Thursday, April 29, 2010

Let's get this done

One left! That's craziness. On to the plants!
Morning Glory
91. Morning Glory
Already knew: This looks exactly like Bindweed, but is less invasive, at least in this climate. This one was tiny too, thejavascript:void(0) flowers were about the size of a quarter. I'm hoping it comes back this year. It has the name Morning Glory because the flowers open in the day and close up again at night.
Recently learned: It acts like a perennial in warm climates and an annual in colder climates. The seeds are used as a laxative in China.
Jalepeno Peppers
92. Jalepeno Peppers
Already knew: Jalepenos are a spicy, although not super spicy pepper. The spicy part is from capsaicin in the seeds and membranes. If you remove those before you cook them, they are less spicy. You should also wear gloves and wash your hands thoroughly before touching your eyes after cutting them up, although I usually forget that. Obviously they are good teat in a variety of ways. You can dry fresh ones by threading them on a string and hanging them to dry in the sun. You can more easily cut dried ones by chopping them up with scissors. They turn red after you pick them or as the growing season ends.
Recently learned: I don't see anything immediately on Wikipedia that I don't already know about them, and I'm not going to look any further.
Bell Peppers
93. Bell Peppers
Already knew: Bell peppers are not spicy and big enough to eat like a vegetable. They also want a lot of heat and a lot of sun to grow, and therefore they don't grow very well here. Green bell peppers are frequently just under ripe peppers that would have turned red or yellow if given time. Colored peppers have more vitamin c then green ones.
Recently learned: These are called a number of different things depending on the country. Oddly, in India it's called capsicum along with the traditional name, which is odd since they don't contain capsicum.

94. Bamboo
Already knew: Bamboo is native to China. Pandas eat it. It is a quick growing woody grass and can be used as wood, fabric, and food, so it is the darling of the renewable resource community. Unfortunately, forests are being cleared to plant bamboo to keep up with the demand. This is a very skinny bamboo, so I can't imagine I could actually turn it into yarn or something. In this climate, it is an invasive species sending runners out to propagate itself unless you put a metal strip around the inside of the hole you plant it in. It's also a pain to remove.
Recently learned: Bamboo is the fastest growing plant in the world, capable of growing up to 24 inches or more per day due to a unique rhizome-dependent system. Most bamboo species flower only every 60 to 120 years, and instead it propagates by forming shoots from it's stem.
95. Kale
Already knew: This is an edible dark leafy green. It's better cooked then raw. I especially like it sauteed and Moira is a fan of it baked. It grows fast and easily in most climates which is nice, which is why you can find Kale grown in Washington in the stores in winter.
Recently learned: Kale is a form of cabbage, but the leaves don't form in heads. Kale is sweeter and more flavorful after being exposed to a frost, and as such it freezes well. Ornamental kales (the pretty purple or white bunches people plant in flower borders) are exactly the same as the kales sold as food, as long as they haven't been treated with pesticides.
Rainbow Chard
96. Chard
Already knew: Another dark leafy green. This one is Rainbow Chard. So called because of the colored stems. Unlike many other leafy greens, this one has a tasty and tender stem. This is also easy to grow in a variety of climates and most seasons.
Recently learned: Other names Chard is known by (according to Wikipedia) are Perpetual Spinach and Mangold.
Indian Plum
97. Indian Plum
Already knew: This is all over the place in my neighborhood. It has small white flowers and bright green leaves and is among the first things to flower in this area. I think this may be what I'm allergic to every spring. It has tiny plum shaped fruits.
Recently learned: The latin name is Omeleria and it is a member of the rose family native to the Pacific coast. Native Americans ate the fruit, made tea from the bark and chewed the twigs as an anesthetic and an aphrodisiac.

Bleeding Hearts
98. Bleeding Hearts
Already knew: A pink flower shaped like a heart. It likes to grow in shady spots and is all over the woods near our house.
Recently learned: All parts of this plant is poisonous if ingested. Can you tell my steam for this project has really run out?

Wild Blackberry
99. Wild Blackberry
Already knew: This is the tiny local blackberry. It has larger flowers then the Himalayan variety and likes to grow in shady places. It's more sweet, has fewer pits and fruits earlier then the other Himalayan. Most of the information I can find is already here.

