At this time last year, we were just two months into living in our new home. We were mostly settled in, but I was really missing the city life. Mike excitedly came home one Saturday, all hyped about a local carnival he’d driven past. “They didn’t have local carnivals in our old neighborhood! Let’s go, it’ll be fun!” So off we went, and Mike and I did have fun. The problem was Annie – she was too little to really enjoy it. We made a plan to come back the following year, when Annie would be older and want to go on rides and play games.
It’s unbelievable that it’s already been a year. I still miss a lot of things about living in the city, but I love our house and our life in the ‘burbs. This year, I was the one that came home excitedly after driving past the local carnival. I grabbed Annie and called my parents, and off we went.
My parents and I grubbed on some carnival food while Annie danced to the band, ignoring her churro (don’t worry, I ate it for her).
Then I said to her, “Annie, do you want to go on some rides?” There were tons of little-kid-friendly rides that I was certain she’d want to go on. She gave me this face:
I took her over to watch a car ride, and she seemed interested at first:
So I said, “Annie, let’s go on this ride!” And she gave me this face:
We went over to the spinning strawberry ride, where we watched all ages of kids spin around (think the tea-cup ride at Disneyland).
“Annie, do you want to go on this?” “NO.” “Okay Annie, what do you want to do?”
She danced her way all over that carnival. At one point, she danced past a little girl who had her face painted with a butterfly design. Annie was mesmerized, so I asked her if she wanted to get her face painted also. I expected her to say no, but she excitedly responded yes. We found the face painter with a line six-deep. I thought Annie would run out of patience, but she didn’t. When it was her turn, we sat in the chair and the face painter asked Annie what she wanted.
“A princess ball gown.”
The face painter and I looked at each other, and after a moment she replied, “I think I know what to paint.”
Annie shocked me again by sitting still for the entire face painting. I was holding her hands, but she never squirmed or even tried to bring her arms up.
She was thrilled with her “pretty pretty princess colors.”
The face painting gave her crazy confidence. She grabbed my hand and said, “Mama, I want to ride Strawberry Shortcake!” So we hightailed it over to the spinning berries, and right when the ride started she began to panic, loudly.
My mom and I were like, “greeeeaaaaat,” but I leaned down and whispered into her ear, “Annie, you’re with Mama. Has Mama ever let you get hurt? I am never, ever going to let anything happen to you. This is going to be fun, I promise.”
Then the ride spun past my dad, who made a funny face at Annie, and suddenly the spinning strawberry was the best ride EVER. She wanted to “drive” and even threw her arms into the air with me.
When the ride was over she said, “AGAIN!”
About ten minutes after we got home, I spotted Annie in the most rare of situations:
I can’t wait until the carnival next year. It will most likely be the next time she naps.
Cute! She looks like she’s 7 in that last picture!!
I was going to say that! Either that, or “did she have a recent growth spurt?”
She is so beautiful. I love this post.
She’s so tall! Are you sure she’s not even 3 yet?!
But that’s really sweet what you whispered to her – exactly what a nervous kid needs to hear
Posts like this make me so nostalgic for those toddler/preschool days of pumpkin patches, princesses, carnivals, and naps. I remember how exhausting that all could be, but it was also so precious. Middle school days of homework battles, hormones, first periods, and first crushes are precious in their own way, I know, but there’s so much more push-back now. It makes me really appreciate the memory of those cuddles and smiles all the more.
Oh this is just adorable. This whole post is happiness!
I need to know…where did you find a BELT for Annie? Even with the adjustable waist pants… my daughter needs more and I can never find belts.
I have NEVER been able to find belts. Maddie was a peanut and Annie is tall and skinny. I used to tie a ribbon around their waists to hold their pants up, but that wasn’t a great fix. So…I made a few belts. It is REALLY easy. If you have a fabric store like JoAnn’s near you, buy 1-inch D rings and then pick out any kind of 1-inch ribbon to be the belt. I got a few kinds of grosgrain ribbon and a couple thicker canvas ribbons, sewed on the D-rings, and that was it. Super easy. Would it help if I posted pictures?
I think I understand how you made it. Is Annie able to take it off? My other concern is that Lidia won’t be able to get it off in time….if you know what I mean.
Stephanie Morgenstern says:
Now think of all the Halloween face paint you can do with Annie! She looks so cute, and I’m impressed she kept it on for so long.
She is so fun! She really does look way tall/long in that last picture! And not that this is about you Heather, but you look very thin!! Looks like the carnival was a huge success!
Tall kiddo! How tall is she by now?
(My kid was about 33-34 inches last time we measured last month. We’re waiting for her 2 year checkup next week for the official 2 year height).
Last we measured her was a few months ago and she was 37.5 inches. We’ll have to measure her again, because I have notices things getting short on her.
I have found something that actually works great for holding up toddler pants. Doesn’t get in the way of potty training either. I’m not affiliated with them in any way, just absolutely love them! They’re called dapper snappers! http://www.dappersnappers.com
Holy cow — what a difference a year makes! Glad y’all had fun! And I used to be scared of the spinning-type rides, too. In fact, I’m still not crazy about them . . . but I’ve been known to allow a kiddo or two to lure me onto one sometimes.
Sounds like the carnival was a huge hit after all! Annie’s such a doll baby, and Heather,,,,you look absolutely beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!
Looks like so much fun! It is amazing what little people have the patience to wait in line for when they really want something. Last year our 4 yr. old twins waited in line for over an hour to see Santa – and we are Jewish!
Hope that there are more naps before the next carnival. Take care.
Barb in Michigan says:
Your beautiful Maddie is growing up SO quickly! She’s so beautiful. Such a great blend of you and Mike!
She looks so long in that last picture!
OMG Heather, she looks like a little (big) girl in that last pic. Legs for miles!! Geez, time flies. Looks like such a fun time at the carnival.