It turns out it's really taking me some time to get into a good routine with all the changes around here. The late summer involved squeezing in some more summertime fun, socializing, and getting ready for school. And then chaos ensued. Ninna started school two weeks ago and, unfortunately, it was a really unpleasant experience. I won't go into it here, but we pulled her out mid-week last week, and as of last Friday had enrolled her in a new school about which we all feel much, much better. I'll get to that in another post because for now, I'd like to spend a few minutes documenting our summer before we've moved too far along and it never gets done!
There was, of course, our yearly Michigan trip:
Bojey enjoyed the 12 hour drive as much as she has in years past:
This has become a bit of a joke. Each year we wonder if she's going to tolerate it any better than the last. Poor thing does not want to be restrained.
My parents set up a kiddie pool like they do every year, and, like she does every year, Ninna flashed her wide eyes and sly smile, tricking my dad into carrying out pot after pot of hot water so they could have a luxury spa experience instead of garden hose temps. Lucky for them they have this trip because they know mama would never succumb to such requests...
The girls played duets on my parents' piano. One day we will have one of our own so I can hear such sweetness every day:
I've accidentally created a tradition of photographing my girls every year next to the historic fountain at the Detroit Zoo, and OH MY STARS WHEN DID MY BABY GET SO BIG?!
Upon returning home, we got back into our usual routine, which is to say that Ninna dazzled me with her spontaneous craftiness--in this case, making an umbrella (from a stick and fabric) for our under-the-weather next door neighbor. Note the headband she made from the extra fabric:
And then we were off again on our yearly trip to upstate New York, beloved not only because it involves our dear friends and the green, clean outdoors, but also because it is virtually free:).
While there, we went to the county fair, where we got to do things like ride merry-go-rounds, pet goats, and see a cow jump up and unexpectedly "hug" a 4-H kid around the shoulders (yeah, it was weird...and a little scary...but the kid was fine).
We played in a brook:
And we swam in a self-filtering pool made from a dammed-up section of the same brook:
Home again meant crafting again, beginning with these flying paper bird toys. I started to write a tutorial at one point, but I stopped, and there's no going back now.
We made a fairy garden and were much more inspired than last year. Here it is, brand-spanking new, before we planted chia and wheat grass:
We sewed a leaf garland on the inaugural day. It only lasted until the end of the day before shriveling, but it looked so cute while it lasted:
We went to the free day at the Montreal Botanical Gardens. The kiddos listened to some kind of zen chants in the building next to the Japanese gardens, and I don't know why, but I find these photos quite funny:
Also in the Japanese gardens, I learned that I kind of love bonsai. Look at this--it's a whole bonsai maple forest! Can you believe it?
Can't you just imagine fairies in there? I can.
While at the Botanical Gardens, we stopped at the Insectarium (also free). Look at this amazing rainbow of beetles:
An absolutely enormous insect, with my hand for size comparison:
Did you know that this is a thing? It is.
Camouflage--one of my favorite tricks of nature. Incredible.
We also did many more summer crafts, including these corn husk dolls (assembled weeks ago, photographed today) who grow creepier and more shriveled with each passing hour:
So in re-reading this post, it seems the two themes of our summer were "visit free or low-cost places" and "make stuff." And that sounds about right. We did many other things and had many enjoyable days (and, of course, plenty of unenjoyable moments as well), some of which I won't get to here, and some of which are unphotographed and will remain as fleeting bits of our subconscious.
All in all, it was a good summer, but I'm really ready for fall. I'm looking forward to getting used to our new routine with Ninna's school and doing more of things like cooking and baking, writing, and warm, wintery handwork. I'm thankful that I'm going to be working more (I have some exciting new employment opportunities.) And I'm really, truly looking forward to blogging more often. I've missed interacting with you guys (and all the wonderful ideas I get from you), sharing projects, and having a record of how we've been passing the time. And so I welcome fall. It can't come soon enough.
And what about you, dear readers? Are you looking forward to fall or hanging on to the last shreds of summer, or both? (except for my Australian readers, that is!)