Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pillow Talk Swap - Number 3

Whoo hooo, it is pillow time again. Sign-ups have just started for the pillow talk swap and I am thrilled! Heather and Kerri run great swaps, but I think this is my favorite. The pillows this swap has inspired is AMAZING. Also it has pushed me a bit in my sewing, my last pillow even included a ZIPPER, you heard me a ZIPPER.
Pillow Talk {Swap} 3
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE linen and patchwork in pillows, but what I am realizing when picking favorites is that wow do I like white and grey as well, the colors of the other fabrics come alive. So dear partner I would LOVE anything! It is funny how in your mind you think you really just are all about one style and then you step back and notice what you gravitate towards is not always what you thing you would . . .
So if you are up for a little fun, jump on over and join the fun! Just checking the inspiration of all the wonderful pillows is really worth a peek as well! Find them here.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Good to be a medium (and growing) fish in a little pond and other life lessons

Grand Slam Homerun Ball
Not much sewing around here this weekend, but a whole lot of sports. To be exact 13 days of sports each night and counting. Thanks to some rain today, I think we might have a break.
Last week was the first week of baseball. Steve is coaching and Max is playing. It is their second year in Bantam and what a difference a year makes. I actually learned a lot this weekend. Team Spirit and a positive attitude makes all the difference. The team is having a lot of fun and it is really contagious. The kids are having fun, the parents have fun and it is just what youth sports should be - fun! Max woke up on Saturday am, after a close game on Friday and exclaimed he thinks the reason we won is because we had more team spirit and fun. He gets it. It has taken a while for him to get here, but HE GETS IT!
The Bantam League is mainly for first and second graders (7 & 8 year olds) but there are some third graders and a few kindergartners. Max will be 8 in three months and is in second grade and this is his second year playing. He had a great weekend. It is good to be a medium fish in a safe, comfortable pond. Lots of hits in all three games, some wonderful plays in the field including a diving line drive catch and then making it into a double play, and finally two over-the-fence home runs in a game- including a Grand Slam.
All it takes is a little confidence and wow! He has really matured since last year and is secretly so proud of himself, what fun to watch as a mom. I think my favorite part when both Max and his friend Garrett hit home runs is to watch the reaction of the other kids on the team. They were all so happy for each other. All the mom's cried. It was one of those special moments.
Bantam Baseball Opening Weekend
The next day at Max's soccer game he had a little more spring in his step and for no reason his soccer enthusiasm improved a bit. He didn't mind the teasing the third graders give him quite as much. He had gained some self confidence.
It made me think of all the kids I come in contact with on a weekly basis and how much a little encouragment or accomplishment, even small means to them. I think as a society we need to help kids have a little success. Accomplishment leads to more accomplishment and self-confidence. I realize my parents goals were to help us grow-up with the sense that we could do it. I think that was the outcome of my Smith College experience, learning woman can do whatever they want as well. If that means being a mom- great, having a career-great, and having both-great. I hope to pass that on to my kids and other kids I encounter along the way.
Morning Struggle
Day 12 of nothing but flip flops since vacation. I force her into appropriate footwear when necessary.
The little kids have more of a handful lately than usual. I have decided that three is actual the terrible twos for them and that this is perhaps the new normal. Since I had nothing to lose, I decided to try and boost their confidence a bit and guess what, it worked. I know for me it is so easy to lose sight of what matters and how important a job raising good kids is. A little work on my part and the two of them have been a delight. So what if this is how Ellie wants to dress on a 40 degree and rainy day. We went out with this crazy outfit on (top over way too small sundress), but she did it herself and loved it. Sam is having fun getting his shoes on and other do it myself stuff. Yes it took 10x longer to hoover today, but they were proud of helping me.
{Urban} Home Goods Project 2 - Sneak Peek
Okay I have done a tiny bit of sewing and after counting some buttons for a big order, I think I will finish up project two for the {Urban} Home Goods Swap. I love all Echino, but the red scooters {swoon} and the new stuff is in stores today. I pre-ordered and am thrilled! Also I have just signed on for a Meg's Kids Clothes Week Challenge in conjunction with kids sewing week in May. It looks fun!
Note to self, week 1 of the diet was a success with 6 pounds lost - keep going and don't cheat! Also the Grade School Yearbook is almost done- thank goodness. Get started earlier next year please!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

