6.09.2015

blue

Hey, you know how you go and have a baby and you try to imagine what that baby will look like as she grows, and you giggle while you imagine how she'll go through puberty and be a rubbish kid and it's funny because all that seems so impossible when you are holding a newborn in your arms?

And then one day you realize that nearly eleven years have passed and that baby has blue hair and is starting to calls you, 'Mother,' instead of mama and rolls her eyes when you talk while demanding to be taken to the bookstore for a frappe?

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And it's terrifying because you can see both how she's so capable and vulnerable at the same time and she's still a few years away from being a full fledged teenager and what's that going to be like?! 

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But then you remember that she's always been a bit cheeky and too smart for her own good and that just like learning how to care for a baby, then toddler and so on, you will learn to care for the teenager as well.  You are a good mom.  You can tell because you help your baby dye her hair blue and do all the things and don't even make her go to school.   You read her books and feed her mostly healthy food and talk in a calm voice even when you want to throttle her.  You try very hard to be the kind of mom you think that you would of both liked and needed when you were ten.

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And then your baby comes up to you and says she wants to go to regular school next year to just to hang out with her friends and you realize that she's willing to sacrifice her freedom in order to spend her days with children who mock her for not shaving her legs (she's ten!) and boys who throw pudding at her.  And she was wearing your sweater that time and chocolate pudding does not easily come out of wool.  And then you remember the tiny baby you held in your arms that you swore you would always care for and protect, not realizing that in a mere decade that baby would be fighting for the opportunity to not have you care for her and not have you protect her?

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As you breath through this latest development, you also remember another promise you made, this one to yourself and have kept.  You take pictures.  Lots of pictures of the child.  Of things that are important and things that are maybe not such a big deal.  Every day. Because even though it was hard to believe at the time, that small baby would grow up and defy you then leave you and that is as it's supposed to be. 

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4.29.2015

all the things

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One of the great things about homeschooling is choosing what and how many out of house things to do.

Girl child chooses all the things, all the time.

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It's funny, she wonders why she is so tired at night.  I dunno, I say, maybe it's because we are either swimming, skating, climbing, rehearsing or performing every darn day and when you aren't doing that, you are jumping on the trampoline with your friends? And then you stay up late reading every night? 

We started homeschooling because it gave us more time.  But now we homeschool because we don't have time for conventional school.

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See the face of the over-scheduled child.  I wish I could say that that is a tired, forced smile, but the child is having a blast.  Her mother, however, would like to have a short holiday from doing... just for a few days.

In addition to the usual carnival, this week was also our community's performing arts festival in which girl child not only did well in her solo, but also was invited to perform in the festival's showcase next week.   

So, you know, hard work pays off.  All that hard work playing and doing what she loves.

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Oh, the boy?  Well, I've recently forced him into a single activity - karate, two hours a week - which he alternately loves and loathes, depending on his mood.  Other than that, he is very patient (when bribed) and joins us on many an outing to the theatre and derby games.  Bless his little uninterested in much more than Legos and Minecraft heart.

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4.18.2015

a little nonsense now and then


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Roald Dahl wrote, "A little nonsense now and then is cherished by the wisest men."  And who says that there can too much of a good thing?

Things heard in my yard today from the boys:

- "Watch me! Watch me! WatchmewatchwatchmeWATCHME!" x 400
- "Jiminy Cricket woman, just take the picture already!"
- "How's my hair?"

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Boy child tells me that he likes to make friends with the rough kids.  Gentle children make him nervous.  He worries about breaking them.  I try not to think about Lennie from Of Mice and Men when he says things like this.  There is an amazing amount of physical energy in these kids of mine and they like to wrestle. I've never seen either one of them back down from a conflict.  As a parent I am both impressed and exhausted.

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The blessing and curse of trampoline season is upon us.  It was before eight o'clock this Saturday morning when the neighbor boy knocked on the door, wanting to jump.  We're homeschoolers.  Eight in the morning is still practically the night before.

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On the other hand, with all that juvenile energy directed harmlessly into canvas and springs rather onto one another, it's worth falling down this particular hole.

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4.08.2015

trees

I find that as my children get older, and are less easily contained, their creative impulses increasingly move away from home (specifically the kitchen table) towards the action side of things.  Exploring, noticing and moving is our main craft as of late.

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Which is excellent, except when you have a DIY blog and you are never at home making stuff.  A bit of a lack of product here.  I have a whole lot of nothing to show for some very busy days.

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I'm not complaining though.  I'll take this nothing over a hundred crafts.

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3.30.2015

racer back sports top v.1

Have I mentioned that girl child has started playing roller derby?  She had her first game a few weeks ago and is busy filling her summer with invitational jr scrimmages.

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You know, it's funny that I have been in derby for five years and have to do more than alter tee shirts and fit jerseys for myself, but girl child apparently needs an entire wardrobe custom made for her now that she's played her first game.  Because it's difficult to find sleeveless scrimmage shirts for juniors at a cost I can afford.  Oh, and I like making stuff.

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It's taken a few tries but I finally nailed down a pattern that I'm almost happy with.  Working edges with the four way stretch knit has been a whole education in itself, never mind fitting a racer back top to a child's frame.   But here is girl child in her almost ok sport top:

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I am pleased with the back.  Girl child doesn't want me to, but I think I'll flare the bottom a bit.  Ultimately these shirts have to stand up to roller derby practices and games, so all the seams need to be triple reenforced and a lot of excess fabric to grab and pull isn't desirable. 

I do very much enjoy working with the knit, though!  This particular fabric is from here, and probably is a touch too stretchy, but I have some Lycra with nylon in it to play with as well. Maybe something for me too, sometime in the future?  (I always say that, and never do, so just ignore that last sentence.)