Sunday, August 30, 2009

more evolution of the self-made pattern

ha - the reversible apron dress was 'B', and so was the red-white flouncey shirt. The apron dress 'failed' so I changed it into something else before I got to the finishing stage. This is 'C' - and it's almost right. Some very minor changes are needed now.

This has blue grosgrain ribbon for the ties and a very cheap fabric off the clearance rack a long time ago. It's getting to be an hour or two job to make one now - not much at all really!

red and white shirt

Made this after work last night from the hand-drawn pattern. I'll keep altering the pattern a little bit at a time until I get one that will fit her the way I want. This one isn't quite right either, but functional and since she has worn it today it is 'growing' on me some. I'd love to see it in a dark blue/purple fabric.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Sad State of Yogurt choices

I hate the idea of giving Esme 'non-fat' yogurt, and she doesn't like 'plain natural' yogurt. There is one called 'yobaby' that is supposedly made for infants and toddlers, even made with whole milk, but she doesn't like it. All of the 'kid's' yogurts are weird flavored even though they claim not to have high fructose corn syrup and be made from 2 percent milk. The yogurt I've been buying her is 'Yo-Plus' with 1 percent milk, real sugar and 'probiotic' natural cultures. She loves the strawberry and cherry flavors. I'm worried my grocery store is going to stop carrying it because there was something new in it's place and it was moved to a center display. 'Activa' is similar in the cultures but non-fat and definitely for dieters. Just looking over all the other types of yogurts available made me really upset with the sad state of choices - 'non-fat', 'made from skim milk', 'NutraSweet' or 'Splenda' So much of the yogurt market is geared for dieters that I'm afraid if they stop carrying this one and she doesn't like the flavors available of the kid's yogurt we'll lose something she likes, that is pretty good for her compared to other things and that she loves to share with me and practice her spoonwork on.

Just had to ramble. Yogurt is a strange thing to ramble on. Those five minutes made me realize just how important of a decision it is for me. I can avoid HCFS and Nutrasweet and Splenda (and I do) in so many things but with some things, like yogurt and jelly, are becoming so much harder!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Reversible apron shirt

I was trying to make another one of the same shirt and something didn't turn out quite right again. So - I took it apart at the seams, lined it with another fabric and made it into this. It ties at the sides and the back. It is reversible so if she gets one side full of ketchup stains it's OK. Not the best design (the ties aren't so tight) but it seemed to be very cute and semi-functional today just around the house and at Grandma's. I could easily make regular (non-reversible) shirts like this that only had one tie at the back neck and would still fit.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Carroll County Fair, Tennessee, 2009

We took Esme out to the Carroll County fair. They said she had to be 36 inches to ride any of the rides - we told the truth (she's about 32) and she couldn't ride anything. That was sad as we saw lots of children that were much smaller than her with handstamps! She would have had fun on a few of the rides.

We took a lot of pictures and Esme had her own personal ride all night (Daddy and towards the end, Mommy too). We also had fun at the petting zoo where Esme made some friends.

We told you it would be on the internet!
all in good fun - hope you had a great time!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

shirt experiments

without the zipper in - needs some alteration

looks pretty 'ok' from this side, could be longer

I made a 'to pattern' size 3 shirt of the 9614 pattern last night. It is much too big at the moment and has been put away for later. I think it is pretty good, but we'll have to see in time. I didn't take a picture of it 'on'.

These pictures are my attempts to make Simplicity 9614 (1971) sized down from a size 3 to a size 'Esme' I took these pictures without a zipper or sleeves on it. To change it from a size 3 to a size 2 (sortof) I laid out the size 3 pieces on a piece of yellow legal paper and traced them - then I laid out similar pieces from a size 2 pattern I had (bodice to bodice, back to back etc.) and approximated the size difference for shoulder widths, armholes, width of front etc etc... It fits pretty well, considering that type of freehand alteration. I laid the yellow paper pattern against Esme for the back though and made further changes -- maybe shouldn't have done that. Maybe it just looks weird because of the zipper not being there.

This was fabric I had leftover from a baby blanket I made her long ago - and I may or may not finish it as a shirt. Some red sleeves and a red stripe at the bottom maybe?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A busy Saturday and I found my patterns!

Usually when I have a Saturday off we go visit Grandma in the middle of the day. Instead today we went rummage saling in the morning and then after we got home I began to go through my craft supplies and fabric in the sewing room. I've been meaning to organize it a bit better for a good while. In fact, about two or three months ago I had bought several size 3 toddler patterns for sewing clothes. After leaving them out on my desk for a week I decided it was time to put them somewhere safer (vintage patterns) so nothing could happen to them. I thought I tied them up in a bag or put them in a tupperware or something -- and after that I could not find them at all. I felt like such an airhead losing them!

