Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A year of mothering

This year with Jack has been incredibly hard.

But somehow, somewhere, in the midst of all the tears and drama, I feel like I found my mothering footing. That "instinctual, no bullshit, take it or leave it, one way or another we are going to get out of this mess" ground. (At least for now, ask me again in 3 years.)

And that part was good.

And necessary.

It probably sounds weird, but in some ways this year really made me "Jack's mother." I mean it's easy to be a mother when they are cute and cuddly and squishy and just need diapers and milk. But when the shit really hits the fan (and it did - many, many more times than we talked about here this year), you have to dig deep, ya know?

I dug deeper than I thought I could and here I am on the other side. Calmer even. Letting go and going with the flow as much as I can.

So, here's to a year where my kid became a kid, and not my "baby" anymore:

January, we learned how to use scissors
February, we played in the snow
March, we played Easter bunny
April, we visited with grandma and grandpa Phoenix
May, we flew a kite for the first time
June, we rode the big train in Kansas
July, we hit the pinnacle of insanity, had a big blow out with the dog lady, and found that the only magic we needed was hiding in cousin Liam
August, we played with nasty bugs
September, we went golfing for the first time
October, we always have fun at the pumpkin farm
November, we had our very own world's cutest kid Christmas photo shoot
And today, December 30, it was 70 degrees and we went to the zoo with our "friends."
And it was the best day ever.

(We've also started reading and writing, coloring in the lines, sharing, making friends all the time, talking to strangers, riding a bike, bowling, playing tee-ball, learning manners, using the potty, dressing yourself, going to the movies, and much, much more.)

Monday, December 29, 2008

A year of making

It actually seems like 2008 was a slow making year for me, but a peek in the archives shows I did manage to make something every month:
January, apple blossom wreath
February, strawberry coasters (still love these and need to make some for myself!)
March, needle felted bluebird
April, Jack's beanbag (what a projik that was!)
May, vintage belt buckle fabric swatches
June, bluebirds with Jack
July, loads of tiny horseshoes
August, tiny yo-yo doll quilt
September, Halloween bottle brush trees
October, scrap challenge fabric bowl
November, fairy tale pumpkins (for Halloween, but not blogged until November)
December, ticket tree

Tomorrow: a year of Jack. :-)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

She shoots, she scores!

I was browsing Craigslist on Christmas night while Jack was playing with his new toys when an ad for putz houses caught my eye. A few emails, a phone call, and one trip to the valley later, and I had 11 new houses in my hot little hands.
They are super sweet houses too. Candy colored, in pretty good shape, and big!
The village I did on the wooden tree stand was by far my favorite decoration this year, and I can't wait to rediscover these houses next Christmas.
I am going to need Dave to add another level to that tree though. LOL

I am in the midst of taking all of the Christmas stuff but the big sparkly tree. I hate this job and it takes forever! I have been at it for 2 days already.

Dave always says it feels like we are moving out when the Christmas stuff comes down. But this year I am kinda digging the house bare for awhile.

Besides, it means as soon as the mess is cleaned up I can start thinking about what kind of Valentine I am going to make for the Heart to Heart swap this year.

There are still a few spaces available, and if you would like to join in please email me at daisykins514@yahoo.com with HEART TO HEART as the subject.

Also, there is still time to get in on the giveaway at Jen's place , go pay her a visit!

Back to the grind with me. What are you all up to?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Hurry! We don't want to miss the Baby Jesus

Well, Christmas is all but done and over here.

We had our family get together yesterday, which ran really late and I wasn't the least bit sure we were going to make it to church. As we were rushing around getting ready, Jack was running around saying, "Hurry up Dave! We have to go see the baby Jesus." LOL
We've also noticed that Santa and the reindeer ate carrots and cookies;
worn new Christmas jammies that Mama somehow managed to make even though Mama does.not.sew.clothes (I have no idea how I pulled it off, with no pattern even, and they look pretty good);
and all the presents are opened (and paper and cardboard actually recycled this year, woohoo!).

There were a lot of thrift store/secondhand gifts this year (even from Santa), and honestly? I like it that way. It feels more thoughtful and less commercial somehow. (It certainly requires more thinking as it takes a lot longer to find appropriate gifts with that method. I started looking first thing in November.)
How about a peek in to the cabinet where that ridiculously large vintage nativity I mentioned earlier this season resides?
Jack counted yesterday - there are nine baby Jesus'. (Jesuses? How does one make a plural of Jesus?)
They are lovely though.

