Category: Pieces


Well, Halloween has come and gone. My kids dressed up and threatened people for sugar along with their ravenous gang of friends. They’ve entered the time of the year I like least, when the perpetual sugar high from Halloween begins. It’s a sugar high that lasts through the end of the year thanks to holiday baking and stocking candy.

I was able to complete Pynni’s Weeping Angel and I didn’t have to threaten her within an inch of her life to get her to wear it, either. I cannot express to you the rush I felt when she WANTED to wear that costume and was determined to get it on almost two hours prior to trickertreating time. That rush, of having finished. That rush of her LIKING the results of my work. That rush of seeing her traipse along the sidewalk among her friends, completely satisfied with her costume. SUCH a rush.

I’ve made things for people before; worked really hard on them, but I don’t live near a vast majority of those people. I never see them wear what I make. Oh, sure, I get thank yous and lots of great feedback, but somehow, it isn’t the same. It is a GREAT feeling to see her unabashed enjoyment. And she was SO grateful! I was worried that she wouldn’t wear it. Not because she didn’t like it, but she balked so strongly whenever I had her try parts of it on. She would get embarrassed if anyone asked her about it. She didn’t want to be seen in the various parts and stages of this costume, but boy, how she owned the role, when she donned it in its entirety.IMG_1668

So after all the hard work and random moments of drama, The Weeping Angel was finished. I was glad that I’d planned in advance for Chi to be something other than another involved costume creation because I was tweaking Pynni’s costume until about 4pm on Halloween.

Chi decided he wanted to be a Ghostbuster. He likes them an inordinate amount for a kid who doesn’t like scary or freaky things. His costume was purchased and it came with a jumpsuit and a blow-up Proton Pack and gun thingy. He was over the top excited about being a Ghostbuster.

Pieces was the 10th Doctor. I got him a pinstriped suit and a Sonic Screwdriver. He already had the Converse. He, of course, was unbelievable cute in his suit “fixing” everything with his screwdriver. He was, also, super stoked to get dressed in his costume.

I went prepared when we went trickertreating this year. I brought bottles of water and a wagon. The wagon was to hold the costume parts my kids would inevitably shed through the course of the evening. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised when my kids kept all of their costumes on almost the whole evening. The only exception was Pynni and her wings. She wore them for probably 80% of the night, but they started getting heavy and she wanted to take them off. Which, wow! My kids have not once, EVER worn their entire costumes all night.

When Chi was Mario, he took off his mustache right away and his hat about 15 minutes into trickertreating (that’s 3 Halloweens). When Chi was Harry Potter, he removed his glasses right away and took off his robes and put down his wand about 15 minutes into trickertreating. When Pieces and Chi were Minecraft Steve and Armored Minecraft Steve, I ended up carrying two heads, an axe, and a sword. Tinkerbell? Wings. Wall-e? Uh, no wait, Pieces wore that all night. He wanted to sleep in it.

Ok, so wow, this post has gotten away from me. So here they are. My kids on Halloween.

Weeping Angel as seen in the Doctor Who episode "The Time of Angels".

Weeping Angel as seen in the Doctor Who episode “The Time of Angels”.

This past holiday season, Pynni got all caught up on her Doctor Who episodes. She was enthralled by the episode The Angels Take Manhattan. As a Doctor Who fan, myself, I find that episode incredibly sad. I won’t post any spoilers here except to say that the bad guys are the Weeping Angels. Hoo-boy. Pynni loves her some Weeping Angels.

So she decides she wants to be a Weeping Angel for next Halloween, read: 2013. I say, “Sure!” Because I like making things, I’m pretty crafty, and I’D APPARENTLY LOST MY EVER-LOVING MIND.

Then, as the year progressed, Pieces says he wants to be The Doctor, but not 11. No, not the most easily identifiable one, what with the bow-tie (Bow-ties are cool!) and the occasional Fez (Fez’s are cool!). Nope, he wants to be 10. Which, let’s face it, 10 may be the best character ever to have graced the small screen, but his Doctor outfit isn’t especially… out-standing. But, whatever, man! I can do that!

