Monday, July 27, 2009


Esme is SUCH a cool kid. I mean it - we are so proud of her. This is maybe the fifth time she has ever been in water over her head (with waterwings on) and she is doing so well! We didn't even have to hold on to her today. She watched Daddy 'swim' around the pool a little and then had a pretty good idea how to do it herself. She was launching herself from one side of the pool to the other going 'WHEE' and blowing water with her mouth. We were impressed! She didn't want to get out again but we were freezing! It was warmer than yesterday but our fingers still tingled when we were warming up later.

Also cute - we showed her waterwings to her before we went outside. She held out her arm and then went 'pffft' with her mouth on her upper arm. I am constantly amazed by the things she knows how to say without words.

With words I could have sworn she said 'I watch t.v.' several times in the past few days. Today I started singing 'twinkle twinkle little star' to her downstairs and she said 'I watch t.v.' or something that sounded like it and wanted to go upstairs. We had watched The Wiggles song and she wanted to see it again when she heard the song. We don't watch t.v. that often and I definitely don't say 'watch t.v.' often - but she also has used this phrase on the computer to go see Youtube videos.

She devoured her pizza in record time and then fell asleep on her plate. It was a long hard active day for such a little one! She had even 'helped' Daddy bring the trash up to the road earlier in the day - trying her best to drag a trash bag and push the wheelbarrow. That is a lot of walking and swimming and stair-climbing she is doing every day now!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Cool Pool

We bought a kiddie pool today. It's eight feet across. It was too cold to even swim in today! We'll have to wait for tomorrow and hope it doesn't rain. Esme thought it was great - but I drug her out after a bit because our deep well water is so cold I was afraid she was going to get sick. She was so mad at me! I let her 'swim swim' in the bathtub for a little while afterwards (in lukewarm water).

So many new words lately. She tried to say motorcycle and Lespedeza and succeeded in saying quite a few other words she hasn't before, 'rock rock', 'swim swim', 'ball', balloon, slide, play, green, belly, 'what are you doing?' and a few others. Our little girl is breaking out of her comfortable vocabulary and trying to say a lot of new things! You should have seen her trying to talk to a lady about getting fried chicken and to the lady at the fabric counter about her coco milk and pretty shoes and the fabric etc etc...

No 'toucan' yet but she has pointed at her shirt several times and then wanted me to say the word.

Friday Afternoon

Watching Kermit

Press that key!

driving two at once

draw draw
(yes we have a plastic skeleton on our wall)
and a defunct chiropractic ultrasound machine under our whiteboard which Esme likes to play with the dials on

Striking a pose at the windowsill

Note: Esme is finally getting her canine teeth in both the upper and lower jaws now! It is funny to see those little sharpies pointing out of her previously bare gum. They are the last 'baby' teeth she had left to get.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Our own slide whee!

Took these pictures Wednesday (as you can probably tell by the lounge pants) but had to work the last few days so I'm just getting to posting them now. I have more pictures to post tomorrow - and the weekend off. So nice!

Esme loves the little slide Daddy bought her! This is in the workshop downstairs near the kitchen. She nearly runs herself dizzy going up and down over and over!

Also thanks to Elizabeth for the cute green toucan shirt! It fits great!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lounge pants

When I'm home I usually just wear a pair of drawstring 'lounge' or 'yoga' pants instead of jeans. But I've been looking for a sewing pattern to make my own for a while. I saw one for 2.99 that would be alterable for what I wanted.

This took a while yesterday (including a power outage) - but here is my first pair from the (altered) pattern. We'll have to see if they survive the wash - the grey fabric was a 1.00 a yard fabric stashed last year and may or may not be strong enough for the stitches. Any way - it is a good experience and I can make a second pair out of better fabric if this doesn't work out.

The red, white and black fabric is Michael Miller 'First Sight / First Village' - which is actually made (I found out) to be high-contrast for young babies. It was so cute I couldn't resist it at Gwenifer's Attic on Etsy. I usually save the 'cute' fabrics to use for Esme's clothes - but after making a mistake on the seam allowance on these pants I added the panels to make them more like 'yoga' pants.

