Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to everyone! I hope you are safe and start the New Year with friends and plans to make 2011 even better than 2010. We are not doing anything special, just laundry and the usual... observe midnight and then head to bed.

Mark has the sinus yuck that hit me a week or so ago... I'm hoping he can kick it quicker than I did but it is making him quite miserable :( and he can't use aspirin which really did help me quite a bit when my sinuses were hurting with the slow sludge.

I've done well with the 'not much' sugar plan - haven't touched a pop tart or a Zebra cake since then ;) even though Esme has pushed them at me saying they are to go with my coffee! She ate a LOT of chicken noodle soup and even ate a few bunny cookies (although she cried for a few of them). I made an apple oatmeal pan in the oven (with brown sugar) and a 'strange' combination of vegetables and olive oil that went quite well on bread with a glass of milk. (kidney beans, red peppers, onions and mozzarella cheese). The four cheese rice went to work with bits of Christmas ham leftovers and crackers. And for breakfast I've made an egg one day and a cheese tortilla the other. I have been left VERY hungry between meals - lunch-->dinner and right before bedtime. Trying to find good things to fill in there, a glass of milk or a graham cracker etc...

I've finished Esme's pink scarf, and the blue gloves are getting closer to done, but only working on them at lunch hours. I've started another 'undocumented' project with some of the canvas that will show up later in the month. Also ordered a little of this fabric, which I think is very pretty.

pretty oranges and lemons and cucumbers?

Will it be an Esme dress (my resident orange lover) or kitchen cloths? We'll have to see. If she doesn't like it I have plenty of plans it can overflow to.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A flurry of handmade bits and bobs

A little flurry of handmade bits and bobs - one from Christmas (previously undocumented) and the things I was working on yesterday.

Esme playing with the other music box Santa brought her - it has books in it and she finally took interest in the books today.

I made the mama mouse at work last month during lunch hours - and bought the baby mouse at the regular store. The baby has velcro paws and it can put it's arms around the mama's neck and hug. They are a sweet pair together and Esme likes to roleplay with them already. I gave her these as a gift from Mama to her Christmas morning before we went to Grandma's.

She's playing with them here... there is a ball underneath the funnel and they are 'talking' about it.

'What in there?', 'a green ball!'

A blue frog I made yesterday.. just for fun.
His legs are very springy and he 'hops' well.

I made a few little things that didn't take much, and would get some use. There was also a pair of red pants cut out, but I plan on sewing them up today now that the machine has been working 'ok' for a while again.

'desk mats'

A good use of some small pretty scraps I had. They are smaller than placemats and larger than coasters - they catch bits under coffee cups and snack crumbs and can be easily moved around and washed hard. I put one under Esme's cereal bowl this morning and she seemed to like it. They are almost exactly like the diaper changing mats I made once upon a time for Esme *ha*, a universally useful kind of item.

The violently pink scarf (in progress)

For the record: We showed Esme this picture yesterday and asked what she saw. She said 'dirty'. I said to her 'yes that is what it _is_.. but what does it look like?' She looked at it for a second, then said 'monster', which was pretty good. Daddy said he saw a horse, and she agreed. I asked her if she saw the horse's head and feet and she pointed to them, but she thought it was a mean looking horse!

Also for the record: I've started an attempt to eat a lot less sugar. I used to hardly eat any, everything was 'too sweet'.. but I'm relying on it more and more for something quick to bring to work. With my mom being a diabetic (and all her cousins, as well) - that is not good. I did a good job yesterday, and I'm planning to make some four cheese rice today and bring it and some crackers to work tomorrow instead of pop tarts.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

progression projects

I saw an idea for sewing and/or knitting covers for the Swiffer on another blog (berlin's whimsy) - and I was just thinking about doing that this morning! I didn't want to do a full scrubbing of the floor and still wanted to clean up a little -- but Esme has the Swiffer hidden somewhere under her bed...and there are no cloths for it anymore. So, I probably should do up at least one out of some scrap fabric. It is a good idea to have around. Mark bought me another cone of dishcloth yarn for Christmas - I could knit one at work when the gloves are done. I also cut out a pair of red pants that I've been due to Esme since we bought the Osaka fabric. Her pink scarf (out of the pink yarn Esme bought me for Christmas!) is about a foot long and should be about three feet before it is done. It looks just like my green scarf but I might sew on fabric pockets for it instead of knitting them. The pants and scarf she said 'good job' when she saw me making them. She has her priorities! The scarf is so violently bright pink it will be hard to get any kind of photograph of it that does not burn eyeballs ;) I saw a few other little housewares projects out there in blogland and cruising Etsy - might use my time to make a few of those - some desk coasters and a needlebook and a toy robot.

