Saturday, May 31, 2014

We were lucky to have two very special visitors this week- both Uncle Michael and Grandma Ann came for visits. We took advantage of Michael's expertise to buy a used kid sized drum set for Brixton. Now he can rock out for real. He is already thinking of band names and the two drummers are planning to Skype practice sessions together.

Grandma Ann has been hanging out reading and playing games with the kids and enjoying the beautiful weather. So great to have visitors. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Yarn along- the never ending shawl

             I haven't done a Yarn along in a while. I've been working on the same shawl for months. It's the Follow your arrow knit a long that a lot of people were doing, but I think they are mostly finished by now. Oh well. I am enjoying it but the rows are so long and I really do have to concentrate that I find it's not a project that I can slip in my bag and work on while the kids are at swim lessons.

A friend gave me this book for my birthday, I have just started it but so far I really like it.

More knitting and reading projects here. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Concentration and Montessori

I've talked before about how much I love the Montessori educational philosophy. Both our kids are in Montessori schools (Unity's elementary school is a public school, so it's about half Montessori and half state standard curricula)  and I really love the ways that it helps them develop independence,  confidence and curiosity. 

They both have an ability to really focus on a project and carry it out largely on their own. Whether it's pattern blocks or sewing, or even helping fold the laundry, they will choose their activity, set it up themselves and then come and show me the finished results. 

That's not to say they never get bored, or need help, or ask me for suggestions. And I only wish our toys and materials were as organized and calm as a Montessori school. But I really appreciate what this philosophy has done for our family. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Garden update

As you may have guessed, it's been a wee bit challenging to keep up with our garden these days. 
Chris did manage to get out there yesterday and take care of the neediest plants.  He is a serious trooper. 

Brixton's pear tree is growing baby pears. I guess the tree, like the child, is almost five. 
That fact is reminding me of this, and all of a sudden I feel like my kids are so old. Sniffle. 

We always have trouble with carrots. We just have not been able to dig up the beds and sift the soil enough for them to really grow long. So this year we are growing carrots in a tub of potting soil. I'll let you know how it goes. 

                                                                  Squash babies.

A trellis for the peas. 

These potatoes are volunteers from, I don't know, maybe three years ago.

                             Can you see the tiny green cherries in Unity's tree? Every year I worry that the bees    won't come. And then the cherries come, and I know they were there. Bees are so cool.

A stake for the tomato plant. We got the plant as a party favor so yes, we are growing tomatoes. I guess the kids and I will have to eat them all since Chris hates tomatoes. 

This is Brixton's pocket seed from preschool. We think it's some kind of bean. And yes it's surrounded by weeds. But, it's alive, so that's a positive in my book. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

the weekend

This weekend was calm, in contrast to all our parties in the earlier half of the month.I got to go see this with a college friend, which was delightful.
 Lots of time for costumes, and games. For playing chess and memorizing Frozen lyrics, and playing with snap circuits.  
For the little bits of rest and play. I enjoy the parties and visiting with people, but I also enjoy the balance of rest. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

All in a day

So, my calf muscle injury still has me moving a little more slowly than usual. The kids have been pretty understanding so far, but it's still been a challenge for me to entertain a fairly active four year old while staying in bed or on the couch all day.

Here's how we managed.

Legos in bed. Brixton can play Legos for a loooong time. 

                                          Singing in bed. We even made up a song about his toes.

Photos in bed. I also let him text dad, and grandparents and uncle multiple times. Thanks guys!
He really loves those emoticons. 

Books in bed, of course. 

                                                      He was very helpful, bringing me snacks and other things I needed.

                                    It was a gorgeous day, of course (sniffle), so we had some back porch drawing time.

And some indoor shredding. 

And some reading and acting out of Tintin, with which he is mightily obsessed right now. 

It makes for a long day but I do think I'm getting better slowly and I'm already past the halfway point, thank goodness. Really looking forward to ditching the crutches and starting physical therapy. Still, I'm glad for such a good helper to hang with.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Stitch Fix #2

Stitch Fix #2. 