Esme and I were going to go up to Grandma's house this afternoon but Esme decided instead to dive into a mud puddle up to her knees. I cleaned her up and put her down for a nap while I make lunch. I guess we'll try a visit after that.

Note: A few things I'm proud of Esme for doing lately. She has learned to put her spoons and plastic cups in the sink by herself when she is done. She will throw things away for us if we ask. She is getting so much better with a spoon all by herself but not a lot more luck with a 'big girl' cup. She tried to wash her own face in the bathtub last night when she was full of spaghetti sauce. She still HATES me to wash her face with anything - but she is trying to learn to do it herself. She will also go to dry her hands on the hand towel after we help her wash them at the sink. I think that's all pretty cool for a not quite 21 month old! And - she is finally learning to help take her own clothes off as well as pull her pants up after a change. The 'What to Expect' book says they should be doing this at eighteen months - but she didn't show any interest in trying until just recently.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Mark caught such good pictures at the playground! I was reccommended to go to this one by someone at work.

Esme thought the bench was as much a toy as the rest of the place. She looks 'so innocent' here ;)


a good shot of both of us

The hippo has 'innards' labelled on the inside - molded into the plastic. Cool yet kind of gross, just right for kids.

watching kids in the pool and being thoroughly confused

Sunday, July 19, 2009

after work and before bed

I heard Esme say a few new words today - 'bread', 'monkey' and 'wawa' (water) as well as calling the letter 'w' 'wah' and saying some long repetition of 'zuhzuhzuh zee!' for the zebras. She was so talkative tonight. That's a lot of new words she was saving up - although this probably isn't the first day she has said them, just the first day I've caught them.

Used her own spoon for the sloppyjoe rice at dinner. She washed her belly and toes for me in the bathtub with soap, and instructed me which shampoo to use on her by saying 'monkey' the word instead of 'oo oo oo' the monkey sound. We watched Youtube videos of little kids playing at playgrounds and she was SO EXCITED to see the kids on the slides (like she played yesterday) - I could see her egging them on to get up the steps and go down the slide 'whee!' Very very cute. We played Starfall for a while and read a new (used) book from the library sale before time for bed.

Tomorrow we have town things to do...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Bouncing and Sliding

We brought Esme to a bouncey castle event - but didn't stay very long. Esme was very scared of it. It didn't feel right under her feet. She liked watching the other kids bounce up and down - but freaked out when she began to bounce too. They had an inflatable alligator slide which Mark took her down a few times - but again, she was too scared of the unsteadiness. If the other kids hadn't been in such a rush to go up and go down as many times as possible Esme would have loved to talk to them more.

So - we took her to the playground across the street - where there were just a few kids with their family camping. She LOVES slides - just not inflatable bouncey slides. She was screaming 'whee!' and going up and down the stairs like a mad hatter. She got the concepts of needing to go up the stairs after a few tries - and we've got to work on the 'sit on your bottom' before going headlong down the slide part. She also got to try out a swing and was holding on pretty well (very slowly tiny swings with Mark standing in front of her and me sitting on the ground behind her in case she fell off forwards or backwards. She again cried out WHEE a lot and was amazed at other kids swinging beside us.

She did NOT want to go in her car seat to go home - kept saying 'whee.' And all the way home she would alternate between saying 'chicken' and sticking her tongue out at me (hungry - put food here). She thinks we get fried chicken now when we go in the car now because we sometimes get it near our post office. The funniest part happened later as I was cooking chicken sticks for dinner. She drug out her old baby bathtub into the middle of the floor and started miming slide-like actions on it. She was giving a very good pantomime aimed at Iggy our puppy. It was an amazing sight - wish I'd been able to video tape it. The puppy of course, couldn't have cared less about the lesson and just wanted to stare at the stove and get some food.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Red Houses

red fabric is 'Bravest Dragon' from Avlyn

I saw a quilt top on a website with lots of different geometric houses in it. Mark thought it was really cool, too - and I tried to draw out something similar that I could make without a pattern. This is kind of a crooked attempt - but considering the amount of help I was getting from a toddler in everything from keeping the scissors out of reach to pulling and drawing on fabric and sitting on my chair in front of the sewing machine (effectively blocking the pedals) it was a valiant effort.

