I snapped this picture in the early hours one morning, before the sun was all the way up. Before you were really awake. You held your arctic fox and we were entangled, sharing milk for the last time. We had talked about weaning and you decided you weren't quite ready, but I knew you would be soon so I wanted to take a picture every time you nursed in case it was the last.
This particular time was unusual. It was so early in the morning that we'd typically just sleep through. It reminded me very much of when you were a newborn. You'd wake up at night and all you needed was me, and everything was quiet in the whole house. Just us, together, nursing, peaceful. It seemed like we could be the only people up in the entire world, just you and I in that silence.
You were born and you were nursing every hour. Then you became a toddler and you were nursing several times a day and all throughout the night. You grew into a big kid and you nursed before every nap, and before bedtime. When you were hurt, or sad, or lonely. Sharing milk was your home base. 4 years, 3 months, 15 days.
One morning you woke up and proudly declared, "I'm weaned!" And just like that, you decided you were ready to become a child all your own.
We had talked about weaning before this day, and I explained this to you. That when you were growing into a baby in my womb we shared one body. You could feel my heartbeat and I could feel your movement and we were very much a part of each other. Then, when you were born, we were still very much a part of each other, totally entangled. I held you close, slept with you, nursed you day and night. We could not be without the other. As you grew and became independent, we still shared this link between us. An invisible string that kept us together in this world as an inseparable part of each other. We talked about how weaning is a very special occasion, and one day, when you are ready we'll be able to celebrate you going into the world apart from me, as a child all your own.
That day came and you were so proud of yourself, so confident and ready. It was a very special day, so we went to a very special place. We walked up still as one unit, holding hands. And then you crossed by yourself. Out into the world. Weaned. A child all your own! A very special thing to celebrate.
I recently have been seeing some beautiful and imaginative jackets being created from the Wild Things Coat Pattern from Big Little! I knew I HAD to have this pattern, and after looking over all of the many possibilities, Bee decided she needed a unicorn, so I went to work!
This pattern was so much fun to sew. The instructions were detailed and had images that made them very easy to follow along. We plan to make many more wild things coats in the future!
Or at least what sweet bee called the North Pole, which was actually North Carolina. This was her first real experience with snow, and I think it was much crunchier than she expected. As soon as she stepped on it she shouted, "It's frozen!" in complete shock.
Four is such a special, magical age to be! This year we celebrated Bee's fourth birthday with a wonderful party in the Forest. We chose the Tree Hill Nature Center in Jacksonville, Florida. We fell in love with Tree Hill after Bee's very first field trip was held here by our local homeschool co op. They do such a wonderful job of instilling a love for knowledge and sense of conversation in little ones and if you ever get the chance to visit you absolutely should!
Some details! This was such a fun party to put together. I made the signs using this clipart package from seaquint design on etsy. I was also able to put together an e-invitation with this package to fit the theme.
For snacks we had a trail mix bar with various toppings, vegetables, apples, and berries. We decorated the table with these great woodland creatures that were actually holiday ornaments we bought after Christmas for 75% off! They were all just under $2.00. Bonus of having a birthday in January, I suppose! We stopped at the grocery store and picked up an inexpensive flower bouquet on the way to the party, as well. We separated the boquet so we could spread the flowers over the table rather than just having one arrangement. Of course, what's a party without a cake?
I was so proud of how this cake turned out. Can we talk about these gorgeous gumpaste succulents from Layer Cake Shop on etsy? They arrived in the mail in perfect condition and I stored them in a cabinet until I was ready to add them to the cake. I used scrapbook paper and bear stickers to make the banner for the cake, and wilton fondant to make the other animals. For the grassy topper, I followed this sugar cookie tutorial and was surprised by how easy it was and how great the moss looks!
After cake, we all went on a scavenger hunt with the favors which included the scavenger hunt, a small bag, a pencil and an eraser. They were a big hit!
The amazing team at Tree Hill also hosted an animal encounter for the kids with a snake and a possum. This woman has really instilled an interest and respect for snakes in Bee and I am very excited to explore that with her!
Lastly, we got to explore the walking trails and museum at Tree Hill! They have goats, chickens, snakes, a possum, and even a touch tank! I cannot think Tree Hill enough for the day we had and the memories they gave us.