Friday, July 30, 2010

My days so far

Starting on my birthday this year, I've been doing the 365 project and trying to take a picture every day for a year. I've gotten all the way up to 78, skipping a few days here and there.
365 so far
These are my favorites so far. It's getting easier to remember to take a picture every day. Having the Vignette app on my camera is helping too.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Grow kid grow

Cute things the kid does or says:
Taymo (tomato)
Walkahhh's home!
Reading one book while Pearl reads her another one, one page at a time.
Kisses are only for when Mommy and/or Daddy are leaving and bedtime. I tricked her into kissing me before we went to a playdate this morning, by pointing out that I was leaving. If I try to kiss her at any other time she says "No Mommy! No kiss!"
She also repeats almost anything we say, except isotope. Today I got her to say "paramedic." on our way home.
We are reading Charlotte's Web at bedtime, and tonight we were reading the chapter where they pack Wilbur up to take him to the fair. As soon as I mentioned the truck backing up, she started saying "Truck beeps backing up! Beep, beep!"

Not so cute:
No Daddy/Mommy do it (eat that, read that, etc)!
No kids! No kids touch (eat, play, PCC, etc)!

We've decided to hold a hard line about both of those. Both of these have been happening more often, not less. Our new plan is that every time she refuses to share something, the other kid gets to play with that thing. Or we leave, depending on what's more appropriate for the situation. I actually had to pull the car over today because she spent ten minutes telling me that Daddy couldn't do something weird, like come home tonight. I keep telling her that she can be sad about something, but if she won't let me help her feel better, she has to work it out herself. That seems to be lessening the amount of time she spends in the car trying to find things to be sad about in the car, and increasing the amount of time she happily plays.
I'm glad she's expressing her emotions more and more, but I really want to help her express some more of her happy emotions. I've noticed over the last few days that she is more interested in giggling with me, especially after nap when she's nice and rested.

Friends
We spent the weekend at a friend's cabin. I have a tendency to say 'no' by default when I'm not 100% sure if something will be fun or not. I'm sure that I'm wrong way more often then not and that we are missing opportunities that are fantastic because I only see the worst case scenario.
Needless to say, we had a great time. Moira played with her friend and enjoyed the new scenery. Walker and I got to relax and be away from our computers. I ran out of battery on my camera and used my phone for the last day.
I'm so glad we went. Thank you again for inviting us, Monica.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Down the Enchanted Parkway

Again!
Today Moira had gym and swim class and immediately after, we took her to Wild Waves. Of course the clouds never left the sky and I don't think the temp there broke 70. Much too cold to take a two year old swimming. That worked out well for us, because most of the stuff she could do was in the Enchanted Village. Plus it was less crowded then it normally is due to the weather.
That's Moira, on the Kiddie Coaster. Jerky, fast, and enough of a thrill that teenagers were willing to go on it. Moira LOVED it. I went on it with her first (two to a seat) and on the third trip around the track she whispered to me, "I worried." I asked why, and she said "Stop." I asked if she wanted to stop, or go again with Daddy and she said "Daddy!" When they got off the ride, she was screaming and I was worried that it had been too much, but no, she was angry that Walker had made her get off.
Conked out
We took her on every ride she could go on, and then put on our swim suits. There were three water areas she was allowed to go on. The splash/toddler area scared her, as she hates water spraying her. Next to that was the "Activity Zone" which was for strong swimmers, but the life guard told us we could take her in because she was wearing a flotation device. She enjoyed that a lot more, because she could actually swim and the water was warmer. She was also allowed to go in the hot tubs, and we stuck her in those periodically to warm her up.
We also took her on an inner tube river ride, which she was technically 2" too short for. None of the life guards on this one had the yard sticks most of the attendants had, but two of them asked us if we were 'sure' she was 36", and I lied and said "yes." She was in a double tube with Walker, and I seriously don't think an extra 2" would have made that any safer for her.
Nap time is usually at 1:30 lately, but we got to the park at 12:15. She was having so much fun, we only had one little meltdown, and she got control of herself really quickly when I told her we'd have to leave if she couldn't share the park with all the other kids. We left at almost 4 and she passed out while eating her snack on the way home, and slept for an hour.
I always loved Wild Waves as a kid, and we will be going more when she's older and can do more of the things. I was sad though, to see how poorly maintained it is now. I'm hoping that the Parc Foundation who seems to have bought it from Six Flags will be putting some more money into the maintenance budget. It appears to be a 501c3 organization, so at least we know they aren't in it for the money.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Moira recommends: Books to read over and over again

