Friday, August 27, 2010

{This Moment}

{this moment} - Inspired by Soule Mama, a Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.
103: Storytime

Thursday, August 26, 2010

These are all things I encourage.

So yeah, I reorganized Moira's drawers so that things are no longer in matching outfits (which she was ignoring) and now grouped by type (shirts, pants...).
Dressing herself
This is what she looked like after our playdate on Tuesday where I was passing out extra flannel. She found this green fat quarter and insisted on taking off her shirt and wearing it instead. She was upset that it wasn't bigger so I couldn't actually tie it around her torso. But this was acceptable.
Take my picture Daddy!
This is what she insisted on wearing after nap on the same day. She has never noticed this dress before despite it being in her closet for about half a year. "I fancy!" I asked if I could take her picture and she agreed. Then when we got home from running our errands, she announced that Daddy was also going to take her picture. And he did. I was getting dinner together while they were doing that in the living room, but it was funny to listen to. "Like this Daddy! I spin!" She also requested he take some pictures of her dolls.
102: Books
She's been getting frustrated when trying to find a book she wants (especially at bedtime). Her bookcase is just so full. Today after nap, we went through one bookshelf and I asked her which books should stay on the shelf and which we should put away for later. This is what she chose to put away from that one shelf. It's less then half what was on there originally. After we were done with that and she was busy playing, I went through her board books again. I've done that at least 3 times in the last couple of months because that bookcase is also getting full and she is having trouble getting books out. This time I was actually ruthless and pulled out the books she has never wanted us to read, or that I really hate. I managed to pull out about 1/3 of those and they are now waiting to go to Goodwill, hopefully before she finds them.
Today Moira was drinking from her tea cup in her kitchen and she told me this story. "I like playing with balls. At Google. Which means I'm hungry. At Google. I'm hungry at Google, Dada do snack." After she was done with her tea she held the cup out and said "I'm done! That means I'm thirsty!"
Oh, and if you were wondering, today's second outfit is a teal tshirt, navy blue cowgirl skirt with fringe, rainbow leggings and shark socks.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tonight

After dinner, Moira came out onto the deck where I was taking the laundry off the line. She stood on her picnic table and said, "Mommy! I see the whole wide world!"

Moira recommends: Easy reading

A friend was asking me for suggestions now that her 2.5 year old is starting to get interested in non board books. This is an expanded version of the email I sent her.

The Olivia books by Ian Falconer. There are now books based off the TV show, too. I like the TV show, but haven't read any of the books based on it yet, so I can't recommend those. The originals are all in black, white and red, and the TV show ones are in color, so it's easy to tell them apart. The stories are pretty short, in fact the one we have is a board book, but I still think it's good for older toddlers.

Books by Arnold Lobel, like Frog and Toad, Mouse Tales and Owl at Home. Very small chapter books, with each story being about 10 pages long. We just checked out a collection of his books on CD from the library and I finally get a break from the CD (which is 13 minutes long and all Moira has wanted to listen to for the last 3 weeks) we have of my next recommendation.

Books by Kevin Henkes. We have Julius, the Baby Of the World, although I wouldn't recommend it for someone who is about to or has just become a big sibling. He has a number of books in this world, where everyone is a mouse. My chiropractor has a couple and Moira really likes them. They are mostly very sweet and show the kid mice figuring out how to share and be friends without adult interference.

Curious George by Margaret Rey & HA Rey. From a modern perspective there's a lot of lessons to be concerned about in these books, but the same can be said of Dr Seuss. I was especially amused when we read "Curious George Goes To the Hospital" and all the kids are left in a giant kids ward and none of the parents stay with them. Moira is in love with George right now. Each story is 20-30 pages long, so this is better if your kid has a long attention span.

The Adventures of Little bear by Else Holmelund Minarik and illustrated by Maurice Sendak. These are also small chapter books. Little Bear appears to be living in Victorian times, but Mother Bear is a very gentle and connected parent. I think these are sweet.

Books by Mercer Meyer. Little Critter is another series where if you have or are about to have a baby, you should check them out before you buy them (the characters are porcupines), but Mercer Mayer has some other series books like Boy, Dog, Frog that are very cute and don't have plot lines about how awful babies are.

