Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Fatherhood

Linking up at NPN and Hobo Mama.

There's a line from the Daddy to the Mommy

Today Moira asked how babies are made. This is not a new conversation, and we have plenty of books that explain the idea. Some of them, like Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole, do a good job explaining the actual mechanics in a silly way. Sadly, the euphamisms and hyperbole that the parents in the book use (so the kids can explain it the right way) are a bit above Moira's head.
The babies
This is the second page of her latest book, entitled "Kitty oh Kitty." The text is blurry but it says "They are babies eating and drinking inside they Mama. And then the egg and the sperm and the seed came in from the Daddy."
So we were clearing up this confusion. The egg actually comes from the Mommy, the sperm IS the seed. Then she asked how the Daddy's sperm got into the Mama, and I told her.
She said "No, that's not it." I promised it was. "Well, I know another way." "How is that?" "There is a line from the Daddy to the Mommy."
This is when I had to explain what a metaphor was. That was not what I expected to be the hard part of that conversation. I guess it's one of the hazards of being more open about sex then the kids books are.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

Breakfast all week (for me): Baked oatmeal and sausage or bacon.

Sunday: Lentil soup
Monday: Tacos and mexican rice
Tuesday: Oven baked prawns with fries and veggies
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Dinner with my parents
Friday: Dinner with friends
Saturday: Honey sauced chicken and veggies

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday Surf

Sunday Surf with Authentic Parenting and Hobo Mama
All of these are pulled from my Google+ page, so if you follow me there, you have already seen them. Unfortunately, this seems to be the only way I can remember what I read and liked.

So Much Bullshit but we Won't Give In. I have long thought that more violent reactions from women would be a good counteraction to rape culture, not that I condone violence, or think it's primarily women's jobs to stop rape. It's more of a warning if you ever try anything against my consent.

There's no Such Thing as "Healthy Food." "Food is meant to meet our needs, and can only be evaluated on its ability to do so. Even a Twinkie is “healthy” for a person starved for caloric energy."

Parenting a Teen. If you know me well you know I am terrified of the teenager stage. But I know a number of awesome teens, and they all seem to have been parented this way. It's not a shock to think that treating a teen like they are a person would lead to a good relationship.

Adorable Doll Protests Piss off Russian Police. Awww! The most adorable protest ever.

Your Daughter Doesn't Have to Apologize for Anything. I have been trying to explain this to a few people in our lives. Moira liking pink and princesses is not the problem. Everyone assuming that's the only thing she likes IS the problem.
We took her to the Disney Store to return the Buzz Lightyear she got for Christmas that didn't work. Since they didn't have the exact same Buzz, she wanted to look around the store at all her options. We talked about anything she seemed interested in, and pointed out a few things she might like (like the Winnie the Pooh stuffed animals) that she hadn't noticed. She actually didn't notice the princess section so we took her over there. Her final decision was to get Bullseye, for Jesse to ride on.
And her favorite game right now? Firefighter Cinderella.

Craft Hope's latest project is beanie hats and tote bags for kids with cancer. I'm getting Moira involved with this one. We already picked out tshirts to turn into bags.

Visit Hobo Mama for more surfing.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Sewing again!

I lost most of my attention span halfway through this pregnancy and have been unable to sew since then, but this week I finally got back in there. Here is what I made!
Davis' first christmas
We traced the little hand just after Christmas. I almost didn't do these because I was just so burned out, but I'm glad I did. Especially since I did for Moira. Davis woke up from his nap and was helping me take the pictures at this point which is why it is a little blurry.
Doggy shirt
A shirt for Moira, rescuing the dog from a tank top our friend Pearl gave her that is much too small now. The sleeves are cut from the back of the tank. The body is from an old tank top of mine. I'm not happy with the belling in the neckline, but I don't care enough to fix it. We'll see if that's true after I see it on her.
Refashioned shirt
Finally, I rescued a shirt of mine that had a hole near the hem and combined it with an old dress of Moira's that had a hole in the bodice. I was planning on just turning the dress into a skirt for her, but then I pulled the gathering out on top and realized it was actually big enough to fit around me. I loved the fabric in that dress more then she liked the dress. Plus, I'm slightly less likely to cut a hole in it. It looks a little odd I suppose, but I wore it a whole day and it's very comfortable, although a little awkward to nurse in.
I also started planning out another shirt for me as well as fixed the pockets on a couple of things. I am hopeful that the sewing mojo is back for good.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Snow snow snow