I gave Moira a break from having themed book piles, and she decided to have us read our way through the works of Dr Seuss. And a few others. These are usually pulled out at bed and nap time, but she requests them periodically through the day too.

Miss Honey's Busy Day by Richard Scary. We have all four of the books in this series, and at first Humperdink's Busy Day was her favorite. I think I've had to read this before nap 10 out of the last 14 days. I don't mind the other ones, but this book drives me a little crazy. Miss Honey lives with another bear called Bruno, who calls her Miss Honey, but seems to be in some sort of romantic relationship with her? They sleep in the same room, but in different beds. Walker thinks he's a foster kid with some sort of mental disability, which is why he is also obsessed with ice cream. I just want to know what's going on! I suppose I should just be happy it's modeling different relationship options for Moira. If two bears want to play with power dynamics in a loving and committed relationship, who am I to tell them no?
A is for Angry by Sandra Boynton. I totally forgot about this book. Moira found it and is enthralled. Each letter (except X, which isn't for anything) has an animal or two and and emotion associated with it. Moira thinks this is so cool, her favorites being the outraged opossum, zany zebra and grumpy gorilla.
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr Seuss. This is such a weird book. It's also the first book I noticed Moira 'reading' out loud to herself.
If I Ran the Zoo by Dr Seuss. This is a less well known book by Dr Seuss for very good reason. There are a number of lovely stereotypes of other cultures. Including the statement that the kid who wants to run the zoo will bring back some chieftains to put on display. Fortunately, her obsession with this one seems to have been short lived, so this may get mysteriously lost.
Hop On Pop by Dr Seuss. Walker tried to get a video of Moira 'reading' most of this book, but something was wrong with the video display. Too bad, because hearing her try to read "Constantinople and Timbuktu" was awesome.
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss. My goodness this drags on and on. Fortunately, this is one that she usually wants Walker to read, not me.
The Cat In the Hat and The Cat In the Hat Comes Back by Dr Seuss. Fortunately this one is also a book for Walker to read. I suppose it's a fair trade off, since I will be reading the Pippi Longstocking books to save him from reliving the trauma of his brother's obsession with the really bad movie version. Thanks for refusing to buy a TV when I was little, Dad!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Downtime? What's that?

I'm feeling a little trapped lately. Like there's too much to do and never enough time to do it all. I realized that that's actually true, and probably will always be true in the summer. We have been
Giant Kale
Gardening
Bubbling
Making jam
Swimming
Swimming
Smile!
Going to the farm
Yum
and partying

To make all this outside activity much more fun for me, my allergy to grass seems to have stepped it up a notch, so now if I forget to wear long sleeves, socks and pants, I get a rash. Hopefully with minimal contact during the winter my skin will have time to calm down, but that's a long way away.

Olivia dress!
I did manage to get some sewing done yesterday when Walker came home from work and I finished this outfit for Moira. She loves Olivia right now, and we had a red onesie that didn't have a bottom matched up with it. I found the fabric online. She couldn't be happier.

These are my pretties
Today she is wearing this outfit. The orange bear shirt is actually a romper, which she insisted she needed shorts with. "This match!" she declared. The barrettes came out for nap, and now she's wearing her yellow necklace and red slippers with it.

