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.

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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!

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.

Toy Slings

Love my model

One busy afternoon, as I was sewing nursing necklaces for my Etsy shop, Fox was playing with some wrap scrap fabric. Knowing he would soon need more to do, I grabbed a set of sling rings and made him a quick little no-sew ring sling. He was thrilled by the idea of wearing his own little baby. So I put the sling over his head, guided one arm through, and we put a little stuffed frog in his toy sling. He was floored, bounced up and down, and proudly took off down the hall to take his baby for a walk. The look of pure joy on his face was absolutely and adorably precious!

First Toy Sling

The very first toy sling I threw together for Fox!

Seeing how happy walking around with his baby in his little toy sling gave me an idea. If he loved it so much surely other little people would too. So I started gathering cute fabrics and sewing toy ring slings to sell alongside the nursing necklaces in my Etsy shop. I’ve also begun making toy slings with larger sling rings, for bigger kiddos to carry their babies in too!

Toy Slings with Larg and Small rings

We gave a toy ring sling as a birthday present to one of Fox’ friends and it was absolutely adorable how she got her baby in it right away and bounced up and down, shhhing her baby. It makes my heart so happy to know that there are other little kiddos out there experiencing a joy like my little Fox, joyously carrying their little babies in their own toy slings.

All the toy ring slings I’m making now will be available at the upcoming Baby Fair and more will be up in my Etsy shop soon after the the fair!

Fox Enjoying Toy Slings

Fox Enjoying Toy Slings

Fox Enjoying Toy Slings

All in the Balance

Chugging along like the little engine that could, I’ve been slowly, but surely making progress. Getting more necklaces up in the shop. Sewing diaper bags. Drafting future blog posts. Brainstorming craft fair booth ideas and making lists.

I considered accepting an invitation to display my necklaces at RAW in Indianapolis, but decided against it. Although it sounded like a great opportunity at first, ultimately it didn’t seem like the right audience. Plus having to sell twenty $15 tickets or pay the difference seemed like it would take too much away from time spent creating. Got me thinking about future craft fair possibilities anyway.

 

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Fox and Russ have been super sweet, playing while I sew. I love listening to them. The other night Russ helped Fox draw in his little notebook, delighted by how he expertly held the pen in his tiny hand. Each time he finished a drawing, he’d walk over and hand me the most adorable sheet of scribble I’d ever seen in my life. Oh my heart!

While Russ was at work, Fox helped me sort some craft supplies and gather materials, finding spools of thread and odds-n-ends to play with along the way. We take breaks to play, read, snuggle, and walk Cora.

Balancing productivity with family time is super important to me. They’re a huge part of why I’m doing all this anyway. Russ and I have been trying to do something outside as a family each weekend. We took Fox to the park, where he got to swing and go down a slide for the first time. And we went to the county fair, where he got to see cows and pet an adorable little calf.

 

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Fox is growing so fast. I love simply watching him. Every day he’s more and more toddler/little boy, surprising me with new things he says and does. With the way he does them.

We don’t watch a lot of TV, but we enjoy some Miyazaki movies. The other morning I asked him if he wanted to watch Kiki, Totoro, or Castle and he nodded, “Toto”. Last night we played an adorably funny combination of hide-n-seek, tag, and peekaboo. When I’d say I was coming to get him he’d shake his head and matter-of-factually say ‘no’. So much fun!

 

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During nap times lately I’ve been reading books on my Kindle app. Enjoying a little escapism in my downtime. I like that I can hold it in one hand while Fox sleeps on me and that it has the option of white letters on a black page, so the brightness doesn’t wake him up.

I read the first book in the Dragonlance Chronicles. Leading to some fun conversations with Russ, who read them years ago but still has an uncanny memory of characters, locations, and plot. It also makes me wish I had time to run one of the d&d campaign modules.

I finally got around to reading Mindy Kaling’s book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without me (And Other Concerns) which has been on my ‘to read’ list since it was released three years ago. (Like I wasn’t busy adjusting to a new town, being pregnant and caring for a baby). Anyway, it’s tiding me over between seasons of The Mindy Project. I absolutely adore her wit! She’s flipping hilarious!

Have you read any good books lately?