Monday, July 28, 2014

A bit before first grade starts

Oh it's been a hard few weeks - and I know that next week (when school starts) will exacerbate the stress and no-time feeling.  Esme has been a bit out of sorts because I have worked so many days in a row lately - and the days we have had off have been busy doing things we really had to do... and not a lot of time for her big ideas.  And, she has lots of big ideas, and order of things, etc.. that she really wants us to do with her lately.  Every night before she goes to bed - and sometimes as soon as she wakes up in the morning, she grills me about when I have to work and if I work tomorrow, or the next day, and if we will do 'X'... And we have been quite strict with her about some things on top of that - like running for the house when she is outside and not saying 'its okay' that she didn't make it etc.. and not talking incessantly during the movie (yes - this is me saying this!).  And when I have just come home from work and she has a list two miles long of things and I don't answer her - she has gotten touchy about that and not very polite at times...  But, overall she has been very good considering the strain I am feeling with this week - and how much harder it is sometimes when you have no control at all - she can't drive to town, or decide the schedule, or say yes or no to big things... and she feels like she has been cooped up in the house forever and ever and... // I see it in her Minecraft builds where she makes cars, and 'expensive' houses, and a wardrobe full of iron and diamond chainmail, and recreates the beach and friends and 'big parties' etc etc...

In contrast, I feel like we've gotten some things done... even though there is more to do.  And, I feel she has made another 'leap forward' these past few months - which this is all stemming from... her thoughts have gotten wider and deeper... and she is a bit antsy to go to first grade - but worried at the same time because she doesn't know what it will be... ie: the 'practice' on her Minecraft etc.

I don't get another day off until Friday.. and then it is just the one day - and not another until after she starts school on the fifth.  Here we go... hold on to your hats and sunglasses... we're in for a ride.

//Other little bits:  I took a few minutes to look in a store today as I had to cut some time at work - and it felt like 'something' to be doing that I normally wouldn't allow myself time for.  I was taken aback by the prices as always - forty dollars for a skirt like the ones I wear at home (handmade ones), six for a tank top, fifteen for a bar of soap in the cosmetics department... I really can't believe those prices... and knowing that I am not the kind to actually buy in a store like that - I feel like I don't even belong looking, at times... But, I do it because I continue to learn and get a feel for the styles that are being pushed at people now - the collars, the cuts, the ruffles etc... I saw a dress almost exactly like the fabric I am planning on making a top/pants set for Esme out of... similar cut to what I was thinking but lots more ruffles on that one.  I had seen this dress in my mind's eye already and seeing that one confirmed the plainer style... but also neat and simultaneously strange to see something so similar to my idea on the racks a place I haven't set foot in over a year.

Full Sunday

 We took on a lot today - and conquered ;) hehe.  I took Esme out for school shopping early in the morning, with a brief (and I do mean brief) runby the park on the way back home.  Mark was canning tomatoes while we were out, and we returned home just in time to watch him setting up the last run of about three gallons worth.  We tackled the old aquarium, emptying out the old water and cleaning it up.  We gave it to a friend who had helped us out last January with the truck, for their snake that had outgrown their old one.  We brought the partially washed gravel to Esme in her kiddie pool to pick out the 'terasure' of jewels, marbles and large agates into another container.  She enjoyed panning for treasure like a pirate :)

 Garden harvest.  That is volunteer Glass Gem corn, which I will try to dry out.

 Mark with his canned tomato sauce!  We will be using this all year.

Esme's pink truck in Minecraft.  It has a bed for having picnics in and a cab with glass and a strange 'vertical' hood thing going on.  Over to the side of it she has a recreation of the beach we went to on the Fourth of July - with stairs down and sand.

Little bits:  The other morning Esme woke up and asked why we were downstairs by her room being so noisy.  We told her we were checking up on the alligator Daddy had found and put in the bathtub.  She went and looked tentatively..worried... There's no Alligator, Daddy!  'Oh - really?  Did it get away?  Where did it go?'  She got even more worried and went back into her room to hide for a bit.  We laughed!  She came back out as I was washing my hair and poked her head in... convinced herself it was all a joke, and then brought me her Kindergarten start book with a picture of an alligator and said she had finally found it and everything would be okay. as a way of telling me she knew we were pretending.

