It’s a rainy, thundery kind of day today so the kiddo and I have spent the morning doing the rainy day crafts I’ve been saving up for times like this. Salt painting, marble painting, finally getting to use our free-store found stamps (Nana came over yesterday with stamp pads. Thank you!) We even made a newspaper sword. Our living room, turned craft room is now in quite a state. I have a lot of clean up to do before round 2 starts after she wakes up from her nap.
What’s in store for the afternoon? A little baking maybe? More painting while I get some sewing projects underway? Maybe it will clear up enough for us to go outside and enjoy some puddle jumping in our new boots. 🙂
As the title suggests, the three of us went spent some time at Chris’ parents cabin with no phone, no car, no distractions. Just us. It turned out to be the perfect way to readjust to being a family again. We went canoeing, and swimming, hiking, rock collecting, berry picking, tire swinging, and exploring. Together. Nothing to worry about, nothing pressing, just time to spend as a family. I wasn’t really sure how the kid would feel about being away from her friends and toys and playgrounds for so long, but I think she really loved the freedom of being able to wake up and run outside and just play with sticks in the woods. Not to mention having her Dad’s constant attention.
a wonderful two weeks indeed.
He’s back. The kid is beyond thrilled to have her Dad home. Since the moment he came through the gate at the airport, she hasn’t let him out of her sight. I’ve probably heard her little mouth spout “I love you daddy” 95472 times in less than 24 hours. Their reunion couldn’t have been more lovely.
Yesterday morning, she handed me her daddy doll and informed me she wouldn’t be needing it anymore. Real Dad was coming home today. I had been so worried about how Izzy would adjust to having her dad home after 7 weeks away, I forgot about how it would be for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love that he’s back, I’m just as thrilled as Izzy, but after almost 2 months apart, I think it’s going to take a little bit of work getting back to some sort of regularity. I feel like I’ve become a better parent having had to do it alone for those few weeks, but am going to have to get used to being someones partner again. But right now, I think it’s okay for all of us to just coast on reunion bliss.
We’ve lived very different lifestyles for the last 7 weeks. I’ve been here at home with the kiddo, frequenting the wading pool and playgrounds, whereas he’s been in the desert digging for buried treasure (so to speak) and traveling the near east (with some layovers in Paris – I was lucky enough to have been brought some french pastries, and though a little battered from a 6 hour plane trip, were still amazing). And not that I’m not happy with my life the way it is here, I love it, it’s just different. At least we have a lot of stories, both to hear and tell.
And next year, fingers crossed, we can go too.
There are many wonderful things about living in student family housing: The community, the kids, the proximity to the university, but mostly the friends I’ve made, which also brings me to the trouble with it: Friends leave. They finish school and get jobs and move. To another city or country, or even another continent! It can be really hard to say goodbye to a good friend, no matter how near or far they may go, because you get used to seeing them almost everyday, you like running into them, having tea and play dates, and really good talks, and you go through an I-don’t-want-to-make-anymore-friends-because-it’s-just-gonna-suck-when-they-leave phase, but then you realize that’s ridiculous and you don’t really stop talking to new people for fear that they may one day move too, and you know that you’re still friends even though they don’t live across the street or down the hall. At that point, it may take a bit more work to keep in touch, but a good friend it more than worth the effort, and I’m in it for the long haul.
Last week I decided that since we were running low on laundry soap, I’d try my hand at making some of my own using a recipe Emily found by SouleMama. We had at least half a dozen bars of peppermint Dr. Bronners and borax already, all I needed was the washing soda. It was super easy, and very satisfying to make. When I finally got around to doing the laundry yesterday, I was so excited to use our new powder and was pretty happy with the way the laundry came out (even though the machines in this building are about a million years old and fairly inefficient to begin with). That aside, it’s super cheap and easy to make, I don’t have any excuse not to!
