Monday, 18 November 2013

While Daddy's Away...

Two weekends ago, my husband, Chris spent a solo weekend in Los Angeles where the Vancouver Cycle Chic's films were being shown as a part of the New Urbanism Film Festival. I was very excited for him and his mini-vacation. Not only because of the honour to be featured in even a small film festival, but because after nearly three years, this was his first time away without the family. I've now had several trips away solo, and while most have been for work, I do understand how nice it is to have time where all you have to think of is yourself.

But of course, Daddy being away meant that I was only my own with my little rugrats. Nothing a woman who stayed at home for over 6 years with her kids couldn't handle, but I kept having this nagging thought in my head. You see, every time I go away, Chris and the kids have adventures all over the city. They get treats, they go to the beaches and parks, and they've even gone to a rock concert! I think that's true for most moms I know. When they go on a trip, the old adage, "When the cat's away, the mice will play" rings so true. But when it's the dad's turn to go away, not much changes, especially for stay-at-home moms. Chores still need doing, dinners need making, and life carries on like most other days.

Somehow I wanted our weekend to be somewhat different, even if I can't match the excitement of a daddy weekend. So I decided we'd take on a craft, something I know as awesome as Daddy is, he's no match for Mommy's mad creativity when it comes to a sewing machine and my passion for Christmas. This Christmas we're heading down the Coast for the holidays, meaning we aren't putting up a tree at home, nor can we take out boxes of Christmas decorations with us. I had seen paper trees at IKEA last Christmas, thinking that would be ideal, but when my search on the internet came up empty, I came up with a DIY option, something that was compact enough to fit into our luggage but still provide us with the tree necessary for Santa to leave presents under.

And so our own little adventure began with a trip to the crafter's wonderland that is Dressew. Aisles upon aisles of fabric, notions and anything else you can think of. After letting the kids play around with the fun fur (really...who can resist), we picked up some Christmas green felt along with a few other colourful options, some sparkly ribbon, a bit of polyfill, and, because I just had to, sequins. Then we headed home, ready for our big project.

All ready to get started!
Last Spring I started teaching Coralie how to use a sewing machine, and she even made her own pencil case. So she was very excited to be able to have another crack at it, especially for this extra special creation. After I cut out the main shape of the tree, together we pinned on the silvery trim, and then I sat her down at my machine and let her go. As she went along, she gained more confidence, I was able to adjust the speed and within no time, our Christmas tree was starting to come alive. After my sewing up the tree, filled with the polyfill, it was time to teach her a bit about hand sewing. From our other colourful felt, I cut out some shapes resembling various tree baubles, showed Coralie how to thread a needle, knot it off, and sew on sequins in any pattern she wished. 

Little brother watching while Coralie shows
off her ever growing skills

Project nearing completion...completed
project images will have to wait till Christmas
Sadly, Etienne doesn't have the dexterity or the interest to sit patiently and sew, nor do I think he would manage to get more than a few sequins in without pricking his finger several time. So while it may not have been as creative, his job was to place each felt creation on the tree, where they stuck safely without being physically attached. He was more than happy to take on that task. Our tree is still in progress while we finish up some more decorations, but I'm very happy with the results so far and excited for our tree away form home this Christmas.

So while I may not have taken the kids galavanting around the town, we spent a lovely weekend doing things only Mommy will do. And I've realized, that's ok. That just makes both the time Chris and I spend alone with the kids special and unique. We got to hang out, take a trip downtown to shop a little, and even create something special. I also got lots of cuddle time with my children without having to compete with my husband, something I've missed now that they're both off to full-time daycare a school every day. We certainly missed having Daddy around, but while Daddy's away, the rest of the Velo Family will manage just fine.

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