Two

It’s Anja’s second birthday today.  I woke her with the “Happy Birthday Song,” took her out to breakfast, picked her up some beautiful flowers and tasty food for her party tomorrow, and have been drilling her all day on how old she is (all week she has responded with a cheerful “Six!” but today she’s finally starting to say, “Two!”).

At least five times she has asked for “special birthday cake” (as in “Where is it, Mom?  You promised there would be some!”), and I’ve had to tell her that Mommy hasn’t had a chance to make it yet, but hopefully tonight.  I didn’t realize that the birthday performance pressure would come from her, and that it would come this early.  I thought I’d have at least until she turned 4 or 5 before I had to be completely prepared the day of!  :)

Two is so old.  I sat on the couch with her last night, reading a book, then forcing her to cuddle (she’s not fond) one last time as my one year old.  But Husband is right–today she is just a day older, and celebrate we must.  Even if it’s hard.

The Wonder of It All

Where does our wonder go as we age?  Do we become so jaded by seeing the same things over and over that we lose any sense that they are special?

My daughter, bless her childlike heart, is thrilled by the smallest of things: a partially-deflated balloon, a bite of Mama’s cookie, raindrops.  Yesterday Husband and I had to do a bunch of unexpected painting and taping, and in an effort to keep her out of our hair (and paint out of hers), we plunked her in front of Planet Earth.  The exclamations of awe that poured out of her mouth at every item made me wish I had an old-fashioned tape recorder handy.  “Ooooooooh!  A BEAR!”  “Wow!  What’s that?  It’s…WA-ter, and it’s dripping.”  “Mama, yook!  The birds, they flying roun’ and roun’, and then, the TREES!”

I just stared at her, a little tearful at her joy.  God, grant us to have childlike wonder at Your creation each day.  Let us not take each bendable finger, each fluttering leaf, each thunderhead, for granted.

A Wall Re-Do

When we moved into our current home, it had wallpaper in every room but one.  I got to work with a steamer and removed a border in the kitchen, a border in the laundry room, and the wallpaper in the second bathroom, but the rest of it was neutral enough (and the removing had proved to be so much work) that I just left it.

Almost everyone doesn’t mind this wallpaper in my dining room, except me.  I’m not a big fan.  So I’ve ignored it for 3+ years.  Until now.  I decided it needed some sort of focal point to distract from its vastness.  Some art.

Dining Wall 1

I had some random, cheap supplies already on hand–some big canvases that had been painted and hung in our old apartment in Fargo, some new, smaller canvases that I got for under $1 apiece at Jo-Ann Fabrics, and some sets of white plastic frames I picked up on the clearance shelf at Target last summer.

Materials

I stopped at Michael’s and picked up two bottles of paint that I thought I could mix to match my inspiration, a teal pillow in my living room.  Turns out the color isn’t exactly what I imagined…it’s more the hunter green that was popular in the mid-90s.  Oh well…maybe some day I’ll get sick of the color and re-paint it all.  The entire project, start-to-finish, took less than 2 hours, so it wouldn’t be a very big deal to re-do it.

I tried out a few arrangements on the floor before deciding on this one.

Dining wall 2

I threw in the grapevine wreaths (already had them, too), for balance.  Please ignore the toddler reading through my magazines and the various ripped-out pages scattered all over the floor.  I was also in the midst of another project: going through my box of “inspiration” pages, and these had not been discarded yet.

Then I hung it!  When I get some 5×7 pictures printed, I’ll put them in the frames, which will complete it.  When you consider that the frames hold 5x7s, the big canvases are 16×20, you realize that this is a BIG wall.  It could use more.  Again, maybe someday!  :)  Not bad, though; a wall of art for under $10.

Dining Wall 3

Summer Boredom

Even though my daughter is a little young for some of these activities, this is the type of stuff I log away in my brain for later.  End-of-summer boredom is setting in for lots of kids, and instead of plunking them in front of the tube, try these ideas!

On a more personal note, I feel like a balloon.  I’ve received confirmation from most mommies that they got bigger faster the second time around (pregnancy), but seriously?  If I’m this big now, how will my skin have room for 5 more months?  Did it slow down so at the end you were around the same size, or will I be twice the size I was last time?