9.08.2015

A Third Week of School Hanami Dress

Here I am, with Iris' first day of school dress finally finished... except that this is her third week of school.  Why, yes, it is reminiscent of what happened with Iris' first day of school dress last year.


I had good intentions.  But Miss Hazel Theodora decided to not only drop to one nap a day (!) - three months ago(!)- but to make her one and only nap a 15 minute catnap (!).



When she first dropped to one nap a day at only 10 months old, I assumed it was a (temporary) napping strike. Because I have parented 4 other children and none of them dropped to one nap a day until closer to 15 months old.  And yet they have all had several napping strike fake-outs.


Still, if there is one thing I've learned from parenting these five kiddos, it's that every child is different. Well, that and for goodness sake, enjoy them, hold them, and cuddle them, because as the cliche goes, it really does go so fast.


Especially nap time.  That part goes really fast! ;)


The 15 minute napping thing has meant that productivity has taken a nose dive around here, especially since we're homeschooling again.  Oftentimes I just wave my white flag and save all of our more intense one-on-one tutoring work like math corrections and grammar until after Dan gets home.  There are plenty of other things the kids can work on in the meantime.  But doing so means I have less time at night and on the weekends, and sewing inevitably gets moved further and further down on the ol' priority list.


We were really on the fence about sending Iris to preschool this year.  She and Tia have become best friends and come up with the most magical, imaginative games together.  Iris misses Tia when Tia goes to pottery class and Tia misses Iris when she is away at school.


Iris is a great little sidekick to have working alongside of us.  She likes to mirror what Tia is working on and she is so content and proud to be included.  We also give Iris her very own main lesson book for her most beautiful artwork.  When we make these things special, if even reverential, by lighting a candle or allowing only one picture to be made in the book each day, it only adds to the excitement.


Homeschooling with an almost 4 year old at home is a million times easier than homeschooling with a toddler or 2 year old at home.



But Iris also loves her preschool and it's only three mornings a week.  It gives her a few hours to burn some energy, work on art projects and have her own little thing, while we try to get as much of our work done as we can.  Plus the community there is incredible.  Preschool teachers in general are like 300% nicer than the national average (am i right?) and these teachers are even nicer than that!


So Iris will be starting her third week of school wearing a Hanami dress.  Or, more specifically, a Hanami dress with pompom trim, side bows, and pockets.  I also shortened the bodice by about an inch.


Let me talk about this zipper for a minute.  I've had a couple of breakthroughs when it comes to installing invisible zippers.  One is to use Wondertape to place them.  It holds the zipper perfectly and there is no need to baste it into place.  (Always, always be sure that your zipper is not twisted before you install the second side of the zipper, though.   I'm speaking from experience here.  Ripping zippers is not fun.)



No matching the print along the seam this time, folks.  See above paragraphs on napping situation and please, don't judge.  :)

Second, after looking at my previous zippers installed with a zipper foot, I realized I could actually stitch even closer to the zipper teeth by using my regular presser foot.  You know how you iron the zipper teeth flat before you sew on the zipper?  Well, the regular presser foot holds the teeth nice and flat so you can sew right next to the zipper teeth.   And it saves you the step of having to change your presser foot- for the win!

Iris was pretty crazy about this horse fabric (Horseback by Sarah Watts for Cotton & Steel).  She went so far as to declare the horse as her new favorite animal, booting her previous favorite - the shark - from first place.  A surprising turn of events given she confided in me that she loves sharks because they're mean and then bared her teeth.  :0

Comparatively, the horse seems downright saccharine.

She also told me she likes wearing this hoodie with a pointed hood because it makes her look like a witch.  However, she is equally drawn to 'nice' characters as well, choosing to be Anna over Elsa 100% of the time.  The girl has a vivid imagination.

Even Anna needs to hide out in the pantry once in awhile.

Iris' middle name is Lucia.  (Although for a long while, she told everyone her name was Iris Garcia instead of Iris Lucia. Garcia is a pretty common last name here.)   Lucia means light.


From her very core, she radiates light.  We're so grateful for the light she brings to our family.

