Thursday, November 19, 2009

Moira recommends: Books about food

This pile of books is much more popular then last month's. At first she only wanted to read the two she'd seen before over and over. I guess the topic is interesting enough to her that she's willing to try books that I pull from the pile too, which is how we more then doubled the list of recommended books.
The 100th Customer by K T Hao: She found this one last month and kept pulling it off the shelf to be read. It hasn't lost it's appeal. Ben Bear & Chris Crock open a pizza restaurant and have a very poor business plan. But! It's touching and a good lesson in why you should be kind for kindness sake.
The Wolf's Chicken Stew by Keiko Kasza: Mr Wolf is hungry, and goes to ridiculous lengths to try and fatten up one particular chicken. Sadly, all his hard work is ruined by unforeseen circumstances, and he never gets his Chicken Stew. But he does get lots of chicks.
Let's Eat! by True Kelley: Minimal text, and lots of fun pictures. A squirrel tries to steal a peanut from an elephant. A girl dumps noodles on her head. Babies and piglets nurse. Moira loves to look through this one and point to specific pictures so I can tell her what it is. Sometimes, she even manages to tell me what it is.
If you Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff: A harrowing depiction of what it's like to live with a toddler. But the pictures are cute.
Alvie Eats Soup by Ross Collins: This is the only one of the books we've been reading from this stack that I don't like reading too much. Fortunately, we are going to be gone for a week and a half and then it will be time for a new stack. Alvie only eats soup. His parents are overly worried about this and try everything they can to get him to eat other things. Including locking him in a padded cell with a table of food. Fun fun.

This is all new to me

A couple of people have recently referred to me as a "natural mother." I was confused by what that meant until I asked Pearl about it (who agreed with that assessment by the way). She said it has something to do with how calm and unworried I am about the process of raising a kid. Also, because I have fully formed opinions about most things.
I really have two things to say about that.
1) I am in no way calm. I'm at the end of my rope way too often, but that's the sort of thing you don't tend to see in other people because I think it's always harder when you are alone. I have yelled at the baby for not settling down and going to sleep (stupid and counterproductive!); I have tossed Moira at Walker the minute he came home, leaving her crying in his arms while I hid in the bedroom. Also I make stupid mistakes, like leaving our biggest kitchen knife lying on the counter in arms reach. Fortunately, she didn't hurt herself.
2) Whatever parenting calm and experience I have is, in no way, natural. Maybe I did have a slight edge, since I was one of those baby crazed teenagers. Which lead to the real reason for my skills. 12 years of constant babysitting and then nannying. Lori asked how many families I worked for, and I can't totally recall. The answer is around 7 or 8 who were repeat clients, or permanent positions. Then there was the volunteer daycare I ran for a sci fi convention for 10 years. And the other conventions where I worked with someone else who ran the daycare. All that child wrangling left me with the sure and certain knowledge that kids are actually pretty tough and easy to please. The only important thing in the long run seems to be that they are loved and respected.
I also had the benefit of seeing a wide variety of parenting styles. There were two mothers who I especially admired, whose kids seemed happy and fulfilled, whose kids still seem that way 10 years later. Pam and Susan, thank you for being such great role models.
There were also plenty of examples of ways not to treat kids. There was the couple who never said 'no' to their kids. They didn't really explain anything though, or give them any real choices instead. They just didn't use any negative language. Those kids were very confused, and very angry.
There was also a couple who belittled their daughter. Not, I think, on purpose, but in small ways, that made her physically shrink inside herself, whenever I witnessed it. She and I did a lot of art projects and there was a picture she was very proud of one day. We hung it on her wall, and when her parents got back, she proudly showed it to them and told them all about it. "You can't draw." her Dad said, "that's just a bunch of scribbles."
But, I also know the secret truth, which is that most of those little hurts? Are recoverable. Your kids love you and need to be loved. They will do what it takes to male you happy. And as adults, we all have secret hurts and fears from random childhood incidents. You can never tell what will be the thing that your kid has a hard time getting over, but we all, more or less, manage to get on with the living. If I could do one thing in my life it would be to worry less and laugh more.
So that's what I'm doing, one day at a time. And my guess is that most of the other mothers I know are doing that too.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I am blogging this from my phone. Awesome, except that this little widgit doesn't have the same auto capitalize the rest of the phone uses, forcing me to think.
I watch Made Of Honor last week, because it was finally on cable (yes, I really wanted to see it in theater but did not manage it). It was awesomely bad, what with the caber off and the training montage. However! I don't think I can officially like the movie because they used the word blog wrong. Patrick Dempsey has a psycho stalker lady who writes a blog about him. Both he and said lady use the word blog to describe specific posts on said blog. Somehow, that upset me more then is healthy. Oh well.

RTT: A plague on both your houses!

For some reason (possibly related to childhood trauma I won't get into in this post) Walker has become obsessed with the level of cleanliness in out house. To the point where he might be willing to pay someone to clean our house on a regular basis. I would like to point out that our house is cleaner then it was before the baby because we have to be careful what's in her reach, so things actually get put away, and we have people over more often here, so the floor actually gets vacuumed occasionally. Still, everytime we are cleaning for guests Walker starts grumbling about how "we need to do better at keeping up with the dirt." Not that I want you to change your mind about the cleaners honey! I'm all for that plan.

We are flying to LA on Saturday, so of course I want to do a bunch of things that would be silly right before we are gone for a week and a half. Like buy another loaf of bread or make playdough.

I keep saying things like "I'm not really getting sick" or "I don't think I'm contagious" only to be proven wrong the next day. I should really just stay in the house for the rest of the winter. Moira can walk to the library by herself now right? At least I haven't said "I really don't think I have Swine Flu" which is actually what Walker said this morning. Awesome.

