Sunday, December 27, 2009

Merry Christmas

So what a lovely holiday. The last day of School Stella was going to preform in the Christmas sing a long. I was able to get off early to watch. It was so cute they whole first grade sang Rudolph first in Spanish then in English. I had my fancy new camera charged up and I got video of the whole thing. After the performance the parents could go to the class to pick up their child. I realized at that moment I had been so busy with filling orders I had forgotten the teacher gift! I ran to the class and signed to Stella that I would be right back. There is a new coffee house around the corner. They have gift certificates a fresh roasted coffee. Perfect. That's how my life rolls. There is always something right around the corner to save the day.

I returned back to the school just in time. Yes, just in time to witness the treats of the day explode from a poor little girl all over her clothes and reindeer hat. The teacher was trapped and couldn't leave the class so I guided her to the restroom to clean up. I set down my camera and purse and washed up her sweet little face and hands. She just made it to the bus in time. We dashed back to leave the gift and drop certificates with the Secretaries who are a constant blessing to me.

We then dashed over to pick up Haddy. I could feel the excitement in the air as we walked up to the school. Then I saw my son. He was shooting Silly String all over his friends. Everyone was laughing and running from him. Silly String coated the area. Great, who's gonna clean that up? Oh , well. He is so excited to tell me that at the White Elephant party he got Silly String and a Chia Pet. " Mom did you know these are handmade?" referring to the pet. Hmmm wonder if I could find them on Etsy.

I was feeling rather content and relaxed after a very good selling season so I offered up "anything goes dinner" . At the store the kids pick fresh crab and string beans. That night I prepared our feast and waited for my husband to come home. The kids were famished so I decided to let them start since my hubby was moments away from joining us. The phone rang and I left the room to answer. When I returned a few minutes later I was shocked to see my darling children plowing through the crab like termites. My husband came home to one leg I was able to rescue from the rampage. Note to self, next time buy more crab.

That night I decided to download the video of the reindeer extravaganza. I realized after extensive searching I had lost my new camera. Somewhere between the coffee shop, puking and silly string my camera had taken a hike.

Christmas Eve is huge for our family. It is the one time every year all of my husband's family commit to gather. They are a really fun group so we all have a good time. I was bummed about the camera but my mother in law brought hers so no worries. We decided to carpool to the party because my husband and I wanted to join in the festivities and we don't drink and drive. We met the in laws at the hotel and left our car there for the night. They would deliver us home safe and sound.

The evening was delightful as always. The camera batteries died after about 30 minutes. The best part was my sister's new boyfriend taught my son to play guitar, awesome. He also happens to be a chef so for the first time in about 12 years I didn't have to cook.

I now know why sugar plums should remain dancing in one's head. Someone had found some at a fair and was excited to share. Not so yummy but there was a heaping pile of fried oysters to redirect our palettes.

As the night came to a close we piled into the car for the ride home. Everyone was content and a wee bit drowsy. At home we settled the kids which was no easy task and got started getting ready for Santa. There was one hitch, I had been hiding all of the presents in the trunk of my car. My husband had to take a cab back to the hotel to fetch them. He returned disappointed because there were not that many. Well I had hid the bulk of them in reusable shopping bags way in the back and he didn't see them. Oh well.

The next day we were off to my mother's house. She had ordered a fancy prime rib dinner from Whole Foods, again yummy. The only problem is her oven wasn't working so well. I ended up hacking the roast apart to speed the process up. The kids were famished, go figure, so while we waited we had a salad course. Of course by the time the roast was ready they were full. Oh well. Grandma gave them each $50 gift certificates. The trick would be to make sure we didn't end up at Target or a game store.

On the way home my husband needed to stop at a store for something. It was a kinda creepy area so I locked the door from the inside. When he came back I unlocked the door and he opened it. The alarm went of. Really loud. We were flipping switches and starting the car to try and turn it off. Nothing worked and it was so loud we couldn't think. People started to come outside to stare at us. They didn't worry about theft they were just enjoying the show. My son kept trying to tell us he could help but we didn't pay attention. Somehow my hubby thought we needed to drive home with it blaring and get the set of keys with the remote buttons. As he backed out my son insisted we stop. He calmly got out of the car and asked for the keys. He then asked me to lock the doors again. He inserted the key into the drivers side door and .....silence. Duh, leave it to the Deaf kid.

