Project 52: Week 24 - Happy Campers

Since May's weekends were jam packed with events and activities, we had no choice but to plan our first camping trip of 2012 during the month of June.  What better way to honor my baby daddy than to go to the very campground he spent so many weekends during his bachelor days? Father's Day in Rodanthe...done!

Ryan was able to use some comp time and get out of work a little early on Friday, so we packed up the tents, snacks, boards, and beers and headed south on Highway 12.  It's such a beautiful drive, and it was really cool to see how the landscape of Hatteras Island has changed since Irene pummeled its shores last August.  The girls slept for a good chunk of the trip, so they were well rested and ready for Lisa's Pizzeria and ghost stories by the time we arrived and set up camp.  

Waiting for some grub 

 Mmmmm, pizza!

We watched a gorgeous sunset on the sound after dinner, then we all hit the hay pretty early in anticipation of a windy night's sleep in our tents.

For some reason, this tent came with a doggy door.  Brynn is a bit obsessed with it. 

This kid is not right. 

So excited to camp! 

Camryn's photo of Mommy and Daddy.  It's all you get of Ryan, who does not wish to be seen on the internet.  Phooey.

The next morning came around rather quickly, thanks to my tent-mate waking up at 5:45.  The wind was still whipping, and temps were only in the low 70s, so we drove south to Frisco, where we'd have some shelter from the wind.  We had picture perfect blue skies and turquoise seas:

Frisco Pier could use a little help

Applesauce...don't leave home without it!

After spending the better part of the day at the beach, we headed back up to the camp house, as Camryn called the campground, to try to get a little kayaking in before they put the boats away for the evening.  Camryn fell asleep in the car, and I certainly wasn't about to wake her, so Brynn and Ryan got some Daddy-daughter time out on the water together:

While they kayaked, I sat in the car with Camryn and finished my book.  Sadly, I completely missed Ryan taking Brynn out on a jet ski...rats!  We'll just have to go back again soon.

That evening, we grilled some hot dogs and made s'mores...s'mores make the Psimas girls smile:

After a better (and longer) night's sleep, we hit the beach in the morning before heading back to VB.  Some of our best buds came down to OBX for the day and joined us in Rodanthe for some playtime:

Someone's missing... 

Oh, here she comes! 

Cuz we're the four best friends that anyone could have!

If you ask me, Ryan and Trip couldn't have asked for a better Father's Day...on the beach with six beautiful ladies!  Lucky men.  Luckier ladies.

To cap off my enjoyment of the weekend, I got to catch the Dave Matthews Band concert when we got back to VB.  

Great seats, terrible picture.

Dave never disappoints, and I think even my unborn nephew had a good time:

 Rock on, little Raf.

The next day proved to be rather brutal, but my girls were on their best behavior as Mommy recovered from a fantastic weekend.  Thank goodness!

Feast or famine

It's interesting trying to get used to the ebb and flow of Fancy Fonts.  Aside from putting together a few things to display for the Farmer's Market, I hardly did a lick of work the entire month of May.  June hit, and I've had 5 orders for piggy banks and three sets of invitations to address.  Lately, my days have consisted of wearing my children out in hopes of an easy bedtime so I can get to work.  I'm thankful there has been plenty of awful television on to keep me up and at 'em (The Bachelorette, 16 and Pregnant, Teen Mom, oh my!)...otherwise, I'd be in bed before dark just like my kids!  Here's the latest piggy bank I've done for a little princess named Molly:

Piggy banks like Molly's can be purchased for $28, plus tax and shipping where applicable.  Email me at karen.psimas@yahoo.com or find me on Facebook to place an order.


Project 52: Week 23 - Everybody's learnin' how

If ten years ago, you told me my life would be what it is today, I would have laughed.  In your face.  Hard.  In 2002, I was renting a condo in White Plains, New York with a Canadian speech pathologist who had something against closing kitchen cabinets, as well as an affinity for playing weird Canadian solitaire games in the living room with the a/c cranked while bundled up in a sweatshirt and pants.  I was working six days a week and going out very little.  I was in this weird, lonely, I-miss-college kind of place, and I didn't know how to get out of the funk I was in.  

Then I moved south of the Mason-Dixon, and things changed pretty quickly.

