Snow Day v4.0

The Dad is a much better Snow Day parent than I am.  Unfortunately, as we began what felt like our umpteenth snow day this week, he headed to the train for a day full of meetings downtown.
For me, a snow day means hot chocolate and popcorn and snuggling under a blanket with a good movie or book.
For my kids, it means (and it should mean) lots of time spent playing outside.  This also means lots of changing into and out of the necessary accoutrement that go along with that outside play.  Mittens (there are never enough dry mittens), snow pants, boots (that must be tucked into those snow pants appropriately), hats, dry socks...  You get the gist.
While I don't love playing out in the snow, I do love watching the kids do it.  And I love what they come up with on the blank canvas of our whited out yard.  Today it was 'snow beds', dug out of the foot deep snow and outfitted with 'snow pillows'.  And, of course, paths connecting those snow beds with the other various attractions built up in the yard.
We attempted a snow man.  While the snow appeared perfectly weighted and sticky, the balls just didn't build up - crumbling in our hands instead of packing.  So we made a small snow man.  With the fabulous juxtaposition of eyes made out of shells from our beach vacation in Florida.
The Dad was worried that, moving here from Minnesota, the kids would miss out on 'real' winter and the snow play that he loves.  No worries, Dad...  No worries.

Twirl On

Sometimes, the best laid plans...  Is that how it begins?  And then life happens.  And so does the flu.  And snow days...
I've been cranking away at the Twirly Skirts for the GFS Craft Show.  My goal had been 15, but work time has been short changed over the last couple weeks and I am actually pretty happy with nine right now.  Well, eight and a half at this moment.  Nine by the time my head hits the pillow tonight.

It is here that I struggle with the idea of production.  And how much time I can dedicate.  And how I want to spend the little bit of the time that I have.

So, every once in a while, I do a little re-evaluating.  And I keep coming to the same conclusion: I do really enjoy this.  And while I would love to be sewing O another pair of pants right now instead of one more Twirly Skirt, I am still having fun.  And am really looking forward to the Craft Show (that is just coming up way too fast).  And I am tweaking and improving both my designs and my skills.  Which makes me feel productive, even if a bit slower than I had planned.
But if there is one thing I have learned as a parent, it is that as much as you plan, things rarely go how you expect.  And you can plan for contingencies out the wazoo, but it's not really worth the time and energy.  So I'm learning to plan a bit, hope for the best, appreciate what I have, celebrate when things go well, and just...  well...  Twirl On.

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual of SouleMama. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Inside Play

The weather here has been a little cruddy wavering between frozen and slushy.  Given that, on top of school's-out snow days and The Dad and I being felled by the flu, and there's been a lot more inside play here lately.

E has learned French Knitting (or Corking).  So have I.  I like it. And the idea that you can take these tubes and sew them into something.  But for us right now?  We just have tubes and grand visions of what they could become.  Any of suggestions of what we can really do with them?
For O, who it is a little harder to occupy these days, we have rediscovered the games cupboard.  As long as he has your undivided attention, he could sit forever playing games and doing puzzles.  Now just to get him to be a little bit more independent in occupying his time!  I would be a much happier (and productive) Mama.
Some activities take a little more attention.
And some are a little messier.  After seeing how the food coloring stained their skin (and my napkins!), I shudder at the thought of what if could do to their insides...

Word on the street is there may be another snow day for him and another 2-hour delay for her tomorrow.  Really?  The director of our nursery school said this morning "You'd think we live in Minnesota!"

Definitely not.  In Minnesota, they wouldn't keep canceling school school.

Bring Them to the Ocean

I grew up by the ocean.
I've been away for so long that I sometimes forget the magic that it holds.
Until I roll down the window, as we approach, and breathe in the salt air. 
To me, it feels like home.
And then to watch my children explore and enjoy it...  I am reminded of how important it is for kids to experience this.  Even if it is only once. 
The lapping of the water on the shore.  The shocking cold if that first dip. The endless horizon before you.
The collecting of shells and building of sand castles.  Leaving footprints and watching them wash away.

The more you have it, the harder it is to go without.
We are already planning our next trip.

Design Week at Casa C

So last week the kids went back at school and my New Year officially began.  We were away for the week between Christmas and New Years so there was a little re-acclimation going on over the weekend.  My goal for that first week was to create a sample of the skirt I will be making for the Germantown Friends Craft Show in March.  For over a year, I have been wanting to add a design for older girls to my collection of standards.  Yet I have just kept making the Reversible Roundabouts because people love them.  And they keep selling.
This year I told myself I was going to take a break from the Reversible Roundabouts and come up with some new designs.  Last week turned into Design Week in the studio.  I posted Monday on Facebook (eieio is on Facebook now!) that I was heading into the studio to start a batch of Storybook Skirts.  Based on a design I did a long time ago - a simple skirt with an attached apron.  As I started constructing it, I changed my mind.  And changed my mind again.  What came out of the studio on Thursday is the new Twirly Skirt.  Which I am very happy with.

I think one of the things I struggle with in a design is keeping it simple in a way that allows the design to show off the fabric. And the child wearing it. Because really, to me, that's what it's all about.  I used to love the boutique look, but lots of ruffles and layers don't excite me as much anymore.  And really (again) eieio is about keeping kids looking like kids.  Clothes they can play in and clothes that they love.  And clothes that are easy to put on, take off, and wash.  Right?