Monday, November 29, 2010

Moira recommends: Books that surprise me

Monster Night at Grandma's House by Richard Peck - Kid is staying with Grandma and is convinced that there is a monster at night. The reason it surprises me that Moira likes it is that 1)The art is very minimalist and not terribly engaging and 2)The book is scary. I suppose she's using this book to help her learn to deal with her anxiety whenever something scary is happening. I think it's actually working, if that's the case, because her fears seems to be popping up less often.
Albert's Toothache by Barbara Williams. There is a new version of this titled Albert's Impossible Toothache, with color illustrations. This one has simple black and white illustrations. Moira is suddenly really into this book, and I'm not sure why. I like that the moral of the story is that you should listen to your children, and ask questions rather then assuming that what you think they are saying is what they are saying.
The Best Christmas Ever by Chih-Yuan Chen. Father has lost his job and there is no money for Christmas presents. The youngest member of the family makes sure that Santa brings something loved and lost to every member of the family so they can still have a happy Christmas. I find this book incredibly depressing, but Moira loves it. I like the way it takes a step back from Santa as an actual gift giver and uses Santa as a spirit of giving instead.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

We went on a trip

To California
184: I am sitting still
Moira was very excited to go to the airport. The beach was not a big hit though.

She said this approximately a billion times in the last few weeks, but it took five takes to get her to say it one video.
Does that look fun?
Disneyland was very crowded, so she kept asking to go back to the hotel, or asking us to make the other people go away. We also made the mistake of taking her on the Pinocchio ride, which is the scariest one in Fantasyland. Oops.
187: Retail only
Walker and Moira drove me around to a couple of discount fabric stores. Now I have a lot of knits to play with.
Sausage cake!
Thanks to Walker's aunt Pickle, we got to have a date night while we were there. These sausages were very good. I had apricot/ginger ones. Yum.
Thanksgiving
Walker's brother and his wife had us all over for Thanksgiving, which was nice. And Aaron didn't even complain when Walker and Emily played with their Wii for a couple of hours forcing him to miss the stunning turn around in the football game that was playing.
I'm ready!
On our last full day in LA, Moira had obviously reached her limit of happiness. There was a lot of disrupted sleep, missed naps, and strange places. We decided to take her to Griffith Park for a good chunk of the day. I think we will have to make that park a regular stop on our future visits.
190: Too tired
This is what happened on our way to pick up Stewie after landing in Seattle. Poor Moira was even too tired and cranky for pizza tonight. We are all glad to be home.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Fear and Loathing in LA

We got to the airport early, in case of super long lines at security, because of the new scanners. Instead we had the shortest line possible; the person in front of us was through before we had everything in the tubs, and there were no new machines in sight. Walker and I had discussed what we were going to do if we had to go through them. He planned to opt for the full pat down. If it was just me, I would also opt for that too, since I would like to make things as difficult for the TSA as possible, and I really don't care if a security agent gropes me.
The choice for Moira was more difficult. We can't even ask her opinion about it yet, since she doesn't really understand choices yet. We just started explaining about private areas and that she gets to do decide who touches her and how, with the exception of her doctor and diaper changes. I'm not happy with the idea of increasing her cancer risk either. Of course, every flight we take with her is worse then any of the security scans being used. The most likely risks are for people with family histories of cancers that don't run in either of our families, so we decided that she would go through. And where she goes, I follow.
We seem to have worked out a system that keeps me from getting too anxious before our trips. I'm always worried that we will be late for things, and Walker likes to finish packing at the last minute. Airports double that anxiety for me because I worry that our flight will be early, or that they will change our gate without announcing it. (That actually happened to me once. Fortunately, I figured it out 10 minutes before takeoff.)
I have smaller amounts of this anxiety whenever I'm supposed to meet people. It usually makes my friends who run late feel bad, and they never seem to believe that I don't mind. I would much rather show up first so that they have to find me then be late and have to find them. I am certain that if I'm not first, I won't be able to find anyone. Historically, this has not proven true, but I can't shake the fear.
These anxieties, along with my fear of hospitals and dentists are things I would rather not pass along. I worry out of all sense of proportion now that Moira has started refusing to play places where there are large groups of kids. She clings to my leg when the receptionist at the chiropractor's office says hello, and she's seen her almost once a week for the last year. She looks at playgrounds full of kids and asks to go home. I know this is a normal stage. It doesn't mean that she will always feel out of place in a group. If I can be patient and help her get comfortable every time, it will help her learn to navigate these situations when she's older. Instead, every time it happens, the inside of my head is screaming at her to stop hiding.
I cannot assume to know what she is like, and what she will be like when she's older after knowing her for only 2.5 years. I don't think I can ever really know her completely. Her mental world is not the same as mine, and I need to remember to let her truth be hers and not mine.

