Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Goodbye summer; Hello Preschool. Goodbye Baby; Hello big boy

Our summers, they are a-changing. For five years, summer meant nothing to us but hot weather and air conditioning. And maybe a kiddie pool in the yard. Our days changed so little. It just meant more playing outside on mild days and more days inside in the air conditioning. That changed a couple years ago. Summer meant something more, something definitive when my daughter was approaching Kindergarten. I knew our days would no longer be fluid and relaxed. Change was coming.

Those last days before she started, I held onto them for dear life. The hours slipped from my hands like a sieve and I was powerless to stop it, or slow it down. In the last days of the school year, I counted the minutes till she was done and we would have summer, sweet beautiful summer. We've enjoyed two of those summers now. The ones that are extra special, because she's not with me everyday anymore. I'm OK with that. She loves school and she is thriving and it's so exciting for me to watch her grow and learn. It just as amazing as watching her grow and learn from a snuggle baby to a preschooler. I have no doubt, that I will never find watching my kids grow to be something amazing.

Of course, it helped that as I sent her off to school, I still had a baby in my arms. I say baby, but he was almost 3 when she started school. But still. My baby. I still had someone to care for. I had more firsts coming. I felt secure in that. That baby starts preschool tomorrow. Where his sister had two years under her belt before Kindergarten, he will have one. And as this summer comes to a close, I am appreciating it for what it is. Yes, I'm sobbing inside as I think of sending him to preschool, but I also appreciate this summer for the fact that this is the last summer before I start thinking of sending him to school full time.

Next summer, will be our last summer before both of our kids are in school all day. It will be the end of a chapter and a beginning of a new one. A new one where all our summers are precious and fleeting, because they'll have to go back, and it will never be a life where they're home with me and we create our own days. There's no more baby after this to keep me busy. And while that makes my heart hurt in ways I never imagined, I wouldn't change it. I don't wish for another baby. I just wish for mine back sometimes.

Our summer was so full. We did so many things. I loved this summer. And I will love the summers after this for the memories we will make. I'm not going to lie. I'm scared straight about the next few years of our lives. My kids will both be in school full time. Will they struggle? What will this new chapter mean for our family? I am struggling right now with the idea of going back to work. I crave the interaction of the outside world, and the feel you get from contributing to your home and family. But at the same time, the idea of being free and alone to be involved with my kids at school is wholly tempting.

I'll pack his Transformers backpack tonight and try not to cry. I'll try to be thankful that it's preschool and that I have a whole year until I send him to Kindergarten. And I'll drop him off in the morning, and he will be so excited. I'll try not to cry when he runs off and forgets to kiss me goodbye. I make no promises when I get back to my car though. All bets are off there.

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Friday, August 29, 2014

DIY boot cuffs on the cheap

I've got juicy calves. This is a problem some of you may have. As a lover of boots, I of course embraced the boot sock/boot cuff look. I struggled though, because one size does NOT fit all and even stretch has it's limits. How Torrid hasn't picked this accessory up, I do not know. Luckily, as a DIYer, I took it on myself to make it happen.

The best place to start is at your local resale shop, goodwill or even garage sales. You want sweaters, with nice thick (stretchy) sleeves. I ended up with two sweaters, I loved the colors and they only cost me $2-3 each. 

I did the light blue ones first, added buttons (from the sweater itself) and then
made this pair to make this tutorial for you guys.

Use your rotary blade or sharp scissors and cut the sleeve of the sweater off. 

I zigzagged the edges, because this is a knit and started to show signs of unraveling pretty quickly. This keeps the edges from unraveling.

This is the piece inside out. I turned and top-stitched after I zig zagged the edges. It's not perfect, but that's fine. No one is going to see that end of it.

I put it on my leg to see how loose it was (it was falling down) and I needed to take it in. You can see my fingers sticking in the section I sewed and will cut off.

I cut that section off with my blade. I actually had to go back and do it one more time because it was still too loose (this was a poncho type sweater and so had very wide sleeves. Perfect for this project, lots of room to work with.

Finished product with my boots. Because this is a knit, it's a little thicker and you can see, from the third buckle from the bottom, there's a bulge at the bottom of the boot cuff. I think this could use some round buttons on the side, no?

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and try it out for yourself. Be sure to post pictures if you do!

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