Almost 2

Strike a pose
Originally uploaded by Maydela
Her hair is getting scraggly, but I want to let it grow long and see if that resolves the problem. We have been trying out new hairstyles, and new barrettes but she'll still only keep a hairstyle in place for a couple of hours, at most.
She seems to be trying to ensure that we go to the emergency room before her birthday next Friday. On Monday she fell out of the car onto the driveway while the insurance adjuster was writing up his estimate. You can barely see the spot of yellow on her head which is what is left of the giant goose egg. Thank goodness for Arnica.
As soon as she calmed down, she started throwing herself around the living room, as normal.
We went to visit Nana in the hospital today, and Moira drew her a picture before I left. When I suggested we should put her name on it so Nana knew who it was from, she got very serious and spent the next 5 minutes with her nose pressed to the paper whispering "Write name. Moi write name." It also involves a smaller series of scribbles then normal.
She has started saying "I miss Daddy!" periodically throughout the day. She also still asks to go to the hotel when she is cranky. Daddy is still less exciting then the hotel.
"My do it" turned into "Mommy (or Daddy) do it" very quickly.
The other night we were getting dinner ready and I wouldn't let her have the meat out of the casserole until after it had been cooked. I told her we were going to wait and have it when Daddy got home. For the next ten minutes she cried and said "No meat Daddy!"
She gets very focused on one thing she can't have right now (like the hotel room) and even if she doesn't get really angry about it, she will keep bringing it up so she can cry about it more. I talk to her about why we can't have the thing, how much she wants to have it, how much I would like to give it to her, when we can have the thing. None of that really calms her down, although I think it's a good idea to have the conversation with her. Eventually, after a few cycles, I tell her we should think about something happy and point out the doggy/bicycle/balloons/whatever we are currently driving past.
I am deliberately not referring to this as the terrible twos, as I don't want to give it more power then it has. Instead, sometimes Moira is sad, or angry, or disappointed, and we try to move on. So far we have kept the major crying fits to a minimum. Hopefully that trend will continue.
For the most part though she is happy and engaged in what we are doing. She is getting more and more able to tell me what's going on in her mind, and even though right now that is "No write!" I'm still glad she can do it.
I decided that since her birthday was coming up and new toys would be arriving soon, we should get rid of some of the things she doesn't play with so much. At first I was going to wait until Walker was watching her some evening, but then I decided to try it one day when we had nothing else to do. I told her her birthday was coming and we had to make room for more toys, and that we could give her old toys to babies who didn't have any. She didn't like that at first, but then she decided it was a good idea. She got really into it, and (the first time we did it) was carefully making decisions about what she did and didn't want to keep. Some of her choices surprised me, but with few exceptions, I respected her decisions and didn't argue with her. When we moved on to the next room, she wanted to give EVERYTHING to the babies, so I stopped letting her help and she just played with the giant pile of toys on the floor. Somehow, I don't think she really wanted to give away her favorite bear.
The best part of this is we uncovered some toys she hadn't noticed before, like her Paddinton Bear, who she is now really into. Confidential to Nain, we don't have any Paddington Bear books.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Spring top week

Rae at Made by Rae has organized a spring top week. Entries end this weekend, and I decided that I would make at least one top. I managed two, but because I'm helping with putting the entries in the database I got a little intimidated by the awesomeness showing up in the Flickr pool. I decided the best way to counteract that was have Sika help me take some pictures when she came to visit, since she is so good with a camera. The nice pictures would help me feel better about what I made.
A small tangent. How come I am unhappy with everything I make for me, but things I make for other people come out just how I wanted. Is it some sort of craft dysphoria?
Braided tunic by maydela
This was the top I knew I could finish in time. I've made this pattern before, so I knew it was easy, and I knew I wanted to make a shorter version to wear with leggings and try some braided trim and ruching. I'm pleased with how it turned out, although the ruching relaxed quite a bit from when I tacked it down to when I did the hem. The braiding was very fun to make.

Minnie top by maydela
I got the red fabric in New York at Mood. It's a wonderfully silky bamboo/spandex knit. It's much stretchier then I expected, so by the end of a day of wearing this, it is at least one size bigger, so I may have to wear a tank top under it. The trim is black jersey with white polka dots, so the whole effect seems very Minnie Mouse to me. I'm kind of okay with that. I have a lot of the red fabric leftover and I'm considering making a pair of leggings from it.

I have the fabric and a plan for two other shirts, but there's no way I have time to do even one of them before the contest is closed for judging. I have started on Moira's birthday dress (complete with pintucks!) and I need to catch up on my quilting bees.