Friday, November 19, 2010

{This Moment}

Inspired by 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.


Harvest

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Well, look at that.

Walker and I have changed maybe 4 diapers (plus one pair of panties after an oops) in the last three days. Moira is really excited about the idea of not having diapers anymore. Every time she asks to do something new, like not wear a diaper when we go to the store, I explain what she needs to do before we can try it, and then she does it.
I expect some back sliding, but I'm just so excited to not have to change her diaper on the floor of public bathrooms anymore. She's stayed dry for nap every day since Sunday. She's stayed dry at night twice in the last week.
180: Gym class
She also started her first sans parent gym class yesterday. She looked concerned heading in, but then she realized that there were only 3 other kids and she wouldn't have to fight for space on the bars. As they were headed down to the trampoline area and all the other kids were waving and saying "Hi Mommy!" she looked concerned again, because I wasn't sitting with the rest of the moms. As soon as she saw me, she got a huge grin on her face and waved and said hello twice. I asked her if she liked it and she said yes, although she is a little concerned that she doesn't know the teacher's name. We'll have to ask next time we go.
Next week we go to California, and on Tuesday we take her to Disneyland. Moira has started asking every day if we can go to Mickey, Donald and Pluto's house. It's dinner time? Let's have dinner there! We are going to see friends? Are they Mickey, Donald and Pluto? Walker is similarly excited. I'm just hoping it's not an overwhelming situation for her, because I really don't want to walk through Disneyland with a toddler yelling, "No kids!"

Friday, November 12, 2010

{This Moment}

Inspired by 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.


173: Nice tights

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Random Tuesday: I can't even spell, why am I editing things?

Words I always misspell, but am constantly using anyway. Consistently, unsuccessfully, definitely. I frequently mangle definitely so badly that the spell checker just guesses random words that start with de.
randomtuesday
Well hello there Tuesday! It's been awhile.
Moira is feeding her dragon puppet tea (while it's on my hand). Every time she does, she asks me to "Say it defreshing!" She seems to mean 'refreshing,' but I love that she has mixed it up with delicious.
It will make me inexplicably sad that Moira no longer says "Bookmarket" when she is talking about bookmarks.
I will also be very sad when she stops asking for comfort sucking by asking for "Fingos!" I think it's even cuter that when we are listing body parts, she pronounces fingers correctly.
I am trying to see if having diaper free time (with panties!) encourages Moira to use the potty. Last week, she peed on the floor in front of the potty, while helping her stuffed panda go on the toilet. So close, but so far.
Moira adjusts to time changes really well. When we went to Michigan for the wedding, our plan was to keep her on Pacific Time. Instead, she insisted on going to bed around 8:30 Michigan time the first day, and had no time confusion after that. We just skipped nap on the trip home, and she had no confusion about the change back. I feel guilty admitting this when so many other parents are having a hard time getting their kids to adjust to Daylight Savings time.
I only ever feel guilty about really random things now. It's a nice change from my early 20s when I felt guilty about everything.
I have accepted two volunteer positions that involve editing my own work. I'm a decent editor for other people, but it's so much harder to edit myself. I figured that sewing this weekend would help me feel more confident, since it's something even I admit I'm good at. Instead, I spent most of the time thinking some variation of "(Recipient) will hate this! Why am I even bothering? I suck." And then arguing with myself because that was a silly thing to be thinking. That wasn't really relaxing.
Yesterday at the grocery store, Moira started mimicking the way I try to get her attention when I'm saying something important. "Look at me while I talking Mommy!" This is a major reversal from what she usually asks when she's talking, which is "Don't listen Mommy! Don't listen." She quickly decided that I should look at her with my back, instead of my face, so order was restored to our universe.
Also yesterday, Moira found some of her artwork in the recycling bin. She's found it there before and always just pulled it out. Today she tracked me down and asked "Why you throw my art away Mommy?" She didn't think it made any difference when I pointed out that I had recycled it, so it can turn into new paper for Moira to make art on. I guess this means I should to be more respectful of her art now.
Did I mention that her current works are one big circle drawn all the way around the page with nothing in the middle? Usually they are ghosts, but sometimes it's Mimi. I can usually convince her to draw on the other side, but not always. It drives me crazy, and I have to mentally repeat "This isn't a waste of paper," over and over.
Did I mention the two giant boxes of different weight paper in the basement that I got for free? Those trees are already dead, Shannon. Just let her use the paper.

For more randomness, visit The Un Mom.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Winner winner!

