Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Morning, 2014

A long time ago, I attended a smocking convention, and a woman from the South said something like "If you're from the South, and your children are not in a smocked dress on Easter morning, something is very wrong". Of course, I'm not from the South but I love this sentiment so much that this year I tried to dress my children as if we were Southerners (and church-goers, ahem).  

We went to an egg hunt in the garden of a local resturaunt, and then headed to the park for hours playing outside with the other neighborhood kids, who had all just finished up egg hunts in various other locations. It was truly idyllic. Can't you just tell by the girls' faces, below?

Baby Lulu has met Santa and the Easter Bunny in her first half year of life. Go, Lulu!

The bunnies around these parts do not have sore feet:

While Penny went on the swings and the slides, and ran around to her heart's content...

Lulu looked on with a smile, and dozed in her stroller...

Unlike when I smocked a dress for Penny's first birthday, I thrifted both of their Easter dresses. Bought on different occasions, they were less than $5 each.

Then there was the matter of chocolate. Penny has become quite a fan. She uncovered some in one of the eggs she picked up on the hunt, and grinned.

She wanted me to sit down so she could climb and my lap and enjoy it. But not share, of course :).

We headed home for naps - a certain adult got one, too. Can you we were tired? 

Hope your Easter was as sweet as mine.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

For the Love of Trains

On a bright Spring afternoon, Penny Jones and I headed down to the Oregon Rail Heritage Center with my friend Malena and her son, Carson.  They told us we could see trains and take a ride, and boy, it did not disappoint. 

We got there after naptime, and had to run for the train as it was leaving the station. We took our seats on the outdoor car, and I think by not stopping to look at it, Penny didn't wholly process that we were on a real choo choo train.

I tried to explain it, but it wasn't until the 15 minute journey paused and we were able to get off momentarily and look at the train before heading back, that she truly understood. 

And then she got really excited.

On the way home, the loud train sounded "choooo choooo" and Penny burst into hysterical cackling, throwing her head back again and again. What was there to do, but join her?

Eventually, we regained our composure.

After the ride, we headed into the museum to check out their beautiful collection of old diesels.

Penny looked so small next to them. We all did!

We headed out the front door to explore the yellow caboose.

Then we went back inside to play with their toy train set.

We were there past 5 o'clock, when they closed. The volunteers followed us out and Penny cried because it was over, much to their amusement. Once home, her Daddy asked her how she like it and Penny just stood in the front yard, saying "doo doo, doo doo, doo doo" (her words for choo choo) in some sort of trance, for quite some time. Luckily, while we were there, Malena booked Carson a birthday party at the Heritage Center! So we will be going back. It sure was a special mama/daughter date for Penny and me. She's still talking about it, a week later.

Friday, April 11, 2014

People I Love in Things I've Made

Seeing Penny in her birthday dress made me think of all the things I've made recently for loved ones around me. They've been in heavy rotation, as the weather changes and so many different kinds of clothes are needed. Here's a roundup!

Penny in her Spring trousers (she's tall enough now that we don't even cuff them anymore!).

Lulu in her knitted pants (made at the same time as her sister's). How I love these. What baby couldn't use a pair?

Our friends Frank and Peg in their bear hats.

Penny in yet another pair of quick change trousers (made previously here and here and here). These have been invaluable in being reversible. One side is now permanently stained, but they are still useable!

Penny and Lulu in their Big Top Animal Hats. I've developed these hats in three different kinds of animals. I hope to release the knitting pattern very soon!

There has been a big shift around here, as I've started a new (wonderful) part-time job! I'm still hoping to find the time to make things for the people I love. There's a great need, as I know no less than 5 ladies who are expecting babies in the next year. One is even expecting twins! No need to quit making handmade baby things now :).

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Penny at Two Years

Penny Jones turned 2 on Saturday. Unlike last year, the weather was awful. The pouring rain soaked everything outside. So we had the choo choo themed party inside our tiny apartment.  It was packed, and so much fun! It reminded me of parties I would host during college in my tiny New York apartment. Penny had no idea what hit her.  Here she is after her nap, awaiting the guests in her homemade birthday dress.


Friends of all ages attended. This is Elise. She's about 2 months older than Penny and her mom and I met in a mommy group when they were just newborns! It's been so lovely to see her, and so many of her peers, grow and change so much.

There were children bouncing off the furniture and crashing to the floor, playing with Penny's toys and reading her books. Penny kept pulling my arm toward her bedroom. She just wanted some time alone with her mama and her brand new choo choo shed (above).

I finally coerced her to come out and sit at the table where we brought out the cake. Penny jumped into my arms. I think all the attention made her nervous. 


When she saw it was chocolate, she relaxed pretty quickly.

She held up her favorite choo choo at the head of the table while we served cake.

Penny enjoyed both the cake and a cupcake at her own pace. This girl really loves chocolate.

Hours later, when the last guests had left, she put on her rain boots and splashed in some puddles between showers. 

And with that, we now stop counting the months of her age and start counting the years. I've had two whole years of being a mom to this sensitive, strong, loving, hilarious baby girl. The baby is almost gone. Her sister holds that title now! But Penny will always be my baby. She tells me I'm her mama 100 times a day and I couldn't be more proud of that title.

Happy Birthday, Penelope Jones! You are the best.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Age 2

I spoke too soon. The house inspection revealed a lot, and we're not buying that house. Fingers crossed for another one!

In the meantime, we have a birthday party to host for a very special girl turning 2 tomorrow. She's already seen her choo choo birthday dress and she can't wait to wear it.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Spring Staycation

After a few months of Mr. Jones working 11 hour days, he had a week off.  We had a Staycation! We spent tons of time together and really bonded as a family. Here's a few things we did.

We hit up the Portland parks HARD. The weather generally cooperated, and we all enjoyed getting a bit more sunlight.

Penny even found a friend in the park who loved choo-choos as much as she does.

We went to Storytime at our local library. This is the same Storytime that Penny and I used to go to when she was a baby. Now we're in the older group!

And when we needed to stay close to home, we got out the slide and bubbles in the front yard.

Speaking of home, the biggest thing we did on our Staycation was to purchase a house. Yes, friends, we BOUGHT.A.HOME. This family is moving out of rentals for the first time ever. It will be a chance to really be creative with our living space, with so many perks: our own yard, a place to garden, a dishwasher! Plus, the room we need to spread out just a bit more. I've been pointing at my children and husband one at a time, doing my best Oprah impression, exclaiming, "YOU get a closet, YOU get a closet, YOU get a closet". It's going to be a grand adventure. We can't wait.