Friday, October 19, 2012

To Be Continued

So I've been thinking about this space, thinking about what it is I want to write about, and how I want to do that.  I'm grateful I get to use writing as an outlet, to share how I feel about motherhood and making.  And I've decided that I'll be re-starting and refocusing that over at Motherhood Handmade starting next week.  I have loved writing here, but I'm ready for a new beginning over there.  I hope you'll follow along over there, too. The first week is all lined up and ready to go, and I'm excited to get started on Monday.  

Thank you for reading here- and I'll see you at Motherhood Handmade

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Insta-Friday 9.21.12

This blog.  This poor blog.  I feel a little bad, and then I remember that it's just my blog.  So, as I'm still getting used to this whole school kid thing, loving the time with Rotten on his own, and working on other goals, I'm okay with a little downtime here.  Here is what life looks like right now.  

I'm trying to get the home in better order, with less people in it during the day.  
This shelf benefited from these efforts.

 Stinky is growing into quite an artist.  This is our family portait, but today his teacher told me he tried to draw Starry Night.  So there's that. 

The hour before bed is the worst, but we try to make the most of it. 

WBH and I are trying to make it through the last phase of a diet.  Sometimes it's yummy.  

Other days I blow it and dress like a pirate at 6am for a dozen free doughnuts.
(I regret nothing.)

There's lots of crafting going on.  Many friends are having babies, so small gifts.  Holidays are in my mind, and I try to keep a half- hour crafty date with myself while Rotten naps.  

So, obviously, I have a bit to write about in the coming weeks, but this is a pretty accurate look at life right now.  

Have a great weekend! 

life rearranged

Monday, September 17, 2012

First Day of Kindergarten


And just like that, he's a school kid now.  The first morning was full of little tells and giveaways that he was uncertain and nervous, though he told me he was not.  He asked to take his stuffed monkey to school so he wouldn't be afraid.  I told him Mr. Fuzzy-Wuzzy could ride in the car, and would be waiting for him when we picked him up.  On the drive, I heard whispers "You don't have to be scared.  I'm only going to be there a little while, and then I'll come right back to you,"  and I wasn't sure whose voice Stinky was speaking in.  

We arrived at the school, where panic set in- not for Stinky, but for me.  Holding Rotten tight, and biting the inside of my cheek, I kept myself together for Stinky, who looked strangely small, especially given that his height put him at a head taller than most of his class.  Finding his class's line, he looked around nervously.  Then, as is his nature, he found a classmate from the previous days' meet-and-greet  nervously holding tight to his mom, flashed a friendly grin and shouted his name.  "Come stand with me for kindergarten!  How cool is that?!"  The boy smiled,  released his mother's hand from his death grip, and ran over to Stinky.  The two compared backpacks and lunchboxes, until the bell rang and their teacher came for them.  

I kept my composure until he turned for one last look, waved, and walked into the building.  Then I had my one and only kindergarten cry in the van, took a walk on the waterfront, and bought myself some mums.    By Friday, he was asking me to let him walk from the car by himself.  We compromised with a walk to the corner, and a hug.  Always a hug. Now in full-day kindergarten, he happily hugs me at the corner, smiles at the crossing guard, and  walks into the school without looking back.  

Monday, August 27, 2012

I Made it Monday: Our Primary Colors Quilt

Our home was in the process of being made into a duplex before we bought it, and then someone changed their mind, leaving the home with random doors through out.  We intend to keep two of them, and the others will eventually be replaced with windows.  In the meantime, this door gets a little drafty and isn't exactly cute.  WBH asked me a while ago if I could make a quilt to hang over it.  With the best of intentions, I ordered some nice fabric, and sewed up a top.  Then I let that top sit for more than a year, unquilted.  I bought batting and fabric to finish it... last October.