And treasured.

I hope you are all having a lovely holiday!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Hapde Burfday Kristin

(Never mind the two posts in one day. I am so exhausted I've lost my mind and forgot this earlier. LOL)

Santa baby

Two years ago I made these ornaments with Jack from a pattern I found at Kiddley .

As soon as they came out of the Christmas boxes this year, Jack was asking to make "babies" again.
I doctored him up a little this year, make him more Santa or gnome like by adding a hat and a beard.

And I printed 4 sizes: artwork size, 2 different ornament sizes and a gift tag size.
It really is a fun family activity. We spent hours making them, and Jack is still coloring the extras.

This is a goofy one I made. Jack wanted to know if that was "a boy princess" since I gave it a crepe paper skirt. LOL
David's are always the most "artistic". Go figure.
And Jack's for this year. Too cute.

We spent the morning at the zoo visiting with cousin Liam. Jack adores Liam, and they hardly see each other since my brother is living in Arkansas. The boys are always both a little sad to separate when it comes time to leave.

I cannot believe what I still have left to do: wrap all the presents, make cookies for Santa, clean the house, and somehow make Christmas pj's for Jack. All by Wednesday.

Oy. I am gonna need elves!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Hot off the press

Yesterday we took Jack to the Santa parade in Historic St Charles . It's short, but fun, and always makes it feel like Christmastime.
There was the drum and fife corp;
Santa Lucia;
and Frontier Santa (my personal favorite, although I do like the Civil War Santa quite a lot too, but we didn't see him this year). They also have a town crier, carolers, a sugar plum fairy and more. The kids love it.
Afterward we went to a tiny local hardware store that always has the most amazing train set up. They wind the line around this tiny store and kids wait as patiently as they can to see the magic. This thing is huge and must take forever to put together every year.

(And every year the two old guys who do it swear it is the last year. That area of town is quickly being overcome by my alma mater, Lindenwood, and it is becoming easier to imagine that the hardware store won't last much longer. Sad.)
And I finally finished the last Christmas gift on my list, another flannel quilt. That orange is actually a soft melon color, not bright orange.
I made one last year for my mom, and they come together pretty easily, so I thought I would make one for my aunt this year.

One year I need to make one for myself! They are quite snuggly and warm.

It's interesting to me that in the photos the one last year looks much better than the one this year. I think in person this one is actually prettier than last year's.

Alrighty. I am off to waste time. Doing nothing. Even though there is plenty to do. LOL

Friday, December 19, 2008

Mom, how many more days?

Every day now we are having the daily discussion (at least 10 or 12 times) about how many more days there are until Christmas. And I think Jack is keeping better track than I am! If I happen to give the wrong answer he is very quick to correct me.

Yesterday David had the brilliant idea that I should bundle him up and send him out into the backyard. At first I was skeptical, but Jack loved it. He spent a good 40 minutes wandering around the backyard: riding the glider on the swingset, going up and down the slide, playing in his playhouse, "cleaning" off the snow.

When Jack was a baby we really wanted to buy a house and we spent a lot of time looking at condos thinking we didn't need the huge yard we have now. Yea, we were so wrong. Our huge, secure backyard is awesome. Really, what were we thinking?
Here is what the woodland tree ended up like. Sorry about the extraneous junk in the background, we have a super, super tiny 1960's ranch house living room. (Which is partially why the big tree is in our bedroom. We can barely fit both a couch and a tv in here.)

Let's peek inside:
a gnome sitting on the base (complete with teddy bear, Jack was sure he needed a teddy bear);
pine cones, acorns, toadstools, a much loved little stuffed gnome up near the top and a turnip. What? Your trees don't have turnips? (There is a potato on there too!);
a gnome that I suspect is missing his pipe;
my only girl gnome, and she is knitting!;
a swinging gnome;
birds, both old and new;
fruit and nuts and woodland cottages;
and kitschy 1960's squirrels too!

This tree is so much fun. I hope to find more woodland ornaments (ahem, toadstools of course!) for it soon.