It's hard sometimes to be reasonable in the face of snow in the Pacific Northwest. It just doesn't happen often enough to be common. Walker and I dealt with being snowed in with an infant and a 3 year old by doing (almost) every snow related activity.
Mad eyedropper skills
Moira painted snow, inspired by this post. It wasn't until the snow got all dirty that I realized we should have given her juice or flavoring to do it with and then she could have eaten it afterwards. She was very excited that Walker let her eat some snow, and that was just plain.
They built a "snowman," even though the snow was much too icy and dry for an actual snowman shaped one. They also trekked through the snowy woods to the grocery store, followed by hot chocolate and marshmallows.
Moira's snowman
I set Moira up with a tray of supplies (and precut white circles) for her quiet time one day, and this is the snowman she made. She's obviously been heavily influenced by snowmen in children's books. After quiet time, the pom poms disappeared. She only wanted them on there while the glue was drying.
Right before the rain started up, we let her have one of the icicles hanging from our roof. She ate the whole thing, and was very sad the next day that we hadn't saved the second one for her.
Moira also fed the birds in the break between big snowfalls. The birds didn't find it before it all got covered with snow, but we were pleased that this little Douglas Squirrel found it when it was revealed during the melt. Also now that the snow is mostly gone, she decided it was a perfect time to shovel the walk, and spent a few minutes out there with her plastic shovel.
We lucked out pretty well with this storm. There was no where we had to go, so we didn't have to shovel the driveway. We had stocked up on groceries (completely accidentally) right before it started. We lost power for 11 hours, but it was at nighttime, so we all just went to bed. Walker enjoyed Moira's enjoyment of the snow that was so much a part of his childhood, and I enjoyed cuddling by the fireplace with the baby. The only downside is that Walker's family was supposed to fly in on Friday, but all their flights were cancelled due to ice at the airport. Hopefully the can reschedule and come to meet the baby soon.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Gung Hay Fat Choy

Inspired by this dragon craft, here is Moira's Chinese New Year's Dragon dance(s).
Dragon dancing!
Here comes the dragon!
Parade is almost over

She has already planned out the craft she wants to do for Groundhogs Day. I'm not sure how we can make a ring with a groundhog on it, but hopefully Pinterest will help.

Linking up at Hobo Mama and Natural Parents Network.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

There were a couple of alterations to the menu last week, one because we decided meatloaf was too much work, so we had home made hamburger helper instead, and two because of the snOMG our visit from Walker's family, and the trip we were going to take were cancelled.
Wow, that was quite the sentence. Moving on!
We have also had great luck with letting Moira select how much of each thing she wants on her plate, although we still have some trouble remembering to have a few extra options available in case she doesn't like the main course. At any rate, she has stopped jumping down from the table after two bites (which always lead to extra crankiness and requests for snacks and upsetness that we wanted her to eat her dinner.), so that's a win.
The zucchini bread recipe I made last week made enough for two weeks, and I'm tired of eggs so breakfast is set. As for dinners...

Sunday: Chinese takeout
Monday: Chili
Tuesday: Dinner out
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Roasted chicken, potatoes and veggies
Friday: Sweet corn soup
Saturday: Chicken and veggie nuggets, salad

Friday, January 20, 2012

Skeptical baby is skeptical

Whatcha talkin bout?
We were going to have visitors this weekend, but their flights were cancelled due to the snowstorm. We are trying to come up with a plan that doesn't involve being stuck in the house all weekend, but that assumes enough snow melts that we can leave our driveway. And that all the melted snow doesn't just turn into ice.
Davis is understandably skeptical about our plans.

