Sunday, January 30, 2011


I haven't had much time to post anything lately - especially anything crafty. I have my two days off-two on- weekend off coming up, so maybe that will fix things. But here I am off to work to complete the two-on that need to be done first!

I hope Grandma and Grandpa are feeling a little better -- it has been a tough week for them, too. Also, I came home last night to a rendition of 'An actor's life for me' as we went down the stairs all together. For not knowing most of the words, she put out a very good effort! I'll let her watch it on my computer a few more times - she sang it about ten times yesterday here and there - always while we were walking somewhere. Pinocchio has really taken an effect on her :)

Friday, January 28, 2011


I was told to 'shut up mumum' last night and also again this morning. I was not amused - and she did not get away with it. Both times I was telling her something she needed to do that she didn't want to hear me say - get her drink cup in the morning, and throw away her lollipop before she went to sleep at night. Since I've been home tonight she has been extremely good - almost darling at times. She asked for a bath immediately and washed her hair without too much fuss. She might even get the present 'The Blue Fairy' sent her in the car, but I've learned to be sparing with the presents because she wants me to play with them with her RIGHT THEN and it can actually cause a meltdown if something keeps me from it.

She asked for the movie Pinocchio this morning by asking for the movie with 'bad man and the donkeys.' We had to listen really close to understand - but I got it. She has said a few more descriptive things tonight as well - 'may I please have an m?' (m&m) and 'movie with the sheeps' for Shaun the Sheep, which was actually less descriptive than asking for 'Shaun'. Mark said she was a good girl on their town trip today as well, counting buttons for the lady at the co-op and jabbering to her nicely.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Getting off the fever and back in the grind

This picture is mostly to show how long her hair has gotten in the past few months. It is nearly as long as Daddy's, now... compared to her height! I continue to hack mine off just below shoulder level now and then, for practicality (I say), out of silliness (Daddy says). These red pants were the last item I've actually made on the sewing machine, which was quite a while ago now for me - more than a week!

Right now I'm coming off of three days of near 100 degree temperature, alternatively freezing and roasting in my own skin. I am very loathe to take any sort of medication if the only main symptom is midgrade fever -- just keep hydrated and try to sleep as much as possible and if the fever gets too high then try a fever reducer after that. If I could record what goes through my dreams when I have a fever - we would have some awesome movies to show. Now, it has finally passed.. with just some sinus issues outlasting. So again I am left with an actual day off to look around the house and wonder what to do. I'm still not terribly 'perky' but at least I'm up and doing things like laundry, putting away some toys and sorting through my projects.

I have done a little knitting but nothing to show off yet, maybe in another week. I knew the fever had gotten bad when I couldn't even knit more than a few rows of stockinette before needing to sleep again -- so I did.. when I could and when there weren't little feet poking my back and little hands trying to force my arms off the bed etc.

I could play at my sewing table and make another dirndl or Cinderella type dress -- both of which were worn the past few days by Esme. I have a lovely piece of red heavy upholstery cotton bought over a year ago for cheap - about three yards. It started out stiff and scratchy but has been washed many times and wandered about the house being a blanket, a chair cover - and was a sort of cloak yesterday when I went out with it yet again from the laundry room. I think it would make a wonderful 3/4 length hooded cloak for myself - without too much alteration from the form it is in right now, actually. I'm just not sure if I have the confidence to cut into it without a set pattern.

I've been playing this maze game with Esme, her playmobil toys and the small blocks Grandma gave us for Christmas. Esme has a lot of fun with these 'mazes' and 'hiding' and 'rescues'.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Typical day 38 months

Someone on Esme's forum asked what a typical day was for the rest of us...
so here it is, for lately in the winter months this is what we do every day. We watch a lot more TV now than we ever used when she was younger - but we still have times during the day we don't have anything on and she has to just accept that and find something to do. Even when it is on she is not glued to the set all of the time - because she knows what we have by heart. We have no broadcast TV at all - it is all dvds in our collections.

6:30-8:30 am: wake up by leaning on me over the side of our bed 'Mumum it morningtime - get up! I need apple jack bowl. I hungry! I need socks. Here's my drink cup. Fill it up! I need butt change, here pants. Here socks. Here shirt, no I like pretty shirt NO SHIRT. Ok, shirt. Come mumum... butt change, apple jack bowl!' etc etc. It gets more and more urgent and pleading until she decides it is time to crawl up on me and shake me some. I might get attacked by a dragon or get a kitty toy put on me etc etc... Usually I distract her with a few tasks before that - getting the socks and pants, or a diaper or drink cup all rounded up and ready to come with us. She is very good about not going elsewhere in the house until she has successfully roused Mom - but I'm pretty good about not falling back to sleep on her, as well. Rarely she wakes up before dawn and I have to argue with her about it not being light out yet - and she needs to go back to bed or read a book. She usually does - until just the very first light comes, and after that she won't take that as an excuse. If I have to go to work take the time after 7 or 9 am and hand it to Daddy until I get home. She will often argue with me about going to work and I will tell her they will get mad at me and I can't buy her fish stick if I don't go - so she gives me hug and kiss and says 'bye bye have a good day see you later.'