So of course the kids wanted to shop yesterday. First we went to lunch at the Grilled Cheese Grill. It is a food cart in North Portland. They have a painted bus that you eat in. Nothing better than a grilled brie and pepper sandwich on a windy day. Greasy comfort food heaven. After that we went to the art supply store so the kids could shop. Haddy was holding a box of colored pencils. I ask why he already had a ton of good quality pencils. "Oh sorry mom I have a case of art fever".

So now I have one more day to relax then it is back to stocking my shop. What a great holiday it was. I hope you all enjoyed this joyous time.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Fairy Potion

I love my job working at a Waldorf inspired preschool. I don't have to work with charts , manipulatives, plastic figures or flashing lights. Instead I get to create stories, use beautiful art supplies and watch the children use their imaginations.

Right now there is a fear that the whole city will get a nasty virus which will threaten our existence. Teacher Johanna did some research and found a natural hand sanitizer formula we could safely use at home and school. We call it Magic Fairy Potion. For project last week this is what we made.

I sat with the children to explain.
"At school do we share?"
"Did you know there are some things we don't share?"
A look of confusion
"Sometimes we get sick. Sometimes we have fevers, stuffy noses or coughs. Do we want to share that?"
So it goes on like that for a few minutes then I deliver the magic,
"Last night the teachers wrote a note to the fairies asking for help. They left us some magic potion but we needed to mix it ourselves."

The children are partnered up, an older child with a younger child. They take turns dropping water into small spray bottles. They learn how to squeeze the dropper and let go in their bottle. They fill it 3/4 full then come to the teacher to receive the magic ingredients the fairies left. Ten drops of each is added. They shake their bottles then go to play. While they are playing a teachers fill the bottles with a bit of rubbing alcohol. They have hand sanitizer to take home.

Small spritzer bottle
Peppermint oil
Aura Carcia Medevil Mix
Rubbing Alcohol

Well as it turns out there is no magic potion at my son's school. Both kids are home sick. So since I am stuck at home I think I will check out the Natrualkids Store and do a little Christmas shopping. There are a ton of Etsy shops there if you click on team member info you get a whole list.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

One cup of coffee

So tomorrow my family is going to join a good friend Layla with type 1 diabetes, age 6 on a walk to raise money to cure diabetes. Her mamma is an Etsy friend and the best mom I know. I am just tossing it out there that maybe you have $5.00 or $1.00 you can donate to help find a cure. If you can spare the cost of one cup of coffee that would be grand, it all adds up. I know I worry every day about my kids and they don't have any life threatening diseases. Here is my 6 year old's donation page to help her friend,

and here is a letter from a friend who has a daughter with this dreadful disease

Imagine you're 4, or 3, or even younger, and you are diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes.

You're likely too young to know what's happening to you, but onset of this disease is rarely forgiving. The two big symptoms, unquenchable thirst and uncontrollable urination, appear, growing in intensity each day as your blood starts to become more and more acidic. Your parents won't have any idea, because they'll think your wetting the bed is a *result* of the constant drinking and tell you to drink less.

The diagnosis usually occurs when blood glucose (BG) and ketone levels are so high that you present symptoms of a bad cold, or the flu, and the doctor sends you to the ER - because you are way too sick to get out of this unassisted. By this time your BG may be 500 mg/dL or higher - normal is closer to 100 - and you'll need a night or two hooked up to an insulin IV to get it back to normal. You have no choice because your body no longer makes insulin, or no longer makes enough of it to matter.

That's bad. But there's more.

You NEED insulin. Eat without it (and eating is quite important no matter your age), and you'll just end back up in the ER again, likely within a day. Insulin isn't particularly effective when inhaled or ingested. It must be released into your bloodstream, just as it would if your pancreas were working properly. That means injections. Needles. Shots. You may not yet know how to read, or ride a bike, or jump rope, but you will know all about getting poked by tiny, sharp objects. Several times a day. Without those BG checks and injections, you'll die.

Imagine that this is your new reality. That's *really* bad.

Imagine you've gotten used to that routine for several years. As much as you can, at least. But - you guessed it - there's more.

Imagine you're sick, as Caitlynn is right now. Fever, vomiting, no appetite. Your body starts making ketones again - a normal part of fighting your illness - but to remove them, you need more insulin. Since you're not eating, that extra insulin also makes you hypoglycemic. You tiptoe that thin line for as long as you can't eat or keep anything down. BG constantly swinging too high or too low; there really isn't much in-between on sick days.

