This week, I've been feeling quiet and contemplative, and I've been thinking a lot about the space in which we live. Since Thea's birth, I've felt a bit crowded in our house. I started thinking that it might be time for us to start looking for a new place to call home. Perhaps it was all of the extra things that go along with having a small person occupying your space, or maybe it was just that we have lived here long enough that it felt like time for a change. Either way, something needed to shift. I found myself dreaming of other houses and how our family would fit into them.
But recently I have found myself falling in love with our house all over again. And I've been taking small steps to clear out the old, the tired, and the unused to make space for the life we are living right now.
This is tough for me, as I tend to hold onto things just in case. But now, I really want the things in our home to be a reflection of what is important in the present. I want to be selective about what occupies our space.
I plan on sharing bits of this process, and how our home is transformed as a result.
This weekend, it almost felt like spring, and we headed outside to enjoy every bit of warmth that we could.
On Saturday, we headed to Maymont Park to explore the Nature Center and to visit with the animals.
Thea helping the "fish" swim
(I look completely goofy in this picture, but I love the expression on Thea's face).
Then we headed outside to pet the goats. Thea is crazy for the animals. It was so much fun to see her face light up and to hear her squeals of delight as she ran towards the fence to see the animals up close.
As much as we could, we tried to let her explore on her own.
But there was also a lot of hand holding. I melt seeing these two walking hand in hand.
I love how curious Thea is about every little thing. It reminds me to slow down and notice the miracle of life happening all around me.
Even in the middle of winter, there is so much life to see.
One of my favorite moments was when Thea stopped to get a closer look at a single yellow bloom.
To get the full experience, she gave it a good sniff and said goodbye with a kiss.
On Sunday, Thea and I headed to the park for some playtime with our friends Michaelann and Lucia.
And after nap, we walked to the playground to enjoy the rest of the day's sunshine and warmth.
On Valentine's Day, my nephew Baker turned two. It has been such a joy for Thea and our nephew to be so close in age. I only wish we lived closer so that they could spend more time doing the everyday parts of growing up together.
From our visits, I know that Baker has a nice little art set-up at home. So I thought he might enjoy being able to take a few art supplies with him when he ventures out into the big world. And I hope it will help keep him occupied when my brother and sister-in-law go out for a family dinner.
I really just made this up as I went along. I knew what I wanted to include, so I figured out the size pockets I would need and got to sewing.
There is a large pocket that holds a chalkboard. I also included a cute little set of colored pencils and some flannel squares to use as an eraser for the chalkboard.
The middle pocket is a bit smaller. I sized it for a writing pad and stickers.
On the right, I created a pocket for crayons and a pouch to hold chalk.
I went back and forth with how to close it. I was torn between ties and velcro or a button, which I thought would be easier for small hands to manage. In the end, I decided that I wanted it to be adjustable, so I went with the ties.
Happy belated birthday, sweet boy. And a happy weekend to all!
This past weekend, we had yet another big snowstorm. I must say, I'm more than a little over the snow. But it came, and there was nothing else to do but enjoy it.
On Saturday, it snowed all day long. In an attempt to recover from a cold (or something) that has been lurking for a couple of weeks, I spent the morning in bed. Meanwhile John tried his best to entertain the tot and the pup. I can safely say that everyone was more than a little stir crazy.
There was drawing:
And running like crazy through the falling snow:
By the end of the day, Thea was plotting her escape, using her newly found skill of unlocking the storm door.
There was nothing else to do but scoop her up and head to the kitchen for some dancing and silly photos.
(Per Thea's request, we were dancing to this and this).
On Sunday, the sun was out, and we headed back to the snow slope.
I think it is safe to say that Thea loves sledding.
During Thea's nap, John and I hit the slope again. I even talked him into pulling me along for a ride around the backyard.
Yesterday marked the end of a very long week. When naptime came, I needed to make something.
For a while, I've been wanting to make Thea a few more foods to use during kitchen play. Being a tad short on brainpower, I needed something simple and easy - and something that I could start and finish during Thea's nap.
whole-wheat felt pasta
I ended up with felt whole-wheat farfalle pasta. I sort of made it up as I went along - I tried a few things before getting it just right.
felt pasta in Thea's cooking pot
So far, it's a hit. And considering that "freshy pasta!" is one of her favorite things (and one of the few foods she can eat), I'm glad that the pasta was the start of my felt-food experiments.