8:30-11 am: She eats her breakfast, gives the leftover milk to the dog, and helps bring the dishes downstairs with us. She will come downstairs with us several times during the morning and gets drink cup refilled, asks for cookies or crackers or wash her hands. She may have her first tantrum in here and be threatened to go outside or put back to bed - she complies 98% of the time and straightens up. There is usually a diaper change in there or use the potty or both. She will watch a movie or several episodes of a cartoon DVD and play with miscellaneous toys some requiring more participation from us than others. She asks for things, sings songs with me if I'm here, and asks if we are going to town or to see Grandma. Daddy may lay down for an extra nap if he needs to - and Mumum will play with Esme.

11 am - 1 pm: She will ask for lunch, sometimes decide on something and help Daddy prepare it, bring it upstairs and watch TV with him while they eat. She will watch me and/or him play on computer for a bit, read a book, play dollhouse, ask to draw or build or use playdough. If it is a Mom day home and nice we might go see Grandma between now and 3 pm for a visit. Sometimes we go out for lunch if we are going shopping on a day home, or even the library. Mom might start a project or go looking for one online. She is telling us she needs to be changed more often now right after it happens - so we are getting closer for her potty training to take better root.

2pm - 5 pm: Various TV old favorites may play, something Daddy wants to watch and Esme doesn't, or vintage cartoons or Electric Company. She usually gets involved in lots of toys or running around with the animals, helping us do laundry and/or dishes, sweep the house, play with Grandma at her house. She might ask to do letters or more playdough or blocks or toy family/dollhouse etc. She watches us work on our computers and work at our workstations. She tries to get us to play with her every minute and sometimes has to be told no - we are busy. She rides the dog and torments the cats and asks for snowballs and wash her hands and pull up her socks and 'can't pull' when she gets in dozens of precarious situations. She will ask for approximately three to five snacks in this time period and bring her own spoons/dishes etc to the sink and throw away her trash - but has to be reminded to pick up toys between her activities. She will usually be good about pick up put away if she wants something she has to ask for and we use it as a bargaining lever. She gets VERY VERY active and physical in the mid to late part of the day - she runs all over and climbs on things and drags things around the room... It can get exhausting!

5pm - 7pm: Daddy might be making dinner and sometimes Mumum is just coming home from work. If I'm not home yet she might be napping while he makes the dinner. She never takes a nap when I am home unless we have been out and about and done lots of things. She will usually throw a tantrum if Mumum is coming home - especially if Mum doesn't pay attention to her immediately and has groceries or lunch dishes to put away etc etc... We will all eat dinner together and then split the leftovers to the animals. She will help us bring things downstairs. She may throw another tantrum if she is getting tired. I will ask her if she needs to go bathtub with bubbles - and sometimes she will agree, sometimes we'll pass and sometimes I'll demand it.

7pm - 11pm: Sometimes I get home from work in this time period and she is already fast asleep - usually on my part of the bed on my blanket. If she wakes up I play with her and/or work at my workstation and/or a mixture of both. She will get changed to new and/or night clothes and her face and hands washed and her hair brushed sometimes if I wasn't able to convince her into a full bath. We might call Nana in Minnesota who talks on the phone at night. We may clean up or at least make her bed and get everything ready. She might throw a HUGE fit if she has been bad (trying to get attention by knocking something over or refusing to do something required like clear her bed or table or throw her food to the dog etc.) If she has done this we make her go sit in her bed too early, or ask her to settle down because we are settling down with handwork or reading etc... Sometimes we read a few books, but more often she asks for a bedtime type movie (cinderella, pinocchio, muppet show) something she knows every word and song in and she will begin to get blinky watching it and fall asleep between 9 and 11 at night. I get her into her bed before or after this moment with a fresh diaper, drink cup on her shelf, her frog and her blanket around her. Her kitten curls up behind her back and she reaches out her little fingers and I touch fingertips with her and she falls asleep.

A typical scene at our house just before she goes to sleep
The Suki cat sleeps here with her most nights.

The baby gate is still up behind the bed actually mostly to keep the dogs out of her bed and most of her room where they would like to chew up her toys and blocks. It has worked pretty well - but she is a monkey and OFTEN crawls on TOP of the bed and over the gate to the table top. But, at least she is agile enough now to do this successfully.


