April 9, 2014

Happy Birthday, Mae Mae!


Today is my mother's birthday. I won't say which birthday it is, but it's a big one, and in my opinion she doesn't look a day over 50!

Happy Birthday, Mom! I'm so glad Virginia and I get to spend it with you. Here's a message from the boys who wish they could be with you, too!

March 10, 2014

This Past Weekend...

Mae Mae returned to Arkansas. I dreamt of little spring dresses and and I are making. The snow started to thaw (the first of many thaws until spring). Archer was a little under the weather, and mostly contented himself with playing cars. Colin was mesmerized by his new pop-up book, Twenty Thousands Leagues Under the Sea (it is pretty cool). And Miss Virginia was the centre of attention with her many new skills: sitting up, crawling, and, mostly spectacularly of all, saying "Mama!"

February 28, 2014

Caught 'em!

The fanciest, French-iest little art smock ever

Years and years ago, I stumbled upon a book of sewing patterns for little kids that had this adorable, French-y, vintage-looking little art smock in it. It was going to be the perfect thing for Colin to wear in all of those messy toddler crafts we were going to do together. I went out and bought the cutest fabric I could find (I believe it is Robert Kaufman, circa 2008?), and then promptly forgot about the whole thing—for three years and two more children.

But, lo and behold, this past January I finally found the time and energy to tackle this project. Just don't ask me how.

The pattern is from Oliver + S: Little Things to Sew by Liesl Gibson, and the whole book is brilliant. I kinda want to make everything in it.

But don't let the simplicity of the design fool you. This is one fancy art smock. It has got French seams. Now, why a kid's art smock needed French seams beats me. But I appreciated learning how to do them properly, thanks to Ms. Gibson's excellent instructions. (I'll just not mention the two hours I spent sitting on my kitchen floor trying to figure out how to do French seams on a raglan sleeve. In my defence, it was pushing midnight and there might have been wine involved.)

After working so hard on this pretty little thing, it seemed a shame to let Colin wear it and get it all messy. But this afternoon, when he said he wanted to pull out the wet clay, I knew a fancy little art smock was just what he needed.

Now, I guess I've just got to sew one for the other two!

I (heart) you, too, Little Man!

February 23, 2014

I Superman

This little Man of Steel steals my heart. Every time.

Again with the couch cushions.

Play gym

All I heard was, "Come see, Mama! We built a play gym in the living room!" ...

So glad we went with the cheap couch. Still, it was new...

February 21, 2014

Sick day

Yesterday we had a sick day. For a family that is rarely sick, it was quite an anomaly. Even when the kids are just a little sick, we usually push on through with whatever we already had planned. As the child of a teacher, this is just how I was brought up: if you weren't gushing blood or throwing up, you got on with your day.

But yesterday Colin was throwing up, big time. So we spent the day quietly at home. And you know what? It was glorious.

Colin, my loud, active boy, spent the day cut and tracing and colouring in activity books. Archer, who wasn't sick at all, spent the day pretending to be sick: all curled up with me on the couch, while I read him books and scratched his back. And I got to work on my knitting a bit.

Even Pélé and Baby Beau, the boys' dolls, spent the day recuperating. The only person in the house who didn't take it easy was Virginia, who is busy getting into everything these days. (My how the time flies!)

At the end of the day, I felt so well-rested and rejuvenated. It was possibly the best day I have spent with my children in a long time. Finally, I was able to put my finger on what had made the day so lovely: there was absolutely no fighting or bickering or rough-housing. And I hadn't had to raise my voice once. Too bad this doesn't happen when they are well!

February 18, 2014

We, robots.

We were homebound recently for an entire day while the car was in the shop. This could have spelled disaster and destruction for my very energetic little boys. Fortunately, I came up with a perfect last-minute crafting idea: recycling robots. They came up with the idea of making the robots in the image of our family. Can you guess who's who?