I also swept the house, dusted some (never all.. just too much) and tried to whittle down Esme's large cardboard box collection to ones actually needed to hold what she has. Somehow they multiply - she loves boxes and containers and will spend a lot of time transferring items around, sitting in boxes, moving animals into and out of boxes, making forts and hiding/rattling toys around in them. We find the oddest combinations of things tucked away.

Esme is eating soup and is happy about it. She also ate some of my ramen noodles downstairs and was going to steal them from me, but I put my foot down. I let her have some but it is mean to tell mumum to 'move big butt I sit chair Esme's noodles' *scowl* I just kept telling her she could have some, did she want some - and eventually she took a forkful, ate it, said thank you and went back to her chair. I was pretty impressed, actually.

blurbs from the end of 2010

I heard from my father last night and he had a heart attack on Christmas Eve. He is better now, but recovering. I am very glad he is alright, and hope he takes care of himself now. My stepmom will help him, I know. (Thank you Susan and Elizabeth - he says he is actually feeling better now than he had in months, which was a sign for him, and he is working on eating properly and quitting smoking).

Esme's new phrase is 'I hate that/when that happens' - for when she falls down or runs into something or gets stuck in/on something ?? Mark thinks she got it out of a cartoon. She also wants us to get quarters out of the VERY heavy change jar for her to use in her jellybean gumball machine. It is hilarious to hear her ask GET IT I can't pull, and to see the reaction when I tell her those are Daddy's quarters and she already used hers up. She already had three quarters this morning out of my change jar and that is enough. She did get a tangelo when she asked for one, but only after all her cereal was eaten. She was fighting a helium balloon for a while there. Three times it came down from the ceiling and stuck to her hair when she was eating an orange. We told her it wanted some orange too and she told it no no go away my orange bad balloon. She loves the music box Santa sent her - it has a spinning Minnie Mouse inside and plays 'it's a Small World After All.' She learned to wind it quickly and now carries it around the house and plays it many times a day.

Wearing new footies from Aunt Gail
she likes the bears

and also she likes getting into this old worn-out hamper and wandering around the room in it...odd kid

looking at the music box with Daddy

Trying to put a storebought shirt on Esme's head is like wrestling a rhinoceros. It takes three rounds to accomplish anything while she screams bloody murder about the neckline being around her eyes and ears. I think she just has a big head! We both like them just fine once they are on and she takes them off easliy... it's just putting them on that is the issue.

And in other news, I am getting about a year out of her handmade clothes. The November 2009 dress was put in the memory box a few months ago, and the February 2010 dress was put in it today. That is a pretty good run. The only ones that get in the memory box are the ones that survive in good condition all of that time.

Sewing: The pretty little puff sleeve on the green shirt was of course non-functional. I tried to make some alterations to the pattern but Esme is not in a cooperative mood to try anything on that isn't 'done'... I might be losing ground already with doing anything like that for her.. or maybe she just needs a better goal. I got her to try that shirt on for a cracker *ha*. And I do know her pants pattern fits her - so I should go make that red pair of pants she wanted the other day, or work some more on the pink scarf she is happy I am making. Pick my battles well, eh?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Scuttle and sleepy Christmas picture

just adding a few pictures..
This was Esme on Christmas night, falling asleep in Daddy's lap while watching Cinderella. She finally put on her slippers when I told her they were 'look, glass slippers!' just like Cinderella says in the movie. Then she stopped screaming 'no no no shoes' and put them on and went to show Daddy her glass slippers. Silly, huh?

Tonight I brought home two little one dollar video games and a container of strawberries for Esme. One of the games was for Daddy -- but he needed a backup so he would actually get to play with one while she attempted to use the other ;) She asked me for strawberries randomly last week - so when she saw me put some on a plate she thought she had gold! She ate all the strawberries I would give her - and some ravioli.. so excuse the entirely messy mouth in this picture. She was 'scuttling' back and forth around the room holding on to the little game and trying to figure it out. She thought she 'won' just because it made noise.

scuttling around the room

blurry but great surprised smile when she heard the game beep

Now we're going downstairs to cut open an orange and see if I can coax her to let me brush her hair out or at least put it back up in a ponytail ;)

