Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Easter, 2015

Things are really getting fun around here. My preschooler is really loving holidays, and all the fun activities that go along with them. I couldn't be happier. This year, I thought about doing some egg dyeing on my own, and letting Penny decorate the eggs with stickers. Then, it occurred to me that she really could help, and would really love to do so. Who cares if we got messy or the eggs cracked? I also have the cleanest 3 year-old on the planet, so messy isn't really an option. So, after bath time, on the eve of Easter, we put the dye pellets and cups out, and went for it. She absolutely loved it. The sense of pride on her face was priceless. "We colored eggs!". On Easter morning, still in our pajamas, we got out those stickers and finished the job.

Then we got dressed in our Easter Best (I made the girls some bunny rabbit hats. After the birthday party, dresses were too much) and we headed out to an egg hunt. It was the same one we did last year, in the garden behind a local restaurant where they grow vegetables for cooking. There were no more than 10 kids there, which means we were able to get some eggs! They were thrilled. Lulu also loved the chalk drawing.

The Easter Bunny was there, too. There was a bit of a role reversal, as last year Penny wasn't a fan...

...and this year Lulu had no use for him (just like Santa).

Then, we walked to the local park, played on the swings, in the grass, and on the jungle gym.

Later that evening, we put together an egg tree, from eggs my mom had left during her visit (and branches from a bush in the backyard that my mom had informed us was dead, and not coming back). Penny loved doing the egg tree so much that we took the eggs off four different times, decorating it again and again.

We posed next to the tree for posterity...

...and to recreate a family photo of my parents, my sister, Heather, and me. This photo must have been taken around 1977. My grandmother made our matching outfits! Some traditions carry on...(and by the way, is that Lulu sitting on my dad's lap?).

How much fun to make family traditions, and recreate moments from so long ago. Easter 2015 was so much fabulous, and we can't wait to celebrate so many more.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Penny's Rainbow Birthday Party

Penny's third birthday party was in the backyard, with everything she wanted: friends, balloons, and chocolate cake. We had a rainbow piñata (I highly recommend a pull-string piñata for the pre-school set - it was much more fun than swinging with a bat!) and a pom-pom and wooden spoon race. There was bowling, and a slide, and an art table. There were prizes and lollypops. There was a birthday dress and a sweater for her sister. There were presents. Grandma was in town! The weather was perfect, and everyone seemed relaxed.

Penny is 3. Though it seems like she's been here for a long time, it's shocking what a big girl she is. She knows so much, can do so much, is so sensitive and loving and outgoing. Outgoing! Who would have thought that the shyest toddler in the world would be so animated. She makes time to dance every day. She asks everyone she meets to play with her. She loves new clothes, the color purple, and her teddy bear, Chris, and her family, of course. Her third year was one of the most special of my life. She was more like an a incredible college roommate than someone I had to instruct. She's careful and thoughtful, agreeable and incredibly enjoyable to spend time with. We made her promise that age 3 would be as good as age 2. I know it will be, knowing Penny Jones. I'm so glad I know her. I love her to pieces. Happy 3rd Birthday, Penny!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Rainbows, Bobbles, and Buttons

Penny Jones is turning 3 this weekend, and her birthday dress (in rainbows, to match her party) is ready to go.
It's an Apple Picking Dress, from Oliver & S. I did the version with long sleeves and only one gathered skirt layer. I changed the pattern to have a larger placket on both sides, to support one larger row of buttons instead of two. I added purple piping, too. She's seen her dress, and loves it. After saying "My birthday is in March" for the past 3 months, and now, "My birthday is SOON", she's still not sure when it is. I love this age.
I couldn't leave out her little sister. So I made Lulu a Bobble Yoke Sweater and used rainbow yarn, chopping and changing it as I needed, to make a the yoke the rainbow I needed (Ravelry link here, for more details).

 I'm sure both garments will last only one day, encrusted with chocolate cake and grass stains from the garden party. But who could mind? This is the happiest dress and sweater, for two girls that are almost always happy.

I'm looking forward to Penny's birthday almost as much as she is!

Monday, March 23, 2015


It's been raining and sunny both, but so mild. Sometimes the sky is pink and purple and blue, and we stare at it from inside, and take a photo to remember.

We have been getting the garden ready for when it's even warmer (and for an upcoming 3rd birthday!). We scoop rocks into buckets, pull leaves from the shrubbery, and take note of the different colored flowers popping through the soil. They make garden boxes with daddy, and are held by him to get a better view.

When it rains, we find our fun inside. Unless, of course, your best friend comes over and you happen to have matching rain suits (thanks, Judy!) since your sister can't fit into hers quite yet. And your best friend wants to go to the park and play, even though it's raining. Then, of course, you go. And you talk about it for weeks afterward.

Things are really getting fun around here. Happy Spring!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Candy Dots Baby Blanket: Pattern Available Now!

Thanks so much for your interest in my original post for the Candy Dots Baby Blanket. I'm excited to announce that the pattern is now available!

Made from single crochet with bobbles that harken back to the classic candy, this blanket is made in fingering weight/4 ply yarn, but can easily be up-sized in any weight to create a larger afghan or blanket!

The pattern includes the standard yarn and hook requirements, as well as a full photo tutorial on how to complete the color changes, bobble rows, and following single crochet rows. Even if you're new to the craft, I'm confident it will teach you everything you need to know to crochet this fun project.

You can purchase my Candy Dots Baby Blanket in the following two places (click on them to follow the links):

The Knit Picks Independent Designer Program Project Page 

The Ravelry Project Page (for which you must be a Ravelry user)

I hope you enjoy making the blanket. I've really enjoyed publishing the pattern, and am anxiously awaiting feedback. I can't wait to see some Candy Dots Blankets out in the world. They make life just a little bit sweeter, don't you think?

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

At a Push

"At a push" you could say that these sisters get along well. They do everything siblings do: they get angry at each other and fascinated by each other, and they don't want to be without each other. This weekend it was gloriously warm. We spent our days in the parks, sometimes two parks in one day. Penny wanted to push Lulu on the swing for the very first time.
Penny really likes being a big sister. Each morning when Lulu wakes up she greets her with "Hi, Little Sister!". She calls Lulu "cute". She tries to tickle her. Lulu loves every moment. Penny is her idol. 

Penny and her daddy love to kick the soccer ball together. There is yelling, and squeals of delight (from both of them). The greatest thing about Penny right now is her language, which is almost perfect. Sometimes, though, she gets her words wrong, in the best possible way. 

When Penny wants to tell me she's having fun, she'll yell, "Mama, look at me and Daddy. We're being funny!" Yes, Penny! We're all being funny a lot these days, having so much fun together. Penny and Lulu, at 14 months and almost 3 - really "funny" ages.