Friday, April 23, 2010

All Torbey all the time!

It turns out that the adult Torben had never seen the baby pictures of him I posted in my last vintage photo post. He asked if I could send them to him so he could share them with his mother. It took three emails to send them all. I figured I should share more of them with you, since I was fiddling with them any way.
Blue Steel
He is older then all the others I have, but probably only by a couple of months.
Isn't this high chair cool? Torbey is 4 months old in this (and most of these)picture.
What is that?
Torbey is worried that someday, his hair will look like Dad's.
I'm sure this contraption would be considered dangerously unsafe now.
Pearl commented that he looks like an old man, which is a comment Moira got too. Maybe that's a characteristic of Danish babies? I have no idea what he looks like as an adult, so maybe he looks like himself?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

It was fun while it lasted.

I do it this way?
A while ago, at a playdate, one of the other mother's mentioned this idea. You fill an ice cube tray with water and put food coloring in some of the water and let your kid mix them up on with an eyedropper. I'd read about it before somewhere online, back before Moira was capable of sitting up, much less holding an eye dropper, but I thought she might be old enough now.
She loved the set up, picking which holes to put which color in, getting the towel and cookie sheet. Unfortunately, the dropper was a little hard for her to do, and even after she figured it out, she got bored pretty quickly.

An idea whose time has not yet come
I caught her mid tip. We will try again in a few months. Maybe that will give me enough time to find some of the florescent food coloring (printer's primarys!) so she has more exciting colors to mix. I should try to find the Montessori idea blogs I was reading when she was an infant again. This would probably be a better time for me to collect that information.

Monday, April 19, 2010

I heart collages

A walk in the woods
I've been watching I Heart Faces for a couple of weeks, and I finally got the courage up to enter this week's photo challenge. I loved this set of photos, she was full of fun expressions that day, and I've been meaning to do more with them.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Moira recommends: Travel

The latest pile of books was about travel, since there was so much planned with Walker and I going away (singly) and the family trip to New York. The pile started to be ignored after the new bookshelf showed up, but I didn't bother to change it out, since all the travel was about to start. I finally got around to it today, thanks to inspiration from the library. I think it's probably also time to move the foreign language books up from downstairs and maybe replace them with a stack of the books we have that don't have words.
The Hole in the Ocean: A Daring Journey by Jasper Tomkins - This seems to me like it was written after a drug trip. It is written in rhyming couplets which are a bit forced at time, but it's sweet and the pictures are very engaging.
Town Mouse Country Mouse by Jan Brett - We don't have the cd, but apparently this is out of print and this is the only listing that had a picture. Moira loves to look at the side pictures on each page in this one and see what the cat and owl (and other predatory animals) are up to.
Punk Farm On Tour by Jarrett Krosocza - Ugh. What kind of band only plays one verse of one song at each stop? Craziness. Moira loves it because the animals are playing music and the song they sing is a version of "The Wheels On the Bus" which is still a favorite song. I hate it because the story isn't well told. It's like the author was trying to use as few words as possible to get the story across, but he kind of failed. Sika appears to agree with me about this book.
Stick by Steve Breen - I thought for sure that I had reviewed this one before, as it has been a favorite for a long time, but I can't find it in tags, so I guess not. Stick is a little frog who wants to do things on his own. Most of the story is told in the pictures. The author successfully did what the Punk Farm author tried for. I do get tired of reading this 70 billion times a day, but I still like it, because it is so sweet and well done. Plus it makes Moira so ridiculously happy when we read it.
Ox-Cart Man by Donald Hall - In the first part of this book, a farmer packs his ox cart to take things to market so that his family can have money to survive the winter. The second half of the book details how he and his family make all the things they will sell next fall at market. I think this one is very soothing to read, and I think that may be why Moira liked it too. The illustrations are very engaging too.

I was looking at Powell's website to see if I could link there, instead of to Amazon, but their listings aren't as helpful for books that they don't have in stock as Amazon's. I'd really rather not link to Amazon; although I am still willing to support third party sellers there, I'm no longer buying things from Amazon's main site. Does anyone have a suggestion for a website that would have good information about individual books I could link to? Can people read the listings on Goodreads without having to login?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Pictures of New York

Well, of the baby in New York, really. Plus, a video.

