Round’n up the Kinders

Today was Kindergarten Round-up, Civilian style for my youngest. Boy does he look too wee for starting official school. I was so ready when Brendon started, we both were. There were lots of tears, but also mutual high fives at the classroom. John is going to be a different animal. I already feel the tears coming. Geez imagine me in five months. Maybe the Summer with them will help to ease the nostalgia.


John at his pre-kindergarten well visit. Look for a future post about civilian medical care.  Likely titled: Civilian life is NOT for sissies.

Why do they call it Kindergarten Round-up? Is it because we’re in Cowboy country? Or children at this age are so like cats – untamed and free spirited? I can’t settle on the reason, but it was a morning I’ll say. The school on the military installation did not have a Kinder Round-up and this is seriously miffing Brendon. He wants to know if they are going to have some fun social event for 2nd graders soon too. I hate to be the bearer of bad news for him, but 1st and 2nd grade are no-man’s land. They’re not in the fun stages of just starting out and yet, they don’t get the perks of 3rd grade – sports and band. It does stink. But I’ve gotten distracted.

John already attends pre-school on campus, so it was a pretty seamless morning for him. He even got to sit next to one of his preschool teachers for the orientation as her daughter will be joining him next year, and a handful of other pre-school classmates were scattered about. As it is for working mom folk, you don’t really make friends with school moms unless you volunteer for boosters I guess, so I chatted with the ladies I’d seen at preschool drops and mostly tried to pick up on the ins and outs I’d missed with not going through this with my oldest. I did find out today that I’m not supposed to be sending lunch money with the boys, but paying online. Who knew?! Not to worry, Brendon found a goodie box of cast off food he helped himself to when his milk money ran out. Only telling me after not finding things to his liking a couple days in a row. It’s good to know that he’s a survivor.

breakfast boy

Dress shirt, puffy coat and water shoes. This kid is prepared for anything.

They offered a free breakfast with the orientation, so the kinders could get an idea of the lunch line process. John was super excited and ate everything! Chocolate milk, strawberries, string cheese AND coffee cake. Has he ever eaten peach coffee cake? NEVER!!! And he asked the girl across the table for her string cheese. Who is this kid? I hear he eats a lot at his Grandparents’ too. He’s a mystery.

After a bunch of introductions and policy announcements, the littles were shuttled off to visit the Kindergarten classrooms and the attending adults were taken on a tour of the school. Directly following we signed the kinder hopefuls for their classroom placement assessment happening late May/early June this year. It’s hard to wrap my mind around the school year almost over and my youngest on the cusp of beginning his school boy journey.


Look at these budding readers.

John went back to pre-school for the rest of the “school day” and I did what mother’s do best with a few hours to themselves – phone calls, emails and internet goofing.

kinder dreaming

Kinder dreamin’

**One source of frustration was during the question and answer period. Everyone who asked a question was given a direct answer, EXCEPT, you guessed it – ME!. I asked if older siblings were able to take the Kinders to their class in the morning instead of an adult. There is a known policy at Shafter (where we came from) – if the sibling is 2nd grade or above they can retrieve the Kindergartener from their class and meet the parent at the vehicle.

Either you have a policy or you don’t. It’s a pretty simple question and answer really. What was the answer to my question? “That’s a tricky question, we’d have to know the sibling’s age….(principal trails off into voice vapors) Again I say, you either have a policy or you don’t! File this under my “adjusting to Civilian Life” column. Could be the headache talking?

**Update. I was super crabby last week dealing with civilian medical and dental care, insurance, PPO vs Premier provider…etc.. the policy with the Kinders is the parents drop off. I have a feeling towards the later part of the year, depending on the teacher and the older sibling, there may be some latitude with the drop. Just a hunch.**


A beautiful day for a ballgame!

In a nod to Spring Training and the bright sunshine this morning after a weekend of rain, I finished my first raglan sleeve shirt. It’s made of lightweight knit jersey, like a t-shirt, but given the pattern components I chose, cuffs at the sleeves and a banded hem, it’s more like a sweatshirt. Perfect for this in-between time in Northern California – just past the fake Spring warmth of February, back to the cold rainy month of March and likely 1,000 degrees before May hits.

InspirationWhat started the search for a raglan sleeve pattern? This top from Garnet Hill. Sure the flower portion is silk, but $138?? for a t-shirt. Oh dear. I fell in love with this flower fabric (right) and knew it would be perfect for my GH inspired top.

The pattern is from Hey June Handmade. I’ve never purchased their patterns before, but if you google this, you’ll see it is a very popular pattern and there are many combinations you can make with this one pattern. The instructions are easy to follow and it has a full size printable, so no cutting and taping for this gal. This is a great beginner pattern and especially wonderful if you happen to be long limbed. (Oh Isabelle…). The sleeves are long on me as I did them in regular cuffs. The pattern includes thumbhole cuffs, which would be perfect at this length. I’d like to try those next. As for the hood included in the pattern. Eh, I’m not really into hoods.

June Raglan

I will say it doesn’t look just like the pattern, but it looks like the ones people have made if you google it. And it makes me look a bit lumpy around the mid section. On the next go round, I will slim up the sleeves and the overall size of it and probably grade out the hem to a larger size or leave the band off at the bottom.

Before I started purchasing so much fashion fabric, I often thought clothes were probably cheaper to make. It’s true they are and they aren’t. The initial cost can be steep when you add in pattern and printing costs, which of course decrease with more garments made from the same pattern. I also didn’t think I’d reuse patterns as much as I have with my beloved City Stitching dresses, Marianne at 5 times and Emery at 3 (a 4th is almost done). Pretty soon those patterns will be mere pennies.

Then there’s the market of cheap fashion. You can’t make a homemade garment for the price you can buy at say Old Navy or even most high end brand sales, but the fit is tailored, the fabric choices are endless, hopefully it’s been sewn in a way that makes it last oodles of wash n’ wearing and the best part of all: not a single person will have the same garment on. EVER!

Best of the shoot

Best of the shoot. You can see how long and baggy the arm is in this photo. Aren’t these earrings cute? They were my favorite item in Noonday’s Spring launch.

A cost breakdown for this top: Pattern: $10, Printing (blueprint size): $3.50, Fabric: 2 yds – $24 (the flower fabric was pricey), but I didn’t use it all and could probably get some more waistbands or neckbands out of it or better yet try my hand at making my own undies. I know you think I’m kidding….don’t worry, I won’t post those on the blog. I hope. Back to the fabric – I’d guess it’s about $18 worth of fabric used. So a grand total of:  $31.50 for this top. (no labor cost added)

One could sew this top together in less than 2hours if they weren’t making pizza and corralling two minions during said sewing.

And one last item of knitwear: The Julia Cardigan. 

julia cardigan

Photos by Brendon in the school parking lot. You can tell I’m “fresh off the boat” by the color of my legs.

I made this right at the start of the school year, but never got around to posting it. It was another quick and easy sew. The striped knit is the original knit I purchased for Christie’s Marianne, but we were worried it would be too shear. I lined it with the leftover green from said dress. As I was rooting through my Spring clothes bin last week, I ran across this and it jogged my memory. I had vowed to make a long sleeve version. Maybe I’ll get on that soon?. I haven’t been wearing cardigans as much as I used to, but this one is more of a jacket-y type cardigan.

Although, I can’t recall estimates of time and materials for the Julia Cardigan, I would venture to say it probably cost around or a wee bit less than the raglan top. While I find knit fabric nerve wracking to cut pattern pieces from, the garments come together so quickly. Providing some well needed almost instant gratification.