Have I ever mentioned that I'd love to know how to knit? Or sew? Or quilt? Really, anything crafty I'd love to know how to do. A lot of "mommy blogs" have these lovely projects that the authors put together for their children, or friends' children. My friend Katie, who got me hooked on blogging in the first place, has made my girls two quilts, several hair clips, a blanket I learned how to swaddle Hadley in, and several burp cloths. She also made Hadley a purse with individual pockets to fit crayons in. How cool is that?
And I've tried to learn, really I have. In 8th grade I took a Home Ec. class in hopes to learn how to make a skirt (specifically, a skirt like the ones in Gone with the Wind....I had high aspirations). The look my teacher gave me as I tried to figure out what in the world I was supposed to be doing was the same one all my "teachers" who've tried to teach me something crafty have given me. It's sort of a mix between shock, confusion, shame, and anger. I've seen it from my friend Valerie who tried to teach me how to crochet. I think she spent an insane amount of time redoing the knots I created in a blanket I wanted to make (not just a throw, a blanket). I've seen it from a girl from our church in South Bend who knew she could teach me how to sew. She and I went to JoAnn Fabrics and picked out a pattern for a pillow (I chose the biggest pillow they had). And I've seen it from Helga, a marvelous lady who told the best stories to my two friends and I while we sat around her kitchen table and knitted away. Well, my two friends knitted away. I never got past the "practice yarn." Helga just shook her head and pursed her lips together. "You're not gettin' this," she said. But she still let me come back for her stories.
Anyway, I bring this up because a friend of mine, Mindy, is moving away to Houston next month. I met her and her first son, Aiden, at the library almost three years ago. I met her at the same time I met Erin and her first son, Matthew. Since then, we've gotten together for playdates, Girls' Nights Out, family get togethers, all those kinds of things that come with being parents. Mindy had us over this morning for a birthday party for Aiden (he turns three on Monday), and I wanted to make something for him so he could remember Hadley. But as I've explained, I can't do much with my hands. (You've read that entry about me making brownies, right?) Well, I have decent handwriting, and I've been known to use my communication finger quite effectively. But other than that, crafts for me are disasters.
But I was determined! So I paged through an adorable craft book my parents in-law gave to me. These projects are designed to do with your children, so you'd think I could manage them. And actually, I think I can, too. Except I start reading the directions and I end up calling Jesse at work to ask him if he knows what a "whip stitch" is.
I did find a "make a mobile" project that I thought I could do. The first two directions - draw circles out of cardboard and cut them out; glue pictures on the circles -I accomplished no problem. The third - "Fold two of the circles cut out of the magazines in half and glue them together" I started to get lost on. And the fourth step made me realize that I was in deeper water then I could handle. "Open one side of the pair of circles. Fold a third circle in half and glue one side of it down next to the first folded circle." What? There are three circles now? What first folded circle?
So I improvised. Here's what Hadley and I came up with:
She drew a bunch of pictures and "designs" to be glued on the circles.
I printed out a few pictures of Matthew, Aiden, and Hadley playing together over these past few years.
When Hadley saw the above picture, she said, "There's Ryan, Andrew, and Harper!" Ryan and Andrew are the younger brothers of Aiden and Matthew. And you know Harper, right?
We did a little gluing and cutting:
And here's the finished product:
Looks like it was put together in 5 minutes, right? It took the entire week.
Anyway, we went to a fun little party where the kids played and played.
And we had cake.
Here are a few videos of the girls playing:
I'm posting this next one because it shows Harper's complete lack of fear of dogs. Harper loves dogs. It's been a big point of contention between she and I.
The four of us had a great time. Hadley really likes hanging out with Aiden, and I'm sure she'll miss him when he moves away. I might not ever be able to do many crafty things, but hopefully I'm doing an OK job of providing her with experiences where she can make friends and play and laugh a lot. And I can always teach her how to shop. That'll make Jesse proud.