Saturday, October 30, 2010

Brief interlude ...

I have some more things to post, but Elephant and I have had a heckuva week. We've both been really sick -- mine is faded though still grumbly, but he's in the thick of his. My poor baby lies on the couch with his mouth slightly open because his throat hurts so much! I want to blog about the wonderful RAK I received, and I will, but for now here's a snapshot of last weekend just to let you know I'm still here.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dear Elephant

Dear Elephant:

I don't mean to set you here, just aside, while Butterfly's demands are met.

I don't mean to think, "He's such a good boy. He understands that I'll be right back to answer his question. Take care of his need."

I don't mean to wonder all of the time if I am sacrificing one in light of the other ... the other in light of the one.

I don't mean to question our relationship, Elephant, and wonder if it's gotten off track in the headlights of a very demanding Butterfly.

I don't mean for you to ever wonder if you are alone.

I don't mean for you to answer the phone as Auntie drives you to school, to hear me say, "Hi Baby! I didn't get a chance before you dashed out the door to tell you to have a wonderful week!" and to hear you say, "I just KNEW you were going to call because I kept waiting to hear you say that! You tell me every week except this one, so I knew you would call."

I don't mean to wonder how to do all of this the "right" way, because I am so afraid of all the ways challenging me to the point I am very, very lost in the crosshairs of them all.

I don't mean to try to hold all of you, all of this and its meaning, in a single hour in the last part of our weekly time together, to leave an hour to "make it all up."

I don't mean to push you, Elephant, into an hour, into an aside, into an apology.

I do mean to tell you that you are so very extraordinary. You are my son, my sweet, sweet son. These are my stories for you.

I do mean to wrap you up in hope, a hope that you will see I did my best. Or thought I was trying to.

I do mean to try to find a way to explain how much you mean to me, how I love you unconditionally and gratefully.

I do mean for you to not be ruined by my actions or lack thereof, to have normal things to lament to your therapist.

I do mean for you to always, always be my first real love. My first real unconditional love, no excuses, no explanations, no nothing.

Dear Elephant.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mama's Girl

Three years ago, I was in the middle of the worst kind of pain -- not physical (not yet, anyway), but psychological. I was dying and so was the baby within me.

None of this is a big shocker, of course, since you know the story of how my Butterfly came to be, and how she came to thrive and surprise and delight and and and ...

And I suppose each year it *does* get a little easier to let go of the terror that surrounded the day of her birth. It's mostly at rest, though it would be a disservice to let it all go. Some of the residual keeps me on my toes, keeps me remembering how lucky we are, how grateful I am to have her, to have Elephant, to have ...

this life!

From a 25-week, 1 pound, 7 ounce being I hardly could see as human let alone my baby to this beautiful, funny, smart and delightful cheeky monkey who could be no one OTHER than my daughter, it is a lesson, a life's lesson, I am not so foolish as to think I should ever take for granted.

See? I'm overwhelmed with the joy of her, so overwhelmed I write in silly circles ... each time bringing me farther from the center that was that terror to the loops of joy that she is now! That our relationship is (and I will try my best to always maintain -- though, as I just pointed out, she is MY daughter, and karma really is something, as I'm afraid I will learn in about, oh, eight years.)

Little Butterfly. My surprise, my beauty. My gratitude, my smart girl. My heart.

Happy Birthday, Miracle Baby. I love you.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Happy Autumn!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A banner day, part 1

They are everywhere! Um, see the top of this page? That's right ... banners! They're everywhere because they're so stinkin' cute, and versatile and incredibly simple to make no matter the foundational material.

With that theory in mind, I decided Butterfly's sad white curtains needed a bit of oomph to match the rest of her room, and figured it was time for me to delve into a new project. Yes, even one that involves, shudder, sewing.

That, my friends, is how much I love my little girl.

Without further ado ...

The cool part of the project is you can take whatever scraps of fabric you happen to have lying around. Your flags can be as big or little as you want, in whatever shape your heart desires. The fabric I found came mostly from the craft swap a few weeks ago.

Here are a bunch I've already cut out ...