It might look better with a border and other bits sewn around it. At any rate it is the start for making a better pattern that could be done straighter.

We went to the library in Paris today and Esme had a lot of fun on a computer program there. It had little animals in 'jack-in-the-boxes' that opened up when you moused over a button on the screen. If all three jack in the boxes had the same animal showing they counted off 1,2,3 and sang a song. It was really cute and she hated to have to go. We then got her some french fries and a small shake on the way to the grocery store.

Now Esme is asleep for a bit, while I cruise internet sites looking at fabric and ideas. I like this apple fabric from karaku's Japanese store but it is only a half yard. I'm thinking about some printed fabric in dark bottle green to make trees for the house quilt -- but maybe the green gingham and green stripes I have will be enough.

The red 'dragon' fabric was from the little store Mockingbird Threadworks that I had found. Someone who used to work with me said it has been there for years -- but I'm pretty sure it wasn't there when the art/coffee shop opened up next door to it. I would have seen it then! Anyway, started Esme a sundress out of the alphabet fabric instead of placemats. Haven't finished it yet.

Several times I looked at Esme today and just can't believe she is this big, and capable of so many things. It was not long ago at all that she was just a tiny baby, and before that - not even thought of! And then I get all warm and fuzzy feeling and start smiling giddily at both her and Mark - such a wonderful family.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Giving a toddler a piece of watermelon of her very own is SUCH a mess! But so worth it, too.

A few things

We went to the flea market with Esme yesterday, and she met a little friend. The girl was a few months older than Esme, more verbal but about the same size. The little girl kept saying 'hi baby' to her, because she was in a stroller. She gave Esme a flower, and Esme gave it back when I asked her to. I let Esme out of the stroller and she wanted to hug the girl - and knocked her right over! I explained that Esme had only ever hugged 'big' people, who never fell over when she hugged them. We said we were sorry and then they began examining each other, things around them - it was so cute to watch. They found a pile of hubcaps at the next booth and were counting pegs on them, looking at the letters on them, trying to pick them up etc... it was so sad when we had to go. Esme really wants little friends - but we don't know anyone around here well enough who has little ones. I think I'll take her to the library again on my days off. An older girl tried to 'teach Esme to read' the last time we were there.

Last night after I got home I brought Esme to the kitchen for a snack. She kept pointing at the wall behind me and saying 'kitty.' I didn't see a cat anywhere - especially not behind me. Esme had me a little creeped out, until I finally noticed what she was talking about. There was a SPIDER that had built a web between the chair and the wall! The Spider wasn't tiny but he wasn't huge either - and yet she saw him and wanted to point him out to me somehow. She was very very upset though when I said we shouldn't bother the spider and should go do something else. She really wanted to 'talk' to the spider now that Mom had acknowledged it was there.

She also wanted lots of snacks - everything on the table of course ;) She would ask for 'chee' (cheerios) and I would say 'yes, we can have some of those' and give her a few. Then she would eat one and ask for something else. I said 'no' to a lot of things but she kept asking. I then said 'yes' to some graham crackers. She ate a bit of graham cracker then went through the list of things she had asked for by pointing to each item and saying 'yes' or 'no' while checking with me to see if the status had changed. So funny! That is the first time I've heard her repeat 'no' for a while now.

Friday, July 10, 2009

New fabric store in Huntingdon

We were on our way to the grocery store and I had heard of a new 'yarn shop' that was supposed to open near the Huntingdon historical museum. We stopped in for a look and it was a new quilt and fabric shop.

I got some of the alphabet fabric from the Dick and Jane series and told the lady I was glad to see some brighter, less-stodgy selections. I plan to make some placemats for Esme's table with the alphabet fabric so she can point out letters to me and have somewhere to put her crackers etc... while we're in the kitchen without washing the table down every time.

The name of the store is Mockingbird Threads, and she has some nice children's prints, quilting fabrics and lots of handmade clothes, bags etc... It is also a closer drive for me than Camden - so I might actually stop by more than once every few months.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Picking Flowers and Stripey Pillows

Esme loves picking flowers outside

Today she brought one inside to show Daddy - and I then dug one out of her toy area to show me she had been collecting them for several days in a row.

