Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It's springtime, and I can't sit still!

As it happens every April, I've got a mad case of Spring Fever.  I find myself full of nervous energy, planning (and starting) far more projects than are reasonable (well OK, I do that regularly), anxious about...who knows what, and longing for....something.  I am dissatisfied, a little bitchy, and full of angst.  My poor husband.  Thankfully, he doesn't generally take me seriously when I'm this way, so it works out.  However, whenever I DO finally pinpoint what's wrong -- that it's just Spring Fever -- things start to look up.

This year, part of the solution was to pull out my sewing machine.  I am to not buy and dresses or skirts for Lavella and I for this spring and summer -- instead, I intend to make them all from what is either in my stash already, or else repurposing from material I find at the thrift store, etc.  This pillowcase dress was from a pillowcase I found at the nearby thrift shop for about $1 several months ago. 


Pillowcase Dress, using this tutorial from Grace Violet, and the armhole template from About.com.


As you can see, I made it a little big so it might actually last her a little while.  I also left just a bit extra on the inside of the straps so that I can lengthen them later on, and did a wide hem at the bottom that I can let out as well (initially I made the dress far too long, so I had to cut off the original pillowcase hem).



I tacked on this vintage rick-rack trim around the bottom hem.


I already have so many ideas for more Lavella dresses! If only there wasn't the housecleaning and cooking...or at least a few clones of myself. I could sorely use a few clones.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Springtime Blooms (or: Bike Rides Might Make You Want To Die)

Every morning for the past two weeks on our way to school, we've had discussions about the swelling buds on the trees...the bursting little flowers...the tiny leaves pushing their way past the petals.  On Tuesday after school, we went back to the house to get our bikes and my camera.  Andrew had also wanted to hand-deliver a message he'd written to his Best Friend Girl Clara, so we tucked that behind Jonah's bike seat, and set off on a Flower Finding walk.








We, of course, managed to steer our course towards one of the many area playgrounds, and the children played there happily for quite a while.






"Mommy stop taking pictures and rescue me!"


This is Andrew saying "Well helooooooo Gorgeous!"  (Is this from a movie or something?  He just came out with this quote, and I haven't heard it before.)


There's a reason people think Andrew and Elijah are twins.




I think of my babies as a "baby" for long after they have grown into full-blown toddlers.  It is never until pictures like this that I realize....my baby is growing up.  This little face is on a fast track from "baby" to "little boy".  My heart aches at the speed with which they grow...


By the end of our mini bike ride, Lavella was exhausted and fussy (she likes to pedal backwards and lock her breaks up when trying to go forwards, and doesn't like to cross roads.  Ever.), and I was....well, frustrated would be putting it lightly... But it's all an adventure, my friends. Even when I am not sure if we will EVER MAKE IT HOME.


The children may throw fits, I might loose my temper and yell more than I should, but if we remember to stop and cuddle, to make time to read together, to set out on Flower Finding Adventures no matter the meltdown.... we find ourselves making precious memories, learning to love each other more, creating the stories of Us: Our Family.  I love these little guys like crazy.  Even if I have to bang my head against the wall from time to time.  Or scream into my pillow.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Spring break

All of last week was spring break, and I was once again reminded of OHMYGOSHHOWBUSY it is having 4 children around all day, every day.  Since, as Greg noted in his previous post, Greg spent much of the week (all day and late nights) in Austin at South By Southwest, this also meant that I didn't have much relief until they were in bed (except for Thursday, which he took off from both work and festival and hung out with us).  (Not to go into another parenthesis black hole, but it should be noted that, while Greg's festival attendance did create more difficult days for me, I am very glad that he went, and am so glad that he was able to thoroughly immerse himself in His World with His People.  Everyone should get to loose themselves to the things they love from time to time.)  (OK, I'm done.)  However, as much work as it was, we still tried to plan as much fun as we could into the 5 days we were together, and for the most part, we had a good time.

Most of the week we spent doing things together at home, going to the library, etc, but on Monday we drove to Waco to visit the Jeanes Discovery Center and museum.


At the beginning of any Big Day Out I always take a picture of the children as a group to have the most current picture of them possible should we loose track of anyone.  Thankfully, they always try to contort their faces as much as possible to avoid any sort of pictoral usefulness.  What helpers.





This was a musical room.  They were hitting different length pipes with foam "mallets" to make different notes.






Their favorite spot -- the water room.




Making huge bubbles:



I love how Jonah is "helping":


Creating a bubble wall:




Jonah's favorite part was watching this ball blow up from the tube.  Well really, he just wanted to take the ball home with him.


Tiny drum circle:



Checking out Wooly Mammoth bones on a glass floor lit from beneath:


They were all kind of nervous about actually standing up on the glass.