It wasn’t her fault. I was so excited to have a Halloween birthday in our family I made every moment a party.
Woohoo! Pancakes, Olive! Let’s put on your pancake party headband and sing to you for the fifteenth time today!
I’m pretty sure she was exhausted. Cutting two teeth amidst Fall’s second virus while turning one is tough stuff. But there she sat in Lucy’s hand-me-down monkey flannel pajamas and I couldn’t get enough of her.
Lucy wanted Olive’s headband and, more importantly, a birthday on Halloween. Besides, her 1/2 birthday wasn’t too long ago so she
must be four right now. Oh, why does it take so long to turn four, Mama?
I told her I hoped it takes a long time for her to turn four and I meant it. Time moves to quickly around here and I don’t need six months cruising by. As my friend Sara says, Lucy wins super-pouty face.
At least we had cake. Gluten-free duck-egg cake so Betty could enjoy it. I’ve recently approached my new gluten baking road with despair over dense glue-y concoctions. Now, new light. Somehow duck eggs don’t bother her like chicken ones do. Well, thank goodness. Tapioca flour and duck eggs were the secret ingredients to a fluffy, cream-cheese frosted marble cake that was decorated, with love, by sisters.
We’re sure Olive wondered why we’d been holding out on her. You could really see her thinking,
This is fantastic, yum! I get to eat all this? Oh my, it’s gone and I loved it!
And then she laughed the silliest snort laugh of all time [as seen in last photo]. Sweetheart.
It’s funny to think for more than half of Betty and Lucy’s life they’ve played with what they call “baby toys.” Only recently big girl toys have made their way to their hearts. So I suppose that’s why they come unglued with excitement when their old baby-toddler toys come out of storage, or new baby toys come under wrapping paper.
Such good big sisters to share in her birthday’s joy. Such good big sisters to point out all the neat parts of new toys. And, such good big sisters to clap and watch her explore and celebrate.
:::Cake, Topper & The Enchanted Cupboard
I am thrilled to bring The Enchanted Cupboard to our celebrations this year. Beccijo is an incredible artist, mother and painter. With a background in childhood education it’s clear she understands education begins at birth and uses this philosophy within her toy making.
What inspired you to start your own business?My children were my inspiration to start my own company, but my childhood memories and my vast imagination comes up with all the toy lines and stories.Had you been doing this sort of work before?I started my Etsy shop late in 2008 but I have always made things as a child. I used to take cigar boxes and regular boxes to make houses and playsets for my dolls.When did you learn to paint?I started painting as a child. My parents saw my talent and got me into classes. I won awards and went to college for art. As a mother there just never enough time to work on large paintings anymore but little wooded toys fill my creative needs.Tell us about your family and how they fit into your design life.I have four children that I homeschool. They are toy testers, tpp! They love all the wooden toys, and especially sorting the pieces. Sometimes they think of things that I might not have. As my business has grown it has become a part of my family. My mom helps with the prep and finish work, while my dad helps with the wood cutting. My fairy series, The Fairy Ring, are all modeled after the little girls in my life. Max in Space was made for my son. My husband has also come up with some great ideas like this one.What is your favorite word? When are you happiest?My favorite word is family. It really is what makes life worth living. I am happiest when my family is happy and content. We are [currently] moving from the city to our roots in Pennisylvania country – it is a place that we are happy and content.
The Pumpkin Shape Sorter is perfect for my Halloween baby and I was delighted it came with a cake topper and twelve candle holders. Olive loves to stand it up and knock it down. Let’s not forget the sound of a wooden toy on a wood floor: perfection in babe’s ears. Olive’s older sisters have recently captured the pumpkin and made it a sort of garden gate to their fairy dollhouse. Nice it’s so versatile!
I’m excited to use the cake topper to create a requested “unicorn and elephant” scene on Betty’s birthday cake. I think the possibilities are endless, especially considering the array of cuteness from The Enchanted Cupboard.
I helped Olive practice closing her eyes for a wish and blowing out candles all week. Seems her hard work payed off.
Her older sisters said their wishes for her out loud before we cut the cake. It’s a tradition we’ve started around the table, around a birthday cake. Betty said, I hope she has a lot of fun this year learning how to be a big girl. Lucy said, I wish Olive laughs and laughs everyday. Daddy said, I wish for good health. I wish so, so much for her. I wish for her to tightly hold onto her gentle and kind spirit. But I said, I’m with you Lucy. I want her to laugh and laugh and laugh everyday.