Right around that time, Chi says he wants to be a Dalek.

“A Cyberman, you say?” I ask.

“No, a Dalek,” says he.

“Not the 11th Doctor with the bow-tie, which is cool?” says I.

“Ex-ter-min-ate!” he says, in the best robotic imitation.

Work space chaos.

Work space chaos.

Alright! Sure! No problem! I’m making a Weeping Angel and somehow cobbling together a 10th Doctor, in between I can definitely whip up a Dalek!

Right.

So the plan was to start making and make through the spare time I had during the summer. I look back, now and laugh. Spare time?!? HA!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

The fabric I have the most of.

The fabric I have the most of.

About a week ago I started researching the costumes, gathering pictures and ideas and organizing my thoughts on the projects, in general. I realized that the Dalek was going to be a very involved costume if I was going to get Chi to wear it and that coupled with handmaking a Weeping Angel that will please Pynni was stressing me out.

So I got together a lot of pictures of different costume ideas for Chi to peruse, in the hopes that something would strike his fancy. I lucked out and he picked something both inexpensive, and already manufactured. So there’s that.

So now I have a pile of grey fabrics that don’t match because I couldn’t find enough of any one kind of cheap fabric. I’ve researched, measured, and drawn out the yoke that makes up the top of the WA’s dress using one of Pynni’s dresses for a guide. I have a general idea of what I need to do to make the draping of the dress happen.

These WILL be angel wings when I'm done. I think.

These WILL be angel wings when I’m done. I think.

I’ve scavenged a set of luna moth-like wings from Pynni to reform and redress to be statue-like angel wings and I’m digging through the recycling for all those discarded toilet paper rolls to use as the upper spine on the wings. I’m thinking about reshaping the wires of the wings and covering them with papier mache so they won’t be too heavy, but I may just drape them in left over fabric soaked in a stiffener and pin them and allow them to dry. I’m not sure yet.

Also, a wig. Weeping Angels have statue hair. So my plan is to crochet a beanie and then glue yarn to the beanie in the shape of Weeping Angel statue hair.

I just have to keep telling myself that it doesn’t need to be over-the-top as it will probably be worn once, maybe twice, if we go to a Homeschool Halloween party like we did last year.

Speaking of. I better go work on it some.

Sits

Pieces age 6.

Pieces age 6.

Pieces. 2 months old.

Pieces. 2 months old.

When he was little he would say “sits” with a major lisp. He meant “six”. It must have been his favorite number because whenever you asked him how old he was that was the number he’d say. He was three.

Now? Today? He turns 6 for real. I’m not sure how this can be. He is my Happy Surprise and he came into this world with a smile on his face. He finds the humor in everything and smiles all the time.

Since three, he’s taken 1 year of speech therapy and addressed much of his lisping issues. So now he says, “Six.” And so he is. Happy birthday, buddy! I love you so much I’ll never stop!

Pieces at five.

Pieces at five.

4 year old Pieces.

4 year old Pieces.

3 year old Pieces.

3 year old Pieces.

Pieces at two.

Pieces at two.

Pieces one year old.

Pieces one year old.

It's the end of the world.

It’s the end of the world.

There is currently a computer on my dining room table. It’s the kids’ computer they got for Christmas. It has played a lot of Minecraft since Christmas morning. Usually there are headphones involved so the whole downstairs is not inundated with Minecraft sound effects. Yesterday evening, that was not the case and this song was playing over the speakers. If you don’t go listen, it’s a quiet piano piece in the vein of Final Fantasy VII music.

Anyway. I look up (yes, I was playing Minecraft. Shut it.) and see Pynni and Pieces standing in the doorway to the kitchen with their arms around one another. Then Pynni murmurs, with her head pressed against Pieces’ head, “Oh, isn’t it beautiful? We’re watching the end of the world. It’s end of the world music and we’re just standing and watching it.”