Monday, July 12, 2010

I bad mood, Mommy


Blowing bubbles
Originally uploaded by Maydela
Moira had a big weekend, with the end of the heat wave, and eating outside or downstairs, and parties and farm tots and picnics. She is also, we've discovered, waking up when she pees at night (and during nap), so we are trying to encourage her to pee before bed. It's not really working yet, so it's just ending up with her staying up later and later until she finally pees in her diaper while Walker is trying to get her to sleep.
All this lead to her having a very short fuse this morning. On the way home from the grocery store, she was crying about the fact that other kids would sit in the same cart she had sat in. I told her it was something that was going to happen, we can't change it, and I was wasn't going to argue with her about it.
"Yes! Argue! Argue Mommy! Mommy, Moira argue nooooooooooow!" she wailed. I managed not to laugh or scream, and eventually she moved on to being angry that the new bowl we'd bought her was in the back and I couldn't reach it.
Getting home didn't help. There were meltdowns about a multitude of different things, ending with her wiggling around and not eating, but crying every time I took her food away, and climbing back into her seat but then not eating and crying about having to sit in her chair. Somewhere in there she said "I bad mood, Mommy!" No kidding.
So I declared it nap time. More crying. Crying while diaper change was happening because she wanted to close the curtains NOW! Crying when we were almost done because her pants weren't pulled up yet. Oddly, however, a very calm request for Mimi and Shannie when she realized they weren't in bed yet.
Hopefully she'll have more patience for the world when she wakes up. Hopefully she'll sleep long enough that I'll have more patience for her when she wakes up too.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

This should clear up some space.

Double wedding ring
This is a King sized, Double Wedding Ring quilt. I started it back in 1999 I think, Sika please tell me when I'm wrong. It's the second quilt I ever started. I wanted to make something for a dear friend, and so I let her pick the pattern (double wedding ring) and two of the fabrics. I didn't actually find the curves that difficult to sew, probably because of my clothes sewing experience. I did have trouble matching the corners, but then, I still have that problem.
The fabrics Sika picked are the square in the middle and when sewing the arcs, I tried to arrange the fabrics so that each one had a color in common with the fabric on either side. There are lots of fabrics in there that reminded me of her, an African print, stars, sunflowers, and even some of the couch cover from her Mom's couch when we were teenagers.
55: Quilting
The top was pieced in less then a year. What took me so long was two things. I decided to hand quilt it, although really, that was probably only responsible for five years of the delay. The big problem was that after I had it basted and had started quilting it, one of my roommate's cats peed on it. And then another of the cats peed on it. And then the original cat peed on it again. Turns out, you can't dry clean an unbound quilt. You also can't throw it in the washer and dryer. I washed it in our bathtub as soon as I found the problem, but I was packing up to go on a 6 month road trip and had to box it before it was completely dry. I left it with friends, with instructions to take it out of the box so it could finish drying, but they forgot.
When I unpacked it after my trip, it was moldy. I washed it again, this time in my parent's laundry room sink, which was much easier. Then I hung it outside to dry and made sure all the mold was dead. All the original stain and smell was gone, but the mold stains were still there. Discouraged, I put it away for a couple of years, so that I wouldn't start to hate it too much.
Binding
I quilted symbols in the center of each circle. Each one meaning different things that I wish for Sika, or that make me think of her. The cross of Lorraine is on there, and the symbol for her astrological sign, and a great many things that are inside jokes, or that I shouldn't mention on the internet. I used some of the fabric I dyed last year for the binding.
Then I had to wait for a good stretch of sunny weather, which finally arrived after the 4th. I spent most of one day bleaching the little spots off of the (fortunately white) fabric. I'm surprised that except for one tiny spot, the mold avoided all the colored bits. I threw it in the wash and then hung it up to dry in the sun for a day. It looks as close to perfect as it possibly can, and it's ready to give away, just in time for summer. Unless she wants to wait until I get the label made for it. Based on past performance, that should take only 6 months or so.
I would say that it's a fitting metaphor for our friendship. You can't make it through 20 odd years of knowing anyone without a few cats peeing on you. Or something like that.
You would think that after all this time together, I would have a name for it. You would be wrong. I really am that bad at naming things. If you have a suggestion, let me know. Like I said, it hasn't been labeled yet.