Lining up her markers

Using each marker once before setting it in line

Esme has this weird 'process' behavior when she is playing often. It's what Mark calls her 'accountant' behavior. She will open every single marker in succession - putting the cap in a pile, drawing a line, standing up the marker in a line with the others, until all the markers are used. Then she draws for a few seconds to a minute - then we make her put them away if she is going to do something else.

But when she plays with her little figures the process does not take over - she plays with them riding horses and sitting in chairs and needing keys to get in the door of the house, riding in cars and flying in planes, eating food, taking baths in teacups and giving kisses and hugs. I love these Playmobil '1 2 3' figures we bought for her when she was about two. I had 'old' Playmobil when I was a kid (klicky) cowboys, horses and indians - so I was already biased towards them before I bought this set for her. I'm even more impressed now after a year or more.

Baby doll riding horse

Most of the figures have survived up until now because I was diligent about finding them when they were missing. Thus, she also finds it important to keep them where we can see them or help me find them when they are missing. They are easy to clean and hair and junk does not stick to them. None of them have ever come apart. She also has a family of older 'Loving family' dollhouse mom, dad and baby. They sometimes are included with the playmobil family (grandparents and little girls, baby, dog, horse, cow, pig) and the Schleich cat I bought her for Christmas as her entire 'family' set to have adventures with. Now, combined with the dollhouse and it's furniture (a used set given to her for Christmas by a 'Santa' Claus) they have chairs and beds and an oven to cook donuts in :)

Snow in Tennessee 2011

It said we got 3 to 6 inches last night - it sure is deep and all over the trees!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Esme the doctor

Last night when she bumped her head I told her 'oh let's see it' and held her head still to look at her bump. Last night when I started feeling very poorly I told her my head 'ow'ed' and it was hot and my hands were cold so I was sick and should go to sleep. She grabbed my head in both hands and said 'oh let's see -- oh let's see it' and tried to look at my teeth and chin and feel my forehead. She then told me 'oh you're alright.' haha.. just like when I told her her head was going to be fine.

And she tucked me in with my blanket 'tuck tuck' you go sleep mumum. This morning she was trying to get me to play dolls with her and I told her I was still sick that I needed to drink lots to feel better. She looked at the cup and said 'drink mumum - you drink it all down now! drink!' And I did. And then she decided we needed refills.

Her temperature is 99.9 right now as well, which mine was last night and it is fluctuating between 98 and 100.3 over time. Mark is still normal - which for us is 96.5 to 97... so it is a noticeable fever. We all run 'cold' and I tested all of us to get an accurate comparison. I hope to get lots of fluids in her when she wakes up - she went right to bed at 4:00 when Mark came home from bringing grandma back from the hospital. Grandpa is there for a while for them to watch him. This is a pretty bad bug!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

little bits

There is a lot more imagination going on - just all over the place. The other day she saw a bra laying with the clothes and said it was a butterfly, it go fly fly fly. She was disappointed when I pointed out what it really was! When she was in the bathtub tonight she told me the flowers were all gone - I told her they had died and she said 'they boomed! pow pow pow! booooom all gone!' complete with 'six-shooter' type hand gestures. She has been watching too many Looney Tunes. She saw Daddy smoking his pipe the other day and said 'oh no a FIRE save me protect me it burn up it FIRE seee--moke!' She sees him smoke it many times a day but wanted to pretend it was a fire that time. In her Fantasia DVD there is a part where there is lava and fire burning things and she has been crying 'save me' during that part and making me hold on to her for a little while - but it isn't real fear, just pretend playing.

She has also learned tonight how to sneak up on Daddy like Elmer Fudd - 'be very very quiet, we are hunting Daddys' - complete with hunching down on tiptoe with hands out like a T-Rex to sneak up quietly and then when she catches him she tickles him and kisses at him. Haha! Then she tells me to 'try that - you try that! come come come!'

She had a pen tonight and we asked her to find the cap for it because it was gone. She said it was 'over there', pointed in the direction of her toybox (with the trash can beyond it) and then turned around and wouldn't answer me. She sat down on her chair with her back to me and crossed her arms and refused to go find it. I think she has thrown it away and is not sure what to say. When Daddy told her he was serious go find it she said 'oh no!' and came to hide in my lap but she would not find it... so I really do think she threw it away.

I asked her where my eyeballs were earlier because Daddy showed me an awful thing on Reddit. I said I had lost them on the floor and she had to find them. She found these little cup and ball things Grandma had sent down that have black spheres on the end of little strings. She held them up and said 'here eyeball - put back!'. Very funny. She thought it was funny, too - and was quite proud of herself for finding something that 'fit the bill' of the joke.

She is learning the 'aweem a way' part to In the Jungle and will sing more of the Witch Doctor song and 'Ding dong the witch is dead'. It's odd what songs she actually picks up on and most others she just says 'uh uh' and won't say at all. Right after I got home tonight she was running in front of me in the kitchen and tripped over a ball in front of us and smacked herself on the floor. I was all worried but before a minute had passed she was asking for ravioli again. She has a lump but then I saw her try to ride Bunny dog later and thump down on the floor on her arm -- so she's going to thump herself whether I'm in the immediate vicinity or not... *sigh* good thing they're made of rubber at this age (Mark says this a lot).

