To Play Outside Alone...

It sounds crazy when I actually write it out, but for the first time today my kids went out and played in the yard alone.  Without me sitting on the steps with a book or magazine or on the enclosed porch with the door open.

We sat in the dining room talking with friends after brunch, turning around every once in a while to look out the window and make sure they were still there.  And...  They were.

You see, I'm not afraid someone is going to come into the yard and take them.  We live in the city, but on a somewhat secluded corner lot.  Bordered by two streets.  Two streets I am just beginning to trust my children not to wander into.

So today was the first step.

They didn't last too long.  They were soon calling for us to come and join them.  And to fix the pulley system, since The Dad, in building it, had not anticipated that they would try to fit a child into the basket. 

They pulley is the latest addition to The Fort.  Now with a second story and recycled slide.  Hours of fun, I tell you...  Hours of fun...

And Real Life Continues...

So, a week has flown by without my realizing it.  Kindergarten drop off has gotten progressively easier, the fussing at the pass-off tempered by the fact that she is always picked up at the end of the day smiling and hugging her teacher.  The house was cleaned and prepared for the onslaught of friends and family in town for the wedding of Aunt Wendy and a fabulous time was had by all.

The wrangling of my wild children at a weekend of fun parties and events did, though, hamper my ability to pick up my camera and snap some pictures.  Something I sadly realized this morning.  Absolutely no pictures of the kids fully decked out in all their finery as the flower girl and ring bearer...  The closest I got was E getting her hair done beforehand and O in his pirate regalia at the reception.  I really hope the photographer got some good shots!

How cool to be married on International Talk Like A Pirate Day?  The reception was replete pirate paraphernalia, including a kidnapping of the bride and rescue by swordfight set to some fabulous 'pirate music'.

Now, we return to our regularly scheduled programming.  With my return to the studio tomorrow morning!  Hooray!

Stay tuned...

The First Day of School

So today they both started school.  And for the first time in five years I dropped them off and came home.  Alone.

And it wasn't as freeing as I thought it would be.

E cried when I left her at school.  And I worried about her.  O loved it and wants to stay longer tomorrow.  But today I picked him up at noon, on the playground I picked her up on all last year, and I felt like something was missing.

I wish I could say that when I picked her up at 3 she was excited and enamored with the idea of Kindergarten, but this one's going to take a little convincing...

I did however get a couple things done this morning - including the ring bearer pillow O will carry in the wedding this weekend.  If the weather tomorrow is as nice as it is today, I'll get some pictures.
**Something's still a little bit wonky with my text formatting.  I'm trying to figure it out...**

Two More Days

Two more days.

Two more days that have all of the sudden snuck up on me.  Days in which I want to just hold them on my lap a little longer.  Days I want to cram just one more thing into.  But also days in which I mentally add just one more thing onto the list of "Things I will do once they are in school."

Things like:
  • Clean out the refrigerator
  • And the cupboards
  • Finally donate all those boxes and bags to the local thrift shop
  • Get back in the studio and get some new dresses made to fill a consignment order and re-open my shop.
  • Finish all the cleaning and last minute home improvement things from the "List of things to do before Wendy's wedding" (which is really the "List of things to do before we have 100 people over to our house for breakfast")
  • Make and stock the bags to keep the kids occupied (in the front row!) during the less interesting pieces of that wedding.
  • Make the ring bearer pillow!
  • Sit quietly by myself in a coffee shop, checking things off my list that have been done...
Okay, the more I type that list, the more I realize I need to do.

But really?  I just want to relish the next two days, the first time getting both my kids ready for school.  And by present for this huge transition (as much a rite of passage for me as for them) that is about to occur.

Right Now I'm Loving...

...That E is as comfortable dressing up in armor as she is in princess gowns and tutus.  And having lots of dress up accessories that become all kinds of different things in their play.
...Being totally sucked into and absorbed by a book.  It's been a long time since I couldn't put something down.
...This coat.  It's been in my cart for weeks and I just found out it's 20% off.  With free shipping.  My finger is just itching to click on "checkout".
...That O says "my own self" instead of "myself".  And that he is just so excited and proud to be starting nursery school.
All is good.  I just need a little more sleep...
At the dinner table yesterday I looked at The Dad and said "I just don't know why I'm so tired."  E piped in "Maybe you're going to have another baby."
"We are not having another baby", The Dad and I said in unison.
"I'd really like to have a new baby boy", said O.  "And name him Tommy."
"Or a baby girl," said E.  "And name her Tomanika.  Or Sarah."
Oh my, never a dull moment.

30 Days of Summer :: Day 30!!

 After a summer full of rain, this weekend has been glorious.
We were fortunate to spend yesterday at the Rodale Institute picnicking, exploring their demonstration garden, and apple picking.  
Amazing organic apples, eaten right off the tree, in which you could actually taste the sunshine.
If you're in the area, I  highly recommend checking it out.
They've also got a great little shop with all kinds of books.  I picked up three about square foot gardening, gardening with kids, and creating outdoor spaces that invite kids in.  So much to do!

I hope you are having a fabulous Holiday Weekend.
I'll be back Tuesday!

30 Days of Summer :: Day 29 :: The Pillows are Multiplying

I joked here about using lots of some colorful pillows throughout the house to perk up some family spaces, but I was really somewhat serious.  I've done a couple now (including this one) backed with linen that I really like the look of.
While the one pictured above actually seems to blend in with the rug, it pops perfectly on the tan living room couch.
And have I mentioned how much I love Michael Miller prints?

30 Days of Summer :: Day 28 :: A Little Fabric Tissue Case

Evidently, with the somewhat cooler weather, I've been a little more inspired to get back into the studio, even if just for some quick little projects.
I had bookmarked this Tissue Holder Tutorial way back when and finally tried it out last night.  I adapted/adjusted it a little bit and am excited to have one more homey piece to stick in E's backpack when she starts school...  If I can get her teddy bear to release it's new 'pillow'.
I'll be back in the studio for real after the weekend of the 19th and will have the shop re-opened by the end of September.  I'm really excited about some new things coming down the pike.
Thanks for checking in!

30 Days of Summer :: Day 27 :: Signs of Fall

The air has begun to cool here.  It may be temporary, but I am really enjoying it.
With the chill in the air, we have also welcomed:
  • The reappearance of long pants
  • Hot Chocolate (Just once, yesterday at the diner.  For the kids.  With whipped cream!)
  • Oatmeal for dinner (yes, tonight, so easy!)
  • Pajamas and blankets at bedtime
It's really coming, isn't it?
In a way I hope we get one more short hot spell - just a day?  We had the last two of our three new ceiling fans installed today and would really like to use them. 
I know, silly...  But really?  We spent all summer looking forward to them, saying "Oh I can't wait until the fans are installed.  Then it will be so much cooler in here!"

Oh, the irony.