Wednesday, September 29, 2010

chicken bits and footies are nearly done

6 pm
I'm still working on the footies, they'll take me a bit. I've thought I could alter her pants pattern mishmash with the footies pattern to have feet, and line the feet with some extra flannel or muslin fabric and she'd have a warm pair of pajama pants and socks at the same time :) With a little tiny elastic around the ankles and the regular elastic around the waist that might work really well.

Mark went to town this morning while I got Esme up and rolling with her breakfast. He got cat food - so the cats would not eat us - and some other basics of what he and Esme will eat over the next few weeks. He fried up the chicken and froze it in bags for easy meals for them, and did all the dishes afterwards. Major kudos to him for getting all that done!

I have one more day 'on' tomorrow and then Friday off. We're going to go see what we can do Friday about straightening out some financials. We've been working all week on what can be trimmed and how to get some majorly needed insulation in the house before the winter heating bills start to hit. I'm doing the footed pajamas as an extension on that - if I know Esme is warm even without her blankets on all night then we won't have to turn the heat on so early etc etc... Always looking forward so it can't get the best of us.

In other news our poor Ninja cat, who was spayed last month, has some sort of terrible wound on her neck. We're worried about her even more because the usual treatments are not working on it. Mark is worried about staph or something she could have caught at the vet. We're watching it and may have to scrape things even harder at the moment if we need to take her in... such bad timing and a big source of underlying worry for me - but not sure what else to do.

LATER: about 11 pm here now... I took my sewing machine to the kitchen and Esme blew bubbles for about an hour while I worked on the footies. Then she dumped the bubble solution on the floor (poor girl) and I made her come upstairs and talk to Daddy for a little bit... then she played blocks downstairs near my feet and had a cookie and some milk.. then she threw a fit over the cat not enjoying being chased with a rollerskate, and I put her to bed. She went to sleep pretty quickly and has been asleep for more than an hour. WOW. She usually stays up until eleven herself!

And I am NEARLY done with this complicated project. I never want to use this knit fabric again.. unless I get an overlock machine. I had to stitch nearly every seam three times. So I wanted to say I've moved from 'beginner' level clothing to 'intermediate' - but Mark says it is definitely "advanced sewing" after these footed pajamas! At least by modern standards..he said. But then - with a 1940s pattern, do modern standards count? *ha* I only have the zipper and a bit of inside finishing left to do and it looks good! I think I want to sew some 'naugahyde' vinyl stuff to the feet on the outside, too.. so they hold up longer. I have a little bit of it somebody at work gave me (leftover from a pillow project of hers.. really, a fake snakeskin vinyl pillow?) that will do the trick nicely. The whole thing might even fit her -- or be too big.. not sure yet. Initial measurements with a flexible tape said the length wasn't bad. Then a few minutes ago I laid it down on her while she slept and it looks like it is going to fit .. holding it up in my hand it looks LONG and HUGE.... maybe she is just getting bigger? Mark says that happens. He's right. ;)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

working on the footies

Simplicity #3493 from 1940s - original unprinted pieces

I bought this pattern on Ebay last year. I didn't really WANT a 1940s footed pajama pattern - but it was hard to find any recent ones and this one was somewhere around five dollars. That is a lot for me to spend on a pattern, vintage or not - usually I'm looking at 25 cents up to three dollars shipped. Also, the construction of this type of clothing - with FEET, intrigued me enough to have to buy it. And now, I'm trying to put it to use.

I have the pattern all cut out and am examining the way it is put together to start some basting tacks in certain pieces. I had to use two different fabrics as the one I had bought specifically for the pattern fell short a bit. I'm only making the facings, belt and sleeves out of a regular lightweight flannel, and the rest is in a knit that is stamped 'suitable for children's sleepwear.' The lightweight flannel is leftover from backing Esme's baby blankets quite a long time ago now (or so it seems).

These pajamas have a backside that drops open when the belt is untied *giggle*... well we might need that soon, so.... **correction: umm... I was mistaken, the rear is just gathered funny right there - but it is enclosed**

I thought the pattern pieces looked very very LONG for Esme's height - and it is a size 4, not a size 3. BUT - I took a measuring tape from her shoulder to the start of her foot and across the top of her foot to the very tips of her toes.. and then the measurement seemed about right. So - I cut it out and am going to try it as it is. If anything, she'll grow into that one and I'll downsize it and try again.

Footies needed, gotta get to work

It is starting to get cold, and Esme won't use her blankets without constant guarding from me, getting up in the middle of the night and putting them back on every hour etc... I have a pattern for some footed pajamas for her - and need to dig out the fabric I had bought for it long ago (flannel, but meant for pajamas).... Then I might feel a bit better about her sleeping without her blankets. I feel a little better the electric bill wasn't as high as we had expected. That gives us a bit more to go around at the moment.

//gotta get to work - first at the store, then on the footed pajamas

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Red raglan shirt with the birds

It was so cold last night! I got up in the middle of the night and put on a second shirt and another blanket on the bed! I tucked Esme into her blankets as well, but that lasted maybe five minutes before she threw them back off....oh well, we try. I think I sewed for about three hours last night and Esme fell fast asleep watching Spongebob, which she calls 'BeeBob'.

I was 'bad' last night on the way home from work - I was supposed to buy a can of coffee - for myself - and instead I couldn't resist this bird fabric and put the coffee off until after the weekend. I still have a little coffee at home, and inspiration is worth it. If you know me well - that is a big statement to hear! I just saw little raglan sleeves made out of the bird fabric! I had also bought some regular sleeve fabric (white on white) and fell for a red fabric with white flowers that was actually not even unwrapped yet. I kept staring at it while she cut the other two and finally asked if it was for sale yet - and she unwrapped it and cut me a half yard ;) I spent five dollars on all three fabrics but being unexpected I still count that as a splurge. I know I have so much fabric I can use at home - but they keep threatening to close down the department at that WM and when I see something I would really like - I worry it won't be there soon. I think they have it all planned that way - because I saw a LINE at the counter that night to buy fabric. The red fabric this shirt is made of is a regular polycotton. It is from my stash. So, I am using my stash fabric up as well! Polycotton doesn't stretch as much or lay as nicely as pure cotton but I wasn't willing to cut into the other fabric without having the pattern planned out better.

I did not brush her hair out before the picture - because then she would expect to go to town/Grandma's house and bug me mercilessly. I'll brush it out later when we really will go to Grandma's house (we hope)

I searched through my patterns and could not find the front pieces for the raglan pattern at all :( So I tried once again to make it up - and ran into a tiny problem with the underarm of the sleeve in the front. It was not as bad as I thought it would be when I tried it on her - it just pulls a tiny bit when she reaches far forward. I'll try to fix that when I cut into the rest of the fabric I bought.

If you look right under and behind the arm you see the 'pull'
The neck would lay better in a different fabric
but I might also cut it a bit deeper on the next.

The black fabric has little white quails on it in leaves

I put the circle in the front of the bodice while Esme was playing longer in the bathtub. I felt bad about losing that odd corner of the fabric without anything to do with it - and decided that was a good use for it.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

happy alphabet blanket

Happy smile over 'mine blanket' and being able to sit on it on the floor

A-Z animal panel

I cut out all the patchwork I was going to do and just joined it to some primary flannel I had sitting on the shelf. I 'quilted' it with a border all around the edge and following the lines of the squares inside the panel. It is very pretty - and she really likes it. I don't think it will see much bed use though, unless I can convince her. She doesn't think the bed is 'fun' - and she does think the blanket is fun, for sitting on the floor! I put it in the wash and hope to dry it before I put her to bed tonight. I was thinking about saving it for her birthday but Mark suggested I wrap her up in it immediately after it was done. It was a hard decision!

