No Place Like Home

It’s so good to be home!

I could almost swear I’ve been living in a time warp for at least the last 5 years. Feeling a bit like Dorothy, learning through leaving that there really is no place like home. It’s as if I just came back from a trip in outerspace, finally back on terra ferma.

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I missed painting-like skies and sounds of rain and thunder more than I realized. They comfort my soul.

Seeing the way my parents’ faces light up when Fox says something clever or when he laughs is priceless.

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I’ve seen my family more in the month we’ve been home than in the last 5 years, when we were living in Indiana. Reconnecting and catching up with old friends is the best. And I’m getting back in touch with myself as well, the person I’ve always been.

I sort of lost myself in motherhood, 1000 miles from family and old friends. Sometimes I have some difficulty remembering who I once was. Hard to determine who I am now. It’s as if there was a break in my timeline. It was hard to make new friends when I wasn’t really sure who I was introducing them to.

Figuring out who I am now is easier in the context of my old friends and family. So nice to be around people who truly know me and where I’m coming from. Not only by seeing my reflection in the eyes of people who’ve known me for years, decades, or my entire life, but also my life in the context of theirs. Friends who once discussed rehersals, and critiques are now speaking of their kids, husbands, jobs, and other adulting things. Look at us now!

So many times over the last 5 years I’ve wished to be able to go out to lunch with my mom like we used to. Just geting to run to the chiropractor and shops with her is a dream come true and I am truly grateful. This past week we actually got to go to the movies, just her and I. (I hadn’t been to the movies since we saw the first Hobbit installment, while I was super pregnant).

Our new house is so perfect for us too. More space than we’ve ever had, large studio, fenced in backyard, all new appliances, laundry room, and so. much. storage! Even our cat, who doesn’t like to go outside, enjoys exploring the screened-in porch. Fox keeps saying he likes it here and “let’s stick around.”

(Pictures of our new place to come in a future post!)

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Of course there are also all the fun Florida things to do! We already got year passes to The Florida Aquarium and are looking forward to going to places like MOSI, theme parks, and Fox’ first trip to the beach! (Excited to go back to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter with Russ too!)

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Burrow & Bloom will be continuing through this blog, my Etsy shop, and I’ll be setting up as a vendor locally around Lakeland and other central Florida locations before long! Custom handmade doll slings and teether necklaces are still available. And as always, if you’re interested in colaboration or consignment just send me a message here, through my shop, or email at burrowandbloom@gmail.com! Stay up to speed by following along on the ‘gram @burrow.n.bloom, Facebook, Twitter, and by following here on the blog!

 

 

 

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It’s Happening!

We are moving back to my hometown of Lakeland, Florida at the end of May! Foxer and I will be flying down and meeting Dadu, Grandma and Grandpa there with the rental truck and our car. I just ordered a rolling carry on Fox picked out himself with a plane and helicopter on it.

One moment Fox is grinning about the move and the next he’s saying he doesn’t want to go to Florida. I think it’s the feelings of change and uncertainty we all feel when moving a thousand miles, in a 3 year old without experiences to draw on and with less control over his world. Helping him work through these feelings certainly isn’t easy, but I can’t bear to imagine how it would be if we tried to stop any acting out with a forceful hand instead of working out what’s really going on.

With any big change like this there are lots of feels. The three of us are cycling through feelings of elation, joy and hope, and then time of doubt, fear, and insecurity. Important to remember to pause and relate when it doesn’t come naturally.

I’ve been anchoring myself through yoga, pilaties, music, dancing, journaling, cleaning, organizing, purging all the necessary things just taking up space, and praying. I remind myself and we remind each other that this is totally the right thing to do. Then it’s back to work on my Etsy shop and more moving perpetrations. Trying to ride the waves. Getting back up as necessary without getting hung up on the falling part.

Dadu will have a nice steady job at the Chop Shop and we’ll be able to come back to visit our Indiana friends and family. Here we’ve been so strapped that we were only to swing one trip back to Florida in 5 years! Things should be more balanced after this move.