So this summer, itching to sew, but not clothing, and without budget, I put the pieces together (it took me a whopping three nights.  Silly procrastinator).  WBH took down an unused curtain rod, I sloppily basted a sleeve onto the back for it, and Voila!  Hidden door.  Yes, it's very bright, but being in a climate that favors overcast skies, coming home to a cheery color scheme is something I really appreciate.   Now I'm on to a few paper projects, and a scrappy nine-patch quilt.   What are you working on this week?  

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Saturday, August 25, 2012

InstaFriday 8.24.12

1. learning to play Uno, kicking mom's butt 2. quilted into the wee hours, but it's done! 3. fitting into my favorite again.  4.  garden harvest.  5. backyard cinema  6. art project  7.  the after-library sprawl  8. the finished trebuchet  9.  following a trip to blueberry park.  10.  basil cubes  11.  knitting work-in-progress.  12.  waking up is hard some days 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Happy Birthday, Rotten One

Two years ago, Rotten's arrival happened in a way that would foreshadow a lot of his personality.  When he surprised me by arriving eight days before my scheduled c-section, I kept saying to him "this was not the plan, little guy"  and when he was born, he came out yelling.  He yelled at us for an hour, as if to let us know that it wasn't his plan either.  He gave us this look for a  days after.  Somedays, he still does. 

Hours old. 

 1st birthday 

2 years old. 

Dear  Rotten, 

Some days you are still such a mystery to me.  The way that you live life on your own terms confounds, awes, and sometimes makes me absolutely crazy.  Still, I can't imagine you any other way.  You are so clever, so funny, such a flirt and a tease.  I'm so happy you are a part of our family.  Crazy as it can make me, I love the way you shake things up, the way you taught me that I know absolutely nothing.  I love your passion for books, the way you simultaneously adore your brother and want to boss him around.  I know that your stubbornness and drive for the things you want will someday be your greatest assets, but today, you are living up to the words you said to everyone today: "I'm two!" You bring so much joy to our family, in a way that no one else could.  We love you.  Happy Birthday, Rotten one. 

Love, Mama 

Monday, August 20, 2012

I Made it Monday: Banana Silk Cowl

Awkward self-portrait in dusty mirror.  Yeah.  So let's focus on my the most recent finished object and how it came to be.  I'm allergic to animal fibers- eyes water, hives pop up- and it's really lame.  Fortunately, there are a lot of cool, vegan options available: cotton, linen, rayon, and this super cool yarn, made from the bark of banana trees.  WBH surprised me with this it earlier this summer.  I worked on this onstage during a park scene.  It's got a great, hard to describe weight while staying soft and fuzzy.   I wanted to focus on the cool texture of the yarn, so I kept the pattern simple, worked it all in stockinette  and then the ends were sewed together.  Simple, but I like the statement and pop of color it adds.  It will get more use when the weather cools off. 

I picked up a quilt top I made a while back to finish this week.  The plan is for it to cover a superfluous door in the living room, and hopefully stop a draft when things cool down.  It's pinned and ready for some sewing, and I'm so excited to get it up on the wall. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Friday, August 17, 2012

Instafriday 8.17.12

1.Building a trebuchet.   Yeah, we are.  
2. Sunshine squash, this years attempt at "pumpkins."  
3. Just before a date to go get school shirts.  
4. Playing nicely (it's been a rarity this week).  
5. Building a wooden helicopter (Stinky's choice of dollar store treat was the kit.)  
6. Kindergarten countdown 

Other cool stuff  that happened this week: 

-Backyard Cousin Campout
- Cast Party ( gosh, I miss those people)
- WBH and I hitting lower weights we haven't seen in years. 
-Rotten 'reading' a mash-up of Slippery Fish and Rainbow Fish
-Realizing there's just 3 weeks until the big boy is a school kid.  Killing me, but so excited for him.  
-One week until the Rotten one turns two.  Though, he's gotten really, really good at two already. 

Linked Up! 
life rearranged

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Caspar Baby Pants, Cousins, and a Sprained Ankle

So, this happened, and it didn't happen doing anything exciting.  I was just walking to my car,  fell of a curb and rolled it.  

