Monday, August 25, 2008

weekend getaway: apple's story

It's from our vacation. I was jumping on the bed... ten times. I was showing you you can jump on the bed, too.

I was swimming in the pool with Grandma. Piper was swimming with me. It was my yellow frog!


It was the one I was seeing the flamingos at the zoo, and we were going to the zoo with Grandpa. I was looking at them, the flamingos were standing on one foot!


Grandpa said I was in the mouse house and I was seeing the mouses and Grandpa said when children get out and then we went looking at a different animal.


I was loving the pigs. I love the pigs, and then I got to a different animal at the zoo.


I walked on rocks at the beach.


Mama hold me at the beach.


I was lying in the bed, I like it at the vacation.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

boy love



I found this wonderful surprise waiting for me on the kitchen table a couple of days ago, a little token from my growing-more-amazing-each-day 5 year old. Lately both his dad and I have just been awestruck by Rye's abilities, especially the way his artwork has developed, drawing pictures with so much detail (scales on lizards, little "horns" on his giraffes, always questioning what kind of ears does so-and-so animal have...) and equally amazed by his writing, both by the amount that he can write on his own now, and his quest for learning more, more, more each day. Constantly it's, "What spells e-i-e-i-o?" or "how do you spell 'Earth shake'"? (Can you tell we experienced an earthquake recently?)

In this crazy trial-and-error role as a parent, I am delighted that we trusted our instincts, and our experiences, and really allowed Rye to enjoy learning at his own pace and in his own way. We've never forced him to sit down and write letters, or numbers, although I see this all the time in the local preschools, children as small as 2 and 3 years old required to sit down and "practice" writing their names, etc. I've always known when he was ready he would seek it out, and although he's been writing basic things, like his name, forever, it's rewarding and so promising to see this explosion of literacy now, and his pride in being able to communicate in such a sophisticated way.

As my firstborn enters kindergarten (less than 2 weeks!) I find myself wondering what this new journey will bring for him, and for us as a family. Any of you veteran Mama's out there have any funny/endearing/heartwarming stories to share about your child's first day of school, or a memorable kindergarten experience? I'd love to hear them!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

swing coat in japanese maple


swing coat in japanese maple, originally uploaded by varenia.

Inspired by the beautiful colors of the maple we planted when apple was born...

I love the violet polkadots for the lining! They're from Anna Maria Horner's Garden Party line, which I think I've become seriously obsessed with. Definitely more fabulous fabrics from Ms. Horner to become new creations for my shop this fall.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

piper picks a peck of peppers



Oh, the hot pepper garden. For the most part it's tended to, without incident. But every once in a while, some curious toddler decides they must pick peppers, and eat peppers, stomp on peppers, and smash peppers. When this happens with almost anything we grow, I can take it in stride, for the most part, at the expense of a few sprouts lost and a few lessons learned. This is usually not the case, however, with the hot peppers.

Richard grows severely hot peppers, some of the hottest (yes, the top of the rating scale... can you believe there is a rating scale for such things?) peppers in the world. And we use them. It's one of my husband's favorite hobbies. But you would think by the third little one I would learn: babies and hot peppers do not mix.

It's the oil, that the peppers produce on the outside of their skin, that can burn someone without even ingesting them. That's the real problem. When Apple was Piper's age I remember her screams coming from the backyard. I looked out and saw a few scattered peppers, and her standing there in the midst of them just wailing. I was surprised, since her palate is just like her Dad's, and she had already proven to be hot pepper contest material, she loved to eat them that much. Then I saw her eyes. The problem wasn't her eating them, it was the rubbing of the eyes after picking... turns out she actually burned a couple layers of skin around her eyes and looked like she had been in a boxing match for days.

So when I looked out the window today and saw Piper in the hot pepper garden I immediately threw her in the sink! I wasn't taking any chances with remnant of pepper "oil" anywhere on her hands or legs. She loved the impromptu bath, and had fun spraying herself with the "mist" button on the faucet.

Never a dull moment with these little ones!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

newest little swing


swing coat in aqua bloom, originally uploaded by varenia.

I really like how this one turned out. Not really Apple's favorite (only due to the very obvious lack of pink, lol) but I'm seriously considering making a Mama-sized one like this. The pictures don't do the colors justice, this aqua outer shell is so fantastic.

Monday, August 11, 2008

divine baby quilts (perfect for any little dictator!)



I came across this great new shop... Napoleon Quilts... on Etsy while doing some new-baby shopping. I love these quilts! I just imagine all of the time and love that went into them, and am inspired to give my own a try one of these days... So sweet.

the poppy swing


the swing coat in poppy, originally uploaded by varenia.

Preview of my new line of reversible coats... the swing coat (in poppy.) This one is now on "sneak peek" in my shop, more prints to debut later this week...

Friday, August 8, 2008

an 80 degree autumn



It's hard for me to even think about fall when it's sooo warm around here (I'm sure the extra 50 pounds I'm sporting doesn't help) but yes, it really is time for one of my favorite times of year, back to school, and the embracing of the coming autumn season. This is my first "fall" since starting Whole Grain Baby, and I've had so much fun dreaming of colorful ensembles for the little ones, and all of those great jackets, coats, and layering pieces.

The dress above is the first in my fall collection, a little shift dress in black zinnia. I love how all of the colors came together, and long for the weather to cool down enough to see one of my little ones putting it together with some great tights and a pair of boots or wellies!

And on a completely seperate note, for those of you who may have noticed my prolonged absence (*awww... shucks*) I'm attempting to keep my posting regular, but I'm just moving s-l-o-w-e-r these days, and am getting sidetracked very easily. So forgive me. And know I have lots of new creations in the works just waiting to be completed and posted, so I'm sure you'll hear again from me soon!