16 comments:

  1. you are such a wise momma, Rachel. I love your stress-free, realistic parenting style. And my hat goes off to you for being so "roll-with-it" with Hazel's early nap relinquishment! I remember how precious those napping hours were:)
    Lovely dress, and the self-proclaimed "lateness" of it clearly doesn't bother Iris a whit! I must try your zipper foot technique, as invisible zippers and I are not best friends yet:) Love it when you generously share your learnings!

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    1. Hey thanks, Lucinda! I'm surprised to read about your zipper woes! You are such a talented seamstress that I am sure it's just a matter of time before you have zippers mastered. They are actually quite easy to install once you get the hang of it. Much faster than buttonholes, in my opinion! I hope this helps. I have put in a lot of zippers but man, my first zippers were roooouuugh. :)

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  2. A beautiful dress for a beautiful girl. The pompom trim and ribbons are very cute. You have such a wonderful, accepting attitude to parenting and its challenges. I know how hard it is to have kids who don't nap, but unlike you, I have still not forgiven my two for depriving me of years of sleep!

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    1. ha! Well, it is definitely frustrating. When my son was a baby, I drove myself crazy trying to get him to nap, essentially becoming a recluse in my home so he would never fall asleep in the car, only his crib, etc. And after all of that effort, it never worked. He never became a good napper! So after that, I swore to myself that I would never go to those lengths again. It was way too frustrating and deflating! :)

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  3. Did you shorten the bodice on this one? It looks really cute on Iris. :)

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    1. I did and you know - I always do and then I forget to write about it! So thank you for reminding me! I am going to go back and edit that!

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  4. I really enjoy reading your blog posts; you write about your kids with so much love!

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  5. Beautiful. I love those bows on the side, and I really like it with the shortened bodice. The pics of Iris are gorgeous. Sorry about the nap-dropping, though! My kids tend to go down to one nap on the earlier side (definitely by 10 months, all of them, and my 3-month-old is only taking two at the moment) but they do nap for a nice long period of their lives - I JUST broke my nearly-5 of her nap a few months ago, and my 2.5-year-old is still going strong.

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  6. I love this. The fabric, the horses, the girl who can't decide between sharks and horses but always chooses Anna!, the pom poms, the shortened bodice and little bows, all of it. The only thing I don't love is the nap dropping but you have my sympathies there - Joe never really napped and Maggie dropped her naps early. They were both definitely 1x a day (tops, in Joe's case) by a year. Pretty tough on us!! Thankfully they play together and by themselves so much now that it really doesn't feel like such a burden on us, because it was hard for a while! The worst was when my friends with FOUR YEAR OLDS reported that their kids still napped. It was like, WHY MEEEEEEE WHYYYYYYYY? LOL. I'm looking at you, Masha, hahaha.

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    1. Solidarity, sister! (fist bump) It helps to know that other people have had kids drop naps early too. Because if you read about it, the articles say things like, ‘babies are not neurological ready to drop to one nap a day before x months old’ and ‘babies need to nap this long to ensure blah, blah, blah’ and then i’m like - 'well what the heck am i supposed i do?' with jude i became a hermit, revolving my entire life around his nap schedule and he never became a good napper! plus that was so frustrating to try so hard and have it never work out.

      both Tia and Indigo took 3 hours naps every day and man, that was the liiiiiiiffffffe. (life). :)

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  7. Ah babies, if you have enough your truly realise they are all so different. Trixie is my worst sleeper but who cares? Sweet baby cuddles are the best.
    I love Iris's dress so much.
    xx N

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  8. Oh, this dress is adorable! I love the horse fabric, and the bows and pompom really give it that sweet childhood factor. Iris is so cute and I love reading about her antics. She reminds me so much of our Lucy, who is also a ray of light! It's funny how they embody their names so much.

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  9. I always love to read about your family. It's like we really get to know your kids through your writing. Plus through the beautiful pictures. Iris' sunny nature really shines through! Thanks for sharing with us.

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  10. I agree with Annika above, it is a privilege to hear your stories and see your beautiful pictures. Love this dress and as always, LOVE your fabric choices! I remember trying so desperately to get my Jude to nap when he was fighting it at 2. I would Om and rock him with a swaying lilt and drive him places! Caused me ( and him) stress we could have done without :)

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  11. Gorgeous! I love the pom pom trim and bows!!

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