We also have a bit of a milestone - she asked to pee on the big potty today and didn't cry and scream after being placed there. She didn't actually go but she tried and didn't cry even a little bit about it - so... we're making some progress at her own pace.

I am waiting on Wednesday for a day off - and for all this weather to be done with. It is impending snow again tomorrow and the next day. And we are sending good thoughts to Grandpa that the doctor can give him something for his cold!

Simplicity 6242
is a pretty good description of what I've altered my Butterick 2194 to be
but available in other sizes.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Snow again

Snow in 2011

It snowed again, and it is still stuck today. I was almost stuck yesterday, but a neighbor got the vehicle up the hills and Mark didn't need to come fetch me in the freezing temperatures. I have today off and we have mostly stayed inside. It is noon now, and Mark says he was thinking about going to town... not sure about that!

closeup of ice crystals

Suki in the snow

I was taking pictures and heard a very loud meowing - and here she was.

The gloves I finished a few weeks ago and have been wearing often

Esme is talking quite a bit more again, singing, naming her toys (two orange cars are now Nikki and Bob.... and they get stuck places a lot and call the other one for help). I am making her brush her hair once and maybe twice a day - and she doesn't like it but we show her we do it too. I've been thinking of making her a set of penguins out of felt, a daddy and a baby like her playdough ones that went 'bye bye' when they dried out. She told me one of her fairy dollies from Christmas was a boy today - and the other one she had was a little girl. She has had lots of stories with all of her animals - her 'Mac' doggie (the first toy she named, a few months ago, after a Clifford character) and 'Suzy' kitty (I named her) and Big Sheep and Mr.Frog and Dragon and the playmobil grandma/grandpa/little girl and Panda Bear and all the other characters that proliferate about the household here.

She helped me sweep some and we have watched both Cinderella and Snow White already today. I am getting lots of hugs and being climbed on, brought toys, asked for jellybeans etc etc.. And when we settled down on the electric blanket during Cinderella she snuggled up for a little while :) Nice day at home.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Work hard, play hard, sleep hard

Pictures from a few days ago.

Work hard,
HEAVE! Pulling all of her toys around the room in a big bucket

play hard,

Playdough kangaroos go hop hop hop to Mommy

sleep hard
napping on Mom's pillow and blanket...
smells like Mom here.

She didn't want me to go to work again this morning -- I told her they would get mad at me and not let me buy fish sticks if I didn't go to work - so she gave me a hug and kiss and said 'have good day' even though she really wanted to play. She was asleep again when I got home from work. Daddy said she has been very busy all day long while I was gone. I'm working on a pair of pants that have been sitting on my worktable for a few weeks. I'm thinking of making another one of these 'Cinderella' type dresses for her again because the red one is a bit bulkier and this one is just so perfect... The dogs ripped the back ties off of the cow dress and it is wearable but does have a hole in the back of it. *sigh*

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


January 18, 2011
'To Sing and Fly'
'Esme calls it a monster who sleeps ;)

Took a few hours off today because I was getting a headache and sales were slow anyway... took a hot bath and Mark was very sweet bringing me coffee and making pizza. I washed and brushed out Esme's hair (which of course, she didn't like) but then she got a lollipop and came upstairs to put on cow dress and watch a cartoon on Mom and Dad's bed. She fell asleep before the pizza was out of the oven. She has a piece ready to reheat when she wakes up.

I saw another print on an artist's website that looked EXACTLY like one of the drawings I had made before. And now I know why. That artist was probably looking at the same 'musculature and skeletal anatomy' book of animals that I was - and subconsciously copied the stance and features of the rabbit when drawing. (Mark asks how I know it is the same rabbit and not just 'a' rabbit... leaving it at saying once you see a picture of muscle-structure only it kind of 'sticks' with you and it looks nothing like a normal picture of a rabbit) I went back and looked through my old drawings (haven't forgotten your request Henry) and there is just SO much there... and not there at the same time. One of my drawings says at the bottom that it is asking 'where do I go - the visions I saw in my head - what do I do with them?'... There is a lot of 'seeking' and 'asking' in the pictures... empty hands and staring into holes in midair. That was several years ago, and I have not drawn much of that lately.

Should sit down and try to draw some more - look through the same old books and drawings and constellation maps, math, geometry, anatomy, ancient languages... it was all coming out into those drawings. I would draw random lines on the paper and it would just 'appear' in the lines -- filling in every little bit until it looked like I sat down and planned it all out to come into one 'multitude' of figures joined in a story. There was often a small bit of prose underneath each drawing to tell something more about it than a 'title' could by itself.

