Saturday, August 23, 2014

Lulu at 8 Months

Lucille Jones turned 8 months old the past week. She's just the dearest baby, ever. She gets such pleasure out of almost everything she encounters, and it's just such a delight for us all.

She's become so much more active. The crawling is so quick these days, as is the pulling herself up to couches and tables. She's not a big fan of sitting still in the carseat now, but that all changes when her sister is in the backseat with her. She's almost turned sideways, just staring at Penny. She laughs at her constantly, and when Penny hears her fussing she tells "Woo-Woo" that "It's ok, we're almost home". It makes my heart soar.

Lulu loves the garden but for a girl that's not a huge fan of solid foods, everything in the garden goes in her mouth! We have to watch her constantly and she always gives us a cheeky smile when we ask her if she ate something.

She's exploring every inch of our house, and she absolutely won't be left in a room alone. There's immediate crying and then crawling right up to your legs for a pick-up. Lulu just isn't missing out on anything, if she can help it!

This has been the first month where I can see the one year mark in our sights. With mobility, Lulu has lost her intense dependence on us for stimulation. She can move around rooms, find things to explore, and is busy figuring things out for herself. Of course, we're constantly supervising.

With so much of the anxiety I had with my first baby gone, I've enjoyed Lulu so, so much thus far. I can revel in her forward striving. I'm charmed by her attachments, and unconcerned with her frustrations. I know (most of the time I know, I mean, I still hope) that she'll continue to enjoy life. I can anticipate the toddler she will become, and I can't wait to meet that little person. And yet, I can still mourn that each day she's less of  a baby because wow, has she been the cutest, cuddliest, friendliest baby we could have ever hoped to have in our lives.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Enter: Pigtails

At almost two and a half, Penny Jones finally has enough hair to put in pigtails. Doesn't she wear them well? Her teacher at school started putting them in, and when I asked how she got Penny to sit through the process, she said, "I don't ask her. I just do it." So I started doing it, too. She likes them so much she tells me when I haven't put them in, and doesn't like to go out of the house without them. Hooray!

Chris, her bear, certainly approves. She accessorizes her pigtails with a homemade dress.

The pigtails really keep things tidy when you're getting, er, UNtidy in the backyard. Oh what fun we're having these days. We don't want summer to end!

PS. The first time Penny ever wore pigtails (a year ago!).

Friday, August 8, 2014

Thirty Nine

I turned 39 on Monday. I didn't feel well on my actual birthday, but last weekend we celebrated with a meal out (and not just IHOP, but IHOP, too) and some extra times in Portland parks. This visit to Mt. Tabor was especially sweet. Sometimes you get to a park and the evening is so crisp, and the kids are giddy, and everyone just seems so happy as the massive trees tower above you. It's just a great time. 

Mr. Jones was busy helping both of his girls with the walking, on different terrains.

We especially love how Penny gets to a new playground and surveys the territory. She always requests the swings first, and has a look at all the other options, deciding what she'll do first. Then she really gets busy.

Lulu could stay on the swings all night if her big sister would let us push her (and she won't, for long).

Penny's lost all her nerve on the slides. Remember her brave days? Now one of us always has to accompany her. It would be slightly embarrassing - we're usually the only parents trying to fit on these baby slides - except we enjoy it, in a way....

Once she's tried the slides and the swings and the merry-go-round, and hung on the monkey bars and climbed the fake rock wall, there's always a moment of calm where she always just picks around in the grass, collecting pinecones and bringing over leaves and sticks. This part of the park trips is always my favorite.

It was certainly a low key birthday this year, but that doesn't mean it wasn't fun. Time with these three outside is always really special. Next year is the big one! What will I do? Everyone is asking.

We have no plans, but I've already taught Penny how to say "Hawaii":).

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Bring The Happy

My grandmother's sister Betty was an avid crocheter. She made blanket after blanket that she would show off to us when we would see her at holidays and other family get-togethers. This was when I was young, before I could knit or crochet, or tell the difference between the two. Now, 30+ years later, I am taking up crochet myself. I've finally found what I like to crochet! Things for the home, whether they be mine, or someone else's. My first project was a bread warmer, which I plan to give as a gift. This is Junior, the cloud pillow, my second ever crochet project. I think he really brings the happy. He's going to a friend who I think will really enjoy him.

The pattern is from the book "Amigurumi at Home", a book I've fallen in love with. There's so many cute things to make! And this amazing rainbow blanket? My coworker Heidi made it (pattern here and details here) and I'm doing a complete duplicate of it right now to give to my friend when her twins are born. I might make a little cloud pillow, as a toy, to go with it!

Because both of these will be gifts, I'm not letting my girls catch sight of them. They'll want blankets and clouds for themselves, immediately. I showed Penny a picture from the cloud crochet pattern and she was grinning. She gave her sign of approval with a shout of "Baby!", a name she calls everything she loves (excluding her sister, who is only known by her name, WooWoo).