Now imagine looking into your parents' eyes, hoping they'll be able to fix it as they do other things, but the look they give you back lets you know that they are just as helpless as you. Now you, the child, know that all you can do is be strong, because this is your battle and no one else can fight it.

That just sucks.

Imagine the realization that this is your life, because Type-1 diabetes has no cure. Yet.

Now, imagine a cure, and making this a story no kid ever has to know.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Yes I am a Waldorf Birthday Clown

I have a party booked on Saturday for a darling child. You see I am the alternative party entertainer. I don't wear big red shoes but I have an apron with tons of pockets that hold treasures that don't end up in landfills. I don't make balloon animals but teach the kiddos how to needle felt there own creations. I tell stories and play games and I don't wear a costume. My husband jokes that I am a Waldorf party clown.

I started offering this service when I ventured out to find something for my own kid's birthdays. I wanted to entertain a group of kids without flashing lights and plastic party favors. In our area there isn't the Waldorf version of the Princess Party Palace so I decided to do it myself.

This Saturday each child will create a tapestry for their home gnomes. They will go home with a felting kit and a wee snail. Their pockets will be filled with crystals and acorn caps. Their mama's will not feel guilt and their trash will not be heavier

Monday, September 21, 2009

I Love Custom Orders

Every time I get a custom order I get excited. The deal is a person has an idea and during the course of the order I can create something just for them and in the process I usually stretch myself and find a direction for my work. The last such order was an ethnic nativity. There is also a good feeling I get when I ship out something so personal.

Often after a custom I will continue with that theme in other work. I owe my customers gratitude for all of the inspiration they offer me.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The First Day- Or much Ado About Nothing

Wednesday was the first day of school. That statement alone should be all I need to say for any parent to conjure up the appropriate images. Packed lunches, excited kiddos and a nervous mom.

Of course I cannot stop there I am a mom. The first day of school is big. Some first days are even bigger. Last year one one of those first days for my daughter. She started her first day of Spanish immersion kindergarten. When I dropped her off I was so emotional wondering if this was the right choice. What if she was terrified? What if she hated it. Was I being selfish thinking being tri -lingual was important? When I picked her up she was beaming so I survived. This year is my son's turn.

He is deaf. That fact alone makes it all the more interesting.
My son is starting a new school which now gives me a new answer to a common question. He was accepted into Vancouver School of Arts and Academics. People always ask the same questions, one of which is , " Does he go to a "special" school?" Now I can reply, " Yes he goes to a really special school!"

Being deaf carries the burden of stereotype. People with no exposure to deaf children assume he is delayed because he doesn't talk, that he can't read and feel pity for him. The reality is deaf kids come in all forms shapes and sizes just like other children. My son can do everything the others kids do except hear. Oh and don't tell him, he can't carry a tune. Come to think of it neither can I. I suppose if I wanted to make some extra cash I could sing on a street corner and folks would pay me to stop. Oh and he is an awful speller. No shock there, I won the most creative speller award in the 7th grade.

This new school has an art based curriculum. Each student is required to take introductory classes on all of the disciplines. to name a few visual art, drama, music and dance. Hee hee I know what you are Dance? Well yes, the first day of dance was interesting. The teacher is awesome. Energetic professional and according to my son, strict. She tends to move around a lot while talking which provides an extra challenge for my son. He has to watch the interpreter and the teacher. His eyes moving back and forth. Well she was explaining the dress code and he missed one word, girl. So he is watching in horror as the interpreter describes a skin tight garment known as a leotard paired with something that sausage cases the waist and legs down to the ankle. She then proceeds to describe that the teacher wants to see the shape of the students bodies. Complete horror to my 11 year old. Of course I was a bit shocked but calmed him down by pulling up images of the movie Fame on the computer. Don't worry I assured him all of the other kids are in the same boat. After some behind the scenes investigation I found out the boys could wear shorts and a tee and it turns out dance class is a blast. Its not easy of course, the movement required is more challenging than a typical P.E. class.

Another challenge is how to break the news that he is really clever and talented. Other parents can shout from the mountain tops how brilliant their prodigy child is. That is not the case here. First no one would believe me if I told them he is a natural performer. He is a humble child so you would never guess it. He will quietly hold himself in and at the exact moment it is like he flips a switch. He is also above average in most academic areas. Again how could this be? So I just wait. I toss him in and wait.

