An Atlanta Birthday Surprise

My baby turned seven last week.  It’s just so hard for me to believe that it’s been seven years since our little family of two became three {and then four, and then five…}.  Her birth was the just the beginning of the chaos that we lovingly call our life now!  But unfortunately, Jayna was born in the beginning of February, which is usually the first month of “real” winter here in South Carolina {meaning, it may get below freezing!!!}.  And it kinda falls during the hole of a week somewhere between the Superbowl and Valentine’s Day.  And it sneaks up on me every year.Jayna's Birthday Weekend in AtlantaSure, she had parties back when she was an only child and the center of my universe, but lets be honest….I don’t have the time, energy or money to through a party for every kid, every year.  And so far, she’s been happy with getting pedicures and eating cupcakes with her best friend from next door {and I’ve been happy with her contentment!}.  But this year I decided to do something a little different and actually celebrate her.  The Atlanta skylineSo I made a last minute plan to surprise her on Friday by picking her up a little early from school and taking her to Atlanta for the weekend.  My sister lives there, so we had a free place to stay, and Jayna loved the one-on-one attention she got all weekend!Jayna's Birthday Weekend in AtlantaOn Saturday, we had a lazy morning and then hit the mall to get her ears pierced!!  She’s been dying to get it done, so I figured it needed to happen on a special occasion.  She did great, claiming that her American Girl Doll helped her stay brave!Jayna's Birthday Weekend in AtlantaThen, we headed to Zoo Atlanta, where we saw the animals that she wanted to see.  Usually when I take the kids to the zoo, we follow the path to see all the major animals.  But this weekend, we followed Jayna’s lead…even if it meant visiting the naked mole rats {ew, ew, ew} and spending half of the afternoon in the Reptile House!Jayna's Birthday Weekend in AtlantaJayna's Birthday Weekend in AtlantaI love going to different zoos, since they’ve all got different animals…my favorites were the pandas and the red pandas at Zoo Atlanta.  The other {secret} highlight for Loo and me was that it was mating season.  Ok, that sounded a little creepy, but all of the “romance” that was happening unbeknownst to Jayna was quite amusing to us!Jayna's Birthday Weekend in AtlantaLater that night, we hit Ikea {surprised?} and had a impromptu jam session while Jayna taught Chris the words to “Big Rock Candy Mountain.”Jayna's Birthday Weekend in Atlanta On Sunday, we surprised Jayna again with a trip to the American Girl Store and Cafe for lunch and shopping.vJayna's Birthday Weekend at the American Girl Store in AtlantaJayna's Birthday Weekend at the American Girl Store in AtlantaShe and her doll loved getting dressed up for lunch!  And let me tell you, I was really impressed by lunch.  The amount of food {and good!} was really good for the price, and included an appetizer and main course.  But my favorite thing is the attention to detail when it came to the doll’s dining experience…Jayna's Birthday Weekend at the American Girl Store in Atlanta

From her own high chair, to doll sized servings of lunch, to a flower for her hair….Jayna’s American Girl Doll got pampered in every way.  And she got to take everything home with her!Jayna's Birthday Weekend at the American Girl Store in AtlantaThe store was huge and overwhelming….Jayna loved it.  They were pushing the new doll that’s out {who is now on Jayna’s short list of}, down to a life-sized display of her living quarters.  And can I just say, that I don’t understand where people keep all of their props and accessories for these dolls.  Everything is either huge or teensy.  Cost aside {$$$}, where does one keep a 18″ doll sized treehouse with outdoor barbecue?  Seriously, they must have separate rooms to store their little {big} doll house collections!
Jayna's Birthday Weekend at the American Girl Store in AtlantaIt took us about two hours to explore {every single detail of} the store, and Jayna finally settled on a few small accessories for her doll….”she needs glasses in case she wants to be a teacher.”  And we also decided that since the doll had helped Jayna through her ear piercing, she deserved to get hers done too!!We had a blast over the weekend, and I just loved connecting with my firstborn again.  Happy birthday Jaynabug!

Palmettos and Pigtails Signature