Reading back on these it is like I was seeking some key to the Universe *ha*... Maybe it doesn't come out as much now not just because of less time to do things in - but because I have more important things in the RIGHT NOW, Mark and Esme and all the precious moments that fill the days. The Universe can explain itself later, if it isn't explaining itself to me right now, in that sweetness when we are all together and snug.

These are just a few of hundreds of drawings that are now in file folders in our storage room - they were saved and brought back here when I went to Minnesota with Mark...

This was one of the drawings in my art show in March 2004 in Fargo, ND:

September 3, 2003
Where do I go?
The question is where do I go?
What do I do with what was said?
The thoughts that came into my mind...

Also from the show:

February 2004
One can receive knowledge without necessarily understanding it.
Construction and Deconstruction within a dream, The dream possesses some knowledge, constructed from fragments, the contents of this knowledge, it passes to me, and yet I do not understand.

And these were done later the same year.

'September, 2004
Seed (growing) Magic in the Seeds of Life, All from one rises, together and apart, forms and reforms, as if by magic, these seeds of life, they grow.

November 2004
'Can I reach beyond? Can I be enabled? learning, dreaming, creating... will I make it?

There are also a set of very telling drawings from the time I came to be with Mark (January 2007) and all of the way up to Esme's birth (November 2007). Those drawings say 'everything' about me, but not to everyone I'm sure. Someday they may become a book that will show all the depth and strong emotion that was coming out at that time.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Purple Yellow Yarn Cardigan

handknit cardigan - 3 years

This is my first handmade completed sweater, ever! I've learned a lot in my dressmaking adventures that has helped me to make this one fit pretty well.

Esme's choice of yarn for part of her Christmas present from Nana in Minnesota - although she didn't know that :) She had a gift card from Nana and the toy she chose wasn't enough to use all of it - so I asked her to pick a yarn that wouldn't blind Daddy like the bright pink from her scarf. She picked this color and called it 'purple yellow yarn.' Eventually, I knew what I wanted to make for her out of it.

This is the 'seed stitch cardigan' from the Lion Brand Yarn website. But it is altered, of course, being me. The pattern has pattern pictures and measurements in it instead of just 'k1p1' type instructions all the way through. I am awful at following knitting instructions bit by bit - I want to look at the whole pattern like a dressmaking pattern... so that was perfect for me. I was able to knit to match the measurements with this yarn (Red Heart Melonberry multicolor) and make changes to it by treating it like a fabric pattern. I had size 10 needles, even though the pattern called for size 8... so I was further in 'No-Man's Land' to following the pattern at all. I had laid the front panel on top of her while she slept on our bed one night and it didn't even go up to her shoulder.... I added the 'peppered' seed stitch shoulder panels because I knew it wouldn't go over her handmade dresses. When I had done that altering the sleeve was not hard at all - and adding on two inches to the length of each sleeve because my measuring tape said their 10 inches was much too short for her! Seeing it on her I am very glad I did lengthen them - they are just right.

I would knit the collar on AFTER the buttonbands next time - not before. It is much too small for the rest of the sweater. In fact, it could be removed and redone. I am going to recast on and make some loose ribbing on the bottom for a few inches to keep it from flipping up like it is doing. I hope I'll get a good 'after' picture :) She does like it and put it on pretty readily after I had hidden her other coat at Grandma's *ha* Once she heard that was her 'new jacket' she put it on and didn't fuss looking for the one she had worn in. Mumum does things like that!

other note: The buttons are vintage somethings from a box of buttons Diana at work gave to us. I thought they were so pretty.. and so glad I could use them on something.

back of the cardigan
worn over handmade tieback 'Cinderella' dress and handmade pants

side and shoulder
Added more here so it would fit over handmade dresses

NOTE: While Esme watched Pinocchio tonight (and was entranced) I picked up the bottom edge on six double pointed needles and knit a 3-1 ribbing all around. It worked! It looks great and I hope it will still fit just as fine (it should). I don't think I'll mess with the collar - it is a functional garment and it will get a lot of good use :)

The whole cardigan took about a week of 'in-between' times, lunch hours and breaks at work and a few days off when I asked Esme to 'let Mumum work' during some parts of the day -- something I usually can't let myself do because I feel so guilty about it! She was giving me two of all of her toys today while I was trying to put the last row and bind-off on that ribbing... and I felt so guilty not playing with her - especially when she gave me the 'far-off sadness' look and THEN... of course... when I stopped knitting and gave her my full attention - she didn't want to play with ME, she was 'busy' with her lincoln logs throwing them between containers. ha. mirror child - what I give I get. She is sitting in bed now watching Cinderella and snuggling Daddy and nearly asleep.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

little words and larger ideas

Esme has surprised me SO much the past few days -- definitely another language spurt going on, now she is using some of the little words (with/for/so/there/all/now) and more phrases we've said for a long time but she has never used on her own.

