Monday, August 31, 2009

Laura's Sewing Creation

Today I was working on a new appliqued shirt, and Laura wanted to help. When she was younger, she was easily bought off with a piece of fabric and a needle; she would "sew" in that manner for a good 30 minutes. Recently we progressed to actual thread in the needle, and she would just pull it in and out of the fabric. Today however, she would not be placated with any of those options. She wanted to sew something onto fabric, preferably the shirt I was working on. I was able to convince her to sew with a piece of fabric of her own, so I cut out a little flower from one of my scraps, gave her the threaded needle, and told her to have fun.

She came to me a few times needing me to re-thread the needle (can't wait for her to be able to do that on her own!) but other than that I didn't hear anything from her for about 20 minutes. When she came back, this is what she had created.
(Click picture to enlarge)

I have to admit, I was pretty amazed. I didn't think it would occur to her how to sew the flower on. She did a great job, and even wrote everyone's name (in marker) on the fabric. I promised her I would share her handiwork on my blog, and I'm proud to do so. Pretty good for a 4 year old, right?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Our Empty Nest

I've been meaning to write a post about this forever, but naturally life got in the way and I'm just now going through all of our pictures that tell the story. This summer our front porch played a big part in the start of a new family, and we were honored to get watch it all unfold in front of our eyes.

One day in June, a robin showed up on my front porch and made a HUGE mess while making the poorest excuse for a nest I have ever seen. It was badly constructed-basically a few pieces of long grass laid in a line, and was an embarrassment to robins everywhere. I was in a bad mood that day and the messy porch made me madder. I pulled down all the twigs she had gathered and made short work of her "nest". I know, I know. It was a horrible thing to do. Well, this robin was a girl after my own heart, because not only was she not dissuaded from building her nest, but she decided to prove herself to me and built the cutest little nest I have ever seen. It was quite incredible watching her bring all of her materials and stomp on them to make them into a nest. When she was finished, it was as if she had bought it in a store, it looked so perfect.

Laura was thrilled with this development, and I couldn't very well go and remove such a nice nest, so we figured we were about to watch nature at work. And we were. From what we (and by we, I mean the Army Man who was the only one brave enough to climb onto the porch railings to look) could see, she laid 4 eggs. One day in July, the Army Man called me on my cell phone to give me the exciting news...the babies were here! Three of the eggs hatched and two babies lived. It was simply incredible watching the bird's development first-hand. Our kitchen window looks out onto the porch, and basically any time we went into the kitchen, we would look out onto the porch to see what the babies were up to. They were noisy and always wanting to eat. The problem was that the second the mom saw us through the window, she would fly off. We all tried to be cautious, but we were constantly scaring her off.
As they got bigger, they got bolder. They started checking things out, to Laura's great delight.One of them in particular was always giving me a heart attack, acting like he was going to fall out of the nest, or attempt flying on his own.
Then one day it happened. Almost 7 weeks after the nest was built, I just so happened to be pulling into the driveway after dropping Laura off at day camp when I saw a huge commotion. There were several large robins flying underneath the porch ceiling, and at first I thought they were attacking the babies. I jumped out of the car and ran over, just in time to see something tiny fall from the nest into the flowers below. The babies were leaving home! I shouted for the Army Man who happened to be home, and he ran outside. Our neighbor probably thought we were crazy-I'm pretty sure I was jumping up and down-but I didn't care. I couldn't quite tell if they were pushed out of the nest, or if they left willingly, but they both made it safely into the cushion of my zinnias below.