Unfortunately, I took this sweetie down with me.   You can see his goose egg in this picture.  When I took this shot, he was saying "I be mama doctor." 

Earlier, we'd had an awesome day.  WBH's sister and her kids have moved to the area, and we brought all the cousins together to see Casper Babypants in the Park.  If you don't know him, you should.  Former frontman for the Presidents of the United States, he makes music that you can't really tell is for kids until you hear the lyrics.  He's for Rotten what Imagination Movers was for Stinky.   

At first, Rotten wasn't sure.  He wasn't playing any of his favorites yet. 

Stinky seemed to channel a hippie at Woodstock, though-  thankfully, keeping his clothes on.

When we let him join the mini-mosh pit, he requested Rotten's favorite- "Eleanor the Elegant Elephant"  and danced most elegantly.

Rotten thought that was just pretty great, and was extra excited when "Stompy the Bear" was played.

The cousins sat, sang, and danced nicely together, with a little teasing.

After the concert, we moved on to the playground for a while, where WBH set the carousel off at a speed the kids couldn't get on their own,  Rotten climbed the rolling hill, and Stink rode the multi-passenger see-saw.  Sometimes we have boundary issues.

This spinning seat was a hit with Rotten, though, and he wanted to ride it until he couldn't walk straight. 

It was a great day, until I went and fell off the curb.  So maybe we'll try for a do-over soon. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

I Made it Monday: Knitting

The things about being in a show is that it can be a lot of hurry up and wait during rehearsals.  So to keep myself out of trouble, I brought my knitting- and a lot of it.  The knit balls are a great, (much easier than they look) Ravelry Pattern.   The others are much more free form- the rainbow wrap was something I sort of made up as I went while on vacation, the stripes were on a project I eventually decided I hated and ripped out. The last bit of texture on the bottom right?  That is from a cowl that I knit using (this is so cool) banana silk that WBH surprised me by ordering, knowing I can't use animal fibers without getting a rash.    It looks awesome, and I'll be sure to get pictures, soon.

Another project is on the needles this week.  I had planned a break from knitting, until an injury stopped me, this week.  Later on, when I have more use of my ankle, I'm excited to finish a quilt that I've had the the top done for ages.  But for now, while I rest and elevate, more knitting, more purling.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Monday, August 6, 2012

I Made it Monday: My Costume

photo by Wayne Robinson 

Closing weekend has come, and a friend put it really where when she said that it's an even blend of sadness and relief.  While it's on my mind, I'm sharing my costume for this week's I Made it Monday.  This was hands-down, my favorite of my costumes- and it makes the top five of all time, too.  

The skirt is made from Dana's excellent tutorial, the fake peter pan collar was from this tutorial, and then just safely pinned on.  I may add some finishing touches, take out the petticoat, and  wear it again, as I had to clue how flattering a circle skirt could be. 

Here's a better look at the whole thing together, paired with my favorite (but not made for dancing on an incline) shoes.  

I've been knitting up a storm lately, too, so next week, I'll post some of that.  Now, I've got a quilt to finish and an amazing amount of photos to get into an album.  

Happy Monday, friends.  Anything crafty you're working on? 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Friday, August 3, 2012

InstaFriday: Before and After

Both shots from last night's show prep.  I've loved being a part of a movie music revue this summer, getting to share the experience with Stinky again.  It's interesting to see how much he's grown from the last time we did this, 9 months ago.  In a lot of ways, he's a very different kid, proving to me that just maybe he's ready for kindergarten.  We've been able to spend time with friends from the past and make new ones.  Aidan is in a kids group that sings The Rainbow Connection, and I sing in a duet of Young at Heart, as well as the full cast numbers. It  has challenged and pushed me because the story we're telling with this song is different that then the, ahem, trampier roles I've often enjoyed, and also, dancing.  How I wish I was a better dancer.  Fortunately, I have a partner who has been very patient.  The production ends this weekend, and I will miss performing in it, and the time with friends, but I think everyone is probably ready to bring it to an end as well.  So many people put way more hours into these productions that allow me to rehearse but not spend every evening away from my kids, and should they make their way here, I hope you know how grateful I am for all the work you do.  It's so nice to be able to step back into something I loved before I was a Mom, without having to spend all my time away from home.  It's a good recharge.

