Ryann's birthday fell on a school day again this year, so I couldn't spoil her with too many activities, but we did kick the day off chocolate chip sprinkle pancakes (but later she said she wished she would have just asked for plain pancakes), bacon, and red delicious apple slices. She got to open a small gift (Pokemon cards, never enough Pokemon cards I guess), and then we sent her off to school. For school birthday treats she requested glazed donuts, no sprinkles or frosting or anything. Just glazed. So I picked up two dozen donuts along with a McDonalds Mighty Kids Meal (chicken nuggets, apple slices, and chocolate milk) and met my girl at school for lunch.
Chris only worked a half day so he could be home when Ryann got off the bus. She chatted with Auntie on facetime, and as soon as Grammy came over she was ready to rip into her presents. Now Ryann claims to love a wide variety of toys, but honestly she spends most of her time crafting and reading. Our gifts reflected that, along with a Pokemon lunch box and a Tsum Tsum 'onesie' as Ryann calls it. I died a little when I purchased it, but she had been asking me for 'onesie' pajamas for quite some time, and she has some sort of obsession with Tsum Tsums, so I went with it. Girlfriend has worn it like every other day since she opened it. Wouldn't you know pajama day happen just a week after she had it, so she has managed to wear it out in public as well. Hold me.
We went round and round on what to do for dinner, but ultimately she settled on Olive Garden. When I asked her what she wanted to eat, she very blankly said "breadsticks." Like duh, woman, the whole reason we are coming is for the breadsticks. Haha. I think most people go to Olive Garden solely for the breadsticks. She also had some calamari. That kid doesn't like a lot of different foods but she loves calamari. For her birthday dessert Ryann requested an ice cream bar at our house, and also asked that her friend, Lizzie, be in attendance. A few days prior to her birthday she made a little toppings menu, and her face lit up that evening when she realized we actually got everything on her menu. Wouldn't you know, Ryann basically picked the gummy bears and worms out of the ice cream and didn't eat the actual ice cream. Thea wouldn't eat the ice cream either, just wanted M&Ms. But Elsie and Lizzie enjoyed the ice cream bar. I would have loved to pull her from school and take her to a movie or something fun, but I'm a rule follower and I think she still had a pretty good day.
Ryann is still our most petite child. I don't have an measurements, she won't go to the doctor until July, but she is pretty solidly in size six clothes. She still has fives that fit without issue, and a few things that are a 6-7 work ok. But in general stuff if pretty baggy on her, she definitely didn't get her slim frame from me! Recently her size 6 leggings are starting to look too short, along with fitted pajamas, so I know she is getting taller. I've just started buying size 1 shoes, but she can still wear 13s too.
I put Ryann through a short birthday interview...
What is your name? Ryann Elizabeth.
How old are you? 7.
What is your favorite breakfast? Pancakes.
What is your favorite lunch? McDonalds.
What is your favorite dinner? Breakfast for dinner!
What is your favorite sweet treat? Ice cream.
What is your favorite candy? Gummy everything.
Who is your best friend? Lizzie!
What is your favorite show? Paw Patrol.
What is your favorite movie? Moana.
What is your favorite activity? Girl Scouts.
Why do you like Girl Scouts? Um, I don't know.
What is your favorite book? Unicorn on a Roll
What is your favorite subject in school? Art and library.
What do you like to do in your free time? Color, draw, read a book, or watch something on youtube.
What is your favorite thing to wear? Tshirts and shorts.
What do you want to be when you grow up? A tattoo artist.
Going back over last year's post, not a ton has changed. Ryann has maybe become more opinionated and independent, but much of her personality remains the same. She tends to have a dramatic flare when it comes to anything negative. She is also a total goofball and loves to be silly. She isn't shy and doesn't know a stranger. In the first grade music program she had a short rap solo, and she killed it. Seriously. She loves glitter and accessories, but she isn't interested in dresses. I'd say she is more of a punk rock/comfortable kind of girl style wise. She isn't always a huge fan of her sisters, but she can be very helpful when I need her to be. She is incredibly dramatic every time I ask her to clean up something or when I say we need to fix her hair. Both are very much hated. She also gives me an extremely hard time with homework. Every single dang night she throws a fit and tells me how much she hates homework. Lucky for her it generally takes less than five minutes.
She is still a stellar student, seems to grasp every concept thrown at her, and is overall kicking butt at school. Reading is 100% her forte. I'm not sure the grade level she is at, but her teacher said her ability is well beyond what is maybe appropriate content wise for her age. She can finish one of her chapter books in an hour sometimes. Favorites have included the Billie B series, Critter Club, and Heidi Hecklbeck books. For her birthday we bought a copy of Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls. I wasn't sure that it would be her cup of tea but she has loved it. She is somewhere in the M's, and so far her favorite woman has been Hilary Clinton.
The only class at school Ryann has had any negative remarks in, is gym. Not all that surprising when talking about my girl who would much rather sit and read or color. She is, well, kind of lazy too. Which explains why she hated soccer. "Mom the games are too long and I have to run way too much." Their games consisted of four 7 minute quarters and she only had to play two of them. HA!
a recent self portrait, at Dunkin Doughnuts perhaps? :)
Ryann is also still doing dance and gymnastics. I thought she was going to quit dance last year, but something persuaded her to give it one more try. She doesn't seem to hate it quite as much this year, but at the same time I can tell she doesn't love it. Four years is a pretty solid trial period, so I suppose if she tells me no more dance, I better listen. Wah wah. Ry seems to be enjoying gymnastics, but there are some days she isn't even all that interested in it either. I think she is able to see that sometimes stuff is difficult for her, and is embarrassed that it is hard/doesn't really want to put in the effort to improve. As she said Girl Scouts is her favorite activity. I wound up as the troop leader this year. She loves having me there, but I don't feel like she responds to the lessons as well, and I don't exactly feel like I'm doing the best job as a leader. I'm not sure what is going to happen with their troop going forward.
Miss Ryann still absolutely loves to draw. Over the last year she has really enjoyed watching a variety of drawing videos and trying to mimic their styles. I'm hoping this summer we can get her into an art camp. I'd love to find someone who can teach her to explore other mediums. I truly believe art is something she will really excel at, and I'd love to see where she could take her abilities. She loves when they have art at school, and comes home telling me all about the different artists they discussed that day.
Overall I just can't get over how grown up Ryann is becoming. She is starting to really understand world concepts, and grasp some of the negative realities of society. It is tough to know how to best parent them through these things. I would love to keep her innocent as long as possible, but if I don't talk to her she'll hear it from someone else. And on a smaller level she is just so much more aware of the social aspects of school. Worries if people will like her clothes (though I still question some of the outfits she leaves the house in!), scared that someone will make fun of her for something, notices when someone leaves her out. I hate it. Where is the happy fun loving bubble we can hide in? She is lucky to have made some amazing friends with amazing families who I adore. I'm grateful for those friendships that allow her to grow in life with confidence.
Ryann, when you came into my life seven years ago, you changed me. I am a better person because of you. We butt heads a lot and we don't see eye to eye, but I wouldn't be who I am without you, and I am so very grateful I get to be your mom. I love you more than you'll ever know.