Monthly Archives: February 2012

animation is addicting

wNYCSm on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs

I should be sleeping off this nasty bug that’s taken over my sinuses and chest.  Instead I’m hunting through photo archives for suitable animations.  Like the above “blackberry thief”.  Or the below “pesto smile”.
IGzNdw on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs

And then, oh dear golly I remembered the owl photos…
IM0D2r on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs

the proof is in the pudding

Another goal that I had last weekend was to get the girls to try on the clothes in their closets to see what might work for this spring / summer, and pass down the clothes that they’ve outgrown.  We’ve got a pretty good system going on clothes right now.  Here’s how it works in a nutshell:  E’s the oldest – she benefits from having grandmothers that like to buy her clothes because she’s the firstborn.  She wears them and then shoots out of them at record speeds where they are then rounded up for my niece who lives four states away.  She eagerly sorts through them, pressing them to her nose to smell her older cousin’s yummy scent on them still (true story), and then she wears them while her mother (my sister) adds to the pile with her own favorite clothing purchases.  They skip my nephew (for the most part!) and then the boxes come back across state lines for the little one.  Which means she gets not only the surviving duds from her older sister, but the added style from her cousin, and all the new clothes that her grandmothers like to buy her because, well – of course – she’s the baby.  Hand-me-down’s rock – it’s like thrifting, only you recognize the smells.  (And – in the case of my niece – that’s the very best part.)
Both girls have apparently shot up in height lately because nothing fits anymore.  Which means that it’s time for a new rubbermaid tub of collected size 3’s for the little one to arrive, and a bit of sale shopping for the big one.  E tried on one pair of shorts after another on Sunday afternoon – none covered enough to earn a spot in the “keep” pile.  
“I’m growing too!” the little one chimes in while stretching arms high to the ceiling in too-tight cotton shirts that graze her belly button.  
“I’m growing Big – Big to my birthday party!  Big to my swimming suit and JUMPING in the water and Big to not being catched in the water!  Big to just jumping and jumping and NO CATCHING!”  
Her hands pump the sky with each “Big!”, her body crouches and hops with the talk of the pool jumping.  She smiles in delight at the thought of being able to jump freely into the water, independent of any adult that might need to be there to catch her.  She feels energy in those shorts, those lightweight tops, those bare feet.  She can see her legs now that they are out of long pants; her arms can stretch further without the restraining knit of a sweater.  Don’t you know that feeling of starting to shed off the weight of winter?  How much faster you walk in the sun and a pair of sandals?  
The girls romp around the third floor for the rest of the afternoon, wearing the last pair of too-tight clothes from a summer too-long past.  They wear them to bed where they dream of longer sun-filled evenings and summer walks on the beach.  When you check on them later, not even the blankets seem to fit.  “You’re growing Big!” you whisper, and pull out another blanket from the closet for their toes.

hot summer colors in February

Another project we worked on this weekend was birthday invitations for F’s third birthday.  If you remember back before Valentine’s Day I scored these glass bottles of rainbow colored flowers from Michaels off the clearance rack.  E’s been dying to get started on these even though we have a lot of time to spare.  Saturday afternoon was sunny, but cold, and seemed like a good opportunity to sit for awhile and dream about summer.
We initially thought we might blanket the whole card with a carpet of flowers, and then E got the idea to maybe cut the number 3 out and let the other part of the card show through. 

I thought it was a great idea, but then we sort of stepped back, squinted our eyes and agreed.  It was okay, but we really liked a little more card showing through so we tried a looser approach the next go around.

We can always add more flowers if we want, but for now we like the scattering of flowers over the stripes of flowers in the fuller one.  While we sorted and glued we talked about ideas for the piece we’re going to layer over this flower garden.  I love her ideas, and I love knowing that she feels comfortable sharing them with me.  She has really good ones, and really crazy ones, and she knows I appreciate them all, even if we don’t use them all.  I want her to get to a place where all ideas are welcome, valued.  When you let yourself consider any possibility, you can be assured that the path you eventually take will be a good one.  
We talked about summer and parties and colors and poetry.  We worked in silence, which is never really silent with her.  She clicks her tongue, she taps her foot, she hums and whistles.  Her moments of quiet are accompanied with lip movements to lyrics in her head.  She can’t focus enough in the mornings to get out the door with everything she needs, but give this girl a bottle of glue and a table full of paper and she nails it.  Her focus hums with activity like a machine.  I love the energy, the concentration, the conversation.
After awhile she asks for a soundtrack to the afternoon’s activity.  I let her choose the soundtrack, she lets me choose the volume.  Fair trade, I think.

We work in this new kind of silence until we put the summer colors away ’til the next time.