This year we had our playgroup over for a Novruz celebration. We started by dyeing eggs, which was a wonderfully frantic (and surprisingly mess-free) dash. We had nine two-year-olds, and various aged babies along for the ride.
Jesse explained the meaning of Novruz – the toddlers listened very attentively – all the earth, wind, fire, water, rebirth, newness. Then, we went outside to jump over the fire!
It was an amazingly beautiful day, so we all went to the backyard to play with all of Alma’s bikes, and her slide. It was perfect. I love how our kids are old enough to pretty much just play. We don’t have to hover and help like we did last year at this time. It gives us grown-ups time to chat and catch up.
We are so blessed to be a part of this great group of families. We all (pretty much) met through the Birth Center, where most of us had our first babies. After getting to know each other at the weekly Baby Clinics, the idea was born to have a monthly playgroup. Not only do we all have two-year-olds, but most of us are on the second round these days, too. It’s wonderful.
After playing for a while, we had to play the egg game. I think Alma’s friend Beatrix won this year.
We were also really lucky to have our authentic Azerbaijani friend, Elvin up for the celebration. It’s fun having him so close this year (he’s studying in Long Beach, California). He’s a great dost, and both our girls truly love him. So do we.
I was inspired by this photo of our little dance party today. I love how Alma is just looking at the camera (on a timer, BTW).
The lighting and stance, dress and look of Alma totally reminded me of one of my favorite paintings. I have loved this portrait since I was a child. “The Daughters of Edward D. Boit” by John Singer Sargent. The lighting is fantastic, and the girls all have such a beautiful, mysterious presence. I thought it would be fun to try to put Alma into the painting.
I hope to put Alma and Harriet into more of my favorites as time goes on. This was a fun way to start. It’s obviously not perfect, and really show me how much I have to learn with photo editing, but I’m happy with how it turned out.
Watch for Alma and Harriet to pop up in more paintings in the future!
Today you turn two years old. Two years ago, you gave me the best thing in the world. You gave me you. You made me a mom. You made me your mom. That is important for you to know. I love being your mom. You are best two-year-old there ever was. As your mom, I’m supposed to think that, but believe me, Alma, it is true. I have never known anything to be more true than that. You are the best. You are beautiful, Alma.
Your mind is the best. Right now you are talking to yourself, or your dolls, or your dreams, in your crib. You should be napping, but I love to hear your sweet voice through your door. The nap will come soon enough, when you decide to lay your head on your pillow and fall asleep. As a two-year-old, I see things in you that weren’t there last year. You are able to play by yourself so well. Your imagination astonishes me everyday. You create little games, and turn toys into different things all the time. Your creativity is beautiful, Alma.
Your body is the best. Your body has grown so much this year. You are really learning how to use your strong, graceful, energetic body. You love dancing so much these days. Ever since we saw the Nutcracker at the library, you are a regular little ballerina. You ask for music all the time. When the music comes on, you dance. I love watching everything about how you dance. You get such a serious face, or sometimes a proud little grin. You control your body as you mimic what you saw the dancers do. I can tell that in your mind, you look just like them. I love how you seamlessly go between the soft moves of the Sugar Plum Fairy, to the sword thrusting moves of the Mouse King. And you can jump! Boy, how you can jump! Your body is beautiful, Alma.
Your brain is the best. You learn new words everyday. The words you’ve known for a long time are starting to come out of your little mouth, in your most amazing voice. You are starting to learn your colors. You call me Mom or Mama. Your dad is Daddy or Dada or somethings Jesse. Harriet is Hathhh with your tongue sticking out. You love to look at books. You love to read them yourself, making up amazing stories in your own little language. You like to tell these stories to Harriet. You can follow my directions. You are quick to figure things out, like how to use your blocks, unlock Nana’s cell phone, buckle your high chair straps. Your brain is beautiful, Alma
Your love is the best. I have seen your love in such an incredible way this year. When you met your sister, I think your heart must have grown a few sizes. The way you look at her, especially now that she’s starting to be more fun, is astonishing. You love to see Harriet looking at you, watching you, smiling at you. I can tell you love having Harriet on your team. Your love is beautiful, Alma.
You are the best. You are so, so beautiful, Alma. I am so excited to see the ways you will grow more beautiful this year, Alma.
I used some of Alma’s nursery decor in her new closet book nook. The bunting from Katrina, the wreath from Jacque, the quotes, and to mobile I made her came along to the new room. I also covered crib mattress pads with fabric from her first year photos, made a tuffet using this tutorial out of some of those fabrics, made a book sling using this tutorial, and hung up her special Alma sweater.