I have always wanted a mobile for my babies. I never did get around to buying one.
Better late than never - right?
I began this project a couple of weeks ago with one very helpful YouTube video on Paper Crane folding. I finished it yesterday.
Better late than never - right?
I can only hope this will keep Ollie on the changing table a bit longer.
Do you ever catch yourself saying, "Oh I love this...but I could make it for cheaper?" I decided to quit saying that altogether as I moved into my 6th house this summer and here are the reasons: I hate using the word "cheaper," I don't like ripping off artists ideas and manufacturing them for less, I would rather be "inspired" by something and give it my own twist, if it truly is something I LOVE – and know I won't make it within the next week – I would like nothing more than to support the ventures of the inspiring artist and purchase their piece outright (for the amount they deserve).
When I saw a display of Peace Poles designed by Stephanie Burgess at Linders Garden Center, I had to stop myself cold to not make the above statement. I LOVE her Peace Poles. Not only were they meant to brave the elements, but they were eclectic, lovely and unique.
Instead of wanting to simply reproduce her poles, saving myself a few dollars (well $150 to be exact), I decided to combine her ideas of an eclectic pole and the painting pointers I have taken from Jeff Boutin over the years to create something that fits our space (the 6th outdoor space) more appropriately.
The process was simple and all parts were available at the Home Depot.
1 - 6ft PVC fence post
1 - PVC fence post cap
1 - 2' piece of green treated 4x4
1 - 4x4 post holder (excuse the overly-technical term) with a screw on the bottom
3 - cans of spray paint (undercoat – grey, top coat - clear/protectant, copper color - for the top)
Set of acrylic paints (primarys) from which to mix your lovely rainbow of color.
Jahred lightly sanded the PVC post before we put on the primer spray paint. This gave it a better hold. The colored pole itself is only slipped onto the green treated 4x4 (like a sleeve) and can be taken in for inclement weather/Minnesota winter. The screw holder allows it to be moved around your yard easily. or removed for mowing if you choose a grassy spot.
I love this pole. It stands outside my front door, under my oak, between plants procured from friends and family. If gardening isn't about peace then I don't know what is.
Total cost of peace pole: $40. An heirloom project to be treasured for years to come.
So many changes this summer and so many to come. This year, this number 30, seems to have me all fired up. After much thinking about the here, the now and the future, I have decided it is time for me to go back to work. As I sat down to ready my resume for such a task, I realized that I have literally nothing (that counts anyway) to put on it.
While the sass in me would like to list all of the duties I have performed in the last 5 years, I know that corporate America has no sense of humor and the chance of my resume filled with "Cloth Diaper Engineer," "Chief Cook and Bottle Washer," "Tantrum Navigator" and the likes will end up even faster in the "File 13."
To some of you in blog land thinking "you are a stay-at-home-guru," "why would you want to go to work?" I will tell you that this is not a difficult decision for me. It has felt truly awful for the last few years to complain about my job (chiming in with other corporate mamas) when complaining about my job literally means complaining about my children. It makes me hate myself when I try to think of ways to put them to bed earlier or skip making dinner because we have already soaked all the fun out of the day and I have already fed them seven times.
I need to enjoy my kids again (maybe for the first time truly). I need to miss them. I need them to do kid things, with other kids, while I contribute in some other way than by wiping the "butts and mouths" of our future.
I am excited at the possibility! After my first round of applications, it took only 10 minutes for me to get the first rejection. Others soon to follow. I'm assuming this will be the pattern, trying to find this "first job." I plan to be completely up front about the "elephant in the room" however, acknowledging that I made that choice to stay home and am now more than ever ready to leave the confines of my house and make a mark.
Any tips? Any warnings? I'm open to them all. Below are the three of us at the pool. Perhaps one of the last (or not even close to the last) pictures of me and my current co-workers.
The boys slept here last night. Made it the whole night. Still sleeping in fact (unless I've been totally fooled and I'm staring at an empty tent while the boys are at the Hilton).
