Monday, November 13, 2023

Phoebe is TWO!


Phoebe has been not-so-patiently waiting for her turn to have a birthday. It was quite the long wait for her, too, since her birthday is the very last one in the calendar year. I'm not sure what knowledge she remembered about birthdays prior to this year (though somehow she already knows a troubling amount of information about Santa—mostly that there is a man named Santa, who is very recognizable in his suit of red, who is supposed to bring her exciting presents. Why does she know this? I can't say. But she does), but she was reintroduced to the idea of birthdays on Zoë's birthday in May and she instantly fell in love with the idea. 

Presents? Cake? Everybody singing to you in an adoring fashion?

These were traditions she could get behind!

There are, as you're probably aware, 365 days in a typical year. We managed to cram all of our birthdays into 174 days, so after experiencing a dearth of birthday celebrations between Phoebe's birthday last year and Zoë's birthday this year, Phoebe not only had to wait 174 days until her birthday...she also had to watch everyone else have a birthday before her!

That was hard for her, but her siblings let her share in their joy, allowing her to give a few tugs (or a big rip) at their wrapping paper (depending on how generous they were feeling), and cake is for everyone,'s not like she was missing out on a whole lot.

Today she decided to dress up in her ladybug flamenco dress (passed down from Miriam, originally sent from Spain by Aunt Marie) because she loves ladybugs. She's pretty easy to shop for because she loves so many things! Auntie K sent her a cup, bowl, and plate set (as well as a box of bandaids) with Grogu on them, which Phoebe was very excited about.

Here she is ripping her wrapping paper. I can't remember whether she's saying "rip" here, or whether she's saying "ope-mmm."

She had a grand time opening her presents, even if it was sometimes "hard."

(I highly recommend watching at least the first 1:06 of this video because she gets hilariously desperate when she can't manage to open one of her presents; it's a long video, I know, but that first minute or so is totally worth the view).

(Now I'll explain, in case the video stops working in the future, that after declaring the present was "hard" and declining offers of help from various family members, she tried to bite the package open. Silly girl!)

In addition to the present from Auntie K, Phoebe got some fresh playdough, a Daniel Tiger book (that made her scream with joy; unfortunately we missed recording that reaction), some dot-markers, and a set of Daniel Tiger characters.

The box of Daniel Tiger characters was one of the last things she opened and she was running out of steam by then, so needed some extra help getting started. When she saw what they were she became quite passionate about wanting that box "ope-mmm" right now!

The very first thing she did was make all the characters kiss each other—they must have all been so happy to see each other after being trapped in their separate compartments in that box!

Then she had a lovely afternoon of playing with her new things... well as with her old things. She loves to take Alexander into the basement to play toy kitchen, and in fact rarely goes into the basement without first pausing at the top of the stairs to holler, "Ah-ex-zee! Nitchen!" to ask Alexander to accompany her to the toy kitchen. They will play down there together happily for quite a while now that things are all put together again, and he was happy to indulge her in her wishes today. 

She also got to play outside with Zoë (and Libby) and go for a walk and read plenty of stories and do all kinds of fun things!

Rachel made a ladybug cake for Phoebe, since Phoebe likes (among many other things) ladybugs. We had a bit of an argument a couple of weeks ago when Phoebe wanted to wear her ladybug outfit to church (jeans and a shirt). I ended up convincing her to wear her ladybug dress and all was well (or at least better than how things ended up this week). She can be quite opinionated about what she wears.

Phoebe was quite excited to sit in the birthday spot (in front of the trees) so that we could sing to her.

Grandpa joined us for dinner and stayed for cake, so he was there to help us sing to Phoebe.

About halfway through the song she decided it was a good time to start working on blowing out that candle. Here you can see her with her mouth making a "ffffffff" shape (which is how she blows things right now):

Fffffffortunately, she's not a very efffffffective blower-outer, so we had plenty of time to ffffffinish singing to her before she ffffffffinally succeeded at extinguishing the fffffffflame.

The cake itself was an orange cake (made from scratch with all the oranges we have sitting around the house). The filling was buttercream with some blood orange preserves stirred in. It was really quite delicious!

After Grandpa left (to go prepare seminary lessons), we had Family Home Evening together. The kids wanted to play Mexican Train (because I'd played with the little kids last night while Rachel and Miriam were off at their fireside and Daddy was feverishly reposed on the couch). The kids wanted to show Daddy (a) how good they were at playing, and (b) how good they were at losing (because being a good loser is a highly valued skill in our house) so I found a story by President Gordon B. Hinckley to tell before we played.

Just as people associate planes with Dieter F. Uchtdorf, I explained to the children, I associate trains with President Hinckley. We read Faith Lights the Way, about having faith enough to move a small distance forward into the darkness (following the light), but that's not the only story about trains that President Hinckley told.

Mexican Train is nice because it's a game that everyone in our family can play all at once (there aren't many games for this many players, honestly, though I did pick up a new game for Christmas that says it's suitable for a crowd our size that looked promising). 

Phoebe is a little too young to join in with everyone, but she had a set of princess dominoes to keep her entertained and she got to play with all of train pieces that weren't needed, so she had a pretty good time.

All in all, it was a pretty good birthday for Phoebe. I don't know what she'll do now that she doesn't have any birthdays to look forward to...but Christmas is coming, so I think she'll be okay.

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