What a Week!

Well last week my creative energy, blogging mojo, and general spirit took a bit of a hit after some kind of crummy health stuff. Everything is ok, nothing catastrophic, but I got poked and prodded so much and then didn’t get the end result I wanted. It was a bit defeating.

But luckily I have a pretty great support system, friends and family that keep showing up and cheering me on! Chris is basically the best husband in the world, my parents are in constant contact and make me feel much less alone, and I have  friend 5 minutes away that springs into action when I call her. I’m so thankful for them.

So come on, 10 more weeks of this pregnancy to go! We can do this!

Summer Activities Plan!

Back in April the kids started a new school! We had been homeschooling and it was kind of by chance that I went on a tour with a friend and fell in love. It’s a very small private school that is Waldorf based. When I left the tour I felt like I had found the perfect place for my children and ever since we enrolled that feeling has been amplified more and more.

For the summer I wanted to continue some of the routine and easy going work that my kids look forward to at school. I knew I wouldn’t want to be too structured but also knew one child in particular needs that structure for their days to go well. I decided to take the concept of assigning a color and a theme to each day of the week (read more about this here!) and come up with fun activities we could do for every day of the week. The hope is that this keeps us off screens and allows for a loose plan to each of our days.

IMG_7414.jpg

Here’s how it works. My kids painted these adorable peg people and they are on display on our dining room table. Each day we move the color associated with that day to the center and then pull out a popsicle stick. I found these sticks in rainbow color at the dollar store and wrote preplanned activities on them and stuck them in a mason jar. This was the most time consuming part of this, but I did it over the course of a few days and honestly you can skip this part completely and just make up stuff on the fly! I preferred to put in the work ahead of time and then not have to do much during the summer. I’m lazy!

This is our first week using this system to kind of show you how it works and that the activities planned are fairly simple!

Mondays are Purple days and our theme is to Make something. Messy art projects, baking, Lego worlds, are all things to do on this day. Our first project was to make a treasure hunt and it turned out to be more brilliant than I planned! The kids each picked a ‘treasure’ from around the house and hid it somewhere. Then they made a map and guided the other person through the map, stopping along the way to give them quests (think jumping jacks, play the piano, run around the couch 3 times). They did most of it on their own and ended up spending an entire afternoon on the project and it morphed into imaginary play.

ACS_0425.jpg

Tuesdays are Red days and they are a day we can Explore. The first stick we pulled said Charlie’s favorite place and he picked to go to the ‘dinosaur museum’. So that afternoon we went to the Perot and checked out their new Ultimate Dinosaur Exhibit. Only two days of the week are real go out and do something days and it makes it easier for me to say yes knowing the other days will be chill, homebody days. I also plan in errands around those days so we stopped at the library and the bank on our way downtown.

ACS_0426.jpg

Wednesdays are Yellow days and these are our Learn Something days. I’ve stashed a few science kits, some books on certain themes, and plenty of reading and math games in our play room for the kids to use. Our first stick said to read or make silly poems and after the museum trip we were in full dinosaur mode so we went with that. Dinosaur books, dinosaur experiments (I subscribed last year to the Magic School Bus Science kits and they have been well worth the money!), and then funny dinosaur poems!

ACS_0427.jpg

Thursdays are Orange and they are our Go days. This week we pulled out a stick that said ‘new park’ but it also happened to be over 100 degrees. So we compromised and the kids asked to go to a trampoline park near our house. Honestly it was my favorite outing, but the kids had a blast and apparently Tues/Thurs are the cheap days to go so I can’t complain!

ACS_0428.jpg

Fridays are Green and they are our Play days. Play is something my kids don’t need a lot of help with but for some reason pulling out the stick is exciting to them, even if it’s just an idea to play with their regular toys! Today they pulled the ‘messy box’ stick which is the box I keep of our sensory play in. Aqua beads, kinetic sand, rocks, water play, all that good stuff. They set up shop in the kitchen and went to town creating a world with their small animal figurines. Something they could have done anyway, but being given the idea sparked a morning full of fun!

IMG_8285.jpg

Saturdays are Blue and are Family Days so all the sticks have things that we can do together. This one said ‘yummy treat’ so Chris took them to Bahama Bucks for shaved ice. I have easy things like game night and pizza night in there as well as outings like bowling and Top Golf. The weekends are my kids favorite days since they get dad all to themselves and these activities simply prompt us to do more than hang out at the house!

IMG_8284.jpg

Sundays are White and there are no sticks to choose from. We try to keep the day free and calm and truly make it our Sabbath. I let the kids do whatever they want these days so usually there are iPads and video games out. For us it works when the expectation is that screens aren’t really a part of our routine so the days like today that they get to use them are a bit more special. I’ve found that if screens get used more frequently I get asked more and more for them to be out and it becomes a battle. Not fully banning but definitely limiting them is just what works for us, and of course there are exceptions. For the most part though I let Sundays be a day of rest and that means everyone gets to choose what that looks like!