They flew off almost instantly, and one of them flew to our neighbor's yard, so the Army Man was able to get a picture of the baby before he flew off forever.
Laura took it really hard that they were gone, and that they had had the nerve to fly away when she wasn't there. We all (the Army Man included!) felt sad that the nest was suddenly empty, and that the babies weren't there for us to watch and discuss. It's been over a month and today I caught myself glancing up to the nest to see what the babies were up to. The nest is still there, empty. We decided to leave it in case the mother wants to use it again next year. I hope she will.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Second 1st Day Of School

Today was Laura's first day of pre-Kindergarten. She had a first day of pre-Kindergarten back in July, at a different (year round) school, but it became apparent rather quickly that the original school was not the right place for her. I feel lucky that she had gotten in to both places, and that both places were free due to state funding. And while I'm all for her getting to learn through play, I do feel a small amount of letter writing and number work is perfectly acceptable for an almost 5 year old. At the first school, they played outside and watched movies. Laura complained that they didn't even do any art, much less "spelling" which is one of her favorite things to do right now. I won't go in to all the details, but suffice it to say, I withdrew Laura from that school a few weeks ago, and we're trying it again at this new school.

So today still had the excitement (and rushing around) that happens on the first day of school, although I could tell Laura wasn't nervous at all. She truly amazes me with how outgoing and confident she is. I hope those are traits that she will always keep, as they seemed to have served her well so far. Plus it makes it really easy on Mommy that she was excited to get to school and sat down at the table and started playing right away. I had to force her to give me a kiss as I was leaving, since she was in the process of checking out the class pet-a guinea pig named Blackie. When I picked her up, she told me that she had been having so much fun that she forgot about going home. So far, she loves her class and her teachers, and they did art on the very first day.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Just Another Day In My Life

Today has been an odd day. A lady at the vet accused me of giving her dog a "weird" look (which I probably did, because it was one of the ugliest dogs I've ever seen) and I was menaced by teenagers driving a golf cart while on my way home from errands. Loose dogs once again chased me on my run, and I didn't even have Moxie with me. The person in front of me in line at the ATM took so long (canceling transaction after transaction) and started yelling at the ATM. Laura freaked out (I mean FREAKED OUT) over the fact that I have a bathroom "stuck" to my bedroom and she doesn't. Later she gave birth to a puppy that died (and then came back to life).

Sometimes my life is just plain weird.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Fall Dresses

Once again here I am, offering up my excuses for being too busy to blog. I have been legitimately busy with my Etsy business, which is awesome but leaves little time for anything else. In between filling orders, I made two new dress for my Fall 2009 line. I love saying that I have a "line" of dresses! I'm hoping to add a few more, although not for the next few days since I have a large order to finish up. For those who don't check my Etsy site regularly, here are pictures of my latest dresses. If you've already seen them, sorry! Hopefully you won't mind looking at the pictures again.
Laura is modeling the Halloween dress, which is so cute (in my humble opinion). She's wearing a size 2T which worked out perfectly as a top. The other dress has a tree print, and I have more fabric from the same line that I'll be using for my next dress. On top of that, I'm going to finally work on the jumper pattern that I've been fiddling around with forever. Hopefully I'll be posting pictures soon of Laura in a cute jumper!

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Master Of Surprise

Please enjoy this short view of life at our house.

The cast: Laura, bug killer and master of stealth and surprise, one average fly, and me, the long-suffering mother.

The scene: The kitchen of our house

Mommy is preparing the healthy and nutritious Friday night meal (aka pizza). Laura is generally harassing her mother until she spots an errant fly.

Laura: Bug, come here! Come here bug! BUG!! I want to kill you, so come here! NOW!

Fly: Bzzzz

Laura: Bug, why won't you come here? I want to kill you! Hold still!

Fly: Bzzzz

Mommy: Laura, do you really think the fly will hold still so you can kill it? And don't I always tell you that bugs don't speak English?

Laura: Okay bug, I don't want to kill you. You can fly on the blinds! (whispers) Mommy, I am trying to trick that bug so I can kill it.

She begins walking around casually and then tries to sneak up on the fly, so she can kill it. With the Popsicle stick she is holding. The fly escapes, naturally.

Laura, much like Shatner in The Wrath of Khan: BUUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGG!

Mommy: I need a drink.

And scene.