Getting excited about all the things we’ll get to do. The beach, (I am so not meant to live landlocked), feeding the ducks, swans, geese, and other water birds at the lakes downtown. Reconnecting with old friends and making new ones. Determined to NOT be a HERMIT! Going to get outside! Fox will get to play in the woods I explored as a child. I’ll even take some mama time to head down to the local coffee shop to blog and meet up with friends. Actually get to go on dates with Russ, more than sorta once.

Looking forward to this new chapter. It’s been real Indiana, there is certainly something special about Bloomington, but it’s time for us to go home and build on all we’ve learned, combining it with who we’ve always been.

Gentle TV Shows for Kids – Part 3: Stella and Sam

If you’re just joining in you may want to also check out Part 1 about the show Tumble Leaf and Part 2 on Puffin Rock.

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Funny how things get so much better whenever we spend a little time together!” – Stella and Sam Theme by Emilie Mover

Stella and Sam is the whimsically animated series, based on the books by Marie-Louise Gay, about a little brother with with fuzzy blonde hair and big sister with curly red hair! The show is sweetly creative, gentle, and full of imaginative adventures in and around their country home.

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Our family enjoys how nonjudgmental the show is. Things aren’t looked at as problems, they’re just things. Stella takes it all in stride and helps her little brother through any difficulties, frustrations, or disappointments. Sweetly, thoughtfully, and creatively!

When Sam is feeling limited by his small size, Stella helps him imagine they’re gaints! Apples are cherries, a caterpillar is a farmer, and you have to be careful not to drop the cow from way up high! To help Sam feel better after subbing his toe, Stella teaches him how to make Laughabet soup, a pot full of things that make Sam laugh!

Stella invents Brother’s Day where she makes a super sweet day full of thoughtfully simple surprises for her little brother, Sam. She even asks the “sky painter” to paint a beautiful sunset for him!

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Stella and Sam play through all seasons, in the rolling hills and woods around their home. Jumping in piles of leaves, playing in the snow, using their imaginations in the spring warmth and the summer heat. They even search for the wind, which the find on top of a hill, there’s plenty of playing outside in nature!

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Stella and Sam also like to play with their neighbor friends, Felix, Ivy, and Owen! On a hot day they imagine they’re on an African safari! Blasting off to an alien planet to find where kiwi’s come from, playing a concert over in the meadow, along with little farm animals! An imagined trip to China, complete with a friendly dragon!

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We adore how simply sweet Stella, Sam, and their friends are! They’re thoughtful and sweet with big imaginations! What shows do you like to watch with your little ones?

Gentle TV Shows for Kids – Part 2: Puffin Rock

Thanks for tuning in! Hopefully this series will help you find good gentle TV shows for your little ones! These are our family’s favorites! Not too busy, scary, negative, or in your face. They’re gentle, fun, and entertaining stories with sweet characters in beautiful settings.

If you’re just joining us you may want to check out Part 1 about the show Tumble Leaf on Amazon Prime Video.

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On the show Puffin Rock a young puffin named Oona and her little brother, Baba, live with their parents and friends on a tiny but gorgeous island off the coast of Ireland. The textured illustrations have amazing light and color! I would love to hang prints from this beautiful show on our walls!

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Nature facts are beautifully blended with the story through narrations by the hilarious Chris O’Dowd, (IT Crowd, Bridesmaids, Pirate Radio). There are plenty of funny comments for parents to enjoy right along with their little ones! Not to mention the lovely Irish accents!

Whether they’re pretending to be grown up puffins, going on a family trip to an underwater cave, or simply in awe of a murmuration of starlings the adorably sweet characters of Puffin Rock are brilliantly funny and super cute!

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Oona and Baba even help tidy up their burrow by finding new soft things from around the island to replace the old bedding, as a surprise for their parents when they return from fishing.

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The little puffin siblings play with and care for each other, their parents, friends, and anyone come across. Their best friends include Mossy, the pygmy shrew who loves to eat, May the bunny rabbit, and Silky the seal.  They also have nocturnal friends, the owls, and Bernie the hermit crab, their friend and mentor, (who they help find a new shell when his cracks)!