I was struck by this when on day 3 I was sitting in the office waiting my turn to talk to a secretary. A proud father was complaining to the Principal about the bus and he takes the oppurtunity to rattle off his daughters list of achievements. I was shocked that he even bothers with sixth grade why not just fact track her to Harvard. He asks the Principal. " So have you gotten a chance to get to known sallyloowho?" ( I forget what her real name was but I have her resume tattooed to my brain) . I see the Principal pull up his best "of course she is brilliant but I have no idea who she is smile" he replies, " Yes, yes she is a great kid." Translation- Are you kidding me? It is day three and I have a school to run I haven't slept all week and you think I am taking coffee breaks with your little genius?. How sad the poor kid hasn't even had a chance to make her mark and dad has already put her on the child of overbearing parents list.

So with my son I just wait.

Day 1 I pick him up and feel the lead blanket of my nervous anxiety lift slowly as we walk home. He is glowing! He loves it, everything. His teaches are amazing the kids are friendly and most important there are vending machines in the lunch room!

Day 2 he now has 3 friends and he has discovered he can go to the library any time he wants! (note to self- maybe warn the school about his reading addiction)

Day 3
I am waiting at the front door of the school. Other kids are coming out but no sign of my kid. Minutes pass, I worry he is lost. Then from a second story window I see him waving to get my attention. "Wait mom I want to ......" He was signing so fast and with such excitement I couldn't catch the last bit. A minute or 2 passes and I see him again this time waving from a window on the other side of the building " wait I want to sign up to audition" His face is beaming and he runs off. His interpreter walks out and tells me " He will be right down he wants to sign up for an audition for the fall performance"
Then I can't help myself, " So how is he doing?"
"Awesome!" she then proceeds to tell me how all of the teachers love him how clever and funny he is...........

I can now relax and enjoy the ride.

Monday, September 7, 2009

How To Make Grandma's Fancy Felted Hotel Soap

I know I am always looking for fun activities for my kids. This is a favorite of my son. He calls it grandma's fancy felted hotel soap because grandma always brings him the soap from the fancy hotels she stays at. He likes the size of it for felting. There are many ways to do this but I found this way to be the most kid friendly.

Wool roving
Bowl of hot water
Variety of soaps

Pull the roving apart into small wisps. This is very important because if the pieces are large they will clump. Dip a piece in the water just enough to get it damp. Wrap the roving around the soap evenly. Repeat this until the soap is covered with several layers. When it looks pretty thick slowly and very gently start to rub the soap adding drips of really hot water. Soon it will feel firmly felted. We rinse in cold water and allow it to dry.

If you have a felting needle laying around you can felt a design in after it dries. Be sure to angle the needle so you don't chip the soap.

My son also sells his felted soap in his Etsy shop.

Friday, September 4, 2009

A Day To Dig

I find one of the best ways to really get to know my 11 year old is to deep clean his room. After securing my haz-mat suit and arming myself with a shovel I enter his domain. I have put this off for awhile out of sheer terror. As he gets older he has taken to hoarding a bit . His passion, office supplies. He is the only person on this planet who feels one can never have enough paperclips, stickie notes and blank books. I also have a sense he has been eating in his room. I have not seen any evidence which means I will surely encounter 5 week old pizza lodged under his desk. Taking one last deep breath I enter this boy cave.
I stumble across bits and pieces of his life that for some reason we haven't shared and have remained under layers of daily life. We talk often so I know him really well but life moves so fast I forget the little bits.
First year Japanese language book with pages of handwritten notes
Books on trees, magic, science and jokes
Several notebooks with the first page full labeled Chapter 1
Files of his drawings

Then I stumble upon a stuffed duck. His fake fur has a well loved pallor and the stitching along his head is giving way. I am filled with a sense of reverence. This duck made his way to our home via someone else's sense of compassion. When my son was 6 he attended a Christmas function hosted by a charitable group wanting to spread some joy to the children at the deaf school. Part of the party was allowing each child to pick a stuffed toy. My son stood in line and when his turn came the volunteers showed his a variety of new fancy bears, cats and other animal creatures. My son pondered his options then spotted the well loved duck pushed off to the side.
"The duck please"
"The duck? Don't you what this?" the volunteer giving a Vanna White gesture to a rather large stuffed bear.
"No,the duck please"

When he returned home he was so happy with his new friend. I asked him why he chose the duck.
"Mom, I felt sorry for him. He needs a friend. "

I stood there with this tattered creature and felt a sense of relief. We can coach our kids to say please and thank you. We can tell them to be nice and think of others but the true lesson we are wanting them to get is empathy. I often get frustrated when he picks on his sister or doesn't bother to thank me for dinner. This duck reminded me that he often does thank me for dinner. He will read to his sister when I am working late on an order. He opens the door for his grandma and at school stands up for the kid getting bullied.