Had Jimmy Johns delivered right to the wading pool tonight. We were the only ones there. Freaky fast, freaky awesome.
Little did I know that when we checked out "Elephant and Piggy" from the library on Tuesday that we would be destined for adventure. It was perfect timing as Axel got to take them on a sleepover to Grandpa Moustache's house and today, after surprise company for lunch, we took them to the big city.
The Foshay tower has been on our list since we moved in. What used to be the tallest building in Minneapolis (built in the 1920's) now is dwarfed by such giants as the IDS Center. Never-the-less, for $8/adult (kids FREE) you get a special card for elevator #4 which will take you all the way to the top. First stop – Floor 30. A tiny museum (complete with guest book) and of course, the observation deck lies above even that.
After signing in we were heading up the stairs. They have step stools for the kiddos (it's pretty safe but in general I tried not to think about it), telescopes (with which we checked out some spectators at Target Field) and a complete 360 degree view of the Mill City. I think we could see our house.
After descending once again Axel decided to walk the skyways with Elephant and Piggy, taking their picture at sights along the way. While stopping by the clearance racks at Hubert White (IDS Center, ground floor) I noticed a familiar face. It was none other than former Mayor/US Senator Norm Coleman. For those of you who don't know him – you can wiki his stats – but he was the mayor of St. Paul in the 1990's for two terms, one as a democrat and the other as a Republican. He later ran for Governor of Minnesota and lost to Jesse (the Body) Ventura...hmmm...wonder if that still hurts.
I told Axel that Norm does work similar to the President. "Barack Obama?" Axel wondered with huge eyes. Norm was impressed that he could name the President.
When I tucked him in tonight Axel said, "Norm Coleman will never forget my name. He probably already told it to Barack Obama."
For the record: Norm was a super swell guy. He had no one with him, didn't seem in a hurry, was shopping on the clearance rack as well, when I asked him for the picture (in the name of Elephant and Piggy's big outing) he was thrilled. He then hung out with Axel while I finished paying. They talked about Norm's son Jacob.
Last week was wildly entertaining. From rescuing and returning dogs to the discovery of a new park (still somewhat under construction) near Como Zoo.
We hit up a kiddie parade, won a prize for bike design (which was concocted in 15 minutes with sewing supplies and a hula hoop), enjoyed a Saturday night at the Childrens Museum, celebrated two birthdays, attended the neighborhood book club, planned a few things, gave a few timeouts, helped remodel a bathroom, went to an open house, transplanted some perennials (thanks Barb) and lived to see another Monday.
Couldn't help but snap this picture at Como. This brought to you from our new life in the city. Axel blends right in, in a way that only children can. Gotta hand it to these girls as they climb the playground in heels and floor-length dresses. Amazing.
An amazing sequence of events happened just now. First I found the cotton candy that Axel won in the New Brighton kiddie parade last night (unopened because...do I really have to give a reason why I wouldn't let him eat it at 7pm), next I discovered that his room looks like this.
"Axel," I said, "make sure you clean your room. I want everything picked up. Nothing on the floor." As you can see it is just as I instructed.
As payback...this happened. He will never know.
Blue cotton candy has always been my favorite.
You know how it is when you think of a really great idea...after you see something exactly like it...and you wonder why you didn't think of it a second/year ago...and then you're instantly jealous? I had such an experience at the Loring Park Art Fair today.
Wine and Canvas is a painting operation popping up at a restaurant near you. They bring the painting supplies, the restaurant offers their menu and for somewhere around $35 you leave with a finished painting! LOVE!
At the art fair today, Wine and Canvas is offering free mini painting classes as an advertisement for their real "gigs." Jahred, his mom and I tried our hand at it...didn't turn out too shabby.
Click HERE for the Wine and Canvas schedule for Minneapolis. It's no Jeff Boutin class – and much more "primary colors" – but well worth it!
Since our kid can't stand straps...we turned our BOB Stroller into an Art Cart for the rest of the fair. Luckily none of the stray Cheez-Its ended up on the art..
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