8 the date our youngest was born
7 the date our oldest was born
6 years of graduate school
5 houses or apartments
4 kitchen chairs - we fill them all now
2 requests - Wednesday and eclairs for our wedding
1 day at a time
It's seems like there are many half or at least partially finished things around here...
a half finished mini quilt.
a partially finished pile of books (which also includes Einstein Never Used Flashcards, but I left it at speech therapy this morning).
a half finished crochet dishcloth (from a skein of yarn that I thrifted for 10 cents a couple of weeks ago).
an embroidery project...embroidery done, now on to some sewing.
And an almost finished decision, which is probably why there's so much half finished stuff around here. I've been thinking a lot about Peter and school next year...maybe obsessing a little too much about it, but I really think these first few years of school can set the tone for the rest of his life. After that rough start to summer school, Peter did finally survive a day without me and has been doing well since then. Those first few days were a real eye-opener for me and I was grateful to be there to see what goes on - so many worksheets and so much sitting! Is this just how kindergarten is now or is it just here? This is my first experience with it in almost 30 years (when it was me going to kindergarten), so I'm not really sure. I know Peter is ready for the "academics" of kindergarten (it really seems silly to say that, but I don't really think there is a better term for what kindergartners are expected to know), but I'm not sure he's ready for how it's being taught here. I assume they do it this way because they are dealing with a large group of students. We do have some options, each with its pros and cons of course, and I think we've almost come to a decision...more on that later.
Living in a house in a small town and adjusting to summer is giving our day to day activities a different rhythm. I feel like we are stilling getting into the groove here. It's a good groove though, just one with a few more tasks (mostly taking care of the yard) and a few more diversions for the boys. I am trying to relax and enjoy summer, and if my sparse blogging is any indication, I've been doing a fabulous job of it!
Peter is seeing two new therapists - a great speech therapist who has training in sensory issues and a new occupational therapist, also with lots of training in sensory issues. After only two sessions, he knows more about what is going on with this boy than his last OT ever did. We are excited for the changes and to start some new things to help Peter. He starts summer school the week after we get back from our 4th of July family visit weekend. I've been assured that it will be low key and I hope it will gently help him (and me) be ready for kindergarten in the fall.
I finally hung our laundry on our clothesline today. This feature was definitely on the pro list when we were deciding if we would take this house and it rained so much right after we got here that I hadn't been able to use it. Then when the rain finally stopped, I was too much in the habit of using the dryer and didn't make the effort to hang things on the line. Last week, I was inspired by Kirsten's post and got to it today. Now, like her, I just need something to put the clothespins in. I think maybe a clothespin apron...another project to add to the list.
And maybe we will forgive our landlord for having such repugnant taste in home interiors if he continues to bring us fresh vegetables from his garden...maybe.
to the best dad I know. Maybe I'm a little biased, but if my boys' devotion is any indication, Ryan really is the World's Greatest Dad!
I'm breathing a sigh of relief over here. Finals are over and I did really well in both of my classes. And at the same time, I'm trying not to get too stressed out about our move - two weeks until that and all I've got packed is about ten boxes. It will all come together, right? It always does. And it seems like we have a flurry of events and celebrations in those next two weeks. Tonight we had Peter's end of the year social for preschool. I didn't have time to put together a handmade gift for his teacher and the aide in his class, so we got some flowers, put them in thrifted vases and tied some ribbon from my stash around the vase. Peter loved giving them away - he wrapped his arms tight around the vase and was so careful not to drop them as he offered the vase. Tomorrow a certain little guy turns three. How, how, how did he get that old?
We took a trip to see our family this weekend and do a little birthday celebrating for our boys. Ned's birthday is in a couple of weeks and since we probably won't make it down again until after our move, we took advantage of the holiday weekend and packed in a lot of fun!
I was so happy to see Missy (more pictures here) and Cayenne and have their cute kids join us. We got to see our new niece and visit with family. We all had so much fun (except for Ned who was a little tired and grumpy)! Thanks for coming to join in the fun everyone and a special thanks to my Mom who really did most of the work!
I've been trying to get myself to post this all day. After I went and looked at the place again yesterday I got a little overwhelmed - trying to make decisions about what to do and really just about how much effort and money to spend to do things when we really won't be there for too long.
I do like that there is so much natural light in this room - there are three big windows and one small one. This is more natural light than we've ever had in any place we've lived. It will be good for me.
It just seems like a big task right now. We won't actually move until the end of May when Peter is finished with preschool (yes, you are going to have to wait a long time for after pictures), so I've got quite a bit of time to do some research and make decisions (I might need some help!).
I have to keep reminding myself that this will be worth it. We moved and made a big change (I quit my lab research job and became a piano teacher) about a year before we moved out of California and we were so happy that we did it, so I'm trying to remember that when I get overwhelmed.
And the funniest part - when we were all looking out the window as I took measurements, Peter said, "Look, it's like a yard!" Too funny - I replied, "It is a yard, Peter!" I think at least one member of our family has a 100% chance of liking this change.
p.s. I did not take a picture of the sponge paint - I think I may take your advice, paint over it and risk losing the deposit (it's really quite small - nothing compared to the $1000 deposit we made for one of our California apartments). If I do, there will definitely be a before and after.
