Dashiell's birthday gifts were a family affair, and were by far a bigger hit than I ever could have hoped for. Joel took a few extras from our (ridiculously large) walking stick collection that I had marked with different intervals ( 1/2 in. to 4 inches in length) out to his saw and magically turned them into individual blocks. Big D's loving sisters spent their time sanding away, making sure there was nothing left on the wood that could harm their precious brother. (They even enlisted some help from the neighborhood kids, and were only mildly frustrated when certain blocks didn't pass muster...after all that meant they got to do more sanding!) And were the blocks ever a HIT!! Since his birthday they have been played with more than any other toy in the house, and then some. Elora also wrote and illustrated a work of fiction, Dashiell the Dinosaur, as a gift for her baby brother. In the book the big dino family give each other a lot of big dino hugs, and at the end Dashiell's mom gives him a big dino surprise...a baby brother. She is ever so subtle, no?