Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Esme says Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

well, she isn't really saying it, but she would if she could :)

Traditions: In my family growing up we would always stand out on the porch at the stroke of midnight and shout as loud as we could 'Happy New Year.'

Monday, December 29, 2008

Stuff Esme can do at nearly fourteen months

Breakfast means emptying your bowl of dry cereal on the shelf

Esme can do these things when she feels like cooperating. When she doesn't want to cooperate she just runs around and makes noise and throws stuff... typical toddler.

New stuff she just mastered:
1.) Put up both hands and say 'RAR'.
2.) Try to repeat words we say - although her pronunciation isn't good at all.
3.) Put several pieces of her huge baby Legos together and take them apart.
4.) Find me a book to read. I ask her 'find me a book, read this?' and make a hand sign like turning pages in a book.
5.) Find her kazoo when I imitate the noise it makes, even if she has to look hard for it.
7.) Wave 'bye-bye'
8.) Pretend to wash things imitating me.
9.) Suprised me by finding a specific book twice when I asked her for it. 'Brown Bear Brown Bear' book, bypassing other books to find that one in her toybox.

I just read her this book and came back to find her paging through it upside down. She only gets a few 'real' books to have in her toybox because she still rips the pages sometimes. This one was a quarter at the flea market and she has been very good to it since getting in trouble for ripping the first page.

Old stuff she's been doing for over a month and some more:

1.) Respond to our sign for 'Hungry?' with her own sign for yes or no.
2.) Sit in her chair when she sees her food tray or when she hears us say 'sit in your chair'
3.) Go up and down the entire staircase (under supervision)
4.) Ask 'where is Esme?' and she finds her blanket to hide under.
5.) Stack about five or six blocks before tipping them over.
6.) Draw on her sketchpad with crayons (mostly lines and dashes)
7.) Put things in a bowl or bucket when we ask.
8.) Clap when she sees us or people on TV clapping. The TV surprised me.
9.) Imitate our hand signs and things we do with our hands and feet, she is doing more of that than she used to.
10.) Tell us she needs to be changed with a hand sign.
11.) Put her puzzle and sorter blocks all in the right places.
12.) Pick up her books and sit in her chair looking through them.

She drinks from her sippy cups, eats well from her tray but not really well with a spoon. That is mostly because I don't have the time usually to let her make a mess with the spoon. She is really good at it when she is eating oatmeal with me from one bowl and can watch me use my spoon.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


I don't have anything big to say, but a lot of little random chatter, more for myself than anyone...

It's two days after Christmas and I'm slowly cleaning the house, area by area. I'm scrubbing floors, walls etc... more intensely than I have since before Esme was born. It needs it... especially in the areas we don't use much. The floodwater coming in to the garage wasn't the entire cause but it did spur me on a bit more. Usually I clean when I am upset or worried -- and maybe there is a little of that in here but also a sense of satisfaction that Esme will be playing here soon. She is running all over the house now more and more -- and getting into so many more places.

Next week they have me on a shift starting at 4 am - which is better I guess than laying me off. I've heard this is the time of the year they do lay people off until the busy season starts again... This should be interesting. At least they're giving me three days off before that to shift my schedule.

They say it is the perfect weather condition today for a tornado, unseasonably warm, windy and thunderstorms predicted. Mark says he can feel the pressure changing in the air. The trees are whipping around violently and the dogs are all sitting on the porch enjoying the warm air.

Feeding Esme has become more of a challenge, as she goes away from wet baby food and into mostly things she can feed herself. She likes carrots and corn, most other vegetables she just pushes around. If she has corn she won't eat anything else on her plate until every kernel is gone. I say she gets that from Mark as corn is his all-time favorite non-meat product. She really hates mashed potatoes.. not sure why, maybe the texture.

In a previous life perhaps I was a nomad, as things like pottery, rugs and blankets really draw my eye. I've spent a lot of time looking at things like this recently, in the store and on Etsy, wondering how our house could be better organized. I think that is why I am cleaning the house - a mixture of worry from job/family in Minnesota and just wanting things to look nice. The fabric and yarn I am also drawn to are perhaps just because they make the rugs and blankets... warm soft tactile things that can be moved to where thay are needed most for comfort. Pottery is just pretty and good to store things in. I gave myself a long narrow pottery tray for Christmas this year because my handmade soaps were overflowing the soap dish ;)

I bought Esme some long sleeved shirts and a sleeper to grow into. They are 'advertised' as boys' clothing, with blue and grey and brown colors. However, they have dinosaurs and robots and airplanes on them. I grew up a tomboy. I still like dinosaurs and robots and airplanes myself ;) The last round of clothes I bought for Esme was on clearance and was predominantly pink, purple and turquoise. And all the girls' clothes seem to be garish colors or covered in Dora the Explorer, Disney, Hannah Montana etc... why can't they just be plain or simple designs? Esme just moved up from her 6-12 month and 12 month clothes to 12 and 18 month sizes. She seems to always be in the middle some from one size and some from the next up, too long in the legs for one and have to roll the sleeves up on the other. So now I'm working on collecting 24 month and 3T ;) it's nice to plan ahead.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Steak, Kazoos and more

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!

This is what Mark wanted for Christmas this year. A huge steak. Just look at that grin, a little maniacal perhaps? STEAK! Of course we didn't eat all of it (not even close) tonight but he has plans for every last scrap of the leftovers.