... and even closer. See how the shapes aren't uniform? That's right ... Let your uber-anal side go! :)

Here's my, um, "help." This is Bumblebee. I swear, we could be in a field 4 miles wide and 2 miles long, and I could hide somewhere in it a scrap of paper/fabric/whatever that's 2 inches square, and this fuzzbutt's butt would find it and sit on it.

So here's some fabric. Exciting, hunh? Just fold it into whatever dimensions work best, taking advantage of the fold to minimize the sewing time later required.

Folded again (my shapes, obviously, are triangles.)

Let the cutting commence! I didn't even draw a guideline or anything. As long as I can sew reasonably straight (hah hah), the cutting isn't going to matter too much for precision.

Done cutting and ready for the Big Reveal ...

Here 'tis! OK, I admit I went back and made it a "better" triangle, lol. I think I got distracted by the photo taking and didn't aim the scissors so well.

OK, whew. We've done a lot, hunh? Let's take a break.

There's a lot of sewing ahead.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Butterfly's birthday

My little girl is turning 3 at the end of the month. I know. I can't believe it either. So her dad and I decided we'd do a fairy theme this year since the monkey really loves Tinkerbell. (And Disney princesses. But that agony for this feminist mama is best saved for another day.) Daddy is in charge of arrangements this year, and although we're keeping it to a family party, I still had to make invites, lol.

Here's what folks will receive.

Detail shot.

Here's what I did:

Started with a green organza bag. These are $5 for 10 at the Evil Chain Crafts Store I Hate But Still Shop At, and the 40% off coupon knocks a nice chunk off.

I raided my supplies and gathered some star confetti (Ikea, from a past Christmas), vellum flower confetti (Martha Stewart) and mulberry butterflies (I don't remember), along with flowers (from my stash).

Printed out the invites, tore them and pink-inked the edges and interior, mounted them on a square of pink mulberry and added some bling.

I then rolled the invites into a scroll and took a healthy length of pretty green thread -- to match the bags -- and wrapped it multiple times around the scroll before tying it off.

Stuffed the bags with all of the goods ...

And here they are!

It was such a quick, easy project. I really love how they look:)

And here's a sneak peek of what's coming next:

And even more goodies

Yippee, came home to find another swap box. This is the one referenced earlier, via the Memory Makers blog. This time, my goodies arrived from Kentucky, from Keely.

Here's what I got (and, again(!) I apologize for the sideways photos. Dang Canon!):

Sneak peek.

The grand goods:)

Details ... pretty, aren't they?

I just totally love these brads!

Look at these adorable chipboard butterflies.

And isn't this butterfly so pretty?

These papers are gorgeous, too.

Did you notice a theme? Miss Keely definitely knows my fondness for a certain creature;)

Thank you, Keely. Truly, I am thrilled to have received such a wonderful box of goodies!

OK, here's a sneak peek of what's coming next. I'll give you a hint: My little Butterfly's birthday is coming up, and I made the invites.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Goodies for me

As promised, I'm sharing the goodies I got from Nicole. And WOW, are they goodies!

So what arrived was not one but TWO packages:)

And when I opened the first package, I was greeted with the little kitty face that started it all. When I'd commented on Nicole's blog, I noted how cute this little kitty was. And here's my own copy. Yay!

But the kitty was only the beginning. In the same little glassine-like envelope were more goodies.

And then I opened the folder and found all of this!

Check out these awesome labels.

This was probably my favorite ... someone's ledger, detailing expenses. Yes, that first expense is a house payment ... for $38.54. And a grocery bill for 39. Cents.

I don't know if I can eloquently capture how much I love this kind of ephemera. Someone, at some point in history, kept a very detailed list of expenses without any kind of thought that someone like me would one day be allowed this glimpse of their lives. Who were these people? What were their dreams? Did they have children they loved beyond anything?

But it also makes me wonder which of my own random life detritus could someday be treasured by someone I will never know. It's these tangible connections to ... Humanity's history? Does that overstate it? ... that really move me.

And here is a sheet recording the hours that this group of men worked. Where did they work? What did they do? Were they saving for something special for their wife, their mother? Did they wait for the paycheck to spend it all in the bar? Who WERE they?

Just when it couldn't get any better ... I had a second envelope to open. This is what was inside.

I'm pretty lucky, aren't I?