four

All of our birthdays are sort of squished in between the holidays.  Mine comes three days after Halloween; Jake’s is a week later; Adeline’s is the 27th which makes it very near Thanksgiving.  I always feel like there’s this continuous blur of sugar, from trick-or-treat candy to birthday cake to pumpkin pie and then Christmas cookies.  There’s so much busy-ness and planning for the holidays that I worry about Adeline’s birthday sort of getting lost in the shuffle.

What I mean by that, of course, is I worry that my plans for her birthday will get lost in the shuffle, because for a kid it doesn’t take much to make a birthday special.  Adeline was on cloud 9 the whole day, and not really because of any particular thing we did or gave her, but simply because it was her birthday.  The thing is, I don’t think my plans are ever too over the top, and yet somehow I still can’t manage to pull off everything I’d like to.

This year there were extenuating circumstances; we traveled to my parents house for Thanksgiving, and Jake ended up getting sick the day before we were supposed to leave.  So we stayed an extra day and didn’t get home til the evening before Adeline’s birthday.  There simply was not enough time to unpack, finish sewing the Sleepover Pals from Wee Wonderfuls, go to the grocery store, make the cake, wrap the presents, and make ricotta cheese from a gallon of milk that was about to go bad.  Especially after I spent a good 20 minutes consoling a tearful Adeline at bedtime, when she suddenly declared that she didn’t want to turn four, but wished to remain three forever and never grow bigger.  That was something I hadn’t accounted for.

Anyway, it seemed simple in my head: sew a few dolls, bake cupcakes, make a nice dinner.  Nothing elaborate.  And yet there were no dolls.  No homemade cupcakes (again!).  She wasn’t terribly thrilled about the easel we gave her.

But there was ice cream cake.  And balloons.  And a lovely, last-minute gathering with a few good friends.  There were candles to blow out (which she did after declaring her wish: to go ice skating right now).  And there was lasagna made with homemade ricotta cheese.  And there was a happy little girl who had no idea that her mother’s expectations for the day had not been fulfilled.

Next year, though, there will be a homemade cake!

PS — My friend Gi made Adeline’s super cute polka-dot apron.

our thankful tree

Though we won’t be eating Thanksgiving dinner at our house, we made this centerpiece for our table.  This is our Thankful Tree.

We used these directions to make coffee filter leaves with markers and a spray bottle.  Once they dried, we spent some time brainstorming to come up with a list of blessings we are thankful for, and I wrote them on the leaves in permanent marker.  Then we clipped them to a branch with teeny clothes pins and stuck the branch in a jar of old flax seeds.

Just a few of the things Adeline is thankful for: vitamins, her Halloween costume, her rake, and “candles to light our way.”

May you all have a safe and blessed Thanksgiving holiday!

a slightly slouchy hat

I knitted a hat for myself.  It was not the most pressing project on my list, and yet it got finished first somehow.

It is the Kami Hat knit with Classic Elite Yarns Portland Tweed.

I really liked this pattern, but mine is not quite so slouchy as it was meant to be.  I only had one skein and the yardage was just a little less than the pattern called for, so I had to shorten it.   So it kind of looks like I just messed up and made it too big.

No matter.  I love the yarn so much; it’s so soft and comfy, and I love the little yellow flecks in it.

yarn along

Reading: Well, my hiatus from fiction was short lived.  I ran across The Night Circus at my library and promptly devoured it in a matter of days.  I can’t seem to get enough fantasy/fairy tale/magical realism lately — which is good, because Jake got me Wildwood for my birthday and I’m dying to jump into it.  I’m not sure what it is, I’ve got tons of “regular,” non-magical fiction on my To Read list, but nothing at all appeals to me lately unless there’s a touch of the fantastic in it.  Any favorite magical reading recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

Knitting:  I’ve cast on for this hat, which will hopefully be a Christmas present.  Though I’m having some gauge issues, I’m very excited about this pattern, because I love seed stitch!

Joining Ginny & co. today for Yarn Along.

yarn along

Reading: After a good long streak of page-turning, can’t-put-it-down (and therefore don’t-get-any-housework-0r-crafting done) fiction, I figured it was time to pick up some non-fiction so I could pick up my needles, too.  Since more indoor days are just around the corner, I checked out Unplugged Play from our library.  I’ve had it before, and I really like the ideas and games inside (even though some of them are of the so-simple-I-should-have-thought-of-it variety… but I didn’t, obviously, that’s why I got the book).  Also, The Nature Connection caught my eye; it’s a wonderful nature journal/workbook, which I’d love to get copies of for the girls someday, when they’re quite a bit older.  Though I’ll probably have forgotten about it by then.

Knitting: just a no-frills, mustard colored hat for Jake.

Yarning along with Ginny & friends today.