Moira at the Empire State building
Moira hanging off the Empire State Building.
Playing at the Central Park Zoo.
Layers are important
Making her own fashion choices. I assume she insisted that Walker pack the Zebra costume. She wore it A LOT while we were there, despite the random heat wave.
Some day I will eat you bread
Watching bread bake at Chelsea Market.
Hello Daddy!
Riding the carousel at Bryant Park. She got to go on two carousels, plus the ferris wheel in Toys R Us twice.

Riding a horse carriage around Central Park. In slightly related news, the bicycle cab drivers will practically mug you to try and get you to ride their contraption. Also, I didn't notice until our last day that the bicycle rental place at Central Park had bikes with baby seats. I would have liked to have done that one day.
We had a good time. Walker and I are glad to be home. Moira was asking to go back to the hotel last night. Also, she misses Emily.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

More noise!

That's what Moira kept shouting when we were waiting in the subway today. When a train started approaching the first time she asked, "Noise?" And when I said it was noise, she was totally gleeful. I'm glad she was excited by it, rather then scared.
Yesterday I decided to take her to the Empire State Building, because I wanted to see it, and since it was our first day, I wanted to stay within walking distance. Sadly, it was not quite walking distance for her and there were lots of long lines there and so by the time we got up to the observation deck, she was not interested in the view. She was interested in the three pigeons that were up there, but there were too many people taking their picture to let her hang out and stare at them.
By the time we got through all the lines to get back down she was really antsy and while I tried to figure out if there was a nearby place I could let her wiggle around (answer, no), she started crawling around and licking the floor. I totally would have let her keep doing that, but a security guard made me stop her. So then I dragged her screeching back towards the hotel. We stopped for frozen yogurt on the way back, which revived her just enough to get her the rest of the way back happily. Well mostly.
Moira is really digging the hotel. If I mention it at all she tries to insist we should go back right now. Is it possible that the hotel is in this train car? Because maybe we could go there now? Possibly part of why she likes it so much is that I am so hot and worn out when we get back that the first thing I do is take off my pants and socks. And then she wants to take off all her clothes and be nakie. Fortunately, she hasn't figured out how to take off the disposable diaper yet.
I learned from yesterdays mistakes and today we went out with our backpack carrier. She was mostly happy to stay in there, although she really didn't want me to sit down. She enjoyed the Central Park Zoo and FAO Schwartz, but I had a hard time finding a place where she could have lunch (Hello Central Park street vendors! I love pretzels, but could you maybe also offer some sort of non breaded foodstuffs?). Our first real try once we got out of the park turned out to be an Italian restaurant, not the kind of cafe I thought it was. At this point Moira was losing it, so we jumped into a burger joint and I forgot to ask if their fries were breaded before I ordered.
I let her eat them anyway, because there really was no happy option at that point. Then on the way to the hotel from the subway station, we shared a Jamba Juice. At least I remembered to feed her lunch today and didn't just resort to granola bars and apples in the hotel room.
I am considering taking her to the Fashion Institute tomorrow so I can look at their museum. That's probably a crazy idea, huh?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

All she wrote

Walker and Moira had a fantastic weekend without me. We talked on the phone every day, and Moira was always in happy to hear from me, and happy for me to hang up so they could get on with their day. When I came home today, the house was much tidier then I left it and Moira was enunciating much better. The only repercussion seems to be that she's a little worried about leaving her sight, but not enough that she didn't want to take Stewie to our friend's house for our trip to New York tomorrow.
(Did I mention that? 10 days. Crazy. I'm looking forward to it but I'm also dreading the flight tomorrow.)
I had a good time too, but I did have to keep fighting crankiness and tears. Missing the baby was hard. The worst time at con for me seems to always be Friday night through Saturday afternoon. I'm not sure why, but I should probably plan a nap or something in there in the future to try and counteract that. Sadly, this is what I wore on Saturday during the height of my cranky period.
Elf dress
(Shiny fabric photographs badly. It looked less wrinkly in person.)
Super cute, right? And Pearl spent a bunch of time helping me curl my hair, in such a way that it actually stayed curly the whole night. I felt awesome until we left the room. Then my bad mood took over and instead of paying attention to the people checking out my embroidery, I noticed all the people oohing and ahhing over my more brightly dressed companions. I love my dress and I really don't think it looked bad on me, like I ended up deciding about my fairy dress last year, so I need to get over it. I will wear it next year, but I think for future costumes I will concentrate less on using fabric I have and more on bright colors. Emerald green, here I come.
Look! Check out the embroidery.
The back