Wednesday 24 January 2018

Halie the Tween Turns 11!

My baby girl turns 11 tomorrow (Jan. 25)!  Some days I don't even know how we got here so quickly.  BLINK and 11 years has gone by.  I would say this year is the first year in a long time that I haven't anticipated her birthday with bitter-sweetness.  I have finally come to terms with leaving the toddler and little girl years behind and really embracing my girls new stage of life.  They are both now considered to be "tweens" (defined as 8-12 years of age).  Halie is at such a fantastic age and I am finding that our bond is actually getting stronger as a result of us being able to experience so many new things together.  Let's take a peak at 11 highlights of Halie at as she turns eleven.

1.     Horses.  We caved and enrolled Halie into horseback riding at a local stable.  Halie’s favorite places in the world is the stable.  She loves to be surrounded by  horses and people who share her passion.  In the future she would like to live on a farm and help care for animals, so if you know of any nice, 11-13 year old, farm boys….

2.      Tanner.   Halie and Tanner have been inseparable since he entered our home 9 years ago.  She loves him with her whole heart and they have a special bond.  

3.       Guinea Pigs.  More animals.  Halie desperately wanted to add guinea pigs to our household this year.  She did a ton of research on them for a school project and created an amazing video, below.  She received an Excelling on this project but sadly we broke her heart by not caving into her desire the .  The good news is we get to babysit some for friends while they go on a trip.  Win-win.

4.       Make-up.  10 year old Halie does make-up for HOURS.   She bought her very first "grown-up" piece of make-up with summer,  Cover Girl foundation. 

5.       Style.  This year also brought a new interest in clothing and style.  Needless to say her aunt Tiki and I, are both enjoying Halie’s newish love for shopping.  Sadly gone are the days when I can choose her outfits, or even clothes, for her. 

6.      Dolls.  As much as I’ve noticed Halie growing up and changing this year, she still has a sliver  of ‘little girl’ left in her.  She still enjoys playing with her doll, dressing her up, styling her hair and so on.  I just want to scream "hold on to your childhood as long as possible!!!

7.      Contortion & Gymnastics.  She is obsessed with contortion.  It began with her love of gymnastics and always pushing her body to bend, twist and flip in new ways.  Through watching  YouTube she developed an interest in contortion and her body does things that make my back ache by just watching her. 

8.      Reading & Academics.  Halie often will chooses to read frequently.  I noticed this change beginning over the summer while at the lake and it has continued.  Her teacher has given them a goal of ….books to read this year and she is eager  to achieve it.  Halie and her teacher really just clicked and her attitude towards school work is every parents dream come true.  I am not sure if it’ll last but I am loving it for the moment.

9.     Adventure Seeker.  The kid is scared to try new things but also seeks the opportunity to go for it.  She took on the rides at Disneyworld, though tearfully at times, and even went on her first adult roller coaster.  She also tried knee boarding, wall climbing and has learned to snowboard.  I think deep down she would like to eventually hit the terrain park with her snowboard which  may be inspired by the movie Cloud 9, similar to Out Cold for our generation. 

10.   Talking & Navigating Friendships.  Halie seems to have taken the direction of telling us everything that’s going on in the girls friends group.  When she was younger she often kept girl drama inside and her ability to navigate these situations was limited.  We had to work really hard in grade 3 and beginning of grade 4 to help her recognize when she was being manipulated and how to deal with these situations.  We now have a girl who shares  with us daily about school/friendships and who mostly navigates girl drama by herself.   We are so happy that she has wonderful friends both in and out of school.  

11.   Creativity & Art.  Halie has always liked art, drawing, pottery, and creating in various ways.  The calm and creative counter balances her more social/athletic activities.  Due to time limitations we weren’t able to continue formal art lessons during the year but she recently joined a painting class through our local community and is already enjoying it immensely.    

That's a wrap.  Halie has requested to have her friends at the cabin for the weekend for her friends birthday party.  They have a full agenda for them including make-overs, face masks, hair dying, movies, junk food and building a fort in the forest by our cabin.  Wish me luck!!!

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