Saturday, November 30, 2013


I think the other day how 'big' Esme is and yet also how small she still is.  Like when she was trying to cut a piece of bread with her knife - trying to cut it in half and ended up sawing it, with much difficulty, into two pieces, one 3/4 and one 1/4, and looking at it hanging together with a crust as if 'Why is this so hard when it looks so easy?'  And I see how small her hands still are compared to mine, even though they have grown so much.

Esme is sitting in the back seat of the car with the sun shining on her face.  Mama, the sun is choosing me.  It is ch-o-sing me!  Just like the moon talked to Jack Frost and chose him, the sun is talking to me and chosing me to be a hero.  What will I do?  How can I be a hero?  Mama, what is the sun chosing me for?

She has me tie two pipe cleaners around a glittery water ball she has - after being upset that one pipe cleaner comes off each time she tries, and she can't tie it tight enough.  I tie the second around it, and she is certain it won't work - she stomps off.. I tell her to pay attention, that she needs to pay attention to see how I do this because I learned it by paying attention.  'When you was a child?'  Yes - when I was a child, and even now, I pay attention to learn things.  I get it tied, and she takes it to her room and into her bed, which the canopy is now covered with her large blanket so it is dark inside.  It is a tent - like the gypsies have, to tell fortunes.  Look into my crystal ball, Mama.  To see the future? No, to see yourself, as a child.  Ah.. so I am from the future seeing myself as a child?  Yes, Mama. I tell her I had a dream when I was a child that I was sitting on top of my swingset and a lady from the future came and told me lots of things, including that my little girl I would have would have a name starting with 'E'.. but it was a dream, and I always wondered if the lady was me, and if I had built a time machine, but I have never done that yet.  And then she got big eyes and said 'Mama, it was me.  I built the time machine.  And I saw you as a child!'  So, we have that to look forward to... and anyway, it is a nice dream.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

inch of water

About 2 am there was a roaring sound downstairs, and the washing machine hose had disintegrated off of the valve in the wall, sending water out like a fire hose all over the garage, and building up an inch of water in Esme's room, the storage room, the bathroom and edging into the kitchen... but we stopped it before it got into the cabinets.  About 100 gallons of water picked up later we are starting to repair the washing machine and dig everything out of Esme's room that might mold and replace the flooring.  The flooring here was designed to keep the concrete floor warmer, but be easily replaceable in case there was a drainage problem from the garage door again... which happened several years ago.  We just didn't expect it to be from a non Mother Nature source in the middle of winter....

Esme was a bit upset that she lost her big horse stuffed toy, a special teddy bear and a few other things that were on the floor and full of water.  She decided she needed to add on to her Santa drawing from a few days ago and tell him what happened.

A quick 'after' shot, new flooring down, new closet rod - warm and dry in Esme's room again.
Now we have to work on the washing machine, which is a bit harder fix than we thought it would be...

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Plan for a Tiger

Esme's plan for a tiger, and the resulting toy sans shirt .. she decided his eyes should be more like the pink dog I made for her friend's birthday - and I took a good look at the cartoon character she was trying to emulate with her drawing.  I do love her drawing :)

Early morning hugs and cat face rubs, as well. This was just after her and the cat went to the moon in the spaceship toy we made last Christmas. Really, she has a gift for herding cats - I'm not sure where that comes from.

Inspection from the Pollywog cat... 
I will need to make the red shirt tomorrow, perhaps.  Somebody would like me to try to make an owl, for their toddler, as well.. I'll see what I might be able to conjure up, especially if they provide me with a drawing.

Spud came home yesterday.  Daphne and Sweetie did not.  We're still holding out hope they are just waiting for it to not be stormy... but the other dogs are starting to get worried now - and fanning out over the property in little 'search parties' at times...  Spud came home with a dry head and no sign he had been fighting anything or into any roadkill etc... very worrisome with the girls still missing.

Friday, November 22, 2013


Esme's drawing of Santa Claus.  She hasn't written her letter yet, but she worked hard on this the other day.  I am still slowly climbing out of the sinus infection - it is going well, and I am trying to pay more attention to what I eat to see if that has a big effect or not.  Mostly I've been reading in my free time, instead of knitting or sewing.  There are things I want to do, but they seem like 'too much' at the moment... which means I'm still not up to full speed.  I've read Terry Pratchett - Wyrd Sisters, Lords and Ladies, Witches Abroad, Maskerade, The Wee Free Men, and am probably going to start on I Shall Wear Midnight today.  Esme had her book fair and brought home a book.  I'm starting to think about little things for Christmas and where we might find them.  I do need to start back with the knitting as one of those was a Chrsitmas gift.

