Wednesday, September 25, 2013

My New Adventure

Forever ago, I teased that I was starting a new endeavor. Well, I started a craft business. Two weekends ago (yes, in the midst of our move), Maddie and I ran our first booth at a craft fair.

My mother had a wonderful idea for little entrepreneur Maddie. All summer, she and Maddie harvested lavender from her garden, dried and plucked it. Then she and Maddie prepared some sachets and a little display so that Maddie could sell scoops of lavender for a quarter each.

When I was a little kid, my mom had a similar idea for me. She was starting a cake decorating business and set up a cake stand on our front lawn. My brother and I were allowed to sell lemonade and keep the proceeds. But we sold our lemonade out before she could even get the cake out to the stand.

Well, needless to say, that's what happened with Maddie and her lavender. Before she even got dropped off to work the sale, I sold seven of lavender scoops. By the day's end, she had made enough money to buy a cute little puppy marionette at the fair.

As for me, I got a few bites despite it being a very small audience but I also got my feet wet. And with that my Heart Felt Crafts business was born.

Friday, September 20, 2013


Today was a lovely day. For some amazing reason everything just went my way. The culmination of that day was coming home to a daughter who was cheerful, calm but playful, and brimming with excitement about her day.

On June 6, Maddie turned four. Almost to the day, she announced she would no longer nap -- and boy did she mean it. I think that child has only napped about five times all summer. Any time I take her for a ride in the late afternoon, she conks out after about five minutes of drive time. As soon as we get home, I carry her in, set her down on the couch, and she pops up saying crabbily, "I am not napping. I do not take naps." The crabbiness sometimes continues through the rest of the day. Sometimes, far too frequently lately, we also bridge into the realm of rambunctious. Over tired would be my word. But, she does not take naps. I can hear that independent, grown-up emphasis in her voice.

Today was not one of those rambunctious days, because today after Pre-K she took the nap that her little body so desperately needed.

And as I enjoyed the playful time with my darling girl, it reminded me that with the many issues that we moms struggle with -- the balance of time, the battle with patience, the need to discipline, the urge to coddle -- perhaps the greatest is the amazing shift of phases.

Any mom will know what I'm talking about, I'm sure. It seems that kids change phases at least every six months. More when they're babies. You get everything running smoothly and all of a sudden, every routine and every pattern suddenly becomes a frustration. And then you know, 'Whoops! New phase!" Usually this whole process takes place exactly one day after you've figured out your last phase. With Maddie, she changes her phase like clock work. "Oh, today's my birthday? Let's switch things up!" It's a transparent attempt to keep me jumping. I know what she's up to.

As Maddie entered the four phase, I suddenly found myself struggling not only with the new napless wonder, but also a need to scream loudly, repeat everything I say, the development of snark, and my favorite giving puppy dog kisses. Somehow, I will find a way to figure it all out -- but if any of my loyal readers have advise on the fours or want to regale me with their own tales of four I would be happy to hear!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The First Day of School

Yet more changes swept into our life last week with Maddie heading off to preschool for the first time.

Her first day was a little exciting and a little sad for Mama. Not so sad for Maddie. She had a few anxious moments -- particularly while the kid next to her fell apart in a mega-tantrum. But when I picked her up from school, she pronounced that she loved school!

In just one day,  my little one started doing things she had never done before. She marched around the apartment. She told her dad and I to stand in line and to get a partner to do this project. She had free play. And she taught real school, explaining tasks and steps to her "students." Of course, she later told me that she was just the substitute because the teacher had cancer for a few days. "Why, Charlie Brown, Why?"That show did a number on my kid.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

New Beginnings

In April of this year, I got my hair cut. It was a dramatic and beautiful change for me which involved going back to my natural color. Something that I had lost and had been told by many hairdressers I could never find again. Ha! Showed them!

As if right on cue, my life got sent for a little flip the next day. My husband was suddenly no longer employed. Instead of working 70 hour work weeks with two days off a month, he was family-focused and much less stressed. In another change, my life took a little flip with changes at my work that kept me busy, busy, busy. I started working on a long planned and much dreamed of project that would occupy my creative efforts for much of the summer. My husband signed up for a comedy class in Toronto. I signed up for an awesome photography class online.

With all the changes in our life, we decided to add one more and move.  Not just a little move mind you, but a move that involved heart and soul.

We uprooted out of our beloved apartment of four years. The home we lived in when Maddie was born. The home we loved.

And we took a leap, moving into the home that my grandmother and grandfather lived in. The home where my father grew up. The home that I remember from childhood visits and family gatherings.

It is a lovely home and despite the tons and tons of work needed to pack, unpack, clean (a home that hasn't been lived in for 20 years!), reorganize, redefine spaces (and electrical usage!) we are proud to say that we are now the 8th generation in my family to live in this beautiful space.

This fall, I hope to update you more as we settle in. I'll be sharing more tales of the move and amazingly enough even more tales of the myriad changes in our life. Some people have a major life change once in a while -- once a year, once a decade. We like to get them all done at one time.