When I was finished I brought him into his new zen den. He thanked me, squealed then set about putting back all of his stickie notes, blank books and paper clips.

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Adventures of Computer Mouse

Computer mouse
Originally uploaded by haddy2dogs

One year ago on my birthday a fellow Etsy seller and friend gave me a wee needle felted mouse. She delighted my daughter who directly went about the daily care of our new friend. One evening I told my husband in passing that I need a new computer mouse. The next morning I found this mouse by my computer.
" Mama that is your new computer mouse!"
Since that day we decided computer mouse needs fresh air from time to time so we take her with us out and about on our many adventures. She has been to the zoo and out in the country. She helps me ship at the post office and even helps pick out the groceries.

We can't share our dear little friend but you can invite one to your house by contacting LittleElfsToyshop on Etsy.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Pittfalls Of Raising A Green Kid

Since they were wee I have taught my children to find magic where ever they look. We make toys from all things that enter our path. My daughter at the ripe age of six has mastered this concept to the extreme. The very thing we teach at times becomes our nemesis.

If you were to meet my children outside of our cottage you most likely would depart thinking what a wonderfully imaginative tribe we all are. This is true however one of the side effects of such joyful free thinking is my daughter tends to spend a great deal of time on "projects" . Every item set aside for recycling is inspected by her nimble hands for value. She will cut paste and manipulate just about anything into and glorious creation to stimulate hours of play. The problem is what to do with all of these magical creations which pile up in every corner of her domain. I have yet to find an orderly way to deal with it all and hiding the recycling hasn't helped one bit. I wonder when she will allow me to say goodbye to some of this? Or perhaps is it the first stage of hoarding? Most of the "projects" are homes for the various fairies and friends that come from what she calls the Imaginary World. So am I the evil witch who wants to evict them to restore a bit of order? What started as a simple village has become urban sprawl with no end in site.

The positive outcome is she rarely asked me to buy her toys. When she does I honor her request. These special toys come from Etsy sellers such as mamakopp, freedomrainbow and auntbooesbabies. She treats them all with gentle reverence.

She also is one of the few children I know who would prefer to receive and give handmade birthday presents to her friends. She was invited to a party with several girls she didn't know. I was nervous the others might tease her when she pulled out whatever creation she had fashioned for the occasion. As the birthday girl quickly tore open Barbie dolls, make up kits and plastic ponies I began to search for the nearest exit. To my surprise I was wrong. She opened the handmade wrapping paper slowly to admire the drawings then pulled out the present, a doll bed made from a foil roasting pan painted purple with a blanket, mattress and pillow sewn from recycled chenille. The finishing touch was 2 silk flowers secured with hot glue.

" It's a doll bed" my daughter offered.
" I know! Let's go get my dolls!" the birthday girl replied.
Off the party ran to play with the roasting pan bed. That was a year or so ago. Last week we went to visit this friend and in her room was the bed, still being loved with no sign of a plastic pony.

So I will hold my tongue and not evict the fairies from our small cottage and stand back and cherish this short time she will visit the imaginary world.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Tale Of The Treasure Ball Pinata or Why We Don't Hand Our Blindfolded Deaf Children Sticks

Often when people find out we have a Deaf son they react with sympathy. I think that might be because they can't imagine life with out sound so it must be a tragedy. For our family the reverse is true so although we are used to this reaction it always startles us a bit. Now don't get me wrong my son does have challenges, the biggest at the moment is the state of his bedroom. He suffers from a common syndrome called Cleanaphobia.

Another challenge we encountered on our journey was you should never blindfold your Deaf child and hand them a large stick. When he was three we went to a birthday party attended by all Deaf kiddos. They played musical chairs ( a scarf is dropped to cue them into chair chaos) painted faces and got freaked out by the clown. Then it was time for the pinata. It became clear to me this was not the safest way to entertain this crowd when we couldn't get close enough to stop one child swinging at random nearly missing grandma. At that moment I came up with the idea for Treasure balls.