IMG_8283.jpg

As you can see our little gnomes have a nature collection accumulating and I wouldn’t be surprised if more little people join them soon. Whether or not you use them for a calendar, I highly recommend painting peg people. My kids pull them out all the time and love to play with them. I love Pepper and Pine’s tutorials on different characters and animals to make!

I hope your summer is going well and that you’re having fun just playing and being with your children whatever activities you choose to do!

Perfect Saturday

 

We had the most wonderful day Saturday. It started with Chris getting donuts and breakfast tacos for all of us (I mean, it had to be a great day!) and Harper and I headed to the Dallas Farmer’s Market with a friend. Summer produce is the best and I’m looking forward to cooking up some delicious food this week!

Harper is always fun on these kinds of excursions. I love how she quietly takes it all in and makes small requests, like to get a shaved ice, and then talks about the things she saw and heard for the rest of the week. Always listening that one.

Meanwhile Chris and Charlie took our dog Otis (I need to introduce you to Otis!) to the dog park for the first time and he had so much fun. He is a very energetic puppy but he loves humans and other dogs. Chris said he had the hardest time deciding whether to go say hi to all the people or to go play with all the dogs! He slept hard all afternoon so I think he played his little heart out.

We spent the late afternoon in the pool. The kids basically pull me around on the float and make Chris do all the hard work of throwing them around in the water! Pretty nice set up! Then Chris and I had ourselves a date night down in the Bishop Arts District.

We went and ate at Hatties, a restaurant we went to many times when we first moved to Dallas but hadn’t visited since. We are happy to report it’s still delicious and beautiful. Then we strolled around the neighborhood a bit, stopping in at galleries and a few shops. We ended at our favorite bar/bookstore, The Wild Detectives, where Chris had a nightcap and we each picked out a book for one another.

Dallas has many sides to it and I was reminded Saturday of my favorite side. The one where all kinds of different people mix, where art and good food is highlighted, and where status in the world doesn’t matter much. Just enjoying the beautiful things we can find together and sharing them with those around us.

Perfect Saturday.

 

Make of the Week!

Over on my creative blog, Whit Makes, I have an easy t-shirt that I made, which I wouldn’t normally share but it was my first time using a pattern from a sewing magazine and I was so happy with how it turned out! Hope everyone had a great Fourth!

Currently

Thought I’d start the month with a little currently list to kind of catch up and recap what’s happening around here!

Watching: Recently I watched the movie Pride and cannot recommend it enough. A true story about gay activists in the UK that worked to help miners during the strike of 1984. Beautifully done, I promise you will laugh and cry and also feel hopeful for days afterwards.

Reading: I’ve had some hits and misses lately with books, and am planning to share the good ones later this month, but right now I’m reading In Farleigh Field: A Novel of World War II by Rhys Bowen and so far I’m really enjoying it. A mix of historical fiction and mystery with not too much heaviness, perfect summer read in my opinion.

Listening: While the kids were in school I started the Crazy Rich Asians audiobook, but haven’t had too much time to listen at the moment. I usually have an audio book going for when I’m around the house on my own or for my walks, but lately I have little ears always listening! So our spotify playlist has been going nonstop and looootttsss of Greatest Showman performances happening around here.

Making: I’m always sewing something (you can see my creative blog here for the latest makes) and right now I have a few summery dresses and one glamorous kimono I’m hoping to finish up soon. Then I’m probably done with makes for myself until after baby!

Feeling: A little anxious, a lot excited about my pregnancy. Seems crazy that we will be adding to our family but I dreamed about him the other night and a wave of peacefulness flooded over me. I get anxious before doctors’ appointments and have my glucose test Monday, please send me good vibes!

Planning: Oh, did I mention we are having a baby?!?! Little boy due in mid September. I have spent the past couple of days setting up the nursery and ordering a few things we need and want to make a couple of things for him and the room before he gets here!

Loving: Summer. Summer is my favorite. We are laid back in our schedule and I have been trying to be really intentional with how I spend my time with the kids. This is our last summer just the four of us and I want to spoil them rotten with my time! I’ll share some of the ways I’m setting up our days but mostly I just love being around them and spending our late afternoons in the pool waiting for daddy to come home and cannon ball in.

 

31 days of Blogging challenge!

I’ve decided to give myself a bit of a creative challenge for the month of July and put a blog post up every single day. I love blogging, the combination of pictures and words to share a story has always been very appealing to me. They say blogging is dead (they? the keepers of the cool?) but I still enjoy reading through my favorites a few times a week and hope you’ll add me to whatever blogging rotation you have.

In this age of media saturation it’s nice to carve out a space that’s just your own, whether anyone else reads it or not! I have no real plans except to cover the wide range of topics that make me happy. Meaning, food, books, family, faith, and pictures of plants are all likely to show up! On Wednesdays I will share a post over on my other blog, Whit Makes. That is a place that is strictly creative, usually sewing projects, and I will link them here as they come up if you’re interested in that kind of thing!

So July is here, it is hot as all get out and my schedule is pretty clear. Let’s use the internet for good, for inspiration and connection and maybe a little personal growth too. So long June, see you in July!