Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Dodging Bullets

A short conversation that happened over carrot rosemary dumplings:
Dadda: Cora, tell me about school. Did you meet any new friends?
Cora: Yeah, the girl that sits across from me, Annabel, I told you about her this morning.  That's not her name. 
Momma: What is her name?
Cora: I have no idea
Momma: You should probably ask her so you don't have to keep calling her 'Annabel, but that's not her name.'
Cora: Yeah, probably.
Momma: Who did you play with at recess?
Cora: Bella.
Dadda: Oh, is Bella in your class again?
Cora: No, she just asked me to play with her which was nice.
Momma: Anyone else play with you?
Cora: Bella's boyfriend(said while hiding her face in her napkin)
Momma: Bella has a boyfriend?  What is his name?
Cora: I have no idea.
Momma: Do you have a boyfriend?
Cora: No!
Momma: Why not?
Cora: I'm not ready!
Momma: How will you know when you're ready? When do you think people should have boyfriends?
Cora:  When they get bigger.
Momma: What do you think it means to be someones girlfriend?
Cora: That they are your bestest best friend in the world.

Like Momma and Dadda.  I guess we are doing something right. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Today Baby Cora(BC) turns 7.  And due to the fact that I still have no oven in which to bake a cake, I made a pancake cake for breakfast.  It was overwhelmingly sweet but that is the point of birthday cake in my eyes.  It only happens once a year,  so why not go into a diabetic coma because of it. Also, she is 7 which is so hugely bigger than 6 and deserving of extreme celebratory action. Amazingly enough, Cora has only reminded me of this fact 19 times today.  This does not include the three million times over the course of the weekend spent in NYC.  We have a tradition with our kids of taking them on adventures for their birthdays and Daddy finally got his way and off we went to the American Museum of Natural History.  I should say: off we went to the first floor on the AMNH.  We glimpsed the fourth floor and only stood on the landing of the second and third. In nearly 6 hours we saw about a quarter of the museum.  I think this has been the greatest of our adventures yet and can't wait to revisit.  I need a few months to recover from Times Square and the mangy Cookie Monsters and Elmos that kept trying to hug my kids.  Gross.  Happy seven years of life sweet girl, may you never be touched by unkempt faux fur again. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The grass is even greener in the past

At least three times a day I have a flash of a life that I can place as mine, but have no recollection of the time or place.  A smell, a song, a breeze and I float away.  An overwhelming sense of peace floats over me and a smile finds its way to my face.  I have been trying to place these memories and can only pin it down to the time that Matt and I spent living in St. Pete's, the year we got married and had Cora and started our adult-ish life.  We lived there for only about 10 months at a time when the town was somewhere in between surviving and drowning.  It was the most beautiful place we have lived in all the many moves we have made.  We walked out the door and into nature.  No driving required.  The French Creek swept through the front yard and under a beautiful train trestle long ago abandoned by the quarry that offered even more amazing scenery.  Strangely that life felt anything but serene at the time.  Here we were, living in a remote historic village on the edge of beautiful forests and rock strewn creeks and we couldn't wait to leave.  Too remote, crazy neighbors, nothing to do, the list goes on.  In reality we were doing about as well as the town.  It looks great on the outside but walk through the door and you'll see the wear.  We wanted so badly to live that life but were at a point when everything we knew was being changed and what we needed to know was still not apparent.  Matt took a bad job, we got married, moved to a place that looked so much like what we wanted the photos of our life to show and had our baby.  The loneliness of that bad job and the long hours being home made the walls close in.  All that nature out the front door became my isolation and my distance from the world.  It all got harder than we could have imagined.  Who knew that having a baby, getting married and working endless hours could make life so unbearable?  The pictures of our life started looking like they may have a few less people in them if we continued on that dirt road so we left.  A less crappy job was offered in a more crappy town and we left in a breath.  For years we said that it was bad timing, another time in our life and we would have flourished there.  That still may be true, we will never know.  So why do I have those floating memories that make it seem so tranquil, something to be missed?  The isolation had it's benefits and the simple unattached life felt liberating.  There was no television, no cell phones, no internet and certainly more than enough time to do things that truly made life more fulfilling.  I became someone who could be alone in a room and be happy, a person that I had never met. I spent most of that 10 months rocking Cora to sleep in silence only interrupted by the sound of the creek.  I remember days when I never heard another voice until Matt returned home well into the night.  Somehow I had transformed myself into the person whose life looked good in pictures and in reality because we all know that snapshots are all smiles and life tends to be all but sometimes.  Looking back I have realized that we laid the groundwork for this life back in St. Pete's.  We chose what mattered and took it with us.  We want to be together as a family as many moments of the day as possible and we want as few distractions during that time as can be managed.  I have a feeling that those soothing memories are meant to bring that reality back.  Slow down and remember that even the tough times look great a few years later. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Bored Stupid

