally different little girl than she was a year ago. And we wanted to celebrate her fourth year with something BIG! Lou and I both took off of work so we could spend Thursday - her "real birthday" - at Kings Island!

And we wanted it to be a big surprise! She had absolutely no idea where we were going.  She was hilarious trying to put the clues together - sunscreen meant we must be going somewhere outside and comfortable shoes meant we must be going somewhere to play. She thought we were either going to a swimming lesson or to McDonalds (how funny is that)? We just kept driving up 71 and here's the video from the moment she finally realized where we were going... I love her line at the end: "This is gonna be awesome..."

Feeling a little overwhelmed by the whole thing (oh and funny story - when she saw the "human slingshot" she looked at me and gasped: "What the HECK is THAT?!)

Her first KI ride - bumper cars - and the day was off to a perfect start -

It was an absolutely, beautiful not-to-hot day with what we call "Simpsons Clouds."

 Josie's first-ever roller coaster! Here she is with her hands up as it pulled out of the gate. And these hands very quickly came down as she headed down her first hill.

Ready for a big hug after her first coaster -

Josie has no clue who any of these characters were but she was very eager to hug them all -

Sweet Bea's first trip to KI was very uneventful. She was such a sweet girl - even though we stayed HOURS longer than we planned on staying.

This has to be one of my favorite photos from the whole day. These little swings just crept in a small circle a few inches off the ground. So what was the reason for this huge smile? Josie kept catching herself in a big mirror and thought it was the funniest thing ever!

We were a little surprised (for some reason) by Josie's obsession with the carnival games. She just kept insisting that we go back for "one more try".  (We will never take this one to Vegas.)  She did end up winning two big puppies (one for her and one for her little sister) and a teddy bear. She definitely has a competitive side.

The Eiffel Tower, Cincinnati-style:

Probably her most daring adventure of the day (holding Daddy's hand the entire time) -

Daddy and a sleepy Bea - and one of the puppies Josie won -

Oh, funny thing here as well - in the line Josie insisted on riding the pink Jeep. But this little girl hopped in it first. I wasn't quite sure how this would play out, but I was sure that after a long day it was going to involve tears. Instead, Josie just hopped right into the front seat next to this older very sweet little girl - even though there were loads of empty seats elsewhere.  The little girl didn't seem to mind and by their first time around they were chatting away like the best of friends. We were cracking up! When the ride ended, Josie got off and told us all about the little girl. Apparently they practically shared their life stories with each other.

Our sweet, four year old -

Did you notice she is rocking FOUR hair bows?

Up high together in the helicopters - complete with a handle and pedals she could barely reach. I'm glad she's still too little sometimes!

The Seaplane - which scared the pants off of her until it started going. I lifted my hand to wave at Lou and Bea and she screamed and wrapped my arm back around her. Once it going rolling, she thought it was great.

Josie, Pink Puppy & I on the train as the day began to wind down -

Probably my favorite photo of Beatrice and I in her five months of life - 

 We can never pass up a carousel -

Notice the purple finger nails? (Thank goodness for Piggy Polish.)

We were all whooped! Time to call it a wrap on the Schneider's first trip to Kings Island. (And I have a feeling this might just become a birthday tradition!)

We'll leave you with the first ride Josie actually rode at KI - her first bumper cars - although I'm not sure she actually got the idea that you're supposed to bump. She was so proud when she was finished, exclaiming how well she steered away from all the other kids.  Too funny. (Grandma & DD - I think those Barbie Jeep lessons have paid off!)