Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Even a smattering of snow is enough to excite the Native Portlander. Which is why we were bundled up and playing mere moments after getting out of bed this mornng. The boys were too little to remember the last really big snow storm we had, so there was tremendous excitement over this dusting. We managed to scrape together a few snowballs, throw them, taste them, smash them onto each others' coats. Max and I re-created our favorite scene from this movie, which became a pretty funny scene itself.

"Max, honey. Okay, stick your tongue out but don't actually touch the pole. Okay? Just get really, really close. That's it. Yikes! Too close, too close! Perfect."
And after taking the last photo in front of our crazy inflatables, it was inside for waffles, hot chocolate and getting ready for school. Let the season begin!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

This is one of my all time favorite Halloween Photos. It's from Jack's first Halloween when he was six months old. Yes, he is really inside of the pumpkin. It was super duper cold in there, but he sat inside of it happily, if not a little bit bewildered. The next photo in the series shows him munching on the side. Yum.

Incidentally, this is the photo that landed Jack a contract with a real live, well known modeling agency (we lived in LA after all) but that's another post. And although the experience was scary enough to make for some good Halloween frights, it'll have to wait for another day. We've got pumpkins to carve!

Have a hauntingly horrible Halloween, one and all!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Knock

If you have just a minute, head on over to my dad's blog. He's got a great You Tube video of Zöe playing one of the games from last week's school carnival, which she's dubbed "The Knock." And she's been a legend in this house ever since...especially since the boys played shortly after and scored a big fat Zero. Girl Power!

Monday, October 23, 2006

180 Degrees

What this nice fall, pumpkin patch, hayride photo doesn't show you is what was to be found 180 degrees in the other direction. And that would be the enitre population of the greater Portland Metro area out on Sauvie Island getting their pumpkins on Sunday afternoon. If we'd thought for 10 seconds we could have guessed it. But we didn't. The siren song of a crisp, sunny fall day clouded all of our judgement. And it really was beautiful. And it really was busy. And we really did wait in a very long line of cars to get back over the bridge. But once we were across, the line of cars coming in stretched for at least two miles. And then I was really glad that we were heading home, pumpkins thumping together in the back of the van.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Kickin' It

That's a misleading title actually. "Kickin' it" would likely imply that things have been chill, when really they've been anything but. Have I really not posted since August?!? Yipes!

We're all good, school has been great. There's lots of homework to be done, soccer balls to be kicked, food to be made, friends to play with. The hours from 3:00 to bedtime pass in a whirlwind, and for that matter the hours from breakfast to 3:00 seem to pass just as quickly. My friend Holly and I have done five (five!) Fairy Birthday Parties this past month alone. I haven't written about this secret fairy life of mine yet, and I will sometime in the future. For now we'll just say it's a very fun creative outlet and the closest I think I'll ever get to being anything remotely like a rock star. Considering we've done maybe five parties total in the past year, five in one month has been enough to make even the most orgaized fairy's head spin. But fun, they're always fun.

And I've been making skirts. The first one started off as a purse like this one, and morphed quickly and efficiently into a skirt for Zöe. Then that morphed into selling skirts to lots of girls we know. You know that patchwork thing. It's just so pleasing to sit and put different fabrics together. And I get so excited about it, each new combination better than the last. I feel like stacking them up on my head and meandering around the neighborhood, "Skirts! Skirts for sale! 50 cents a skirt!" Well...not quite like that. But you get the idea. So if you know a girl (I've done sizes one through ten so far...) who is in need of a patchwork skirt, please email me and I can give you more details. My friend Lila has requested a grown-up version, so I'm playing around with how to make that happen.

That's it, in a nutshell. Just kickin' it.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Bedroom Re-Do

Here's the promised post about the kids' "new" bedrooms. With school starting, and different soccer schedules for both of the boys, my already sparse blog attendance might get even more sparse for a little while. But once we settle into the new routine I'm anticipating lots of nice time at home with my little girl. Zöe and I have never had much one-on-one time at all (although the boys play together so intensely that sometimes it does feel as though they're not really here, but rather off together in imagination land) so it's really going to be a treat to have some time just with her. This will also mean extra cleaning time, reading time, craft time and computer time because when Zöe takes her nap...it'll be Mommy Time! This is not to say that I'm not going to miss those big, active boys. It's so hard to see them go. Jack is an old pro at school now, but I can hardly believe that my little Max is beginning full-day Kindergarten. My, oh my.

