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Santa In October? But I Just Want To Be A Burrito!

Autumn is my favorite season. I think I write that sentence in a blog post every year around this time. My reasons change a bit each year, but my love of the season is mostly about boots,  food — butternut squash, brussels sprouts, warm apple cider — and the free pass to snuggle indoors. #hyggelife

As a human person who wants nothing more than to read under a quilt by the fire without worrying about ice dams on my roof, I never want autumn to end.

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Image Credit: lillisketchtumbler.com
As a small business owner, autumn is something entirely different. It’s when THE HOLIDAYS are meant to be start. No, not Halloween or Thanksgiving. Autumn marks the beginning of Christmas and Hanukkah and gift-buying and gift-giving (my favorite part). So instead of wrapping myself like a book-loving burrito by the fire, I’m supposed to be thinking of snowmen, gift wrap, and eggnog.

And each year, I rebel against The Holidays coming so soon — even as a business person — because my human-burrito side just wants all the autumn all the time! And if I can’t have it all the time, can I just have it during autumn? Pleeeease!

This year, the answer is no. No I can’t. pen&thimble is starting The Holidays “early” this year. Which is really just “on time” with all the other shops. Holiday items have been made and photographed and are just waiting for me to finish one last bite of an apple to be listed on my Etsy shop.

This year, I’m offering a gift wrapping option too!  Bright hand-stamped (by me) stars and a gift note wrapped in twine. It’s already designed and photographed and waiting to go live as an option soon! But first I’m going to slide on my boots and crunch up some leaves and maybe start a fire in my fireplace and read a bit.

Post Update: Holiday Items have rolled into the shop. Gift wrapping option coming soon! 

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How I Saved Hundreds of Dollars This Spring (And My Sanity) By Opting Out

I have taken my first child to a lot of activities in her 4.5 years. Sing-alongs, playgroups, toddler hikes, gymnastics, park meet-ups, ballet. She’s never voiced disinterest in these activities, but she’d spend most of the time … in her head. That is the best way to describe it. Sort of in a world of her own. Which was fine with me (usually sometimes). At least I told myself that she was getting introductions to new activities and new people and that was the whole point! Right? Maybe? I don’t know!

fabric kids crown

But this past December, during my 4 year-old’s second semester of ballet, I decided we needed to step away from the activities. I remember the exact moment. It was like any other week of ballet that had come before… After a few bites of snack and a few turns with the waiting room toys, my 1.5 year-old got bored and wanted to join the ballet class her older sister was in. So there I was, wrestling my toddler who was DYING to be a part of the dance class — sweating, apologizing, shushing, cursing inwardly. All while my 4 year-old was pretending to nap while everyone else danced. Yes. I remember thinking, “This is insane. And we’re done with this.” It wasn’t just ballet. Everything we had signed up for was in the way of the the private activities my eldest was engaged in in her mind.

I thought, “What if we took a semester off and just let her find HER THING? Let her explore the world in her own way and on her own terms. Let her lead the activity and be the director of her own fun.”

The answer: Honeybees.

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She has been researching honeybees for months. We’ve been reading books about honeybees. She watches videos on YouTube — beekeeping, how bees make honey, where beeswax comes from, why are honeybees dying, how do people harvest honey, how to care for bees.

She’s been asking about honeybees…

Do honeybees poop and pee like me? Does it come out of their bottom or their stinger or somewhere else? And what does it look like? Is it brown like my poopy? Or a beautiful color? And where do they poop? On a flower pillow or in the hive? I don’t know!

Then we look it up! We answer all her questions about bees and she’s *so* into it! She tells her dad about bees when he tucks her in at night. She has a running tally of all the equipment we’ll need for the honeybee colonies she is certain we are going to be keeping in our backyard. Um…

For the record, bees poo and pee at the same time-like birds. It comes out of a hole in their bottoms close to their stinger. It is mustard-like and they leave the hive to poo on flowers. In part to rid themselves of waste but also to let other bees know that they’ve visited that flower. So thoughtful!

Being a ballet school drop-out is working out for her. I’m so proud of my honeybee researcher! And I’ve loved being her research assistant!

Ballet Class Dropout Turned Honeybee Researcher
Self-directed play of a honeybee researcher

 

PS. Do you have a little one with a big imagination too? Fuel that imagination with one of our fabric crowns. Our crowns are double-sided, so basically two crowns in one! And I find that the different patterns spark different play! With the crown on one side, my little one is a pirate princess. On the other, you guessed it, the queen honeybee! 🙂 Shop kids fabric crowns HERE!