Pieces nods his head ever so slightly and replies, “Yeah. It’s beautiful.”

Lovingly decorated by little hands.

Lovingly decorated by little hands.

Christmas season is in full swing in our home. It is my most favorite holiday. Normally, I decorate the weekend after Halloween because I like to enjoy my Christmas decorations, but I don’t really start getting into the holiday spirit until after Thanksgiving. Normally, I am in total control of the whole holiday. I make the lists out based on things the kids have asked for over the course of the last few months and based on things I know they’d like to have. I do the decorating, I do the shopping, I crochet some gifts, I do the bulk of the wrapping, I make the grocery list, I do the baking, I do the cooking. You get the picture. Christmas is pretty much my show. I put it on and sit back and enjoy watching my family enjoy themselves. It is stressful. It is rewarding.

We glittered some of the ornaments today. Even with careful application, I am covered!

We glittered some of the ornaments today. Even with careful application, I am covered!

This year, I’m giving up some of that control. (I may have just passed out. Did I miss anything?)

This year my mantra is Kids’ Christmas. My kids have never decorated the tree because my tree has to be PERFECT. This year, they decorated it. Now, I put some of the ornaments up high and wound the tree with the garland, but they did all the rest. This year they helped put out the other decorations. This year the kids have a stake in Christmas. They even picked out the presents they got one another. I usually give them a pre-chosen/purchased selection from which to choose the gift they will give their siblings. This year we went shopping. I think they are happy with their choices. This year, they still did not put out the Star Wars Ornaments BECAUSE THEY ARE FRAGILE! What?

I may be in love with this thing.

I may be in love with this thing.

This year, as with last year, we are making some of our own decorations. We made a felted wool ball garland, we made borax crystal snowflakes (my kids’ interpretation of ‘snowflake’ is highly amusing). We made salt dough ornaments (probably WAY too many). We made cinnamon/applesauce ornaments which smell divine.

Next week is baking week and we will make LOTS of things that are DElishUS, but I’m fairly certain are not nutritious. Also, this year, we aren’t doing a big dinner, although I’m hoping I can still talk my brother and his family into joining us for….wait for it…. RIBS! It’s Hubs favorite and it’s easy and also DELICIOUS! And also. Not nutritious, but HEY it’ll be tasty and the company will be great and the tree will be kid decorated and then on the following morning there will presents opening.

I am SOOOOO excited!

IMG_0473 IMG_0468 IMG_0460

All in all, this whole Kids’ Christmas thing is working out pretty well. I don’t hate the tree. In fact, I love it and I was worried. The garland is my most favorite new decoration on the tree and I look forward to making more.  The borax snowflakes will probably be done again, if for no other reason than the cool factor. I don’t foresee the snowflakes looking sparkly for long, but you never know. The applesauce ornaments are super cool because they smell SO GOOD.  The salt dough ornaments have been fun, but seriously time consuming considering the number we made. AND THE GLITTER IS EVERYWHERE. It’s really pretty, but VERY messy. Maybe next year we’ll make one or two ornaments per kid. Chi had the right idea.

Clothespins and Acrylic Paint

Chore pins.

I’ve been working at getting my kids to do more around the house with more regularity. This summer I taught all three of them to sweep the floor, mop the floor (with a swiffer), dust (dry feather dusting), vacuum, empty the dishwasher, rinse off their plates, wipe the table, clean the toilets (both wipe the outside and scrub the bowl), clean the bathroom sinks, clean the bathroom vanities, change the laundry around, put away their clean clothes, and disinfect all hard surfaces like light switches and doorknobs.

They do a pretty good job, outside of not moving anything around when they wipe down a surface and using an entire bottle of toilet bowl cleaner on three toilets. In one day. They put things in odd places when they empty the dishwasher and they prefer to sweep the floor with the dustpan broom rather than use the actual broom sized broom. Whatever.