Wish us luck!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Early mornings

Last night was tough, with a power outage adding extra steps to bedtime prep, and the power coming back on waking up Moira around 4am. Even though she's started sleeping a little later since Walker has been home for paternity leave, it still seemed way too early when she was ready to get up.
To buy us an extra 15 minutes, I suggested she get her camera and take pictures of all the red things she could find.
Moira's red hunt
She was frustrated when we came into the living room because the camera wasn't working. I checked it out and then held a bunch of red things for her while she stood across the room and took pictures. None of those turned out because the little flash isn't strong enough to reach that far, so I was surprised to find all of these photos when I cleaned off the camera tonight.
I think I should start letting her look at the photos as when I take them off the camera. The close up photos she's taking are getting better and better (just look at this, but most of the pics she takes of people she is standing as far away as possible, and it just doesn't work.
Anyway, I give this distraction technique/learning opportunity two thumbs up. We'll see how tomorrow morning goes, she may be hunting for a different color.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


I'm not sure this is the best comparison, since Walker insisted on putting the bunny in front of Davis' face, but I figured I should post these together so people can talk about how much they look alike.
1 month
Davis at 1 month, taken at 10pm because I almost forgot and had to wait for him to wake up to do this.
Moira & piglet
Moira at 1 month. Oh look! She's covering up her chin, so it is a good comparison.

They actually do look similar, but to me just in that "we are siblings" way. Which makes sense since they are siblings, and also because Walker and I looked very similar as babies.
Walker. I have seen that exact look on both of our kid's faces. Our babies love to raise their eyebrows.
Me. I was actually going to make this a "guess which baby is who" thing, but this picture of me in a dress looks so much like Davis that I just had to use it. For everyone who has asked if Davis is going to keep his dark hair, I didn't and what grew in was the color of Moira's hair. I guess we'll just have to wait.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

This is my first time participating in Menu Plan Monday. It's part of my attempts to reestablish a family rhythm now that i have energy again. Because we planned starting on Sunday, I can say that so far it's working well. Moira enjoyed helping us cook today, and it was nice to know what to make well in advance.

We actually combined the start of meal planning with a new attempt to get family dinner back on track, by letting Moira select how much of each thing she wanted on her plate. That worked great for Sunday, since she stayed at the table for longer then 5 seconds and had more then one bite of her dinner before announcing "done!" In fact, we could have served her an adult portion of the salmon and she would have eaten it all.

Breakfast for Moira and Walker and lunch for all of us are a rotating selection of things we always have in the house, leftovers and eating out. As such, I'm not planning those meals, but if I don't plan and make in advance easy to grab things for me to eat for breakfast, it doesn't happen. Also, my inlaws are coming for the weekend so we don't need to plan anything for then.

Breakfast all week: Egg pie and Zucchini muffins

Sunday: Salmon with dill sauce and garlic rice
Monday: Morrocon chicken and quinoa (instead of the couscous.
Tuesday: Leftovers
Wednesday: Rosemary and garlic meatloaf and maple mustard potatoes and green beans.
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Cashew chicken, rice and broccoli.
Saturday: Dinner out.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Lift Every Voice and Sing

After New Years, Moira asked what holiday was next. "Martin Luther King Day," we told her, without bothering to explain anything about it. She immediately set about making her friends Martin Luther King Day cards, and presents, and decorations for our house.

This is a holiday that I've always had a sentimental attachment to. My school, which I attended from Kindergarten through 12th grade, made a pretty big deal our of it with special assemblies, and lesson plans, and singing, and one memorable year, the encouragement that the upper grades attend the anti war rally happening downtown. I think something about the radical nature of our school's origin lead to the staff having a fond spot for equal rights and the struggles of the 60's.

