Friday, January 29, 2010

Parenting fail.

Yesterday, after Moira and I picked up my sewing machines, I locked her in the car with the keys. I'm impressed it was my first time doing actually. I managed to stay calm, and make her think it was just some weird game I was playing and called AAA. They wouldn't give me an ETA, but assured me I was at the top of the list. The last time I locked a kid in the car (mid 90's, kid was asleep, engine running, I had to run into the gas station to make the call) the dispatcher put my request in as soon as I told him the problem and then got the rest of my information; this time the lady went really slowly and double checked everything and THEN put it in, so the phone call alone took 15 minutes. I called Walker when I got off the phone to get some commiseration, forgetting that he has a brand new car, and was therefore happy to run home, grab the spare keys and come to me on the of chance he would get there before AAA.
He did, easily. And five minutes before he arrived, when Moira was really getting upset with this stupid game Mommy was playing, I discovered that the driver's side door had been unlocked all along. I guess I did well making it seem like it was no big deal because as soon as I got her out of the car she was fine, although she assumed Walker must be there because I had been telling her that he was on his way to help us. I didn't start crying until he showed up.

The other awesome thing that's going on is that now when Moira wake up in the middle of the night, she quietly climbs up on the bed over Walker to snuggle up to me. She manages this so well, sometimes I don't wake up until she's fallen back asleep there and I get elbowed in an uncomfortable place. Sadly, this is meaning that I get to be awake for a couple of hours in the early morning, since she wakes up to nurse a couple of times before 5:30am if she's next to me. Fortunately we have everything we need to make her room dark so she can sleep in there, we just have to get her room set up for sleeping. We plan to do that this weekend, and give it a shot. Wish us luck.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Strange skills

I'm always happy when Moira figures out something esoteric. Like toasting, which I've tried to show her before and she was having none of it. Put her in a room with 24 other people all toasting, and she will jump on that bandwagon. Then repeat it so I can get pictures.
Thanks to Popcap games, she has also learned to say zombie, pronounced "Ombie!" She loves watching me play "Plants vs Zombies", show me where to plant flowers and then yell when the zombies show up "No! No ombie!" Hours of entertainment, for both of us. Plus, useful training for the coming zombie apocalypse.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

On friendship

Making friends has never been easy for me. I have always tended to have a few very close friends that I keep for a long time, and then I form new friendships through those friends. If someone moves, or starts having a schedule that doesn't work well with mine, I have a really hard time maintaining that friendship. Not because I don't want to, but because I worry that I'm bugging them with my silly chatter, or that I'll call at a bad time. I also tend to think that nothing interesting is happening in my life. None of these things is true, and I know that logically, but the combination means that I don't call, and I put off replying to emails, and what have you. And then I lose friends I love because they think I'm not interested in them any more.
I have already had one mommy friend move to the other side of the country. I think I'm doing better at staying in contact, mostly due to Facebook, but I know we are slipping more towards aquaintance with every month I don't pick up the phone. And I really don't want to keep losing people this way.
My big fear right now is that I will let this happen with the wonderful friends I've made in my mommy group. Our kids are gettiing older and we are far spread. People are joining more classes and toddler groups. Preschools are next. Even if we all had similar educational plans for our kids, we are far enough away that we will not be chosing the same schools. I know that I will continue to see them, but it's already harder to combine schedules, and I worry that for fear of being pushy I won't be proactive enough.
I suppose the positive part of this divergence in children's lives is that I will have to keep making new friends. Hopefully, I can become better at keeping them too, and help Moira be a better friend then I have been.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

New favorite things

She figured out how to stomp in puddles and make a splash, I think from a book. I have been trying to convince her not to do it in the puddle in the garage (the one that forms under Walker's car) but I have to stay vigilant. To make it more fun, she will only wear her white party shoes now. Fortunately they wipe off pretty well.
She's also been practicing her stomping indoors a lot. Elephants have been stomping for awhile, but now cats and dogs stomp too.
She is always looking for my mother (Nain). Yesterday she started saying "Nain!" and pointing towards her bedroom. I made her go look, and she got to the hallway and started nodding her head and saying "Nain!" again. I asked if she was sure, and so she ran all the way into her bedroom and then came out shaking her head no. Then she pointed out the window and asked if Nain was out there, so I told her to look. Sadly, the answer was no to that too. She was still asking for Nain, so we called her on the phone, which of course made her stop talking, except for one very quiet "Nain."
The big favorite thing for Moira right now is "More!" We need more of everything the minute we finish. More puddles, books, songs, food... The list goes on and on.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Moira recommends: Snow!

