Tuesday, January 26, 2016

In Winter

We've been swimming and pretending to swim. We've been making cardboard castles to hide from dragons and tigers. We've been puddle jumping and running outside to see the sun, who peaks out occasionally to say hello. We've heard good news from friends and sad news, too. We've stuck together - these two, most of all.


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

She Says Her Name

Lulu is now saying her sister's name. When she used to say it, it sounded kind of like "Bebe", and Penny used to say, "I'm not Baby", but now it's crystal clear: "Penny", she says, and I have a feeling she's not ever going to stop saying it.

Lulu being Lulu, it's not really spoken, either, it's yelled, with great gusto: "Pen-NEEEE!!". It's screamed when she wants what Penny is holding. It's shouted when she can't see her sister in the same room. This morning she yelled it as soon as she woke up, running to her room as fast as her footy pajamas could take her.

I can feel that this is a turning point for Penny and Lulu. Each day, with new words, Lulu is seen by her big sister as less of a baby and more of a playmate. Penny is still surprised to hear Lulu shout her name, but soon she won't be, I suspect. Soon all of us will forget how new and novel this is.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Bright and Golden Light

We had the merriest of holidays, filled with childhood wonder and family love. We looked at neighborhood lights, had a beautiful Christmas morning, and then headed off on our first plane ride as a family of four. We met our cousin Miles for the very first time, saw family and friends we haven't hugged in over three years, went to fun new places and familiar old ones and played and played and played. We came home to Portland and were greeted with snow, a special wish from the girls that came true just in time for New Year. 

Now the decorations are down and the tree is gone (there were tears over that one, as there was last year). But it was a most special holiday, one we certainly won't soon forget. Happy New Year, Everyone!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Things I Made, This Holiday

This year I was able to complete an array of handmade gifts. I kept it simple by making the same thing over and over again. That way, I could memorize the pattern and take a plastic bag with the current project in it, everywhere I went. Here are three things (well, a lot more than three, but three patterns, I guess) that I made this holiday season, for people that have meant a whole lot to me and my family.

I made hats for all the teachers at my girl's daycare. They have a system where the teachers move rooms a lot, so they get to teach a variety of ages. In total, my two girls have about 10 teachers, but I couldn't leave out the four teachers they don't have! So I made 14 hats from this free pattern, in a variety of colors. I put them in simple gift bags, tied with a string the same color as the hats. I told them to pick their favorite string color, so they could have a color hat they enjoyed.

For my friends in town, I crafted donuts. I made one from this great free pattern, and it was so fast and easy that I made another three. Then Penny took them all to her play kitchen and that was that. But I kept going, making eight donuts to give out as favors at Lulu's birthday party, packed in these great bakery boxes and tied with string and a tag that said "Something sweet for your tree". I've made ornaments for my friends in previous years, and it's so great to go to their houses at the holidays and see these ornaments on their tree. If they don't get used as ornaments, I'll probably be seeing them in a few friends' play kitchens, as well.

For my nephew, I made a crocheted Snoopy to go with this adorable intarsia sweater I bought at Gap Kids. Also a free pattern, it's made in parts and sewn up. I thought it was sweet and snuggly, and everyone recognized who he was, so I'm counting that as a success!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Happy Holidays!

Have a wonderful holiday! 
May every day be merry and bright. 
With love from Holly, Ollie, Penny and Lulu.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Lulu is 2

Lucille Jones turned 2 this past Saturday. She wore a sparkly dress, played with all her friends at an indoor park, and was proud to say, "Me! Me!" anytime the word "birthday" was mentioned.

It's been such a fun year with this little one, as she is the most fun loving toddler I know. Her hugs are big, her kisses are long, and her laughs are hard. There's nothing she likes more than to be held upside down and tickled. She's stubborn and feisty, sweet and shy, too. She loves her parents and her teachers. She loves real babies more than any toy she owns. She's no longer a baby herself, but in so many ways, she'll always be our baby.

Happy Birthday, Lulu! We can't wait to hear all things you're going to tell us, this coming year.

P.S. Lulu at birth, in the hospital, and at her first birthday party.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015


Let's hear it for Christmas Parties! You get to see Santa (whether you like him or not, ahem Lulu), eat treats, craft, see friends, get your arms painted, and watch cartoons! Let's start the festivities with a holiday dance executed by Miss Penny Jones, witnessed by her sister. In my mind (and seemingly Penny's), this was a perfect "Mr. Sandman" tap dance, except to "Here comes Santa Claus", instead. Imagine it, if you will!

As with most almost four year-olds, Penny talks almost non-stop. I imagine to Lulu it's like having the radio on next to you, while you're quietly trying to peel the stickers off and put them in just the right place (which, to Lulu, is stacked all on top of one another - perfect!)

Penny asked Santa for a guitar for Christmas. Really?? Despite decades of lessons between us, Mr. Jones and I are distinctly non-musical. The greatest thing about the request was that she pronounces the word as just "--Tar". So we gave her advice not to just ask for tar for Christmas. That's the worst thing since coal! As we approached Santa and introduced her, he asked, "Penny, What would you like for Christmas?" and in a moment of pure panic she tugged on my arm, eyes wide, and said, "How do I SAY IT?" In the end, she said it just right: "GA-TAR".

PS. I made their Christmas dresses. Lulu's is this pattern, with a bunch of piping I bought on sale at the Fabric Depot Outdoor Sale. Penny's dress is a vintage reproduction pattern I've made before. It came together in less than two hours and I added patch pockets just for fun. The trim on her dress is vintage. I had just enough left over after I sewed some Christmas pants for Penny, long ago. I don't love many Christmas fabrics, but this print of  trees on top of cars by Dear Stella was pretty adorable. Since chopping down our tree and driving home with it on the roof is kind of a family tradition, the girls recognized this on the dresses, and really loved wearing them.