I finally got a chance to explain to Moira a basic level of why we celebrate this day. That once a long time ago some people thought you could tell how good a person was by the color of their skin. That people thought the lighter your skin, the better a person you were. That Martin Luther King was a kind man who happened to have dark brown skin who proved to everyone that that wasn't true.

As soon as I was done talking, Moira said "I don't want to know that. I want to know why Christmas trees have lights." So we talked about that for a little bit. Maybe tomorrow I will teach her the song we always sung at school. Maybe next year, we will have the conversation again, and she will want to know.

Lift every voice and sing, till earth and heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise, high as the list’ning skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith
that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope
that the present has brought us;
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
Let us march on till victory is won.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

State of play

Checking out the fire truck
Moira has a few pretend games she loves right now.
She loves to put sparkles all over things with her wand, and I love that I realized I could make it a thinking game and request that she sparkle "Something square" or "Something black." Really the possibilities are endless.
She loves to pretend she is someone else. It used to be me she was pretending to be, but after a Halloween party where one kid was dressed as Cinderella, she is now pretending to be Cinderella. What's great about that is that she has no idea who Cinderella is other then that she is a princess who wears a blue dress.
She also pretends her penguin pillow pet is her kitten.
After our trip to the fire station yesterday, she has started pretending she is a firefighter. This combines well with pretending to be Cinderella, so she is actually firefighter Cinderella. She put a fire out in my pretend house today and then wanted to put out the fire at Daddy's pretend house.
We still have to be very clear that things are pretend. If she is pretending to be a kitty and I say "Hello kitten!" She will correct me and make sure I readdress her as "Pretend Kitty."

After months (almost a year) of agitating to go to school, and the assumption from one of the teachers at the emergency day care that she was in school somewhere else because she was so in to the system, Walker and I decided to investigate preschool options for her. We found one that can take her right now with a 2 day a week program and asked if she wanted to go, with the caveat that she'd have to skip library story time and gym class. Apparently she'd rather continue those activities then go to school. Good to know.

Cat skeleton baby
Davis is currently the right size to wear my most favorite of the baby clothes we saved, including this outfit and the level 1 human onesie.
He has decided that diaper changes are pretty nice, especially when Walker is the one doing them. And they don't drag on too long.
He prefers to sleep lying down in bed. If he's sleeping out where stuff is happening he will usually wake up after about 10 minutes. And then he is not happy at all by the end of the day.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Heave! Ho!

Block and tackle pulley
This week, Walker was in charge if the lesson for preschool, and I think he did a great job. We learned about pulleys!
First, the four big kids tried to lift Moira's new red wagon with just their hands, but could not do it.
Then Walker hooked the wagon up to the single wheel pulley outside of the kitchen playroom, to see if they could lift it with that. Nope.
That's when the block and tackle pulley (in the first picture) came out. Each additional wheel in your pulley makes it easier to lift things, so with these six wheels, tada!
Pull hard
The four big kids (plus the occasional help from David) were able to lift the wagon. They could have gotten it higher in the air, but they ran out of horizontal space.
Can two do it?
Then they tried two at a time, and were still able to lift it up the same amount. We didn't suggest that they try one at a time, although I think that might have worked.

Walker's original plan was to have them lift *him* with pulleys, but Moira couldn't lift more then 10lbs on her own when he was figuring the lesson out, so he didn't think it would work. Given that two of them could lift the whole wagon, I think it might have. We may have to revisit this when everyone's muscles are bigger.
I found Pull, Lift, Lower by Michael Dahl at the library, which manages to be informative without being too long for the 3-4 year old set, although sadly it doesn't mention that bikes and motorcycles also work with pulleys.

All in all, this lesson was pretty cool. I need to remember to plan more full body lessons. It's so easy to default to arts and crafts, but the kids have loved the physical lessons we've done.