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Flynn the fox has a bit of a grumpy exterior but truly a heart of gold. And the seagulls don’t really get along with puffins, but it’s nothing major. My guy is really sensitive and they don’t bother him much.

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The puffins adventures take them all over land, sea, and sky! From traveling through burrows with bunnies and hedgehogs to swimming through glowing phytoplankton with whales, (on Oona’s first night time trip to the sea by herself because she’s a big puffin now)!

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We’re especially found of the episode where Oona goes around telling all her friends about the supermoon so they can stay up late to watch it together!

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Hope you and your little one enjoy the show as much as we do! I’d love to hear what you think or hear about what shows you like to watch with your family! Please leave a comment below so we can share!

Gentle TV Shows for Kids – Part 1: Tumble Leaf

For a while now I’ve been thinking of blogging about the gentle kids’ shows our little family enjoys, but I’ve stopped short for fear of judgement. Afraid of falling short of the incredible standard of natural parenting and hearing about it from other moms, more perfect than I.

But I think it’s more important to share the good stuff and let go of fear and mom guilt. So I say to you as much and myself that it’s ok! You’re in good company! Sometimes it’s the only way to get stuff done or have a moment to recharge your batteries. Sometimes it’s just nice to snuggle and enjoy a story together!

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If you’re looking for a gentle show brimming with imagination for your littlest viewers please allow me to recommend Tumble Leaf, on Amazon Prime! It’s been at the top of our list since our little guy started watching TV.

Tumble Leaf follows the explorations of adorable stop-motion animated animals on a whimsical island. It has a sweet gentle nature that’s inquisitive, imaginative adventurous!

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My little guy loves exploring things and figuring out how they work. Tumble Leaf certainly inspires him further as he plays along or acts out scenes.

Along with being very empathetic he’s always been sensitive to anything “not nice” or with too much going on. So it can be tricky to find shows that work for us. We all enjoy Tumble Leaf. I think it will always remind me of snuggling with my guys on the couch with maple & brown sugar oatmeal. Cozy!

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Each episode begins with a crab on the beach, wresting something from a crab trap with his wooden claw. He checks it out and tosses it into a treasure chest in the bottom of the ship behind him. On the balcony of the ship a blue fox, named Fig, introduces himself and his best friend before setting off to discover what the crab threw into “the finding place.” An adventure through forests, beaches, meadows, or icy mountains ensues – all while figuring something out.

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A pulley, kazoo, balloon, ball, magnet are just a few of the items discovered in the finding place. Season 2 just premiered on Amazon Prime so it’s a wonderful times to start watching Tumble Leaf!

Rumble leaf, tumble leaf!

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P.S. Stay tuned for more kid show recommendations in the coming weeks!

 

 

Room for Good Things

I was restless. Frustrated by all the things around me I disliked. Struggling to simply keep my head above water. I didn’t realize that I had it within myself to change things. Sure, I believed it theoretically, but it didn’t seem like a real possibility given my circumstances. Not until backed into a corner did I realize I had the power to turn the things I disliked into dreams come true.

When I was forced to leave my job I was relieved of a heavy burden. And in its’ place came so many blessings, rushing in like water once I opened the door. Only by being forced to leap did I realize I could spread my wings and fly. (As cliche as it sounds. Guess cliches are such for good reason after all).

Since leaving my job and working on my Etsy shop full time, home with my little guy, I realize my life is my own. That it is possible to follow my intuition and passions to a much better place that had always seemed just beyond my reach. The process has brought me closer to my husband, son, and my self and I am thankful.

I’m in good company too. So many lovely mothers out there are doing what they love and helping each other up along the way. Building lives for themselves and their families that are whole. Doing what they need and love to do. Being true to themselves all the while.

Fabric I've since turned into Toy Ring Slings or Doll Carriers

Fabric I’ve since turned into Toy Ring Slings

While working on this post Fox was watching Disney’s Johnny Appleseed story. It holds new meaning for me now.