So anyway, several weeks back Jack informed me that he felt there was still dust in his bedroom from when Nana (my grandmother) lived here. My mind raced in several directions when I heard this, and thankfully this was one of the very rare times when I actually processed a thought or two before speaking. First, there was never a speck of dust in this house when my grandmother lived here. Ever. Second, while I may enjoy doing almost anything before housework, our house is not dirty. It was then that I realized what he meant. The paint in Jack and Max's bedroom really needed sprucing. And while I loved the rich, chocolate brown color my grandparents painted it like, thirty(!) years ago, it also needed a change. So change we did. In addition to painting it with Pratt & Lambert's "Briney Deep" we debunked their bunk beds, got new sheets, duvet covers, lamps, bedside tables, and totally organized the overflowing mess of toys that was threatening to smother them in their sleep.

Such a remarkable and profound change! The first night Max ran around kissing all of his new things, and jumping for joy that he now had a "real" bed. Apparently the poor little guy never felt at home in his cave-like bottom bunk dwelling. So now it's fantastic! They play up there all the time, instead of always bringing their toys down to the living room. They sit on their beds, alone and together, and look at books. They hang out and talk. I couldn't be happier to see them loving and enjoying their space.

And in the interest of fairness, but mostly because I was totally excited to decorate, we re-worked Zöe's room too. She was so fascinated by the boys "new" beds (she really, really wanted to sleep with Max that first night...) that it seemed like a good time to move her into a Big Girl Bed. With a new bed, sheets, duvet cover, dresser and paint (two shades of pink...Pratt & Lambert's "Ballet Pink" and "More Than Pink") we were able to transform Zöe's little space into a glittering jewel box.

She digs it in a major way and has done marvelously without the crib. I end up sleeping in there with her if she wakes up in the night (which can be often) but it's sweet and cozy, so that works for me. Incidentally, we ordered Zöe's bedframe online and she was soooooo excited that she carried around the printed-out photo of her new bed for days until it arrived. And boy does she have that girlie squeal of excitement down pat. Zoiks! My eardrums were not happy, but I was. It's worth all of the hard work to see the kids proud and excited and enjoying their bedrooms.

We're coming up really soon to being in our house for one full year. That's funny, because their room re-dos were right there at the top of my list when we moved in. Oh well, better late than never. Enjoy those last few late-nights of summer vacation everyone, and best wishes for happy first days of school to the students in your lives!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Show and Tell

I've been meaning to show these crafted items for a while now...but, you know. And as Eric's mom is visiting and there's really no time to post, this will be photo heavy today. I'm loving this patchwork business. The bag above went straight from my sewing machine to my good friend Holly. I have four more cut, but have yet to find the time to make them. They are so pretty and not very hard but they take forever to complete.

This bag took even longer to make so I'm keeping it, darn it! Turquoise and red, some summertime goodness.

And last, here's our Lucy from Hillary's put-together book. The kids want way more of these, Jack and Max included, so I'll have to figure out a boy-version. I've seen this done on Hilary's Flickr site and will definitely be giving it a whirl. It was so much fun to make...the ideas for new ones are swirling around as I sit here.

Next post: photos from the Kids Room Redecoration Summer 2006. If I'm not in a fatigue-induced catatonic state by then, that is.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Fun Times, Oregon Style!

Gosh. Such a very, very long time since I last posted. It's summer. I have three kids. I'm stumbling into bed at night. My skin is tight and itchy from the chlorine at the pool we visit daily, my fingers perpetually stained from snow cones and berries. The house is a mess (and I'm not just saying that...it is a m.e.s.s.), and I don't think my hair has been out of ponytails in weeks. But it's summer. And we're living it to the fullest. The kids aren't going to bed until 10 (or later!) and they're getting up late too. Breakfast is at lunchtime, lunch is dinner, and dinner is right before bed. Our best accomplishment by far is that Jack has finally learned to swim, in true Jack fashion. He went from not wanting to put his face in the water, to sprouting gills in the space of one day. Now when we're at the pool I can barely get him to surface. The boy is obsessed and oh, so happy with his newfound skill.

