Sunday, November 29, 2009

Lost & Found

We spent Thanksgiving at My sister's house. She and her family live in Southern California. We were really looking forward to the trip and had everything ready to go last Sunday. The car was loaded, the girls were fed and I'd made everyone hit the potty to avoid stopping ten minutes down the road. But just as we were getting ready to walk out the door, our six year old daughter(and hamster owner), Sadie, yelled, "The hamster's gone!".

Sure enough, the hamster (who shall remain nameless, mostly because he remains nameless) had, somehow, managed to get out of his cage (it's likely that the last person to feed him accidentally left the latch open, that would be me). So the whole family spent the next two hours searching for the hamster and trying to remind each other to keep the doors shut so the cat didn't come in and find the hamster first. We looked everywhere. We each took a part of the house and worked as a team, but still, no hamster.

Finally, I decided to put food and water in several conspicuous places throughout the house and hope for the best. Then, much to my daughter's dissatisfaction, we left.

We were at my sister's for nearly a week and there were a number of occasions that Sadie teared up because she was worried about the hamster's well being. She and my six yo niece got the wishbone this year. You can imagine what Sadie wished for, "I want my hamster to be okay", followed by tears. It broke my heart. I was able to console her a little as I explained that he was, most likely, having a great time with the house all to himself and that it was probably like a little party for him. But, in the back of my mind, I feared the same thing that my daughter feared.

At the end of a wonderful week, we headed for home. Once we arrived, I immediately headed for the one place where I'd left food and water thinking that it would be the most likely place for him to find it. It hadn't been touched. I then went to the opposite end of the house and saw another dish of hamster food in the distance and it too look untouched, until, I took a closer look. I realized that all of the sunflower seeds had been eaten out of the dish and then out of the corner of my eye, I saw him run by (or walk really fast, as hamsters do).

He was safe. I was able to breath a sigh of relief. I hadn't killed the hamster! Sadie was thrilled and I hadn't lied. He was having a little party, in a hamster sort of way, while we were gone. There were signs that he'd been in nearly every room.

It was one of those things that happen in life where it's not welcomed and it's an unpleasant experience, but in the end everything worked out for the best. It was also, no doubt, the best (and first) Thanksgiving our little hamster has ever had.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Old Fabric Meets Old Book & They Live Happily Ever After...The End

I've been making these "Book Bags" lately. I love them. I recently used one and I noticed that it caught the eye of a few different women. Then the bravest among them approached and asked, "Oh my gosh, is that a book?" I appreciated the fact that they noticed. I'm in California though, so while they noticed that it was a book, they had very little appreciation for the vintage Lilly fabric. Most people here look at me with a puzzled expression when I mention Lilly heart goes out to them : )

Then, there are those who are familiar with Lilly Pulitzer but simply say, "I don't like's way too bright for me". It's always a little awkward. It would be like me telling someone that I'm a peanut farmer and they respond by telling me that they are allergic. The conversation's pretty much over at that point.
It's unfortunate because I want to talk with people about vintage Lilly and how interesting the era was (1960s)as the country developed a different standard for the separation of classes, a subject that I find most fascinating. For me, looking at vintage Lilly fabric is similar to looking at an old photograph. It's a glimpse into the past and it makes me feel a certain way. Of course, the new Lilly print, In the Slim ,has quite literally done just that by designing a pattern that incorporates old photographs. Needless to say, I love it.

I'm eager to discuss how Lilly's fabrics symbolized wealth, yet mocked conformism and how the (beyond) colorful Lilly shift was the upper echelon's way of insinuating that, they too, were entitled to a bit of 60's frolic. Which, might be considered, by some, as an attempt to join in without getting dirty. But none of that gets discussed because all too often, the exchange stops at "It's too bright for me". I always want to say, "Yeah, me too, but it's not about that", but instead, there's usually an unspoken agreement to change the subject to something far less controversial. Politics usually seems to do nicely.