Also, Pieces is learning to wash himself and Pynni is washing her own hair, which includes the application and subsequent rinsing of, conditioner. To varying degrees of success.

These things were prompted by two things. First, my back has been all sorts of trouble for me this summer and has ruined a multitude of plans I’d made for our summer days and vacations. That being the case, I can’t really bend over to move the laundry from the washer to the dryer and pushing a mop around is just not going to happen. Somehow, I have to take the pressure off my husband from having to do his job/responsibilities plus all of mine minus the schooling. I needed to relieve the guilt and frustration from my shoulders because of my inability to keep up with any housework whatsoever.

Yes, that says “police office”. It means get your crap out of the office and put all things where they go. My kids get it.

Enter the chores. They learned and they do without complaining, but I have been having to remember what needs doing and whose turn it is to do it. I read a blog post by Marie Rippel of All About Learning Press that gave me an idea. And I totally STOLE it and RAN! Woo!

Weekly chores. One per day per kid.

I got the foam door knob hangers, but decided to hang them on the wall by the kitchen so I can monitor them easier. Also, I decided that many chores only need to be done once a week so I made a list of chores that are clipped to the green hanger. One for each kid for 6 days a week. They do one per day. Easy peasy.

They LOVE this. Probably because it’s new, but they have been staying on top of their chores. And I can walk by and see that Chi hasn’t wiped the table today and I can glance at the table and see that it needs wiping. “Chi, please come wipe the table!” Done.

So far so good and much less stress and things stay picked up and at least wiped and dusted if not completely, thoroughly clean. It’s a start.

ps. I’m going tomorrow to get a referral to a PT. Then I will be starting PT again. I HATE PT, but it worked out so well the last time, I’m not going to put it off.

To Infinity and Beyond!

Kip, Chi, Mae, Abshie, Pynni, Timmus, Pieces

I spent last week at my parents’ house with my kids and their cousins. Seven kids all told. All 10 and younger. It was loud, chaotic, and amazing!

My mother took the older kids to an amusement/water park on Wednesday and I kept the two Littles. We ran some errands and I just listened to their conversations in the backseat. Here’s one.

Pieces and Timmus

Timmus and Pieces, counting by ones: One, two, three, four, five, six, seven….twenty-one…..forty-seven….eighty-eight…one hundred…

On they went counting, by ones, until:

Timmus and Pieces: One hundred and twenty-eight, one hundred and twenty-nine, one hundred and thirty!

Timmus: WAIT! WHEN DID I LEARN TO COUNT TO ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY?!? I used to only be able to count to one hundred and twenty-five!

Me:  If you know how to count to one hundred, you can count to any number.

Pieces: To infinity and beyond!

Timmus: I, also, have my cwocks. (crocs)

Pieces: Cwocks?

Timmus: No, cwocks.

Pieces: …cwocks?

Timmus: No. Not cwocks. Cwocks!

Pieces: I have no idea what you’re talking about.

(They crack me up.)

Dear smallest person;

STOP GROWING! Okay, no, don’t do that. Continue being your awesome you. Continue finding the fun and laughter in absolutely everything. I love that you have so much joy. I love how much you love your older siblings. I love seeing you come out with your blazing personality and having your very own opinions that aren’t mirrors of Pynni’s. I love seeing you learn and grow, change and GROW. You just keep getting bigger and bigger.

Muted Silliness

You fell asleep on me a few days ago. You used to do that all the time, but now the napping on Mom is very scarce. I miss it. I miss how warm your little body gets and how you melt into me and almost become a part of me again. I will miss the naps on mommy when they finally do forever stop, but I will grab and hold on tight to the times when they do.