The last couple of weekends we've had a great time with day trips outside of the city. The first was our Super Salem Sunday, where we visited A.C. Gilbert's (the inventor of the Erector Set) Discovery Village. It's a super, super cool museum with quite possibly the coolest play structure ever; a multi-story labyrinth of twisting, turning passageways and a really long (like five complete twists!) twisty tube slide that is pitch dark. Scary and so fun! We played a rousing chase game of Zombie Mommy, despite the soaring 105 degree heat. That is, until I noticed Jack's face, which was deep scarlet yet strangely white around his mouth, nostrils and eyes. Can you say heatstroke? We rushed him inside for some air conditioning and water, poured in him as well as on him, and he was ready for more fun.

After the museum we took an excursion ride on the Willamette Queen Sternwheeler. Jack got to steer (wink wink), and wear the Captain's hat, and spy through the spyglass. But Max was too happy chatting with Uncle Cabel and soon-to-be Aunt Nicole to be bothered with such funny business. It was a super nice ride, for a super Salem day. And just as we were all about to completely collapse from the heat we had a lovely dinner in the lovely air conditioning at Nicole's mom's lovely house. Did I say it was lovely? I contemplated for a very long moment crashing for the night on her lovely air conditioned floor...

The following weekend involved a ferry and some trains. The Canby Ferry has always been one of our favorites. A short hop across the Willamette River, the ferry holds nine cars and is run by cables so there are lots of cool gears and machinery to watch as you cross. But that was just a side trip as our real mission was...

...the absolute coolest little train park on the planet. Shady Dell, home of the Pacific Northwest Live Steamers. It's a sweet little park in the middle of the country (Molalla, for those of you in the know) with great spots for enjoying a picnic and trains. Real, miniature steam trains that you can ride for the incredible cost of free. The ride is long, looping several times around the park (but not just the same track repeatedly), over bridges, past water, and it's ridden by people of all ages, as well as all shapes and sizes. It really is so cool, and so "Oregon," I can't do it justice at all. If you're local, just go check it out. If you're out-of-state, I'm sorry. I hope you have something this quaint and wonderful somewhere near where you live. I'm sure you do...

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Braids and Baby Cobbler

Okay, so they're not yet Anne of Green Gables worthy, but I was very happy that we could plait tiny little braids into Zöe's hair yesterday. She looks so cute and sassy when her hair is short, but it's just so darn pretty with big fat curls that I'm thinking we'll grow it longer for a bit and see how that works out. Perhaps we'll have some bigger, better braids in our future.

Yesterday I took Braids and the Boys out to pick some berries. They love searching the bushes for the perfect fruit, which are so often elusively hiding under a patch of leafy greenery. There usually unfolds all manner of contests between Them and Me, with categories ranging from Most Berries Picked to Berry With The Ugliest Bug . Since I'm a Zone Picker (as in, "yeah, yeah sure...let me just get these few here....and here....and here...") I'm oblivious to much of the contest shenanigans, so I don't win any of them. And boy did it feel a lot like Blueberries for Sal with Zöe puttering along behind me, eating the blueberries as quickly as I could put them in the basket. When she'd sneak some from The Boys they'd scold her, "Zooooooeee, take 'em from the treeeeees, not our baskeeeeeet!" Then she'd just get sneakier.

Once home, Zöe donned her Hello Kitty apron (which was mine long, long ago) and helped me make my very first cobbler with the blueberries and marionberries we picked. As a girl my mom used to play a wrestling game with her big brother, my Uncle Joe, which they called "Mountain Joe and Baby Cobbler." I always loved thinking of them playing their made-up game, and the title used to throw me into fits of giggles when I was small. And so "cobbler" has been one of my favorite words ever since. Oy, you should hear Zoe say it over and over. I swear I could listen to it all day long...So without further ado, here's our Baby Cobbler. I pretty much felt like a Mountain Joe when I was finished eating. Yum. Of course, more pictures here.

Monday, July 10, 2006


I made my first purse last week for our Anniversary date night. Oh my goodness...it's so much fun to make a purse! It seems so odd and not right, all inside out and hoopdey, and then you pull the whole the right side out and...presto! Like magic, it works! This is Amy Butler's Velma Bag and I used the leftover fabric from the cute skirt I made a while back. And speaking of cute skirts...I sized it down and made three more of those pretties. There's fabric for at least four others waiting in the hopper. I love that pattern!

I've been very inspired by all of the patchwork stuff I've been seeing around like this, and this, which have been inspired by this incredible book which I finally bought at Uwajaimaya on Saturday . So today I tried my hand at some quilted patchwork. My, oh my. There will be plenty more of this in my future! It's really satisfying and fun.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

I Love a Parade!

