Crafty Tuesday ~ Birthday Time!

I actually have something to share today!  With the festivities of Miss Seneca’s first birthday party this weekend, I was baking up a storm.  I’ve come to find that I really enjoy decorating cakes, and with practice I’m hoping I can continue to improve.

Birthday Cake

Here’s her delicious chocolate and yellow layer cake, with yummy buttercream frosting.  I’m so thankful I started the baking Thursday night and finished the frosting on Friday because the torrential downpour all night and Saturday morning, meant the house needed a quick once-over before decorations were hung and the Butterfly Garden Party was moved inside!

Calder helped me make little tissue paper butterflies, and this one, is my favorite as it hung on the chain of our ceiling fan and did lots of little swoops and swirls throughout the day.  In fact, it’s still hanging there….


Here’s Seneca’s little birthday crown…I was amazed at how much she LOVED it!  When I was making it, I tried it on her, and she instantly sat so still and smirked!  She would’ve kept it on for a while I think, but I kept hitting it as we opened gifts!  Of course, Calder felt left out, so we crafted a foil-covered prince crown for him!


Here’s a picture of Seneca’s little birthday cake.  The oringal plan for the big cake was to cover it with pre-made fondant (I’ve been watching a bit too much Food Network Cake Challenge) but, I quickly discovered it was much harder than I thought.  So, I opted to make her cake fondant-covered only.  

Little Cake

I’m not sure if there’s craftiness happening today, but be sure to check it out another time because there’s always good stuff to be found!

Happy First Birthday, Miss Seneca!

Seneca Cake 2

To My Sweet, Sweet Girl ~

I spent a few minutes (OK, several minutes) looking back through pictures from this past year and watching with amazement at the ways in which you’ve grown and changed and blossomed into an adorable little toddler.  You are quickly exploring the world around you, interacting with your big brother, and learning every single day.   I love your tricky side as you offer to share your Cheerios and then take them back at the last moment, a huge grin making your cheeks even fuller, rounder.  Or when you quicken your pace when you hear me coming behind you as you climb the stairs, the chair, the couch – whatever you can conquer.

On the one hand, I want to suspend time so I can keep you snuggled in my arms forever, feel the soft squish of your chubby arms, watch your slow smirks stretch across your face making your eyes sparkle.   And yet….I see you thinking, learning, watching and responding to the world around you, and I anxiously await your first words, and the conversations that I know will make me laugh and cry.  I’m amazed by the tenacity you already display.  You are courageous and strong, you are funny and silly, you let nothing stand in your way.  You offer glimpses of the young lady you’ll become, sharing a sly side of you that I’m sure will keep me on my toes in about ten years.

Baby Girl, you are the light of my life and I hope you always know how much I love you.  I am so very blessed to be your Mommy and share in celebrating the person you will become.  Thank you for reminding me of the joy that comes both in giving and receiving unconditional love.  Happy Birthday!



Seneca Cake 4

Seneca Cake 3

Terrific Two’s

Considering there has been little in the way of updating going on here as of late, today’s birthday post will commemorate the recent goings-on of a certain Birthday Boy!

Birthday 1

“Wan’ wear din-saur!  No pants, No pants!” – Refusal to get dressed in the mornings – usually overcome after being completely distracted by his insatiable appetite for oatmeal {giggle, giggle} – seriously, he laughs in anticipation as I mix it up!

Birthday 2

About three weeks ago we had our first ever hospital stay!  After our daycare provider mentioned his rapid breathing, we took him to urgent care and ended up spending 2 nights at Sparrow to help him through a bout of bronchiolitis.  It was quite a long night – the worst of which was the IV that he received around 2am – after being completely exhausted, scared, and not to mention feeling horrible. 

On the up side of the whole ordeal, I certainly learned that he is a brave young man.  He charmed many a-doctor with some signs and cracked me up by saying “Gesundheit” after an impressive sneeze attack!  I was ever thankful to Kindermusik as listening to the soundtracks on my iPod is how we survived the hours of waiting throughout the evening leading up to our hospital stay.  All in all, he came through like a trooper (even after he caught the flu when he came home!).

