Thursday, December 18, 2014

Winter Park Visit

It's not often that we can visit the park these days. It's always so wet, and cold. But on a rare day when things were dry, we got there before the sun dropped so early. I bundled them up in coats and hats. The took their furry friends and off we went.



We came home to play in the basement. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Oh Christmas Tree, 2014

Was it really a year ago that we were here, when Lulu was still in my 'tummy' and Penny paddled around in a long knitted dress, picking up rocks on the trail? We are now a family of four, and we came to find a tree that had been growing for a whole year, just for us. We came to see our children look suspiciously at farm animals too, of course.

Penny brought "Pink Baby" and showed her the variety of trees we had to choose from.

Lulu surveyed the territory, and did an impression of her sister we had described from not last year, but two years ago now, looking at a tiny tree with her daddy.

When we implied that Lulu's tree was too small, Penny went to find a suitable one. Here she's telling me she which one she likes (that would be the huge one, in the back).

Instead, Mr. Jones picked our tree. We are opting for a tabletop model again this year, with Lulu doing her "gravity tests" daily. I think small trees are just as festive.

We tried a group photo before the nice man with the flatbed drove away with our new houseguest to shake and wrap her up. This is the closest we got (at least the vintage ski slope dress is making its appearance nicely).

The few family traditions we have rear their head on these occasions. As you can see from last year and the year previous, we've got a thing for putting the baby on the roof of the car with the tree, once they're all ready to haul away.

We spent the rest of the afternoon decorating. What's striking about this year is that Penny is starting to understand some ideas of Christmas. As well, it's our first Christmas in our new home, so decorating it felt really warm, fun, and especially festive.

The results have been great. The girls are dazzled by the lights when we put it on each evening. Penny stops to stare at it - stops still, which is saying something when you're two - and says in her sweetest voice, "Look at THIS, Mama." I just look at her, looking at this. I could watch her forever.

Perhaps my favorite moment came when Mr. Jones brought the cut tree inside the house. Penny was amazed. We had just cut down a tree and brought it inside the house. It must be amazing to be two. To wake up each day and think anything at all might happen. A tree with lights may one day come to live inside your home for a time they call Christmas.

It all must be delightful, if not confusing. This may be one of my very favorite pictures of Penny, ever. Her expression captures all of it.

Lulu was so excited by all of it, she started walking. 
More on that soon.
Hope your holidays are coming together nicely!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Thanksgiving, 2014

We had four days together. The weather was utterly changeable. We stayed in our house a lot, yet didn't do much at all. We tried to teach the baby to sleep for longer stretches and because of it we often tried to get cozy in the daytime.

Lulu colored with her sister. She climbed into her chair at the art table, grabbed a crayon and started scribbling.

We revisited the backyard, covered in leaves and colors of the season...

We went to the mall. The girls leaped and hopped and cried with the other babies. We saw the big man in the red suit.

Penny got a new raincoat from the thrift store. She was thrilled, especially with the hood.

The sisters took long, lazy baths together. It's probably where they get along best. Penny played with Lulu, and washed her, and tickled her toes. Lulu stared at her with such affection.

We are so tired still, but it was certainly a wonderful long weekend, where we were thankful for time together and these beautiful girls who make us laugh every single day, and fill us up again and again, with hugs.

PS. Lulu wore an argyle sweater made by me and previously worn by her sister (on Thanksgiving!).

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Lulu at 11 Months

I don't have many photos of Lucille Jones that I haven't already posted, but I didn't want her eleventh month to go by, unnoticed. I can see now that we're leaving the baby, and the toddler is emerging each day. Not just in the way she stands up and lurches toward her first step, not only in the sounds that I can see will become infused with concrete meaning, but in her attitude and her independence, in her defiance of always doing what we want her to do. Lulu's life is starting to become her own. She's making choices. She's communicating. She tells us many more things than even one month ago.

Still the sweetest baby and the worst sleeper, always social and curious and happy, Lulu is never shy. At daycare she's a climber, a slider and a daredevil, witnessed by her sister who often yells, "No, Woowoo, wait!". Lulu is not waiting.

She's totally affectionate without being extremely attached. She greets no situation with fear. These are all opposites to her sister, and in that way the last eleven months has been a totally new experience in parenting. Lulu loves us, and gives us the most grateful smile before she places her head on our chests while we carry her about. Still, there's no one she loves more than Penny. She cranes to watch her, claps to her sister's songs, attempts to play with all of her toys,, and waves at the window when Penny goes out, headed for places suited only for toddlers. In no time, Lulu will be running alongside her, but that won't be until the last little bit of the baby is gone. We still have a last little bit, and I'm glad.

PS. Penny at 11 Months

Friday, November 21, 2014

Made, Given, Worn...For Fall!

I've made some things for some of us lately: a hat for the older one, a cowl for me, and some pants for the baby. We've been wearing them a lot! Penny's (free) hat pattern is here, my (free) cowl pattern is here, and Lulu's pants were made from Simplicity 1566, which I had left over from making their Halloween costumes. I was sent the cute Cath Kidston puppy fabric from England (thanks, Trish!).

The funniest thing is that it's really confused Penny. The teachers at school tell me that she picks things up, toys and whatnot, and tells them "Mommy made this". She won't believe them when they tell her I didn't. It feels like a big compliment, but not bigger than the joy I feel when she wears what I make, and really loves it.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Fall Walk

We took a Fall walk around the neighborhood. The walking was slow, with a lot of exploration along the way. I made Lulu a cashmere sweater coat (Ravelry details here and also blogged about here) and she wore it while poking in the leaves...

 while her sister poked in the shrubbery....
...and they came back together to compare notes.
Penny found sticks, and colored the mossy walls,

and found a tree to play hide and seek in.

We found her. The games continue...

though the weather is supposed to turn dramatically colder in the next few days. It's also been raining a whole lot, too. We're so happy to get these Autumn walks in while we can! Especially with these two girls, who always find adventures, if just outside the door.

Monday, November 3, 2014

You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch

We dressed up as The Grinch and Cindy Lou Who for Halloween. Max (the dog) was there, too. It was a big hit, can't you tell?
No, really, they did liked it! Here's the evidence:

First we went to Playgroup at a local community center. It was Penny's first time there (that she can remember) and she LOVED IT. We'll be going back.

Then we headed off to Storytime at our old library. I love seeing kids walking through the streets on Halloween in their costumes. Everyone is smiling, too. It's so much fun!
The children's librarian is the BEST. Penny loved this book so much. We'll have to borrow it....
She loves the songs, too. We're in a real music phase right now. Penny sings constantly!
I think their costumes cost me no more than $10 total to make. Lulu's was a repurposed peapod outfit from the thrift store. I fixed it up and added a shirt made from this pattern. Penny's was a nightgown from this pattern made with pink fabric I had in my stash. I added elastic at the bottom and cuffs, and went crazy with a fabric marker to make a removable collar. I also found Max at the thrift store for $2.99. Done!

In the evening, there was a party at the girls' daycare. Penny was slightly confused as to why we were at "school" at night. It was pretty adorable to see their friends in costume, and so great to see the girls socialize so much, as they knew all the teachers, and the kids. Then we went home, had bath time, and as Penny would say "Halloween, OVER!" No candy given out, no trick-or-treating quite yet. Just three fun events and two tired girls (and their parents). So much fun!