After staying up rather late to make my little independent girl a little Independence Day dress, I thought I was having visions of delirium when the festively decorated wagons, bikes and scooters began making their way up our street to the schoolyard. After making some inquiries, we learned that there is an annual 4th of July kids parade which winds its way through our sweet tree-lined neighborhood. How did I miss that memo? I'm not one to miss out on the fun, even while suffering from very little sleep. So in the 15 minutes we had until the parade began we threw together our vehicles and joined the fray.

It was sweet beyond words. And while I know we don't live in Beverly Cleary's actual neighborhood, it felt like something straight out of a Ramona book. More fun photos here.

And as the sun set, that same schoolyard became a meeting place of a different kind. People came from all around hauling boxes and bags loaded with fireworks. Each one may as well have been marked with "TNT" on the side, so cartoonish was the way the roman candles, bottlerockets and mortars protruded from their containers. The neighborhood was rattled by continual explosions, the sky thick with smoke, raining showers of sparks. A little more edgy, but equally fun!

And speaking of fireworks...Happy Anniversary honey!! It's been nine incredible years of wedded wonder (14 since we first became a couple!) and the colorful explosions of sparkling beauty that I first felt when I met you, continue to fill my heart every day. I love you!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

My Favorite Five Days

Yesterday marked the beginning of my very favorite five days of the year. It begins with my birthday, culminates with our anniversary and contains lovely sunshine, food, blueberry pie, fireworks, splashing, family and lots of fun throughout. Hooray for the summer! Yipee!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Oleson's Mercantile with a Fairy Shopper Twist

Last night we played a rousing rendition of Store. I've loved playing Store (and Library and School...) for as long as I can remember. And even though Nellie Oleson was the Little House girl-we-loved-to-hate, I was enamored that her family owned the Mercantile. I loved to imagine climbing up the rolling wall ladder to retrieve bolts of calico for Ma, or handling the glass apothecary jars to get herbs for Ms. Beadle, or a peppermint stick for Laura. And lets not even get started on how amazing it would be to work the till. Yipes.

Jack and Max were the Shopkeepers, Zoe was Betty Q. Shopper and I was the bad, bad baby. Thankfully there are no photos of me in the act because it was ugly. I play a pretty darn good bad, bad baby (think Nellie here, or perhaps even Veruca Salt as a toddler) and the kids just think it's hilarious, which usually gets me acting like the baddest bad, bad baby they've ever seen. For the record, however, Zöe maintained her sweet mommy composure, patting my arm and telling me that it was all going to be okay, as I wailed and flailed because I'd eaten all of my cupcakes. Then she whipped out her credit card and bought me some more. That's love.

Monday, May 22, 2006

A Proposal!

No, not for me silly. I've been a married woman for almost nine years already! But my brother, on the other hand, has popped the question and Nicole has said,"yes!" I've been in on the secret for a while now. I was very kindly asked to assist in ring selection, which was so much fun. Serious and poignant one moment, giggling and silly the next. As you can see above, I think we he did quite well. Isn't it a stunner?

The two of them are in Tokyo at the moment, where Cabel did the asking. I can't wait for them to return for some good cheer and celebratory champagne! We're all on cloud nine about the whole deal. Except the boys. They adore Nicole, but they're already fretting about seeing the two of them kiss at the wedding. "Gross," is what Max muttered. I told them that if they need to, and can do so secretly, they can close their eyes for that part. This gave them much relief. I'm going to enjoy this grossing out on girls thing for as long as it lasts. I just know it'll feel like tomorrow when girls are, strangely, not so gross anymore. I mean, look at my brother. The little rat picked the lock on my Hello Kitty Diary, read about me kissing a boy, totally grossed out, and then teased me mercilessly. (He'll tell you he actually felt guilty reading it but I don't believe him...) He's getting married? How did that happen?

Anyway, congratulations Cabel and Nicole! We love you guys!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Lil' Gamers

A very funny interview with Max and Jack can be seen here, by clicking on the link at the end of the post. They are definitely following in my brother's illustrious gaming footsteps. This photo was taken way back in December at Cabel and Nicole's apartment (or compartment, as Max calls it) and was just too fitting to not be included.

Also a quick word about freezer paper stencils: righteous! I am having the best time making these t-shirts. A great Flickr group can be found here, and a tutorial here.