Friday, September 24, 2010

asleep kid

This was the other day. Mark snapped the shot when I was at work, to show me when I got home. Yes, we have changed her out of those clothes since then - but there are days we have the camera snapping all day and then days we go without snapping a single shot. Que sera, sera. I did think it was really cute :) She has been asleep tonight after a long trip with Grandpa and Daddy today. They had to go pick up something that Grandpa ordered in the truck. She ate lots of donuts and 'chicken leg' on the way there and back and was entirely passed out when I got home. Mama always feels a little odd when she is asleep when I get home. First thing, I know she will wake up sometime in the middle of the night. Second thing, I wonder how to get her back to sleep early enough for me to sleep for the next day's work! YEEP!

We watched 101 Dalmations last night rented from Netflix. She loved it. She stayed up until midnight engrossed in it. She loved it when the mommy dog and the daddy dog found all the babies and she said 'They saved! yay!' when the collie came and pulled them all in from walking in the snow and they ate food and slept. She has surprised me with the concept of being 'saved' - she understands when someone is in trouble or in danger and they are helped by someone else. I was astounded to see her say 'they saved' to the screen all by herself.. really I was. She was so excited about that. And when the mom and dad were surrounded by puppies she said 'awww they so CUTE, all the puppies, SO CUTE, mumum doggie and daddy doggie and lots of puppies they FOUND them they are SO CUTE.' etc etc... Her language is just getting more and more complex lately again - I can't even explain the subtle changes we've been hearing, and with syntax that often is 'upside-down'. Example: "Mumum no go work you STAY COME HOME." And more and more, she sounds EXACTLY like me when she is saying 'no' about something. It is the same tone of voice, same spacing of words.. like a tape recorder in a tiny toddler voice. She even makes some of my exact same faces. HOW? And once in a while she will do the same thing but a take on Mark - something he says like 'refill your cup' or a thing with her eyebrows. It is amazing to me ;)

I cannot wait for Sunday off.

Other NOTE: My dreams have been so crazy lately - SNOW, so many of the dreams have been about snow it is not even funny. Driving in it, walking in it, getting lost in it.. having it come into buildings where I am. I think I'm terrified about getting stuck in it again this year. And last night I dreamt of cooking potato gnocchi and strawberry creme fraiche... ??? I have no clue where even those names came from. I must have been hungry. I could never cook such things, and couldn't in the dream either. I didn't even have a recipe and was trying to figure it all out in some 'test.'

There was something very 'deep' the cooking teacher (who was someone close to me) in the dream said - If I were to put it in babelfish it is closest to 'trésor dans le plus petit des herbes'- the treasure is in the smallest of herbs/crumbs.... that part was about life - not about cooking... it had a deep impact on me when I woke up.

Also, it is strange, in my dreams nobody really truly 'talks' - they speak in my mind, in written words... because I do NOT know how to pronounce that sentence, or even the word 'gnocchi' or the word 'fraiche' - but they were all spelled out in my memory in the dream. What is that about? I 'see' words in my sleep, instead of hear them *haha again*

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Unconventional and Productive

That's us. We're unconventional. And productive. We get a lot done around here - but our house does not look like Architectural digest or even Ladies Home Journal. We have no couch for people.. if that gives you an idea. We have desk chairs and very busy desks. Esme has a table and easel with all of her things spread out - and a 'pretend' adding machine, sticks and playdough at the edge of my sewing station. This has been one of her favorite things to do lately - run old buttons through her hands and pick out the pretty ones. Here she is giving a shot at sifting through them with her toes.

I see more every day just how unconventional we are - leaning towards the old-fashioned, but with our own new streaks thrown in. We have a nuclear family, with a stay at home parent - although it is Mark and not me. Mark cooks and does it better than I ever have. He does the dishes and I do the laundry. I make all of Esme's clothes - because I find it easier that way, and others seem to not even fathom the idea how that could be easier than off the rack clothes. It's because I don't consider sitting down at the sewing machine a chore - it is an adventure and a highlight of my day. Dragging a toddler crying through a JCPenney would be a chore for me! I get a lot of comments from coworkers of 'Don't you ever sit still?' or 'Do you do this because you're just too bored at home?' No. If I was bored I would be doing nothing. I'm doing this because it is fun and keeps my brain and hands active. I like that. Why is that so different? It definitely seems to be.

We also put much different value on things than others. We don't spend a lot of money on material things like shoes, jewelry, purses, car stuff, our own clothing etc... and most people around us do. We do spend more money on movies and books, on days out (mostly fried chicken visits) and every once in a while I splurge on craft supplies. Some of my favorite things are blankets, dishes to hold things and old books. I can salivate over a 1950s French textbook like some would over diamonds. They're cheaper, too.. and to me much more rare. Find me a 1920s phsyics book in decent condition and I'll make a dive for it, even if many of the theories in it have changed over time *haha* I find noticing the changes even more fun! Mark is similar but over different things. We consider a medical school skeleton and a dodecahedron to be adequate decorations for our living room. That might give you a hint towards our extreme geekiness.

I've been noticing at work just how many people are trying to 'look' rich in this poor economy. They are spending money they don't have on things like the aforementioned just to look richer than they are - and getting further and further into debt for it. I know a lady who spent 130.00 on two purses. Just two, because they were 'name brand.' And yet they scoff at the idea of improving insulation in a house or upkeeping a vehicle etc... that isn't worth spending money on, but the other is? I don't get it. It all comes down to what and where they place the idea of worth. All of this as I am going through another 'what is necessary? what is good? what should I spend time doing?' phase. I want to be productive, even more productive - on things that will be practical and useful... but it seems the rest of the world isn't quite in the same groove. And in thinking this way we are probably the most unconventional of all...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Another short sleeved shirt

This is the same thing as the 'animal town' shirt from yesterday - but it has two tiny darts added to the back to try to gather a little fabric in at the shoulders. I also have taken pictures of all of the steps up to the zipper and hem - which I am going to do at work today. I am going to post the step-by-step on burdastyle :) I think this is a really practical and easy to sew dress/top and combines elements of all of the patterns I've really liked over the past year.

Esme was such a good girl while I sewed. For part of the time she tried to sit in my lap (pinning in the bodice lining) then she stuck her toes in the bin of buttons she was playing with, and then she started building elaborate block towers all by herself across the room while watching Muppet Show. I always feel guilty when I'm home and not playing with her - but I needed to sew while the light was good, as I'm on closing shifts this week.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Equinox is coming, and animal town shirt

Asking to go outside and play with her 'green rebot'

September 23rd is the equinox this year, according to Wikipedia, and then the days will begin to be shorter than the nights and winter will be quickly arriving. When your birthday falls on the solstice you might be a little more interested in such terms. I was, when I was a kid.

This is the 'science experiment' shirt out of Japanese animal town fabric. It is the tieback pattern (without tiebacks) and with the bodice lining idea from the pink dress to line the entire top without sleeves. I also tried to gather the front instead of pleat it... worked half as well as I wanted it to. There would need to be just a bit more fabric in the front to gather it evenly instead of pleat it at the sides which I normally do.