For the record, Lilly patterns were and are way too bright, and that's what I love about them. I'll borrow the words of a reader who recently said, "They are just absolute fabulousness!" (a word that requires the ignore button when doing a spellcheck). My six year old also summed it up nicely when I received a huge shipment of vintage Lilly fabric in the mail, she exclaimed, "It looks like candy!". I agree.

Back to the bags. The two bags that you see here were made with vintage Lilly (1970s). One print was designed by Pell (the pink & green). The pattern is called "Confetti". The other (blue/green with tigers)was designed by Suzie Zuzek (Who else could possibly come up with those friendly tigers?). The name of the blue/green print is "HOB". I have no idea what "HOB" stands for. I'll work on finding that out!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

getting so big

Sadie, our six year old, lost her front tooth today. She was so excited and proud. I celebrated the joyous occasion with her and gave her a big hug. She happily ran off to show Daddy and I went in the bathroom and cried quietly for just a moment without anyone knowing.
It sounds silly and I know it. Why did I cry over something like my six year old losing a tooth? I cried, quite simply, because she's changing. She's constantly changing, but something like the loss of a tooth, especially a front tooth represents that she is no longer my baby. She's no longer any one's baby, she's a big girl now and she's starting to look like one.

It reminds me of her first day of kindergarten, which was a little over a year ago. We were prepared for her first day of school, after all, she new her letter sounds and could count to fifty. Everything was going to be just fine. And, it was. We took her to school, she was wearing a dress that we picked out for the occasion (yes, it was a Lilly), she had her new tote bag with her name on it and her lunch was packed with her favorites.

That morning, I stood there on the unfamiliar playground and watched her as she played with little children that I'd never met. She was heart was pounding. The bell rang and the teacher came to gather the children. It was time for her to stay, more importantly, it was time for me to go. There were no tears, she didn't cry and I refused to. A quick hug goodbye and she ran off.

I left the playground and walked to my car, which was maybe 30 yards away at best. But it might as well have been miles because at that moment my heart embarked on an endless journey. I knew that I had just walked away from a little girl who wouldn't be there that afternoon when I came back. She was going to be different. She would have new friends and new teachers, when in the past, I played the role of both. This was how it was supposed to be. Everything was going as planned.

As I drove home, it became so clear to me, that the challenge in learning how to be a good mother doesn't lie in learning how to take care of a child (most of us are born with that ability), the true difficulty in learning how to be a good mother, is developing the skill needed to recognize when the time has come to allow her experience the world without me. I will always be there for her, but if I'm doing it right, she will need me less and less. Every milestone that we celebrate is bitter-sweet because each step she makes is really a step away. Sometimes I just want to grab her and keep her, that's all, just keep her.

I came back that afternoon and picked her up. On the way home she told me all about school, only stopping occasionally to take a breath. She told me about her new friends. She told me about her new teachers. She said that her favorite was Miss T and that she'd been to Africa. Miss T. was going to teach the children all about Africa. She was thrilled. I was thrilled for her. I told her how wonderful it all sounded and that I was so happy that she liked her new school, and I sincerely was. I still am.

Tonight she'll put the tooth under her pillow and the tooth fairy will come. She'll leave something for Sadie and then she'll put the tooth in my jewelry box (we have an agreement). I'm guessing Sadie will get $5 for her tooth, after all, it is a front tooth. She'll spend it on a toy or perhaps a new gold fish and the money will be gone. I, on the other hand, will save her tooth forever, even though I know she no longer needs it.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Driving Miss Lindy (& Miss Hollyn)