I found the freezer paper in the baking section of Fred Meyer. It's made by Reynolds, and was like six bucks for 150 square feet. And I've been using the Jacquard textile Paint found at Michaels. It works great! More stenciled items are sure to follow.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Spools of Thread

After reading Blair's post a while back about her new sewing studio I was totally, completely, and wholeheartedly inspired. I was also sick and tired of dragging my sewing machine and supplies out of the cabinet and setting them up on the dining room table each and every time I wanted to sew. So I bought a little desk and rearranged things in order to fix myself a little studio nook. Here's what it looked like before. This new space is unbelieveable! And the best part ever is that it's in the same room as the computer. I can stream and podcast to my heart's content. Last week it was all about KCRW from LA, this week it's Ricky Gervias. You can see some more studio photos here. It still needs to be painted, but I was just too anxious to wait for that step. I'll have to come back to that part when I have some time. But the very, very best part of all is that until I saw Blair's photos, I didn't even know that there was such a cool thing for arranging spools of thread. It's my new favorite thing on earth.

So all of this newfound sense of place has been inspiring. I've had this kimono/pants combination idea in my brain for quite a while now, and finally had a moment to draft it and put it together. I'm super happy with the results! I made a button hole for the first time, for the tie to fit through. This isn't much to brag about since my machine has an automatic button-holer, but I've been afraid of it forever. I used bias tape for the first time as well. That stuff is great! And it was really fun to peruse the Asian fabrics of Fabric Depot, an area I had never before explored. Of course, more kimono photos here.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Happy Jack, It's Your Birthday!

How and when did my little New Year's Baby become SEVEN? I took this photo in our LA apartment, the one with the greatest light ever. Jack's always been such a happy guy. (A story for another time...this is one of the photos that landed baby Jack an agent! It was LA after all. How funny is that?)

Ever since he could, Jack would immerse himself in his involved world of imagination. It started by playing Matchbox cars with my dad when he was about one. He would just drive them around forever, making noises, imagining. Then he got into construction trucks and we'd sit forever watching the action all around our LA neighborhood. Along came trains and that one was huge. The layouts of Brio track were infinitely more complex, the couplings of his trains intensely calculated. We've done dinosaurs, Rescue Heroes, Thunderbirds, Star Wars, Astro Boy, Bionicles, and now (ack) Pokemon. But the cool thing about Jack is that no matter what he's "into" he makes it completely his own. His capacity to create with play knows no bounds. His toys are vehicles for his imagination. The entire day is an adventure for his mind. Very often we have to "call him back" to our world, only to have him slip away mere minutes later. You could put the kid in a bare room with two sticks and he's be content for a good hour, at least.

Along with that divine imagination, he's just a great guy. He's a responsible boy, a dutiful big brother, funny, loving and kind. He's built of pure muscle, can get a soccer ball past me with his eyes closed, and is the pickiest eater I have ever known, but he makes up for that by being the best snuggler on the planet. Happy Birthday, Moondoggie. You'll always be my Baby New Year.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Happy Hands

If you live in Portland, and find yourself with some spare time on Saturday (that's tomorrow...yikes!), stop by the Happy Hands Market on 33rd and Alberta. We'll be there with lots of fun handmade goods from 12-4. I'm selling apron dresses, a few skirts, and some pennant-type fabric bunting. After that I plan on having a good stiff drink and some much-needed sleep.

Sometime soon I'll be begging my brother to help me start an online shop. Something like my gal Textile Fetish. I love these crafty gatherings, but it is tough to try and crank out a bunch of things on a mom-of-three schedule. I'm sapped. And I miss blogging.

I designed this skirt for Zöe and have made a few more to add to my dress collection for Saturday. Eventually I'll size it up for the big girls too. It fits nice and a-line, just like I wanted, falls a bit below the knee and looks very cute. The other versions have a middle panel of a contrasting fabric much like these by Rebecca.

Hope to see some of you tomorrow, and for those I don't...happy weekend!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Secret Sisterhood Society

On Friday evening my house was filled with some keen skirts looking absolutely swanky, dolled up in their 1920's glad rags. The giggle water was flowing freely; we beat our gums, hit some cards, and even smoked a few ciggys. A few of us wound up quite zozzled, a few of us won some scratch playing poker, but jeepers creepers the joint was jumpin' and everything was Jake! Hot socks, it was one ducky time!

