FINALLY this week feels like we've got in the groove. Mornings aren't so hard, drop offs not such a big deal. I've actually been able to ENJOY my minute alone time twice a week rather than cry on the phone to my mom (not that I didn't need that too though mama, thanks again).
If I were in the mourning process, which I think I am a bit, I'd say I'm in the acceptance phase. Moving forward, trying not to linger on those sad things I can't change. Like so missing my girls in the mornings, giving up control and trusting others to care for them (so much harder than I thought). But I see how they're flourishing. How much Ainsley loves having her own friends and experiences and how my sweet Louise was so clearly ready for a bit of big girl school time. And now that I've finally figured out how to fit it all in a day? Why, I'm even enjoying the new cadence a bit too.
While afternoons used to be quite lazy for us, a meander up to the park, a stop and go bike ride, a romp out front with no shoes and bubbles, they have become a bit more scheduled, in the most fun a creative way. There of course will still be bubbles and walks and parks, but first? a bit of mama craft time. Something I so needed, WE so needed to get back in our lives.
Up this week, why apples of course! We picked up Elisa Kleven's Apple Doll from the library, a favorite from last year, but this year? Well, we're making our own apple dolls.
It's really quite simple. You peel an apple, carve out a nose and poke little places for eyes and a mouth, soak the apple in lemon juice for a half hour or so and place it somewhere warm and dry to dry out
I asked the girls if they wanted the "quick dry" method of leaving the apples in a low low oven for 3 days, or setting them on the buffet and letting nature take it's course and they were both adamant that they wanted their apples out in the open to watch over. In a few weeks we should have some delightfully shriveled little faces. I can't wait to make bodies with them out of pipe cleaners, cloth clothes and yarn hair.
Next we whipped up a batch of homemade finger paint, scented with fall spices. Anything that involves measuring, mixing and cooking is a favorite around here. We ground some of the spices fresh in the coffee grinder and then added them to the cooled finger paint (1/2c, cornstarch, 2 cups water, 2 T sugar, stirred constantly over medium heat until thick, then add food coloring). We used cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice and nutmeg. Our finger paint was a bit thick. Perhaps more water next time? But the girls didn't mind. It was definitely more of a sensory experience than an art project, but aren't they all a bit at 2 and 3.5 years old?
It feels so good to know that we can have it all. My girls can go to school happily, I can make it through all the drops offs with energy to spare and our afternoons can be both lazy and fun and creative. Really, whatever we choose.
Ok fall, NOW I'm ready for you :o).