Our birthday celebrating started on Saturday when we went to the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport.
I was working on a last minute birthday project and thankfully my mom drove there and back so I could work on it some more during the car ride. What was I making? It was something that I had been wanting to make since Bracken’s first birthday. It was….
::The Happy Birthday Banner::
I took pieces of felted wool sweaters from the thrift store and wool felt and hand sewed them with different colors of wool yarn. I made an area along the top of each one to slide a piece of garden twine through. Then I drew the letters in pencil, cut them out, and hand stitched them on each one. This project took a long time to make. I sewed a few during one of Bracken’s naps before my mom came, a bunch on the car ride to and from the aquarium, and the rest that night when we got home. My mom played with Bracken while I finished them. I sat in a corner in the living room, sewing, while I watched them laugh and have fun together. Bracken stayed up past bedtime that night. I was so happy when I finished the sewing! Then Jeff put them on a piece of strong garden twine and we hung up the banner in the living room.
We brought the banner outside to take pictures with better lighting.
And Bracken peeked out like a little elf in this picture.
I was proud of this project. I poured so much into making it and now we’ll have a family birthday banner to hang up every time we’re celebrating a birthday.
::The Birthday Crown::
I used the same birthday crown for Bracken from last year. I intended to make him a new one each year (I made him a red one with a yellow star for his first birthday and a blueberry crown for his second birthday), but this one still felt so perfect for him that I focused my energies on finishing up birthday gifts instead.
::The Birthday Muffins::
What do you do when it’s time to make a birthday treat, but you don’t eat sugar or grains? Make some grain-free Banana Nut Muffins with Coconut Honey Frosting! I made the muffins and then Jeff made the frosting. They were delicious.
We sang Happy Birthday to Bracken with candles a few times while Grandma was here. (Then we sang to him again at Rainbow Bridge, we like to celebrate birthdays for awhile.)
We traded our friend at market for the little beeswax candles last year. Someday I’ll make my own.
Our friend Mary Lou came and celebrated Bracken’s Birthday with us on Sunday.
The next day, Monday October 14th, was Bracken’s third birthday.
::The Birthday Haircut::
On his birthday we decided to call a local salon and see if we could get in that day. They got us in. I had been a little nervous about bringing Bracken for a haircut since he had been afraid last time, but his bangs were starting to get in his face and I thought the chances of having a haircut happen would be a lot more likely with Grandma there. Because everything seems more fun when Grandma is there, doesn’t it? He sat in my lap and it took awhile to get it cut, but it went pretty well (it’s hard for active boys to sit still) and it turned out so cute. He looked so grown up all the sudden and it seemed to transform him for his third birthday.
::The New Soles::
I decided to put some soles on the bottom of the slippers I knitted for Bracken. They were pretty slippery around the house (which is fun for sliding), but adding the leather soles made it so he’s using his slippers a whole lot more. Besides being great around the house on chilly mornings, we brought them along to Rainbow Bridge since we don’t wear shoes in the classroom and cozy slippers are wonderful to have there.
::The Birthday Hoodie::
We did a trade with our friend Noemie and she sewed a little hoodie for Bracken. Jeff made some special buttons for it with woodburned trees on them. It fits him so well and will get so much use as the season grows colder. I love the patches on the elbows and everything about the pattern. (The pattern is available on Etsy here.) We have felt very grateful for it.
Yes, Bracken’s wearing the hat I knit for him in the first few pictures, we’ll get to that next. (The firewood looked good in the background, but other parts of that building were not so picturesque. It’s in the process of being torn down and we’re temporarily storing some wood in there in the meantime.)
::The Blue Birthday Bonnet::
I finished knitting Bracken’s Clyde Bonnet in time for his birthday and it was so fun to see how it fit him. We lightly tied it under his chin and it kept it on his head that way as he was running around. I’m happy with the way it turned out. It came just in time. With his new haircut, he needed a new hat to keep his head nice and warm.
::The Birthday Chicken::
The other trade we did for Bracken’s birthday was with our friend Fiona at market. She makes the cutest things out of wool felt and Bracken had been admiring her felt chickens every time we passed by her booth on the way to farmer’s market. You know how he loves his chickens. Under the chicken is a little felt egg. Bracken loves his new chicken. He brought it in the front yard and had it start pecking grass.
::The Birthday Easel::
Bracken’s Aunt Sam and Uncle Thomas surprised him with a giant box in the mail. (The box was exciting as well as the gift, he turned it into a tugboat.) Jeff put together Bracken’s new art easel and he immediately started using it. One side is a chalkboard and the other side is a dry erase board. There are clips to attach pieces of paper to draw on as well. He liked to crawl in the spot between and I covered it with playsilks to turn it into a fort. How fun!
(Yes, that’s the world’s longest “baby gate” in the background. It’s sort of an eye-sore in our living room, but it makes the wood stove area off limits and it’s been a great thing.)
::The Birthday Wagon::
My mom was disappointed that her present hadn’t come in the mail by the time she arrived on Friday. It was supposed to be here by then. But when we came home from the haircut, there was a surprise on the front sidewalk. The package had arrived while we were gone and Jeff had put it together. He had the red wagon sitting there with some of Bracken’s new dolls inside (from Mary Lou, made by her friend) and Bracken came out of the car to see his new birthday present from Grandma. He got rides in it around the yard. Then he layed in it like a bed. Then he helped gather eggs, put them in his wagon and brought them to the house. (I was a little nervous about that, but they made it okay.) Later Bracken filled his wagon with water, turned it into a mini swimming pool and then washed his clothes in it and dried them in the sun.
The only gift we bought for Bracken was a pair of wool and silk pants from Little Spruce Organics. We knew they would be a wonderful thing to have this winter, especially while we play outside. They are soft, warm, and cozy. The rest of the gifts we gave him were either handmade or traded for and handmade by a friend. There were other wonderful gifts he received, but I didn’t include them all in this post. He had never had so many presents all at once before and he was blown away.
I realized on Tuesday that we had forgotten to measure Bracken on the measuring board. It’s a family tradition to measure him on the measuring board every year on his birthday. So early Tuesday morning, before we brought Grandma to the airport, we measured him on the board. It was so fun to see how much he had grown!
And speaking of how much he had grown… I brought out the card our midwife made of Bracken’s feet when he was one day old. We photographed his three-year-old feet next to it.
Our baby’s growing up!