Friday, September 17, 2010

DMK Unisex Warm Hooded Jacket

I had the thrill and honor to test a pattern for a dear woman, Karen, who designs Dear My Kids clothing patterns. I'd made another one of her creations -- Stylish Double Breasted Jacket-- and struggled with it a little. Karen helped me and was so kind. (most of my issues were due to the fit of the sleeve and my slap happy cutting which wasn't a good combo. )

Here is that one:

The Warm Hooded Jacket was another winner. I love the tips that Karen adds and the versatility of her patterns. The Warm Hooded Jacket just looks fantastic!

Ok ok, you be the judge!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Back to School

     It's a long story but I'll try to make it shorter.

     I never thought I would homeschool my children. I had the two boys and they went to preschool, kindergarten and all that. I was The Oldest's biggest advocate for services and try to find some answers for so many things that just didn't 'feel right'. Then, 4th grade hit (sink or swim year, I claim), he got more and more miserable. The school did nothing to protect him from a bully IN. HIS. CLASS. and he, in the end, was suicidal at age 9.

Oh yes, I'm pretty sure I can do better than that so I chose to homeschool. And if I was going to homeschool one, let's have them all stay home. At that time, Puppy Feet had just finished Kindergarten and Lil Lady was only, well, little.

It was a huge journey. Where to begin? What style to use? How do we make this work? What support systems can we find? How can we make a wintry holiday season of this stuck at home? All of that and much, much more. We found a grove and, most days, it was neat. Kind of a lack luster word, I know but it was. Watching my kids learn, right from the start, seeing concepts click, sharing wonderful experiences with friends.. honestly, motherhood doesn't get better than that.

The Oldest still had his struggles. In the 4 1/2 years he was home he was diagnosed with so many things. Medically and emotionally. The poor guy can't catch a break. Really. But having him home, knowing him so closely and *not* giving him up for 6+ hours a day to someone else helped. Sure, we butted heads. That's not ever going to change, we're too much alike but seeing him soften and getting hugs from him when I'd lost him by 4th grade.. Well, I'm sure you can understand.

Puppy Feet-- what can't I tell you about this boy. He was the "Baby who stayed" after 2 miscarriages and I didn't put him down for a year, I tell you. My slice of sanity when there was none left. My playful little crazy guy that can always make me smile. I get to keep him?! He can stay home and I can enjoy him MYSELF? It was terrific. Letting him learn things on his *own* timetable, when he was ready and when it was so easy for him.. what a gift to give him.

Yet now, going back to school at 11 years old when he never really did before is a little daunting. For both him and me. It didn't matter than he didn't learn to tie his shoes until his sister almost learned before him. But schools don't understand that. So now, he's a bit behind, jumping to catch up and the schools think we sat around and drooled on ourselves for 5 years. Ask me how hard *that* pill was to swallow. They'll see. They'll see that Puppy Feet is brilliant socially. People *want* to be around him, *want* to please him and *want* to be his friend. No, just because we homeschooled doesn't mean he needs afterschool care to 'socialize', thanks anyway. And, let them see how my wonderful boy is ready and will snap up all that information they have for him and show all doubters (family and 'friends' included) that being homeschooled didn't hold him back but RAISED. HIM. UP. You show them, R!

And my Lil Lady. My Little Princess who isn't so much a princess anymore. (not with tutus and crowns anyway but still the expectations of one!) What does she think of all this? At 7, she really didn't 'miss much' school by entering now. Is she happy that she gets to go to school and not have the stigma my second son has? Or does she look at how brilliantly my oldest has done and say "I can do that too!"? I don't get the chance to guide her like I did with Puppy Feet when it comes to catty girls or exclusive groups or learning too much about adult things too young. I had a chance to stop all that with The Oldest and it never started with Puppy Feet. What happens to her?

So all in all, I'll miss the wonderful opportunities I had to learn with my children. Seeing a hermit crab change shells one day with them was outstanding! Moments like that are too many to number. But I am trying to keep my chin up. The Oldest has done fantastic. I know the choice with him was right and it was easier but he's in high school now.  I need to have faith that the foundation I've laid with my two younger will always remain. Even when they are out of the home 6 hours a day.

I keep trying to tell myself that anyway. I miss you two already. <3