It's hard for me not to play with this circus that we got for August last year. This music box just makes it even more magical for us. I hope to create felt flags and find some way of making a tightrope.

I find it hard to stop playing with toys and dolls. Reading about Tasha Tudor and her marionettes, doll houses and miniatures has been all too encouraging. We have also been submerged in the world of Beatrix Potter as well. If I could, I'd create Duchess and Ribby puppets so we could re-enact the whole patty pan incident that August finds so hilarious. One of my favorite things to do with August is read her new stories from the large Beatrix Potter treasury book.

This weeks errands and important business calls have taken me away from the playtime I'd love to participate in. I would truly enjoy a day of making clothes for some dolls and bears. I'd love to visit the toy store and find a friend for Lottie. It would be great to have the king and queen as special guests at the circus and find more music boxes for new circus acts. I also have paper dolls I need to cut out...

Of course, I play differently than she does. I remember what it was like to be in a world of real toys when I was a child. While I can still play with dolls and blocks, childhood is gone and I can't get back to where she is. I can pretend and be who she wants me to be but I can't see it how she sees it. No matter how much I would like to or even think that I am back there again...its just not there like it use to be and that's how it is. That's the magic of childhood.

The best fruit salad I ever had...

August celebrated Mother's Day for a full week. She made me several cards, she promised me a fruit salad on Mother's Day and for the entire week she would come up to me and share a memory of something I did for her, like when I crocheted her rainbow dress, then she'd thank me. My heart melted with every celebratory moment all week long. On Saturday we went to the grocery store and she told me what fruits to buy for my fruit salad.

On Mother's Day she woke up excited asking if it was Mother's Day. When I said yes it was she wished me a Happy Mother's Day and wanted to get busy making the fruit salad. I washed the fruit and set up her table in the kitchen. I got her knives, a bowl and the fruit and just watched in amazement as she started slicing and chopping. The bowl filled with grapes, kiwis, strawberries, peaches and bananas. When she was finished she wished me a happy Mother's Day and I was beyond happy, beyond thrilled, beyond impressed. I was so proud of my little girl for carrying out a plan she had developed a week ago, for working so hard to make something so special for me just for being the sweet and thoughtful person she is.

I picked up the bowl to take to the kitchen table and asked her what bowl she's prefer to eat it in. Her reply was," No, Mommy, just two forks for us." The fruit salad was delicious, it was those peaches that added just the right amount of sweetness to it all. As I enjoyed it with her I had to stop and just look at it. She told me to ", eat, eat." I'm still deeply touched by my Mother's Day gift, still floating on the memory and all the love.

Begin 4

I was at a loss this year when it came to ideas for decorations for August's 4th birthday. She wanted at a park with all her little friends. While at an antique store I saw a garland made from torn vintage dresses. I thought I could do something like that for her party. It reminded me of a ballerina tutu and she is very much into ballet and ballerinas right now. So the theme was set. She had a pink cake with a little plastic ballerina on it, reminding me of the old cake toppers I had as a kid. She wore a slip with petticoat under her vintage dress and she said she felt like a ballerina in it.

I went to Goodwill and found a a long prom dress with three different types of fabric in various shades of pink. I then found two curtain panels in white and hot pink. When I got home I tore them all into strips and created 15 feet of garland. After visiting the pergola at the park and measuring where I wanted to hand the garland I discovered I needed twenty more feet. Over the course of three weeks I found more curtain panels at Goodwill stores and then finally bought three yards of  a pale, pink taffeta fabric to use. The length of the completed garland was 30 feet, but with some spacing and arranging I was able to lengthen it to 34 feet.

Balloons were filled with confetti again this year and I ironed out the vintage tablecloths I have been using since her first birthday. I also brought out her "Happy Birthday August" banner, also from her first birthday. We arrived at the park thirty minutes before the party started, sort of late, but were able to get the banner up, blow balloons and set up the tables. The entire time August's Godmother and I were setting things up she was running around, hopping, skipping and saying,"I am soooo happy, I'm soooo happy, it's my birthday!" Remembering that scene from Our Town, I took the time to stop and focus on that moment of her joy and took it in. I wanted to remember the morning with my bestie and this happy little girl on such a beautiful spring day before guests arrived.

It was just about midnight and she was still fighting sleep. She had not napped all day. I knew she was exhausted from the play, sweets, sunshine and excitement of the day but she refused to fall asleep. she finally burst into tears in my arms and said, "I miss everybody, I miss my friends...what about the donuts?" I said, "You miss your birthday already?" She replied that she did. I told her it's now a sweet and wonderful memory she can visit anytime. "I took lots of pictures and have video", I told her. Then we looked over the photos on my phone and I  played her the video from my camera. She fell right to sleep.

Monday was her real birthday and she woke up to a small party her stuffed animal friends had put together for her. There were presents wrapped in newspaper on her little table. Georgy Girl played as she danced and tried on new dresses. She had said weeks ago she wanted a "poop cake" I told her I'd make her a poop cake. While she napped that afternoon I used three pans to create this chocolate cake with a peanut butter center and frosted it with hazelnut frosting. Her face when she saw it was so impish and delightful.

We had planned to take her to a toy store to pick out a special toy on her day. She surprised us both when she said she would rather have dinner at Korea House with us instead. She wanted chicken fried rice, her favorite. "I want to have dinner with my own family", she said. She walked into the restaurant with a tiara announcing that it was her birthday. Our birthday month is over and I'm having trouble letting it go so I put it all down here.