3 years ago

Lexington’s Birthday Giveaway from Illustrator Alison Oliver!

Where to begin?



Last week was exciting for the house of Svell.  I had some personal health issues, Craig had an emergency appendectomy, and Lexington had his 5th birthday. Craig’s sudden surgery in the middle of the week halted party plannings, party goings, friend visits, bloggy writings, and birthday and father’s day present shoppings. And my brain crashed, yet the world still turned, so we Aretha Franklin-on.

The biggest drawback so far is Craig not being able to lift and hold our children.  We came home from the hospital and the boys fully expected to wrestle, and climb, and hang on Daddy in usual fashion, but he can barely walk. It’s amazing how much we need our core strength to do such trivial things as putting on socks, or even standing up. doy. Craig’s not supposed to lift over 15lbs for 6 weeks. Each of Craig’s arms is like 15lbs. Our youngest is double that poundage.  No arm lifting. No children juggling. Sadfaces all around.

This makes taking trips out pretty much impossible because not only do we have a one year old who is both super clingy and super approaching the terrible part of being 2 this Autumn, but Emmett, our Autistic wonder, often needs to be held or calmed down during over-sensory tantrums.  I’m not waxing woe to little ol’ us, but simply stating that this is how it is right now, and when we turn down invites for fun summer outings, it’s for the sake of our sanity and because it really just isn’t possible right now and really wouldn’t be “fun” anyway. Fine by the recluse herself.

BUT! My wonderful family pulled together, as they always do, and helped me throw a morning-doughnut-superhero birthday party for Lexington.  A morning party?

While it doesn’t sound ideal to the night owl, it was great to get the boys down for a nap afterward and then have the rest of the day to recoup.  The next day wasn’t nearly as horrid a social hangover it usually is for our family. So a huge thanks to my family who went along with Carolyn’s insane thinking.

Lexington? Oh he was jiggy with it.

Hey, do you have any gum?


Property of C. Svellinger
No, but you can have some PUNCH.

Aside from your typical boy nonsense they like at this age (legos…mumble…HulkSMASH…mumblegrumble…dragons…grumble…Godwillyoupleasegiveusababygirl?), I like to get our boys a book for each occasion of present-giving.  I’m fighting a losing battle, some might say.  Yet I fight on because I hope to instill my love of language and reading into our boys hearts. And wouldn’t you know it, there I was a few weeks ago, audibly swooning in the children’s book aisle, in the middle of Target, as I hugged this darling children’s counting primer, based off of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.  Instant birthday present for the only little girl in our family, my niece, Sienna.

Longing for more, I went home hoping all hopes that I could find and order something more like— THIS !!! for Lexington’s birthday:

And then, I pre-ordered THIS
–really just for me, because obviously.

Oh! These little classics, for little people! The illustrations are so darling, I literally would die to have them hanging in our house. The gentlemen! The gowns! The clean, simple illustrations! I found Alison Oliver’s website and swooned some more.  Pride and Prejudice! Moby Dick! Sense and Sensibility! Sherlock Holmes! Romeo & Juliet! Let’s just quickly look at how I would arrange some my favorites :

Alice Prints Alison Oliver

Pride + Eyre print Alison Oliver


I couldn’t stand it any longer, so I contacted the illustrator, Alison Oliver, who has generously agreed to give one of my readers a print from her shop!  AH!  EEE!

Scroll to the bottom for instructions on how to enter this sweet, sugary giveaway. But first, I will leave you all with a few of my favorite conversations which vibrantly depict Lexington’s 5 year old, little powerball self:

Carolyn: *proudly finishes singing Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes in French*
Lexington: That’s great, Mom, but I don’t know how to speak Spanish, and I REALLY don’t know how to speak Betch.

Lexington (as I’m tucking him into bed): MOM. What is Mercy?
Carolyn: *Gives a concise, accurate, and completely relatable definition for a 5 year old, and is proud of her Christian parenting milestone*
Lexington: …Okay. Well… tomorrow there’s a new Octonauts on.

Carolyn: Knock, knock!
Lexington: Who’s there?
Carolyn: Orange.
Lexington: MOM. Oranges can’t walk, and they can’t knock.

Lexington: MOM!  My boys (brothers) are throwing mulch everywhere and it’s getting in my shoes and itching and bitching my feet!

Lexington: MOM. You need to learn how to go to the bathroom standing up like I do and Dad does.

…And my personal favorite, forever:

Carolyn (while driving in the car after Lexington became frustrated with Emmett for not responding to him): You know when Emmett cries and throws a fit when we are at the store, or driving somewhere, or even when we are playing together?  That’s called Autism. Emmett doesn’t know how to use his words.  He doesn’t know how to tell us he’s sad or mad.  Sometimes, Emmett doesn’t understand your words either. That’s Autism.
Lexington: Oh. So that’s Emmett’s superpower, then.
Carolyn: —uhh—
Lexington: You know, like my superpower is helping my bros, and Collin’s superpower is saying “NO.”
Carolyn (blinking back tears): Yes. Autism is Emmett’s superpower.
(I had prepared to describe it as an illness.)


That’s my oldest son for you all, just flipping my world on its head on the daily.

In honor of Lexington’s 5th birthday, please comment below with your favorite print from Alison’s shop, and follow the Rafflecopter prompts to enter for more chances to win this darling giveaway.  Good luck! I sincerely hope you win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

**USA residents only.**

(pssst! If you’re reading this on Bloglovin or Feedly, you won’t be able to see the Rafflecopter widget.  Click here, to enter puhlease.)

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