Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Costume cuteness

This year's Halloween costumes are brought to you by the letter M and the colour blue.

Monster, presumably of the shoe-eating variety. Isn't she fierce?
This was the first year we've had multiple costume possibilities: a dragon (courtesy of Auntie Rach), a giraffe (last year's Nov. 1st discount buy), or Madeline for D, and a monster (also Rach), a lion (formerly D's), or Red Riding Hood (discount buy) for M. D has already worn her giraffe and dragon costumes around the house, and I like having lots of options for playing dress-up. So, even though we have about eight or ten costumes, we'll be going shopping for new ones first thing tomorrow. Like ten-ish.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The first haircut

 Another milestone reached! Can you believe we've never cut D's hair? It was getting unmanageable, and we thought maybe after her third birthday would be a good time for a trim. Hubby had cut my hair before, nothing fancy, just straight across. Rather than taking her to a salon or even a kid-specific place, we figured we could do it at home ourselves.

We had clips, scissors, and even a cape (which we didn't end up using) already, from the various sets of clippers we've bought to use on Hubby's hair. So, last night, after a bath in which her hair was well-shampooed and conditioned, Hubby did the honours. He strapped a small chair to one of the kitchen chairs, set up a movie for D to watch, and went to work.  

Three years' worth of growth

Combing it out

A couple of inches off the bottom

All done!
Hubby did a great job! D's hair is so much easier to comb now, and it doesn't get messy as easily as it did before. It took less than half an hour (I think?), and we were able to choose the best time for her, as opposed to making an appointment and hoping she'd be well-rested, able to stay still, and in a good mood!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Wrapping up Birthday Month

Today is my mom's birthday, and it caps off a busy month of celebrations. We had D's on the 7th, Great-Grandma's on the 8th, my dad's on the 21st, and M's on the 27th, with Thanksgiving thrown in for good measure. M's birthday was a fairly subdued affair, given that she won't remember it and we were all pretty exhausted. Still, we did get the family together for a meal, special cake, and gifts. One of our many nicknames for her is Mouse, so I made mouse cupcakes. They were decorated with chocolate icing, Oreo-style cookies sawed in half (for ears), chocolate chips (for eyes), and red shoelace licorice (for whiskers). M was not overly fond of her cupcake, but she did like smearing icing all over herself. Hubby has a beard at the moment, and she looked even more like him than usual when she was done!

We only got a couple of small gifts for M: two French books (one of which actually held her attention!) and a sippy cup like the one we got D for her birthday. I almost felt badly, but then she really doesn't need anything, and she doesn't even know what presents are. Other people got her little outfits or books, and that was lovely. She has been growing and changing immensely these days; she started walking a few weeks ago, and has added a few new tricks to her repertoire, including relocating shoes to the garbage bin, and a whole roll of toilet paper into the toilet. She's still nursing, and luckily for me, still toothless, although it doesn't slow down her eating. She gums away at all kinds of things, favourites being grapes, tofu, applesauce and canteloupe. She can say a few words (Dada, Mama, Mum-mums, Hi, Bye), knows a couple of signs ("more" and "all done"), and is understanding a lot of what we say (clap hands, Maevey! No, Maeve, don't touch the garbage).

Overall, she's a much happier kid than she was initially. You know, like for the first few months of her life. The more control she has over what happens to her, the more content she is. I guess everyone's like that to a certain degree. She was born to move, as Hubby said from day one, and she loves to be active. She prefers finger foods, but if she's really hungry, she allows us to spoon-feed her. She does still cry a fair amount, but I think it's about the same as when D was her age, and we know how to help her now. And she doesn't sleep through the night yet. But she is healthy, and I am so thankful for that.

Big sister helped blow out the candle, having 3 birthdays' worth of experience 
Sharing is caring: Little sister is generous with her cupcake

And then she seemed to realize that it was ALL FOR HER!

Hours after M's birthday luncheon, we had my mom's steak-and-cake birthday dinner last night, and we had already given her a gift (a Tupperware shaker to replace one she used to have), but the girls and I went over this morning to bring her some pumpkin cinnamon rolls. I had tried making them once already for a brunch with friends a few weeks ago, and they were tremendous! It made for a nice breakfast treat, and we brought a couple over to my grandma as well; I believe in celebrating the mom of the birthday kid!

Friday, October 5, 2012

A Madeline cake

It started a couple of months ago when I asked D what kind of cake she would like for her birthday. A slow smile crept over her face as she said "A Madeline cake."

I thought I'd do a practice one before her birthday playdate, just in case it didn't work out. (It turned out well enough that I see no need to repeat the process. We'll have other snacks instead.) Anyway, today D helped me make the cake:

Then, while the girls had quiet time upstairs, I started the decorating part. A crumb coat first:

A rough sketch of Madeline, based on Google image results:

Very rough.

I mixed some colours and filled in the blanks. (Cake decorators, avert your eyes from the next sentence.) I used the back of a baby spoon to spread the icing, figuring anything else would take too long and end up looking pretty much the same. I think it's fine.

I outlined with chocolate icing, which looked so bad that I had to make the background chocolate as well. Had to.

Happy birthday, D! Mommy loves you.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The birthday letter

"Dear D,
My precious girl, you are no longer a baby, and not even a toddler anymore, but a little girl..."

Somehow, as of Sunday, I'll have a three-year-old kid. It doesn't seem so long ago that I found myself hanging out with a newborn all day, every day. The day that D was born, I wrote her a letter telling her about how we had hoped and planned for her, how we told people about her, what she was like before she was born, etc. And every year since, I write her a letter for her birthday, detailing the events, milestones and memories of the previous year. It takes awhile to do, and it's a bit of an emotional process, but I really hope I can keep it up. For one thing, it's nice to have that to look back on, and see not only the progress from year to year, but the snapshots in time of what her tastes were in a given period. But beyond that, I know that she'll love to read these when she's older.

It's so easy to forget what she was like as a baby, and as a toddler, especially when we spend all day together and change comes so gradually. The days are long but the years are short. So in these rapid years, I take a few evenings near her birthday and write to her about how she has grown and changed and surprised me and made me proud over the most recent year of her life. This kid absolutely astounds me, and I am so blessed to have her in my life.

PS M gets the same deal; I wrote her a letter on her birth day, and I still have a few weeks left to write her next one.