Since I haven't done a sewing post in months, I'm using this (long!) one to catch up. Most of these projects were from the fall, before Owen was born. In fact, since our cuddle bear arrived, I have made exactly two things, neither of which I have photographed yet.
During both of my pregnancies, I had grand plans of decorating beautiful nurseries for my little ones - choosing the perfect colors, finding the perfect artwork, striking that perfect balance between vintage whimsy and cheerful modern. I browsed hundreds of photos of beautifully coordinated rooms, everything in its place, everything carefully chosen. However, each time, nine months flew by in an instant. I framed a few things, I moved some furniture, I tidied. So the perfect nursery never materialized. Which is just as well, because, neither of my kids spent much time in the nurseries. The baby sleeps with us and spends his day in our family spaces. The nursery is essentially a room to store his stuff. I did, however, managed to craft a
few things for Owen's crib, which we use as a changing table.
The owl mobile was made using this "tutowlrial" from Moonstitches. Those poofy little guys were fun to make. And easy.
As much as I love Christmas Day, the Day After might be my favorite. A day of unwinding and exhaling, with no expectations, no obligations. Presents are still scattered around the house. Leftovers are still in the fridge. Lights are still twinkling. This is the time to appreciate the love and thoughtfulness and generosity of all our family and friends. This year, our Day After couldn't have been more perfect. An overnight snow storm transformed the rush and excitement and chaos of Christmas into a soft, silent, sparkling wonderland. We spent the morning in our pajamas, playing with new toys and reading new books. Then we bundled everyone up and headed out into the snow. Snowballs, sleds, snowmen, silliness, then the warmth and comfort of a good hot chocolate and a handful of marshmallows. Perfect.
Ah, Christmas. The excitement. The anticipation. The suspense. Juniper spent days eagerly petting her presents and dancing around the tree singing Jingle Bells. She asked about Santa Claus constantly. Landing on roof? With reindeer? Bringing books? And chocolate? Visions of sugar plums certainly danced in my little girl's head. And when the day finally arrived? Well, it chewed her up and spit her out.
Now that the whirlwind of December is over, I have several posts to catch up on, not the least of which is... TWO! My baby girl turned two on December 14th!
Which means, as she likes to remind me, that she is a "big girl", not a baby. I search every day for the baby in her, but all I see is little kid bursting through, charging at the world head-on. Ahh, it was hard to let her turn two, to grow onward and upward. A year ago, she was still all baby fat and bald-headed awkwardness, no signs of walking or talking (or bossing me around).
Now she is tall and skinny, limbs always in motion. She talks constantly, happily narrating her day in long, winding sentences, each one sounding like a question.
She is in love with the letter W. In her world, all letters are either W or not W. Finding W's is her own little game and she is quite good.
She insists on climbing stairs all by herself. "Don't touch!" she yells. I let go, cringing at the sharp corners and rough tumbles in front of her. "Go!" she yells, as I linger. Sigh.
She astonishes me each day with how much she knows. How does she know that this is an ostrich? That a barber cuts hair? How does she know that we're driving past Daddy's work or the sushi restaurant with the "yummy edamame"? I can't even fathom absorbing information that quickly.
Some mornings, while we're all still in bed, I hear her chatting with her stuffed animals, telling elaborate stories, instructing them on what to do and where to sit and whom to kiss. Then I hear the tell-tale creaking of her door knob. I wait, because I know she will not walk down the hallway without first closing her door. Slam! I hear the slip-slapping of her feet on the hardwood floor as she makes her way towards our room, stopping here and there, distracted by who-knows-what. She pauses outside our door, giggling, anticipating. She swings open the door and, with a huge grin on her face, yells, "boo!" It is the best way to wake up.
While I miss the baby that she was, I am so grateful for this two-year-old. Wrestling with her independent, stubborn, defiant, mischievous little self is challenging to say the least. But I also get to spend the whole day listening to her chattering, playing her games, and exploring her world. There are snuggles and eyelash kisses and big hugs. She makes us laugh constantly, even when we're trying to be stern and serious and parental. She radiates joy and we, the lucky bystanders, get to feel that joy every single day.
She is our little chef. She helps me make cookies and cakes and other yummy baked things. She practically knows the recipe for my favorite chocolate chip cookies. She brings the flour and sugar from the pantry. She points out the vanilla and the baking soda. She steals handfuls of cookie dough. She also likes to make pizza with Daddy. She takes her job of adding toppings very seriously. The mushrooms are her favorite. I like the way she says, "pepper. oni."
So her big birthday gift from Mama and Daddy was her very own kitchen set. She got pots and pans and utensils, wooden veggies for soup (including mushrooms), and some felt breakfast items I sewed for her the week before. She loved it all. She still does.
And then there was the cake. The minute Juni woke up on her birthday, she couldn't stop talking about eating birthday cake. The Hello Kitty birthday cake was a big hit, though this Mama sorely underestimated how long it would take to pipe an entire kitty head with buttercream. The cake was a delicious chocolate orange marbled cake, adapted from this fantastic recipe. Juniper was much more interested in eating the red letters off the cake board, but we all enjoyed the birthday treat.
Enjoy every second of being two, sweet girl! We're enjoying it right along with you.