I had some help
The kid and I decided to get out of the city for a little bit so we hopped on a train and went to spend the weekend with her grandparents. Living in an apartment, in the center of a huge city, it’s nice to be able to escape to the ‘burbs and back yards every now and then.
I just sat back sipped coffee and watched as her grandparents took her into the garden to pick raspberries, pears, peas and tomatoes, plant lettuce and dig in the dirt. They read to her, they played with her, they splashed around in the kiddie pool together.
I think we both needed that.
Izzy has been really missing her dad (who’s away for 7 weeks on a dig — we’re about half-way through now) so I thought that she might find comfort in a doll made in his likeness (and out of his old clothes). I worked on it on and off for a couple days, and finished it yesterday while she was napping. I can’t tell you how happy she was to see it next to her when she woke up. She knew who it was right away and her face just beamed. Her “dada” has not left her side since I gave it to her. They read books together, eat snacks and go down the slide. He follows her everywhere. They are too cute together and I’m so happy that it seems to be making this time a little easier on her, I only wish I had made little ones of her and I for Chris to have with him.
While on a city walk this afternoon, the kid gathered a sweet little collection of acorns, roses, and lavender, little bits from here and there. When we got home, she wanted to put them in a little vase on top of her play kitchen where she could see it. cute.
I love chocolate chip cookies. I’ve been making them for as long as I can remember, and have so many batches under my belt, that I don’t even have the recipe written down. I’m pretty sure I could bake them with my eyes closed. So because I love them so much (baking and eating them), I wanted to try to make them a little “better” for me. I’ve been playing around with sugar substitutions like agave, xylitol, stevia, but had never thought to just add less. (thanks Andrea!) So that’s what I did, I added less sugar, cut it down by half in fact, added a banana and some oatmeal and voila! my favourite cookies are now a little bit better for me, and as far as I’m concerned even better tasting! And better for me still, the dough doesn’t taste as great so I end up eating less before they get to the oven 🙂
Here’s the altered secret recipe incase anyone feels like baking in the heat. You could probably cut more sugar and butter out and still have them turn out great.
first cream together 1/2 cup of butter at room temperature (I use vegan margarine)
(add a ripe banana here if you feel like it)
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1/3 cup of white sugar (I usually use coconut sugar, raw sugar or xylitol)
mix in 1 egg (I make a “flax egg” 1 tbsp of ground flax in 3 tbsp of water left for a minute binds it all together just like an egg would)
1 tsp(ish) baking soda
a pinch of salt
and a splash of vanilla.
After that’s all mixed together 2/3 cup of oatmeal and 1 1/3 cups of whole wheat flour (you might need a little extra flour if you added the banana)
and as many chocolate chips, walnuts, raisins or whatever your little heart desires!
Bake at 350 degrees for 7-9 minutes depending on your oven. (Mine are perfect at 7:41)
We made some just before the weather turned tropical and have since eaten the entire batch! As you can see I had some help with the baking (the eating was more or less all me), but just like her mama, she sure does like to sneak little handfuls of dough.
I know it’s been a while since I posted anything, but I have been busy. I swear! And not just with crafting, but with life in general so I haven’t been so great at recording my latest efforts, or to be honest, even thinking about recording them. Having a blog is still new to me and not always on the forefront of my mind while I’m crafting. I’ll get better. Promise. So, in an effort to redeem myself, here’s all the things I’ve been up to in the last month or so:
Stuffed cat and mouse for the kid, as well as felt ravioli for her kitchen, a basket full of balls, quilted pillow cases, a wee nest for the cats (in an attempt to get them off my fabric, which hasn’t worked as well as I’d hoped), some dresses and shorts for the kiddo out of some old shirts, a handful of knitted hats (ya, I know it’s June), various patterns and deodorant from a recipe I found by Amy Karol in Bust last year. Not to mention the baking, the playing, the card making, and the piles of never-ending laundry. 😉
I think that gets me just about up to date. Now I promise not to bombard you with a months worth of stuff all at once again. Well at least I promise to try.