The I Can Read series (Level 1 or 2), is actually really great for this age. The stories are usually gentle and the language is simplified but there's usually good plot development. Arnold Lobel's books, Boy, Frog, Dog and Little Bear books are all from that series.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Happy dolls

We were just sitting down as a family to try out the new Toy Story game on our PS3. It's very good by the way. If you think we should encourage game companies to make children's games that are actually good, buy this. Anyway, we were sitting down when there was a knock at the door. It was my neighbor with a giant sack of flannel. She claimed they were scraps. I shoved it in the sewing room and went back to join the fun.
When I took a look later, I discovered that none of the pieces are smaller then 1/2 a yard. More then enough for jammies and bathrobes. And!
98: Sleeping soundly
Sheets for Moira's new (old) doll bed. The doll bed and a matching high chair were handed down to my sister and I by my father's sisters, and shockingly, I managed not to destroy them as I did so many other things. The paint did get really banged up and the decals were all scratched off, so when my youngest cousins were old enough, I repainted it and gave it to them. Carol recently offered it back for Moira, but I was worried that the bottom layer might be lead based. And I knew the top layer (mine!) was poorly done. Fortunately, my aunt Bobbe was willing to tackle the project and she sanding all the old paint off for us and re painted it.
I had a mini quilt that someone made me in a swap and Moira immediately claimed as her own, but the mattress was bare and they dolls had no pillow.
Moira was literally stunned for a few minutes when she and Walker got home from errands and I showed her Mimi sleeping in the bed. Then she was super excited. She even insisted that Mimi stay in there when she went to bed tonight.
New dress
I got tired of the dolls being naked all the time, because they are just so dirty. Moira found this chicken fabric in a pile on my sewing room floor and remembered that I had made something for her out of it. I asked if Mimi and Shannie would like to have dresses out of it too, and she said yes. She picked the purple dot for the straps too. I was digging through my scrap bin for something yellow or red but when she saw this fabric, she insisted.
New outfits
This is Shannie's new dress. Also, the outfit on Moira is something that has been half finished for at least 2 months now. I figured I should get it done before the warm weather went away completely. There was a tiny hole in the back of the purple shirt, so I wanted to do some fusible applique. I asked Moira if she wanted flowers, but she said "No, bubbles," so that's what I did.
For the most part, I've been keeping her out of my sewing room whenever I'm in there. She used to just run from sharp thing to sharp thing to drawer full of thread. When I made the Olivia outfit last month, I tried to let her help me but I got frustrated really quickly. Today, crafting with her was really lovely. I'm sure it helped that Walker was home and she could run off and talk to him and I didn't have to stop every five minutes to get her a snack or whatever. I should make another stab at clearing up the room and maybe she and I can do more crafting in there during the day. With the door open, as much as she likes to close it. Two people in that little room with the door closed feels too claustrophobic to me.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Hello ocean

Look at me!
Continuing our jam packed summer of fun and things to be done, Moira and I took off for Westport for a three day trip with friends. Walker stayed home so he could work, and have some alone time, ie; play Red Dead Redemption. I would never have considered doing this by myself, but with adult company, it was a perfectly wonderful thing. Too bad as we drove toward the coast, the sky turned dark and it was scheduled to not break 60 for the whole time we were there.
It was perfect kite flying weather though, and Moira got to hold her kite all by herself. Sika kept trying to convince us that we should let her hold the dragon kite by herself too, but that one was strong enough to actually carry her off, so she was out voted on that one.
Water girl
The cold weather didn't stop our water loving teen from spending most of the time we were at the beach in the water. We had to keep calling her back and reminding her that non of us were strong enough swimmers to save her.
It was also good weather for the bubbles Pearl brought. You just had to hold the wand in the air and bubbles came whipping out. It took Moira a long time to figure out how to do that, so I ended up with lots of bubble stuff on my face and in my mouth, leading her to decide that "Momma no like bubbles."
There's not a lot to do in Westport, it being an unpopular part of the Ocean Shores area. We spent our second morning there looking around downtown and most of us bought sweatshirts, since none of us packed for the wind and minor rain showers we were encountering.
Digging
There were very few kid sweatshirts for sale, and I only managed to find two extra small ones, which is still too big for Moira this year, but it should be perfect next year. We went back to the beach after everyone had a nap, and this time managed to convince Moira to take off her shoes and dig in the sand a little. She's really not a big fan of getting dirty, and I had to repeatedly remind her that we were at the beach and that meant we were going to get sandy. I also had to explain why sandals have holes in them, because she wanted to wear her close toed shoes every time we went. Now whenever she sees her sandals she tells me. "Sand goes in one, comes out two holes!"
Clever disguise
Lately every time I instigate any fun activity, like tickling or kissing or zerberts, Moira says "No like that game Mommy!" until I stop. It was nice to see that she was sometimes okay with "people" (other adults, "friends" refers only to kids right now) starting games. She started playing peek a boo with her dress, and Pearl turned it into a tickling game that they played for a good five minutes.
The hotel we stayed at was not one I'd recommend. We were expecting a certain amount of shabbiness, but we were not expecting the manager to have anger management issues. When the 6 of us checked in we only had one tiny pot to cook in, so Sika asked if he had a bigger pot and a pan we could use. He stormed off and started searching all the other rooms. When he came to give us the largest pot and pan he found he launched into this long diatribe about guests stealing the pots out of the room and a $800 pan set he's lost because of that. Later when we ran out of dish soap and asked for more, the whole thing was repeated, minus the story about the $800 pans. I suggested he keep an inventory, but he just laughed and walked off.
A house!
Our final day was supposed to be cold and deary again, but the sun decided to make an appearance instead. We spent the morning after checking out at the beach. Moira really got into it this time, only complaining a few times about sand on her body. She got really into making sand castles, or as she insisted sand houses. Pearl even had this egg shaped thing which Moira could fill, turn upside down and uncover all on her own. She never actually sat down in the sand, that would have been a step too far.
I didn't get any pictures of them, but there were a lot of millipedes who lived in the grass by the bath from the parking lot to the beach. They really liked the cloudy weather, so every walk that was just the two of us involved a lot of stopping to check them out. I expected her to be scared of them like she is of worms, but she thought they were awfully cool.
Quarium train
After lunch we went to check out the Aquarium which was closed the day we bought sweatshirts. It was teeny, but they had baby sharks that still had their yolks attached, so I thought it was well worth it. As soon as Moira saw this train set, she didn't want to see anything else, which was fine since it was all one room, so the rest of us wandered around and looked at the exhibits and were able to keep her in eye sight.
We timed the drive home for nap time, which worked well for everyone, except Moira. When Sika fell asleep next to her, she just played quietly by herself for an hour, until I noticed she was pouring juice on Shannie's hand and then drinking it out of her hand. Even after I made her stop, she was in a good mood for most of the rest of the drive, at least she was until she realized we were leaving Sika and David at Sika's house.
I'm so glad we did this. Moira and I both had a great time. I hope our friends had a good time too.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Creativity