I need a new leaf to turn over

When it comes to work, I need a new leaf to turn over. I was so bored yesterday! I really just wanted to be home with Esme because she was finally in a better mood, less nose snork etc. And she really needs and wants me home to play with her. It is difficult to go out the door when you are being asked to 'give kiss, come sit on floor, play ball.' She is trying to expand her vocabulary again *hehe* - 'mumum wake up now I wanna play WITH you', and 'What are you doing UP there?', 'want a jellybean need a QUARTER' etc.. We'll be having conversations about why the earth is round pretty soon, huh? I feel like I was quite busy up until Christmas, and she played a lot on her own beside me some days. The weather has had some effect on me, as well - snowing making me worry about getting home in one piece. But, it all is what it is - and I need to try to change my attitude some, be proactive and sillier to break the tedium and all that. I guess that is typical New Year's?

Esme has been a much happier girl yesterday and this morning. She is watching a new dinosaur movie and giving the characters advice. It is quite funny!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day (with pictures)

We would like to send out a big thank you to Grandma and Grandpa and Aunt Gail, too. Esme had such a huge Christmas she couldn't ask for anything else - and it all will still take some time to 'soak in' for her. Grandma cooked an excellent meal and Esme ate quite a bit more of it than I expected her to. She likes Grandma's yeast roll recipe, and so does Daddy - I'll need to get the copy Grandma promised :) Esme had a wonderful time even with the crankiness showing through here and there. We even had snow this morning as we went up to see Grandma, and I stood out in it for a few minutes letting flakes melt into my coffee.

Christmas Tree!

Grandma bustling in the kitchen
looks like our house with the dogs looking on and Esme playing with silverware

Daddy and Grandma with the ham

Grandpa watches Grandma open presents

Christmas presents!

gumball machine vs. Mr. Potato Head

nice smile on Grandma :)

Esme getting her 'ducks in a row'

hanging out with Daddy and Grandpa in Grandma's wagon

When we got home I started coffee (creme brulee!) brewing and sent Esme out to play for just a few minutes with a large rubber ball and the new coat, scarf and boots she had refused to put on earlier (because she thought it meant she had to go home if she did) Then I met her outside with the cup of coffee and we walked up the road and chased the ball back down. I didn't take pictures of that, but the coat and boots fit her well :) Thank you Gail! There were some toys that were a hit but it took her a while being home to calm down enough to play with them. I was subjected to an hour of cutting and rolling playdough and trying out the implements in the new set. Esme says the pink singing bear cries and 'don't cry' but she likes the red one a lot. She spent a while playing with them and wondering what they do and why. Daddy played with them, too ;)

The exercise ball Daddy bought her for her birthday and didn't give to her until today -- it was a giant hit :) as was the superballs and rubber ducks he had gotten for her. She is shining the little flashlight down a wrapping paper tube and rolling superballs into a plastic cup through it. The size 3 jeans are actually quite large about the waist. She was walking around holding them up with both hands but didn't want to take them off. *haha* She'll grow into them. The sleepers are the same size as the one that I put on her last night - which did fit.. and she has a pair of size 4 jeans from someone at my workplace that is just a tiny bit too big in the waist... Sizes of storebought clothes are very very odd.. or she is hard to fit, or both!

And here is the green shirt I was working on last night - still without the second sleeve. I might have to take that to work tomorrow for lunch hour. Still wondering if I should put a zipper on it or try to work buttons? I'm even wondering what is the front and what is the back! (this is the one I made the pattern for out of another one)

some other things I wanted to remember:
Mark and I BOTH bought jelly belly jellybeans for each other, different flavors.
We picked out almost the same kind of wrapping paper even thought we bought it on different days and didn't tell the other we were buying any at all - striped candy canes on different backgrounds. It was funny and sweet. Esme bought me some violently pink yarn which was wrapped separately from the yarn Mark bought me *hehe*... and he enjoyed the little things I found him that he likes, wintergreen rootbeer and maplenut candies etc.

Christmas Morning (before)

We are going to Grandma's house, so this is a 'before'.

Her stocking was a success, mostly the chocolate 'quarter' and the orange. All the toys got 'put to bed' as soon as she found them in there (cat, dog, frogs). She never got to the pair of socks at the bottom. We still have massive crank from yesterday. The little red barn someone from my work gave her she did not want at ALL, or the horse and sheep in it. That is not like our Esme... *sigh* But she is fascinated by a music box that turns off when it is shut. I didn't get the shirt done I was working on - one sleeve left and it is a doozy, so it will have to be finished later tonight. I haven't even tried it on her yet because she is a crank. Esme's new sleeper pajamas had pink cuffs on them - and they mixed with her spilled drink and gave her a pink arm, which she is being cranky about me trying to wash *roll eyes* haha.

I liked last year when she didn't think there was any big deal.. but I liked seeing her dig into the stocking, too.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve note

Mark gave Esme her big wheel tricycle early, and she pushed it around the kitchen for a while. She really likes the flag - kept getting off to play with it and get a chair to go look at it closer again. Her feet are on the pedals when they are in the 'near' position but don't reach in the 'far' position.. so she will have to wait until Spring to really pedal it. But we're sure she'll be tall enough then!

Esme is napping on the bed now watching Cinderella. It is supposed to snow tonight and there were a few ice crystals in the air when we got home. I'll hang her sock up soon and if she doesn't wake up before ten I'll start to put everything into it! Grandma and Grandpa would like us up there about ten-thirty tomorrow morning.

Sewing blurb: My patterns arrived in the mail while I was at Grandma's with Esme. I took a project up there with me, newspaper to alter the Butterick pattern into the Simplicity jumper and shirt. I checked the mail on the way down and found the 'dirndl' dresses :) But... as I'd already done the altered drawing - I cut out the shirt when I got home. I'm hoping I did a good job altering. First thing, I'm awful at making up collars out of thin air... holding my breath there, we'll see. I also made the 'tails' of the shirt longer, as I tend to make shirts on the short side otherwise. It took every little bit of a green remnant to cut the pieces for a collared, 'puff' sleeved, button-up shirt. Now, to sew it! I might just tack the sides and shoulders together and work on just the collar tonight.

Merry Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
from our house to yours

I have the day off from work so we are sitting home playing, toasting on the electric blanket and doing a few little crafts etc. Esme is watching Donald Duck cartoons with Daddy, who is not feeling the greatest but better than a few days ago. He has had a bit of an upset stomach but nothing serious. Thus, his idea to cook bacon just now has me a little at a loss for words - but if he wants to take the dragon by the tail it's his choice *haha* Esme and I will enjoy it, and so will he at least to begin with.

I've been unable to coax myself to do anything larger at the work table than this little Christmas card. I'm just happy to be off and able to putter around. I'm crossed between cleaning up some, just working on my gloves or starting something else. We do have a few more gifts to attend paper and construction to later on in the day, and a visit to Grandma's house perhaps. Esme has been cranky on and off since yesterday - but mostly because her nose is stuffed. First thing this morning she was VERY obstinate and did not even want to do the standard routine. A bath this morning with eucalyptus soap helped her some and Donald Duck is doing more. Her crankiness is another reason I haven't started anything major today, and a reason I'm listing Grandma's as 'perhaps'. If she gets in a napping mood I'm definitely going to let her!

We'll hang the Christmas stocking tonight before we go to bed. I don't know how that will go.. but I hope she will understand it and be happy to see things in it tomorrow morning!

Peanut Ninja

It's not as nice of a picture as the one I captured of Suki, but here is our 'Peanut Ninja' cat, Ninja, for short. She is always at my ankles and following along at my heels. She is the most dog-like of our cats, and never goes outside. Sometimes she tells me when Esme or one of the animals is into things they shouldn't be - she stares at me with those huge eyes and tags my knee a certain way - then leads the way to the offending happening. I was talking her up the other day and realized I hadn't taken any pictures of her in a long time. We thought we were going to lose her from an infected neck wound a few months ago - but she recovered, and I'm thankful for it. She also REALLY likes potato chips, and will do a similar 'tag' thing when she sees the package in your hand and put on an awful show for it.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

pattering some more

While I'm waiting for the dirndl with the gathered sleeves to arrive I'm thinking of what to do next. I've finished knitting my green scarf, a hat to match and have started on a pair of gloves - but every time I go through my sewing patterns I keep coming back to the Butterick pattern as the best option for going forward.

But do I just alter it better to fit her or...? I guess I've been so busy lately I want something exciting and although making my own pattern is that - it is also a bit more involved tweaking bits here and there and making multiple items to compare etc... A new pattern to play with is what it is - and always will be material for the future. When the dirndl size 4 arrives I'll definitely be playing with it :) Until then I keep going through pages and pages of newly listed vintage patterns every few days, and have still not found anything more intriguing than this.

Simplicity 3603, 1960s

This pattern is VERY similar to the one I made the last few dresses out of - except it is a square neckline jumper with a fuller skirt. It has the same 'princess seam' front panel meeting a full skirt.

And I really should make a few more pairs of pants. I've made those two longer legged pairs but still have at least one fabric earmarked by Esme for pants that have not been made. My intuition says I'd make them easier if they matched a new dress :)

Other note: She STILL loves her Osaka dress. I asked her again today and she nodded and said she LIKES the pretty dress and thank you mumum :)

We are nearly ready for Christmas. We put up a set of snowflake lights I bought on clearance. Esme really likes them :) I wish they didn't blink, but well... they do. We have a few things to wrap still and a toy to put together. Esme really wants to put up a Christmas tree. She has asked me to put up a Christmas tree and/or have a Christmas present every morning and several times during the day. She brought me a superball and told me it was my Christmas present. Mark also thinks Esme was saying 'bicycle' (bik-ik-ik-ik-klee) in a very strange way after seeing her toy. I think she was trying to read the word off of the box. I heard her try to pronounce 'circle' a few weeks ago - and it sounded like 'curr-kuh-klee'. She's getting closer and closer to trying to sound things out - but then she will still do things like sounding out 'huh-ih-ull-ull' (hill) and saying 'house!' without even thinking there might be something wrong there...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas shopping

Went out with Esme for a few hours myself to get some Christmas items. She was very very good right up until we entered a store we hadn't been in together in over a year.. and she started asking to go see the mice... ?? What mice? She led me to the pet section and pointed at the cat toys. *roll eyes* Ok... so, how does she remember there are mice there and what luck was it there were STILL mice there? Yes. I bought her a catnip mouse for 99 cents - told her it was for the cats to play with. Then she was good again.

She also learned a hard but, I guess, necessary...lesson at the fast food. A child about two years old walked up to her smiling - and then smacked her right in the face :( Esme was all ready to give the little girl a hug.. and then she got smacked and scratched. The mother of the other child never even got up from her chair across the room - she just kept talking. Esme DID give the little girl a hug - then the girl tried to take her lollipop. Esme tried to give it to her - but I told her she couldn't do that (she'd already eaten most of it) and we should throw it away because she was going to have a french fry. Esme was still a bit shocked about the other girl (who didn't say a word the entire time)... and the little girl was still standing there at the fast food checkout when we went out the door.... it was all very odd :( and I did feel sorry for her if she thinks is that the first way to interact with anybody new... her eyes seemed to say she had to think about self-defense first, and making friends second.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter Solstice

Still battling the headache, so I barely noticed that it is winter solstice! Mark and Esme went out shopping today and apparently hit three towns looking for stuff, some of it sneaky.... pretty cool as Mark does not like crowds and there were lots of them out there. He says he bought Esme a 'big gift' spontaneously - also surprising. After that I wonder if I should spontaneously (haha not so much now) get the other thing I was thinking about for her.

So it is the longest night of the year. After tomorrow they will start getting shorter again and more daylight. YIPPEE! I just hope Esme lets me sleep in a tiny bit tomorrow, some time past 7:30 am... as I don't need to be into work until after one. But - it might be nice to go out a bit earlier and be sneaky myself.

Laugh until you cry

I had a terrible headache last night. Of course, Esme didn't get it when I said my head ow - she couldn't see anything. She kept looking at my head all over and trying to find the ow. She kept flipping between 'poor mumum you hit your head' and 'mumum come I show - I want to play with you!' etc. And then she started tickling me - and blowing raspberries on my belly. Over, and over, and over again. I really didn't have the energy to fight it... and I couldn't keep from laughing, either. I laughed literally until I cried... and then she said 'mumum you cry, don't cry mumum.... here blanket' and put a blanket on me and left me alone for a very little while. Mark said it sounded awful, he wished he had it on videotape 8^{ Eventually the aspirin kicked in just a tiny bit and I got her a drink and went through some bedtime routine. But I was pretty useless overall-- well up until 4 in the morning. Almost gone now, and I need to start for work in fifteen minutes. For all of that - Esme is in a fairly good mood this morning.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Jingle bells

We got our first Christmas carol yesterday - she was sitting in her toybox and suddenly said 'jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way' and then shyly looked around to see if anyone had heard her. She saw I had, and then she tried to hide down in the toys. I told her it was cool and she got a slowly contagious smile about it and said it again for Daddy after a bit.

I backed it up by finding it on Youtube with the words written out and let her watch it. This morning she said it again for me when she wanted an apple. She's a ham!

I've caught her talking along with movies quite a bit more, and working on pronouncing words better, too... she is having another language spurt :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Esme and Suki

Suki is Esme's kitten. She is nearly all grown up now. Here is a little photo essay of what happened today after breakfast. It does not need much captioning. Esme loves Suki, and Suki is quite fond of her, as well. I swear they have their own language together.

'Kitty, you drink a all, right here!'

'You drink a all?'

And then she carried the bowl and her fork (yes, a fork) and put them in the sink.

busy bits

Losing days - I have no idea where half of Friday and most of Saturday went. But it went, because I am sure today is Sunday. We are invited to a Christmas party tonight at six... I really don't see us going but said I'd 'maybe' think about stopping in for a few minutes. She really thinks we're coming... hmm *my wallflower tendencies are twitching* It is so cold out - I really don't want to leave the house at all today. There are several things I should do today... but I am lacking ambition and focus.

Just a few cute things -
Yesterday Mark picked me up from work and Esme led one of my coworkers all around the store saying she was going to show her something. Apparently they never found it. She saw Santa at a store we stopped by - but she didn't want to go up to him. He gave her a candy cane, but she wouldn't even say thank you without turning around and facing the other direction first. She was really really shy! Mark got Esme two new rubber ducks at the store - Christmas themed. They are immediately 'baby ducks' for the mama duck we have downstairs (who lost her babies last year sometime). So, Esme had to have a bath - even though Mumum didn't want one! She wanted to play with the new ducks in the bathtub. She asked for PT duty three times and actually did it... pretty wow for me to have one success lately.

She asked me 'Throw away a me, mumum, throw away this a me' about her lollipop before she climbed into her bed.. which is a progression on her picking up that sentence. She'll probably have it right soon, if she is paying more attention to it. She also asked for 'chips from the package of blue' yesterday and 'chips in green' today. We have two kinds of chips we keep on the snack table and she has to ask for them - now she is differentiating which kind she wants when she asks. I'm sure this upside-down syntax comes from me. I talk funny, sometimes...without intending to. Parts of my brain are 'upside-down' in that regard, and it comes out that way. But - I want to make sure she learns the right way to ask, too.

We gave her some bunny shaped graham crackers Mark wanted to try and she had a fit about them. She said 'No eat bunny cookie.' and put them in her empty cup to carry around the room. We ate ours anyway. She then said, 'Oh no, what have you done? My bunnies cry in my hand!' The bunnies got soaked in juice drops and she wanted to throw them away. I ended up eating all the ones in her drink cup as she gave them soulfully over to me one by one. She never did eat one *facepalm*... oh well. She does have square graham crackers she eats!

We also read 'Sleeping Beauty' last night for the first time. She has never seen the movie. She was confused - she kept asking where the Cinderella book was, and trying to read the words on the pages because they were new words and she didn't know what was supposed to happen. Exactly the right reaction! And then when she seemed to be lost, I read the story to her. She fought any idea of actually laying down and having her blanket on her. She wanted to kill the dragon at the end of the book 'take that dragon!' I took her big dragon toy and had him come up into the bed and she smacked him and made him go away. Then he attacked Daddy in his bed.. and he said 'take that dragon' and the dragon went away again to the floor near Esme's bed. To this Esme quickly (and with no prompting) said 'I lay down - I sleep!' Apparently dragons on the floor mean no getting out of bed or you shall be eaten...

Patterns I'm on the watch for:

McCalls 2936, date unknown

Simplicity 5169, c. 1972

I'd like to try a dress with these kind of sleeves/waist. I found these two vintage patterns with the style but haven't been able to find any of them anywhere near Esme's size. They seem to be available in size 6 or up, or not at all :( Oh well, save the idea for the future and maybe I'll make/find something later.

I ordered this and two others (including the second one above in size 6) from an Ebay seller... I have about two dozen patterns -- so why do I need more? I guess it is because I found this one that is SIMILAR in size 4... and the money was already there from my Squidoo account...

Simplicity 8714

Friday, December 17, 2010

Handknit stocking

It's done, and will serve the purpose :) I'm pretty happy with it as a decorative thing. If I was to make a real sock out of this worsted yarn I'd have to be much more careful about the holes and loose places!

calendar: Polar bears and penguins have invaded the calendar from the Christmas stickers I bought. Morningtime kitty was taken away and eaten by real cats (how awful)... but a new sticker each day is still exciting. Esme has already started asking me if we are going to the library tomorrow. We went to the library last week on Saturday - and there is a butterfly icon on it to show that. She wants me to pick up and move the butterfly icon down a week and go to the library tomorrow! But I work every day up until Christmas Eve... and a few days off the next week. So, sadly, we will not be going to the library again soon!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

early riser

Every morning when I am awakened (even sometimes quite too early) I am amused and amazed at what this little girl has to tell me, show me, and has often already decided upon for today's routine. It's hard for me to believe sometimes that she is three years old - she has all these ideas and isn't afraid to express them. She thinks she knows exactly how things are going to go, rattles off the list of things she wants to do, and crosses between sage nodding and teenager 'do I have to?' attitudes when I tell her something she has missed/skipped/avoided.

I told her she had to wait ten minutes for the alarm clock this morning because she was already telling me she needed apple jacks and drink cup and to go tell the kitty she was a bad kitty and put her outside etc etc... I said I wasn't getting up until the beep beep went off. She threw a very small fit and then she asked me if my ears were alright and if my hair was alright and why I didn't get up if I was sick etc... So, she had me grinning by then. And she knew it. So she went and found her 'Hop on Pop' book and read me the words she has memorized and described all the pictures in the pages she hadn't memorized. I reset the alarm clock for three minutes out just to have the reinforcement that Mumum didn't want to get out of her bed until the alarm (beep beep) went off.

So, I'm up. There is no snow... but it is raining and cold, and I need to be to work by ten a.m.

examining her Christmas stocking
and the green scarf as well.

I told her I was taking a picture of her Christmas stocking for Grandma, and she had to be in on it. She actually tried to take the loose (non-working) needle back out of the sock and use it... so she 'knows how it works' but I stopped her there and told her she has to wait for a few years to learn the rest ;)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

little words

Esme's latest words are 'this is so hard' (instead of 'too heavy' which she used to say for anything difficult), 'I can't pull', which she says for anything she is having difficulty but is trying to do, and 'this is very good' for food and drink she likes.

She will say 'I can't pull' for trying to get her other foot into the laundry basket and failing - for trying to open a container and failing, for trying to move something and failing. She wants help right then because she is trying but not getting the job done. If she has given up or is about to she will say 'this is so hard' and want someone else to do something for her.

Yesterday on Daddy's lap she was sitting 'reading' the computer with him and started counting things on the screen. She discovered a new number, he said. 'One, two, three, twelve, chicken!' There was no chicken. But, she was proud of herself - because Daddy laughed.

She is also singing along with the words to her Muppet Show more - and getting words right I didn't know she was paying attention to. She can sometimes be across the room playing with something else, not watching, and be singing along or narrating what is happening on the screen (not just muppets, tom and jerry, shaun whatever). Apparently she has seen her shows too much! She just has an excellent memory. When we were watching Fantasia for the second time EVER (for her) she was telling us what would come next seconds before it appeared.

I have to go into work today. It is supposed to snow and/or freezing rain this afternoon. :( I'm not looking forward to driving home in it and then back out tomorrow morning. At least our tub faucet is freed up again! We can have warm baths in less than an hour of wait time again ;) We were really lucky - I saw so many people with frozen and BROKEN pipes yesterday at work (knock on wood). A lot of people could not come to work because they were fixing things at their own houses. I am still working on the scarf and thinking about all things warm - hats, gloves etc... but I know they take so long for me to knit them! The scarf is three or four days on now and just about half or more done.

Later: Came home early from work as the roads were getting slippery - good thing I did. The main road was fine, but the road our house is on (about three miles down) was a skating rink. The truck pulled to the side at about five or six different places even going 15 mph... There is one place there I've been stuck before that would have been quite difficult to get up (more so than it was) if the weather had been worse. Mark made pizza. Esme woke up in the middle of our eating from her nap - but instead of wanting to join in for pizza she wanted to go downstairs and take a bath. Her nose was stuffed up - so I saw her logic and put my pizza in the fridge. I took the opportunity to wash and condition her hair -- which she did not like, but purple bubbles made that all better. Now she is happily eating pizza and saying it is 'mmmm mmmmm yummy'. It sounds much stranger in person - I had to hear her say it twice before I realized what she meant ;)

I'm not quite done with the scarf but I've started her Christmas stocking... making good progress.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

small goals during the cold weather

a few little goals this week:

knit a second scarf (about half done) so Esme can wear mine when we go outside and I will be warm, too. After the scarf I will think about her Christmas stocking some more - I don't think it would be too tough to knit if I wasn't worrying about it FITTING anyone. haha.... I've knitted many pairs of socks but the fitting around the ankle always takes me the longest. Her picture book has yellow and red striped stockings and so did the video she saw the other day... odd coincidences so I think I'll use that theme, as well. We already have bought candy canes and a few little chocolates and a fuzzy mouse toy to put in it. And she will get an orange from Aunt Dot in there, too.

