Sunday, November 6, 2016

A Simple Harvest Party for Esther (and a little bit of Paris)




Had fun celebrating this little girl almost a week ago.  We actually flew home from London on her birthday - more in a later post on international travel with toddlers - but as she doesn't know when her birthday is, we decided to celebrate when it made sense for us.  We coordinated it with having family in town and when I would have the energy to prepare for it.

Until Esther asks for something else, I'm going to use her October birthday as an excuse to throw my favorite kind of party: a harvest party, with hay bales, a bonfire, caramel apples, apple cider, and apple cider donuts (notice a theme?).  Same general idea as last year.
 
I used the party as an excuse to clear out the barn and make it a safe place for the kids to play and ride their bikes during what we anticipate as a heavy winter, including installing swings!



We had a fun turnout (though noticeably shy of little ones - need to invest more in Esther's friendships!) and Esther was spoiled rotten.



Our pyros, also known as cousins Jack and Logan.  We were so happy they came to visit!

E loved getting to know her "Aunt G" (Anje) all over again.

Melting my mamma heart.  They held hands the WHOLE time.




G trying out E's new lipstick.  Lance attempted to let him know that wasn't very manly, then told him that if he liked that sort of thing, that would be ok, too! :-)


Esther was the perfect audience for all presents - here baaing at the sheep after to singing along to the accompanying card 

Somehow Aunt G always comes up with the perfect presents - mamma wanted to find E a non-scary, vintage doll with a soft body and washable head, complete with outfits.  Anje gave her her youngest girl's American Doll baby. Perfect. 


 Small Wonders
-----------------------------
* G has started singing complete songs multiple times a day - songs we haven't sung since he was a baby, random bits he's heard from various activities, and of course the songs from the limited CDs I play on repeat in the car.  He often is quiet in the car, and now I know what I he is doing: memorizing!
* G, though not yet in Primary proper at church (he shifts in January), has a part in the primary program in a week, and he was exceptionally proud of himself that he said it in front of the whole Primary by himself without help.  We recite the little part daily as well as the song he gets to sing with the big kids.  I love seeing his confidence grow.
* G has become even more of a big help.  He is sensitive to Esther's needs (when he isn't teasing her), comforting her and giving her kisses at the doctor's, can listen and follow instructions when I need something fetched, clear the table, and help to wipe down the bath from the bath crayons.  He is diligent and loves the praise of getting it right.
*  E had her two year old physical - she has slowed down on height (93% rather than 103%), but gained in weight (93%).  She is set to be over six feet tall!
* E received a cloth handmade dolly from a neighbor and drags it everywhere with her.  Recently, she has started putting the dolly to sleep in a make-shift bed she found, "Lie down, dolly.  Time to sleep!  Here's a blanket."  Don't know how she learned all this - she rarely goes to bed peacefully, but maybe the dolly is the answer to many a mamma's prayer.

Here are a few pics from our Paris trip:



Tuileries Garden.

View of Mr. Eiffel's tower from the site of the guillotine. 






With Danna, our beloved old au pair, who joined us for the week in Europe.  E's "scarf" is actually her blanket.

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