I've been holding this fabric in reserve for about a year... guilty about buying it on Etsy at some 7.00 a yard and wanting to use it well. Esme saw it in a bag this week and said 'elephant with an apple on it's head!' That is one of the animal pictures on it. I asked her to find that one when I was taking pictures and she did point to one of them.

close-up of the elephant and apple

Monday, September 20, 2010

bits after the busy weekend

The weekend was so productive, two finished shirts and the pink dress, and then I had to go back to work today. I just really wanted to be back at my sewing table! It was a quick day though, and I was able to cut out yet another shirt at my lunch hour. Esme is wearing that shirt now, and it looks pretty good. It is a science experiment between a few of the patterns. So that is up four pieces of clothing since last week :) There is still more to make though.. and then I can repurpose the fabric from a few things and reserve others for only playing in the mud etc..

The little bits I wanted to remember this weekend:
Sunday I saw both the sunrise and the sunset. There was a lot of 'pink' there, too :) Esme and I played in the sand and I showed her how to make sand cakes with a bucket -- she said it was a 'dirty birthday cake - it dirty mumum! no birthday!' But after I made a few more of them she decided it was worth pretending and found some sticks to put in for candles. When we were out playing in the sand yesterday and when I was watching her today I was thinking: 'I did all of those things when I was little - I actually remember it..' I remember pouring soft sand on my knees so that it would trickle down to my feet, and then shaking it off only to do it again... I remember making several piles in a row and then smashing them etc.. It is like looking through a time machine. She has been really enjoying going through the five pounds of buttons or so that a friend at work gave to me. We empty one of the large plastic bags into a plastic tupperware and let her sift through them and look at all the colors, sizes etc... and her plastic horse dances in there for her because we told her she couldn't stomp in them. If she gets too wild with them she has to give them up and/or go to bed.. either way we put them away. Playing with the button box was another thing my mom used to do when I was Esme's age :) I bet if I closed my eyes I could still see some of them!

here she is playing 'birthday' with pencils stuck into spools and 'blowing out the candles.' She is getting in so much practice!

It's kind of cool and ironic that we have a Singer sewing machine sitting on top of another Singer - the *corrected* 1904 version which is still inside the wooden table. Esme sometimes points out the letters in the ironwork to me S-I-N-G-E-R.

I found this old blog picture showing the old singer before we put it away -- I was fiddling hard with the bobbin winder and never got it to quite work right enough to sew much. Mark had better luck with it, but agreed it was worth buying a new machine and keeping this one for antique value. This was in March 2007, and the new machine was bought for 79.00 in August 2007. And I've been cranking things out ever since :)

antique singer sewing machine from 1904 model 27-4 with a serial number beginning with 'B'

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A few more old stand-bys

Simplicity 9641, copyright 1971

Making a few more of the pattern I have made the most of - the Simplicity 9641. Out of all of them I think this has been the most useful one in my 'aresenal.'

This pattern comes in a close second - it has tiebacks on it and I've used it several times as well - including the pink dress with gingham ties I made earlier in the week.

Simplicity 7196, copyright 1975

They are very similar except in exactly where the bodice joins to the body - which has an effect on how the sleeve attaches as well. I'm not sure which one I like more - I think the tieback one is best for short sleeves though, as are shown on the package. The other one shows a view with short sleeves, but really is best for long sleeves. Yet - why did I just cut out a short sleeved version of 9641 just now? Maybe I'm testing my theory without even knowing it :)

Pink butterfly dress McCalls 7708 from 1965

This is what I got from the McCalls 7708 pattern copyright 1965, girls size 3. The skirt is so poufy! I did view 'D' without the sashing and back bow. I also shortened the skirt at the 'to shorten fold here' line, as I was worried about running out of fabric. I think that was a good choice, as it is plenty long enough. She really likes it and was naming off the colors of the butterflies 'green butterfly', 'yellow butterfly', 'blue butterfly' etc etc... I had the opportunity to wash it this morning and it seemed to come through just fine wash and dry, as well. The fabrics are a quilter's cotton print and a 50/50 polyester cotton blend for the skirt and lining.

I think if I were to do it a second time around I would tuck in the bodice more into the darts in the back - and eliminate some of the back skirt in that step, as well. It could probably use a lot less skirt all around - to be a bit more practical. I watched her play with a balloon while wearing it. Whether it is intentional in the pattern or my own mistake in sizing or execution, I can see some of the roominess around the front/back as practical in itself. It allows her to stretch and play without being bound by the garment. Even taking that into account - a little less in the back bodice would still give her stretch room but not be baggy.

Actual working time was probably about three hours, including tracing and cutting. In reality it was five hours from start to finish - including dinner, extra fiddliness to make sure I did something right and staring at the bodice facing for a half hour with a confused look on my face. Mark made a pizza somewhere in there and we watched 'Bedtime for Bonzo' on DVD - which Esme really liked parts of and Mark and I made a lot of comments about 'raising a little monkey' to each other back and forth.

McCalls 7708 copyright 1965
View 'D' is the top center.

I tried to use the gathering stitch on my machine but it did NOT I ripped out the few stitches there and took a hand-sewing needle to put the gathering thread through the entire skirt top evenly, then pull it gently into place all around while pinning it in. That was fiddly... but turned out with a fairly even result which was worth the effort.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Mama make the pink this one shirt the dress the shirt

This is a 'mama please' expression I don't often catch on the camera.
It's kind of like the 'dog face' from the movie BOLT *hehe*

"Mumum make the pink, this one shirt the dress the shirt..." That is Esme-speak for 'Mama please make this dress here and make it out of this pink fabric.' She definitely tells me what she wants, although she does change her mind often! She has really been into the idea of pink color lately, since a little before that pink sweatshirt came into our lives (put upon bunny dog post) but definitely en force since then! I finished the OTHER pink dress but left off the red gingham ties for now... Mark isn't sure it needs it but I might make some thin ties for it later anyway. Now, I have another pink one to make.

McCalls 7708 copyright 1965

Esme wants the white one in the top left, but in pink... or she just wanted the windmill toy. She also wants the red balloon. I'm much more partial to the top right or the bottom center... for reasons of ease of edge finishing.

bodice facing for 'D' top center

AFTERNOON: Esme is napping. I'm staring at this bodice facing. It is supposed to be sewn face-to-face and then turned inside out and finished some more. It hurts my brain a little I think.. but not as much as the view 'E' top left that Esme wanted! For some reason they want you to finish that one inside-out and then baste the edge and turn it right-side out and stitch on a braided trim. I was thinking of bias cut fabric could work for it... maybe that would be second-time-around try. It's funny: the views I thought were easiest to make (A,C) were the exact and only one cut out of the 1965 pattern. All the rest of the pattern pieces were uncut and intact. I'm cutting out D,E now and reading ahead.

Mark read my post yesterday about needing to make more clothes - so he tried his hand at this.

I told him tubes don't wash well ;) He said we'd just throw her out in the rain. Haha! He is kidding, of course. It says 'if found return to:' and 'reward - one oatmeal cookie' on it in magic marker.

I made the paper tube into a tree with cardboard leaves after she got out of it. Then we made a construction paper family of brown bears with 'honey' and other food which were just squares of other colors of paper I had lying on the table. She is still playing that game with it this morning. They jump down the hole into the bottom of the tree, she tosses 'food' into them.. she makes 'eating' noises and then she pulls the tube back off the pile of bears/squares and picks them up to start again. It is extremely cute. She was trying to explain it to my mom on the phone last night but my mom of course could not see any of it and had a very hard time understanding her. Esme kept saying 'it fantastic Nana! Fan-TAS-TICK!' And then she would roll into laughter and Nana would, too.. and they had a lot of fun with hardly any 'real' conversation at all.

