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One of Baby Girl’s favorite things to do is “play puzzle”. Puzzles have been big with all the kids, but this is really her thing these days. We have plenty, but I wanted to get her a new one for her birthday.  In my quest, I discovered there are few choices in the 50-60 piece range and a lot of puzzle illustrations are kind of ugly. Is that harsh? If they aren’t ugly, they are boring. Seriously, where are all the cute puzzles? I did see this set, which I LOVE, but 4 pieces per puzzle isn’t going to cut it. If I were artistic or a better photographer, I would have a puzzle made.

I ended up ordering a layered puzzle from Moolka.  It is a clever little puzzle that shows sunflowers in different stages of growth (i.e. here are kids planting the seeds, look the stalks are coming up, hey those sunflowers are taller than the kids now).  I thought that the layers would add a challenge even though there aren’t that many pieces.  Wrong.  She loves it but she can put it together in about 30 seconds.   Sigh.

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Who can I petition to get a 60+ piece puzzle made from a Petit Collage piece or a Charley Harper illustration? There is a definite gap in the market for stylish puzzles.

We all survived Baby Girl’s birthday party. We shoveled out the house (the main level, at least) and I finally came to grips with the fact that preschoolers don’t need gourmet meals. Apparently, something short-circuits in my brain when it comes to birthday party planning. I can’t handle the pressure. My rational mind can’t seem to overcome the panoply of “shoulds”.

I think I should:

  • identify a theme for the party
  • make the invitations by hand to fit the theme
  • send the invitations with several weeks’ notice
  • make all of the favors (and fit the theme, of course)
  • make the house spotless and inviting to kids, all at the same time
  • provide fun and stimulating games and crafts (did I mention the theme?)
  • serve healthy, homemade and delicious food
  • make the cake from scratch

Instead, I slapped together invitations 5 days before the party. No games or crafts. As for lunch, I added peas to the mac and cheese. That’s healthy, right? I ordered the cake. Couldn’t even muster cupcakes from a box. Sigh.

I managed to put a small amount of effort into the favors. I made a batch of play dough and some blank books.

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The books were just A2 folded cards from Paper Source and halved printer paper for the pages. I pamphlet-stitched them together with waxed linen thread. Fancier than is strictly necessary for the under 5 crowd, but a satisfying project nonetheless.

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Before people started to arrive, I was hanging up Baby Girl’s fabric bunting (I made it for her 1st birthday and hang it up each year). Baby Girl pointed to one flag and with mild displeasure in her voice asked, “why did you do that to my shoes?” Huh? It took me a second, but then it dawned on me that she recognized the Alexander Henry print. She just couldn’t figure out how I had gotten the animals from her shoes onto the fabric bunting.

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Quite an eye, that girl! No wonder she is so good at Memory

I was greeted yesterday morning by a small and very funny girl announcing, “Mommy, I’m these many today!”

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It was a bittersweet moment to admit she was right.  Three?!?  How can my little peanut by three already?  Somehow the warm bundle I wore everywhere has become the epitome of independence.  She is a self-proclaimed Big Girl, with strong opinions about everything, especially regarding what she wears.

Fortunately, the mama-made clothes are often on her short list.  For her birthday, I made her a new Oliver & S Tea Party Sundress.  I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I love this pattern.  The instructions are clear and easy to follow.  The details are clever and produce a tailored garment, yet they are simple enough for the advanced beginner.

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The printed fabrics are “Just Dreamy” from Riley Blake Designs.  The green is a Kona cotton.  Now that I’ve traced the pattern, I may just have to sew a couple more.  I think she’ll like that.

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Happy birthday to my silly, little peanut!  You may be getting bigger, but you will always be my Baby Girl.

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Three of the hens are laying now.  Miss Red, here, is the most consistent layer of the brood.  Everyday by 10am there is a large brown egg waiting for us in the box.  With two of the other hens laying, we average 2 a day.  The eggs have moved beyond novelty to staple.  We didn’t get to the store this weekend, so I had to survey the kitchen and think on my feet to come up with dinner.  Eggs on the counter + veggies from the CSA basket = quiche for dinner.

Maybe the novelty has yet to wear.  I’m still pretty excited by our small sliver of urban sustainability.

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Nothing feels as fleeting as cleanliness.  A large part of my day off was spent sweeping, washing, tidying, and scrubbing.  The kids arrived home to spread a cup of sand from the playground and a granola bar all over the floor.  I should know to enjoy it while I can.