The current stack of books is all about snow. I'm thinking of switching them out before the end of January though, partly because I'm getting bored of these and partly because Valentine's Day is so early in February.
The Missing Mitten Mystery by Steven Kellogg: This was one of my favorite books as a kid, and I'm really glad Moira likes it too. Really, anything written by Steven Kellogg is good, although not anything illustrated by him. Despite what my Dad seems to think.
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats: This has really simple and sweet illustrations that let you fill in the details. I think we will have to look for more books by this author.
A Little Snowflake by Charles Reasoner: This is technically a Christmas book, since Christmas is mentioned at the end. It's also something Moira has loved since we got it. I think it's boring, so I hope her interest in it wanes soon.
Thomas' Snowsuit by Robert Munsch: Thomas hates his snowsuit and resists putting it on when adults try to force him. Moira loves it because she gets to help read it, saying "Nnnnnnnno!" at the right times. I cannot recommend books by Robert Munsch enough. His stories are always fun and silly. He also does a good job of commiserating with kids about the silly things that adults do, like trying to force someone to put on clothing they hate rather then just wait until they are ready. He's a Canadian childhood institution who isn't well known here. A number of his books have caused major controversy for making the parents looks stupid, but I say, if children's books can't poke fun at adults, what is the point? A particular recommendation, especially for people with princess loving little girls is The Paperbag Princess, but I'm sure Moira will recommend that one on her own later.
The Snowman Flap Book by Raymond Briggs: This would probably make more sense to me if I had ever read the original. This is an abbreviated version of James' adventures with the snowman, with flaps. She loved the first one so much, I had to tape many of the flaps back in place and my Dad bought her another copy. I don't like this one very much, and fortunately, Moira seems to be getting a little bored with it.

Even some of the books Moira doesn't seem to like very much keep getting pulled out of the pile for a reread, so she can give up partway through. Specifically, Little Polar Bear Finds A Friend (too long) and The Hat (I'm not sure what the problem with this one is, maybe the animals aren't making the right noises).

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Roll roll
I have been putting off making playdough for unknown reasons. Today, nap was short, so I bit the bullet and spent a whole 5 minutes making playdough with Moira's help. She was entranced with the whole process, measuring ingredients, cooking the dough, kneading it and finally playing with it. I found a set of (incomplete) alphabet cookie cutters and a bunch of random plastic kitchen utensils (things like an egg separator and an icing comb) at a thrift store before Christmas, and a box to hold them all in. She's been playing with them by themselves since Christmas, so when I pulled out the box, she knew just what she wanted to try first. I need to find a kid sized rolling pin for her, but she seemed to handle the regular sized one just fine.
Special note to Pearl, Rella and my mom, if she has a favorite color right now, it's blue. That's always her request when I ask which color she wants, even though she can now say other color names.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Recent developments in our house

Step stool
Moira is officially walking all over us. She is also really into collecting things, right now, she has an arrangement of two giraffes, a red haired doll and a yellow spotted dinosaur on the fireplace hearth upstairs. It was very visually pleasing, but I noticed it when it was too dark to take a good picture. Today she read the cover of a book to me (Challenge Quilts). Apparently that is pronounced "Ma daddy ma. Daddy Ma Da." Who knew?

I am crocheting scarves for Craft Hope's 6th project. I think I had this realization last year, but I really missed crocheting and it's a perfect project to work on while toddler wrangling. I'm planning on making at least two scarves for Craft Hope, so maybe I can get in the habit before I'm done and find new projects when I'm done.

Idea 1 for doll quilt swap 8
I managed to sign up in time to participate in the latest round of Doll Quilt Swap. Apparently there's a big bird/tree thing going on in the collective hive mind, which I am totally behind. It's a secret partner swap, so you have to try and figure out what they would like based on stalking them on the internet. It's nice to have a good excuse to do that.

Our daily schedule is finally returning to normal after the holidays. Places are open again, and friends are ready to play again. It's very exciting. I like having something planned most days of the week, and I think Moira does too.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Things I learned at the winter driving skills day this weekend.