NIGHT: Woohoo! It probably took me an hour to cut out the dress - as I was very careful with the pattern. I also tend to take breaks in between cutting bits of the dress out (facing / bodice / skirt) or I get frustrated with it in an odd way. And then it took exactly four hours (but there was also dinner in there after Esme woke up) to sew the entire thing up and try it on Esme. It fits a little large, and the skirt is SO poufy she looks like a flower fairy! I am proud of it, and I think she is, too. Pictures tomorrow I hope! And second time around - there probably will be one, with a slightly smaller bodice back piece and much less skirt. The bodice facing I was thinking would be hard was actually quite elegant... I like how they did that!

link to the post with the finished pictures of this dress

Friday, September 17, 2010

Mama the tailor (ramblings from the sewing of toddler clothes)

I know I'm in the minority, but it makes more sense to me to measure a child and make clothes for them than for a company to make twelve thousand of a certain item in a certain size and then try to find children to fit them. And I do understand that by automating clothing they become a lot cheaper... but they also become lower quality or 'all alike'... so I am continuing to be 'Mama the tailor' for as long as I can keep up with it. It isn't easy! She just keeps growing *wink* and she's not easy at all on the clothes themselves. I wouldn't expect her to be - and I wash them hard, too - so what isn't stained or torn is faded from overwashing! I was looking for something for Esme to wear to the bank this morning and it was slim pickings. The recently made green shirt was about the only one that was in really 'nice' condition - and she wore that last time they saw us *hmm*.... I was lucky it was colder out in the morning so I found one of her long sleeved raglan tops.

And so, I need to start another round of clothes and separate quite a few more of what she already has into different sets.

And *growl* another local WM stopped selling fabric. The few like-minded ladies at work were complaining about it. Now we are down to one - and they keep threatening to stop. I've been told of two new family businesses selling fabric in the area - but both are very hard for me to get to. I'm on the fence whether I should visit one tomorrow on my day off or sew a few new items for Esme in that time from what I have. I picked up another yard of pink fabric for Esme tonight with butterflies on it. That was from the one local WM that IS still carrying fabric. I think she'll love the 'flutterbugs.' Also I was given about five pounds of buttons from someone at work - so many little delicate pink ones in them... they gave me more influence to make another pink dress or a lightweight pink jacket.

I also got some more brown thread for sewing Esme's woollen jacket, which is cut out but I was almost out of brown thread and really didn't want to compromise to red.

Also: My friend Melanie says it is not just a good idea for kids - but she wants to be measured and sewn for, too! haha. I've made myself a few things this past year that I still wear often, but almost always at home. Finishing adult clothes just seems a lot harder - more people pay attention to the details etc.... and they require more fabric, and more ironing! And I know I'm a sewing geek -- today I was staring at my manager's sleeve and commented to her that the little gathering of darts there at the short sleeve cuff was really pretty. Secretly I wanted to take that cuff apart and look at the way it was made. Ha! So - when you are staring at or following people around trying to figure out how that dart is made or that sleeve is cut etc.. maybe you are a sewing geek ;) I know so many people think I am staring at their collars really hard, too, but don't have any idea why!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

run circles away from bug...

I was able to get a few frames in good enough light to animate - but not all of what I really wanted. All of the 'ahhhhh' expression is play acting, and the 'run in circles' animation link is hilarious!

Today she is out in the dirt and covered head to toe like PigPen. I'll need to go give her a bath soon.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

'hiding' from the bug

a very slow moving battery-powered robot

Hide in the hole Daddy! (pull Daddy behind the chair, which she purposefully put there five feet in front of the 'bug' robot). Hide Daddy! Ewww aaaaaaaaaahhhhhh a bug a bad bug! And a few minutes before that she was giving it a 'drink' out of an empty cup and feeding it fake food... and then it wasn't quick enough with the impending pretend danger - so she went and left Daddy behind the chair and ran circles around the bug until it got close enough to hide up on top of the chair again.

Silly.. silly... silly child ;)

Note: She calls it a 'bug re-bot', she still can't quite get the 'ro' in robot and wants to make sure it doesn't sound like rabbit.

LATER: What was a yelling screaming dusty mess of child an hour ago is now a sweet smelling 'kiss mumum on the cheek' happy to be watching Shaun and eating applesauce girl.... I didn't know bathtub could wash away that much bad attitude. She even asked ME if it was time for her to get out and I said yes and what the next steps were - and she picked up put away, pulled plug and dried off with no fuss at all.... without me having to offer the applesauce or Shaun as incentives to get out of the tub.

Sewing Geekery: I've cut out the soft woollen fabric for her fall/winter jacket. I'm hoping this pattern will take something with this much soft drape in it. The jacket has a self-lining front and an unlined hood and back. It says it can be made in 'lightweight wool'... hmm. I spent a very long time this afternoon looking through patterns on Ebay and making notes before I just decided to try to make the one in my stash anyway, as it was - and see what happens. I had also pulled out the vintage 1940s pattern I had - but the size 5 is still much too large for her. This one is a vintage size 3 and I think I can do it well if I resort to some handsewing to make sure the edges do not ravel on this soft fabric. I'm planning on making the hood a drawstring and leaving the bottom without elastic.. but we'll see what happens with that.

Simplicity 7110 jacket pattern size 3T
dated 1975


We had a playdate scheduled at a local park. Our playdate didn't show, but several other families did over the course of the hour - and Esme tried her best to play with everyone. She had a lot of fun and will probably sunburn some! It was nice to see her take turns on the slide and invite other children to chase her, copy them etc... The only thing I saw and wanted to discourage was pushing smaller children out of the way if they were playing with something she wanted or taking too long at something. She climbed the round open rung ladder up to the slide several times - which I was a little nervous about, but she was really concentrating and did not slip once. She outran everyone consistently all day long - no matter how long they had been there. Her cheeks are very pink and now she has a belly full of chicken leg and juice. She is sitting upside-down in Daddy's chair singing along with Muppet Show tunes. I'm sure she will crash after a bit or get very very cranky.

Nix the muppet show - now she is building a large structure out of boxes, dresser parts and other miscellanea in the house. Looks like we're in for a long afternoon!

observations: One two year old girl was nearly the same size, but she was also as tall as the three-and-some girl and less than a head shorter than the five year old. I'm just not sure if she is as tall for her age as they say around here -- or if the growth chart that says she is short for her age is completely off-base. ?? It doesn't really matter, I know! She is as tall as she is (about 37 inches) and there really shouldn't be any comparison at this age.

Several of the other grandmothers (there was only one other actual mom with the toddlers - the rest were grandparents) were complaining about the fall birthdays not going to school until they are six. The five year old had just turned five and missed the cutoff for K - so they were sending her to preschool 2 days a week for the year. ?? Mark says that the school system around here is more about child herding than education. He may be right.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

school info

I got some info about school for Esme from our banker today... she said to talk to our Dr. Carter about it. I wouldn't have thought to talk to him about schooling, but she said he was really involved with the school system around here. I'll have to look into that! She was also slightly 'eek' about what school Esme was slated into by address... she said she would try for any other one, if it was her situation. Hmm...