There was a design magazine in the break room at work, and I felt compelled to throw a little color around in a crafty way. These fabrics were picked up at the flea market long ago and became two simple pillows for the bed. They're pretty comfy, too!

She loves to smell the flowers and tell us they smell 'mmm' her idea of 'good to eat.'

I wrote 'E S M E' on the bathtub with soap crayons this morning and asked Esme what it was - she said 'E', 'ssssss', 'mmmmmmm', 'E' She didn't say 'Esme' but she has finally gotten the 'S' sound down, which is a new one I haven't heard her repeat before. She is also talking quite a bit more clearly - telling me she was 'ready' to be up this morning and needed a 'change.' She says these often but I usually have to guess that is what she said. This morning it sounded like the actual words.

We're working more with a 'big girl cup' - but she still sticks her tongue in it and tries to lap the liquid out. *sigh*

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Failed Attempt at Sugar Cookies

cute smile at breakfast over milk and cherry cereal bar

I attempted to make sugar cookies today, but somehow I messed up. The attempt to make pink/purple sugar worked, but I think I need to try more and better butter in the recipe. Oh yes, and put the cookies further apart on the aluminum foil. I used to be quite good at baking cookies from scratch - but it's been a while!

Esme continues to recognize my 'afternoon shift' schedule and start to freak out at the first sign I'm getting ready for work. It's various things, when I put on 'town clothes', changing from house to outside shoes, putting lunch in my bag etc etc -- she puts two and two together and starts a constant 'hang on your knees' screaming crying fit. It would be nice to be able to do these 'hot spot' things from the routine slowly over the course of the morning. But as soon as she sees one of them it's non-stop drama queen even if it is hours before the time I'll actually leave. So I try to hold those things off to the last minute then put her down for a nap as soon as she starts to 'drama'. Lately I'm not even getting past 10:30 on the days I don't have to leave until 12:30 - she somehow can tell just by the way I watch the clock, and don't get into other things I would do on days off, say we can't go to Grandma's etc etc...

Monday, July 06, 2009

What to do about my mom

My mom can't afford to pay her own bills for electricity, medicine, food, phone bill etc... and yet she sent me a birthday present. I told her not to.

I don't need anything and I definitely don't need something expensive she can't afford - that I can't even send back. She lives in far Northern Minnesota in a very small town (I grew up there) - and shipping from there to here is expensive as well. Even if I try to distract her by asking for something small she ends up sending something big which I didn't need. GROWL - I don't know what to do about this - she did it at Christmas too (well actually in January) and then she lost her phone service from nonpayment a few months later. Any suggestions? How do you get someone to understand that it makes you only worry more in this situation? I'm not my sister - who loves to beg her for lots of stuff, money etc etc.... and whines when Mom doesn't send anything to her. How do I get through to her that this is NOT what I want her to do?

I was already planning on sending them some handmade things for Lizzie (my brother's daughter) and household type stuff. My Mom loves it when I send her handmade things but I don't do it often anymore with my limited time. I'm worried that sending them a box will just encourage her on sending me stuff -- does that sound funny? I used to do that - pile up things to send them 'someday' and then send them in one box. But that just led to her spending more money because she doesn't make things anymore -- not the reaction I wanted. Even worse they're not 'me' things - I'm a crafty tomboy. These things are more slated towards my sister or what my mother likes for herself. Even if she gathered some fabric or Esme-size clothes at a thrift store (which I've reccommended) it would be better!

/End gripe -- I know I shouldn't complain at all. She is being generous and motherly - but I'd much rather know she has her phone and her medicine and something to fall back on. A card or a letter is more than enough. *sigh*

Esme in the sewing room

Just a few pictures I took of Esme sitting on the chair in my 'sewing room', which is actually a good sized corner of our living room. She was trying to help so much and being very cute. As I made another dress for her she found a K'nex stick I use for turning things inside-out and was trying to 'help' by poking at the dress as I ran it through the machine. The poor cats suffered though, as when I chased her away from the machine area they got poked with the stick before Daddy took it away.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Increased Coordination

