Birthday Part 3: The Actual Day and Lion King 3D

October 12, 2011 by Victoria Strong
This is the last birthday celebration post. We had so much fun that it was just too much to cram into one post; hope you aren't tired of the big 4 hullabaloo. To be honest it has been nice for us to reflect on this milestone and truly appreciate all the good things for Gwendolyn -- which so many of you are a big part of!

We have a tradition on Gwendolyn's birthday -- it started with her first birthday just naturally and we've just kept it up as our special little family thing. On Gwendolyn's actual birthday we start the day by singing to her in her bedroom, she gets dressed in a special outfit that she selects, we spend the morning opening gifts, then listen and watch birthday wishes from friends and family, and then we always do something she has never done before. No matter what the day falls on, we cancel all appointments, therapy sessions, etc. and Bill takes the day off work so the three of us can celebrate our little girl and start her next year with a fun adventure. And this year it was taking Gwendolyn to her first movie at a movie theater -- Lion King 3D!

To say she loved it is an understatement. Gwendolyn was practically panting while we were still at home getting ready. But I'm getting ahead of myself... Gwendolyn picked out her special birthday outfit days ahead of time -- a Wizard of Oz dress made by our friend Maru in Mexico. The dress is absolutely precious and Maru thought of every detail: buttons, pockets, an apron... and what is extra special is she even included lace that was her late grandmother's! After opening her pressies that morning, Gwendolyn also wanted to wear her new cozy Dorothy poncho our friend Jaime (Nora's mom) made which was perfect for our brisk day -- it even has a G in ruby red sequins (Gwendolyn practically swooned!).

When we told Gwendolyn we were going to see Lion King at the big movie theater she knew exactly what we meant. A few weeks ago on her way home from preschool with Bill she heard the ad for it with, of course, its famous music. When the ad ended she freaked wanting Bill to play it again, so he patiently explained what an ad is, etc. (Kids these days!) The next day Gwendolyn's awesome nurse Evelyn told her all about the 3D version at the theater, about the special glasses, and the big screen. So when we asked Gwendolyn if she'd like to see Lion King 3D at the movie theater, she couldn't get her eye rolls and "guh" out fast enough. So off to the movies we went.

It's funny, going to the movies at one point was one of those things we didn't think we could do with Gwendolyn. Enclosed space, sick people, loud noises, dark lighting, viewing accessibility for her -- it seemed too scary. But now here we are and Gwendolyn is four and now everything seems possible. And this was easy. There was only one other family in the theater, she sat right next to me in the wheelchair accessible area and could see the big screen perfectly fine, and I guess we are just more confident now because I only felt nervous for a millisecond. Gwendolyn was so darn excited, tapping feverishly, that instead of worried I sat there thinking how lucky I am to see a movie at the movie theater through her eyes.

The movie was a big hit. At one point she wanted to hold my hand (the sad part) and then later she was singing along to the music. When we got home Gwendolyn opened her final gift -- a new playhouse from Mommy and Daddy. Let's just say she has packed her bags and moved in smile

Thank you all so very, very, very much for showering Miss G with so much love and affection. After Gwendolyn opened all of her cards and gifts I said "You are such a lucky little girl" and she immediately agreed with a big sigh and contemplative gaze at her cards and presents. There is nothing that means more to us than Gwendolyn's happiness and you all have helped to make FOUR a truly memorable celebration for our big girl!

Talk About It

What a special 4th birthday for an even more special little girl!! It sounds like such a wonderful week filled with lots of new adventures, family, friends and so much love-who could ask for anything more! Glad you were able to enjoy the special day with Gwendolyn and to see her feeling so much better!! Hugs Em
Posted by Emma on 2011-10-12 10:50:01
What a wonderful 4th birthday!! The photos and video brought happy tears to my eyes! Congrats on turning 4 Miss G!! Much love to y'all!
Posted by Tammy Duke on 2011-10-12 11:23:08
the lion king is the best disney movie ever! she has good taste. smile happy birthday, sweet girl!
Posted by maggie on 2011-10-12 12:45:16
This is my favorite post of all of the birthday events! I cant believe that something like going to the movies is such a worry for SMA families, and once again you have showed everyone else that it is possiblr. Thank you for that, I hope one day we can take Amanda go the movies! You will be the first one I ask for tips!, hugs and I cant wait for G to get our gift...tell her we are far away and that's why it took so long, lol!!
Posted by Marcela Vallarino on 2011-10-12 19:28:10
What a wonderful birthday celebration Gwendolyn had, and you two too!!! I cannot believe how tall Miss G is! In the picture with you holding her in her new playhouse, Miss G is looking as tall as mommy. She has such long legs. Loved seeing all the birtday pictures and reading all about her 4th birthday. --Mari
Posted by Maril Roll on 2011-10-12 20:17:57
You guys are awesome parents to a very special girl. I love her updates on her adventures. You are blessed and so is she.
Posted by Janet on 2011-10-13 04:59:52
I think a part 4 would be super cool anyway! Too bad there aren't more pics! Stylin' glasses though, I may pick up a pair just to give a little more dimension to some of the really mean people I run into in everyday life, know what I mean? wink
Posted by Ken Lilly on 2011-10-13 07:10:19
What a great way to spend a birthday! G looks so marvelous in all her Wizard of Oz gear. In honor of Gwendolyn's birthday we ordered WOO on DVD and watched it this weekend. Nora loved it...well most of it. She got a little antsy towards the end which is pretty good for an almost three year old. Not even Daddy can sit through the whole movie. G, you've got great taste in movies!
Posted by Jaime Gooden on 2011-10-16 19:38:22

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