'You're silly - not a dragon - you the daddy!'
'Daddy I fix - you the rebot (robot) (bloop bloop - push "buttons" on chest) - there I fixed - Daddy you fixed!'
'Mumumum you come with downstairs get apple jack bowl! You cold? Here - you get coat (tosses blanket at me)- here - you put on - you PUT ON coat, come with, downstairs apple jack bowl bring upstairs sit on Tee (sit down and turn on tv)'
To us while we sit in our chairs at our desks : 'Mumum - you play with yarn? (knitting.. yes!) Daddy - you play with orange juice?' (haha - not quite right - but she was trying to compare)
'I put in the hamper - I put - I did it - I put it IN THERE.'
'You make the coffee Mumum? This coffee cup. It empty! You drink ALL? Good job mumum you drink all it empty - go put in sink! We come with (go together) (she gets her drink cup and tells me to get mine and prepares to march with me downstairs to do our drink cup manipulations together)'
'Daddy - you fill up the drink cup - thank you Daddy! You good job fill up the drink cup it all fill up!' (he did it when she didn't see)
'You take IT. TAKE! That's better. I take. We come with.'

When asked to find four quarters so she could bring them to get a chicken leg tomorrow she wrinkled her little nose at me in deep thought. Then she said 'I got it!' and went and asked Daddy for a quarter. He gave her a dollar (big!) and we said it was the same as four quarters and she had to put it in her music box so she could get a chicken leg - and don't lose it! and don't let a kitty or a doggie eat it! She put it in the music box for a while, then took it out and showed the mouse inside the music box 'I got a DOLLAR! I got a dollar!' and then asked for a quarter for her jellybeans... Daddy said she could give the dollar to Mumum and get FOUR jellybeans tonight, or save it until morningtime and get a chicken leg. She wrinkled her little nose again and thought hard - and then found her dinosaur book and put the dollar inside there with lots of 'rars' and 'you go RAR - bite - no fighting!' to the dinosaurs in the book on every page. I think she wanted the dinosaurs to protect the dollar from the doggies and kitties and wasn't sure what the mouse in the music box was going to do with it! It is still in the book, I think. She also told me that all the dinosaurs in the book were actually dinosaurs (instead of dragons) except for the pictures of them as bones - those are 'dragon parts'. I am not sure at all where that comes from.. or the idea that Daddy was a 'rebot'(robot) earlier and she had to fix him. Her imagination is really taking off!

And she is the most polite three-year-old we've ever met with her thank yous and you're welcomes. That's wonderful :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Happy birthday Grandma :)

Mark and Esme might come visit you a little later today, and bring something I have here. I had Esme call you on the phone because she didn't want to sit still at all for a picture this morning. I mostly got pictures of her dragging her toy bucket around, things flying through the air, and the back of her head as she said 'Happy birthday' and turned away from the camera at the same time. Ha. Yes, mumum and daddy are shutterbugs and she is learning the Greta Garbo pose.

I noticed another uptick in her language starting yesterday (probably before). She is saying things like 'Here, you take it. Take it!', 'Get out of there, get out from in there, kitty. What are you doing in there, kitty?' and 'pull socks up please', 'come with - we go downstairs.' All of those are more complete than she has done before. She has also begun a bit further abstract thinking. In 'morningtime' she told me to get up - and I said I was cold. She told me to get up out of bed and put on my coat (a blanket I wear downstairs around my shoulders', tugged the blanket off the bed and shoved it at me. She corrected it to 'blanket' but was insistent it was a 'coat' at first, because of how I use it. She has started to get more of 'witch doctor (oo ee oo ah ah, ting tang, walla walla bing bang)' song memorized but won't do it very much for Daddy. Last night when I got home she came with me downstairs and said 'Ravioli, where are you? You in fridge? Ravioli?' in a ploy to get a snack. 'Pizza? I like the pizza. yea, I like it.' but then she didn't eat the quarter of a mini pizza I gave up to her on an extra plate. I had just come home late from work - so she just wanted to be with me and be involved.

Now she is demanding Mr.Frog be dressed up in her clothes again and walk around the house with her. She has been having more 'discussions' with him and hugging him while she sits in her bed watching Cinderella at night, long before she uses him as a pillow to go to bed. Now they are sitting having 'tea' and talking about the weather (It snow, you see the snow?') and she gave him a kiss when I took the last picture here because (You frog, Grandma see you!).

