Friday, August 23, 2013

Little Things

It seems that consistency isn't really my thing lately.  There are lots of good reasons for that, lots of doing of things that prevents the writing about them. 

There are also a lot of mundane things and general busy-ness that seem to prevent the doing of fun things.  

Like a new job. 

And narcolepsy.

Ok, there you have the excuses. 

Now I'll get to a few fun things that I've just finished up.  

Since sleep is at a premium these days, I'm feeding the creative beast in other ways besides big, time-consuming projects.

Like making rain-bows. 
(Feel free to roll your eyes at the lameness.)

Sarah has to wear a uniform to school, so the main parts of her outfit are pretty blah.  We're finding ourselves leaning heavily on accessories to add some interest to her daily wear, and cool hair bows are just the ticket. 
This particular one was inspired by something I found on Pinterest, and the rainbow tied in perfectly with her class's celebration of all of the colors of the rainbow for two weeks.  

Plus, the 5-year-old in me loves rainbows, even if they're in someone else's hair.

               Something I've been working on is some back-to-school gear for the AG/BB dolls.                         Unfortunately, it'll probably be next school year before any of that stuff gets sewn.
I still have a uniform and a bag to sew up for Sarah Jr., but I thought I'd go ahead and show off the super-cool lunchboxes I made for two of the dolls. 

Let me just preface this by saying, I've always been a doll person.  Growing up, my room was overrun with Cabbage Patch Kids, Barbies, and various other dolls and their accessories.  I was fascinated with doll houses and anything in miniature, and that hasn't changed.

I had one of the first generations of AG dolls (back when there were only 3 to choose from), and mine was Kirsten.  I still have her, and refuse to let the kids play with her and her stuff.  

But, as my husband clearly does NOT understand, it's the STUFF that makes dolls fun.
Lately, I've been looking for stuff to shrink down and repurpose into doll-sized accessories.
For back-to-school, my brain got stuck on lunchboxes, but I couldn't find anything the right size.

Enter the humble Altoids tin...
...Covered in printed duct tape.
Will picked Angry Birds, and Sarah went with Hello Kitty. 

They turned out pretty cool, and the kids love them.  I have enough trouble packing lunches for the actual humans in my charge, so Sarah and Will Juniors are just going to have to go hungry for lunch.  But, hey, they'll look good doing it, right?

Next up, Halloween costumes.

Which, let's be honest, probably will have to come from Costco 
if they're going to be wearable this year.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Weekend Fun

This summer has been intense.  Like, I-need-a-vacation-from-my-summer-vacation intense.  Now, with the start of school for Sarah, and Will's and my return to school looming, 
weekdays are full of go-go-go and checking things off the to-do lists.  

So, this past weekend we decided to take it easy and let the kids decide what to do. 
 First up on Saturday: the Tomato Art Fest in East Nashville. 

This little festival, held in the dog days of summer over in the heart of  Five Points (I think that's what it's called), celebrates the tomato as "a uniter, not a divider", according to the slogan.  There's a 5K (totally skipped that), a parade, street vendors, and tons of *free* stuff for the kids to do.  Yay, free!
We started out by going all Jackson Pollock on a 
collaborative painting project with other pre-schoolers and barely-schoolers.

Then it was off to a local churchyard to get our bounce on and our hair did.
This is how Sarah rolls, tomato-style.
See the green stem?

                                                On a day like this, forget the pearls. 
                               A tomato-beaded necklace completes the look of any outfit.

Where was Will during all of this painting, hair-dying, and bedazzling? 

Conducting a Zagat survey of the bathrooms and scouting the free food. 
I'm telling you, the man doesn't play around when it comes to eating

After we got tired of the crafting and bouncing, we headed off to see what else there was to see and ended up following the fresh trail of Sno-Kones to the Y.  
Those clever people had games and activities inside, so we cooled off and one of us got a butterfly painted on her cheek, while a certain young man won an Angry Birds pencil by knocking some tomatoes off their stands.
Sno-Kones were had by all.  
And they were glorious.
This girl scored a whole lotta loot.
But, even at the laid-back Tomato Fest, we had appointments to keep.
Namely, with the World's Biggest Ice Cream Sundae.
At high noon, the good folks from one of the local ice cream parlors dished out about a zillion scoops of plain vanilla into two rain gutters.  
Kids lined the sides, armed with sprinkles, whipped cream, and syrups, and, 
at the Ice Cream Marshal's signal, started pouring on the toppings.
Sarah and Will chose not to contribute to the actual making of the sundae, 
but they were wholeheartedly involved in the eating of it.
The Fest was timed perfectly, since all other 
outdoor fun has been rained out for the past 3 weeks.

Saturday was the one day that we actually saw the sun for more than 30 minutes.

