Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Conversation with a Two Year Old, Limits

It's no secret that two-year olds are awesome. Yes, there are fits, screaming, completely irrational arguments and irritating obsessions. But, they are also amazing creatures - tiny humans who pair bike helmets with pajamas and belts, who sit in bowls in the middle of the floor, who fall asleep at the dinner table.

Our two year old (and five year old) foster kids are now back with their mother, but there are stories galore. I'll be sharing a few of them here.

It was before work, and I was starting the scrambled eggs. K, our foster son, was eager to help. My egg cracking and stirring was quickly accompanied by the scrape of the chair across the kitchen floor. Soon, his tousled curly head was under my chin, asking to stir.

Enter distraction.
What’s this? 
Cupcakes, please don’t touch them.
Stirring the eggs, I notice that K is eyeing the box. Slowly, he reaches out and draws the box to him.
Hey buddy. What are you doing?
Me just gonna look at them.
Okay, remember I said no touching.
Me know.
At this point, I know that I should probably take the cupcakes away, but I am sort of interested to see how this is going to play out. As if on cue, I hear the sound of the clamshell cracking open.
Now, what are you doing? Remember what I said?
Yeah, me know. Me just gonna smell them.
Really? This isn’t going to end well. 
At this point, the eggs are demanding my attention. I turn back just in time to see a small tongue touching the cupcake. 
Dude! I gotta take these away now. 
Fit ensues.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Around Here (late!)

Finally emptied, cleaned and despidered our sunroom. A thrift store truck pick up was needed plus multiple special trash dumps. Furniture has been Craigslisted. I can breathe now in this room.

Had my best time ever in (of course) an untimed 5K. The Denver Graffiti Run had a fantastic concept - a fun, non-competitive 5K in which you received a healthy dose of colored powder in a highly mutated version of the Holi Festival of Colors. The colored powders were messy and enjoyable, but the race itself was a poorly organized disaster of no water stations, a barely marked course, no distance markers, and an inability effectively cope with the number of participants. Still, even an unofficial best race time is a victory.

Just in time for winter to...well, keep on going, new boot shelves for the collection. And to complete that thought - it dumped at least 8" on May Day. To put some perspective on this storm - schools are only less than three weeks away from summer vacation.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Roar of Bowser

A couple of months ago, I posted this goal on Go Mighty (and here on this blog):

Make a Bowser Costume for My Foster Son Before He Leaves Us in March

To be honest, I had hoped that J, our foster son, would forget the promise to create a Bowser costume. I had no idea how to even start and with limited time in trying to take care of two little ones plus befriend/mentor their very young mother, building a costume seemed impossible. Plus, I was struggling on how to translate the literal image of Bowser into fabric and felt.

As often happens, the deadlock was broken with a simple reminder. One of my quilting friends saw my blog post and dropped a quick email of ideas and advice. “Remember,” she wrote, “imagination can fill in a lot.”

All you parents out there may be shaking your heads by now, but for me, it was a revelation. Duh. I’d seen J use a vacuum attachment as a sword. And in our home, where we did not allow toy guns or even the word “gun”, J had quickly figured out how to build fancy “machines” out of Legos which shot out ice bombs or fire bombs. Imagination….of course.

Armed with that conviction, I sewed and cursed and sewed and finally cobbled together a semblance of a costume. My goal was his birthday in March and with several very late nights plus some hand sewing done in the office on conference calls (shhh), the costume was mostly done.

Unfortunately, between the mother, the grandmother and me, we can’t find any pictures of J in his costume, even though we know that they exist somewhere. Even if I had them, I couldn’t publish them anyway. So without further ado, the components of the Bowser costume:
The front + look at those adorable gloves!
That tail!
Me modeling the hood
It is hard to describe what it feels like when you *make* something and a newly five-year old boy’s  eyes light up with joy. When he throws down his current toy, and immediately shucks off his clothes (that’s not too hard to imagine if you know little boys), struggles into the costume then runs off, tail swinging behind him, with a shout that he’s “GONNA GO SHOW CHRIS!!!!” 

My heart exploded into a million pieces that even now, with the kids happily back with their mother, is not fully put back together.

Pattern:  Simplicity 1765
Materials:  Fleece, more fleece, fiberfill, felt, zipper
Missing:  Fierce arm bands, a spiky shell