Fast forward to this past weekend.  I woke up at 6am on a Saturday and ran 10 miles.  Then I collected my husband and two blonde children and hit the beach for a family surf session.  As I stood up on that surfboard, my legs feeling every inch of those 10 miles I ran, I couldn't help but chuckle.  WHO AM I???  A wife.  A mom of two really awesome little girls.  A runner?  A surfer?  Really???  Well alright.

Since I find the picture my mother-in-law took of me heading out to surf less than flattering, I'll leave you with a video of Brynn riding a wave instead (Ryan's mom is providing the commentary).  


Project 52: Week 23 - Let's get physical

 There are plenty of not so wonderful things my kids do and say that make me cringe, knowing they saw me do it first.  I'm a door slammer.  What can I say?  When I'm angry, it feels so good to give that thing a shove, listen to the boom and feel the shake.  Once my children became door slammers, however, I quickly changed my behavior.  I also tend to use foul language, but I feel I have been able to keep it under control when little ears are listening.  Apparently, the lower the volume of my voice gets, the bigger those little ears get.  For example, I thought I had muttered a seven letter word that rhymes with "grasshole" under my breath, but Camryn must have had her Go-Go-Gadget ears on when I said it, because she took that word, internalized it, and repeated it every chance she could.  In context.  Mostly directed at her sister.  Again, I am painfully aware this is 100% my fault, and I have since changed my behavior.  

On the flip side, there is absolutely no better feeling than when your child does something incredible that she learned from you.  I love when Brynn and Camryn talk to babies the way I talked to them when they were tiny.  It is the sweetest thing to watch.  
Brynn has been watching her Daddy surf for years, and this past weekend, she stood up on that surfboard all by herself for the first of what I can only hope will be many more times.  She's going to have to...I don't have any pictures of it yet!  
I typically try to squeeze my runs in after my early morning date with Tony Horton and before Ryan has to leave for work.  He had to leave really early the other day, so I was ready to suck it up and push 80 lbs. of kid and stroller for a few miles.  Brynn and Camryn had another plan...they wanted to run with me.  I knew Camryn wouldn't last long, and I didn't think Brynn could make it the whole way either, so I pushed the empty stroller for them to use when their little legs had had enough.  Three quarters of a mile later, I lost my patience with Camryn's inability to run in a straight line, so I threw her in the stroller and kept going with Brynn.  Over a mile later, Brynn was ready for a break as well.  That kid ran almost two miles, smiling the whole way!  Once she got in the stroller, she said, "Next time, I want to run the whole way."  When we got home, they both stretched with me in the driveway.  You know when the Grinch's heart grows ten sizes?  Yeah.  Couldn't have been prouder of my girls.  Maybe I'm doing something right.

A house divided

I don't know what Fancy Fonts would be without my friends and family.  I've got friends who order piggies by the truckload, it seems, and I'm so grateful they think enough of my work to keep coming back for more (and sending their friends and family to me as well!).  Case in point, I recently finished two football themed piggies for my friend Ali in New York.  She wanted them for her friends' kids, and the teams aren't exactly what you would call simpatico.  While neither of the teams represented are to my liking, I'm pleased with how their ceramic interpretations turned out.  

First up is Paige's New York Jets-inspired piggy.  While I prefer the Big Blue Wrecking Crew that shares Met Life Stadium with the Jets, this Gang Green piggy turned out alright:

It's often the simplest of designs that turn out the cutest!  

Next up is a Super Bowl-losing New England Patriots piggy for Paige's brother Mason:

This little guy comes complete with Tom Brady's eye black...and bruised ego.

 Now how'd that get in there?

Regardless of their allegiance, I hope Paige and Mason are able to save lots of pennies in their piggies...season tickets are expensive no matter which team you're rooting for!

Large piggies like Paige's and Mason's can be purchased for $28, plus tax and shipping where applicable.  Find me on Facebook or email me at karen.psimas@yahoo.com to place an order.


