Monday, June 28, 2010

Piles of Surprises

More birthday posts, I know. Yes, her birthday was at the beginning of the month but the craziness and business have dragged it out so that the posts have spanned all of June. Probably July too, if I don't get it in gear...anyway, here you go.
We don't use the fireplace very much for heating the house, but we get a lot of mileage out of it as a staging area. Whenever we have something to give her, gifts for birthdays and what have you, we put it in front of the fireplace. Then we wait for her to notice the goodies in the morning. The surprise and delight on her face every time is killer. This was her little pile of birthday gifts this year:

- Birthday Shirt, which has become a yearly tradition. For her 1st, we bought one of those generic "Birthday Girl" ones from some big-box store, and I was never satisfied with it. So last year we made her one with iron-on transfers, featuring owls (It said "Who's Two?", ha-ha). This year, of course, it was totally Beatles-inspired. Next year I might try stencils or something, because every brand of iron-on transfer we've tried barely lasts one day before starting to flake off. Sometimes they're peeling in a matter of hours.

- Beatles Quilt, made with love (and some choice language) by Mama.

- Yellow Submarine Hoodie, also made using iron-on transfers. When they flake off I will replace them with nice embroidered patches; I just couldn't find the ones I wanted in time so I used transfers.

- Spider-Man Sticker Book - Spidey is loved very nearly as much as the Fab Four in our house, and stickers are a continual source of fun. This was a HUGE book with tons of stickers and little scenes to place characters in. I still expect to find Spider-Man, the Green Goblin, and Mary Jane stuck all over the house.

- Dragon PJ's - my husband picked these out for her, because, although they are from some cartoon movie she will probably never see, they had a little cape with hood that Velcros to the shoulders, so that it looks like a dragon costume.

- Beatles Coloring Book - we made this ourselves. I took an old 3-ring binder and filled it with all the readily-printable Beatles stuff I could find on the Internet. I hit the jackpot when I stumbled upon pages from a never-published Yellow Submarine comic book. They are AMAZING, and many are only half-colored or less, so it was perfect. I also added a set of 10 Smencils (those things are awesome) for her to color with.

- Wooden hand-carved (but not by us) train toy - just the engine car. She's way into trains at the moment (show me a 2-3 year-old who isn't), and was quite taken with this one when we saw it at the farmer's market. The guy who makes these is really nice; I plan to go back and get some of his kid-size furniture, doll furniture, and step stools. 

- Cardboard Playhouse - we had seen one at the mall, but as it cost $60 and we could not bring ourselves to spend that much on something our cats would probably use as a scratching post, so we made our own. I came up with the concept (I might have even drawn a sketch or two) and my husband did the execution. The purple duct-tape was my idea; I wanted something that looked like trim and we needed a way to shore up everything. The bad-ass chimney, however, was all him. It's totally awesome.

I waffled between thinking it was too much and being convinced it was not enough, or between being proud of all our hand-made-by-us/artistic/hand-made-by-local-crafters stuff and being gripped with fear that she would scorn our hard work and ask for a new set of Yo Gabba Gabba dvd's. I needn't have worried, because she loved all of it. She put the hoodie on immediately and dragged the quilt around with her. She was thrilled with the coloring book and tried out the Smencils right away. She played peek-a-boo in the playhouse and pushed her train up and down its walls. When we left to go out for her much-anticipated birthday pancakes, she insisted on bringing along at least half her presents. This, of course, meant that ten minutes after we left the driveway, the back seat of our car was littered with colored pencils, various articles of clothing, and half-colored pictures, but I didn't mind one bit. We had been up until 3:30 am finishing all this stuff for her, and even though we were exhuasted, I did not begrudge her even a minute of sleep. Not when I could look into the back seat and see my newly-three-year-old girl, wearing her hoodie and scribbling away in her new coloring book while softly singing "All You Need Is Love" mixed with "Happy Birthday."    

No comments: