Monday, November 30, 2009


One of the little toys we got yesterday is another RAR pencil eraser-top type monster creature. Esme has been running around the house with her two RAR monsters on the top of colored pencils saying RAR to everyone and everything. We have to participate. She also had this weird game with putting colored pencils one-by-one in a thin plastic tube (part of packaging from something else) and dumping them out again. It sounds simple but watching (and having to participate in it) proves it quite complex. She's got a system going on. At least it doesn't take much to keep her amused ;)

I'm not feeling 100% and Mark was good enough to go do the garbage and grocery shopping this morning. I'll see what I feel about finishing the toys I was making yesterday. I did do some laundry and changed the rug in Esme's play area, which she loves and is already doing headstands on.

liked this picture...

H says to look up Laurie Berkner songs on Youtube for Esme to watch.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Vacation Sunday

PeanutNinja occupies my chair in the worksapce

We went up to Hazel's antique mall for a short time today, bought Esme a chair and a few little toys. I've been looking at Ebay a lot for a few small things I wanted for her - and wanted to see a different scene. I have many days off this week for the second half of my vacation. It's nice.

We have a new rug for Esme's 'room' and I'm thinking of moving my sewing machine to another place in the upstairs to expand the area Esme has for her own. That will leave room for a 'big girl bed' later and maybe a reading corner. They are just tentative thoughts I'm coming up with. I know she needs to move out of the crib sooner or later... she's not too tall for it yet but that is mostly because she prefers to sleep curled up in the corner. I know some other people who live here she gets that trait from.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Woods pictures

Soon enough there will be snow on the ground and there won't be many of these excursions out into the woods behind our house. Until then, we continue to enjoy them with Esme.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

small day out

We had a small day out to the thrift store in Paris and the grocery store. I bought two more pairs of used shoes for Esme - and she is clopping around in the 'dress' type shoes now having a grand time. Her feet grow so quickly I'm so glad they had something larger than what she was wearing. She also got a set of colored pencils at the grocery store which she has been happily scribbling with all day.

I have tomorrow off and Thanksgiving off and then the Retail Horror Day (Black Friday). My second vacation begins in early December.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Drawing at the table and toddler shirt

Here are a few pictures of Esme drawing at my worktable. She has been having lots of fun with a pencil and paper today - actually forgoing crayons for it! She has also been liking my collection of colored thread and been naming some of the colors and sorting them between colored buckets and tin containers.

She is wearing that first size 3 shirt I made back in August that was too big for her then. Her hair is just as wild as ever. I washed it last night like I usually do but keeping it in pigtails is almost impossible lately. Mark still wants it to grow until Esme asks for it to be cut herself.. or experiments with cutting it like I did in kindergarten. Haha! I'll probably corner her and put it up before we go to Grandma's house.

One of her pages of handiwork

Friday, November 20, 2009

Our Friday morning and update

It is nice to have a morning to play with Esme, do a little laundry and not worry about going to work until the afternoon. We've been playing with letters, counting, blocks, teaset and our kitten PeanutNinja. Esme has to learn PeanutNinja does not like to have things stacked on her - this isn't 'Stuff on my Cats'.com! I am amazed every day at how much more I understand of what Esme is saying - especially when I can slow down and watch without having to be busy myself.

Updates: Some of this has been happening for a while but I don't think I've noted it here. So, this is 'for the record.' I'm hearing sentences like 'my cow, my cup' and 'good cow', 'good kitty'.. also things like 'What is that?' much clearer than before and expecting an answer. She will often repeat the answer or attempt to - which she was reluctant to do a few months ago unless she was really interested.

She asked me 'What you got' or something similar to that in the kitchen today to make sure I had the same pepperoni she had... Her number of things she knows how to say on Starfall is increasing as well and she is participating in the matching and puzzle games by pointing to the squares.. something she would not do a few months ago.

This morning she has been doing the 'shhh' with her finger to her lips. That is cute because she can't keep a straight face even though she tries. I say 'Shhh.. be wery wery quiet, we are hunting wabbits!' and she giggles her tail off. I'm hearing counting sounds when she puts large pegs from one cup to another. She is trying colors too - 'black' and 'green' are easy to understand. The numbers are still hard to understand but she is getting the basic shape of the word right. Hearing her pretend to talk on the phone is hilarious.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Walk to the Woods


In this picture maybe I can see some of me in her... but mostly I see Mark or sometimes when she is crying hard, I see my mom's expressions.

Esme has been without her outside walk for several days since it was raining so much. Mark took her out this afternoon and got a few pictures before the battery died.

They found a very large hole. Mark said it was hard getting her away from it because she wanted to see what was down there...

What _IS_ this Daddy?

Small pieces of art

My coworker wanted me to draw some flowers at work for an announcement. It was interesting to draw something again that someone else wanted. Then I was on the phone for about an hour trying to find something for a customer - and I sketched this little lizard monster during that time. The two styles are completely different.. realistic flower and stylized lizard. It makes me want to break out the inks Mark and I bought in Yellow Springs when I was pregnant with Esme. They are in a box on my sewing table and I have not been into them in months.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Bring Pizza?

I love this little dress!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Accidental Collage

Isn't it funny how some art just kind of falls into place, all by itself, on accident? I looked up from my desk today and thought... the assorted 'found junk' that has migrated to the whiteboard is actually really pretty. It has become an accidental collage.

A more purposeful collection of cards, notes and scraps of newspaper in a dusty corner of the room. Sometimes I wish I wasn't so inclined towards collecting 'stuff' but here it is... I am.

In Other News: We are having a very bad 'I want my pacifier' day at the moment with Esme. She is tugging me around and trying to tell me she wants it. I told her it is lunchtime soon - and I'm not putting her in there for a nap until after we eat. *lots of tears*

Monday, November 16, 2009

Little Long Sleeved Dresses

Both size 3, zip up the back and long sleeves for winter. They fit her quite well. Both went through the wash beautifully. I'll hope to get a better picture of them on her than I did the other day.

Pattern: Simplicity 9641 from 1971

Sunday, November 15, 2009

weekend tidbits

Yesterday we went to have a yard sale at Jack's house - Jack and I work at the same place and he lives up the road a bit. We did make a little money off of things that were otherwise just sitting around. Anyway, Mark took 'Them Smoking Bones' (ie: plastic medical skeleton we have hanging in a corner of our house) and put him in the back of the truck as a 'what IS that' for people driving by. It worked - several people stopped and looked, with their first question 'Why do you have a skeleton there?' During several parts of the day we put Esme in the back of the truck to sit with her cup or drawing pad. The first time we put her back there she went and pointed at Bones and then at the bed of the truck and said 'kitty.' We thought she meant Bones was a kitty for a minute - but then realized that she was talking about last month when we took Bones with us to try to give away PeanutNinja's kitten siblings. She was saying last time things were like this we had kitties 'right here' and she wanted us to complete the picture. I laughed! What a strange memory this kid has. She also tried to get Bones to hold a stick later in the day - and that was funny to watch.

She also got to ride a horsie yesterday! For just a little bit. Ellen lives near Jack and has horses. Ellen and I also work at the same place but she usually isn't there when we come to visit. Esme went to see Ellen's horses many times over the course of the yard sale day - just to pat their noses and offer some grass etc... Ellen came home halfway through the day and Esme insisted on seeing the horses one last time before we left. Ellen was out cleaning barns and invited Esme in to see all the horses individually, sit on their backs and even offered to halter one up for her. Esme thought she said 'hat' instead of halter and took my red hat off my head and gave it to Ellen, then pointed at the horse. That was funny. Ellen held Esme up on one of the younger horses and rode her around for a few circles. Esme had so much fun and was so talkative about it. Ellen asked 'do you like horsies?' without being expected to be answered and Esme said 'YEA' and made horsie noises.

This morning I'm awoken by loud 'chomping' noises across the room. She's hungry. I ask 'are you HUNGRY?' and for the first time in a long time I hear repeated 'I'm hungry!' and more chomping noises. She asked for her boots today - she asked for her Shaun the Sheep... we're really getting a little one who knows what she wants and can communicate it better than ever before.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sewing winter clothes

I've made Esme two long-sleeved dresses based off this pattern, all '3T' without any pattern alterations except 'fudging' the sleeve for the missing piece. In August when I made this for her it was too big for her to wear at all!

I think that will be warm this winter and they are a little 'big' (1/2 inch too long sleeve, adjustable zipper in back, slight 'tent' look to the whole waist) so she won't grow out of them too quickly. The 3T toddler shirts she is wearing now are already getting tough to take on and off. I only bought about three (as you can tell by how often they show up, especially the blue one) and am not feeling happy about going up to 4T for a two year old. Honestly, I think they have shrunk from overwashing.. maybe? Maybe I just like clothes with more give in them and room and they don't really plan for that now.

I also have a pattern for a fleece jacket that might come in handy. Another point is that these sleeves are bulkier than a 't-shirt' sleeve which her current coat expects.

We are off to have a yard sale today at a friend's!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Special bonus sewing time

Just woke up from a nap and
Mom is trying new clothes on me again!
At least I have Shaun

I was on a roll today so I dove into the fabric Gwen gave me and made this. It just needs the zipper sewn in - and I'll do that by hand tomorrow at my lunch break. It is a little too big, especially in the sleeves - but there wasn't a long sleeve with this pattern. There was supposed to be - and using the short sleeve and the picture of the long sleeve in the pattern directions I tried to adapt. Not too bad - and she will definitely be able to wear it around town and be warm this winter wearing it in the house. Since I didn't know if the sleeve was going to work or not I used this thin gray fabric. On the one hand - it went 'ok' with the red color and on the other hand - there was plenty of it in case I had to rework the sleeve several times to fit her.

Esme's blue dress is done!

I made one almost like it for another little girl. I know the waistbands ended up being somewhat different - but the color and style and size are the same. I'm finally done! One of those sleeves (the one with the different color thread on it) kicked my tail for about a week... everytime I tried to put it on something else would go wrong and I'd have to rip it out again. Finally she gets to wear it to Grandma's house :)

She was trying to stomp on the cat (lightly) with those boots on and I said 'Don't step on the cat with your gunboots on.' It was a term used in my family when I was younger, but I always thought they meant 'gun' boots, as in 'gunny' soldier boots, 'combat boots.' etc... I looked it up and my mom and grandma were most likely saying 'gumboots'. It is a British term for rainboots, which were what I actually wore as a kid when my mom was saying that to me. She only said the word when she was saying 'don't stomp on...' etc. It makes some sense, if this is the term, as we are from the far Northern reaches of Minnesota (near Canada, where the term is used also) and have some English roots in our family. There were lots of other British terms my family used that I thought was normal growing up - "stay and hold down the fort" etc... and found out as I got older nobody else understood. We also put milk in our hot tea and tended to overboil our vegetables and meat. ha. Anyway, it was always 'gunboots' to me.

Another thought is she could have been saying 'gunboats' - as in 'huge feet.' I'm not sure if she would even remember if I asked her.. but I'll try.

Kittens Don't Need Crayons

Esme had piled all her crayons up under this chair (where I used to take my toy photos and is now a cat sunning spot). I told her the dogs would eat them there - so she got a tablet and started piling them up for the kitten, who was very unimpressed. Eventually they headed back to the table and easel. Also take a look at the cool fix Mark came up with for the easel. One of the clips had broken that hold the paper. We teamed up on it and took a drywall saw to the little hole the original clip went in. Tada! Binder clips to the rescue again!

That drawing is a collaboration between Esme and I. She's getting really good at scribbling and I try to fill in some of the areas with color ;)

Monday, November 09, 2009

Sewing update

A picture Mark caught of me at the workstation the other night while I was cutting out a pair of pants for Esme. I was cold and wearing his big fluffy terrycloth robe. I really need to organize everything over there. The purse hanging has knitting I haven't worked on in ages, and I have bits and scraps stuffed in closet organizers to the right and left of the machine.

I went last night to the table to start on something new and found the blue pinafore dress I had been making for Esme in the pattern box, still stuck on one step that was giving me a lot of trouble. I struggled with it - got over it (not perfect but it'll work) and moved on to nearly finish it. The skirt is now pinned on, needs sewing on and then a hem and buttonholes. Then I'll start something new... at least I'll get the hem done before I start something new ;) Buttonholes can be done at work.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

She'll Grow into it (note)

Heh - the shirt I made back here in August and said it was too big for Esme? At the time I was sure she'd grow into it, sooner or later -- as it looked like a tent on her then. She wore it up to Grandma's once. Now it fits her pretty good with only a little bit of 'is that a nightgown?' thought because the front billows out a little. Since that one was 'exactly to pattern' I can pull out the old pattern and try to make another one with some new fabric a friend gave me at work. She found a large stack of different floral fabrics, yards and yards each at a yard sale. She said it 'wasn't much' but wouldn't say what it was - but that it reminded her of the clothes I was making for Esme on my lunch breaks and she had to get it and bring it to me. I don't think she has the internet or I'd thank her again! So neat and I'll put it to use!

Right now Esme is running around the room with a tube from some glow sticks this Halloween. The tube is empty but it makes an interesting 'water jug' musical noise when she blows across it and she is getting a great kick out of the small toy.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Prolonged tantrums

We take a walk down to the lake, Esme nearly falls in - I catch her as she gets water in her bangs! She wasn't scared at all and was happy until we said we wanted to go back home -- and then she cried all the way back up to the house. Then she cried all the way down the stairs.. and in the kitchen. Wow what a memory this kid has... and I asked her if she wanted to go upstairs and go to bed if she was just going to keep crying.. and she grabs her milk cup and goes upstairs! We change clothes.. all the while whining.. and then she picks up her cup again and goes to her bed and puts her arms up. I say 'We need to take off our shoes again if we are really going to bed.' She takes off her shoes. Still whining. Still putting the arms up. I put her in bed. She screams at the tops of her lungs. I go back downstairs to ask Mark if he has everything he needs for dinner and by the time I'm back she is sound asleep.. not a peep. Wow.

Friday, November 06, 2009

What Big Shoes I have!

Binder Clips + Big Slippers = 'Just Right'

Esme has been having a WONDERFUL time with her tea set and we have been invited to come 'chair sit TEA' often ever since she got home with it. She was up to visit Grandma and Grandpa today while I was at work.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Birthday at Grandma's house

We went to Grandma's with a few treats for a happy birthday visit :) I made a brownie 'cake' and Esme's favorite pudding this morning. Esme got to watch me make the brownies and pudding and also licked the spoon. We brought a few little things I was saving wrapped up in newspaper. We lit some birthday candles on the brownie and tried to get her to blow them out. Grandma had some gifts for her too (you didn't need to but she loves them all), a puzzle we'll take home another day, a flute/recorder, big teaset and a little purple snap-shut purse. Thank you Grandma and Grandpa!

What's in there Daddy?
I saw Mom put goodies in there!

Light this one too!

She had such a hard time blowing out the candles - never really did get one. She kept trying to blow with her nose instead of her mouth (giggle).

family picture, even has a dog ;)

Grandma and Esme open presents

Grandpa shows Esme how to use her new flute

I made a noise!

Unwrapping black boots from Mom and Dad

Teapot from a teaset Grandma gave her

Playing with the teaset at home

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Then and Now : 2 years

Happy 2nd birthday Esmerelda! Mommy and Daddy and Grandma and Grandpa all love you! You have changed so much in such a short time. Small birthday celebration today and we'll take pictures :)

Monday, November 02, 2009

Nearly two

two in two days

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Halloween and Daylight Savings times ends

Set all the clocks back *check*. Have to get up even earlier for work anyway *check* growl.

We didn't go anywhere for Halloween since I worked until late. Mark took the pumpkin out on the porch and Esme helped him light it. It was burning out there when I got home and we all had supper. Shortly after a round of Starfall and some running around with the kitten and balloons I put Esme to bed where she quickly fell asleep.

I also let her play with a digital thermometer for a few minutes yesterday. Mark and Esme both registered two degrees warmer than I am... which is always below 'normal' body temperature (right around 96 instead of 98.6, even adding the 'one' to our axillary thermometer) So, I'm officially an alien being? haha some days I feel like it. Lately I have been extremely cold to the touch 'you're like thirty degrees, is that a Northern Eskimo thing?' Mark said, although I usually don't notice it myself unless I'm on the concrete floor downstairs. I think I just keep most of my heat in my stomach and it only gets out to the extremities in necessary quantities or if I'm doing heavy work. He tends to be the same temperature all over... Esme is kind of in between. I hope she will inherit his capacity for withstanding heat AND mine for withstanding cold... that would set her up nicely here in the MidSouth where they do get some freezing winter and some hot summer.