I went to the local college to talk about schooling for ME, as well. I got info about online courses to extend my bachelor of science into a masters of education. It looks like most of the classes can be done entirely from home - and then once the basic classes are done they do student teaching in the local school district and all the tests to get certified etc. They have good recommendations from the Board of Education and also from a teacher I had talked to before about Esme. If I can get the application information all filled out (letters of reference, financial aid etc etc. and a 500 word essay etc.) it might be something I could be rolling on this January or March. I'm working a bit into the future there - their next semester actually begins in October but I know I won't be ready for that one!

I also stopped by Robertson's decorating again on the way home. *hide* It is a candy store for me! I found some very very soft woollens for very cheap and Esme immediately asked to wear one when she felt it here at home. I told her I would have to make something of it, and she cried :( Maybe I can make her a blanket or a winter coat out of that really soft one. The other one is to replace a throw blanket I have from wayback that Mark finds very scratchy. He says the new choice might not bother his elbows as much where he has severely dry skin.

LATER: Esme went to see Grandma and had a good time. I am increasingly glad she isn't fragile - as she had a catlike fall up there and landed perfectly on all fours -- knee bruises at the very most. I was impressed! She was very very unhappy to leave - and Grandma saw 'the ugly side' of two years old *ha* - but at the same time I only had to threaten to pick her up upside-down by her pant-loops. I didn't actually have to do it. She listened and came out to the truck with us. She made a huge screeching fuss just until we actually pulled out of the driveway and then quieted and sat there sniffling on the very short drive home. Then at home I corralled her out of the truck and along the path until she got to the door - where Daddy saw the mess of tears and carried her upside-down to the bathtub. I gave her the bath which she did enjoy immensely - with lots of bubbles and freedom to play until the time had run out. Daddy came and agreed with Mumum that it was time - and she had to get out. She very reluctantly got out, used her potty like a good girl, then came upstairs and picked out the new shirt Grandma gave her and some shorts. After she was dressed she had another blowup about staying in her bed. 'I want to play! No bed! Out Get Down! etc. etc.'... it's 10 o'clock and you have been up since 7 am with no nap. Go to bed little one! We put on the Princess Bride (which she thought was French Fries for some reason.. and was upset about that, too) - and after a few minutes crying and screaming she stopped and started talking to the characters, cheering them on and giving them advice. *roll eyes* And she has been sitting in her bed mostly quiet ever since that momemt...watching intently and making small comments here and there.

I will repeat what I say often.. we have an odd kid.. but I like her ;)

Monday, September 13, 2010

bits and a herd of cows

It's getting colder again at night - the house dropped by more than ten degrees overnight.. just to the mid 60s... And this complaint is from a former Minnesotan :) I should be happy and remember when my house was 40 degrees...but I still want a blanket to go downstairs in the mornings regardless. I need to finish the other slipper in this pair and maybe work on a pair for Esme. These are the really old style I made long ago in Fargo. The pink dress isn't done yet, and I have Tuesday and Wednesday (off days) already penciled in with plans for McKenzie and Camden.

Esme is eating her cereal and I had to rescue all four of her cows from a terrible death by drowning in the milk. I've come to realize just the look in her eye before they actually get dunked.. and stop her before it happens. She wasn't too happy about it but she did put them down, and then pouted for a few minutes before eating the rest of the cereal in silence.

Her other weird trick lately is 'playing dead' instead of just falling down and covering her head when she falls/thinks she is in trouble (those go hand in hand with her) she falls down and sticks her head to the side and sticks her tongue out and plays dead. I am not amused. Several days in a row I've dealt with 'you are NOT dead' when putting her to bed, changing her and telling her to get out of the bathtub. The bathtub one didn't work well for her, though. It's really hard to keep your head above water when making your body go slack. She realized that one and then went and hid her head in the corner like usual until she would agree to come out on her own.

She was also putting her toys in the bubbles in the bath and covering their heads up - saying 'I thought I saw a putty tat!' and uncovering them with water droplets from above. ??? I asked Mark about that one,and he thinks there is one episode of her Looney Tunes where the cat hides in soap bubbles.... *odd****shakes head**** I have such a silly little girl. Oh, and she has a herd of plastic cows. A herd, to ride on trains and get put in corralls. I'm still thinking of finding more *ha*..... the dragon (dinosaur), pig and dog were still hanging out with the cows last night.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

no go on the job

I didn't get the job I interviewed for. The quote was 'your time is coming, but not right now.' *sigh* I was pretty upset about it, but tried not show it too much. Esme was asleep when I got home so I was even more 'slightly upset'... but a few friends commiserated with me online and that helped some. Esme and I have a playdate on Wednesday with one of those friends' children. That should be very nice. We commiserated on 'PT' as well... and her girl is already three and backslid out of potty-training back to the very beginning.. so I don't feel quite so bad there that Esme is on-again off-again too.

Esme woke up about 9:30 last night and we had fun playing blocks with the dinosaur and four cows and the playmobil dog. She did a little with letters but mostly it was about building 'cow houses' and cities and playing 'train' dragging a large block across many small ones with everyone on it so they could go eat chicken leg and fish sticks. The cows wanted fish sticks and ice cream. The dog wanted chicken legs. They all went into 'cow houses' which were corrall structures and ate and had a good time saying 'yay'. Playing with her made me feel better, too -- but she did throw an absolute fit at 11:30 when we demanded she stay in her bed and go to sleep... she crawled out several times and I had to dump her unceremoniously back into her bed and tell her to stay there.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Too Much NO

I'm drawing a line when it is 'Too much NO' - no three times to coming in from outside, no to having a bath with duckies and bubbles, no no no no no...

I asked: 'really no duckies?'
Esme: 'no duckies.'
I asked: 'really no bubbles?'
Esme: 'no bubbles.'
I said: 'You are coming in. It's dark out here. Come on...'
Esme: 'Nope.. nope... (wander off a bit further)'

So.... Mumum hauled her in (crying no no no no get down) and downstairs to give her a shower (explaining she had said 'no' to bubbles when she demanded I fill the tub). I saw some 'oh no' recognition when I said that. Esme said NO bubbles, NO duckies, so.. No bubbles and No duckies - we go upstairs now.

I put her into pajamas and still saying 'no no no get down' and I said if she could calm down by the time I got her pajamas on her she didn't have to go to bed right then - 'no no no no' OK. Too much NO. You're going to bed. I put her in bed and she flops on her pillow and puts her feet under her blanket and doesn't say another word. Asleep within three minutes!

We'll see if that has any effect on her attitude tomorrow! I've had 'too much' of the 'no no no's. She doesn't refuse to listen to everything - she is still a pretty good girl, but she has been giving many more casual 'no' and 'nope' to things she doesn't want to do and thinks she can get away with not doing like coming for a bath, finishing her food, going to bed, picking up her toys, getting ready to leave Grandma's etc... and Mumum is going to get a bit more hard-nosed about it.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

toddler napzone!

napzone achieved! I'm working on a pair of slippers and have half of a pink dress / top made for Esme that was started yesterday. I did make kangaroos out of it before :) There are white sleeves cut out for it, too. She has finally collapsed and taken a nap, after begging piteously for ice cream and fish sticks for about fifteen minutes after already consuming orange juice, two chicken legs, a cookie AND a piece of pizza.

She's really needed to take a nap both of these days - and refused it up to the last minute. Mark said she thinks if she takes a nap Mom will go to work and not be here when she wakes up... :( Some days it's tough being a toddler - I am thinking! Plus it is all rainy and cold outside and dark....