Project 52: Week 22 - Psum Psum Psummertime

I recently posted a picture of my girls on Facebook, on which my beloved college roommate commented, "Can I be your daughter?  I want their life."  Which got me thinking...dang!  I want their life, too!  Don't get me wrong...I am very lucky to have grown up the way I did.  Living a few miles from New York City, we took field trips on yellow school buses to places like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lincoln Center, and Broadway shows.  My brother's chorale group even performed at Carnegie Hall.  I went to high school with the richest of the rich, the poorest of the poor, and everyone in between.  Dozens of countries were represented by our student body, and we had access to the greatest bagels, pizza, and delis on the planet.  

My children already have such a different life than I did at their age.  They've run in road races, have been surfing since the age of 1, and odds are they will use the word "y'all" on a regular basis.  They have already done more in the first week of summer than most kids get to do in an entire childhood of summers.  Such as:

Befriending a butterfly in the backyard

Looking fabulous

Learning how to make a pillow of sand under your towel and soaking up some rays

Meeting a turtle in the front yard

Seaside wrestling

S'mores...nuff said

Getting front row seats to an impromptu Blue Angels air show

And that's just the stuff we've gotten pictures of!  There have been bike rides, live music at the oceanfront, ice cream, storm watching, puddle jumping, library books, bubbles, and water balloons as well.  Is there any wonder why this little mama is in bed shortly after her kids go down?  Wearing them out is exhausting!  However, if I can keep up this pace, with any luck, there will be lots more of these this summer:


Project 52: Week 21 - Oh, the places you'll go!

Finally, the band-aid that was Brynn finishing pre-school has been ripped off, and my tears are starting to dry.  Her last day at Kids of Grace was incredibly bittersweet...I am so proud of the big kid Brynn has become, and of the sweet things her teachers have to say about her.  But knowing she'll be leaving this warm, cozy, loving environment for the halls of public elementary school makes me want to slam on the brakes and keep this kid from growing up so fast.  We're talking about a girl who, when asked who she sat with at snack time, replies, "Emily.  Because no one else was sitting with her."  My heart could explode.  I will do everything in my power to make sure this kid isn't ruined by the little pricks that are bound to be both on the school bus and in her future classes, and I will try to let her sweet nature influence my behavior when I inevitably encounter parents (and kids!) I wouldn't mind stuffing in a locker.

My ray of sunshine, right in the middle 

Tell me this kid doesn't look like a kindergartner! 

Project 52: Week 20 - Here comes the rain again

Lucky for me, my kids are pretty content playing with some plastic toys in a Tupperware container filled with water.  They could do this all morning...as long as I'm in sight.  If I sneak off to make some beds or pay some bills or make some phone calls, their "Where's Mommy?" alarm goes off and they come find me.  Which is fine...I stay home with my kids because I want to be with my kids.  But some days, like some of the rainy days we've had rather frequently this spring, I daydream about what it would be like to get a job outside the home, coming home after a long day at work to running jumping hugs from two girls who missed me with every breath they took.  Then I realize I'm still a stinky, sweaty hog from my morning workout, despite it being 11:30am.  Can't do that at a "real" job, so forget that!  

It's those rainy days that make me show my kids (and myself) what I'm really made of.  How do I keep them busy allllllll day long, you ask?  

Well, we make homemade ice cream.  In the winter, we would bake cookies or muffins or banana bread, but those won't do anything for the bikini bod I've been working so hard to achieve!  Instead, we turned to Pinterest for recipes for frozen Greek yogurt...chocolate, of course!

We take balloons we got at the grocery store earlier in the day and draw on them.  One of Brynn's favorite things to draw is her family.  It's maybe the cutest thing ever.

 We pull up some chairs and watch a good thunderstorm come and go, counting the seconds between the flash of lightning and the clap of thunder.  I loved doing this with my dad when I was a kid, and I'm thrilled my kids like to storm watch with me now.

We plan ahead.  Sure, Father's Day isn't for weeks, but I saw this little questionnaire on Pinterest that a child fills out about his or her dad.  This one pulled double duty as a reading and writing exercise...bonus!  My favorite question was pretty basic - what color is Daddy's hair?  Brynn's response:  gray.  Ouch!

I'm sure we'll have plenty of rainy afternoons this summer, or lots of days where it's just too hot to play outside.  That's when I draw from the support of other moms, grandmothers, and Pinterest to keep these kids from driving me (and each other) bonkers!