Friday, June 22, 2012

My Little Viking

Ya'll know how Lily Ruth is obsessed with 'How to Train Your Dragon', right? Well she is, and has been since last summer when she saw the movie for the first time.

Also; somehow last fall, she found out about having a themed birthday party. I have no idea how that happened, but it did, and she immediately began lobbying for a Viking Birthday. I said 'sure', and assumed that she would either forget or change her mind ninety times before her birthday. I was wrong on both counts. The lobbying continued unabated until two weeks ago when I actually began to put together guest and task lists for said event. As I sat at the computer typing e-dresses into evite, she announced that she had 'changed it to princesses'. I told her it was too late, and hit 'send'. Then I got to work...

You've gotta see this stuff! So, this is Astrid (Lily Ruth's favorite Viking):

And this is the beginnings of Lily Ruth's Astrid costume:

- by the by, it is hilariously funny to stand on the kitchen table and have your picture taken :-P and it is very important to spend some time checking yourself out in the mirror...

The T-shirt is one that we had on hand. I used Pentel Fabric Fun pastel dye sticks to draw lines on it and make it look more like Astrid's sweater:

The skirt is made from crafting felt that has a reptile skin-esqe finish. I cut it into 2" x 7" strips (7" being the measurement from LR's waist to just above her knees), and made a 19" long, 2" wide strip that I folded in half (lengthwise)and sewed over the layered strips (a.k.a. a waistband). Add ties on the ends & et voila, skirt:

It is tooooooo hot here to even pretend to wear boots and/or arm warmers right now, but the leg warmers from our immense stash do add a cute touch of boot-ish fun. But ya'll, this is the best part - I convinced her to put on her bear feet slippers and 'hi-YA' for me. In the interest of honesty, she was already going to 'hi-YA', I just got her to do it on camera...

LOVE it!!!!!!

The costume is still in progress. I made a finger-woven headband from old T-shirt strips. I added silver embellishments to the skirt, and I'm finishing up the shoulder decorations (Um, I made tiny faux bird skulls from Sculpey clay...), 

but I'm sure i can have it done by tomorrow...............

**EDIT: I've noticed a lot of hits for this post as we near Halloween. If anyone wants better (or actual) instructions for any potion of this costume, you can e-mail me at aintelmosworld(at)yahoo(dot)com, or comment here and I'll gladly supply more of a tutorial for you :-)**

But wait - there's MORE! We made a fort out of giant boxes! Grandpa brought us three boxes like we used for her very first hideout. We put them to good use:

The colors on the top are tissue paper glued over cutouts. It looks WAY cool from the inside!:

Our friends Lola & Jett helped us decorate it (inside & out) with giant markers, then the kiddos pretended to take a nap in the fort: 

In an over-stimulated frenzy, bickering and crying ensued. Our friends went home to nap for real, and Lily Ruth settled in to 'read'.

I can't WAIT until tomorrow! This is gonna be GREAT! What time are you coming over? ;-)

Putting the 'En Garde' into Gardening

It looks very innocent and even innocuous back there.

But the truth is, the garden tried to kill me last night. You heard me. An ambitious Trionfo Violetto pole bean tendril tried to garrote me as I watered and puttered in the fleeting moments of last night's gloaming.

To be fair to the tendril, I almost never walk over there. It was probably just minding it's own business... yeah, right...

It wrapped it's sticky vine-ness around my neck and tried to do it's worst, but it was no match for my Kung Fu. Of course, by Kung Fu, I mean shrieking and wild flailing of arms - I call it 'Hysterical Style'. It may not be as effective as Tigress's 'Hard Style',

but it works for me.

I freed myself from the clutches of the ill-intention-ed legume, and got the heck out of there - I mean - calmly finished my watering.

I've got my eye on you, Bean.

That goes for the rest of you, too. Okra, just because your flowers are pretty, doesn't mean that I won't be wearing gloves to pick you...

Friday, June 15, 2012

Scenes From My Summer (So Far)

My daughter glowers at me from underneath furrowed brows. 'NO, Mama, it's not_______, it's ______!!!' We've had this exact same discussion every hour or so for the last week. It's exhausting.

Her new breakthrough issue is Being Right. She is Right every minute of the day, and she will tell you so - loudly. 'It's NOT a bow, it's a FLOWER' in response to a compliment on her hairdo. 'YOU need to go over there, then I will swim to you. GO' (when we get into the pool). 'You forgot to get me my agua. Get me a cup'... aaalllll day. I spend our time together correcting and redirecting her behavior. I end each day frustrated, irritated and longing for a break.

I want to take my fingers and soothe the scowl from her tiny face. I want to tickle her until she's giddy. I want to love and cherish our time together... but she pushes me away and insists that she's Right and I'm doing it wrong. I know that it's just a phase. I know that it's an important developmental breakthrough. I know that my job is to lovingly show her how to speak to other people, and to teach her to treat others with respect. I know all of those things. What I would really like is for someone else to be in charge today... and maybe tomorrow, too.


Our little fish has taken up residence in the pool. Her day is spent planning her next excursion into the water. She leaps fearlessly into the rippling aqua depths. Surfacing for only enough time to take another breath and plunge back in. Her tiny body is so light that she bobs near the surface like a cork despite her best efforts to the contrary. She constantly asks for help getting to the bottom so she can walk, retrieve toys, or 'touch with two hands'.

She stands on the lowest step and yells 'I can do something - watch me do something!' As soon as she's sure that she has our full attention, she says 'when I slap the water, then I can go.' Her hands splash down, there's a big inhale, and she steps off. Her jump takes her buns-first toward to bottom for a few seconds, then she swirls like a mermaid and floats to the top. Her fingers reach lightly for the step, and she stays underwater; swaying and kicking until her air runs out. Her head pops up. her eyes light up and she says 'now we go underwater to-gev-her. Is that a good plan?' Well of course it is. Let's go, my love.


Well, here I am - a Garden Person. I spend part of every day in the garden. Most days it's just a few quick minutes to check on everything and pick beans (and more beans, and more beans...) But some days require actual work. You know what? I don't mind. Even the days that are hot or mosquito filled are good days to be out there. Getting down near the plants. Looking closely at their foliage and stems for pests. Picking tiny weeds and prodding the earth to check moisture levels. These are all very good things. Very calming and centering things - and honestly, I could use a few more moments like that these days as my thoughts fly off the handle with the merest provocation and my anxieties about family and money and work (or the lack thereof) crowd my brain and make sleep a hard won commodity. The garden is there for me. Growing beautiful lettuce, sweet, juicy corn and beeeeeeeeans (and more beans). Reminding me that growth and change are good, but they still require work, patience and love.


I have a new crafting obsession. You're not surprised - I can tell. This time, it's bracelets. Specifically, macrame bracelets. I wove strips of old T-shirts into boxed braids until my fingers were tired. Now I'm making tiny knots on slender threads. Hemp cord, embroidery thread, polished stones and beads. Alternating square knots and 17-stranded French sennits make it hard for me to think about other stuff. My mind is filled with candy and jewel tones side-by-side with rough natural fibers. Welcome to my newest coping technique - what can I make for you?