So if you have not figured this out by now, my girls love to dress up. And not just like princesses. They like to come prepared for every possible situation. Given that April is Month of the Military Child on post and that every day promoted different activities, this was the perfect opportunity for them to dress up (“fabulously,” as Elaina puts it) for every day that offered a unique outfit. This became a great family activity every morning by looking at the calendar then going through their closets (and sometimes their playroom) to properly dress for the occasion.
When I received the April Child Development Center calendar in late March, I was really excited to see the activities that they had planned in my girls’ classrooms. It also gave us the perfect opportunity to plan ahead for each one of these days. Aside from dressing up for each activity day, the girls also tried to match it with an appropriate book or stuffed animal. Since Elaina likes to be the center of attention and Gabriella likes to talk (a lot), bringing additional items aided in the experience for both of them.
Unfortunately, I did not get any pictures of the first two days on the calendar. On Camouflage/Soldier Day, Elaina wore one of my old Army Combat Uniform Boonie Hats, while Gabriella wore a pair of camouflage pants. Even I got into the fun by wearing a camouflage uniform (in fact, I liked it so much, I kept wearing it all month!). On Animals/Animal Print Day, Elaina wore her shirt with three panda bears on it who are baking, while Gabriella wore her (favorite) butterfly dress. Both of the girls also brought stuffed animals to school, but I do not recall exactly what they were. Now that they were getting into dressing up, we started to plan each week out in advance.
April 3rd was Super Hero Day and you can be sure the girls wanted to go all out for this one. Elaina wore her Supergirl pajamas and brought a Marvel book of super hero stories, such as Spider-Man and Thor. Gabriella wore her Batgirl pajamas (we call her Bat-Gabbs) and brought a DC super hero book teaching shapes and colors. The girls were extra happy because their teachers read both of their respective books during their classes, which started a trend for the rest of the month.
Next was Mismatch Day, which is always a fun one. Two headbands, a ballerina dress, and bright red cowgirl boots? Sure. A bright gold headband, teal dress, bright pink Minnie Mouse pants, rain boots, and a feather boa… why not? Yep, that is definitely my girls and I love them for it. It is at this point that you will likely notice that a lot of these outfits and accessories can be multi-purpose and used on several days.
That Friday was Disney Day, which gave the girls the ability to choose between about thirty different outfits to wear (each). Elaina rocked the feather boa for a second day in a row, going as Fancy Nancy, while Gabriella predictably went with her favorite princess dress, Rapunzel. Elaina brought one of her favorite books, Fancy Nancy and the Wedding of the Century, for her teacher to read for story time (the girls are going to be flower girls at their aunt’s wedding later this month, so Elaina is really interested in weddings right now). While Gabriella did not want to bring her 5-Minute Princess Stories book with her, she did bring her Pascal stuffed animal to augment her Rapunzel ensemble.
Monday was Craft Day, so nothing really exciting was worn. I considered dressing up Elaina as Vincent Van Gogh, but there were some serious Child Protective Services considerations that I was (obviously) unable to go through with. And I thought about dressing up Gabriella as Bob Ross, but some costumes are just too awesome. Because they did not dress up though, we continued Craft Day after school by painting at home.
Favorite Color Day was a predictable one for Elaina, who was head to toe in bright pink. Gabriella was a little more bold, wearing a shirt with several colors on it (“Way to fight the system, Gabbs!”). Pretty uneventful as far as days go though. After Favorite Color Day, the girls took a little bit of a break for dressing up, bypassing Story Book Character Day (Really? This was an easy one.) and Gardening Day.
As expected though, they went full force in Western Dance Party Day, once again bringing out their cowgirl outfits from our Christmas photo shoot. Even matched up against their princess dresses, these continue to be their favorite articles of clothing.
Next came one of their most anticipated days in the month: Pajama Day. Gabriella wore her Puppy Dog Pals pajamas, complete with a matching Rolly stuffed animal (I forgot her Puppy Dog Pals book for the trifecta!). Elaina went with her Christmas pajamas, toting a giant snowman stuffed toy with her. This was certainly one of their happiest dress-up days, but they were initially a little upset with me that they could not just roll out of bed and go to school. I should have articulated to them that it was clean Pajama Day.
Neon Day is when the girls started to get weird during their morning pictures (honestly, vogue-ing is the only way I can describe it). I guess being fashionable just was not enough anymore. Either way, they put on their neon best and were ready to receive their glow-in-the-dark necklaces when they got to the center.
I was really surprised on Wacky Hat/Hair Day as neither of them wanted a wacky hairstyle. It is almost like they knew I just wrote a blog post about this and so they were holding me to a higher standard. Punks. Anyways, they opted for wearing hats, with Elaina choosing a weird bunny hat that her mother got her in Korea (it lights up and you can make the ears wave) and Gabriella going more traditional with a sun hat and glasses. They were also overjoyed to sport their new dress shoes that I have been stocking up for them (RIP Payless Shoe Source). Another great dress up day in the books (and I got to have lunch in Gabriella’s classroom!).
So the girls do not own any specific physical training or sports team clothes, so they had to settle for wearing their gymnastics outfits for Work Out/Field Day. This definitely would not have worked out as well had it not been 80 degrees that day, so these were actually the perfect clothes for the hot weather. And just like yesterday with Gabriella, I had lunch in Elaina’s classroom on this day. This was a great end to our month of dressing up; cannot wait to do it again.
The reason that this is coming out well before April is even close to being over is that the girls will be staying at their great-grandmother’s house and their mother’s apartment while I am away on temporary duty in Washington. Unfortunately, this means that I am both away from my girls for three weeks and that we are unable to finish the month dressing up. While I wish it was not so, it is just a part of being in the military that I have to accept. As I (try) to explain to my girls, “Dad has a really great job that has given us this nice house, your nice school, and that lets us travel to and live in many different parts of the country, but sometimes his job forces him to go away for a while.” I just hope they understand. But for now, we had a truly great time dressing up as well as participating in all the monthly activities, at their school and at home. Thanks again for checking in on us and I hope that you and your family have a wonderful Easter!