  • No one knows why they add the winter to the name for this particular day when it's the same stuff being taught as at all the other classes in the year. They don't label the rest of them by season.
  • The best way to stop the car if I start spinning (the actual reason I wanted to do this) is to slam on the breaks and the clutch at the same time.
  • Doing the slalom feels exactly the same in the car as on skis.
  • The shuddering that happens when you engage the antilock brakes makes me queasy.
  • Crochet is a good way for me to keep myself from freaking out.
  • If you are crocheting in the middle of a big group of people talking about cars, everyone will leave you alone.
  • If three people in one minute ask what you are knitting, give up trying to explain the difference between knitting and crocheting.
  • If everyone keeps asking if you are having fun, it's best to lie and say 'yes' rather then try to explain that you are not ever going to enjoy this activity.
I am glad I went, because of the skid pad and the accident avoidance activity (the one with the antilock brakes). I've been getting increasingly more and more nervous when driving in bad weather because of a string of accidents, like having my tire blow on I-5. The addition of a small fragile person to my car most days hasn't helped me feel more comfortable.
Fun fact: it's really hard to get a car with all wheel drive to spin on purpose. They had to get the guy who teaches the skid pad all day to help me with it. There was another instructor who has a Subaru and had spent some time figuring out how to do it without the use of the hand brake (press on both the gas and the break really hard at the same time, which will lock the front wheels and cause the back wheels to lift off the ground, if I remember correctly). He didn't seem to understand that while I really wanted to do this so I could get over the fear there was NO WAY I was going to be able to make myself do something that would cause the car to spin on purpose. I want to go again, maybe, so I can keep practicing. They were talking about the Women's day they run for the same class. It sounded like there is a higher rate of every day driving cars and fewer Porsches, so I may fit in better there. I wasn't the least sporty car on the track, but only barely. I was certainly the least sporty driver.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

What I did on my long weekend vacation

I was complaining to Walker after Christmas about all the things I want to do (organizational stuff, sewing) that I can't do with Moira's help. He kindly offered to be primary parent for the long weekend, since he got New Years Eve and Day off. Right now he's at the zoo with Moira, and my back is starting complain from all the sewing.

So far I have:
Found a new place for Moira's dishes that she can reach, and a way to keep them all together.
Basted and partially quilted this quilt. I ran out of thread. I always underestimate that. Moira helped me with this a bit. She was even willing to have the blanket on her lap in order to sit with me. She HATES having blankets on her legs.
Organized Moira's art supplies.
Got caught up on blocks for a swap.
Cleaned up sewing room a little bit and found a new place for my paint that is not reachable by toddler.
Started piecing the back for this quilt.
Sorted the clothes Moira has grown out of into donation and sell piles.
Finished sewing my blocks for a wedding quilt. The mother of the bride made half of them and hers are perfect and 1/2" bigger then mine. Mine are totally not perfect, even after being resewn. I considered ripping them apart again and trying once more, but I think they would rather have their quilt eventually and if I have to start over, I'm sure I would get annoyed and bury it in my to do pile. Which leads to...
Started sashing the blocks for the above wedding quilt.

I haven't been able to do as much organizing as I want, mostly due to a lack of containers to store things in, but I'm feeling pretty good about what I got done this weekend. Especially since not listed activities the week included staying out until 6am on New Years Eve, catching up on sleep a bit the next day and going to Pearl's belated Christmas dinner in Maple Valley (without Walker, and Moira was a champ in the car, only starting to fuss on the way home when we were ten minutes from home. And it was an hour past her bedtime). I should probably go see what else I can tidy in the sewing room, before my family comes home for snuggles.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2009 in pictures

Let me check my schedule
Moira on call.
The first thing I planted in our yard. Waiting to see if they will pop up again this year.
Teenaged giraffes at the zoo.
Look a tooth!
First tooth. She now has 12.
Big fat flakes
More freaking snow.
Quilting detail
My quilt from the Ugly Quilt Challenge.
Surprise Sika visit.
Mad Scientist laugh contest
Alton the mad scientist.
Speedy baby
Birthday girl in action.
I like this one best
Hand dyed fabric.
Trying to get out.
Finally learning to play outside.
My first time.
Finally learning to free motion quilt.
Moose at Northwest Trek.
Mini for Quiltinkimmie
Mini drunkards path quilt for a swap.
Moira's first profile photo
Moira learns to take pictures.
Something old
Becca & Andrew finally get married.
Homegrown veggies.
Where's the chicken?
Looking for the chicken.
First haircut.
Little Zebra
Baby zebra.
Corn syrup artwork
Moira's art.
Moira & Walker
At Caltech.
Poke poke!
Making Grandma's shortbread.
Matching dresses.

Here's to a new year.