Birthday 3

“Oh. My. Goodness.”   That’s just one of the many mimicked phrases flying around our house these days.  I don’t think there’s much he doesn’t say.  His growing vocabulary has been so amazing to witness.  Watching him process, wonder, question and synthesize so much every day has expanded my heart even more – if that were even possible.

Birthday 4

I know this one’s gonna sound weird, and I guess everyone will just have to deal with it.  This one is more for me to remember because it’s truly something I’ve noticed that surprised me.  In the past couple of months, the deliciously adorable baby smell has disappeared.  The snuggles I adored when he was peanut and curled into me because he didn’t have the strength to do otherwise are nothing compared to the true embrace that warms my heart each time I have the privilege of stories and snuggles.  And yet, when I tuck my face into the crook of his neck and breathe him in – I now take in a sour sweetness of boyhood.


“Hey Mama!”  He does this often, just to get my attention, but lately it’s been to show me something he finds particularly amusing.  Such as stuffing his finger up his nose on the way somewhere.  When I glance back, the smirk that crosses his face is enough to crack me up.  But I remain strong.  Looking straight ahead, through a stifled laugh I calmly say “No pick, Calder.” 

Recently, he waddled into the kitchen, turned his back toward me and lifted his shirt to show me his saggy pants and exposed crack.  “Wook,” he said, grinning.  Trade the diaper for boxers and the sweatpants for jeans with a studded belt and that could be my middle schooler someday….Oy!


“Tank you, Mama.”  This any all of his little manners melt my heart every time.  ” ‘Scooz me, Mama.”  “Bwess you, Mama.”  My favorite was his two-week phase where his “Bwess you” was said as though he was sneezing.  He also blesses himself after he coughs.  And most of these are offered without prompting.  Often times the appropriate comment is given, then followed by the same comment for “Dad-dy,” Sen-ca” (he says it as a 2-syllable name right now), “Xanther” and anyone else he can think of before repeating a few for good measure!

Birthday 5

“Hooray!  So fun!  Yea!  and Noooo-uh!”  I think the first of these is owed in part to his puppy toy, but it was cute nevertheless, when everything one evening was followed by “Hooray!”  Whether it was our dinner menu, going upstairs, answering the phone, etc.  Similarly, we often play up the fun factor of mundane things to make them seem more appealing.  You know, “Get your coat on so we can go see our friends!  It will be so fun!”  or “How about we sit in our seat and talk while we clean up dinner dishes, so fun!”  Now he’s using it too.  But I really think he does find some of the things he talks about fun…. 

About 2 months ago, every question we asked was answered with “Huh?”  That too made me flash forward to middle school – eek!  Now, our exchanges are something like this:

C: Hey Mama, saw bird.

A: Did you see a bird?

C: Yea.

A: Was the birdie eating?

C:  Ummmm, Noooo-uh

A: Was the birdie walking?

C: Noooo-uh

A: What was he doing?

C:  Ummmm, fwy-ing ‘way.

Birthday 6

In two years, I’ve learned so much more than I could have imagined.  And each time, I get to my *favorite* stage, I’m surprised by my next *favorite* stage.  Calder, I love you more than you know.  I love your courage, your curiosity, your tenderness, your compassion.  I love your humor, your giggle, the way you run away from me when you have something you know you shouldn’t have (no seriously, you need to give that to Mama, but it is pretty cute the way you check back to see if I’m coming).  I love your “Show me, Mama!” and the way you wrap your hands so tightly around my finger.  I love that we have been blessed to be your parents.

Happy Birthday, Buddy!

Happy Birthday!


My how times have changed from the birthday celebration we shared about 10 years ago at the deuling piano bar in Lansing! 🙂  While we may not be living it up in the same fashion, the wishes are no less sincere!

Have a great birthday today, Aunt Jill!