Look who is two today! Oh what a crazy 2 years. Here are some of my favorite pics from the past year.
Look who is two today! Oh what a crazy 2 years. Here are some of my favorite pics from the past year.
I’m going to try to start writing and taking more pics of things I am working on so I’m going to start introducing a Start of the Week Sneak Peak segment on the blog. Also- because we have more time over the weekends, this will help me plan out what I am going to work on for the coming week.
Here’s what’s in the works:
Happy Birthday Banner
This banner will go in the Pennants section in the etsy shop . I need to finish this one to keep the grey, orange, blue one company!
Some of C’s emerging art works. Abstract elephant anyone?
Have a happy week!
While I was doing this on Friday night at the Ranch Park Elementary Craft fair and bazaar….
M was dealing with this at home in what is now quite a war zone. Note to selves: do not leave newspaper ANYWHERE near the tub!
I’m glad I dodged the bullet on that one!
The craft fair was a blast- very long days, but I’m glad I did it. I have a lot of stuff that I’ll be uploading into the etsy shop over the next few days- head on over using the fancy “I sell on etsy” button on the top right corner of this page!
More photos of my booth set up:
Now that the craft fair is done, I can focus on getting into the spirit of the season! Yay- Christmas! Can’t wait to hang up the advent calendar.
While perusing CBC articles on Hurricane Sandy, I came across this interesting article about a family in Toronto. This led me to this blog about having only 100 items in one’s possession. I’ve been reading the Minimalist Mom’s blog fairly sporadically so this 100 Things guy seemed to say something that resonated with me. While it seems unrealistic for us to live with only 100 Things at the moment, it seems to gel with how I’ve been feeling lately.
This sentiment about not having stuff to clutter up your life seems to echo discussions that I’ve been having recently regarding thoughtfulness and intention. Since M has been out of work, I feel like our family has intentionally retreated from the world a bit. It’s been a very deliberate withdrawal in participating in a conventional lifestyle. It feels almost defensive, as if we are gathering in, to fight off the nasty economy. I don’t mean to imply that we sit in the house catatonic with fear- quite the opposite. We are embracing using what we have, and are trying very hard to not bring new stuff into the house. M has been quietly fermenting up a storm in an attempt to heal our selves with probiotics and other good foods. I have been quietly crafting up a storm in the hopes of supplementing our meager income. We have been quietly trying to figure out what works for our family instead of trying to make our family better with expensive family outings. I’ve taken A geocaching a few times which has been really fun- using our almost-hopeless car GPS (the only time I’ve ever longed for a smart phone is when I am 40 meters away from a cache and cannot find it!). I am really trying to get out more and hit the trails near our house, and get the kids out there as well. I had no idea that salmon spawned in the creek behind us- it just took a little time to figure this out. Biking during our glorious autumn has been fantastic- although M finds it excruciating having to wait for A to catch up all the time! What I am trying to say is this: we have discovered an amazing array of things to do, foods to eat and ways to prepare them fairly simply and inexpensively. This frugality has forced us to seek out alternative ways to make our family work. It is also wonderful discovering that many other families are doing the same. The strength in numbers is positive encouragement for us to keep us on our path.
In discussing intention the other day, I inadvertently came up with our family slogan: “quietly revolting against convention.” Everywhere we turn, we continuously run up against convention and battle against how things are “supposed” to be done. We are constantly making choices that are not popular and that put us in a direct line of fire from other people who think we are nuts and question our decisions. This is fine with us, we roll with it. We are confident in our choices. Our new frugality seems to compliment these choices and decisions.
So back to my earlier point about living with less- I think this is a fabulous idea, albeit slightly unrealistic at this point. As an avid sewer, I’d obviously have to keep both sewing machines. (Heather W I know you’re smiling and nodding your head). But what of the 1000’s of fabric scraps? If I keep all my fabric, can I question M in his decision to keep so many blasted guitars? So no, living with 100 things is not going to work right now. But I have a plan- to tackle the scrap pile and the other clutter in our life.