Chances are if you're here, you are a facebook friend, too. I've posted info about the show there- you should come check it out while you can.  Get uplifted, have a laugh, come see the talented people I've been working with since May.  We have a good time, and I think you will, too.

life rearranged

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello

Goodbye, July, and goodbye

visits from out of town family and friends

family pilgrimage to Fort Flagler with treasure hunts 

and bike rides.

Goodbye, rehearsals and opening weekend.  

And Hello, August.  

Hello, closing weekend, backyard movies, and epic playdates.  Hello, just-moved-in cousins, garden fresh veggies and afternoons in the back yards.  Hello, filthy boys, house projects, concerts, and farmers' market.    Hello, last days with a preschooler, and hello, for the first time ever, school shopping.  Hello, heart attack.  Hello, big, big plans, and hello again blogging. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Blogging Vacation

I have had this space on my mind a lot for the last few weeks- what I want to do with it, what I want it to be, what I want do with life.  Mostly, I want it to be what it is, only living in the ranger's housing at the state park we recently vacationed in.  I've decided to take the rest of July off from writing, and to come back strong in August.   I hope your summer is lovely and restful and fun, and I'll see you here in two weeks.

Friday, July 6, 2012

InstaFriday 7.6.12

1. making friends with baby CJ, who fascinated him. 2. don't paint on cold meds.  3. making 4th of July shirts. 4.  birthday tutu for my niece. 5. cupcakes for my sister, decorated by Stinky.  6.  blocks on a rainy day. 7.  Goodnight Gorilla- read twice a day.  8. crayon-resist letters.  9- nighttime ritual.

Things have been really crafty around here lately- I hope to do a massive catch up post soon featuring what we've been up to, but for now, family is visiting from out of town, adding that to regular life, and we're busy around here.  Hope your summer is gloriously busy, too.

life rearranged

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Stinky's Recital

With friends Chloe and Gwenevere.  They were tired and I'd just said "Ballet Boogers!" 

Stinky has been in dance classes since January.  They have helped with his focus, and given him an outlet for his extroverted energy. The discipline of listening to his instructor without a parent in the room has been good for him, too and I hope those skills will carry over into kindergarten.  The classes culminated in a recital this fall, performing the story of The Twelve Dancing Princesses. Stinky's class was the shoes, who danced for the shoemaker's apprentices.  The children were paired in matching costumes, but Stinky the only other boy in the class didn't get along (because the boy's sister liked Stinky , we were told, and the brother wasn't having it.  Matter of honor and all).  So each boy was paired with one of the class assistants.  

with Miss Magdalene. 

When costumes were handed out, he loved his shirt.  He said he felt like a prince.  I thought he might have a problem with the tights, but once we wrestled them on, he wiggled his bum and said "Oooh,  I love them!  They're so comfy, I want to wear them everyday!"   That's a negative, good buddy. 

Dress rehearsal was concerning.  Stinky and the other boy in class got into a shoving match during their part, and everyone was a little antsy.  He was directed to the men's dressing room, but as soon as he opened the door, he slammed it shut, and said "He needs some privacy!"  and we went to the greenroom instead.   We left him there with several "hands to yourself!" talks, and worried until the performance. 

We were grateful (if a little surprised) when the kid nailed it- keeping focus, keeping his knees high, and doing all the steps just right.  I think the way he skipped was our favorite, as his bird legs looked pretty adorable as he danced around his partner.  

We'll continue in dance after the summer- we're excited to see him learn more, though WBH is less excited about the tights.  

