Sunday, October 28

birthday pt.II

A few days after Iris's 2nd birthday, more presents came in from our family members! This little girl had about a week long birthday this year! A few of the things she got are a sweet autumn outfit, an early-math game, a sock monkey, two baby dolls, a new kitty hat and a big ABC foam mat for her bedroom floor.  She enjoyed opening each card and gift and has since loved play with all of them! I wasn't able to get many pictures of her opening the presents, as she wanted me to be more involved in just sitting with her and watching, but here are a few to enjoy!

She wanted Winnie the Pooh to wear her birthday crown.

What's inside?

Reading her cards.

Now it's Bear's turn to wear the crown!

Papa helping her unwrap gifts.

She decorated herself with the stickers! 

Super excited for more presents!

A kitty hat!

Love at first sight.
Making the babies kiss!

Wednesday, October 10

two years old.

Happy Birthday, my sweet two year old! You are now speaking in clear sentences, pairing them together into a form that borders on actual conversation. You often mimic words and phrases that we use, which forces us to be far more conscious of what comes out of our mouths! Your memory has become quite remarkable and I will not be surprised if your first memories for the future have already been formed. 

Your two new favorite foods are spicy chili with cornbread and pomegranate seeds. Every morning you ask for "cheery wif milk, mama?" - cheerios with milk. You also have a bit of an obsession with yogurt, and we've had to put our foot down about trying everything on your plate and eating a decent amount of something you like before you're allowed a yogurt for dessert. We have now decreased our nursing sessions to no more than four in a 24 hour period as I slowly and respectfully wean you. The last two years of breastfeeding has been a wonderful (and at times furious) experience that I have enjoyed fully. I have quite mixed feelings about the idea of weaning you, though I am convinced that it is the right time. You are still fully night-weaned and sleeping for up to nine hours at a time, which is glorious! 

Our weekly homeschooling group has been so beneficial to you since we started a few weeks ago. We meet with your three new friends once a week and do all sorts of different activities based on a letter of the day. We do singing, dancing, crafts, reading, sensory activities, work on fine motor skills and of course, play! You've gone from being a bit timid and overwhelmed during the visits to being super excited every Monday morning when I remind you, "we're going to school to see your friends today!" 

You are call your friends (sort of) by name now, for example, "come here friend!" In the morning you exclaim, "good morning!" You are all about words and phrases and are constantly chattering and conversing. You have most of your books memorized now and love to read along with me and finish dramatic sentences. You are also able to answer somewhat abstract questions like, "What do we need to do when someone is sleeping? We have to be very...?" And you put your finger to your lips and whisper, "quiet." 

Another aspect of life with you lately is the observation of your ever broadening empathy. The first time we watched Bambi together, we talked about death. A little sooner than I was expecting, to be honest! When Bambi's mother is invisibly shot during an emotionally turbulent scene, talking about what happened to her is rather obligatory in my opinion. Especially for you, since you are so sensitive to the emotions of others. When Bambi calls out for his mother in the snow, crying and looking for her - you became very intense and touched by Bambi's confusion and sadness. We talked about how his mother got shot by a hunter, that she died and it's so sad that she can't be with him any more. You seemed to grasp some rudimentary understanding, and you cheered up after our talk.  

Then, weeks later, you were watching The Lion King while I took a shower. When I returned to the living room, the film was playing the aftermath of the death of Simba's father. You looked as though you were ready to burst out crying and cried out, "Papa fall down! Die! Oh no!" So, we hugged and talked about how sad it was that he was gone. Both your intuition and compassion astound me, my love. 

I really dislike the term "the terrible twos" because as much as being a parent can be frustrating, it is far more furiously beautiful to watch you blossom into who you are becoming. The persuasion of your deep emotional tides occasionally overwhelms us all. But you make life more real; more explosively worth living and growing ourselves, as you remind us of the vastness of what it means to be human.

We love you.

Tuesday, October 9

felt hair clips.

A friend of mine recently inspired me to take on a new felt project (or obsession, whichever you prefer to call it!) I have started crafting felt hair clips for my little girl, now that her hair is finally long enough for pigtails and her bangs are tickling her forehead. These clips are super easy to make and look just adorable on a toddler. Iris loves each one of them and will now ask me to put them in her hair and look at herself in the mirror. 
Here are the first few I have made - much more to come! 

Sunday, October 7

Iris' 2nd birthday party.

Iris was born almost two years ago on the date 10.10.10. It's truly hard to believe how the time flies! We had her 2nd birthday party today and she had such a wonderful time. I planned the party loosely around a woodland theme because Iris loves the movie Bambi. I handmade a birthday crown for Iris and also one for each of her three friends. I made a chocolate fudge cake with chocolate buttercream frosting and mini vanilla cupcakes to mimic toadstools. I was also inspired to make chocolate and Nutter Butter acorns and a cheese and almond hedgehog to suit the theme. I didn't want to go too crazy with decorating, but we did hang streamers across the ceiling and inflated lots of balloons for the kids to play with. Thank you to my friend for taking all of the photos below so that we could fully enjoy the day with our baby.

Iris was especially focused on everything today and was in such high spirits. Today, she gladly shared all of her toys, even the ones close to her heart. She smiled and giggled so often that if there was even one frown, I don't remember it. She wore her birthday crown with pride all afternoon. After about an hour of playing with toys, bouncing balloons across the room and snacking on assorted meats and cheeses, Iris proclaimed - "cake?!" We of course obliged and she sat in her Papa's lap as she awaited the cake's arrival. We sang Happy Birthday to her and she grinned and knew immediately to blow out the candles! She then helped me cut the cake and proceeded to occasionally ask me for "more chocolate? more cake?" for the rest of the day. 

With great interest and patience, she opened each one of her presents and marveled at all of them. She received many books, blocks and puzzles, along with several toys simply for the sake of play, all of which she immediately fell in love with. The deer decoration on her cake also became her very own "Bambi!" The grand finale of her presents - a piano which plays many different sounds including meowing, and Rody the bouncy horse! 

After the party we treated her to her favorite dinner and dessert - pizza and pomegranate seeds. She watched her new Little Bear movie as her eyes grew heavier, and fed pomegranate to her new toys. Marius and I asked her, "Iris, what was your favorite present today?" My sweet one, she replied, "friends." 

As I put her to bed tonight, it was one of the last times I will ever snuggle my one year old. 

Happy Birthday, my baby.

Eating a chocolate acorn and waiting for her guests to arrive. 

The girls patiently waiting for the boys to arrive.

The cheese and almond hedgehog I made.

The chocolate and nutter-butter acorns I made.

The cake! Can't see the birthday bunting here but there are the toad stool cupcakes. 

Family photo with our birthday girl. 

Bonking Papa with balloons!

One of her favorite games!

Overseeing the boy's activities.

Everyone playing so well together. 

Waiting for her cake to be brought out!

Happy Birthday!

This is the part where I barely managed to keep from bursting out crying.

Helping me cut the cake.

Very focused.

Licking the candles, a children's birthday staple!

Opening her presents!

One of the many books she received.

Using her muscles to "rip it!"

So excited to get Penguin Race from her Granny!

Hugging her new dragon stuffed animal.

Mama and Papa smiling both at Iris being cute... and wondering why we bought the most annoying toy ever!

The girls playing the meowing piano together.

It's RODY!!

Bouncing together!

Happy 2nd birthday, my baby.