January 21, 2013

"Every Artist Was First an Amateur"

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

This little beauty just turned two. Two!  She's anything but terrible, I'd like to add.  She is polite, sensitive, nurturing, inquisitive, confident, observant, and cheerful.  Sometimes she's spunky, independent, too fearless for her own good, and a little strong-willed, but not terrible.  The only terrible thing about her is she's growing up too quickly.  I will miss how sweet and clear her little voice sounds when she says things like "please," "thank you," "bless you," and "I love you, Mom."  I will miss watching her imitate her older brothers' every move or recite words and songs from favorite movies.  I try not to worry too much when we leave the house on days when she was insistent about choosing what shoes she wanted to wear. I know the day will come soon enough when she will pick the ones that fit or those that coordinate with her clothes. I don't want to forget how tiny her feet look in my high heels or how well she can maneuver around the house in them.  I don't want to forget how her hair spills halfway down her back when she's in the tub, but when it's dry you'd never know it was so long for all her tight, lovely curls.  I may not like that she will consistently refuse to hold my hand when I need her to, but at least, for now, she still allows me to rock her to sleep. I hope I don't forget how she gets tense when I put her on her back on her changing table.  Despite my assurances that she is safe, she clings to me as if her life depends on it.   She still clings to me, in a lot of ways, because her life depends on it, but that won't always be the case-- so for now, I will enjoy every minute of Ella being two.  Before I know it, that won't be the case anymore.

Ella's Birthday Breakfast

For breakfast, the family decided on Ella's behalf that pancakes would be a great idea.  Ella seemed to enjoy them  so I think we made a good choice.  She would have probably also been content with cold cereal or a bagel with cream cheese, but you can't really shape those into a number two or drizzle them in sugary syrup.

 Paint Themed Birthday Party

The landscape for January is often gray and white, just like a canvas in dire need of a splash of colorThe dreary weather proved to be inspiration (or motivation) to pick a theme that was bright, cheery, and colorful.  I found some wonderful ideas online for rainbow themed parties, but I absolutely fell in love with almost every detail from one particular website that took the theme one step further to incorporate an art concept.  Here is the link with all of the amazing photos and detailsThe following photos demonstrate how I interpreted the theme:

I really enjoyed making Ella's cake.  I used instructions from Betty Crocker's website, but I used my own cake batter recipe and I made the cake with 10-inch pans as opposed to 8.  I did follow the suggested frosting recipe from the website, and I highly recommend it.  It was so smooth and easy to spread.  I just added a little almond flavor in addition to the vanilla.

The guests arrived at 6:00 p.m. and we began by having Ella open gifts.  After gifts, we watched her year-in-review video.  We wrapped it all up with treats, cake, and ice cream, and we all watched as Ella worked tirelessly to blow out her two candles.  It was such a fabulous party!

Ella's Birthday Dinner

Ella's birthday fell on a Sunday this year, so we waited until Monday to take her out for her birthday dinner.  As with breakfast, we chose for her.  We thought we'd try Denny's here in Springville.  We were plesantly surprised to see that after 4:00 p.m., the restaurant offered free meals for children.  Ella threw a tantrum when we tried to put her in the high chair.  She preferred to be on the bench with her older brothers.  I guess she did just turn two, huh? 

Happy Birthday, Ella!

This post authored by Amber

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