So, I gave myself a birthday/mothers' day gift by getting another Stitch Fix.  My review of my first box is here.  I have decided that I really love this service. Maybe it's because both times I've had really good luck. The clothes have been interesting and my style plus a little something new or more, which was my goal. I also feel like this process has helped me figure out more my style and how to find things that work for me and that I like. 

In case you don't know, Stitch Fix works like this: you fill out a questionnaire, with your sizes and style preferences.  They ask about your job, what jewelry you wear, and the type of clothes you'll wear most often. (Work, causal, date night, etc.)  Then, you can schedule a fix, where a stylist picks out things specifically for you and mails them to your house. You have three business days to try things on and send back (free shipping) whatever you don't want to keep.


Here's what I got this time. I had asked for things for spring that did not involve flowers or pastels.  

First and second up: Connie stud button racerback tank and Johnny skinny jeans.

Ok I loved this shirt. I loved the punky studs on it, and it was comfortable. The jeans were good too.
They were a little baggy around my ankles, but I have that problem with all jeans, and they were super comfortable. 

Third up: Cory Tie-Dye drape front cardigan.

So I read the style card before I pulled out the clothes and tried them on. I have to admit when I saw the words "tie-dye" I was a little worried. But you know, I really liked the flow of this, and the black and white tie-dye is more subtle than I was picturing. 

Fourth up: Esten Button-up sleeveless blouse. 

                                     Now, I admit, I would not have pulled this off a rack for myself. I can't tell you the last time I wore pink, excuse me, fuchsia.  But, I did ask for spring things and I really appreciated how this shirt went with the other pieces.

             Fifth up: Gabe striped maxi skirt.

Ok, I love a maxi skirt. I love the length and the comfort. This color, again, is new for me, but I like the brightness of it and again, the way that it goes with the other pieces.

The other thing about Stitch Fix? If you keep all five pieces, they give you a 25% discount. So, that's what I ended up doing. Happy birthday to me.....

But I really did appreciate how my stylist (ok how crazy is it that I'm even saying that?!?) listened to my preferences and also picked out things that could easily be mixed and matched with each other.

I will say too, that when I first signed up I sent them a Pintrest board with not only pictures of clothes that I like, but pictures of a couple of celebrities that I think have similar body types and shall we say attitudes to mine.  I would highly recommend doing something similar if you decide to try it.

Interested? If you use my referral link, I get a $25 credit. So, that's fun. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Celebrate good times

It has been a full on celebration for the past week. I'm used to sharing my birthday, I've done it my whole life. My birthday has always been sandwiched between my grandma's and my brother's, so when I was little it was always close to a week of celebrations. When I first met Chris and he told me his birthday is the day before my grandma's, I almost fell off my chair. 

Just to add a little twist to this busy time, I managed to injure my calf muscle in Zumba class last Monday night. So, a lot of my week looked like this: 

            It doesn't hurt much, it's mostly just super inconvenient. Chris has been a champ helping me out,
and we joke about how we switched places. He has a new understanding of how hard it is to try and be a caretaker along with all the other responsibilities of house and kids,  and I have a new understanding of how staying in bed all day makes you crazy.

I have some crutches so I can get around a bit. I have to stay off it for another week, and then I can do some physical therapy and start moving forward. So it's really just a small setback.

Unity made me a felt bird in a cage for a Mother's Day/birthday present. 

We had a party weekend, with a party for Chris and I, and then two other birthday parties for friends. 
Whew. It was tons of fun though.

                                                      A sneak peak of a present I got for myself. Stay tuned.

Birthday books! I'm excited. 

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Good Shepherd playground

Another day, another park. This time at the Good Shepherd center, which has a great garden to wander through when you are done with swings. 


                                                              Kids in a grotto.

                                                It's the Desi wrestle hug.

Once again we were glad to have friends with which to share our day.