The concept is simple. The child kicks or tosses it around until the treasure pours out. I often find the parents are less patient then their children so I often provide counseling upon purchase. I remind them the joy of playing with the ball is a fun activity in itself. For some folks I recommend not telling the child of the treasure within. In one case a mama bought one at a Christmas fair and followed my suggestion and reported back that it wasn't opened until summer resulting in gleeful screams.

I offer these in my Etsy shops and I always welcome custom orders.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Never Compare Youurself To Fast Food

So today I was so excited to meet a friend from Etsy at a beautiful state park. I planned ahead and made extra food for dinner last night so I would have plenty to share. I travel in a health conscious circle so I am careful to respect that when I socialize. I packed my lentils and veggie curry in a smart travel pot and and went to bed.

So we left 1 hour before ETA in order to sight see a bit before the meet up. My kids were so thrilled to go on an adventure, I secured my rose tinted glasses. I started my car, much in need of a cleaning and wash, and made a mental note to park as far away as possible so my auto neglect would not be revealed. Pulling away I noticed my husband had found a way to use all of the gas I had prepared for the journey, no worries we have time!

I budgeted $10 for emergencies on this trip which I decided too use for the gas. I started to fill and realized I could wash up the windows while I waited. Wow what a difference clean windows make in masquerading the dirty car! Oops, forgot to watch the pump. The total for gas was $25.91 the cost of clean windows was now$15.91. No worries we will be on time.

As I pull out of the gas station 12 minutes behind schedule my son tells me he is hungry. No worries soon we will have a lovely picnic lunch! No he is really hungry and will morph into an evil demon within minutes if not fed. I consider my options, let him lose on the curry in the back seat which will result in an almost guaranteed massacre of the leather upholstery, grocery store for healthy food which involves hungry bickering or fast food. Fast food is taboo but cheap so off to Taco Bell we go. Shh don't tell.

I pulled up to the menu and realized this is not my skill. There were 5 thousand food products listed in front of me and I had no idea what they were. My kids were euphoric shouting requests for this exotic cuisine and I sat there like a deer in head lights. Apparently everyone else knows the blessing of Taco Bell because the entire town was lined up behind me. I panicked and ordered what the kids were requesting. " Your total is $13.41." We haven't even left my neighborhood and this trip is costing $39.32.

We are now 35 minutes behind schedule so we are going to be late. As I drove I realized some folks think natural toys are expensive. But for the cost of a toxic fast food meal you can buy one of my felted dolls which is good for 10 years of development. So then I thought people all over are choosing to line up and yell at a metal box for food rather than buy my felted goodness. No worries today would be magical.

We arrived at the designated park 15 minutes late. My friend was no where to be seen. In fact this park was a random central choice we were not really sure of the name so I navigated it by google. The area is surrounded by waterfalls and glorious natural attractions but this park consists of a picnic area and a single grave, no joke.

Across the street was the most interesting house. No occupants and in the process of decay. No worries I will text my friend. response. So we drive off to search for them and finally 1 1/2 hours past the meet up time decide to hike to a water fall. 1 mile round trip. My darlings are sad to miss a friend hook up but thrilled to take a hike. As we get close to the glorious water attraction nature has provided my friend who had lost her phone connection texted me. We cut our hike short and ran back to meet them up at the top of the trail. We waited 20minutes in the parking lot for them to arrive.

Let the wild rumpus begin

Monday, August 10, 2009

First Goodbye- confessions of a helicopter mom

Last week we loaded our car a set off to take my son to summer camp. At age eleven he was about to embark on his first independent adventure. For several days we prepared packing his bag, shopping for the perfect tools to insure success in the wild. We bought him a fancy flashlight, digital camera, travel clock and first aide kit. We packed clothing for every possible weather change.

This was a huge step for both of us. He would be away for one week without me to hover over his daily life. He would have to remember to wash his hair, brush his teeth and of course brush his hair after he washed it. He would need to know what foods are OK and which are toxic. Would her remember to drink water? Would the other kids be nice or would he be trapped in modern version of "Lord of the Flies?". What if it rains and he clothes get wet? What if there is a forest fire or he gets struck by lighting!