I searched high and low several times but never went through the entire Pile O' Stuff that has accumulated in my sewing room. I still didn't get all the way through it today - but I did find the patterns. They were at the bottom of my mom's old sewing box I brought back from Minnesota. It's kind of like a tupperware - and they were wrapped in a plastic bag... but still I had entirely spaced the fact that they were in there.

So now to try to put everything back in a somewhat neater order, and see what projects to start and/or finish first. I need to start working on size 3 clothes (which is why I was so upset with myself) and all the other patterns I had not lost were size 2. Esme has grown into her size 2 tops and very nearly into the pants now - so it's time to start thinking about the next size up. I've been saving up pieces of adult clothing gotten cheap at yard sales/flea markets that will have new life recycled into 'Esme-size' clothes. I'm excited about that as the fabric is in nice condition but not 'common' - not something anyone else would have somewhere else - entirely unique for her.

Simplicity 9641, 1971

I'm hoping to make the shirt in the middle of this picture for Esme. The pattern is from 1971. That's older than me or Mark for that matter! It's amazing when you think about it - this thin paper being in 'decent condition' after over 30 years.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

dolly in bag go grandmas

I have a bossy toddler

Esme is smart. That is not always good for me, because she is also highly unreasonable. She thinks she always knows what comes next - and gets upset when things don't follow the pattern she has memorized.

Today she devised her usual plan to try to go outside. She brought her shoes to Daddy - who put them on her. She then brought Daddy his shoes - which he put away on the shelf. She got mad. That wasn't what she wanted. I had my shoes on to go downstairs so she found me an 'outside shirt' (not a tank top). I put it back on the shelf. She got mad. She threw a big fit right by the outside door because she wanted to go outside and we weren't cooperating with her plan.

So I took her downstairs so I could clean some things. After I swept the floor that was fine. She knows all those steps. But then I started to clean the bathtub - and she told me she wanted her 'pretty off' (shoes off) and her 'shishi off' (shirt off) so she could 'tub bathtub!'. I said No and kept washing the bathtub. She got mad again and threw another fit.

I know I can avoid tantrums by doing what she expects - but life isn't going to be like that everywhere. She needs to learn that people do different things that look like things she knows but aren't always the same. I'll just have to put up with shrieking in my ear until she learns the new things enough to want to help out. HAHA

In other news I did get quite a few things done, including her alphabet sundress that has been sitting there forever half-made.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Everyday things as toys -- things I'm looking for

There are a few 'everyday' type things I am looking for to give Esme. I've been thinking about her 2nd birthday coming up in two months. Mark and I were looking at a word spelling toy at WM but I think I want to do a few smaller items that will teach her some other skills and cater to her interests.

1.) A sprinkler watering can. She loves water and I've been keeping my eyes open to find one like I want for her (and that doesn't cost 6 bucks!) - with the disk with the tiny holes where the water comes out. I've looked a little and only found the spout type. I did find a squeeze 'n' spray bottle she is playing with in the bathtub. I'd like to show her to water flowers outside etc etc... with her own little can. Might hit the dollar store for this and probably Rural King someday too.

2.) Baby feeding bottles that tip upside-down and the milk seems to 'go away' FOUND this and ordered it for her. I had bought some empty 'ketchup' squeeze bottles at WM and she quickly picked up on feeding her dolly with it. I think she'll love the pretend milk bottles even more! All of the ones like it I had seen in the toy section were super-tiny - the ones I ordered were 5 inches tall. Also she is really taking to her dolly more - I need to sew it some little elastic pants to take on and off or make a velcro diaper etc... so she can practice dressing her dolly as her own clothes are still mostly too hard for her to get on and off.

3.) An old but decent wallet that zips and snaps. I'm going to hit the thrift store for this. She got SO mad the other day she discovered my wallet again and was playing with the cards and snap and trying the zipper -- she needs an 'Esme' one that I don't have to worry about what she is pulling out/losing etc.

4.) Thinking about some big plastic coins in colors that are tough to lose and not easy to try to 'eat'. She loves putting the disks from her old baby bottles (that keep milk from leaking) in and out of the trunk of her 'car'. But there are only four of them and three of them are blue - want to expand on this idea and have more colors/options for her to count identify etc.

Otherwise for her birthday I'm thinking make a cake, ask Grandma and Grandpa to come over (or go up there) and sit her around a table and take pictures etc etc.. the gift ideas I'm coming up with will probably be given to her as I find them with one item saved to unwrap at her 'party.' I have the day off and I'm not overplanning it - just thinking about what would be a nice observance and give her an idea of what 'birthday' is.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

weekend? what weekend?

I have to work this weekend. I'll be handsewing the monsters at work on my lunch break. I know I've been at work too many days in a row last week because I have started having nightmares about people wanting specialty faucets and sinks that are nearly impossible to get. What an odd brain I have to come up with those things at night!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Car and Dolly and go to Grandmas

For Grandpa and Grandma: Esme playing on her 'car'

Mark found this toy car at a rummage sale for 3.00 the day I had to go to the doctors. Esme loves it - and we keep it in the kitchen by her slide for her to push around. It has a 'trunk' in front where she is keeping letters from the fridge, some plastic disks etc etc...