Monday, June 25, 2012

A Mormon Family at Pride: a follow up

So, the last time I had 400 hits in twelve hours on a single blog post was never, ever ago, and I'm grateful and surprised and experiencing a lot of other feelings about it.  Thank you to those who commented here, on Facebook, and Twitter, and those who shared this post.  Thank you to those who shared feelings with me in private messages.  I am honored that you shared feelings with me that are so personal and still fragile.  I especially want to say thank you to those who have a different opinion politically, but expressed that they appreciated the love that our family wanted to share.  It means so much to my family to have that recognized.

Tomorrow I'll be back to sharing my crafts and our family life (including why my son loves tights, which oddly enough, is completely unrelated to the Pride Parade), but I can't leave this topic without sharing one of my favorite moments of the day.

The sign on the other side of our stroller read "God loves ALL His children," quoting Dieter F. Uchtdorf, one of the members in our church presidency.    One of the people walking with us said it looked like a covered wagon, which was kind of accidentally appropriate to our group.  After the parade, on our way back to the train, we met with a group of protesters.  I will say that to their credit, the signs I saw didn't use the same crass language as groups like Westboro Baptist- but they weren't a whole lot better.  There was a lot of yelling going on between the groups.  My husband- I LOVE that man- took our sign proclaiming that love right into the middle of that group.  Taking advantage of his height, he stood behind the short protestor and held the sign above his head.  Cue my heart swelling with pride for the man I married, for his nerve, and the way he shared what we know is right.  I LOVE that man.

The experiences we had this day- the hugs, the people who high-fived my kid, who physically embraced us at the parade, and with words after, are ones we treasure.  We know that our opinions may differ from yours, but we hope that you will see the message of love that motivates us, that brought us there.

Tomorrow- more about my boy tights.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Mormon Family at the Pride Parade

We had talked to him the day before about where we were going and why.  We explained that we were going there to show people that we loved them- even though people could be mean, hurtful, or say they're not as good as other people, we would show them that we loved them and wanted to support them.  That night he prayed that the "parade people" would feel our love and not feel bad anymore.  It probably shouldn't have surprised me then, when he woke, and seeing the signs I made to take to Seattle's Pride Parade with us, he took to his craft table and returned with a sign he had made, all on his own:  "I [love} u."

That was the message our family went to Seattle to share- that while we know that people of our faith have hurt people in the LGBTQ community, our family will not do so- and we will speak up when others do.  Though we were nervous about the reception we would receive our presence was greeted with a mix of cheers, surprise, and at worst, silence.  When people expressed their gratitude to us, it was very emotional- we were here to try to mend hurt feelings, and I was grateful for their welcoming attitude-  but I found myself crying twice while walking- once, when meeting a friend who was moved beyond words to see us there.  The other time, a woman watching the parade saw Stinky's sign said to me "This will be a strong man someday.  You're doing it right, Mom."   

The LDS involvement in Pride Parades across the country has brought up a lot of discussion in our home.  We talked about whether or not we would go, whether we would bring the kids, what our signs would say.  We prayed, a lot.  Last Sunday at church, we sang the hymn "Lord, I would Follow Thee"  These lyrics in particular stuck out to me, as we were making our decision:  

I would be my brothers' keeper, 
I would learn the healer's art. 
To the wounded and the weary, 
I would show a Gentle heart... 

During this hymn, I remembered being a child singing the words of the Carol Lynn Pearson's Primary song "If you don't talk as most people do, some people talk and laugh at you, but I won't!  I wont!  I'll walk with you, I'll talk with you, that's how I'll show my love for you."  I remembered standing in Young Women's, saying that I would strive to live the value of Integrity. I thought about our reasons for not going, and I felt like a coward.  Then, the hymn continued "Who am I to judge another, when I walk imperfectly?"  and I knew that our family would be walking in the parade.  

It was an incredible experience-  and one that I am so grateful we had as a family.   Thank you to those who organized our group, and those who welcomed us.  This is a day we'll remember (if you'll pardon the pun) with pride.