Three of our dogs - Daphne, Sweetie and Spud went out before the storm yesterday and still are not back today.  Loula is on the porch watching for them... we are hoping they just found a hole during the storm and have not yet felt it was died down enough to make the trek home.  Or they found something dead in the woods, like a deer a hunter has left.  But, we're a bit worried for them.  It's not like Sweetie especially to be away from the house for very long at all.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

When toys play army

Esme and I had a toy war today - it was kind of like a game of chess, whoever was the winner of a fight that toy got thrown 'out'... and she won by sheer numbers.  For the record I brought up at least three items she stole when I wasn't looking... and then she went and got even more reinforcements.  It was pretty fun.. and ended in foam dart target shooting, as well... the pig was a ballistic missile which matched up to her cannon... but a lady doll came and seduced Spiderman and then ran off with the elephant (who had a water attack) behind enemy lines before we could catch her.  Quite the imagination.

She had been so VERY VERY wiggly and annoying for hours and hours before this - she needed something 'big', so when she said 'Mom, let's build'.. I said 'Yes, good idea.' 

The cough is going away a bit more for me, less drainage down from my nose - she has a little still... it was a very rainy day for most of the day so staying inside and finding things to do was on the agenda from the start.

She had a visit from her Grandma Irene - and she showed her toys and puppies and kittens.  I also had her draw a picture for her Nana in Minnesota - of an invention she called a 'duck catcher', a potato on a string - I have no idea where it all came from, but she drew herself sitting at an 'invention table' showing off the potato on a string with hearts and bumblebees all around.  I'm sending that with the letter and school picture to my mom...

Back to work tomorrow,

Thursday, November 14, 2013

days fly by

and the coughing hangs on...which bruised my ribs some yesterday and I am paying the price for it.  I don't have much crafting to report since the dragon puppet - I need to work on that pattern some more, need to make Esme a few more pairs of pants out of fabric I have, need to finish a second slipper sock for her...have that blanket I was working on that is stalled in halfway.

Esme and I talked this morning about the Christmas List she should write in a week or so - two or three items to 'ask' for.. like the spaceship and the giraffe last year.. and Santa will do his best to make something like it happen.  I told her I would also like her to think about what she would like to give Grandma this year, and Daddy.. and maybe buy something to give to the toy donation box for a child who will not get a toy this year.  I want to curb that 'greedy' I saw at her birthday, where she suddenly thought she was getting everything she ever wanted so she just had to keep sassily asking 'Hey, where is my toy?', 'Hey, why isn't there a cartoon on for me?' etc etc...  I showed her the typhoon victims, and a few other things that happened here in the U.S. (sinkhole house), and a few good things, like a baby rescued, and some informational videos mixed in about how things are made, how they saved a man from freezing water... those have been her topics in the morning instead of 'hey where is my cartoon'.  I see an effect, at least for now.  I want her heart to continue to grow with the rest of her body :) inside... and she seems to have taken another good look at how many toys she really has, and how much food and warm things she really has...

Nova dog also had ten puppies again today.  We knew she was 'along' again, but it was Mark's decision and he decided he wanted to see these puppies.  There are three this time that look like Daphne and Sweetie, and two more brown shade speckled... that is more 'speckled' than she has ever had at once.  That was the type of dog he was going for - speckled coat, blue eye/s and usually the brains come with that.  I do see much more 'brain' quality in these dogs we have than I ever have seen in others - they listen, they think, they tell you things... and they also go barking after squirrels at three in the morning howling their heads off.. but it is a different breed of coonhound than their mother is, that is for certain.  They have ideas, and so far the ones we have think pretty well as a team, in a very good way.

I am about to call into work to give my ribs another day to heal.  I slept on an icepack for a few hours last night and took ibuprofen... it stopped the 'pain like contractions every time I breathe' type pain... but it still feels like someone rammed me in the side of the ribs with knuckles... sore area, feel it when I cough just wrong or twist just wrong, or press on it.  Good news is that sounds like a bruise, not a fracture.  I'll probably get in trouble calling in for it but I was told yesterday that being there in pain like that was not good for anyone either... I looked like the death and like I was mad at the world... one of my grandmotherly friends there (who always is happy to talk to Esme and has good advice often) said she would hit me right in the ribs (nicely) if I came back in saying it was 'not so bad'... so I would go home and rest.  Nice.  Ha.  Well, at least she cares enough to tell the truth.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

At the last day of vacation

It is the last day of vacation.. and we haven't been able to truly enjoy the nine days, but they are just about over.  Esme has been intense, but her cough and etc. are about halfway better.  She really needs to go to school tomorrow...

We've had a couple of  'feeling better but too much sass' days... it would be much better if 1.) it was warmer outside and 2.) she didn't have a cough that just hangs on.  We read the level 3 Secret Garden easy reader together last night - and I hope she got some of the message in it.

We took her out for a ride on her bike on the road, raised the handlebars and the seat.. she was making really good progress on the level road riding up and down.  Of course she fell several times, got back on after the tears... seriously she was more upset it seemed at the prospect her bike bell might be broken then she was at falling over the handlebars and saying we were supposed to catch her...  She has good spirits about trying it again - we had taken the training wheels off but will probably put them back on for the next lesson at least to start.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Puppet prototype

This morning I sat down with a notebook, tape, scissors and a pen, then progressed to cutting and sewing scraps out of my bag over the course of several hours.  About three reworks later, attended to by Esme, this puppet was finally something that worked like a puppet should.

