Showing posts with label dinosaurs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dinosaurs. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

on how I can't finish anything

Okay, that should be, "on how I finish a sh*tload of stuff, but can't get it together to blog about it."

I've been in an insane crafty mode for some time now.  Besides working on products for my business, I've had an overwhelming urge to make stuff for my kids.  Last night I couldn't fall asleep for the thought of the bean back toss game I want to build for them.  This will involve cutting, sanding, assembling, painting, and sewing, but I was so psyched about the idea I nearly leaped out of bed and started pulling out plywood at midnight.  So today, with the little free time I had, I pulled fabrics and sewed six bean bags.  I've been working on stuff like this for months.

Sometime during the summer I mentioned to River that when he was ready we could redecorate his room - swap out the decals and add some new shelving.  Little did I know my casual remark would turn into a full blown mission for him.  For weeks he talked about putting up huge dinosaurs on his walls and changing the paint color.  It got so bad he would climb out of bed at night complaining of being scared, "because I don't have any dinosaurs on my walls to protect me from monsters."  Geez, kid, you mean business.

So one weekend we got into do-it-yourself mode and took the old car decals down, patched and primed the walls, painted, went to the fabric store and made a batch of dinosaur decals.  I took photos of the entire process - EXCEPT FOR THE FINISHED LOOK!  All of that work - and it turned out great, I might add - and I keep from posting about it because I don't have the "After" shot.

And I'm too lazy to just take the damn photo.

So what follows are all of the many projects I've worked on - and finished - that don't have final photo representation.

Before the dinosaur redecoration, I got an idea that River and I should make a dinosaur habitat for him to play with.   He got really into it and insisted on including a volcano and meteorite to show the possible ways they met with extinction.  (The red and gold glitter were his idea - yes, my son is pretty fabulous.)

I was most excited to work on a paper mache cave with River.  He got really into it, and we had a blast making it.  But it took time to dry and in the mean time, I got some shots of him playing with the (mostly) finished diorama.

No cave, photos, of course.  But it's awesome, trust me.

Then came River's room redecoration.  Here are the patched walls, waiting for new paint.

And a half-painted wall.

Making the pattern for one of four dinosaur decals.

Half-finished stegosaurus.  And that's it!  I'm sure you'd love to see the walls, dinosaurs, and enormous new book/toy shelf, but sorry.  I can't be bothered.

Finally, here's the pattern for two bean bag chairs I made for the kids.   I was going to write a whole tutorial to put up on my design blog, but this is what you get.

A half-finished, inside out bag.  It rocks in real life!  I swear!

Just in the time since Lila was born, I'm sure I've finished a dozen blog-worthy projects, many lacking any photo documentation.  Think there's any chance an "in-process" design blog would take off?

Friday, July 23, 2010

I'm kind of a horrible mom

*Seriously minor Toy Story 3 spoiler in here, FYI*

River has had such a growing love for dinosaurs lately and I've been feeding that obsession whenever possible. There are some great books out there with detailed pictures of what dinosaurs might have looked like when they roamed the earth, and there are some educational shows (like Dinosaur Train - Seriously, who was the marketing genius that came up with that one?) that he can watch to see dinos in action. But they're cartoonie, (and unrealistic if we're being picky - that T-Rex, Buddy, would have ripped his adoptive Pteranodon family to shreds in the real world). Finding a source for real-looking live-action dinosaurs was proving difficult. Finally, on a whim Thom bought Jurassic Park, thinking River could watch some of the more mild, non-T-Rex-eating-that-dude-on-the-toilet scenes. But tonight, faced with no other good options for a fun Friday night family movie we decided to just run the whole thing and see what happened.

My kid is wacko.

He screamed more in Toy Story 3 than he did watching Jurassic Park. Buzz Lightyear gets reprogrammed? AAAAAAAHHH! T-Rex munches on some lawyer? Awesome.

Now, he did get scared, but it wasn't the out of control "Turn it off! Turn it off!" scared some other movies have inspired (like Bee Movie. Bee. Movie. That kid's sense of terror is completely twisted.) In fact, he offered to "protect" me when I was too scared to watch the scene with the Velociraptors in the kitchen.

I think he was just so thrilled to finally see real-looking dinosaurs in action, he didn't care who they were eating. Since we watched to whole movie, the start of bedtime was a bit late, and wired up as he was from finally seeing his favorite creatures in the whole world alive(!) he did not go down easily. Shortly after I gave him his last hug he came out of his room with the excuse that he needed to pee. Two minutes of stalling later - and no pee - he was back in his room. Then, he came up the stairs with both of his bears and his water and sat on the top step saying he couldn't sleep. He wanted someone to come play with him.

