Margaret did, in fact, turn four almost a month ago. It was a beautiful sunny day and we had plans to go to our small, local zoo. Unfortunately we sort of had a housing crisis dumped on us first thing in the morning and much of the day--and much of the four weeks since--was given over to dealing with an ugly situation. I won't go on and on here but things on that front are quiet at the moment and we are hopeful that we will be happily living in our little apartment here at least until next summer. But we'll see.
I think that Margaret's birthday, from her perspective, was still really fun. Her favorite food is "Porkacheese" (Portuguese--it took us a while to figure that out) which is abundant in our neighborhood so we got takeout from a place nearby and had friends join us for an impromptu birthday party that evening. For Margaret, it's all about the party so she was all too happy that she had a second party with my brother and sister and their spouses just a few days later.
The celebrating continued in that Margaret got birthday money this year. She's gotten birthday money every year, of course, but usually the money is spent solely at the discretion of her parents and it never really occurs to her to have an opinion. This year, though Margaret has almost no concept of what a monetary transaction entails, she was very concerned about her birthday money and how it would be used. After quietly discouraging her from running out and buying the first cheap knick-knack she could lay her hands on, it was settled that the one thing she really wanted was a doll she could dress up. My brief doll-shopping experience has revealed that specially-made doll clothes can add up right quick and I had to admit, honestly, that I am not up for making doll clothes. I was glad to find a good-quality baby doll that was sized to wear newborn baby clothes. We ordered the doll together and it arrived on the Big Brown Truck last week.
Margaret is just smitten with this doll. She named her Lila for reasons unknown to us and has taken possession of all her own newborn wardrobe which I'd saved in case we ever have another daughter. Lila is the first one dressed every morning and gets changed several times a day including into a nightgown for bed. Lila has her own "crib" (the laundry basket lined with blankets) but prefers to sleep snuggled next to Margaret. She's been to the grocery store, to church, and to a Toyota dealership and often joins us at the table. Margaret insists that I take lots of pictures of her and her baby. Here are a couple--first Margaret and Lila doing a dry run in their holiday attire, and then the two of them in more everyday clothes:
Part of Margaret's birthday present was a book rack for her top bunk which I had a lot of fun making for her. I only today got it hung on the wall--shame on me! But I've spent most of the time since she opened it thinking we might move any week. So now Margaret's pink fortress is all set up for her on the top bunk. A friend asked to see some pictures of how we rigged up a canopy for her so I tried to get a few shots but the light in the kids' room is just awful for photography.
Her book selection and flower lamp:
Margaret's bunk from "outside". The fabric is just a "tapestry" from Target. I sewed little plastic rings to four corners (I think they might be stitch markers for knitting) and left a long side hanging. Then I screwed four hooks into the ceiling and just hung it that way.
This is the foot of her bed looking up. Her doll house lives at the foot of her bed as well. Since it's a twin-size bed and she's only four there is still plenty of room for her to sleep. She loves her own space up there and since her brothers can't (yet) get up to the top bunk it's a good retreat when she's feeling frazzled. Which is often.
So, there are some of the birthday highlights. We did finally get in our zoo trip the week after her birthday and we are all looking forward to what our little four-year-old has in store for us this year.