On Sunday, Mike had to work and I had to meal-plan (ugh) and drag the kids to the grocery.  But, we threw in a little kid-driven fun by playing hooky from Sunday school 
and going to see Planes.

This was Will's first-ever trip to the movie theater, so it was kind of a big deal, 
and, to be honest, I was a little nervous.  The good thing was, we met up with some 
church-hooky-playing friends, so I had some mom-backup if I needed it.

I mean, the kid doesn't stay put during an episode of Ninjago, how was he going to do in a theater with other people around for over 90 minutes?   

 Thanks to a bucket of popcorn and some Capri Suns, he did great.

I wish I'd gotten a picture of everybody flying around, arms outstretched afterwards, but that photo is going to have to stay loaded in my mental camera.

Our friend snapped this shot of my country girl playing
 "Buck Shot Masters" or something, though, so enjoy.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Kindy Recap

Warning: If you're tired of reading about kindergarten, then just go ahead and skip this post. 

Ok.  I guess everybody who stuck with me is dying to know how Sarah's first day went, right?  Well, there were tears.  And a lot of llama drama.  

So let me start at the beginning.  

The kids awoke to my lame attempt at a schultute, a paper cone filled with goodies for back-to-school.  I just wanted to get things started on a positive note and make the kiddos feel special. 
 Which they did.
 Crayons and candy.  All a girl really needs.
Don't be fooled by these smiles, though, people were tired.  

And by "people" I mean the ENTIRE family, since we were all up throughout the night for various reasons, most of which circled back to the cough that decided to claim squatter's rights in Sarah's chest 2 days before school started.

No worries, it was only a 1/2 day of school, 
so we gave her some honey tea and sent her on her way.
Oh, and by "sent her on her way", 
I mean "walked her into school en masse and took embarrassing photos along the way while Mom tried and failed to hold back tears".
 Best shot of the day, and Mike is fired from family photography.
 I thought Sarah was quite the little schmoozer, giving the teacher a Sarah original piece of art.
But, then I saw the veteran students bringing in fresh flowers.  
Foiled again!

After a quick trip to the ol' locker,
it was time to meet the table-mates and get down to morning work. 

And that was the last smile any of us got for the rest of the day.

Around noontime, Will and I rolled up with the stroller and eagerly awaited 
the appearance of our girl at the "Walkers" exit. 

As most of the rest of the kindergarteners rushed out wearing conquerors' smiles, I peered into the crowd and couldn't find my girl.  At first I thought we'd messed up and put her down as a car rider, and then I saw her.  Angry tears painted her cheeks, her face bunched up like a fist.


I ran and scooped her up, and then she let me HAVE IT.

"I told my teacher I didn't want to be a walker!  Why can't you drive to school like normal people?! Nobody played with me on the playground and my teacher gave me a headache because she talks too much!  I'm not going back!!!"

Soooooo, that went well. 

Fortunately, a round of meds and a weekend spent bouncing off the walls like a deranged hamster was just the ticket to a better frame of mind.

And this was the scene walking to school yesterday morning.
Another 1/2 day meant another noontime pickup, and she was all triumphant smiles. 
And she loves her teacher.
And she saw lots of friends on the playground.
And she moved her clip up, learned a new dance in P.E., 
and found her way to her class all by herself. 
(I know that last one because I lurked in the hallway to make sure, against her wishes.)

Her only request was to go to aftercare.
Guess what, dearie?  Your wish is granted as of next week.
This week, though, I'm going to walk you to and from school every day and soak it in.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Big Time

August 1st marks back to school for us here in Nashville.  

It also means that THIS BABY officially a kindergartener.  

What the wha?!

Cue the ugly cry and scary raccoon eyes, 'cause I can't even THINK about my Itsy-Bits being in elementary school without tearing up.

Warning: Tangent Ahead
Apparently, people (read: husbands) don't see what the big deal is about kindergarten.  Sure, Sarah's been going to daycare and preschool since she was 7 weeks old, but this is different. 

It's real school.  
And when I picture my sweet girl going to big kid school, 
  is what I'm seeing lugging around a backpack and getting in trouble for talking. 

While she eagerly anticipates cracking her world open a bit wider, my heart's a little bruised at the thought of not being at the center of it all.  I'm trying to focus on all the new friends and fun she'll have, but part of me aches for the hurt that's mixed up in all that wonder. 
 I know it's selfish to want to keep her in a bubble, but what if bad things happen?

I guess they will.

It's a good thing "what if?" has another side to it.

What if wonderful things happen?

Yeah, that's much better. 
I'll tell you one thing: kindergarten ain't ready for this girl.

Let's just hope nobody has to pry me off her leg with a shoehorn in some pitiful role-reversal.