Her wooden blocks came at the post office today, and I am definitely saving them for her birthday. She saw me open the box but only got two out of it - and then they went on a high shelf. It was Ebay - so I had to open it to verify :)

games for homeschooling preschool

paper dolls: color and cut and printing out things that are flipped right-and-left and in two different colors (purple kitties and white kitties) in quantity, cutting them out and putting them in circles and lining them up in rows. She wouldn't do that at Grandma's house, though -- because Grandma had bubbles!

She was playing with blocks again making places for piggies and cows to jump in. And the chain and funnel came back for an appearance today. After some serious tummy troubles this afternoon it seems the chicken leg lunch we fed her is helping sort all of that out along with two large cups of orange juice mixed with water. She was seriously grouchy and upset most of the morning - wanted everything her way but nothing of it a second later... etc.. usual attitude for her when she is overtired, wet, ready to 'explode' etc...

She is now standing on a chair happily eating a lollipop (which Daddy decided she was now good enough to have) and being very good playing with her paper doll. 'Mumum come play a shirt green shirt please?' hehe

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

green dress fits.. mostly

This is the new green top, now finished. I hope the front relaxes some after a few washings, it kind of sticks up some - that could be the fabric choice and it could be the newness of the fabric. She does like it, and besides that one little bit the dress fits very well. If I had had enough of the print green it would have been perfect - that fabric is soft and drapey.

We've been having a lot of playing and a lot more 'Bossy Cow' attitude today. She wants to pick everything at the store - have her TV do exactly what she wants when she wants it to (my tv, no mine mine!). And, she really really wants to go see Grandma - but I told her Grandma wasn't there when we called, and she was too cranky after that to call again. I think she really needs a NAP. Maybe she can see Grandma tonight, maybe tomorrow. All we have to do tomorrow is post office.

The baby cat has been an angel put in the box for most of the day. Esme has also been in the box. She's been playing with blocks and putting her toys through the tube again and feeding them with toy spoons. She did her shape worksheet one more time today - I put it out and didn't ask her to do it, but she saw it on the bed and went and did it anyway :) We watched another piglet video on youtube and then I put on Babe, the movie while she had her applesauce, bread and milk. She got bored with it about halfway through, but picked up on it again at the end. I'm thinking to get the picture encyclopedias out for her homeschool tonight, and draw some on paper with her - she is very much into pretend today. She is putting her blocks out as a 'road' across the room and having her playmobils jump jump across them and into the box at the end. 'jump dolly - jump! jump back dolly!' She's also having a lot of fun with a funnel, a piece of fine chain, the paper towel tube and a large box.

shape page

wearing Daddy's boots and playing with the paper towel tube

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

hoping for good news

I had my interview today - hope to know by the weekend. The interview seemed to go well. That job will be a lot more intense and more responsibility - but it is one I've wanted for a while.

When I got home Esme was in a really bad mood - she had just finished eating and didn't want me to start - she wanted to play immediately. I ate anyway, and she was mad about that a little. We've had to tell her to let us talk more often now, as she wants the only conversation to be hers, as well - 'I talk, my talk!' etc... trying to sink that ship before it gets any further - no WE talk right now, stop shushing us and eat your dinner/play toys/ etc until we're done.

Since she was in a bad mood I didn't think we'd do any 'homeschool' stuff, but then I loaded up a video of little piglets and let that go from there. When she was tired of surfing youtube with me she was a little calmer but still being bossy (no I choose - this one! (choose something I can't get to, frustration ensues etc.). We did see some great counting videos including a couple going up to one hundred and several other baby animal videos.

I gave her a bath then we played with some regular toys and I printed out another sheet of shape matching for her. She is really excellent at that 'game'. It's just putting the cut-out shape into the matching box on a sheet of paper. She did so well with the patterning blocks on her first introduction to them last week I knew she would get this little game immediately. And, she did. After that, I cut out all of the shapes out of a second copy and scattered them on the table. I gave her the colored shapes to lay back out on the scattered shapes. She got those right, too.. I stretched it and asked her to match up some of the word names of the shapes - but she could only do a few of those and they were probably guessing -- she said she wanted to go back to matching the shapes so we did a few more times.

She asked me to cut out several paper animals for her - something I do pretty well and like to do, as well. :) I made her a red doggie, a grey kitty for the dog to chase, and a green baby kitty for the mumum kitty to love and say 'you are so cute' to. Then she wanted a purple kitty and a turtle.. but I made her a rabbit and said I was done after that. Now Shaun the Sheep and ease her off to bed because we have a big day tomorrow. I have to stop by work to make a call and we have a very long grocery list.

Monday, September 06, 2010

A new phase : homeschooling

I usually cover something in a more complete way with Esme when we find something she is semi-interested in. This is far from what most people would call 'schooling' because it is based on what she wants and I'm not going to make her sit still at a desk etc or insist if she refuses a request to look/do etc. If she's not interested, that is fine - but if she is we explore the idea a bit more. I'm very 'visual' and I think she is, too - so I show her pictures whenever I am talking about something.

The 'new phase' is I'm going to keep track of what we do together a little better here on the blog under the blog tag 'homeschool'. I think what we do already is close to what they consider preschool and sometimes she is asking about things they cover in the local kindergarten (time, numbers, shapes etc.) I recently took a look at what school she would be going to someday - and when... I didn't actually go there in person yet - but I've seen some of what they are supposed to do throughout the kindergarten year - and it doesn't seem like very much more than what she already knows. I know school is a lot more about socializing with others your own age... *have to sit down and think that one over as I never got along with the kids my own age myself!*

She won't be 'eligible' for Kindergarten until she is nearly six, and would go to the same school Mark did in Bruceton. We could send her to a preschool now, if she was potty-trained... but I don't think _we're_ ready for that yet and we are trying not to lose what progress we're getting with the PT by pushing it any faster. If we are homeschooling preschool then we don't need to worry about the speed on that - she can go at her own pace. Besides the PT, I worry where she'll be by age six - what will she be doing then, if she is doing this now? But Mark said: 'Don't worry - don't care where she'll be then.... just care where she is now and what she WANTS to do.' He says we'll end up mostly homeschooling her in what she wants to learn anyway. That is true.. but I will still worry a little!

So, when I post homeschool from now on it is something we(I) sat down intentionally to show to her - based usually on things she said or did during the day (so she'll be interested) and not lasting very long, but 'fun' and 'visual' and try to mix in new things.

homeschool : black and brown bears. Esme told me 'uh uh' no bears - no black bears, big brown bears! We often say 'big brown bears going to come!' as a synonym for anything scary ... silly I know :) I told her in the bathtub that 'uh huh - there are black bears - and I'll show you some.' I showed her lots of pictures of black bears and described what they were doing, and showed her the words 'black bear' in a few places. We saw baby bears and bears eating and fighting and swimming and climbing trees. Then we saw a video of a 'mumum bear and baby bears' etc etc... and then she lost interest because the second video had no sound to it. That's still nice - she went through that much with interest :) She also found a cricket downstairs and I told her how they jump and are 'good bugs' and she said 'good bug' the same way she says 'cute kitty' and pretended to pat it on the head. 'jump bug - good job bug!' She said 'cricket' pretty well. We saw flutterbugs on the kitchen door and I showed her a big pretty moth with black stripes on his wings and all the little guys around him. We found a picture of a cricket online and she told him to jump. She also saw a flutterbug picture there (great coloring pages site: 1 and 2)

I printed out some coloring book pages from that site of a duck, an elephant with a baby and a cow - and wrote those names on them - she told me the cow pooped, and the cow needed a baby, too. I colored the duck for her and then he ate an orange from her fruit set. Her grandma and little girl playmobil jumped in and talked to and about all of the different animals - and had fun. She drew all over the three sheets and had a very very fun time with it :) Daddy and her are watching some more cartoon shows now and talking about them.