I posed a challenge to the family earlier this week: let’s start with finding 100 things EACH to donate. Let’s de-clutter the home of 400 things and see how that feels. If it feels good, then we’ll keep going. It’s another experiment. Quietly revolting against convention.
Here is a sneak preview of A and C’s Halloween costumes. They partied with some of their best friends on Saturday night. A is rocking the Cowgirl Jesse look and C is a giraffe!! I bought C’s costume second hand- what a score! I made most of A’s costume from second hand stuff or re-purposed dress up clothes.
Ok- last post was April 17!!??
Lots has been happening around here… but here are the main things:
We had an awesome summer full of family time, beaches, parks, Winnipeg, Osoyoos- really lovely. Have been enjoying the extended fall here in normally-rainy Vancouver/ Burnaby as well.
We were fortunate enough this past Thanksgiving weekend to enjoy two (TWO) child-free evenings. We worked like crazy people to switch the kids over from the tiny middle bedroom, into the larger third bedroom that was being used as an office/ music studio. Thanks to M, who sacrificed his larger space for a more practical arrangement. Also thanks to R+H for supplying their superb child-minding services.
Love this picture on the right- it’s the book jacket for Symphony City by Amy Martin. Gorgeous book about finding music in even the busiest city. Love how it coordinates with the fabric too! Spray painted the frame. Found the other white slotted drawer at VV months ago and didn’t know what to do with it- spray painted it and cut out card stock for the colour blocks. A stores her little things in here: mini-Blythe dolls, Strawberry Shortcake, etc. Obviously they are being played with at the moment!
The room is so functional now and the kids are making great use of it.
Total cost of this room transformation? $35. Paint and rollers and that’s it! Found orange spray paint in cupboard- I have no idea why I bought this originally, but am sure glad I did! Salvaged an old cork board and recovered it with fabric re-purposed from an old crib bumper pad I had made A. Now there is a place to put all of the art that A brings home from school as well.
Now if C would cut that last damn molar, we’d all be able to sleep through the night again.
PS- It’s good to be back!
It’s someone’s first birthday today.
One year ago, we finally got to meet our little dude on April 17, 2011. Callum Rhys Maxom-Wiebe came charging out into the world with his arm raised above his head.
What a roller coaster this first year has been. You have taught me patience, humility, greater compassion, and unconditional love. I have cried so much, but through that you have taught me to slow down, smile and then finally, to laugh again. I have learned so much from you about myself and have grown to be a better person and parent because of you. Even though you have physically exhausted me to a point beyond reason, our early morning starts are exciting. Your smile, your excited gurgle and your vigorous crib rail shaking awaits my arrival. I pick you up and bring you into bed for an early morning cuddle (one of the only times you allow this) and try to prolong the good, warm, sleepy feelings for as long as possible. Once you are done nursing, you tell me you’ve had it and want to get moving. You are active and have a mind of your own. You are stubborn, but deliberate and methodical. You are easy going but strong willed. You are precious. You are ours. We are a family.
Happy Birthday Bubba Cub
March is over, thank goodness. We’ve been all sorts of sick and are now back on our feet. This post will be a big photo dump of everything we’ve been up to, from spring break on.
Over spring break we went to the Burnaby Village Museum and enjoyed all sorts of old-timey stuff. I’d been holding off going, because I thought it would be hokey- but it was just the thing to cure the boredom and stuck-at-home doll drums we’ve been in! A was super excited about the carousel but was quite freaked out once we got there. It goes really fast and the horses are quite high so the first few rides were spent on the sleigh bench. We eventually worked our way up to the stationary mini-horses just right for toddlers.
This inspired me to dig out a pop-out book that my Aunt S gave to me when I was really young. Amina enjoyed it and added some of her own modern day dollhouse furniture to it along with critters and dolls.
