In the craziness of Chloe’s first month earthside I forgot to charge my camera batteries in preparation for Willow’s circus/elephant themed birthday party! So, I didn’t get to take all the photos I wanted which was a little disappointing, but luckily I had enough juice to capture some of it. My camera died just as Willow was biting into her cupcake, which she had literally been anticipating for months. Pink frosting with a cherry on top. She later requested there be sprinkles as well.
As always, Willow’s birthday wouldn’t have been nearly as magical if Kristen hadn’t been there crafting and baking and cooking alongside me. I can’t properly explain how amazing it is to have your best friend of 20+ years (dear god) love on your babies. It’s that same feeling you get when your spouse is being amazing with your children and you just love them times a million for it. That’s how I feel every time Kristen texts me the latest thing that made her think of Willow or demands a new picture of Chloe. She is just THE BEST.
But anyway haha… Willow LOVED her birthday party. When I asked her who she should invite she said “everybody!” and everybody was there! Joy ensued. I love this magical age of carefully walking downstairs knowing that we had set up her party while she napped. She was so excited and so delighted by all the elephants everywhere. And of course delighted that we’d left a cupcake undecorated so that she could do it herself. Because guess what, when you’re three YOU WANT TO DO EVERYTHING YOURSELF. “Toddlers don’t need help!” is a frequent phrase we hear.
This past year for Willow has been full of fun. She loves asking us if we can go on an adventure. Adventures could be anything. A trip to Target. Blueberry picking. Whatever. She just likes doing things. We go to all the parks and all the stores… especially her favorite store, Aldi! Every time we drive by, she sees it out the window and says reverently “Aaaaaaaaldiiiiiiiii…. my favorite grocery store.” She’s something.
Her favorite thing is to go outside. She can spend hours just exploring the grass and all the tiny creatures and things within. She loves to splash and play in the mud. She loves climbing anything and everything. She collects rocks and sticks and leaves. She wonders why they all disappear by the time she gets up from nap haha whoops.
Willow’s prized possessions are currently baby elephant, her green blanket, and puppy. This trifecta is the ultimate in comfort and if any of the three should be lost all hell DOES break loose. Luckily Willow’s memory is scary good and these items are rarely lost for long.
I’d say the think that’s changed the most in the past year is Willow’s language has absolutely exploded. She talks like a child now. She has long, rambling sentences full of detail and drama. She loves stories of the book and film variety. She plays pretend with her animal figurines and stuffed toys. She is full of life and enthusiasm when she talks and is an absolute chatterbox. I love listening to her. My favorite thing lately is when I’m nursing Chloe and need to keep Willow from destroying the house… I’ll ask her to tell Chloe a story. The stories all begin “Once upon a time, there was a little girl… named… (Chloe or Willow)” and she tells Chloe a story about the adventures they’ll have together one day. Sometimes they go to the beach and sometimes they get lost in the woods, but it always ends very happily.
Let us all hope for the next year, less tantrums and more sweet stories! ;)