Because it turned out I was actually sick, I had to skip the potluck my Mommy group had last weekend, after I went shopping for supplies. I really want to make the rice crispy treats, but that's another thing I shouldn't make right before a trip. Not that I couldn't eat an entire pan in 4 days. Still. Bad idea.

Both my closest mom friends are pregnant, which makes me feel worse about the whole sick/not sick thing. Also, slightly left behind. Not that we are trying or anything. It's kind of how it would be great to win the lottery, but I never buy a ticket.

That came out wrong. Get your mind out of the gutter.

Or visit The Un Mom for more Randomness.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Oo! Ee! Aa! Oh!

Down and up
Originally uploaded by Maydela
I've been trying to teach Moira to jump, but she totally doesn't understand the concept. Instead she has decided that it's fun if I count every time she takes a step down. Well, when she remembers.
Two days ago we went for a walk in the woods (It's been too long since we did that. I don't know why. I love how the woods look right now with no leaves.) and she would stop and stand on every twig on the ground and root that she could get onto on her own and wait for me to count. If I didn't notice, she would start bouncing and sating "Oo! Ee! Aa! Oooooh!!!" until I noticed.
Yesterday we went to the Science Center with Mika and we both had to say it before she would go down the steps in the parking garage. Today she started doing it on the perfectly flat road on the way home from the mailbox.
I'm glad she likes the raincoat. She wouldn't put it on at first, and then when I finally convinced her to put it on she held her arms out like she couldn't put them down. Today she wore it on our brief trip out to the fabric store and she was complimented on it no fewer then 5 times in 15 minutes. Now it's her favorite coat ever. She had to wear it, hood up even when it wasn't raining. I had to wear my raincoat too, because you can never be too careful.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Baby. It's what's for dinner

Baby on the table
Originally uploaded by Maydela

Moira has gone through some major developmental change in the last few weeks. Her level of comprehension has shot through the roof. Today I found her sitting on the kitchen table this morning. I believe because her cup was up there out of reach, and so she went to get it instead of asking for help. Last week she suddenly started doing all the motions for The Wheels On the Bus (extended remix version), Patty Cake and Little Birdies. She kept herself mostly entertained while watching Walker and his friends play a four hour long game last night. Today, while I was getting dinner ready to go into the crockpot she took off her shoes and socks and then took them into her room and put them in the hamper. Because that's where dirty clothes go.
Sadly, the last two days, nap has only been about half an hour long, which is challenging. But I am loving this age, where she's surprising me all the time. Since she's awake, I think we will go buy supplies to do more corn syrup painting.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

At the zoo

Bunny goes "hop hop"
Originally uploaded by Maydela
Adorableness. Not only was she happy to show me what bunnies do (and point sadly to the empty cage while shaking her head to tell me there were no bunnies there), but she made the right sound for every animal she could; cows, sheep, goats, owls, bears, zebras, wolves, elk, tigers, lions and a few birds.
I decided to try out the stroller after a long break from it because she was refusing to sit in it. It worked pretty well until I ran out of snacks, so about 3/4's of your visit. And most of the time she wasn't sitting in the stroller, she was happy to hold my hand. Win/win.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

UFO sighting

So, I'm taking part in Tall Grass Prairie Studio's quilt finishing challenge.
I plan to finish 4 quilts:
1) Sika's Wedding Ring. I have to finish hand sewing the binding on, clean and label it. Cleaning it will be a big pain, because of an old roommate's cats and improper storage.
2) Coulton's quilt. I sent his brother's quilt last Christmas, rather then wait to finish this one and send them together, which was a good idea I guess, because I got it quilted and bound, but it has been sitting for 11 months waiting for a label. I forgot it was still here until I found it a couple of weeks ago when I was looking for something.
3) Mariah's quilt. Needs to be basted, quilted, bound, labeled and washed.
4) Taylor's quilt (photos here and here mostly. Blocks helpfully made by members of the International Stash Busting Bee on Flickr. I needed to make 6 more for the layout I wanted to use. I have 1 left to make, then I have to sash, baste, quilt, bind, label and wash.

Those last three are for Walker's niece and nephews. I've been working my way through all the younger members of his family, which is hard since people keep having kids. When these are done, I have 3 left to do and then I can come up with my next long term grand quilting scheme.

Hey, it's election day. Don't forget to vote. As long as you vote the way I want you to!

Hey guys with long hair! When you finally decide to give a short hairdo a chance, you have to fully commit and get a style that will look good on you. It doesn't count if you just get it chopped into the longest possible bob you can still claim is 'short'.

Happy Random Tuesday!

Little Zebra

Trick or treating was a complete failure. Too much excitement and change for one weekend. Good thing I got pictures of Moira in her costume a week early. Science World was a big hit though.

I am thinking of participating in this Joy in the New Year challenge to finish quilt projects by the end of the year, but I only think I can manage 3 and one it almost done, so it kind of feels like cheating. It's probably not cheating though, it's just being realistic. Actual number of unfinished quilts I have? 11. Oh, I guess I could sign up for 4, because actually getting the label on Coulton's quilt in time to mail it Michigan for Christmas counts, right? I totally thought that had already gotten mailed out, but I found it last month while looking for fabric.

I want to make this kind of tutu for Moira for Christmas. Maybe in rainbow colors.

I pulled a new stack of books for November when we got back from Canada. It turns out we don't really have any about fall or Thanksgiving, so the theme is Food. We seem to have a ton of Christmas and Snow themed books, so I will probably split those up, Christmas for Dec and Snow for Jan.

For more randomness, visit The Un Mom!