December 03, 2012

Yarn Entertainment

Calder and I found ourselves unexpectedly home alone last week. To top it off there were two recently purchases skeins of yarn that needed balling. It never gets old, this swift and ball winder combination. Really fun for all of us, but the littles are particularly eager for their turn to crank the ball winder sending the yarn wrapped swift spinning. Meanwhile I try my best to not worry over the inevitable tangles we're going to encounter. This go round Calder shared my concern, voicing that often.

Afterwards, my continually enamored with scissors little guy worked at cutting the scraps into tiny bits. This boy with his left-handed ways - so adorable, yet still slightly backwards looking. 

And of course the spoils and the thrill of a surprise to come are always icing on this cake.

November 18, 2012

Train Sweater

 Way back my girl and I took a trip. I had high hopes of lots of free time on the train. And I wasn't far off. Piper did this amazing job of entertaining herself. I did get a good part of my new knitting project done. Then we arrived home and my time to work on it dwindled. Finally, I finished it a couple weeks back. I picked out the pattern, she picked out the yarn and the buttons. And she likes it! Which is all a mama can hope for.

October 10, 2012

8 October 2012

{first ever haircut, to fix the chopped off bangs done by Piper}

We are so very lucky to have Calder as part of our family. 

September 20, 2012

A Break and a Long Weekend

 I've been away from this space for a number of months now. I was having such a fun time with this blog, then something changed. Not that it wasn't fun anymore. What it is was isn't very clear to me. I had this moment, more like days, weeks, months that I wondered what it was exactly I was doing this for. For others? For us? That coupled with thoughts of how much of our personal life to share online - not knowing who is actually looking at it. I kept seeing the number of views increasing and not knowing who it is actually. I had a moment of, is this creepy? I went into this blog with my eyes wide open, knowing that anything you put online is open to be seen by anyone. I guess I just figured who'd really be interested in little old us. Then there came a point where it was just easy not to post because it had been so long and my laptop crashed and I couldn't get pictures to load onto the tablet I was using. So I'm still not sure where I'm at with it all, or what this is for me, for us. But I know that I do enjoy doing it, from time to time anyway.

Thinking our recent trip would be a good ice breaker, a week behind us already. Piper and I took our first educational trip {and it was on many levels} to Missouri; St Louis, Jefferson City and Mansfield.

{the view that greeted us from our hotel window}

{same view in the morning light}

We went by train. Piper was so very excited, and to be honest, so was I. I had not been on a train since I was a teenager in Europe.  It worked out well for us. Enjoyed it so much more than flying. It was sort of quaint and slow in a comforting way. We sat when we wanted, walked around, used the restroom when we wanted. Had dinner in the dining car!

Piper took full advantage of this rare occasion and watched three movies on and off throughout the trip. I also enjoyed the rarity of being able to sit with a book, read the whole thing and make a sizable dent in a fresh knitting project.

We spent nearly the whole day in St Louis before catching an afternoon train to Jefferson City. Our day was mostly consumed with a trip to the Gateway Arch.

{Piper's joy to waking up to St Louis out the window}

We bought tickets for the ride to the top. Rode that teeny, tiny elevator car {see that itty bitty door a few pictures up - that's small} for four minutes with two other adults in our car up. Piper was completely unaffected by the jerky ride up or down and was amazed at how high we were. 

She said that she felt as if she could see the whole world from up there. We then spent hours in the gift shop looking for the perfect thing to bring home for Calder, and in the museum that's there. While up in the arch we spied a building that resembled our capital building here in Madison but smaller. St Louis is not the capital of MO, I learned - see educational I tell you. The building was an old courthouse. It was very ornate and beautifully painted. Piper wowed the seniors touring with her excitement for the 'old, old, old things!'

We were met in Jefferson City by Zac's parents and their friends. They treated us wonderfully and we're so grateful for allowing us to visit. 

Saturday was really the purpose of the trip. Wilder Days at the Laura Ingalls Wilder Home and Museum in Mansfield! Together Piper and I have read all the books. Some more than once. Piper's uncanny way of remembering all sorts of information from the books won her a rag doll. We even learned a bunch of new facts while making our way slowly through the museum. It was just surreal to be in Laura's real house, a midst her actual belongings. 