We were up and at 'em again this morning...five more weeks until my school and one of Peter's schools are finished! Spring break was not so springy, but still a lovely little break. I had to wake the boys up this morning which was fine by me because it gives me hope that they might sleep in this summer, at least occasionally. Even after I woke Ned up this morning, he just sat in bed for a minute and then told me he was still tired and laid back down. I am thankful that I have been able to go to school for the last year, but I wasn't supposed to have to do it at 8 in the morning three days a week, so I'll be very glad when it's over. And then I won't go to school again until after we move (out of the state that is - in a year or so when Ryan gets his next job) - I'm really in for a long break.
Speaking of moving...we did decide that we will move to the ugly house at the end of May when Peter is finished with preschool. I'll have to post some of my ideas about what I plan to do with the space. I spent a large part of Friday online researching products and ideas to help me figure out how to make the space more pleasing to the eye without spending a ton of money. It is going to take some money - I'm going to just think of it as our part in stimulating the economy. We'll also have to buy a washer and dryer, but I figure that is something we will have to do eventually anyway. And over the course of the year, we will still save money, have a small yard to play in and even grow a few things, and be within walking distance of Ryan's work and Peter's school. I also got really excited about being there after seeing Penny's walk pictures - I bet there will be some cool photo ops in that small town. I'm imagining lots of morning walks this summer with camera in hand. I hope the boys cooperate - I might have to pull out the backpack for Ned.
I've been crocheting those little flowers all weekend for a spring project that I'm working out. I even did some at our girl's night. I could have done a lot more if I had stayed up talking with everyone until 4:30 in the morning, but for once in my life, I was the first one asleep at a sleepover. Apparently, my friends have some serious stamina - one of them is even pregnant - go Mandy! Thanks for the fun ladies!
And one more item of business...I don't think I'm going to make my giveaway this month, unless you want another pack of scraps...I've still got plenty of those (and I'm not sure I want to move them all)! I do have a plan set for April though and I should be ready with the giveaway item soon...it's going to be good...I hope you'll like it! Happy Monday everyone! We are surviving it one step at a time...we woke up to cold and snow again this morning.
Last weekend we had a nice long weekend too. Ryan went to San Diego for a conference (do I wish I had gone with him? yes, but my classes started while he was gone.) and my Mom came to visit and help out while he was gone. And, of course, in true crafty mom and daughter fashion, we had to have a couple of projects to keep us busy. One of those projects was making eight dresses! I needed a birthday present for one of Peter and Ned's little friends and suddenly it turned into making a dress for every girl I knew who was having a birthday or being born (I'm getting a new niece here any day now - can't wait to see her!) in the next few months. This will be great as I'm sure when the time comes, I'll be busy with school and not have much time for making things and I'll just be able to pull out the dress I made last weekend. Hooray for planning and making ahead!
This was also my first chance to use Sandi's Claire Pattern. Everything went together pretty smoothly - thanks for a great pattern Sandi! My mom had brought her serger down, so that was a big part of why we were able to whip this out so quickly. We used cookie trays during the sewing process to keep the pieces of the different sizes together. I did the ruffling and the rolled hems. My mom put the pieces together and did the elastic. And suddenly, in less than 12 hours total, we had eight dresses. Like I said, I hadn't planned on making eight - I went to the fabric store without the pattern and found a piece of fabric I thought would work. It was on a really great sale ($1.50 a yard), so I bought extra, "just in case". I bought a little bit of some other pieces to go with it and when we were cutting out, we were able to get eight dresses out of them. I did have to find a few pieces in my stash for sleeves and ruffles, but not much.
So, this brings me to the giveaway. All of the dresses have a home, except for this one. Help me give it a home by signing up for the giveaway. This one was made in the size four, but it would really probably fit a girl up to a size 6 or so. Just leave a comment and you're entered. International entries are welcome. Also, if you mention the giveaway on your blog, I will enter you a second time - just send me an e-mail to jjumpupanddown at gmail dot com (yes that is two j's at the beginning -think (j)essi (j)umpupanddown) with the link where you mentioned the giveaway. Feel free to use my not so great photo in your post (I thought about having the only 4 year old I have handy modeling it for me, but I don't think he would've gone for it. Remember all the trouble I had getting him to wear his apron the first time?) I'll leave this open until next Friday, January 23 at 5 pm or so my time. Good luck!
I just got the family photos that Sandi took of us a little while back and I'm trying to decide which one to use for the Christmas card. Sandi did a great job! These are by far our best family photos ever. We are not an easy family to photograph...two rambunctious boys, one fairly reserved man (OK, very reserved...I have actually had people ask me if he talks! Well, of course he talks - he is pretty funny when you get him going!) and me, who just might be the most photogenic of the group, which is certainly not saying much. So, here we are and I can't decide which photo to use - help me out, will you? #1 - where we are all looking at the camera except Peter, or #2, where the kids look great and Ryan and I are laughing so hard at them that you can't really see our eyes? Leave a comment - it will be appreciated!