170: Current scrap project
This weekend I finally got to spend more then 20 minutes sewing for the first time in almost a month. In fact, I got multiple hours at a time. I caught up on my Round Robin and swaps, but I spent most of my time working on one big project. Which I didn't take a picture of. This is a picture of my current scrap project. I'm trying to make it appropriate for a teenaged boy, so very few novelty prints and no florals. It's a little bigger now then it is in this picture, but I think it's going to take a lot longer then the log cabin quilts did to finish.
Happy birthday Selina!
This was Walker's project for the weekend. A spherical cake for Selina's birthday, to prove that he could do it. The bottom half is styrofoam. He needs to work on his icing technique, but it was tasty anyway.
Sunday dinner
We went to The Hilife for dinner with my parent's and sister. Every Sunday they have a family style chicken dinner. It was about twice as much as we could, so I think I know what we are all having for dinner tomorrow.
Making a cookie
The more genius part was that they have an assemble your own cookie on the kid's menu. Moira spent a good 20 minutes poking sprinkles and chocolate chips into her dough.

Friday, November 5, 2010

A view of 3 months, by Moira

I just cleaned the photos off the point and shoot, which is almost exclusively used by Moira lately. I will have trouble convincing her to let me use it on our trip for Thanksgiving. I now present, a photo essay by Moira. September-today.
Cast iron pan
She climbed on the island to get this one. She will do anything for her art. No idea how she got that blue rectangle in there, although it's possible that's an actual building block.
Self portrait
Obviously, she's well prepared for a Facebook/MySpace page.
Moira's feet
I think she was actually trying to get a picture of the ceiling here, but I love her little curled in legs.
Front door
She was taking pictures for at least a half an hour on this day. She ran all over the house saying "I know!"
Mommy!
She really wanted to take a picture of me today. I think this one is actually pretty good. Most of this shoot is close up pictures of my leg.

{This Moment}

Inspired by 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.


166: STEWIE!!!!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

As promised

Ready to trick or treat
Waiting for trick or treating at Google. We only convinced her to put the hood up 1 minute on actual Halloween. The rest of the time, she looked like this.
Snuggles
Cuddling with Daddy because she heard that Jade was putting on her hippie costume. Nothing was scarier then the hippie costume to her. She kept asking Jade to take it off.
Happy halloween!
The hood! I don't actually blame her for not wanting it on. In order to keep all that weight on her head, the elastic is really tight around the face.

Monday, November 1, 2010

This is Halloween

I haven't been in a picture taking mood lately, and the few I did take are still on the camera, so you will just have to trust me.
This year Halloween was a much greater success then last year. We started with the Google Halloween party which was the ideal trial for Moira. Bright lights, familiar place, and oddly, no scary costumes, even on the other kids. She started out clinging to Walker and refusing to look at anyone, but after the first dozen or so candies she got braver and braver, eventually running from person to person and actually saying "Trick or treat!" and "Thank you!" We hit every floor in both buildings and then headed home with a full pumpkin.
We headed up to Canada for what was most likely our last Halloween with the Martins. Their youngest is now a teenager and soon they won't have any trick or treaters in the house. We will leave them to parties and haunted houses and find good places to have Halloween fun at home. We also agreed on a new weekend for us to go up and visit each year, so they still get their toddler dose.
Moira was not so sure about trick or treating at night so we started slow. Despite the fact that there were a lot of scary masks, she warmed up to it quickly again. She refused to walk on her own, but she continued to say "Trick or Treat!" and eventually got the hang of "Happy Halloween!" She also outlasted the teenagers, mostly because she was being carried I'm sure, and came back with another full pumpkin. Plus Forrest and Jade both had uncomfortable footwear.

We don't limit sweets in our house, other then to just not have it around most of the time. With the exception of when she had food allergies, we don't eat things that we don't want her to eat. Partly because that keeps me honest about the amount of junk I'm eating, and partly because we eat well enough that I don't think the odd sugar binge is going to cause her major health issues. It's an old wive's tale that sugar makes kids hyper; there have been studies proving that it's either a difference in parental perception, the excitement of the day, and sometimes an allergic reaction to artificial colors and dyes.
Walker and I were discussing how we are going to handle her new candy stash. She gets to eat as much of it, as often as she wants, until it is gone. The few exceptions are the same limits I put on all snacks, not in the half hour before meals, make sure you are eating a wide variety of foods. This lead to Walker joking about making sure you alternate crispy chocolates with caramel chocolates with lollipops.
This year, we plan to help her out with it, but we won't next year since she will likely have a better idea of how much candy she has. She also has a LOT of candy thanks to the double trick or treating. It's very cute when she asks for some candy because she says "Please may I have a trick or treat snack?" How can you say no to that?
I may post pictures tomorrow. I haven't decided if I'm participating in NaBloPoMo or not yet. I certainly didn't prepare for it in any way.