Dollies
I get very excited whenever Moira's play takes a new and unexpected direction. She loves to have me dress and undress her Polly Pockets and put them to sleep. On this day, she decided to line them all up and then she asked for the camera so she could take their picture. She took this shot and then did a little rearranging and adding to the lineup. Sadly, she got distracted and ran off without taking a picture of her new arrangement.
Parking lot
Her other favorite new game right now is parking lot. She drives all her vehicles from the bedroom to the living room (or back again) and lines them up. Usually they are side by side, but this was the first time the were parked end to end like that. She even started a second row when she ran out of room.
I guess I forgot one other new creative play development.
Mimi is coming too!
Boxes! These two boxes were beds for her dolls, suitcases, an obstacle course and then a train. Thanks for sending packages Pick!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Run to the hills


Alphabet
Originally uploaded by Maydela
We went to Mt Rainier this weekend to scatter Nana's ashes. We had lunch, after half of us getting lost and going the wrong way down the mountain, at the Copper Creek Inn.
These letters were on the side of the building. How cool is that collection. I think the Q R are a little obtuse, but all in all it's awesome.

Friday, August 6, 2010

{This Moment}

Better place to sit

{this moment} - From SouleMama, a Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Nothing left


Painting
Originally uploaded by Maydela
I appear to have a small case of writers block. I can't seem to think of anything positive to write about here, I'm struggling to answer my email, I have two picture books I'd like finish up but I can't manage to think of the story I want to tell with them, and I've been posting little things on Facebook a lot less. I've even been struggling to title pictures when I upload them to Flickr.
I'm probably just tired. Even when I try to limit our plans, there's still jam to make and plants to water and weeds to pull and feelings to be careful of. All of which are things I want to do, happily do most of the time. But it leaves me drained.
This week, we got to go to the Seattle Children's PlayGarden which is located across the street from the building I attended from Kindergarten to 3rd grade. I'm happy to see that NAAM which took over the building when our school moved out is flourishing in our space.
If you have kids, and you are near or want to trek to the Children's PlayGarden, I highly recommend it. It was full of interesting things, like this paper and paints which were out for anyone to use. They had lots of staff around, possibly because of the summer camp they run, but everyone was encouraged to participate in any of the activities. Moira got to help make treasure rocks for the campers to find and break open tomorrow. I really enjoyed the open ended and interactive intention behind the space, and Moira seemed to like it too. There was even a swing for her to use.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Guess the book

We have been checking out board books to keep in the car for over a year now. Since she started being able to request specific books, she's always referred to each book by one name. Baby book, bath book, uh oh book... After the first time through, I could always tell which book she was asking for.
Last week we went to the library and returned a bunch of books. She was quickly bored with the new books she checked out, and kept asking for one of the books from the last batch that she had called monster book. She missed it so much, we went back to the library a couple of days later, returned the books we had, and I told her to look carefully for the monster book. She ended up with a stack, which did not include the original book, although she was sure the right book was in her stack.
This week, she's started referring to each of the books by a variety of names. I'm always having to ask for clarification, or holding up a random book and asking if that's what she's asking for, or making an educated guess.

These are the books we have checked out, right now.
Little Gorilla
Spot Bakes A Cake
Click Clack ABC
Opposites

These are some of the names she's called them.
(Snoring sound, repeated twice)
Monster book
I worried mess!

Can you guess which is which? I will give you Opposites, which I was calling the hippo book, and then she said, "No Mommy, Opposite book."