Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I had a playdate!

When Brixton was born, my younger brother told me "You have to make sure he has his own friends. He can't just hang out with Unity's friends all the time." 

It's good advice and I do try. But this season of life that we're in involves lots of playdates for Unity and fewer for Brixton. He does have friends, both the ones that I've chosen for him and the ones he made himself at preschool, but he often ends up hanging out with the big kids, when they let him.

Brixton and Baird are both the little brothers in their families, and even though they're two years apart, they are great buddies. They played together at the toddler gym and then at our house, and Brixton delighted in saying "You're my friend Baird. We're having a playdate right? Right?" 

To which Baird replied "Yeah!"

It was the first thing he wanted to say at dinner, during tell about your day time.

" I had a playdate!"

I'll have to work on helping him have them more often. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Kids at the barre

We are members at the local YMCA, which I love. It's a very friendly, welcoming non-competitive place where we are always running into friends and neighbors. I take a couple of group classes there, including a barre class that's very popular. 

One day last week, when we arrived, I was told that the childcare room was full. I really didn't want to miss my class, so I apologized to the teacher and plopped my kids in a corner of the room with a pile of magazines. 

Well, it didn't take long before the magazines lost their appeal and the kids were watching the class. It's a pretty intense class, but pretty soon they had each grabbed a ball and started following along. 

And now, it's a fun game at home to "do the barre, just like that time in class with Mama."

Just goes to show that the things that sometimes really stress me out in the moment turn out to be great stories in the long view. 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

A bloom in the wintertime

Ok so it's an amaryllis not a rose. But that bright red bloom in the depths of February is just so encouraging. And it always makes me think of the old Girl Scout song:

Give me a rose in the wintertime
When it's hard to find
Give me a rose in the wintertime
I've got roses on my mind.
Now a rose is sweet almost any time and yet
Give me a rose in the wintertime
How easy we forget.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Now I walk in beauty

When we go for family hikes, we pretty much always end up somewhere on Tiger Mountain. It's about half an hour from the city, but full of forest and ferns and kid-friendly trails. (There's burly adult trails too but we've never made it to those.) 

After several days in the house in our pajamas, a quick jaunt on the Swamp Trail was just what the doctor ordered. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Sick Days...

One of the most challenging times as a parent comes when you are sick and your kids are fine. It's hard to keep them entertained and taken care of when you are still in your pajamas and not up for much of anything.

This week is deemed "mid-winter break" which is a new concept that assumes families would rather have a week off in February than get out of school earlier in June. I disagree. 

So, our break has been pretty low key so far since Chris and I are both dealing with a nasty cold. The kids watched this classic movie that I loved as a child and then made popcicle stick puppets of their favorite characters. We read magazines and books, and explored the backyard multiple times. 

Today is day 3 of this and I'm hopeful that we are starting to move past it and on to other things. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Sweet things

These sweet beet cookies. 

Unity's clay project.

A helper with the dishes. 

And a couple of fun decorations. 

Happy Sweetness. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Snow for the weekend

You know, if we are going to have snow I'm ok with it showing up on Saturday night, sticking around long enough to play in on Sunday and then melting away by Monday morning.

It's like a playdate with snow. 

Thursday, February 06, 2014

In which I talk about clothes

I was never really the girl who liked dressing up. In fact there were many times in my childhood when I was mistaken for a boy due to my short hair and scruffy jeans.

Honestly, not much has really changed. Ok, I don't get mistaken for a boy anymore, but the short hair and scruffy jeans lasted for pretty much all of my twenties. I've been lucky to fall into a couple of punkish grunge subcultures where people wore clothes from the Salvation Army or the back of our dad's closets, or things we found in the free bin.

After having been mistaken for the nanny a few times when out with my kids, I decided that, halfway through my thirties, maybe I should stop dressing like a college student quite so much.

I had no real idea where to start. I sort of know what I like and I'm trying to learn more about dressing for my body type, but I hate shopping. I really just don't enjoy it. I started wishing that I had a fairy godmother friend who would just come over and bring me clothes that fit and were appealing to me without me having to leave my house.

I had friends like that in college, who made a sort of project of dressing me up and doing my makeup before we went to parties. It was great, I totally needed the help and it seemed to be fun for all involved. But, the slumber party is over and although I'm sure Unity would love to dress me up in tutus I'm not sure that's what I'm going for right now.

Enter Stitch Fix.

Which is basically the fairy godmother friend I wanted.

You go online, fill out a profile and send them your sizes and explain a little about your lifestyle.
For example, I don't need fancy work clothes or dangling jewelry. Each time you order a box, you pay a $20 styling fee. The stylist choose five items and sends them to you. You pick what you want to keep and send the rest back.

So, here's what I got: (a note on prices- all of these clothes cost more than I usually spend on clothes. But I almost never buy clothes and when I do it's at Target or Goodwill. So I have no idea if this is typical or not. You can choose your price range on Stitch Fix and maybe next time I'll see what they come up with in the lower range. But, I'm probably not going to do this very often and it's fun just to see what's out there.)

First Item:
Colorblocked Dress.

I really like these colors, and I don't mind the colorblocking, but this dress just fit oddly. It was kind of baggy and it just didn't seem very flattering.
Not a keeper.

Items two and three. Graphic print Henley Blouse and Rizzo Skinny Ponte Pants.

I loved these. Oh my goodness. The pants are so comfy and great and as soon as I saw the blouse, I was into it. It's very silky and fun. These were totally what I was looking for, a little step up from my jeans and hoodies, but not too fancy for running the kids around town.

Keeping both. 

Item three.
Duncan Floral Print Blouse.

I'm on the fence on this one. Chris said I looked like a member of Aerosmith and I don't think he meant it as a compliment. It's different, and I like the color and the pattern. Just not 100% sure, which probably means it should go back.


Last item: Striped Sweatshirt. 

This one is super cozy and comfy. If I found it at Goodwill, I would be all in. But if I am going to spend $68 on one shirt, I don't think it should be a sweatshirt. 

It's going back. 

All in all, I had fun with Stitch Fix and I could see myself using it maybe a couple of times a year, just to get new ideas or shake things up a bit. I think my stylist did a good job finding things that fit me and my current lifestyle. 

They do have a referal program, so if you want to try it out, and use my link, I get a $25 credit. So, there's that. 

Monday, February 03, 2014

We've been working on some projects, a little knitting, and a little building/wiring the dollhouse. Fun stuff. 

You may have heard there was a major cultural event here this weekend, other than Chinese New Year. Yeah, all we know is that we had the zoo to ourselves, and the kids were briefly woken up by the fireworks but were able to get back to bed pretty quickly.