The Lord is good to me
And so I thank the Lord
For givin’ me
The things I need
The sun and rain
And an apple seed
Yes, He’s been good to me

I owe the Lord so much
For everything I see
I’m certain
If it weren’t for Him
There’d be no apple
On this limb
He’s been good to me

Oh, here am I
‘neath the blue, blue sky
A-doin’ as i please
Singin’ with my feathered friends
Hummin’ with the bees
I wake up every day
As happy as can be
Because I know
That with his care
My apple trees
They will still be there
Oh, the Lord is good to me

You got the stuff to see you through
Why…you got all the seeds you’re needin’
And for pretty darn good readin’…
There ain’t nothing finer than your back
Here’s a mighty handy bonnet
Even got a handle on it
Turn it upside down and you can cook
So come on, son, and get a-going’
Get them apple trees a-growin’
There’s a lot of work out there to do
Oh, there’s a lot of work out there to do

Ch ch ch changes!

Big changes have been happening around here, including where “here” is!

At the beginning of the month we finally moved from our apartment to a charming 1920’s bungalow! My little guy wakes up in the mornings and exclaims, “the sun’s back up! We can go outside now!”

IMG_1048We love playing on our front porch and in our fenced-in back yard! It’s so amazing what difference having an outdoor space makes. On move-in day we had a little picnic lunch in our backyard and marveled how it really is a little slice of heaven.

Fox in the GardenWe even have four raised garden beds! Our new neighbor’s mom stopped by and taught me all about the herbs growing there and how to harvest and dry them; lavender, sage, thyme, mint, and oregano! There are also a couple tomato plants and a little strawberry bush! In the spring we plan to grow lots more veggies as well.

It’s been years since I gardened as a child with my parents and I’m thrilled to have the space to pick it back up again and share it with my son. He loves to play in the yard or water the flowers while I weed, prune, and harvest herbs. Quite therapeutic getting my hands dirty with earth.

We’ve sighted so many wonderful creatures and plants around our new space too. Hummingbirds, butterflies, chipmunks, squirrels, goldfinches, a hawk, and a big green mantis! There are several Rose of Sharon bushes around the house and a lovely vine of purple Morning Glory along the back fence.

It’s also wonderful to have storage space in our basement, along with a washer and dryer of our own. Toting our laundry up a floor to the shared coin laundry room in our apartment building was tiresome. Especially for an introverted perfectionist like me. Who wants to put on make-up just to do laundry?

When our little guy came into our lives, my painting studio/sewing room became his nursery. Now that our house has three bedrooms, I have my studio back! It’s in the back of the house with windows to the side the backyard. So very inspiring to have my own space to create in.

New StudioSince going all out for the Baby Fair in March, I’ve been scaling it back and focusing on my family. Rejuvenating. Now I feel a fresh surge of creative energy and the motivation to keep it going.

IMG_1166Last week it became clear that I had no choice but to leave my job. I was treated very poorly and undoubtedly undervalued, but it has set me free to do what I’ve yearned for for years. I’m now pouring myself into our home, family, and my Etsy business full time. It feels like coming back to life. There have been so many positive signs that this is right path for my life and my family. So much serendipity. I should have some exciting news to share in a few days actually. Can’t wait to share it all with you!

So as I’ve decided to throw perfectionism to the wind you’ll be hearing from me much more in the coming weeks and months. Lots of amazing things to come!

The Hummingbird symbolizes great courage, determination, flexibility and adaptability. This little beauty is only a few ounces in weight, yet has the courage of a lion. Indeed size is of no consequence…The Hummingbird symbolizes the respect of territories, protecting and enforcing your boundaries, the need to be feisty if needed to protect your boundaries and what is yours. [They] remind us that there are times when we have to make a difficult journey to get to the destination of our goal, there will be obstacles, symbolizing the need for endurance and perseverance. Hummingbird challenges you to say “yes I can”, and believe it will be done.