Esme howling the moment she heard Daddy coming down the stairs with the dogs. Just before this she had been showing me that the '2' on the fridge was also on a cardboard box.

Going to Grandma's - can we come in?

I've been trying to get Esme to carry her dolly more and 'take care' of it. I want to encourage more pretend play and am often telling her I carry you - you carry dolly, you go for a nap, dolly goes for a nap etc etc... We gave the dolly a bath the other day in the sink (although it went in the washing machine after that when she wasn't looking). I'm not preparing her for a sibling, just want to encourage Esme to use her imagination and symbolic play more since most of her play is 'bang/boom/run around' or building or drawing.

Want a snack right here. Got to work on the please!

Drink from a straw

walk back home carrying dolly all the way

As if that wasn't a big enough day we then went to the co-op to get dog food, and the bank, and the grocery store to get milk and chicken. At the co-op the lady showed us some kittens who live in the back. An orange and a black kitten, both who loved to be petted and were very lazily sleeping on some boxes. Thank you for showing us the kittens! (we know you read the blog). The lady at the bank gave us two stickers which we held all the way to the grocery store.

At home Daddy made sloppy joe rice (our favorite) and it was such a mess that a bath was completely required afterwards. Then Daddy rented 'Horton Hears a Who' on Grandma's reccommendation. It was really good and we laughed a lot.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


Esme with Daddy

Already a bad driver, running over the dog at a young age.

note: This is the stroller toy we bought at a flea market all the way back when Esme was first learning to stand up. She played with it for a while until she started trying to use it to climb on things. We removed it from her play area and she recently found it again in a closet and wanted to play with it. She's been running it all around the house and even wants us to push her in it for 'whee' rides once in a while (which is hard because she falls out when we stop - so funny!)

In other news: I really need a day off! I can't wait till Friday - we have that playdate then, too!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Baseball commentary

Esme was sitting in Grandpa's lap today for a short time during our visit. Baseball was on - the Cubs versus the Cincinatti Reds? Anyway - as the pitcher was ready to throw the ball Esme was saying 'ready', 'ready', 'ready' and then when the player would hit it/lose it to the umpire she would say 'uh oh' or clap if we say he hit the ball. If he missed and they were going to throw again she would say 'again' when they began to pitch again.

Oh the misery she'll face if she grows up a Cubs fan (Daddy's quote) She's such a funny kid!

We were also watching a film where there was a plane crash and everyone the screen was crying and screaming. Esme was putting out her arms to the screen and trying to talk to the people and ask me to help them. I had to tell her it as all a bad dream the character was having and he would wake up soon (and he did).

Sunday, August 02, 2009


We did swim for a while, and Grandma came to watch us. I cooked an italian sausage and spinach pizza this afternoon after our meat run. The sausage was really good! I saved half of it for work-lunch the next few days. Our freezer should be stocked for another few weeks as Mark always buys in bulk and then repackages when we get home. Mark cooked a good pork chop for each of us and Esme ate quite a bit of what we gave her. We didn't do much else today - a little playing on the computer and a bubble bath to get rid of yogurt in the hair. Back to work every day until Friday. But by then inventory should be over and things should have calmed down some!

I didn't even take any pictures today - wow...

Saturday, August 01, 2009

bits and bobs

Esme has let a few new words out again - 'socks', 'shirt', 'zigzag', 'ostrich' - probably a few more she's holding back still. We were working on the difference between S and X and V and Z tonight. 'O' is currently her all-time favorite letter to point to. She can put her own elastic-strap shoes on now and is trying hard to put a shirt on over her head. She is attempting longer complicated words which I'm proud of her for! I tried to skip over the 'zigzag' song on Starfall and she pointed back at the Z and said 'zigzag' clear enough that I got it - so we went back and played the song. She was putting her head on my knee over and over, so I asked her if she wanted to go 'nigh-nigh.' She slowly got up and walked over to her bed. No complaint when I put her in - so nice!

I have tomorrow off and it should be warm enough to swim again. We also need to run to restock our freezer. I've tried to arrange a playdate on Friday with someone from my work who has a daughter two months older than Esme. It should be a really great match! We'll see if it goes through.

I have been really stressed with the atmosphere at work lately - inventory is coming and we are also short-staffed. Also with several back-to-back shifts (close one night then morning shift the next) I feel like I hardly have seen Esme before I have to go to sleep and back to work before she wakes up. I want to scream 'I want my baby!' in the middle of the warehouse and freeze everyone there so I can drive home and not be missed while I spend time with her. I know that isn't possible - and I just hold it all back until I finally do get to go home. Sometimes on my lunch break I'll sneak in a text message to Mark that 'I miss my Esme.'