What a great idea. During the month of November, SewMamaSew is featuring a greatest hits list of tutorials from across the blogs to help get your crafty christmas gift-making started. Check it out (I'll be featured there a few times myself).
Today she sat on my lap, careful not to lean back on "mommy's tummy" while we watched a program. It was actually one of my programs - a kitchen show. And she didn't mind watching it with me because it meant being with me. That's why I love this kid. She's taken to enjoying whatever I do, joining me in my world. Over the past three years we've created so many rituals, depending on the season of our life. Coffee and the train table at Barnes N Noble. Rifling through the trinket shelves at the thrift store. Dollar popcorn and pop at Target - long, lingering hugs around my big tummy from her seat in the shopping cart while we peruse the aisles. She gets a "pink" (soy raspberry italian soda) when I get my mocha at the coffee shop. She twirls my hair when she sneaks into bed on Saturday mornings. And now she's even able to watch me sew and create, careful not to step on my work and waiting patiently for the fabric scraps so she can adorn me with them. Everyone tells me I have the best kid, because she's incredibly capable (almost too capable, these days), a great all-day window-shopper, obedient, and self-directed. She's skilled, and chatty, witty, and loving and super duper imaginative (mine is the kid who actually does talk to the wall). The deployment was a struggle, but in many ways it was a blessing. We had an incredible bonding period, and I found a lot of strength as a mom that I didn't know I had. I shed the labels I had taken on - Impatient, Bossy, Loud, Not Nurturing - and realized that I could be an amazing mom. I failed her many times during the deployment. And then asked God for forgiveness and continued to be a great mom. Which I didn't really, truly realize I could be until I was an only parent for a year.
And now another little one is about to join us. And I don't know what to think. The two of us are about to be the three of us (I'm speaking in stay-at-home mom terms, of course - she's also very much a Daddy's Girl). For three years I have spent my work days as "Me and E," Mommy and Super-Tot. I know my heart will grow to make room for the two of them and I will love them equally and differently. But as the days to #2 creep closer, I am feeling so many things, and one of them is the loss you feel as you enter a new chapter in life. Everyone talks about the excitement of the next stage - be it college or marriage or a new baby. I get that. But I've always been one who needs to pause to let go of the existing chapter in order to embrace the next biggest, best season of my life.
So here it is. A big, grateful, bittersweet sigh as I pause to remember our days as the Two of Us and a somewhat giddy smile as I await being the Three of Us.
ps. the above slide show will eventually stop and ask you for your email. just ignore it.
I love this town and hate this town. It's small. There's a lot of prejudice (from every race) and old ways of thinking. There's a surprising amount of crime for the population. In general, its just one of the most backwards places we've lived so far (in my own opinion). But I am always on the lookout for its redeeming qualities, because I think every town has them. In particular, for its size we have a surprising number of neat things for children - like a new library, a children's museum, a "spray park," and little places like these - local pumpkin farm run by a woman who quit her teaching job to "work outside."
E. just turned three and she finally understands the joy of so many things, like her birthday (which seemed to last an entire week), and Christmas (she insists on visiting the seasonal section at Lowes), and this pumpkin patch, which she is still talking about.
I was drawn to how beautiful this little place was, from the rusty old potato chips stand holding the littlest pumpkins, to the artfully carved and painted gourds for sale in the shack:
These gourds really were beautiful and I thought of all you crafty, creative bloggers who see art in everything. I'd seen painted gourd bird houses before, but nothing as intricately carved and crafted as these.
Analysis Paralysis. This is what my fellow perfectionist friend/boss coined it years ago. That desire to do something so perfectly and analytically and logically that you do not do it at all.
This is the stage I have been in since I moved into my house. Today a friend came over, helped me organize a couple of things and make some final decisions on others - a huge push forward for me. I dropped a few things off my "HAVE to do" list that were holding me back, decided on a few temporary solutions to storage issues, and put a short shopping list of things I CAN buy and do for now.
So, while out perusing online for my storage solutions today, I found some great deals on things.
First, I found several gift items, like these two costumes at Restoration Hardware online (who knew they sold costumes?). They look well worth the $14 they're asking for them:
And these cute preschool book totes were at Pottery Barn - I think for about $14-20 each (okay, not SUPER cheap, but inexpensive as a unique christmas gift; the backpacks were even cheaper):
And some great shelving. First, these ladder shelves at Walmart - they're super popular these days so they are temporarily out of stock, but worth bookmarking if you're about to spend $130 at Crate & Barrel for one. Walmart had each shelf for $42 (whoa! right?), or the set of three for $105:
And, finally, I saw these book shelves at Walmart online and had to point them out to you for both the price and how neat an idea they are for children's bedrooms. You've seen smaller versions at Pottery Barn (in fact I have on in E.'s room and LOVE it). Walmart has twosizes for around $70-90. They sell almost the exact same thing at Montgomery Wards Kids for $120-150. I love the way they display books face out, and have a cutaway for large base moulding. I'm convinced this shelf is one of the main reasons E. loves to pick out her own books so much:
Here's the fancy pic from M. Ward's; you pay more for the clever merchandising:
Okay, so this isn't a shopping blog, which makes this a somewhat random post, but what girl doesn't love a good shopping tip?
Ack! New houses are a major time-and-energy drain! I want to be writing, sewing, reading...but instead I am mowing, staining, picking paints, unpacking...You KNOW my inspiration has been compromised when I title a post "flea market fun."
Anyway, a few pictures I've been meaning to share from my flea market trip to Raleigh a few weeks back:
Aren't these drawers cool? If only I could have taken them home all stacked up like this.
Bins from a textile mill of some sort (I can't remember what the booth owner told me they were for exactly - cotton or yarn or something?).
Next to dressers, trunks are a favorite to admire. I love the red scripty-scrolly motif on the front (scripty-scrolly is a technical term).
Big fan of graphics and old paper. When you open the scripty-scrolly trunk, a pretty surprise under the lid!
Aren't they gorgeous? I was tempted, seriously tempted. But I kept going. This is what a recent move and four huge boxes stacked with fabric awith no where to go will do for you: it will finally give you the restraint you need to admire these treasures and just keep walking.
I was pretty proud after that trip. I walked away with two storage pieces I needed (and a small chair for E. that I couldn't resist because it was inexpensive and it twirls) and went home.