I am dreaming of crocheting so much more. I'm thinking I might start to make things now for the girls' rooms when they have twin beds - it won't be long, I guess! I should start quilts, and crochet throws, and make a few more cloud pillows for them: one in white with a smile, and one in gray with a frown would be cute. I don't know why these juvenile objects constantly inspire me. Maybe it's because they really do put a big smile on my face, as I embroider a smile on theirs :).

Friday, August 1, 2014

Dorothy Klein

Before "Strong Woman" was even a phrase, there was Dorothy Klein. At age 102, she passed away today. My grandmother taught me to strive to do the best job I can, and to not be afraid to say what I feel. Growing up, she and my grandfather enabled our family to afford our home, family vacations, and higher education. There seems to be no better gifts than those. Dorothy Klein kept an impeccable house and garden. She loved entertaining, playing bridge, and traveling. She sewed and cooked well. She had a competitive spirit. She loved church. She was so proud of her two granddaughters, my sister and me. 

When I think about all the things Mrs. Charles Klein saw in her 102 years of life, my mind is blown: World Wars, women voting, inventions from the car to the tv to the internet. Most important to her, however, was her son, my father, who I believe she loved most of all. She outlived him by almost 11 years, but today we are hoping that they are together again. My sister and I raise her three great-grandchildren. We will surely tell them of her strength and determination in all things, about her good health and longevity, about the hours of piano lessons we spent with her, and all the good times, too ;). We love you, Aralia K. Rest in peace.

P.S. When Penny met Dorothy.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Model Behavior

My kids did some modeling lately, for knitting patterns for the company where I work! It resulted in some pretty adorable photos, taken by the talented Amy Cave. Here are the photos they didn't use (and gave me permission to post).

Penny points to Lulu's Scrunchy Booties:

It might be hot out, but Lulu doesn't mind sporting her Bee Stitch Hat (and giant pom pom)!

Penny got to wear the cutest poncho. I want to make one for each of her friends!

After 10 seconds she was tugging on it ("Done, Mama, DONE!"), so I offered to push her on the see saw and she enjoyed the ride, while keeping her hands off the knitwear.

 There is nothing cuter than a baby in a pointy hat. That is a FACT, friends.

You can find this pattern on the website, and you can find these photos in grandparents' homes from the East Coast to middle England. I can hear the framed pictures being nailed to the walls as I post this; am I right? Because professional modeling doesn't happen very often. Penny and Lulu don't wake up for less than $10,000 a day. That's a fact, as well ;).

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Lulu at 7 Months

Lucille Jones turned 7 months old this past week. She's so darling! Like most babies her age she smiles at strangers all day long, but is getting quite attached to her parents! 

It's been so hot outside, and Lulu really enjoys being on a blanket, or a walk. She likes the car, too. She can hardly stand to nap, there's always so many interesting things going on all around her.

She's started solids. She's not a big fan, but we're working on it.

She also started crawling. Now it's just a matter of time before she can catch up with her sister.

Then life should really get interesting! We love you, Lulu. You're finally starting to sleep a bit better, and we're all better for it. Your smile brightens the day, and your lovely spirit is always a joy to have around.

Friday, July 18, 2014

A Girl Called Yay-Ya

Penny has a best friend. I don't know why this is somewhat strange to me. Maybe it's because I don't remember being two years old, and when I think about having had friendships back then (the 70s!!) that I no longer remember, it strikes me as kind of odd. Anyway, Penny's BFF is named Estella, and boy, does Penny love her. She talks about her constantly, and when she's with Estella she has a love in her eyes reserved only (or so I thought). The funniest thing is that Penny can't even say Estella's name. So she calls her "Yay-Ya", and Yay-Ya has no problem with that at all. Penny and Yay-Ya go to daycare together. Here they are showing off their Fourth of July craft.

We took it to the next level by setting up Penny's first playdate with Estella this past weekend in our back yard. Since then, Penny has requested "Yay-Ya at my house" every single day.

There are so many great things about their friendship, but one is certainly that they influence each other, mostly in positive ways. Estella is a much more adventurous eater than Penny, and if Estella is eating something, Penny will eat it, too (hello, strawberries!). It's amazing how early peer pressure starts, isn't it?

There's room for two on the slide, as long as the right person is squeezing in...

Then there's that kind of "secret language" that best friends have. Estella decided to talk some nonsense into a tupperware lid and Penny...well, look at her face. Penny was in love with her for it. 

Penny and Estella share really nicely, and they're really polite with each other, too. They really admire each other. They've known each other for so long, and I really hope their friendship continues. Estella is getting twin sisters in the coming months, and I think Penny is hoping that means more time for "Yay-Ya at my house". We'll take her!