The Timmy Plane

About a month ago, Ollie got it in his head that he wanted to make a plane with The Dad.  A plane, evidently, that was the size of a wagon - in which he could sit and be pulled down the block.  Ummm...  Let's draw up a plan first.

So Ollie did the drawings.  They scaled it down but maintained the necessary detail: a trunk, a crow's nest (doesn't everything have to have a crow's nest?).  The Dad wanted to make it about a foot long.  Ollie wanted his stuffed animals to be able to ride in it.

So the Timmy Plane was born.  The two of them disappeared out into the garage for a couple hours, scavenging scraps of wood and hardware.  Coming out only on a search for wheels - eventually re-purposed from an old garage sale skateboard. When it was all done, Ollie insisted that he needed to paint it.  I love the way it turned out.  And even more that he believes that we can make anything.  Just as comfortable in the garage as he is in my studio, he is a creator through and through.

Striving for Balance

I'm beginning to realize that you can spend your whole life striving for balance.  Balance between work and life.  Between income and expenses.  Between time spent on the computer and everything else you need to get done.  Between working and taking care of your house and taking care of your family.  Between the attention you give your children and ...  There are a lot of balls to juggle in life and I think balance - or near-balance - can only come intentionally.

So the kids have been in school together for two and a half weeks, now.  And I know it will take some time to catch up on all that was neglected over summer vacation, but I am still floundering.  I think I need a schedule.  The two largest pieces of my day should be made up of sewing (I was recently accepted into Art Star's very first Holiday Bazaar!  WooHoo!) and cleaning/working on the house.  By cleaning, I don't mean just dishes and putting laundry away.  I mean deep purging and organizing.  This house is messier than it has been in a long time.

I can break the day (really 9-230) in half.  I can stagger going back and forth.  But really, I just need to do it.  And do them both.

So I am going to pick one room each day (on top of the regular dishes, laundry, picking up) and spend two hours on that room - I am deciding this as I am writing it, but let's see how it goes.  I will start at the top of the house and work my way down.  Since things from the first floor tend to make their way up and stall on stair landings where we look at them everyday when not tripping over them.  This way, things can work their way down and then out of the house.

I have more - about what happens after the Holiday Bazaar - but I'm going to save that.  Let's see how this goes for starters.

** These pictures have absolutely nothing to do with the post.  I can't very well show you pictures of my incredibly messy house, can I?  They were taken a couple weeks ago up at a Girl Scout Camp nearby.  See the image in the sky in the third photo?  We watched, amazed, as a pilot practiced painting smiley faces in the sky.  Pretty cool...


First Day of School, 2008

When Ella was three years old, she took her favorite stuffed dog to nursery school for show and tell.  The rule routine was that, when you arrived, you put your show and tell item in a basket and it stayed there until show and tell.

When I picked her up, her teacher apologized and said she felt really bad for making Ella cry. 'What happened?', I asked.

First Day of School, 2009

Ella couldn't leave her precious puppy in the basket.  She wanted to share nursery school with him.  So the teacher gave her a warning, took the puppy, and put it back in the basket.  Later, Ella took him from the basket again to play.  So the teacher took the puppy back again and put him up high on a shelf where Ella couldn't reach him.

So Ella took a chair, pulled it over to the shelving, and tried to get her puppy down.  I don't remember what her punishment was.  Honestly, I really think that seeing her puppy up high and not being able to get him back was punishment enough.  She was reprimanded.  She cried.

First Day of School, 2010

I don't know why I thought of this story this morning.  Maybe because this story is so classic Ella.  I'm sure she comes by her strong-willedness (I know that's not really a word - what is the right one?) genetically.  And her passion as well.  And we struggle with it every day but we also love her more because of it.

She still will do almost anything to get what she wants.  We're working on that.  But how do you temper that without breaking the piece that will be so important in the future?  Our focus right now is teaching her to think about how her actions affect (actually looked up on if that was an a or an e) others.

First Day of School, 2011

And even though as I drove her home from nursery school that day I talked with her about how important it is to listen to your teachers and follow directions, I still know that she was only three and she wasn't hurting anyone by wanting to hold her puppy.