Hope with me Esme doesn't get a cold - I'd rather prevent one! I'm trying to keep her warm and eating good foods/drinking juice so she doesn't. Also need to be vigilant about her covers at night because she keeps throwing them off, then curling into a tiny ball in the middle of her bed when she gets cold again. I got some cranberry/pomegranate juice and am mixing it half and half with orange juice and she REALLY likes it. She sucked down three glasses of it yesterday mixed half again with some water. It was pretty amazing to watch. Trying to keep socks on her (not easy) and a sweatshirt over her dress when it is very cold. Also trying to keep her hair up in the front and down over her neck in the back. I know those are odd little 'goals' - but my instincts tell me that is how to keep her warm, and mommy instincts usually at least have something to them. Her hands stay warmer when she has socks and her hair down around her neck.

Also need to run the bath full tub before we go down there so she doesn't freeze waiting for it to fill up etc etc... She sneezed three or more times waiting for the the water to fill up last night and then I turned the heater on in the bathroom for us. The roman tub faucet was frozen so we were having to use the shower side of the tub to fill it up, which took forever. The heater made it tolerable.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Can I have some snow?

Please mumum, have another snow in hand?

It's cold! (and wet, and runny)
Bunny dog is doing her 'laugh'

Esme asked me for snow several times again today - she wants to have it melt in her hand. Silly, silly child! But, curious - and I let her do it again today. All the dogs think it is very silly, too.

Grandma's dogs came for a visit
Iggy, on left. Tansy, on right.

Our calendar
She's putting the kitty on the right square.

She picked the heart stickers out at the store and gets one to put on the calendar each morning. Then we move the 'morningtime kitty' to the next day. I tell Esme what day of the week it is and what we are doing today. She thinks days of the week are like counting.. I think... she names them off while looking at her fingers. Then if she asks about Christmas I tell her how many 'morningtimes' the kitty has to go before we get to 'Christmas morningtime.' I see deep thought, then... and not always happy about it but *sigh* okay - now what?

The only thing she's not quite sure about is how the kitty gets back to the start of the line.... she understands sequence really well, but not when things 'start over' or are in sets. I've seen that in her counting as well - she will count three rows of three as 1,2,3 AND 1,2,3 AND 1,2,3 instead of counting them as nine... until I introduce the idea of continuing 4,5,6 and she gets it then. But - she doesn't know WHY we would stop or start or continue yet. NOTE: All of what I just described is entirely normal for kids who are learning to count!... but I find it fascinating!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Finished Osaka dress



Butterick 2194, pattern size 2 circa 1960.
The pattern envelope calls it a 'semi-princess dress', which shows here. It already has a place among my 'most used' at 3 dresses! It is quite easy to work with but still enough of a challenge to keep me coming back. A very good combination.

Alterations : lowering neckline 1/2 inch, back zipper (instead of buttons), long sleeves from a modern pattern and separate color for skirt (includes splitting front center piece which was one whole section). I'm not sure why there ended up being a small place in the stomach area I needed to make up a band of fabric -- but it worked out quite well. Everything laid flat!

3/4 yard of the floral fabric, 3/4 yard of the chestnut fabric
scrap of something in the stash for neckline facing.

repeat of the 'in-progress picture'

dress front laid out with extra 'band' at stomach

She was wearing it and I noted again the things I'd like to change about the pattern -- drop the waist a few inches and make the neckline much lower, much more than a half inch! As it goes the dress does fit her and look nice - but it looks very formal with the high neckline and 'empire' high waist. The 'formal' look is much more prominent on this one because of the fabric choice. She stopped downstairs in front of the mirror when she brought me her drink cup - it was awesome.. she did a little half turn and looked at the entire dress and pulled the skirt out some... 'who are you there - oh you're me - what a pretty dress that is!' I didn't get a picture - as she has now fallen asleep in her bed after much fussing over reading books and wanting cheetos and no fish stick etc etc...