Friday, June 27, 2008

Lakefront Art Festival

Before Mai Mai got sick with a sinus infection and became a totally unpleasant toddler to be around, we spent a lovely day at the Lakefront Festival of Arts. Thanks to Jolie for getting us out; we loved the sculpture garden, especially the mixed media weather vanes and whirligigs by James Eaton (shown to the left of the Calatrava), colorful steel sculptures by Dennis Heimbach and ceramic architectural forms by Todd Van Duren. There were also some great fiber arts created by Renee Harris using embroidery, drawing and feltwork and Susan Hill's multi media tapestries. The woodwork/furniture selections by Damian Velasquez and Richard Judd were also a treat to see.

We spent the rest of our time in the children's art tents, painting cartoons drawn by animators, doing some window drawing and erasing with a spray bottle and squeegee, walking through the sculpture garden and munching on popcorn and slurping snow cones. We came home with a paper crane and and a doggie balloon, which was just fine for Mai Mai, but I was wishing I had that handcrafted "Don't Fall Down" dresser by Damian Velasquez.

More pictures on Flickr.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Etsy Goodies

I was looking for some playthings for Mai and her tea parties and found this wonderful, razzleberry felt cupcake from Sugar Chic Baby, a perpetually full and smiling cup 'o tea from Cutedesigns (UK) and sweet little felt fortune cookies Earth Baby Designs.

These are great alternatives to the plastic food sold at toy stores and of course they are handmade and by some very crafty people! The crocheted (or knitted) creatures like the tea cup are called Amigurumis. They are usually miniature and are often animals or dolls, but the boundaries are limitless.
I like the book Amigurumi World: Seriously Cute Crochet by Ana Paula Rimoli. Her descriptions/instructions are very accessible and are great for beginners. I can't wait to make a few creatures of my own.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Sleep Update

Mai has been sleeping pretty good these days and has weathered the move rather well. We started her in her own room and own bed for the first week, but then had to move her bed into our room while Ry guy refinished the floors. Now today is the day we move her back into her own room. At 2 and 1/2 she is excited about her room and picked out the color for her walls (blue). Truth be told though, one of us has slept with her in her bed since we moved as we have yet to install a gate at the top of the stairs or been able to clear out the hallway of major furniture in order to make a midnight trip to our room possible or safe. All things in time, right?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Beach Break

JB took the kiddos to the beach while I "unpacked" (read: unwound as I am tangled in to do lists, should have done lists and toss it, it's too late lists). They are in heaven here, having walked the nature trail down to the beach to spend a few hours in the sand, sun and water. John also got the bike trailer hooked up and Mai got her first ride this week. Juj is learning his way around the neighborhood and is constantly in motion with numerous friends just a few blocks away. The garden is full of many pleasant surprises; the poppies and peonies are in bloom, the smells of cilantro, chives and lavender mix with the cocoa shell mulch and the first ripe strawberries are appearing. Until the bedroom walls are painted, the floors finished and the boxes unpacked, the parks, trails, beaches and green spaces will sooth the senses and uplift the spirits just as Charles Whitnall and Frederick Law Olmsted would have wanted! As long as the tornadoes, flash flooding and lightning storms take it easy on us for a while...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

June in Bloom

I'm happy to have my Internet connected again and am getting my first dose of Internet therapy tonight. The move went well, all things considered, and it shocked me to realize that we have been here for two weeks now. The days are long and meld into one another and we fall asleep exhausted. We are still unpacking and organizing, refinishing hardwood floors, painting bedrooms, planting flowers, herbs and tomatoes, meeting neighbors and adjusting to the flow and feel of the new house.

Juj is enjoying the spontaneity of having friends a few blocks away and just finished his last day of elementary school on Thursday. Mai is a bit confused and is trying to regain her bearings. She has said that she misses our old house and wonders why the new house is so scary. At one point while JB and I were upstairs she exclaimed in distress, "I'm all alone here!" She keeps asking me where we are going and is slowing getting used to the new routes and routines. Stella moped about for a bit, but is back to her usual rambunctious self.

John and I are thrilled and stunned. In the first few weeks we have had to deal with the torrential downpours that hit the Midwest leaving up to 8 inches of rain in some parts and had to quickly deal with gutters and downspouts, wet vacs and dehumidifiers and anything else that might help keep the water running away from, not into, the house.

We are enjoying the expanded, sunny living space, the fantastically functional kitchen, the lovely neighbors who came by with pies and cookies, cards and coffee, the ease of having a driveway and garage and the wonderfully walkable, lush and blooming neighborhood.