I am a helicopter mom, it is my dirty little secret. Not in the common sense, my affliction is seeped in denial. I like to think I have set him up for success. The problem is I tend to intervene if I sense a roadblock. He is after all just a child and that is my job. So this will be the first time I can't intervene. If he encounters a bully he will be on his own. At lunch I will have to trust he knows the chocolate cake will make him feel sluggish. I hope he knows he doesn't brush his hair we will have to shave it because I can't get the knots out.

My son had his own concerns. He didn't want to ride the horses because Christopher Reeves fell off a horse and lost his mobility. He went to check out the camp web site and saw they were still advertising for a nurse and lifeguard, how could I send him away to unsafe territory? What if he was drowning who would save him? What was injured or worse struck by lighting? My child is not a wimp but he is more of an intellect than and athlete so everything is up for analysis. This time I would need to cut that short and push him firmly out of the nest.

Well I did, sort of, he didn't pass the swim test when we arrived. I was shocked because he has taken swimming lessons and loves the water. So I explained to the newly hired life guard that he was tired and maybe his allergy medicine was affecting him. Problem solved. He could swim in the deep end with the other kids. I mingled with the staff , parents and kids to make sure it all felt safe and then it happened. He told me to leave.

So we waited for one week. Evey day looking for the letters he promised to send. Every night resisting the urge to call and check up on him. finally the day arrived. His session was over and we could go rescue him! I was surprised at how happy and healthy he looked. He was bubbling over with joy and kids were swarming us. It had been a success.

He settled on the couch to tell me the tales of horseback riding, scuba diving and archery. He told me the food was awesome and we should get Frosted Flakes like camp. He told me how they slept in a tee pee one night and he woke up with half his body outside under the tent drenched from the rain but it was fine because his face was dry. He lost his flashlight but it was fine he just shared with his friends. His travel clock went off at night because he forgot to turn it off. There was a huge fire. It turned out to be the farm next to camp burning their fields. Everything was not only fine but awesome!

He then told me a large (fat, in his words) boy tackled and punched him the first day. He was just sitting on a bench and pow! I was horrified. I asked how the staff responded and this is where I learned of my son's strength. He told me the pain was nothing. He said " I am not big enough to fight this kid so I used my strength. I am much smarter. If I told on him he would find ways to continue to bully me. So I found the coolest high school kids and became friends with them. He left me alone and I protected the other little kids by including them."

So he is already asking to go back next year, this time for 2 weeks.

Friday, July 24, 2009

There is a naked woman at the door,

I have not had time to start a blog until now because well, I am a mom. Not the mom of 40 years ago mind you. I am the new improved modern mom model. I know the mom of that era perhaps didn't have a dryer, microwave or touch phone to facilatate daily happenings but let me tell you mom's of today would cherish the separation from these conviences.

Multitasking is the new mom's art. (excuse me, "honey how did you get glue in your hair?") I can read a story, wash the dishes, felt a doll, break up a fight in 2 languages, find the missing shoe mate all while whipping up a lovely dinner from scratch.

Of course there is the occasional glitch in the system, I did forget to pick up my daughter from a playdate today but for the most part we are a well oiled machine around here. ( "sweety no jam on the keyboard please.") I, at the age of 42 have learned many things to manage the of today lifestyle and feel it is my duty to share with younger new moms. I will from time to time offer tips I have found to be effective. Here is todays,

Your child or husband is not listening it is because you have become the twin sister of Charlie Brown's teacher. In this case make your statement followed by,

"oh how strange,there is a naked woman at the door"

Thursday, July 23, 2009

So Here We Go....


The time has come for me to sit here alone somewhere beyond the age of 40 and before the 50th year and talk to myself in cyber space. I have wanted to start a blog for some time but the prospect of learning this skill has kept me at bay. Today I realized I could jump in and try and not a soul would see my lack of skill because who would think to peek at my tiny blog? So I toss on my rocket red dreads and get started.

I want to join the ranks who throw their lives out to the world. I want to admit foils and folly and perhaps that parenting is more than soccer games and popcorn. I am sure this will embarrass my children but after all isn't that a time honored tradition? I am a fiber artist , mama and teacher who catches magic moments every day that I wish to save. I imagine the kids will forgive in years to come. Or so I hope. I find there is a need for parents to take a step back and laugh. We wear our parenting coats like armor at times.

Of I go to learn the rules, tricks and see if this is even works.

While I am learning here is my Etsy shop