Esme got several board books and a kazoo which she has been enjoying. She already figured it out and has been happily bugling away on it.

Touched a Kitty cat!
Now read me a book kitty!

I wish the sun hadn't been quite so bright - but this picture is cute anyway! Mitzi is really growing into a cat and puts up with so much from Esme. When they play it is cute but rarely Esme gets too excited and squeals then Mitzi runs for the hills (or in this case the bed)...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Rain and Leaks!

We have had a torrential downpour off and on since last night. And now there is water coming into our garage on the first floor. Sheesh what a Christmas present from Mother Nature. We are actively working on cleaning it up.

Monday, December 22, 2008

A few mentions

Some things I've seen around today and liked:

Little Alouette toys. They have teething keys made of wood. I was looking for something like this for Esme back when she was very small, and never found it. They have the old fashioned ones like the plastic keys we grew up with, except they're wood!

And that led me to SMALL magazine, which I admit is very cool. Nice layout and focuses on small enterprises for children, clothes etc... a nice read and I hope to get time to visit their next issue.

And that's it - for now. All the toy orders were out in the mail on Monday. It was great to be done! I have four days off from my town job now, after seven days on, and am hoping to enjoy it! I just want to play with Esme and take her to see Grandma and run around the house/yard :) There will probably be some sewing in there too. Merry Christmas to you all and I'll probably pop back in whenever I have cute pictures or toys, but other than that it is relax time :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Help Save Handmade Toys Made in America!

I was just informed that there is an act before Congress to regulate the amount of lead in handmade toys. This is a good idea in general, but it doesn't include exemptions for small handmade manufacturers.

In the current form, the toymakers would have to pay an average of 4,000.00 PER type of toy they make to have it tested, and do this several times a year to be in compliance. This is not just for toys with paint, but all kinds of toys children would play with. It is meant to protect against big manufacturers but it will include handmade toys too unless we act soon (50 days left).

The Handmade Toy Alliance is trying to get an exemption for all toymakers who produce 5,000 items or less per year. But, we need all the voices we can get to be heard.

Please take a look at the Consumer Protection Safety Improvement Act and contact your local Congressman and/or Senator if you are interested in this issue!

Thanks for taking the time to read this!
~Marie @ KnitOwl Toys

Saturday, December 13, 2008


My sister is having another baby. This will be number four for her, although only two of the other three live with her. Her youngest is five now, and she was a surprise too - so I'm not sure how my sister feels about number four yet. Her email just said 'Guess who is pregnant with baby number four, yes it is true, it is me.'

Lots of Toys piling up here!

in other news: We bought a box of board books for Esme and she is happily paging through them. My sister sent me a message on some 'pay to email' site - *sigh* - I wish she wouldn't do that.

The very last lime slug, as the fabric is now discontinued

happy little horse
going off to a baby not yet born

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

It Came from Outer Space

Alien Monster Doll by KnitOwl Toys

So many aliens! Just a note that we have nearly reached max capacity for holiday orders. The desk is a virtual cloning lab full of eyes, mouths and stuffed aliens.

CHRISTMAS ORDERS (custom make to order) will be halted on December 10th at midnight. We are also out of Turquoise color. Thank you to everyone and have a wonderful Christmas holiday!

Note: Ready-to-ship items in the store will still be available for Christmas shipping until December 15th.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Busy busy toymaker

This is most of my largest holiday order. There are still two more 'twin' dolls to add to this and I made a mistake on the first one.

So many more toys to make!

Esme ran around at Grandpa and Grandma's again today. She is getting a little more involved with actually seeing them up there and not just wandering about. That will get even better with time - but she just never wants to sit still at all unless she is asleep!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Esme at thirteen months

Esme has gotten where she will bring us books to read one after the other. She has lots of board books which she loves to pieces, sometimes literally! However, when she brought this book to Daddy she didn't know what she was getting into. 'Daddy, where are the rest of the pictures?' Mark read her the preamble to the Constitution and she had enough - took the book back to the box it came from and started playing with my measuring tape.

Esme is thirteen months. She weighs 21 pounds and is 30 inches tall! There are lots of teeth coming in, including some back ones now. That means a lot of crabbiness sometimes too. She is running and climbing on EVERYTHING. We had to do some creative thinking to keep an area safe for her to wander around in without us watching her every second. We know it's still just a matter of time before she is up and out of there again!

In her play area she has lots of toys. She loves her blocks of several types, and also sits in her booster chair and 'reads' herself books. She drags her play quilt around and covers up things with it, including herself. When we come with her tray of food at mealtimes she gets right in her chair and is excited to dig into her very own food. She absolutely hates having her hands and mouth washed off but enjoys baths once she is in the warm water.

She has started to call 'MumMum' and 'Dada' with better accuracy although 'Doggie' and 'Kitty' are still interchangeable. She is also beginning to have symbols or indeterminate 'words' for diaper change, up/down, lost pacifier, empty sippy cup etc... That is no small matter, as she is communicating what she wants better!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Alien Invasions continuing this holiday season...

at the KnitOwl Toy Shop

All the usual suspects have been rounded up, thread, scissors, felt and stuffing for the holiday season crush. The KnitOwl is working in her workshop four days straight!