 {Pa's fiddle! I can't explain the flutter I get still when I think of seeing it in person.}

Not unlike other monuments, we were not allowed to take any pictures inside any of the buildings on the property. So all that is tucked away in the memories of Piper and I. It poured rain the entirety of our visit there. A few of the activities were canceled because of that. I supposed that just means we'll have to make another trip in a few years in hopes of catching it all. 

March 01, 2012

Spring on the Mind

We've been having bouts of spring like weather. Which turns our minds to thoughts of spring and working in the dirt. We have a lot of work ahead of us this year, and for some years to come. Seed catalogs started showing up in the mailbox while the temps were till frigid. I browsed them, and handed them over to Piper. Giving her a marker, I offered to let her help pick out the seeds for the year. 

She proceeded to circle everything that caught her eye. Everything! Often telling me, auntie grew these at the farm, we can too!

Apparently, thinking we should grow six varieties of beans, she circled two pages of them. I love the idea that these things were beautiful to her. Hoping, they taste as beautiful as they look. We are still waiting for our two seed orders to come in, should be any day now.

To tide us over, and something we've never grown from seed before, we picked up a few packages of flower seeds. Piper and I have talked about her and Calder having a kids garden this year. Of course flowers is on the top of her 'to grow in the kids garden' list. I added a few of my favorites to grow too. Thinking maybe we could be a little frugal with the flower budget this year, as it always seems to be much pricier to fill a few pots than one would expect. We have other yard related expenses this year to plan for as well.

For a couple days, the littles and I planted flower seeds. It was messy, there were seeds on the floor that were meant for the dirt, and fights over who's turn it was with the spray bottle.

Those fights are likely to continue as we wait for the seeds to sprout. But a mama can always hope that the kids will magically start to share all the time, can't she?

February 17, 2012

Who Are We Today

 We pretend here, we pretend a lot. So I knew that our one 'fancy dress', tutu skirt, and couple of hats for dress up wouldn't get us far. Back in October I started collecting items on my thrifting trips. Bigger sized fancy dresses (one sailor outfit - ahem, cute!), colorful scarves, clip on ties, and various hats. It took me about two months to collect enough things to be a true dress up set. In addition, I sewed a few pieces. Two crowns, two capes, and a waitress apron.

Years ago, while searching the internet for clothing storage ideas for Piper's itty bitty closet-less room I came across the cutest hanging branch clothes rack. I didn't end up using it then. Recently, I came across the idea again. I thought it was the perfect solution to storing the dress up set. Fit the bill for something compact and accessible. Moving to a bigger house hasn't really left us with loads of empty space, we're still eking out 'extra' space where we can. Dress up would be sharing space with the book nook.

My sister brought the littles this stick. The thought of her getting on and off the bus toting this stick still makes me giggle. To use as a walking stick. It's really the perfect size for a pint size walking stick. Unfortunately, many fights ensued over its use. Along with things and people getting accidentally clobbered with it, led me to retire it from its use as a walking stick. When planning out our dress up installation I thought of searching the yard for a good stick. Then remembered the perfect stick.

We hung it from the ceiling with eye hooks and twine, for a natural look. I slipped on a set of curtain clips before we hung it to hang the hats, scarves, crowns, etc.

What gets used most is the 'fancy dresses' and crowns by Piper. Calder likes to go the farmer hat route. Quite the pair. Piper is usually the instigator in Calder's part in playing dress up. I'm sure he'll be at it full bore soon enough. For now, Piper helps him unclip his hat from the rack. Then they dance in the mirror.

Piper's other favorite is the waitress outfit. I made an apron with pockets from a cloth napkin, some fabric scraps (recognize the vintage sheet?) and some trims. Looks more like the cafe waitress apron, after all the kitchen is her cafe.

To go with it I ordered some guest check pads from the internet. Piper loves them! Real waitress pads! And she's such an attentive waitress. Always asks for drink, meal and dessert. Then off she goes to make it up in her kitchen. Bringing back exactly what you ordered. The best part is when she gets this scrunched up sad face and tells you, 'oh, we don't have that today.'

We've had it up for over two months now and it's getting plenty of use. That makes me happy.