Friday, July 29, 2011

Queen Mab Reigns

I always have such good intentions when it comes to crafts.  It's such a family joke that whenever someone says, "I could make that", we all laugh at them.  My basement is full of boxes of art and craft supplies and patterns purchased with good intentions.  But the road to hell is paved with superwash yarn and mosaic garden paver kits.  Speaking of superwash yarn though, I actually finished a craft project today that I wanted to share with you because it is so quick, easy, and satisfying.  I finished it in one park playdate and one after-the-kids-are-in-bed time.  It's THAT quick. 
It's a Waldorf play crown.  Some of you may be thinking hotels and apple salad, but in this context Waldorf is referring to the educational approach.  It's Montessori's long haired hippie cousin.  They really emphasize imagination and fantasy during the preschool years.  They also value simple, high quality toys made from natural materials - but who doesn't?  So, long story short, a knitted wool crown becomes infinitely more hip when you call it a "Waldorf Play Crown".  Call it what you want, my kids love it.

The pattern is available for free over at Tangled.  Pamela there did a year of free patterns for 2010 and this crown was November's offering.

So, if your kids are bored this summer, maybe all they need is a few crowns to get those imaginative juices flowing.  Pair one of these with some flower fairy wings a la The Artful Parent and who knows what might happen...

"O, then, I see Queen Mab hath been with you.
She is the fairies' midwife, and she comes
In shape no bigger than an agate-stone
On the fore-finger of an alderman.."

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Ivy is a lucky girl.  While the older kids bite, scratch, tease, hit, scream, and curse at each other, every last one of them adores Ivy.  They play with her, carry her around, keep her safe, teach her things, share their cookies with her, and generally love her.  They fight over who gets to lay next to her at night (usually no one because they can't stop arguing long enough to let her fall asleep) and who gets to pluck her happy self out of bed in the morning.  This morning Violet got the honors (well, actually Daddy got her out of bed but Violet helped).  As I changed Ivy's diaper Violet peeked over my shoulder and made faces at her.

"You love Ivy, huh?" I said.
"Yeah, she's the cutest little baby," Vi replied.
"When you grow up do you think you'll be a mommy someday and have your own baby?" I asked.

Violet pondered that for a moment.  You could see the wheels spinnning.

"I do want to," she said, "But I don't know how to drive."
I chuckled a little, "Don't worry, when you're older I'll teach you how to drive."
"Can you also teach me how to feed a baby with my boobies?" she inquired.
"Sure," I said, "I can help you figure it out."
"Okay," she said, satisfied.

Now that I think about it, as a mother I do spend an inordinate amount of time driving people places and breastfeeding (though never simultaneously).

 Definitely two of the more useful skills in my Mom Toolbelt.

That got me wondering about where the boys were sitting on the issue.  Mitchell used to want to have a wife and family and I wondered what his plans were now.  When we discussed the issue of marriage a few months ago, this is what the boys had to say...

(At this point the boys had already decided they were going to be lifelong roommates)

Mitch: I think I'd like a wife

Henry:  Not me, they kick you off the computer and make you to do chores.

Mitch:  But we need wives, we need someone to take care of the babies.

Henry:  We don't need babies, they're too much work.

Mitch:  Good point.  But we still need wives.  Otherwise who is going to guard the house while we're at work?

Henry:  Okay fine... (he pauses)  ...wait a minute, we can just get a lock!  Then nobody can get in!

Mitch:  Yeah, a lock!

When I asked Mitch today about possible future fatherhood he said no, babies are too much work.  When I asked Henry the same question he had a new sort of answer today.

"No way, having babies is gross!"
"Well, it would be the mama actually having the baby," I offered, "You don't HAVE to watch."
"NO," Henry said, "MAKING the baby is too gross.  I'm never doing that."

I forgot that a while back he had gotten a little persistent with the "Where do babies come from?  And how did they get in there?" questions.  He got more or less the full scoop so he's totally turned off on fatherhood now.  Ah well, best that they think sex is "gross" for as loooong as possible.  I wonder if Violet's answer will change once she has all the specifics on exactly how babies get in there and how they get out. Hmmmm...

What about your kids?  Do they think they want to be parents some day?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Is She A Good Baby? Part 1: Sleep

Having kids who LOVE to play in the pool all day long lately has given me a bit more time for reading.  Lately I've been working on finishing an intriguing book that I started quite some time ago - "Our Babies, Ourselves".

It is an anthropological and biological look at babies.  How are babies around the world parented and why?  Is there a biological foundation for these parenting techniques or are they primarily cultural?

I encourage everyone to read the book. It's fascinating. But I'll also share some of the info and insights with you here in my new series "Is She A Good Baby?".

Whenever you find moms trying to get to know each other and make small talk, at least around here, usually sooner than later someone asks, "Is she a good baby?"  I always answer "yes", but really, what am I supposed to say? 

"No, I'm pretty sure she's the Antichrist, but we love her anyways."

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Sunday Scribbles

Sunday Scribbles, Saturday Night Edition

*I am writing and posting my Sunday Scribbles on Saturday - SCANDALOUS!  But I just spent the whole day lounging by the pool in a bikini like a celeb so I kind of feel like I can do whatever I darn well please today.  And I can hear you raising your eyebrows but never fear, I don't wear the bikini in front of company.  I just thought I'd experiment this summer and see if it's even physically possible for my marshmallow stomach to tan.

*Spending days upon end in the pool is very nostalgic for me.  When I was a kid we were home alone most of the summer and had a family membership at the neighborhood pool that was just a few blocks away.  I can't even tell you how many days I spent there but lets just say the membership definitely paid for itself and I am now a very good swimmer.  Spending the last few days out by our pool has been just great.  We haven't been swimming so much in the kids whole lives.  Getting them all packed up to go to the pool or beach is just waaaaay too much work.  Swimming in the backyard?  MUCH easier.

*My kids thought it was awesome that I was (very very briefly) a lifeguard so we played lifeguard for a while and I showed off my skills while they got to pretend to drown.  They were also impressed with my diving ring nabbing talents.

*Tonight I tucked my kids in bed and then joined my hubby in the hot tub to look at the stars and the fireflies.  It doesn't get much better than this.
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