Lately I have been feeling a bit bored with the way things go.  I am truly fulfilled and love all 9 million hobbies that have gotten me through these spells, but lately I am not in the mood for any of them.  This eventually results in me watching some terrible show on the computer.  We chose to not have television in our house but it is just too damn easy to find crappy tv on the internet these days.  For instance: I have not missed an episode of Teen Mom Season 3 yet!  And now I have seen all episodes of Dance Moms!  That is only four but still.  I am not sure it gets worse than that with the exception of Housewives of (insert city).  I tend to find something that holds my interest for a bit of time but get bored of it and move on to something else.  I usually cycle back but I honestly can't force myself these days.  In the past 7 years home I have learned to: sew, felt, cook, bake, make jewelry, ferment foods, homebrew, garden, and a slew of other things that have fallen of my radar.  All of these things make me happy but none of them fit my current desires.  I am starting to wonder if maybe it has to do with the fact that my girls are getting bigger and need me less.  This is the longest I have gone without being pregnant or having an infant in 8 years.  They are both wiping their own asses, pouring their own water, dressing themselves, and most importantly playing together or alone quite nicely.  That leaves me on my own to fill my time with things that just don't excite me. This is not a change that I expected.  I never imagined a time while being at home with small kids being dull.  Again, I am not unfulfilled.  Happy as a clam in this little life.  Do I need to push that further?  I feel truly blessed that we have been able to work it out so that I can be home and watch my girls grow.  I just really didn't think that would ever include me time between 9-6.  So I am now on a journey to find some happy things to fill that me time. Most likely by the time I figure it out, things will change and me time will go back to the 1.25 hours before bed. 
I am certain that there are cupcakes and cookies that I could be happily baking at these times but will refer back to Oven Woes to explain that.  So if you feel like inviting me over to feed you baked goods, my lines are open! Otherwise suggestions and rude comments about how lucky I am and should not be whining are welcome.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A little love to our butterfly friends.  This craft turned out to be an all day event!  First we made the paint smears and once dry cut them into butterfly shapes.  We hung them in the climbing tree and added a homemade butterfly feeder.  I found the tutorial here at Mother Rising.
In total we had about twenty butterflies and the tree looks amazing.  Hopefully we get to witness some butterflies visiting the feeder, it is an obsatcle course with all those strings and butterflies. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Mermaid tails tutorial

1.The first step is to measure the waist, length and circumference of the feet.
2. Next fold fabric in half measuring the width plus 2 inches and the length plus 4 inches.
3. from the top of the fabric measure down to the length from waist to toes and add on inch.  Mark the spot in pencil.
4. Center half the circumference at the marked spot.  Cut out the triangle with the third point being at halfway up the side.  
5. Cut the fin in and shape you would like.It should look like this if my explanation is accurate.

 6.Fold the top down a half inch and sew a chamber for the elastic.  Thread the elastic and sew it to one end.
 7. Bunch the fabric to equal the waist measurement and begin to sew starting at the elastic.
 8.When finished sewing the outside, turn right side out and stuff the fin with anything soft, we choose some roving left over from the dolls.Sew a seam to enclose the stuffing. 

That's it! I hope this tutorial doesn't make you want to throw your computer through a window.