I used to work (outside the home). For many years, I was a mental health case manager. I provided case management services for mentally ill, homeless adults. Before that, I worked as a counselor in a locked psychiatric facility. Before that, I was a student/waitress (mostly waitress, if I'm being honest). My point is, in my life, I've been party to some rather odd conversations.
But nothing, in all my years, has prepared me for some of the conversations that take place in my minivan (yes, my minivan) as I drive my 4 yo twin daughters from place to place.
Case in point:
The setting: While in our minivan I see someone I know. He's walking into the grocery store as we are driving away from the store and I wave.
The conversation went as follows:
Twins: "Why did you wave at that man?"
Me: "He's a friend of Mommy's."
Twins: "But why do you have to wave at him?"
Me: (after pausing to think my reply through) I explain the importance of acknowledging the people we know when we run into them and how it's the courteous thing to do and then, while allowing her time to soak in my pearls of wisdom, I anxiously await her reply...
Twin A: "Are jellyfish born?"
Me: Realizing that my "pearls of wisdom" weren't soaked in at all, but rather bounced and that we have seriously shifted gears yet, still determined to handle the situation, I say, "That's a good question. Mommy will Google it when we get home." Proudly avoiding the "Did you hear what Mommy just said?" question, I now feel satisfied with myself again...until...
Twins: Burst into uncontrollable laughter and start to scream "Google, Google Google!!" just like that, in sets of three and continue this chant during the entire drive home because they think it sounds hilarious.

Sometimes (and this was one of them) I think that they are messing with me, but then, I remember that they are four, smile and turn up the radio. Ramble on...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Ooh La La Lilly!

I've been very busy making headbands these days. I just made fifty for the American Music Awards SWAG bags (or goody bags, as they are often called). If you are wondering what SWAG stands for (I did too), it stands for Souvenirs, Wearables and Gifts. I was so excited and jumped at the opportunity. Who cares if I'm a little sleep deprived? And so what if Sadie's Girl Scout badges sit there staring at me waiting for me to sew them on her little GS Daisy vest? By the way, I tried the fabric glue for the GS patches (that endlessly flow into my house) and it just doesn't work. Not only does it not work, when the patch comes off at school (which I'm guessing takes place around 8:30 am), there's are huge dark stain where the lame mother tried to attach the patch with "glue"...go Mom! Just a little heads up for you future GS moms. Believe me, no patch is waaay better than a huge, shiny stain where the patch is supposed to be.

Back to the headbands for the AMA awards, I'm not using contemporary Lilly fabric (want to stay in good graces with the folks at Lilly), just a few vintage prints and others that aren't Lilly at all. I'm using some amazing (non-Lilly) vintage prints that I've acquired over recent months. I keep asking myself, "What would Beyonce like?" So far I haven't a clue. But, if in future months you happen to see Beyonce sporting a bright pink and green psychedelic print headband with cats on it, you can be sure that it's mine!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

To blog, or not to blog....

So here goes. Now that I have one of the prettiest blogs around (thanks to Beth, ebay ID the*pink*tulip). I can spill my guts when it comes to every tiny detail of my complex life, or at least tell you how my morning went.

I wasn't sure if blogging was for me. I'm relatively busy with my three young daughters (Sadie 6, Linden & Hollyn, 4 1/2 yo twins). I also make and sell pretty, hand-made items (using Lilly Pulitzer fabric). I'm already on the computer all of the time anyway. So why not take the time to write a little about our lives, as well as, my products.

Who am I? I am a 30ish woman, because 39 is 30ish, who currently stays at home while raising our three amazing daughters. My plans didn't include staying home. I had every intention on returning to work after the birth of our twins, that as over four years ago. We'll see what the future holds. As for now, I'm happy to be with them during these early years as they seem to grow so quickly, sometimes too quickly.

I'm married. He's a great guy. We have been together for eighteen years (married 9). We live in Northern California, in the Sierra foothills.

As for the title "Looking 4 Lilly", I use it because I'm always looking for Lilly P. fabric. Looking 4 Lilly is my ebay ID and it's the name of one of my etsy shops as well. The other is The Vintage Lilly.

I think that pretty much covers it. Let the blogging begin.