A few notes for posterity here. This morning Esme walked up the stairs in front of me carrying my shoes (which she had been walking in downstairs). She hardly ever stopped to put a hand down. I thought that was pretty cool! She is also practicing walking backwards, stomping, marching, 'duck-walking' (walking while squatted down on her ankles) and walking on her tippy-toes quite a bit. She is working on all those finer bits of getting around ;)

4th of July

We didn't do anything big or exciting for the 4th. I had to work most of the day and with the impending thunderstorms we decided to lay low at home. Mark made cheeseburgers and we watched a movie. The power went out a few times and we pulled out a big candle. Esme crashed soon after that, which was good (entertaining a toddler in pitch black with only a candle isn't my idea of fun).

Hope everyone had a fun and safe Fourth of July!

Friday, July 03, 2009

Our Esme at 20 months

There have been a lot of changes around here!
Esme is trying to jump, but she doesn't actually leave the ground. She can go frontways down the stairs inside and outside the house, but we still get worried and stay 'downhill' of her, accompanying her each time.

Her talking is improving a lot, but I can't say she has learned a whole lot of new words in the past few months. She still 'mimes' and signs lots of things, adding in a few of her words here and there. She talks all of the time, but so much of it is babble we are left asking 'what?' There are probably more words there we just aren't hearing clearly yet. She surprised us the other day by telling Daddy he did a 'good job' I had asked him to show her the one leg, two leg part of putting on pants and she commended him for a great performance. We all laughed.

She is always copying us, and guessing ahead in things we are doing trying to help. Is starting to understand complex 'abstract' ideas as well as just directions. IE: I told her not to hit the oven door with her wooden door handle because it could break (no response), then I added that if it broke we couldn't make chicken anymore EVER, remember chicken goes there, cook cook, nom nom(eat)? Break door means no more chicken, unless we buy a new oven, and they are expensive so we wouldn't have chicken for a long time. She put her hands over her mouth and stared at the handle, the door, where we keep the chicken etc etc and started her 'scared' crying. I told her it was okay because the door was not broken so we could make chicken 'later' - but DON'T hit the door with ANYTHING. She put the handle away in a drawer with her 'pat' sign that means 'this stays here.'

She is 'replaying' things she has done recently - like pretending to put on shoes, pretending to eat/drink, take a bath, do her hair, etc etc... I see her mime these 'things that happened' to herself, to the dog and also to Daddy. My favorite was when she was running across the floor into some dirt I had swept up and skidded on the pile. Then I threw the dirt away and she couldn't make it happen again. She spent about five minutes trying to 'replay' what she had done that made that happen - and looking at her shoes, the floor etc etc... Mark saw it too and I told him what she had done before, and he laughed at her 'scientific method' of recreating the scene.

Still pointing out letters on everything, but getting more of them right. She likes her fridge magnets and plays with them often in the kitchen, picking up magnets and asking me/telling me what they are. Loves and wants to operate the keyboard by herself, pressing the right keys and choosing which letters she wants to see next. She jabbers on her dead cell phone and pretends to be calling Grandma/Grandpa, a 'kitty', etc etc... She carries on long conversations with Iggy, her puppy, which involves a lot of hugging Iggy, stroking her ears and sometimes identifying her nose/ears/eyes.

Very clingy when I am going to work - starts a tantrum if she THINKS she saw some sign that I am going to work soon. She is all about process and order, telling us the next step in things etc. She connects actions done together and will 'surmise' that something else (like going to work) will happen and get very upset about it before it happens. On the other hand, I can tell her we are going to 'X', 'Y' and then 'Z' and she is understanding that remarkably well. And if I do something else as well in between there though, she may get mad at me because I didn't do it like I said I would.

We are starting to read Mommy's 'time' too, (what I call my watch, so she doesn't get confused). She reads the numbers oddly though - 1 is 'E' or 'I', zero is the letter O and she gets confused on most of the others except 2 and 3. It is funny she will point to my watch and say 'E O ? ?' for 10 am. I tell her we'll do something 'later' often and she is trying to figure out exactly what that means. That is why I started the watch thing - to indicate what 'later' was and also because I found it fun to connect numbers that way for her.