Creative Days With Coryn

Most people find loose change at the bottom of their washing machine. Me? This morning I found a crochet hook and my mailbox key.

I am writing this pen and paper style to copy down later when I can get out my laptop. My handwriting is ridiculously masculine and when I'm in a hurry it sort of morphs into my own version of shorthand. When I was writing Matt weekly letters during his last Iraq tour he told me that he can tell how I was feeling when I wrote something due to my handwriting changes. He also said that it changes depending on whether I'm writing about work or my day or Coryn (who I was pregnant with at the time, but we started calling her Coryn as soon as we found out that she was a girl). It's on my list of sweeter things he's said to me.

Coryn out grows clothing, especially shoes which are unforgiving on her wide feet, at a rate that has been both frustrating and impressive. When her last pair of dress shoes went to her younger cousin, Coryn was devastated. Coryn calls dress shoes "tappy shoes" because they make tapping noises when she walks in them, unlike most of her soft soled play shoes. We went shopping on base for some new ones and there weren't any that fit. . .I mentioned she has wide feet? Well, she does. Coryn's feet are size 11 in length (some 10's will even work if they have some give to them), but almost all her shoes are size 12 because I can't squeeze her feet into most narrow toddler shoes.

I ordered her some new shoes from Old Navy, two pairs of ballet flats, one hot pink, one black, and they came yesterday. From the moment she saw me take them out of the box, Coryn was in love. She wore first one pair, then the other, prancing around the house in ballerina poses. She wore them until the end of the day when she took them off and noticed a blister on the top of her foot (Which tends to happen when you dance around in brand new shoes without any socks on for hours). She got upset but calmed down when I put a Spongebob band-aid on it and promised her it would feel better in the morning. The next morning I woke to find her staring at me.

"Mommy, my bister (sic) isn't better," she said mournfully. Matt fixed it for her by putting on some socks on her feet, covering the blister (out of sight, out of mind), but later when I told her to get dressed she came out still wearing the bright red socks plus her hot pink ballet flats and a pair of loose pink checked shorts. Normally Coryn is better at color coordination than I am (though she can be a little monochromatic, especially when pink is involved.) and I like having her dress herself, so I don't really have a script for when she obviously needs a fashion intervention. I tried to talk her down.

"Coryn, I normally don't question your style choices, but you really need to change that outfit," I said.

"I already have style choices, Mommy," she informed me. I made her put on some blue jeans, but allowed her to keep the ballet flats and red socks (the socks were mostly covered up by the jeans anyway). I guess I like her being independent minded about clothes.

We did some creative stuff this afternoon. Coryn has a birthday party on Monday and if I have time before a birthday party (and if the present isn't an awkward shape that makes me run for my stash of gift bags) I like her to make her own wrapping paper. I'll get out a roll of easel paper, spread it out, and we'll attack it together, normally with water colors (see photo up-top). We made two sheets because we have two smaller presents rather than one larger one this time. It took us over and hour to cover both sheets to satisfaction with a mix of her splotches and random things she asked me to draw (like dinosaurs and the birthday boy's name). Our packages will certainly be unique.

Afterwards, I was feeling creative, so I went googling for printable greeting cards she could color. I found a large selection from Fisher-Price. I selected the one that said it was a "Dino-Mite" birthday card, but when I printed it up the inscription inside said, "Happy Birthday, Brother," and so I had to fish around for one that didn't specifically address a family member. We eventually found one with a puppy on the outside, but by that time Coryn seemed to be tired of art production and her coloring was less than stellar. I'll probably print up another on a day when she isn't so tired and we'll have another go at it.