Halloween costume discussion began months ago and, as expected, she changed her mind constantly. She wanted to be a frog, a doughnut, an autumn fairy, a doughnut fairy. She wanted Owen to be a nice princess. But one day, while staring out the window, she said, "I'm not going to be a fairy. I'm going to be a cloud." And she stuck with that idea for the whole two months until Halloween. She even decided that Owen should be a sun and mama should be a raindrop and daddy should be a lightning bolt. Our very own meteorological family.
This year, Juniper was over-the-top excited about Halloween. She kept talking about all the treats. She wanted to fill her treat bucket to the "tippy top". "Then it will be enough, mama." She asked if trick-or-treating would be scary but also fun. She couldn't wait to have a lollipop and also some chocolate. And some for Owey too. She was so, so thrilled to be a cloud.
I waffle on the idea of making my kids' costumes and had almost talked myself into buying them before Juni decided on the weather theme. But, of course, I couldn't find cloud and sun costumes anywhere. I couldn't even find any examples or tutorials online for making them.
If my approach was more organized and meticulous, I would have written a tutorial myself for any kindred parent of sky-infatuated toddlers. But I pretty much improvised these costumes, making adjustments as I went along. They are both made of fleece with cotton jersey lining. I constructed the sun in a similar manner to the ubiquitous toddler pumpkin costumes that you find in any discount store this time of year. The shoulders are velcro and the bottom opening is elasticized to achieve the spherical effect. I stuffed the whole thing with polyfill including the pointy, triangular bits. The cloud was made much the same way, except I extended the sides quite a bit and traced out a cloud-ish shape. I also eliminated the velcro and added stuffed bumps to the shoulders. It is lined with gray jersey (a silver lining!).
Both costumes are delightfully poofy and squishy and bouncy, though the cloud in particular turned out to be quite the jack-o-lantern hazard while trick-or-treating. And as with most things, these were absolutely worth making myself.
Oh this guy. This sweet, snuggly, huggy guy. He melts my heart into a big puddle of goo.
Truly, cuddling up to those cheeks is just about the best thing in this world. They cuddle back.
Now that he's a whole year old, I have to keep reminding him that he's my baby. He seems determined to prove otherwise.
He walks across the room with a big, proud grin on his face, climbing on and over anything in his way.
He makes his little voice heard, full of words and phrases and songs, suprising me every day with something new and clever.
"Excuse you!" he teases.
"Read a booook?" he asks (Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? is his favorite. What is it with babies and that book?).
"Want a Bapple!" he pleads, asking over and over again for an apple. He likes them whole, so he can nibble his way through and around it, spitting the skin out all over my floor.
"Touchdown!" he yells, with his arms straight up in the air.
"Wuv you... wuv you, wuv you, wuv you." And I melt all over agin.
His birthday was a sweet, simple little affair, with singing and cake, a sushi lunch and a Lo Mein dinner, and many lovely gifts from our families.
Lately, I've become quite enamored with the idea of cakes looking like cakes rather than like cartoon characters. This is at least in part due to my love affair with the gorgeous, nostalgic perfection of Sweetapolita's many-layered confections (Charlie made this cake for my birthday and it was incredible). So we made Owen his own double-layer cake to enjoy. Charlie mixed up chocolate and spiced pumpkin batters for the cake and I made the leftovers into cupcakes for the rest of us. It was topped with a drippy maple cream cheese frosting and, per Juni's insistence, a variety of "nice, pretty sprinkles".
Owen was certainly less fastidious with his cake than Juni was, but he did insist on an arsenal of spoons and sporks rather than digging in with his hands. After about half an hour of nibbling, he nearly fell asleep in his frosting, at which point we gave him a warm bath and a warm bed and a warm snuggle and the tired, happy little birthday boy fell right to sleep.
Owen's birthday sweater was knit from this simple, quick pattern for a toddler t-shirt vest (I adore woolie sweater vests). The yarn is Malabrigo Rios merino wool in the lettuce colorway - it is ridiculously, incredibly soft... almost too soft. I haven't made up my mind whether I like it or not. It feels more like bamboo than wool, with none of the sturdy body that I expect from a woolie thing. Here's the Ravelry link.
The birthday crown was my own design, using wool felt and ribbon. I was going for an autumnal woodland theme (with a bear for my little O-Bear). Juni calls it the banana hat because she insists that the moon looks like a banana. "That's not a moon! Silly mama..."