We are one week away from Ocoee's Alyeska birthday extravaganza! I am simply stunned my little bug is about to be 2 years old. She even wore her first pair of big kid undies today. She chose ones with monkeys on them.
Ocoee being a woman has many blessings. Have a sisterhood of wonderful friends, being a mother and growing into your feminine self.
But right now I am over the onslaught against women. Mostly marketing and media.
really tired of always seeing the message that I need to be prettier, younger and thinner. Even as a self confident woman these slimy message sneak into your life and it is exhausting. Sure I could spend $100 on new anti aging cream or I could realize I am getting older and deal. The alternative is death. I think I will take aging. I can spend that money on a trip with my family, college savings or loads of chocolate.
Also skinnier. I read this great blog about how strong isn't the new skinny. It is skinny plus get ripped. Strength isn't measured in waist lines, dress sizes or six packs. Strength is measured in actions and persistence.
The whole prettier thing is lame too. Why must we strive to be pretty? Does it make us a better person? Happier? Where is the self fulfillment in prettiness? Maybe others like you more, but one thing dear daughter you will learn is that what others think about you is of little consequence to what you think of yourself.
I hope you know that you are strong, brave, loving and generous. Just as old age will weather me you too will not always be young. One day you might feel that you are not enough. But you are. Always you have been enough and more.
These standards and pressures that society pushes at you are meaningless. Figure out your own measure of happiness and pursue it. Your mama wants so much more for you than prettiness, thinness and youth. Please spend not a moment thinking of these silly, silly unrealistic standards of women.
We worked on a few projects this weekend. Most were boring like laundry and shopping. But I was finally able to get the book shelves for Ocoee's room finished.
I bought 4 Ikea spice racks while in Phoenix and painted them a creamy white to match Ocoee's dressers. At last we got them hung on the wall and they look great! The cost was $4 a piece plus $4 for spray paint. So $20 plus a flight to Arizona made it all possible!!
It was nice to get some of her books out of the closet and displayed so she could easily see them and grab what she wants to read. She is beginning to show some independence with wanting to "read" books on her own.
Ocoee also spent some time working on her own project. She adores making art.
With all this rain it is good to get some inside projects done.
Today Ocoee had her first successful tinkle in her potty. She was so proud and we made a huge deal out of it. She even got two jelly beans!
We did have a few slips on the way to this victory. Puddles on the floor and a few tears. Not quite sure why she is reluctant about potty but we are trying to make the push. After 2 years of cloth diaper laundry I look forward to less in the future. Fingers are crossed!
Also been loving Skype lately. Ocoee talked to uncle DD and Ava yesterday and hopefully grandma and grandpa tomorrow. Technology sure has made it easier to stay connected.
So I anticipate ocoee's birthdays almost as much as I did her very first-arriving into the world a week late! I still remember that day with more clarity than any day in my life, up until holding her in my arms. Then Everything went blurry and I was just with her.
Last year I planned for months an elaborate girly camp out party. I test baked several cake practicing my recipes and decorating. I am very happy with the results. Grandma came to help us celebrate and worked hard with me to throw a great party. The night ended with Ocoee crashed and us launching wish lanterns at the park with friends. It was wonderful.
This year I am keeping it easy. I found a great cake at our rustic bakery, Fire Island that is simply decorated and taste amazing. Not too sweet and very moist. I will top it with a real beeswax candle I found shaped like a 2.
We have 3 nights at hotel alyeska reserved for a weekend of swimming in their awesome warm salt water pool. Girdwood has a great playground, fun hiking and our favorite restaurant Jack Spratts. Fun and easy.
My absolute favorite though is shopping for her presents. We don't spend much on toys but do have tons of books. Even with the abundance I am over reading them and ready for some new ones. Birthday is a great time to stock up and she always picks books over toys. I try to follow the adage, one thing I can read, one I need and one I want. Except one becomes several.
A nice cart on amazon of good books was a joy to pick out. A new Patagonia jacket and new bogs fit the things I need category. She really gets excited about boots and jackets (genetic!!) so these will be a big hit.
Ten today was the fun part. The want. Ocoee wants nothing. More like I want for her. I found the best wooden tea set with little wooden tea bags at my favorite toy store, classic toys in anchorage. I also grabbed new art supplies, Melissa and Doug stamps, faber-castell veggie markers and bees wax crayons. The quality and colors make me want to make art! Ocoee often says "make art" and I encourage this type of play any way I can.
Also got a few sticker books and place mats with the USA, abc, and fishing one!
Also simple easy thugs that will entertain her for hours.
One special gift we do for Ocoee is a charm bracelet. The bracelet was purchased for her birth. The first charm was a lady bug from grandma for her 2nd Christmas. We call her bug a lot and the charm was perfect. This year I added a snow flake for her 2nd birthday. It is symbolic since she was born on the first snow of the winter with the most snow on record in anchorage and last year lived her through the record breaking longest snow season ever for anchorage. She is my little snowflake for sure! Grandma and I both look forward go adding charms and presenting the bracelet to her later. Maybe at 13??
For Labor Day weekend we headed south to the Homer cabin on Tutka bay. 3 days on the island was a perfect end to summer. Ocoee and I snuggled and took family naps, checked out jelly fish, and watched eagle soar with whales splashing below. Totally magical.
Ocoee loves the cabin. She plays with sea shells and helps mommy sweep. Daddy makes her popcorn on the woo stove and she gets to go on boat rides. The Kelly ride to the top of the hill involves blueberry and raspberry picking which she enjoys.
Back to school and the grind is always hard but these are the memories we will cherish.