You’ve been in pre-school for the past two years. For most of last year, I thought you would be prepping to head off to Kindergarten, but much to my delight, you will be having Kindergarten at home with me. I feel a bit of sorrow that you won’t have that first day of Kindergarten experience and that you won’t know what it means to ride on the bus. I know you little kids find delight in all that newness, but I’m hoping that being at home and schooling with Mom and Chi and Pynni will make many great memories.

Can't. Contain. The silliness.

I’m looking forward to that. Yes I am.

You are the best younger brother any two kids could as for. No one has such a jolly happy brother as you are. The relationship you have with Pynni is amazing and even though Chi is more than 5 years older than you, you are super special to him, too. The amount of love I see the three of you express toward one another makes my heart expand. It’s really the one thing I KNOW I’ve gotten right.

I’m so glad you’re you, and I’m so glad you’re mine. Happy fifth birthday, Rhysie Piecie Japanesie! I love you!

❤ ~Mom

Depression is dark and insidious and it has long, grasping fingers that refuse to let go. I thought I was seeing the light at the end of the tunnel when I made my last post. I just didn’t realize how long that tunnel was.

So here I am, blinking into the sunlight wondering where to start. With a story, I think. Let’s get to it, shall we?

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~My nephew, Kip, used to wake up and in his cute little 18 month old lisp and language make audible lists. “Cay-yub, Day-ya, Poppa, Gray-ya, Mom-ma, Sissy, Pootner, Chi-ya.” My brother, Kip’s father, used to call it his “systems check.” Like Kip was making sure he could, in fact, remember all the important words in his vocabulary. Kip sort of chanted this list to himself over and over as his brain booted up and started working properly.~

~Hubs told Pieces it was bed time. Pieces hid. Hubs, pretending his inability to locate Pieces sat down on the ottoman and put his feet on Pieces as if on the floor. Pieces giggled and giggled. Hubs, feigning surprise, at the little boy under his feet said, “Are you the boy I’m looking for?” Pieces, in a remarkably low voice, said, “No, I’m not a boy. I’m 16 years old.”~

~Chi, who is shoulder high to me now, sidles up to me and gives me a hug with his arms around my waist nuzzling into my armpit (which is a questionable place to put one’s nose). I hug him back and place my hand on the top of his head causing him to peer up at me. I smile and he says, “I know. I’m getting so big.”~

~On a recent trip to Louisville, my mom took the kids and I to see Seussical the Musical performed in spectacular fashion by a local high school. Pynni fell in love (she is my daughter after all) and really got into the standing, clapping and cheering that happened throughout the show and during the ovation. So my dad thought it would be a great idea to take her with Mom and I when we went to see the Broadway touring Mary Poppins. It turned out to be a really great idea and Pynni was already old hat. She stood and cheered, cupping her hands around her mouth to “WOOOOO!” punctuated by very mature sounding clapping after each number. Cracked me up every time.~

~My niece, Abshie, recently discovered texting via her iPod Touch. Since I have the appropriate equipment she can text me. She sends me strings of pictures, little comments about mundane things, thanks me for piano lessons, and says good-night. Too sweet.~

~At a stoplight at a busy intersection. Heard coming from the back seat, “Uh-oh, someone got copped.” Sure enough there was a cop with his lights on with someone either pulled over or broken down in front of him. It was gloaming and hard to tell. I was struggling not to laugh when I asked, “Copped?” Pynni said, “Yeah, people rob or kill and get copped.” Chi, highly exasperated, said…well yelled really, “NO PYNNI! Police sometimes just cop people because they can! They don’t just cop bad people!” So my kids think police nab the bad guys AND abuse their power. Nice. Oh! And I love the verb “cop”. Something only police do.~

So, as Chris Cornell has been known to say, “I’m gonna break my rusty cage, and run.” That may mean something completely different to him than me, but to me it describes what coming back to my blog has been like. Breaking out of the cage that seemed to stagnate my imagination and unshackle my ability to see the fabulous things that go on around me daily. ❤ you readers. It’s good to be out and free again.

For Becca. ❤