Happy 4th Birthday Juliet

May 6, 2019 • KidsLife

please tell me – HOW is this girl four years old? i know every mother and their mothers are full of clichés, but every day that i’m a mom myself, i understand them a little better. it’s all true. every new thing they learn, you celebrate and you mourn at the same time. you celebrate their kindness, their wittiness or cleverness, their self-confidence. ironically, at exactly the same time you mourn their growing independence. the looming reality that one day they won’t wake you up in the middle of the night anymore to sleep next to you. they won’t need you as much anymore. they won’t believe every word you say, they won’t want to copy every little thing you do. it’s a constant struggle between being proud of the humans they are becoming, and sad for the little babies they are leaving behind in their past.

so, i get it now – why parents make such a big deal out of the birthdays of their kids. if you put enough energy and concentration into the decorations, the cake, the gifts, the songs, the surprises, the cards and the balloons, you might just be able to make it through the day without an emotional breakdown. the more you concentrate on creating the magic that will cement that smile on your kid’s face, the less time you have to wax on nostalgic about the day they were born, their tiny fists that disappeared into your hand, their tiny toes that wiggled free from their baby blankets, their tiny cheeks that turned red with frustration when they got hungry.

kids, if you are old enough to read this and you feel embarrassed about the big deal your mother still makes out of your birthday when you turn 14, 24 or 44 – imagine the embarrassment if i wouldn’t have a party to plan. every time you let your mother bake you a cake, you’re saving yourself from much, much worse.

anyhow, turning four is huge for juliet. she definitively crossed the line from tiny toddling toddler into a real kid. suddenly she wants to ride bikes, sleep in a big bed, and go to school. i’m so grateful for the swiss school system, which starts in september the year you turn four. i feel like she is more ready for that big change than i will ever be – if i could have it my way she’d go to daycare forever. instead, i am watching her learn how to count in three languages, and draw ever more elaborate pictures. i listen to her complicated stories that weave fantasy and reality together in fantastic fables. i learn from her about unicorns and farm animals like they are part of the same universe. she tells me she wants to be a mom when she grows up, as well as an ‘educatrice’ and a doctor. she’s simply listing all the female role models in her surroundings – that in itself makes me proud.

for her birthday, she really wanted a shop. and a unicorn. and nail polish. she’s a girl’s girl, what can i say. and i love nothing more than to see that absolute joy in her eyes when she sees her deepest wishes fulfilled. if only i could do that for the rest of her life. that’s not probable, so i’ll have to soak in every minute of every year while i am still a godlike creature in her world, able to make any fantasy come true.

photos by stephanie duval • flexa shop, register and groceries via MYLITTLEROOM.CH • juliet’s skirt and cardigan from SOFT GALLERY and tee from EMILE ET IDAmeri meri balloons, veja sneakers, nailmatic fizzy ball and soap via HET LAND VAN OOIT • tableware from POMAX • if you have any other questions, leave them in the comments

i started writing this post before eloise arrived, and i remember the feeling of anticipation. we were just so curious to find out who this tiny little human was going to be and what our life would be like as a family of four. i started nesting really, really early on – and basically spent the last four or five months of my pregnancy preparing our home for the arrival of juliet’s little sister.

in my mind, babyproofing our home wasn’t so much about safety (trust me – with a three-year-old toddler in the house, you’ve already thought of everything that can go wrong) as it was about creating a warm and cozy environment for all of us to come home to. when i was pregnant with juliet, i was so busy and stressed out up until the final hours before she was born, our house was a complete mess. we had also just moved there a few months earlier, so int he pictures i have from that time the walls are still bare. add to that my then-obsession with black and white, and it doesn’t make for a very inviting interior.

so this time around, i went all out to transform our living room into the coziest and friendliest place possible. we installed eloise’s high chair at our table, put up a crib for her to relax and play in when she’s not sleeping in our room, and added lots of cute little details in warm colors and materials. i love the wooden baby gym from mum an dad factory, and the golden canopy that used to hang over juliet’s bed (now replaced with a pink one, because PINK) was the perfect finishing touch to mark eloise’s area in the living room. i love how it matches so beautifully with the gold-speckled bedding from les rêves d’anaïs. i’ve also made it a habit to always have fresh flowers around – i think it’s a lovely way to add color and to spread a nice scent (without using overpowering scented candles).

coincidentally, i also added some new items to our collection of pomax table ware and decoration – there are no words for how much i love the gold cutlery and that gorgeous hurricane light. and while the table setting doesn’t exactly have anything to do with a new baby in the house, it does help to make those hasty and hectic dinners (two kids. WHO KNEW.) feel more festive and special. last but not least we added a bean bag from nobodinoz to our sitting area, for juliet to have a cozy little spot of her own when mom and dad are stretched out on the couch fighting off a coma caused by sleep deprivation.

a few weeks after the facts, i am still loving what we have done to our place in anticipation of eloise. we didn’t expect juliet to be such a big fan – her favorite spot to watch netflix on the ipad is in eloise’s crib, with the curtain drawn shut, and it’s all we can do to prevent her from crawling into the stokke baby seat… which does look so utterly cozy! i’m curious to hear from you – what did you change in your home in anticipation of your babies’ arrivals?

photos by stephanie duval • thanks to the brands that allow me to experiment, discover and only share what i genuinely love with you • tableware, cutlery and gold/glass hurricane light from POMAX • black highchair with baby seat by STOKKE via HET LAND VAN OOIT • off-white cuddle bunny from MIES&CO • white park bumper, pillow, blanket and bunny with golden speckles from LES REVES D’ANAIS • peach dotted pillow from CAMOMILE LONDON • wooden baby gym from MUM AND DAD FACTORY • gold canopy from numero74 via LIDOR.NL


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my name is stephanie duval, and i am a storyteller. this blog is where i share my favorite stories about design, travel, fashion and the nice things in life.


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