Oh this Autumn! I don’t know about you, but these last two months have felt like the exhale we all needed. Summer just seemed like we were constantly trying to do everything, see everything, and experience all that the sunshine had to offer. Since our vacation in September, everything seems to have settled with the falling leaves and we find ourselves, more often than not, spending our days relishing the little things at home. The other day A said “Mama, maybe the trees are letting go of their leaves because they were too hot.” Swoon. I love the things this child comes up with. She has the best of ideas and word mixups. What do you think of the little mosaic of pictures? It’s the first time I’ve used this feature, but it works nicely for this post since there’s so much catching up to do!
This year marked my favorite Halloween of my life so far. A decided on our little penguin fleet concept and the costumes came together without any major problems. She grasped the idea of “trick or treat” and tried candy for the first time. It (no surprise here) was a hit, but she says she still prefers decadent pastries and ice cream to candy. My parents came over and took A door to door with us. She told me for days that she “really enjoyed Grandma and Grandpa coming to her house.” I got my dear father to carve a pumpkin for the first time in probably 30 years. That tugged at my heart strings a little.
I also managed to cook an entire “from scratch” meal and serve it pretty close to on time. That is a real accomplishment for me. Andrew has generally done the majority of the cooking around here since he has a culinary background (read: he has a very established palate and I generally made vegan food out of boxes before I met him). I themed the meal as a comfort food gathering from Fall harvest. It felt like a mini-Thanksgiving. We were all stuffed. Applesauce (crockpot), macaroni and cheese (here), pork tenderloin (here), roasted corn on the cob (A’s choice), smashed sweet potatoes (here), and apple pie (here) a la mode. If you look at these links and are wondering… yes, I entrust my rare cooking spurts to one chef and one chef only — the lovely Ina Garten. She never steers me wrong! Everything turned out great and my heart was glowing from the shared feeling of harvest celebration taking place in my home.
We’ve made applesauce a second time since Halloween and I think we will make another batch before our apple stash is emptied. I brought home a GIANT bag of our favorite variety – Gold Rush apples and from that day to this, A has eaten 2 -3 apples every single day. I keep a bowl of washed ones within her reach and she just takes as she pleases, eats to the core, and puts the remnant in the dog’s bowl. It appears to be better than a dental bone for sweet Ellie’s teeth.
Out of our art supply stash, A has really taken to watercolors. She’s pretty adept at them too. She has the <water cup – color – paper – water cup> cycle down and makes beautiful strokes in a variety of shapes. As much as our days have seemed to slow down, A’s schedule has actually picked up. She’s taken pretty naturally to both sports and her balance bike.
She is such a joy to watch at soccer. Even in the back yard, she just can’t contain her excitement. Anytime the ball is moving, she is giggling. She’s just tickled by movement in general. Gymnastics has been so great for her both socially and physically. In many ways gymnastics is being integrated into our daily life. Every curb is a balance beam to her, every stair a jumping platform.
Aside from all the festivities and cooking in this season, it has been the absolute best hiking yet again. The temperature is perfect for you to get exercise but not really sweat, the sun shines through the trees and there isn’t a bug in sight… at least not the biting kind. I also love this time of year for hiking because all the parks are less populated and dear Ellie runs her herding circles without fear (on my part) of offending anyone. I so love watching her being “wild.” We’re spirit sisters that sweet pup and I.
A is always picking flowers for Ellie and putting them in her collar (first mosaic), which in general is a futile effort since they almost instantaneously fall out, but it is also the most adorable offering from someone who only has found treasures to gift. I try to keep an open mind with whatever A decides to “gift” me, no matter how dirty or unbecoming. The fact that she feels like sharing all that she has with me is the most rewarding feeling as a mother.
Speaking of rewarding feelings as a mom, it’s always nice when you feel like one of the teeny bits of “wisdom” you share with your child is actually put into action. The other day one of A’s friends was tugging and tugging on her and she finally had had enough. She looked at her and said “Can you please stop pulling on my arm? I don’t like that.” I praised the heck out of that one!
We had our first Children’s Theater show this past month and it was so incredibly beautiful. The show is called Airplay. I’d say it was equally as whimsical and captivating as an adult as it was for A. She absolutely loved it and the fun of dressing up with her little friend who sits in our row. I think it will be a hard performance to top! It’s fun to see this huge jump in both gross and fine motor skills at this age. A is doing great with chopsticks, thanks in large part to the “Sushi Wednesdays” that our local grocers are doing and of course the encouragement from the Little Travelers – Japan .
We made cinnamon rolls together thanks to a recipe shared by a favorite blogger – Alicia. Thanks Alicia! They turned out absolutely delicious and were pretty quick to make. I showed A a Shirley Temple movie that I used to watch as a child, called “Heidi” (1937). She enjoyed it very much and especially enjoyed saying “She has curls like me!!” every few scenes. So far my favorite 2-3 year old appropriate movie is not an oldie, but a new one called “Maya the Bee” (2015). It’s currently on Prime and it is seriously one of MY favorite movies in addition to being A’s. My dear friend Johanna told me that it’s actually adapted from a German storyline that her mother used to read to her as a child. A is already telling me that she wants to be Maya for Halloween next year! I think I may try to find an English translation of the stories.
This has become a crazy long post. I will wrap up with a bit of sewing. I am working on a number of textiles for A’s bedroom, but this little Kitten Pillow was the first to be completed. I’m really happy with how it turned out and A loves sleeping with it every night.
Last is a preview of a coming blog post for later this week. Oliver + S did a sew-along this past week for their newly updated Swingset Skirt pattern. I had been trying to figure out a project for this leaf fabric that I’m pretty sure I’ve had since before A was born. Perfect timing! Details to come in a future post – one I promise to be substantially shorter than this one!