I saw her on the porch hugging the goat by the neck the other day.  It was very sweet - they both seemed to be commiserating about being lonely.  I think they both miss Tink, the kitten who died.  I think they also miss having the puppies running around the yard.  I miss them, too... it is strange to walk over the ground between the garden and the house and not have my heels chewed on.  We think the older dogs have mostly forgiven us now for giving them all away... but they were pretty upset we took their entire pack of hard work and training and 'lost' them in the town that day.

We let Esme play a bit in the small wading pool at her friend's house when we brought the aquarium.  I told her she could wade, as we hadn't brought other clothes for her and didn't intend to stay long.  A few minutes later she was entirely soaked and still had not done more than 'wade'.  She jumped and sat down - stood up and yelled 'Sorry Mom!' across the yard.  Her friend's parents asked 'What was that for?'..  I told her she couldn't swim, just wade.  Oh, at least she said sorry, about it *giggle*... I told her it was okay, she could swim a bit now.. and they immediately started cannonballing each other and spraying the hose over each other.  After about ten to fifteen minutes we said it was time to go .. she did get ready to go reluctantly.  At home we filled up her pool again and she brought a little plastic doll out there to be her 'friend' until it was time for supper.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Esme's Minecraft school building

Esme's school room in Minecraft.  There are books in the chest that can be written in by the player, and she has written little sentences in several of them.  One of them is about bald eagles ;)  Those are desks to the right and there are nap beds up on top in the 'kindergarten room' while the 'first grade' room next door has no beds.  There are teachers and students.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Bounty from the garden

 Bounty from the garden tonight.  Esme helped with some of it.  Sunflowers, tomatoes, cucumbers (including the lemon ones), beans, cowpeas, zucchini and a single banana pepper.  Esme helped sort, wash and cut some of it up for a soup as well.  She is learning how to do some more 'grown-up' things with using a knife (under supervision), peeling cowpeas and using a vegetable brush scrubber.

Our tomato bounty waiting for another round of saucing!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Tomato Saucing

 Esme and Mark sorting, washing and saucing the tomato harvest.  Mark boiled some down and poured into jars the other day - another few jars today... and we hope to do a real canning run with it on another day.

 Washing and taking off the top green stems
dropping in the processor

We had a day out, today, as well.  I took her to the park and we kicked the soccer ball around - and then to teh restaurant where I let her run for another hour and a half while she ate some french fries and etc...  I'm still working through the congestion in my nose/chest.. it's not bad, just enough to make me tired and this weekend has been busy.. so tired has been lasting.  The dogs are a little upset and sour with us that we gave away all of the puppies.  They they think they have not done a good job keeping track of them and now they are missing again... Even though they are very smart dogs, it is hard to explain to them why we didn't want them running them off in the woods and then take them away and don't come back with them ourselves...

I am really glad with several of the matches we made on the pupies.  Several of them just seemed made by Fate... from the moment the person saw the puppy they said - even when they said they didn't want one - that oh well, that one is coming with me, okay please?  One boy in particular was getting back in his truck when he heard we only had a girl left.. and then I held her up in my lap and he stopped in his tracks, said wait.. err.. oh . she is PRETTY.....OK I'm taking her.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Sewing for School Clothes

These are the sleeveless dress tops I've made for Esme's first grade school year.  There are a few more things on my list to make.  I've completed two out of the four pairs of pants. 

 Esme says this is 'Horse City' - and she enlisted my help in making it a bit more than she had started out with - it now has a public library, grocery store, 'clock' tower with a pointy top, and her potions store, and my cloth store.  She put a big roll of purple cloth on top of the cloth store, and a 'bottle' on top of the potions store.  She insisted on there being a playroom and bathroom in the library.

The rail system and house she built entirely by herself.  Mark and I were both impressed by her use of powered rail and lever switches.  She had a disagreement with me about the pronunciation of the word 'lever'... and didn't know why we laughed when she said we had said it wrong.