The other day I posted that we had went through 'dragon bones' of different types looking at dinosaur skeletons. We also sometimes will watch videos from the forum I belong to - like Abby playing her violin or Piper writing her name. Esme loves videos of other little kids, and of animals :)

little green dress (with photos)

McCall's M5606

This is the pattern, a modern-day buy, I made her very first dress ever out of - but was cut out as a "size 1" for her first birthday... and it didn't fit her until recently. So I thought I would try to make another one and see where the size problem was -- and so far even my second one out of that pattern looks like a size 3 -- so it is the pattern. I've been making her size 3's out of vintage AND modern patterns and this looks like that size!

Got home from work at a weird time tonight - neither 'early' nor 'late' ... right at 5 pm. Esme was asleep when I got home, so I started cutting out a sewing project. Tried to get her up at about 7:30 and she was very very grumpy, didn't want to eat - sniffing and snorting... so I ran her a steamy bath and put her in it. Her mood improved almost immediately. I finished cutting the little dress out while she was taking her bath. She was halfway liking Mumum being literally around the corner when she was in the bath and somehow missing the constant interaction at the same time. She is very loud in the bath - so it is easy to hear what she is doing and she answers 'this is fun' or 'yes I like it' and yells back and forth ideas. I kept peeking in every few minutes and she would show me her birthday candle game or superballs or kitty and horsie etc... and I would check the bath temp and go back to cooking her fishstick and cutting out dress bits. When the fishstick was done I asked her to put away, and she did. 'Otay! (grumble grumble)' Then she got her fishstick and I started to sew the dress together while she watched some TV and ate. After she was done eating I let her play 'fishy' with some yarn and the cats for a while, as long as she didn't start screaming about something or other - which after a good amount of work, she did. Then it was time for her to go to bed. I have it ready to finish the little bits at work and I hope it fits her well. It is a fabric from a tank type shirt I bought on clearance earlier in the year - but never liked the way it fit. She did think the fabric was pretty and I have been waiting to do something with it.

Esme is coming down a little with the cold - she had a good day with Grandma and Grandpa earlier for a little bit and then crashed for her nap. She was quite difficult tonight in between things... unlike herself, and I was sewing, which didn't help her :( Usually she would have popped up beside me on her checkwriter table and tried to pull me away every few minutes with chatter and toys and scenarios - but she mostly ran around and cried about the cats not cooperating with her, and refused to have her pants changed etc... I am hoping she will feel better tomorrow but at least she didn't have a fever, just sniffles and the occasional wheeze or cough. And she ate almost all her dinner - 2 fish sticks, strawberry jello, some fruit cocktail and graham crackers.

Eating apple jacks first thing this morning
I've always said she has Mark's eyebrows, they look particularily swoopy this morning in the pale light

She is still a little sniffly this morning but not as bad as yesterday - so definitely need to get her another steam bath in tonight when I get home, if she is awake.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Then there came a little bird...

I've been handed a pretend birdie tonight that ate a strawberry and flew away and came back - and then she put it in a box and it became three birdies and all three of them were on my knee and Daddy tried to take one downstairs and we hear 'Come back with my birdie!' She handed me quite a few 'empty' things that she told me was something tonight - including 'another baby kitty' she went and found behind a table after her first baby kitty (real) was in the box and she wanted a second one to put in there.

She asked if I was a Mumum Simpson tonight after watching the Mumum and Daddy and Boy simpsons.... and I tried to introduce her last name to her because of it. No I am a Mumum Lamb, and this is your Daddy Lamb, and you are Esme Lamb. She said some of it and that she was right.. but it is going to take a bit longer to reinforce it.

Friday, September 03, 2010

frog balloon in pants

frog balloon in pants

Sitting on Daddy's chair, watching Putty Tat (Sylvester and Tweety) hugging her frog balloon from the carnival the first of last month. He's the one who needed a 'butt change' last night according to her. I'm giving her some orange juice in water the past two days because it has been helping me some and the tart kool-aid has been turning my stomach but the orange juice hasn't. That's really weird.

the blue fabrics I bought last night

Mark made Esme a big balloon tie-up thing last night (he is still pretty good at balloon animals) and Esme said it looked like a flutterbug (butterfly). Then we brought it into the bathtub and she said it was a flutterbug boat, for her kitty and horse bath toys (small plastic animals) to ride on. 'This is fun!' the hello kitty doll said. 'Yes, fun! We ride! Run run run!' So they ran around on the 'boat' as it floated in the bathtub. She just always comes up with something, and it is so very often cute :)

The other balloon he made her was pretty much a 'balloon on a stick' and Esme insisted after getting through the 'bonk' stage with it (hit everything I can to see how far it reaches) she decided instead that it was a 'dog balloon' and drug it around on the stick like a leash and said 'come doggie' and 'woo woo doggie' and 'good doggie' etc...

Esme is doing a REALLY good job with her alphabet letters in books and her PAIRS in PEARS game tiles. I'll leave it there for the moment - but I see her taking a huge leap soon with them. It's so early.. but she's interested, so I'm ready for it!

LATER: We went to a yard sale after the post office this morning - and bought three tiny 'my little ponies' and a girl dolly for Esme. Mark got a lot of old video game equipment. I gave all the horsies and the girl dolly a thorough washing at home and made a new dress for the doll. This is like the doll I wanted to give her for her birthday - but now the cat is out of the bag and she took it to bed with her tonight. I also bought the patterning (parquetry) blocks to keep for Christmas or birthday but when Grandma was here I gave into my own urge to open them and play with them. Esme really liked them, which made me happy. I had worried it might be tedious for her and was ready to put them away when she became antsy... but she liked them a lot in more than a couple of ways. Grandma and Esme had a very nice visit together playing with nearly every toy in the house :) That is our Esme! And then I fixed dinner for Esme and Grandma snuck out using my 'go to work' routine while Esme began to eat and watched Shaun the Sheep. It worked like a charm, she hardly cried at all, that's the 'method' - two hugs, two kisses 'Have good day' and she knows everything will be alright :)

The big wooden blocks come in the mail soon as well -- and I have said I should not open them at all -- just shake them and put them in a big box! Now I have to wonder what else to do for her birthday. I still am thinking of making her a two layer pink cake with halved strawberries on top and candles on it. That is the standard 'cake' shown in Shaun the Sheep and she always points it out. I'm not full-speed-ahead set on that one, but it would be cute. And I have the 'new' maryjane shoes I've put aside, and ready to make a very pretty set of clothes that will be wrapped up. Something will come to me to replace the dolly idea, I have two months! She is already 'prewarmed' this year with her birthday candle game and being so happy when she sees birthday mentioned in a show etc... she told me last night that the shower hose in the bathtub was a snake, and it was the snake's birthday, so he got to blow out the candles and the kitty and horse had to sing happy birthday to this 'snake' while it was being a nice snake or it would chase them and say 'sssss' at them. And yes, I think it is cute and she knows it is cute... so I am not discouraging it, and not discouraging a running theme with Esme is just like encouraging it silently haha!....