Frog wear dress
(Her idea - I put it on him for her)

Frog sit chair

Frog have tea
(I found her teapot and a cup for her - she asked for plates and food)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

little bits and pieces

The other day Mark thought Esme was getting a cavity in her front canine tooth - but I think it was just a dark bit of something stuck there, because it is gone now and there is just white tooth. He is really worried she will have 'bad teeth' like he did as a child - cavities everywhere at an early age etc. I do have a dental plan for her now but have yet to find a dentist in this rural area that will accept it - have not done much hard looking, yet, though. I have to do that for myself, as well, and have not yet gotten to it. I don't want to drive to Jackson just for a cleaning!

It is snowing outside again - this weather really has me upside-down. I know I lived most of my life in an environment full of snow half the year, and yet it freezes me with fear now that I might have to get Mark out there to dislocate the vehicle from a ditch - and Esme is still so little etc...

She woke up at 1 this morning and told me it was morningtime. She cried loudly because I told her it wasn't. The rule is you have to be able to see the trees outside for the sun to be up - and that is morningtime. If it is not morningtime (or some other emergency) we sleep in our beds, or at least lay in them and read books etc... She said 'I cry!' and I asked her why - did she hurt or was she scared and she just kept saying 'I cry!' and laying her head and arms down over my arms in my bed and trying to sleep standing up without success. She went back to her bed for about an hour, after Daddy asked her if she wanted to sleep inside or outside (ha - it works as a threat tactic), and was back at my side again asking to sleep on me, but not crying loudly. She hasn't done this in a VERY long time, if ever- ask to sleep in our bed. I think she had a bad dream but couldn't remember what was bad about it when she woke up. Most of the time when she has a nightmare she stays in her bed and cries, and I go ask her what is wrong and tuck her back in and she is fine. _I_ was having a bad dream the first time she woke me up. It was about kittens in aquariums and being unable to get them out... a recurring dream for me, that or fish in the air and unable to get them back IN... ((I have an odd brain, but that is well documented.)) Maybe she woke up because she sensed my nightmare. I wouldn't put that past her, as she is sensitive. She slept draped over my side and shoulders until 5 am when she would finally go back to her bed and sleep until 'morningtime' when the sun was up. I was luckier than that, she slept until 9 am ;)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A green feather

Esme has found a green feather from her craft kit and is playing with the air vents. And then she got it stuck on her head and couldn't find it! HAHA. She has been playing this game for about a half hour tossing it, brushing it, waving it.... watching it flutter with the mysterious air out of the vent. This is another one of those 'little scientist' moments I love to see as she grows -- why does it do this? what is it doing? what else does it do? Now she is having me blow it through the air and doing it herself - then comparing it back to what happens at the vent.

seeing what it does

took her a few seconds to find it

playing 'boo'

part of her expression after being shown the picture with the feather on her head

Monday, January 10, 2011

january 10th

This is the day we celebrate as our anniversary. Four years ago, we came together in a sort of modern fairy tale, and we are both much happier for it. Mark told me a few days ago he was happier now than he ever was before. We have daily and hourly Hurricane Esme, which was part of the plan. Thank you for everything, Mark - and our continued journey into the world as we make it.


Sunday, January 09, 2011

little bits and pieces

This morning Esme made me laugh really hard. She has been asking me to make penguins out of playdough - a daddy penguin and a baby. The daddy needs a 'hat' - she says. They eat donuts, she says. The donuts get cooked in the oven of the dollhouse. She took the 'daddy' penguin over to the calendar that is still up from last month, which has stickers of penguins wearing hats. She holds him up next to the other penguins and compares my 'work of art' to those -- gets an odd look on her face, then starts telling me they have hats and this 'penguin' needs a hat. But she was definitely trying to see what the similarity was between the two that made them both penguins.

We also made bunny rabbits and elephants, mothers and babies, yesterday of playdough. She asks for what she wants - and I try to make it. All the mothers and babies introduced each other, gave hugs and played ball. She told the baby elephant it could fly - and it said it didn't know how. So she went and dug around in her room until she found her mumum angel wing cow and it gave the baby lessons. Later at night she dug around in her room again and found the 'baby' cow she got for her birthday and the mumum and baby cow had donuts in the dollhouse and did a lot of playacting falling down, feeding, going to sleep etc etc. Her playacting between moms and dads and babies is SO cute - hugs and help and daily routine.

She is taking another language leap - more in understanding and some in spoken. She understood what I meant about her soup being too hot that is why I gave her dry cereal beside it to eat until it got 'not hot'. She was fussing about it being hot and stopped, thought about what I said, and said 'oh okay...' and started to eat the cereal. Last night it was too cold in the bathroom for a full bath and she threw a HUGE fit about that - as expected.. but after she said her pajamas were warm upstairs I reminded her I was saying she needed her pajamas because the bathroom was too cold.. and she stopped, looked me in the eyes, and hugged me in an odd clinging 'I'm limp but don't let me go' way for a while before calming right down.