{Urban} Goods Swap - One Project Down, relief in this crazy life

Linen and Anna Maria Horner designs equal LOVE. Such a simple to make item, why haven't I been making placemats and napkins for our home, friends and family? Heather and Kerri organized another swap, {Urban} Home Goods as a follow-up to the Pillow Swap 1 and 2 to switch things up a bit. I have had such a great experience with the Designer Fabric Swaps and the Pillow Swap, so what a great opportunity to branch out a bit.
I almost passed on this one due to the vacation we just took and my horrible habit of not saying NO when asked to help out with things. As an individual I am WAY too overcommitted right now. Then enter the three kids - crazy. Max has a sporting game or practice EVERY night and day this week . . . he is SEVEN. We really try to not over schedule and then it gets away from us. Steve is traveling a bunch, coaching Max's baseball team and is busy himself. Then add in the two little kids . . . Ellie just turned three and Sam will be three at the end of May and they are CRAZY to take care of right now. If up to them I would be playing outside 24 hours a day with them or playing kitchen, dressing princess girl dolls in silly tight plastic outfits or in Sam's case making him oatmeal.
Okay back on track, but I must say just writing it down makes me feel better. Good thing no one really reads this blog . . . rumor has it my mom does, but she never comments so silent stalkers don't really get a say. The reality in this crazy life is being creative makes me happy. Yes I need to take time to exercise, play with the kids, make the occasional dinner . . . but flickr and these swaps make me happy. It is fun to think about things you can actually finish. Somehow I need the same fun pressure on myself to make things for us, exercise and just get things done.
How about the photos of the first project and then I guess I need to get back to the yearbook project since it looks like my happy hour (really it is almost three hours- naptime) is over. I hear Sam's sweet voice telling me he is awake and ready to party (read eat something, hard to believe the kid is so skinny - all he ever does is eat or ask to eat)
Check these out, fun huh? Mom is you are reading this, would you enjoy some simple placemats in these colors for Mother's Day? Karyn I know you are not reading . . . but what do you think?
Project 1 of SwapPlacematsTesting them out  . . .
Note to self: I think I would make them a tad wider next time. They are actually the size of all the placemats we have, but they could stand to be a little wider.
Note to husband: I love our Polish Pottery and boy would it be fun to have some more for my upcoming birthday.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Scenes from Easter and Ellie's Birthday

Banner made last year
Easter/Birthday Centerpiece
Candy for Breakfast . . .

Happy Easter

, originally uploaded by threedancingmagpies.

Happy Easter to one and all.

Our day will include celebrating Ellie's third birthday which falls on Easter Sunday this year. The morning will be all Easter for us and then this afternoon we will switch to birthday mode. What a wonderful way to spend the day, celebrating with family.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Our babies aren't babies anymore . . . Ellie soon to be Three

As Ellie's third birthday approaches and cards are starting to trickle in from friends and family . . . it hit me, they aren't babies anymore and in less than two months Sam will also be three. I still can't believe how blessed we are to have become their parents from the time of their birth. Not a day goes by that I don't thank the universe for putting our little family together.
I realize at age three she is not quite fully grown, but she clearly is a girl in charge of her own destiny. She knows what she likes and how she likes it. My days at Smith College taught me the importance of raising a strong daughter and I realize how lucky I am to have been influenced by two parents who encouraged and believed in me. I think we are passing that on to our kids and I see a strong confidence in each of them. Time will tell!
Okay back to the point, Ellie at three is one confident, smart, sweet and somewhat bossy little girl. She rules the roost around these parts and has both her brothers wrapped around her little finger. Ellie is crazy for dolls and loves her older friend's American Girl dolls. That is all it took for Steve's mom. She had been dying to get her one since her first birthday and we didn't think Ellie was ready for it. When we realized our baby is now a little person and loves to mother her babies, that she was ready for an American Girl doll, Steve's mom was on-line and ordering. (She has had her own doll for years, perhaps to make up for raising two sons.) She ordered the kids a set of Bitty Twins . . . a girl with dark skin and ethnic hair and a boy with brown hair and hazel eyes for Sam. They are going to love it! After looking at the cost of the matching outfits, we decided I would try and make a dress for Ellie and her doll. Just put the finishing touches on them last night and I am thrilled.
Matching Frida Doll Dress
Mothering her own doll and wearing such a cute big girl dress has helped me realize that our little girl is growing up!
Ready for Dance Class
Dancing Girl
Princess Girls
Plays with small girl princess dolls
Has a lot to say and has her trusty pink flip phone and purse with her always
Quite the look
Dresses herself . . .

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