I’m usually not surprised when Amina picks out books from the library because they tend to be quite predictable (cowgirls wearing boots, etc). One book tends to stand out for both of us though and it’s Traction Man. This book is geared towards little boys which follows an action hero saving everyday objects from around the house, but who has a special action hero outfit for every adventure. Amina is quite enamoured with him. We found a printable pdf to turn Traction Man into a physical two-dimensional dress up doll. A match made in heaven. Here’s how it turned out:
Can I tell you how awesome it is when kids can use scissors on their own?
Art, art and more art.
This is C’s first art too! He’s been watching (and eating A’s markers) and now wants to have a go. So fun! I put some side walk chalk out and got him to pound on the blackboard. Looking forward to more art firsts with him!
This may come as a bit of a surprise to some, but I like to shop. This sounds weird and incredibly shallow. I know this.
It gets me out of the house and I feel better and more relaxed when I buy myself and my kids nice things. I like looking nice (or thinking I do) and I get a great deal of satisfaction when people stop me on the street and ask where A got her super cute horsey coat (Hatley) or where C’s awesome shoes came from (tones of donations from my mommy friends). I love it when my chiropractor asks me where I purchased my coat from (Spank, 6 years ago) because she admires my style.
So in an attempt to stop the barage of clothes and things coming home from the shop with me, I am self-imposing a 60 ban on shopping. Groceries are ok. Make up at the grocery store is not ok. Stuff to colour my hair from the grocery store is ok. A gift for C when he turns 1 in April is OK. (Several gifts are not). Fabric and supplies for the etsy shop are OK- but they must be for things that are needed, not just because I like them. Un-pretty and unglamorous things like velcro and elastic.
What I find way too convenient is to buy things on-line and get them shipped to me. I love getting things in the mail. I think this is exacerbated by being on mat-leave and around kids 24/7. The e-mail newsletters for boutique kids stuff at 70% off etc are really hard to ignore. Don’t roll your yes- I know you think it’s nice when the Canada Post people show up with an envelope from an etsy seller or something awesome to read from Chapters or Amazon.ca for you too.
Ah, Amazon. The American version accepts Canadian credit cards and lets you ship to a US package holding outlet. Since Christmas, I have ordered: books and a baby toy, a deluxe stroller, gorgeous leather El Naturalista sandals and new leather Teva boots. All from Amazon. In defence of the boots my old ones are so worn, the holes in the soles are taking on rocks and the leather is peeling from the upper- it is time to replace them. And I wear them all the time…
..and then a stick vacuum from Costco, some crafting felt from Benzie and wool felt from Bear Dance. And a cute polo t-shirt for C (In 2T). On sale with free shipping. Argh! On-line purchasing is evil. I will need to be strong to resist the urge. ( I had actually put links to all of these things, but started to do some math in my head and thought you might think me silly and extravagant once price tags where attached).
Let me stress here, that this is all paid for and NOT on credit. There is no maxing-out or hiding of purchases from M. I fully disclose and M seems to begrudgingly accept this. However, I would like to save more and have less stuff in the house, so my next few posts will probably be about simplifying and de-cluttering.
I’m on the fence about consignment though. I bring items I make and some gently worn kids clothes for consignment and usually buy the kids some of the new toys or clothes from the consignment store in turn as I only get credit for the things that sell. It kind of feels like cheating if I take this and then turn around and spend it again. Or maybe I should limit this to using the credit for birthday gifts? I will have to think this one through some more.
I was inspired by Whoorl’s blog and her Pinterest board about not shopping for 90 days and so I thought I’d try to do something similar. I’m going to pin the stuff I think I want to buy and at the end of the two months (April 19) I’ll see how bad these things are burning a hole in my pocket. Do you want to try too? The more the merrier! You can follow along and see what I’ve pinned at: http://pinterest.com/kmaxom/the-60-day-no-shop/
The Heart day projects that she has been working on are as follows:
I wanted to share the picture below because we had a really cute morning one day last week. A came out of her room, fully dressed and with a story already concocted. She was a cowgirl and the rocking moose was her horse dusty. She was going on an adventure with a map to find treasure. This continued all day long- even to the park where she made friends with a little boy who tried to steal her had. So totally wonderful and creative, my little star.