Sunday, October 3, 2010

new dress

Back in the Summer, we were at the zoo and I saw a little girl in a really sweet dress.  I asked her mom if I could snap a picture of it with my cell phone.  If you haven't gathered yet, I'm a fervent do-it-myself-er and I'm also a penny pincher (that's the nice way to say it).  I'm pretty sure this mom was not a dress maker so I figured the dress was from some expensive boutique.  Upon reflection, maybe I should have just asked where she got the dress.  Instead I made a number of assumptions about it's origin and likely outlandish cost.  Anyhow, in the end, once again without a pattern, I put together this new dress for my dear little girl.  That was back in May.  Five months later, it fits!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

birthday treasure hunt

 Unlike in years past, this year I came up with a fun activity for the children at the party in plenty of time to prepare.

The hunt began with a collection bag containing the first clue:
To begin your treasure quest, 
find the airplane with the name of each guest.
Follow the picture clues from there.
(Help from a grown-up is perfectly fair!)

 In the clip of each plane was a simple photograph of the garden gnome which the children had to find in his hiding place under a tree.

The gnome's clue read:
Take a mushroom and under the cap
is the next clue which you need to unwrap

(The mushrooms were made of clipped branches of the hedge laurel in our front yard and felted sweater rounds with needle felted spots.)

 Inside the stem of the mushrooms was a simple photograph of the scarecrow hidden behind the rose bushes.

The scarecrow's clue read:
One tossing ring is for you.
This picture clue is too!

(The toss rings are heavy wooden rings with various ribbons attached...great for fancy flights.)

The photo on the scarecrow's clue was of the treasure chest (hidden under a nearby table.)

Inside the chest read:
Congratulations, your hunt is done
Choose a crown and go have more fun!

The bags, in the end, were filled with the little planes, the mushrooms, the wood & ribbon toss rings and the felted crowns.  Really, it wasn't nearly as much work as one might think :)

party for the fourth birthday

We held our grand birthday bash once again at Kruger's Farm on Sauvie Island. This is an actual working farm that we visit at various times throughout the year to pick different berries, flowers and whatnot. They also offer hay rides and during autumn have a corn maze and pumpkins galore. Some children from Naiya's class joined us as well as her cousins, aunts and uncles, her grandparents and a number of friends made in previous years. The kids decorated pumpkins, performed a treasure hunt, rode the hay tractor to pick pumpkins, visited the giant hog, snuck up on the hen with her brood of baby chicks hiding in the sunflowers and just played as the overcast morning unfolded into a lovely sunny afternoon. We baked four cakes (Ryan made the most impressive two) and this year got it together well enough to offer coffee for the grown-ups. At the end of the day we had a stack of sweet handmade cards, some crazy jack-o-lanterns and a bunch of tuckered out little kids. There were at least two totally worn out adults as well.

Friday, October 1, 2010

birthday the fourth

I must say that we're well into my favorite ages of childhood. Three to seven-ish have got to be the peak of parenting. There is so much adoration and love in both directions and so much fun every single day. Granted, it can be trying as well, but I think one day I will perhaps look back on these years as the very best we shared with our little one. Or maybe they just keep getting better? (We'll see what the teens bring... )
This morning for her special day, we had a sweet lighting of the birthday ring and a hunt for the four birthday fairies before heading to preschool. I was able to join the class for some play time and Naiya's birthday festivities. What a beautiful celebration of her coming and growing in the world. At circle time the story for all the children was of Naiya's birth into our family. Her amazing teacher gave her the most precious hand made felted bird in a soft flowery nest wrapped inside of four layers of tissue and wool cord: one for each of her years. I can't tell you the number of times that I have had tears in my eyes during the beautiful festivals held at this school. We fell incredibly lucky to be a part of this Waldorf community.

When we arrived home, grandma and grandpa had come for additional merrymaking. We opened a few gifts at home before they, along with her auntie, uncle and new cousin took her out to dinner while Ryan and I prepared for her party the next day. Naiya wanted to go to the "dinosaur restaurant" (Laughing Planet) and it seems they all had a fine time. Naiya was apparently chatting up several tables of other small children. I can't get over how social this kid is, especially given the shyness both Ryan and I suffered in our own childhoods.
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