It was supposed to be a unicorn, but it turned out to be a dragon.

She said this one was a hug, and I had to include it.

There will have to be reworks in order to get the actual pattern 'right', but she likes this dragon as a finished product.  She thought his ears could have been better - and I didn't take much time on them because they were 'could be anything' type of thing - not needing as much work as the shape of a head or arm etc etc..  She said it is an ice AND fire dragon that eats sunlight.  His family is away on a picnic, and we are looking after him until they get back. 

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Felt airplanes ready to zoom off

An order for the toy shop, ready to zoom off in the mail tomorrow

Esme quotes:
So, you are working for the toy aisles at the (WM) now, instead of for the (store)?
Are you making the toys for children, like Santa does for Christmas?
They have two children, not one, right?
I don't like the boring over there (at the sewing table)...(after seeing them packed away and she didn't get to play with them).

List of new toys she would like.. and I might get time for them...
A set of three baby ducklings for her duck, preferredly green and yellow.
A pink unicorn hand puppet with a white belly and horn (she was specific.. apparently she has seen one)
One of these planes in pink and purple, but mostly the purple.

The list may sound a little demanding, but I get really good ideas from her.. she endeared me to the thought of the ducklings by saying they should be just the right size to tuck under the mama duck's wings.  And all this time making him I was thinking him the bachelor.. even the tailor sometimes is unawares, huh?  (Too much Pratchett)

I have been having a completely unfounded hankering to make an 'old style' rag doll again with old fashioned embroidered hair and face... I remember the one I made when I worked at Michaels and embroidered my name across the back and the date - and then gave it to a little girl of a lady who worked there who fell in love with it.

She was home today and was a ball of wax, as usual... Kindergarten has really changed her attitudes to nearly everything, and some of it not for the better.  But, she turned around pretty well at least by noon - and stopped being such a drama queen.  She brought me my glasses when I was sewing and made several comments... played Minecraft and tried to build a zoo (when she was still in her cranky stage) and even told me at one point that she loved green beans (by which I wondered if I had a changeling!) which precluded her walking dinner drinks upstairs for us and being quite lovely most of the rest of the night...  She read her Spiders book Grandma gave her for her birthday and did extremely well.  It is Lexile 380, and she only had a word or two she didn't know.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Sixth birthday

 Esme turned six yesterday, and we brought food into her class and had a pizza and presents with Grandma later in the evening.  She had been a little sick the day before, so I was worried she wouldn't get to enjoy her birthday - but she did :) 

 Purple cupcakes and cheetos, and the walrus, up above.

A classic 'Esme' look  She looks just like she did when she was two , here...

Grandma and Esme on her sixth birthday!
An owl hat and an owl shirt :)

A happy smile as she 'walruses' the cheetos with other kids.

She chose purple frosting for the cupcakes and multicolored sprinkles.  They had zebra, giraffe and tiger patterned papers and the kids loved seeing which 'animal' they wanted to be.  As I took the lid off a kid says 'Hey, they ARE purple!'... apparently she had been informing everyone ahead of time and was proud of i.

Coming to ask for something from me and her teacher at the party - her owl shirt I gave her the night before to wear to class before her other presents.  She was so happy about it :)

She is looking all knees and legs here - working on presents at Gramdna's house.
Working hard at wrapping paper
There were several My Little Pony things from Mom and Dad, books from all of us, Spin Balls she had wanted so badly (she took a try later but it was naturally dark), light up snowflakes and hairclips and clothing.  She was very happy about the pony toy when she got home and took it all out of the package when she got home.  This morning, it was all about the striped dress and the math puzzles.

Post-birthday dress and hairclips - thank you Grandma :)  And she is playing with the add and subtract math puzzles she couldn't wait to open this morning before school.  I really thought she would pick the pink dress but she said the stripes was so pretty.  I hope she has a good day at school - I am a bit more under the weather than I was able to let on yesterday... crashed when I got home... kudos to Mark for getting her to bed and helping out this morning, as well.  We measured her against the wall where we had last year -just before her fifth birthday - and she had gained at least two inches.  She asked 'What kind of human will I be - at the six?'  She really expected a bigger change to happen - something like on the Sims whirl around in flowers and be all grown up... she knows we've talked about it but she still wishes it could be true.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Just ducky

 It was my first day of vacation - and Esme asked to make a bird.  I told her she would have to find a bird and draw it first - which she did, and it turned out to be a duck.

Then about two hours later, Ducky was here and she was giving him aerodynamic tests.
I used scraps in my table in the colors she had used and she popped back and forth from the tv to the sewing area to check on my progress and ask questions.

Daddy getting an action shot :)

It passed the 'sniff' test, too for the calico coonhounds, Sweetie (back) and Spud (front) who are both growing up!