Her baby kitty woke her up in the middle of the night by rubbing up against her. She does this often. I told Mark to take a look, as the cat was demanding attention from the sleeping girl. The kitty and her tried about three different positions and then Esme, still half-asleep, said something incomprehensible, picked the cat up and threw her on the floor, pulled her blankets back around herself, and went back to sleep. The cat crept back up and settled at her feet smugly. Mark and I both laughed as quietly as we could so we wouldn't wake her up.

This morning her frog had fallen out of bed and she told him 'oh.. don't worry, don't worry, I've got you little one. There. You go sleep.' and put him back on her pillow. She has been saying 'Now I've got you!' in a dramatic voice often to her toys during playfights. She repeats a lot of strange cartoon things out of her old Disney and warner brothers cartoons, including tom and jerry and mickey mouse and donald duck etc.. Mark has collections that go all over the place - 1940s and up. Esme likes baseball and was repeating the 'windup' from a goofy short the other day to Grandpa, but she wouldn't do it for Grandma and I. She also saw a tree across the legs of someone in a cartoon and did that to me at home with the broom saying 'I stuck I stuck - a tree fall down and I stuck!' I rolled my eyes at her but laughed.

She also had her army men after the dragon yesterday. But the dragon isn't always mean - and I had one of the army men make up with the dragon, give him hugs and tell the other army men not to be mean to him. She wasn't sure what to do with that - but after a few minutes she got on board and the dragon was a nice dragon who licked the army men and the dragon was dancing to her music box. He opened it with his nose, so she opened it with her nose the next time.

I really love her imagination, her compassion and her very very sweet nature.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Red dirndl

Simplicity 8714 (right)
Simplicity 5169 (center)
Butterick 2194 (left)

I used most of the pattern pieces out of 8714 (right), with alterations to look like 5169 (center) in the waist and a comparison to 2194 (left) for the size. All of the patterns are 1960-1975.

I trimmed 1/2 inch off of the neckline all around and added a center waist panel that was present in the other pattern, but not in this one. It seemed to be easily addable without any alterations to the main pattern. And it was. The upper sleeve cap from 5194 was compared to the modern sleeve pattern I have been using with Butterick 2194 (a fourth pattern indeed!) to make a long bell sleeve without the center stay gathers. I just couldn't see Esme wearing that actual gathered sleeve in reality -- not practical.

Did this yesterday - still need to put the zipper in at work today and try it on her when I get home. Overall it is the same length and bodice size as the Osaka dress - but it has a dropped waist.. we'll see! I added the ties because she usually needs them to keep the dress comfortably to-form as she moves around at high speeds ;) And Nova (the puppy) will pull on her dress sleeves to lead her around if she doesn't have back ties to grab hold of. The dress sleeves get perforated and Esme doesn't like her sleeves all wet and slobbery. They play often this way 'tug of tails' back and forth across the house.

I only had enough of the flowered fabric for the front of the waist - but it was a good use of a loud fabric. It is called 'Andalucia Earth' flowery fire stripe, by Patty Young.

Today: Got her to try on the red dress today saying Grandma would want to see it. She fussed a lot - because she wanted to stay in her pajamas. She still has a cold and has been fighting Daddy to put on anything but the blanket sleepers lately. I convinced her into it with crying and found that the second sleeve was a little hard to get 'quickly and easily' assembled without asking her for cooperation.

I think the dress would look a little stranger from the back if I gathered the skirt there higher than the skirt in the front - but it would be easier to get that second arm through the waist once she already has her first arm in. I could also extend the back line from armhole to skirt a bit on each side and it would be hidden in the ties without as much change in the look of the garment.

And some pictures of it on - it really moves with her well and she can get into any position (even crawling on the floor pretending to be a puppy) and it does not make her constricted. I do like that about old clothing patterns -- they are 'fancy' but not impractical if chosen well (and properly altered).

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

little jobs and dress notes

I've been doing some of the little jobs at my workstation and not anything big - finishing the gloves, tying in ends on scarves and dishcloths, putting a drawstring in a pair of pants.. etc etc. It's those little jobs that always get set aside and I keep reminding myself to do them over and over again.

I really do need to get into the next dress for Esme - maybe this weekend. I bought the dirndl patterns (with the gathered waist and sleeves) just before Christmas and I have red fabric set aside for it. Other patterns I liked...

These are like the last one I made for Esme. She still loves the Osaka dress and will even run to me to get the ties redone when Nova unties them. It still fits her quite well even when she is so active running around the house. I would like the waist to be lower so it does not look as 'formal.'

A few more photos of her with her dollhouse and furniture. I think they really show off the dress and the last one she has a very certain 'hmm' look as she looks over her shoulder at the dogs by the door.

playing with the dollhouse

This has quarters!

Nova has grown so much!

Can I sit there?

mousies sit here

stay in drawer!

Call Nana on the phone and tell her about the dollhouse!