So I’ve been AWOL (life has been busy!) and have been promising an update…
Here’s the short version: we’ve been having fun, which has involved a spring break “staycation”, a week recovering from that staycation (hello, laundry), a wonderful Easter, and then a great visit from Nana!
And here’s the longer version: updates and photos from our last month (part 1)…
Each girl got to pick one special “must do” for the week of spring break. To my surprise (why did I think they would stay in my comfort zone?) E picked “make a dress for our dolls” and S picked “plant a garden”. Holy moly. I have no experience in either of those things. (It did make me glad I asked however, since there is no way I would have put either one on a list of plans, and obviously they are unexplored areas of interest!) Anyway, here we are at the fabric store…
After a “looking loop” around the store, each girl was allowed to pick out one yard of any fabric they wanted, and one foot of any ribbon they wanted. E & S surprised me by both selecting the same fabric and ribbons. (They wanted their dolls to match, I guess!) T got a piece of fabric with cars on it that I hoped would become his new lovey, but alas that role was filled by the racecar and Toby train the Easter Bunny brought him. Not conducive to sleeping – rolling over onto those loveys (especially Toby, who says “full steam ahead!” everytime T bumps him in the crib). Oh well. He loves them!
Anyway, here’s the dolls in their dresses. Since I don’t know how to sew, these are more like glittery sackcloths, but they made the girls happy!
Thanks to Nana who did an actual sewing lesson with the girls when she visited a few weeks after this (with a real sewing machine). I keep a few cloths around the house for various things, and one now has random, festive stitches all over it. An easy way to have the kids feel like they were “really sewing important things” (at least until the machine stopped working…anyone have a spare manual for a JC Penney sewing machine purchased in the mid 1980s?) Here’s one of my new decorative cloths below.
We’re hoping to complete the set after (1) we figure out what’s going on with the sewing machine, and (2) Nana comes back to teach me how to thread and use it.
S’ project was the garden. I am not a gardener, but we headed over to Home Depot (with their optimistic “You can do it. We can help.” motto). S & E picked out three things to plant (1) marigolds: the only flowers the deer won’t eat, (2) carrots: the only vegetable S will eat, and (3) basil: because the man who helped us said there was almost no way I could mess it up.
After hours and hours of shoveling, weeding, removing rocks, adding topsoil, planting, and lots of muddy shoes and jeans piling up on the porch, we have the smallest garden ever. It is impressive only to me and the children. (I promise, we truly have spent countless hours on it, but it is really only a 4 x 6 patch of ground with 12 flowers and some tiny sprouts that are either carrots or weeds…I honestly don’t know how to tell them apart, so I have no idea if I’m weeding, or ruining our only crop. I am not kidding about this.)
And in the interest of internet input, can someone please click on this photo to enlarge it and tell me if any of the green things sticking out of the ground look like the beginning of a carrot-top?
Anyway, the kids love watering the flowers; it has been a fun adventure, and I give us an “A” for effort. My grandma J, who – God rest her soul – (1) won all sorts of yard and neighborhood beautification awards, (2) was in charge of all the flowers for our church for decades and (3) grew the rose petals that lined the aisle of my wedding, would applaud our efforts too. She would appreciate that at this stage of life, we are certainly process (as opposed to product) oriented!
My grandmother would also likely laugh at the fact that the flowers we are trying to grow are in a battle to survive, while the part of our yard that received no TLC and is “supposed” to be grassy is covered in the most lush display of flowery “weeds” you can imagine. I mean, check out the photo below.
The brick wall marks the property line between our house and the neighbors. It’s like the weeds magically stop there (much to the delight of the girls, and to the dismay of my husband).
Finally, since I mentioned the racecar and train that appeared in T’s Easter basket, let me include a few photos of the holiday. We tried to capture the meaning of the season – telling the kids an age-appropriate version of the crucifixion and resurrection (when S heard Jesus died and came back to life, she said, “Hmm. I think that’s what I’ll do too”, then let out that little breath that almost made it sound like “Well then, that’s one less thing to worry about. What’s for dinner?” It was a good opportunity to tell her we can all come back to life, and live forever in heaven. (Happy belated Easter, everyone!)
Then there were the secular celebrations. Here we are dyeing Easter eggs
T got a plastic egg and a cup of water, and was absolutely a part of it at the age of 1!
S at our church egg hunt
Hunting eggs in our house Easter morning
We also enjoyed spending part of the weekend with cousins and the other part with friends. Beautiful company, beautiful weather, beautiful time. Love all y’all!
In the “less than beautiful” category…My deviled eggs didn’t turn out exactly right…
Between the flowers and the eggs, my grandmother would finally have to admit that I inherited absolutely none of her talents…but my admiration for those talents is ever increasing grandma! This gardening and cooking is tricky stuff!
More updates on S’ new obsession with cooking in the next post… Here’s hoping she has inherited my grandma’s skill as well as her interest, and that she can take over the kitchen soon! S is actually so into cooking right now that I’m thinking of arranging an apprenticeship with my Mother-in-law, who is an amazing cook and maybe planning to visit soon. Are you up for it Grammy?!
I’ll leave you with a photo of the laundry that accumulated while we were doing all this other stuff. The laundry problem was exacerbated by the fact that the week after spring break was unseasonably cold, which meant I could just shove all the dirty warm weather stuff deeper into the hamper and pull out all the winter things I had just put away. End result? Well, check out laundry day…
My husband, never one to complain, actually looked at the growing pile shortly after spring break, sighed, and went out and bought himself new boxers. True story.
(And lest that be misinterpreted, know that he is actually great about helping out with the laundry and everything else around the house, but in his infinite marital wisdom realized that buying a few new boxers was probably the best investment in overall domestic contentment. And his wife says, “amen to that”. I don’t need a six-week retreat in Fiji. But occasionally, I do need a week of blissfully ignoring the laundry : )
So that’s part I of our update…to be continued with part II later. Hope everyone else is enjoying spring too!