Summer Lovin’ and a Little Bear Dress

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Did I say 1 post per week or 1 post per season? Hmm… well yes, I am back from my break out of blogland, which was the result of a whole bunch of little reasons but we’ll leave it at the umbrella of having an entirely active summer. Since the rain stopped for us, we’ve been on-the-go this summer. A has been absolutely loving it. Swimming, running (full-on sprint now), climbing, jumping! (so excited), swimming, more climbing.

We’ve made a point to explore new playgrounds and parks this summer, which has been very fun. Still, we definitely have our favorites. They each seem to have their own strengths, just like anything else. We save Chapin Forest and Penitentary Glen for fall hikes typically (mosquitoes LOVE these two), although we’ve visited the animals a little at the Glen. We’ve really loved the Cuyahoga Valley National Park this summer. The river is so peaceful to bike along and since we bought our trailer back in June, this is the one place I feel 100% safe toting my little one where I can’t see her. We’ve truly truly been enjoying the lake this summer. I’m actually starting to feel like a Cleveland-ite now! and I think it’s all because I’m falling in love with Lake life. The beach above is Mentor Headlands, which despite its size is not my favorite. We did Fairport Harbor this past weekend, and did the double kayak with pup swimming alongside. Now THAT was a good time.

There was a post by Meg of Sew Liberated that I loved, where she talks about how some kids are “doll kids” and some kids are “animal kids.” Now I get that most kids have both, particularly girls, but I think most kids are only passionate about one or the other. A is most definitely an animal kid. She enjoys her doll. She has this one, which I adore for it’s stunning beauty and lifelike qualities, but she is straight up in LOVE with her animals. Our dog and cat are deeply loved and often smothered with attention, and she pours this affection over into her stuffed animal play as well.

These days, in addition to the very physical focus of her life, A is spending a lot of time developing a mind for relationships between entities. Mothers and fathers and their babies, girls versus boys (she is entirely pro-girl with the one exception that Daddy is THE BEST), order of events like being born or not yet born. When she meets someone new, she often asks “Mama does she have a number?” which is her rather adorable way of asking how old someone is. The question indicates where her head is at though; what she really wants to know is how she can describe and organize this person. She’s got a whole bunch of processing going on in that beautiful mind and it’s a full-time job providing her with minimal direction and trying to stay out of her way, allowing her to develop intangible constructs about who she is and what she loves without obstruction from me or anyone else. If something is her favorite today, great. I make no assumptions that it will be the same tomorrow.

Despite the lack of activity here, I have actually done a wee bit of sewing these summer months. The above “little bear” dress is a size 5 Geranium. As anyone in bloggy land will tell you, this pattern is a staple. At this given moment, A has at least 3 Geranium dresses/tops hanging in her closet and I’ve made two in the past as well. Geranium was one of my first pattern purchases, maybe my first, actually? I can’t remember. Anyway, it is an easy sew, an amazingly straightforward pattern and has enough variety in sleeves/finishes that it’s quite versatile. I hand painted a little bear on the front and the (now extinct) cursive text as well. The buttons on the back are little white bears with a pearl-ish finish. Fabrics are Kona cotton and quilting cotton from Jo-Ann’s  (again! I know…) — I have actually cut into some more high-end fabric finally, I promise to post that soon!

I find it so sad that cursive isn’t being taught anymore. My writing leaves much to be desired, but I can still remember trying to make my words look beautiful when I was in second grade and writing “little” on the overhead projector with an Expo marker. I won a green apple BlowPop for all those loops in “little!” What do kids get rewarded for in school now? I think I will probably teach A how to write cursive at home. I wouldn’t call myself a full blown Waldorf mom or Montessori mom, but I do believe in the statement that every child deserves to grow up in an environment that is beautiful and to be given a space and the tools to create beauty with their own two hands. I also believe that they each deserve to grow in a place where at least one person is “irrationally crazy about them.” It’s a feeling I’ve had since I was a child myself, but put to words by a mentor at Cornell who passed recently, Urie Bronfenbrenner. He was the mentor of my mentor, actually, but I do believe that the people who inspire greatness in you imprint upon the very fabric of who you are and it’s tangible to the world you live in. In a way, I think it’s possible that some people do live forever.

Whew. That was heavy. Anywhoosy, I finished a few other projects that I’ll save for another post, including another penguin! Hope you’re having a wonderful summer!

– Cynthia

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2 thoughts on “Summer Lovin’ and a Little Bear Dress

  1. Aunt Mer says:

    As always, I loved your recent post. I’m surprised that you got any sewing or cutting out done at all, with all of your activities! I don’t know if we talked about your association with Urie Bronfenbrenner before or not — he was someone I studied in graduate school (but unfortunately, I can’t remember his area of human development). What a name from the past!

    Also, as always, we love you guys!

    Like

  2. Amy says:

    Love reading your posts. Can’t wait to see the next one. Not sure what I like better, seeing the adorable outfits you created or seeing your photography skills in action. “A” looks beautiful in all of the pics.

    Like

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