Thursday, September 02, 2010

cow in block city and frog needs diaper change

Playing with blocks tonight. The cow was taking turns falling into this hole and also entering in through the 'door' she had made. He was a bad cow when he knocked something over but a good cow when he 'helped' rebuild (she would move a block and then put the cow on top of it and tell him 'good job' as if he moved it.

Her 'birthday blocks' are at the post office and I can get them tomorrow. Will I have the willpower to keep them put away for November? Probably not because I want to play with them, too! I also bought some fabric tonight that I think will make a very pretty 'set' of clothes - it was on clearance and the fabrics match but not truly matchy matchy. I see a pair of pants and a shirt there that I WOULD be able to put away. We'll see if I can get to it! *sigh*

Esme was feeding her frog balloon and piggy toy different wooden fruits and bread and such. Mark told Esme not to give the frog her wooden pretend cheese because it would make him fart. She said the frog DID fart - and that he now needed a butt change - because he stinks, and brought him to her changing table and a baby wipe and 'wipe' him up and get him pants. I had to put the pants on though..

She is getting so many more 'complete' concepts lately, but sometimes with strange syntax. Like her fly swatter is 'make bug flat' and then she gets upset she can't actually find a bug to 'make flat'. She told me tonight she was not willing to share her orange, at first 'All mine a orange!'. Then there came a point where, after she had chewed on each section some, she was willing to share - but wasn't done. 'I eat more a orange', and then after that point - she was actually done. 'All done a orange.'

I hear a lot more 'what are you doing' and counting of things and 'wait a minute' and 'come back (name)', and 'I'm coming' and 'It's a bunny dog, she's PRETTY, pet pet good Bun dog!' and 'yes I can have a one a orange THATS RIGHT' and other small sentences we both agree we haven't heard this 'complete' before. She really likes to say THATS RIGHT when she is repeating something she wanted to hear us say - as if she is both saying it is a good thing and saying that helps to remember how to say the sentence at the same time.

Other things that have impressed me is picking up the difference between 'sing' and 'a song' and 'this is fun' and 'this is funny', both of those somewhere in the last few months. She says 'ball up high' for the geek ball I made and 'want more 'x' which for a lot of kids come much earlier but for miss tight-lipped-tried-to-be-a-professional-mime for a while etc... I am still proud to hear them along with the others. Also 'here we go', 'where'd it/you go?' 'it is underwater', 'go to sleep', 'it is morning!', 'make frog talk' and other things like that... I want to remember when this stuff really started happening - because in a few months it will seem like she has always said them. She is making really good progress month after month, picking up something we turn to each other and say 'hey, that's different!' It makes me really happy :)

AFTER NOTE: She got in big trouble tonight for two things.. big trouble for around here. She took the fruit container out of the fridge when I went to fill her drink cup, after she already had ice cream and other food. She hadn't eaten her fruit earlier today - let toys play in it, so I told her 'No, put it back, you had ice cream just a minute ago.' She threw a fit. I told her she had to go right to bed after fruit if she wanted it badly. She didn't agree to that - so she put it back and we came upstairs. Then the second 'big no' was pulling a plug out of the wall that is connected to some X-mas lights that go up the wall and across the ceiling. They have recently stopped working, but we haven't removed them yet. She then came to tell me that she had 'broke' it and couldn't fix it. I think she might have been trying to fix it... I told her never to touch that, especially without us - and Mark hauled her into her bed after that. She knows much much better than that! Sometimes I think she does something bad just to get put to bed, so she doesn't have to ask... but isn't willing to agree to go to bed either, except sometimes for a Cheeto bribe. haha. then it is 'cheeto, then bed. cheeto, TWO cheeto, then bed.' etc mantra she repeats over and over until the cheetos are deployed and she cooperates with the rest of the agreement.

like a dying ostrich with the croup

I'm coughing about that much, and exactly how you might picture that - or perhaps a seal falling over on a wet deck and sloshing around a little. *ha* I have to keep my sense of humor up! I get tomorrow off but going to try to make it today - as they have 'big plans' they want to get finished. That is why I stayed longer yesterday than I really should have - and have to cut that time off of today. I'm getting sick pay for the day and a half I did take off this week, I hope. I didn't think a day and a half qualifies but an employee who has been there longer says they tell you that because they don't want you to try to use it - to 'save it up for later when you need it' etc because most people abuse it... I put in for it and I'll probably hear something if they decide against it etc... I was at the meeting for my sales level yesterday and everyone there thought I was about to die - using my rootbeer bottle as an ice pack. I told them I can look like I'm about to die here - there are no customers.. I have to save my strength ;)

Esme has been wonderful this morning. She came downstairs with me after a very perky hello. She told me her drink cup was VERY heavy and made a big deal about handing me this empty drink cup as if it weighed 50 lbs. That made me smirk. She said a few other things this morning that were both 'more complete' and/or subtle - but I can't remember them atm. Then she cooperated fully with changing her clothes and going down for breakfast. Esme coughed some drinking her first drink of the day - but she still isn't running a fever and I haven't seen any more nose drainage from her. She played with the cats like usual in the middle of breakfast - capturing not only the baby kitten but also Ninja in a clothes hamper and dragging them around the kitchen. They were dis amused by the idea.. but not truly frantic. I think they thought as long as they had each other in there it couldn't get too bad. There was a lot of 'pet pet' kitty and 'you're a good kitty' and 'kitty bite tail!' as they were playing with each other in there. I think Ninja was both proud of herself and also wondering what she got herself into at the same time.

Esme finished her cereal, picked out her own shirt and helped me put it on - and now is watching 'Putty Tat' Sylvester and Tweety. I'm coughing every few minutes and producing much yuck... but at least the cats are still in their skins and relatively calm about it. I didn't even wake anyone up last night coughing so I guess it isn't too bad yet.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

well enough

I'm not well, but well enough - so I'm going into work. Mostly it is coughing up the junk out of my lungs now and dealing with the headache that comes with that, and flashes of fever coming and going. But my nose isn't running down my face and I'm not coughing terribly and I can stay awake for more than an hour at a time... so...

Esme was cute this morning. She was all ready for a bath and perky perky little girl at 7 in the morning. And then she gave up eating her applejacks to go play with the little cat, putting her in a big box and laughing when she got out - playing 'cat basketball' putting her back in again and again and picking her up after she got out. The cat was cooperating. This is the last one that was left from the outside litter and we would like to give it away, too... but haven't managed to yet. Ninja thinks it is a wonderful playmate and is usually found not too far away from the games.

Esme was trying to repeat the word 'assistance' from me this morning, which was cute - and she might need to hear that one a few more times to differentiate it from Wallace and Gromit 'assistance' which is being hit with a large hammer when Wallace is too fat to fit through the fireman's hole in his floor. ha! She is picking up more and more words and longer ones - trying to say a lot more that we understand and then goes off on long running sentences that we have to very listen very closely to. She corrected me this morning when I asked her if she wanted to take a 'bathtub', and said NO MUMUM 'take a bath'. Uh.. yea, that works too ;) I've always said take a bathtub to her because she never used to understand 'take a bath' the same way!

One of her new bathtub games is to line up her marker covers (little cylinders 2 inches long and have an open hole on one side) on the side of the tub and put superballs on top of each one - then say it is a 'burfday cake' and blow on them. She's getting in practice! She still won't answer how old she is, or will be - but she knows birthday has a cake and you blow on candles and sing a badly sung rendition of the song.

We watched Date Night last night and it was pretty good. Mark was sweet and remembered I had wanted to see it, so when he was out for supplies he rented it from our local shop.