My dear friend Sarah and I threw a Secret Sisterhood Society Poker Party as a fundraiser for our Preschool Auction. Our basement served as the perfect spot for a Speakeasy. Eric was our dutiful manservant, mixing and pouring (real Singapore Slings, Cosmopolitans and Champagne Cocktails) with such finesse that no one's glass was ever empty. Sarah's brother Noah was our dealer, kindly maintaining his patience with a bunch of chatty dolls. And everyone looked fantastic in their get-ups. Sarah and I had such fun opening the little "Who-Goes-There?" door of our front door with each arrival. They'd whisper the secret password and we'd giggle each time to see such other-era faces peeking in. Our lovely friend Colleen was a time traveling visitor from the 1950's (she looked perfect in our knotty pine basement...next time we'll have to have a 50's party) with her thrifted find of a dress so excellent we insisted she wear it. The dresses were incredible, and yet my gal Sarah and I loved pushing our costumes in the other direction, inspired by the great Marlene Dietrich. Too much fun. More party photos here.

Monday, April 10, 2006

I've got it bad...

...the sewing bug, that is. Hence, the reason I haven't posted in over a week! Sorry. But it may be this way for a while. With packing, moving, unpacking and room-painting I hadn't even glanced at my sewing machine since last summer, when I was madly making these for my friend Holly's backyard Art in August gathering.

But then a few weeks ago someone asked if I was going to be making my apron-dresses again and now suddenly, bam! I'm back at it and involved in three different crafty shows all coming up in the space of two weeks. I've concocted an apron-skirt as well, and am also working on an open-sided tunic style top. In addition to that I actually sat down, took some time, faced my fears, and figured out how to make something following a real pattern. Shazam! I made some pants and a peasant top for Zöe! Thank you, Rebecca, for kindly explaining how to put the leg inside of the leg for easy crotch seam sewing on the pants. I never would have figured that one out without your explanation!

So this newfound pattern thing has opened up a whole new world of possibilities and I absolutely can't stop thinking about sewing. Can't. Stop. When I get even better I want to make some of these! I'll post more information on the shows as the days approach, and more photos of dresses and such as well. For now, you'll just find me sewing.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Happy Birthday Zöe Dott!!!

Our sweet little monkey-girl turns two today! It's hard to believe, and seems like both a long and and short amount of time simultaneously depending on my angle of thought.

It's been a long two years with a feisty, strong-willed, independent girl who is crafty (as in the wiley sense) and gets into everything. In a house much bigger than our last one, and with two older children to care for as well, there appears to be plenty of little minutes for Zöe to find troble. She pushes chairs and step stools, piles pillow and books, to get to anything she wants anywhere in the house. Nothing is out of her reach. Yesterday I had to call Poison Control (just writing that makes me shudder) because I thought she has ingested half a bottle of Triaminic Cough and Cold. In the reinactment she showed me that she poured in down the toilet, but that delicious grape flavor was on her breath so I just couldn't be sure. Turns out she was fine and I'm now convinced that the toilet was, in fact, where it was dumped. A lesson learned. Last week she poured an entire cup of water on the cat becuase she wanted to give her a bath. In the middle of the night she stretched and reached the light switch from her crib and turned on the bright, bright overhead ceiling light, never making a peep. Apparently this light was lovely to her because she then fell asleep with it blaring from above. While coloring, she became an expert in the skill of Body Art. In mere minutes arms, legs, feet, hands were covered in marker (at least it wasn't Sharpie) bold and brilliant. The boys were never like this. At all. In fact, if you can believe this, they learned to push the chair around in order to get what they want in the kitchen from her. When things are quiet is when the imp is on the loose.

And it's been a short, short two years with my baby girl. She mezmerizes me with her excitement, passion, zest for life. She's sassy, in a good way, spirited. She holds my face in her chubby baby-hands and says, so giddy she can barely contain herself, "Look mama, come see the meow outside...now!" She runs down the street (away from me as fast as she can...) with her head thrown back, hair blowing in the wind, laughing hard. She splases in puddles until they no longer contain water. She cleans, organizes things, uses her little broom to help me in the kitchen, pretends to feed everyone and brush their hair (the boys love that one). She charms people everywhere we go with her happy smile and bouncing blond curly hair. She charms us all.

In all ways, now that I think of it, these years have flown by. The Imp and the Charmer move together in a delicate dance to make Zöe our girl. She wouldn't be Zöe any other way. Happy Birthday little Dott, we love you!!!