It’s been a long time since I got decked out in a costume to attend a Halloween keg party with an awesome band. Those were the days, right?!
We got a babysitter scheduled six weeks ago and went for five whole hours.
A half hour before we walked out the door Luke decided to be Super Zero super hero A.K.A. Captain PBR Man. So we cut up a PBR box, grabbed a vampire cape from the closet, sewed some felt, found the union suit, dug out the Carhartt shorts and Lineman boots and, well, he looked fantastic.
Along the way I forgot how much Luke enjoys making his own costume so when I took over his mask cutting and we had a tiff over who knew more about sewing masks (come on, right?!?) I had to step back. This is the guy who spent five hours making a Gumby costume our first Halloween together. This is the guy who agreed we should put our best Halloween photo taken together and submit it to the papers for our July wedding announcement years ago. Oh, yeah. He can pull his own weight. This is the guy who wore two different costumes in two days. Love him.
I was Amelia Earhart and smitten with my friends’ attire, the music of Noise Complaint and Luke’s grandpa’s WWII aviator shades which made my costume possible.
Really, I was most smitten with the idea of one year ago exactly in labor with sweet baby Olive.
:::Baby Group Costume Party
I dressed Olive in the costume that once belonged to Betty when I was a queen bee with my hair teased into a bee hive and Luke was a worker bee, antennas on his hardhat. Huck, our late and great German Shepherd wore wings.
So, Halloween started on Tuesday. We drove to baby play group where Olive wanted nothing to do with the group photo. She swarmed (crawled) a-buzz with coordination’s new quickness around her play buddies. I’m pretty sure she had a blast, photo aside.
I can cross off a gardening goal and I’m pretty proud. We planted pumpkins from seed, picked out our favorite while still on the vine and carved our garden grown! We’ve got down quite a system. The girls draw with a Sharpie and then Luke carves with his cordless drill. It’s precision, baby.
This was Betty’s first year carving a princess. She took special care to make the light shine through her hair. Yeah, she was pretty excited. Olive said meow when I asked what she wanted, so I carved her a kitty. Lucy wanted a happy pumpkin with eyebrows. She did an amazing Sharpie job, too.
Nice work, Huck’s garden.
:::Beach Birthday Hike
There are so many fantastic families on this island I am reminded constantly how lucky we are to call this tiny island home. At the exact time of Olive’s birth (9:10 AM), we met some of those families who’ve made this past year possible. Families that have fed us, laughed with us, brought us meals through Mononucleosis’s Spring wrath and the at-times haphazard juggling of three children 5 years old and under. Families that have delivered coffee and advice. Families that have made us better people and families that feel like our family.
Our invitations said costume-clad, so I was thrilled with the ones who could pull it all together and dress up before an adequate amount of coffee (and after a costume-clad-night- out).
Lucy won’t smile for a family photo if you ask her to. She cracks me up. And, there’s no guarantee Olive will stay awake for an entire morning muffin hike birthday party.
Betty wanted to be a sea princess for Halloween. Luckily, I’d been holding onto a fabric fish scene shower curtain, a stained dress and a bolt of pink tulle. She drew a picture of the tiers and hand gestured for a big pouf over the tiers.
It’s perfect Mama. Just like I pictured. I AM a sea princess.
Below in the picture of Bo Peep’s flock is Olive’s due date pal. Man, I love friendships formed in utero. I hope these babies with the once 11/11 due dates and the mom’s named Jennifer are forever at each other’s birthday parties.
:::Trick or Treating
The crisp salt air made the October night feel like winter. We bundled up and stopped for a play-or-treat at Lucy’s school. Olive, Lucy and I were Little Red Riding Hood (on Lucy’s insistence) while Luke was the Big Good Wolf in Grandma’s clothing. And, Betty went rogue as a sea princess.
Lucy and Olive’s costume turned out really great I thought. Now that I’ve mastered sewing a lined hood on a pocketed, lined, reversible cape I feel unstoppable. Well, good fabric always helps, as does a friend who passes along an invented pattern.
On our tiny island, there’s a giant neighborhood that goes so over-the-top with decorations and choreographed spooky music the town hold candy donations for the residents because they go through more than eighteen bags of candy. Really. And then behind our house there’s a mellow neighborhood with tiny bunches of trick or treaters scattering up driveways.
After the busy non-stop weekend, we opted for the laid back trek and went door to door until we found the fire truck, placed for safety at the end of the jack-o-lanterned loop.
What a wonderful weekend.