Swimming

Swimming
We signed up for swim classes at the same place we've been taking gym classes. Moira was very excited on our way there. I was a little nervous as this is the first time she's taken a class where I don't get to participate with her. I tried to briefly explain what was expected when we were on our way there, floats, Moira in the pool with teacher, me watching. She didn't care as long as there was swimming.
She was very stiff for the whole first lesson, one of the teachers let her hold a duck while she swam to try and relax her. I had to walk from side to side as she was swum back and forth to encourage her to keep holding onto the wall and not climb out. Of course, as soon as it was time to get out of the pool, she wanted more. That was Tuesday. Today, she was actually kicking her legs and couldn't wait for the part where she got to float on her back. She kept announcing to me that she was going to do it all by herself, and indeed, during one of the times where she was waiting for her turn again she completely let go of the wall and leaned back so she could float away. Twice. Fortunately, she did this on the side where I was sitting, so I could grab her and get her back to the wall.
I was considering signing her up for the next session too since she loves it so much, but I don't think I have twice weekly trips to the pool in me for that long.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Quilt block

After I finished the last three quilts I posted about, I finally allowed myself to start a new project. First I started working on assembling the blocks from the Threads Together quilting bee that are destined to be a quilt for our guest room. But then I realized I was missing blocks from one person when the lovely Jennicakes sent out an email checking in on everyone. Also, I didn't have enough of my sashing fabric to go around each block, so those went back in their box.
Then I wanted to work on the steampunk music quilt but the gear instruments are much bigger then I was expecting and I'm not sure my original plan will work with the fabric, so it went back into it's box.
Finally I got to work on this project which is the one I was most excited about. But I figured out after cutting out the first four rows that there was no way I had enough of each fabric to continue my plan all the way to the edges. Plus, I had originally intended to do it as part of a challenge we have been talking about in my quilt group. I'd given up on that actually starting, but Margaret agreed to buy the challenge fabric so we could start it next month. I've gotten about half of this quilt figured out, but I should wait so that I can fully integrate the challenge fabric with the rest of them, so today I forced myself to pack this one back away.
I did get the back put on Etienne's quilt, and the ladies in my quilt group helped me figure out how to quilt it. But I have to unbaste it so I can iron the front and back really well before I can baste it together so I can quilt it. That's probably not going to happen in the projected heat anytime soon.
As I was packing away the last of my interrupted starts today I decided this means I should work on something non quilty, so I did some gift sewing and got stuff cut out to alter one of Moira's shirts that has a mysterious hole in it into a romper. I also want to make her a skirt, with pockets of course, because she is very sad when there are no pockets in her outfit. She probably needs a couple more bloomers for her dresses, since she can't wear tights as often in the summer. And maybe I could actually work on something for me too. We shall see.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

It works

My chiropractor is a single man, and I'm guessing he doesn't have any close friends or relatives with young kids. He is constantly remarking about Moira, her energy, her intelligence... Frequently he mentions her bossiness, or how well she has me trained. I always, loud enough for Moira to hear, rephrase or contradict his statement. She's not bossy, she's 2. She has limited ability to describe what she wants. This is how toddlers are.
Today he said "Moira, you have to learn that Mommy is the boss." I don't know if it was the fact that he directly addressed Moira, or the exact phrasing, but that was a step too far for me.
I told him, no, she doesn't learn I'm the boss. Moira is the boss of Moira, and I am the boss of me and we like to work together. Things work better if we can agree on a goal.
"Really?" he said, "That works?"
I said, "Well, does it work with you? Do you prefer to work with people rather then have someone boss you around?"
Yes, he does. Of course he does, he started his own collective of independently operating medical professionals (our naturopath is in the office too) because he didn't like working in a traditional practice.
It lead to an actual discussion, about something it seems he's never thought of before. I pointed out that even though Moira is little, she is still a person. Just because I'm larger doesn't mean that my wants and whims are more worthy of respect then hers are. If I want to go inside and she wants to stay outside, that doesn't mean that she's wrong and I should force her. I hope that working out compromises with her now will make it easier for her to work them out in the rest of her life.
His last thought was that his girlfriend is an elementary school teacher and she would probably disagree with me. I pointed out that dealing with one kid is totally different then dealing with dozens.
I think my chiropractor is awesome. He takes his time and deals with each of his patients on as an individual with different problems that need different solutions. Hopefully, if he decides to have kids, he can treat them the same way.