Being the awesomely-engaged parents we are, Thom and I ignored him and continued to putter on our computers. I figured he'd get bored sitting there with no one to talk to and head back to bed. He gave a few more half-hearted attempts to get our attention, but we didn't respond. When he had been quiet for about five minutes I looked over and saw this:

I carried him downstairs to his bed and he didn't stir. I sure hope he's having sweet dino dreams (and not the kind that will have him in our bed at 2am).

Wednesday, July 07, 2010


The Apatosaurus (aka: Brontosaurus) River and I made out of playdoh this morning:

The Apatosaurus shirt I made for River this afternoon:

(See? I don't just sew clothes for Lila)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

subtitled: WHACK!

River has been obsessed with two things lately: dinosaurs and stories. Here, we combine his two great loves in film:

(double click to see the wide screen version)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

River News: 3 years

Dear River,

These days whenever someone asks you how old you are, you hold up your fingers and say, "I turned three for my birthday in Las Vegas. It's a LONG way away so you have to take a plane." Your birthday was over two months ago, but the memory of that trip is burned into your brain still. I am both thrilled and terrified that you are at an age where you will start forming permanent memories. Up until now there was a reasonable expectation that most of the stupid mistakes I've made as a parent at least wouldn't scar you for life. No more.

You are so sharp and your ability to remember the minutest detail boggles my mind. That Las Vegas trip, for instance, still inspires you to talk about the hiking you did "in Red Rock with cousin Sydney" or "swimming in the pool at Oma's house." You love to tell about what you know, and you can go on and on about different kinds of dinosaurs ("a T-rex is a meat eater which is a carnivore") and trucks ("I call these twisty things in my trash truck spirals but Dadu calls them augers") and nature ("that plant is a shrub because it's short and fat"). Your vocabulary and comprehension of the mechanics of the world is unbelievable. Thankfully you still have a few adorable mispronunciations to remind me you're just a little kid (cimanon, quiwet time, and pre-tors are my favorite ones).

Physically you are way past toddlerhood - there is nothing uncertain or weak about the way you move your body. You are a skilled climber and love to run, spin and dance. Your little swivel-hip dance moves could give Elvis a run for his money. We spend lots of time working on art projects and your manual dexterity is getting so strong. In art class you've started creating shapes in the paint (mostly monsters) rather than just filling the page with color, and you work so hard at coloring in the lines at home.

Probably your favorite thing to do right now is spend time in the backyard with your dad. You help him with the yard work, have squirt gun or water ballon battles, or just play on your play structure. You love to be dirty and mourn the loss of your grime each night at bath time. If we let you, you'd always be in your pajamas (which is a trait you get pretty equally from your parents) and never cut your hair. You are such a hippy.

As you learn more and more about the world, I can see bits of your innocence ebbing away. You're starting to explore the idea of death in lots of different ways. You are so sad the dinosaurs are extinct and you talk all the time about a dinosaur land where they are still alive and you can visit them. When we play fighting games you make it clear that you're just pretending and you "don't really want to dead mommy."

This grappling with life and death influences your ideas about food too. You are connecting the idea that meat is dead animals and you've played with the idea of being a vegetarian like mommy. I don't push you, but I do want you to be aware of where all your food comes from - to think about it as a choice, not blindly eating whatever is put in front of you.

Still, you are innocent in so many ways. Most of our mornings begin with you crawling into bed with me and snuggling for a few minutes before you're off at breakneck speed for the day. Often, Lila is in bed too, and you attack her with hugs and kisses. I cannot tell you how much I love these quiet moments before the storm; it's my favorite part of the day and I hope you don't grow out of these cuddle sessions too soon.

I don't know if it's just a short period of peace or the nice weather or a real shift, but you have really mellowed in the past few weeks. From the time you were about 2.5 to just recently I felt like we were in a constant state of battle. You have been pushing and testing for so long, I forgot what it was like to just have a nice, playful day with you. But that's how it's been and it's is so unbelievably wonderful to just play with you and not fight all the time.

River, you are an amazing little boy. I can't imagine a more charming, smarter, more engaging kid than you. I know I'm biased, but that doesn't mean I'm wrong. I love you so much.