Saturday, October 30, 2010

Esme this morning

First thing out of bed she notified me she was wearing her purple pants and that her drink cup was on the floor need to fill it up. Then on the way to the changing table she stopped in her tracks and said 'ooooooooooooo poor kitty! you are WET' to Ninja cat, who we smeared salve on her neck last night. She is getting much better, but not all the way yet. Then she told me I had blue shoes on - and wanted to know how that happened. I dug these out of the back seat of the truck yesterday when we unloaded some things. They are identical to the yellow house shoes I have worn every day except they are blue - and I wore them out to the car one day six months ago when we were in a hurry and changed them while Mark was driving.

Then she wanted a purple shirt, because she had purple pants. I said we had a cow shirt, and she could wear that. She decided that was okay. She watched 'cat and mouse' while I made some ramen noodles for my breakfast and got her some applesauce. 'oooohh apple jack bowl HOT noodle?' she asked me. (apple jack bowl means 'cereal bowl that usually has apple jacks in it') She said she liked the applesauce better so 'eat mumum eat hot noodle.'

Now she is across the room telling Bunny Dog she is 'so cute' and 'I like you Bun Dog' and trying to use her as a trampoline. Poor dog.. she is okay at the moment and I'm trying to discourage that... but at risk of losing my noodles. She said she was all done applesauce 'ooooh what that? (point at my bowl) a spoon. I eat. *drag noodle up off spoon and play with springiness*'

All this and she has only been up for a half-hour.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Green dress (no pics)

My green "princess seam" dress is almost finished - need to do something with the sleeves, which will take another day I don't have right now. At this point it is NOT a princess seam dress at all... but a pattern all of my own that started back with a dress pattern that was missing two major pieces.. went through a muslin (base cheap fabric) where the holes were filled in, and then became a full almost-original pattern. I've kept with it because it really has been a brain flex.

It is wearable, fits reasonably well and doesn't pull anywhere when I turn, reach or sit down. I can get into it myself and if pressed, pull the zipper all the way up the back as well (but Mark doesn't mind helping *wink*) I kept from making it TOO tight around the waist for that very reason - didn't want the 'prom dress' feel where you can't actually move normally in the garment. I also didn't want a shapeless thing that wasn't made for 'me' at all... it's hard to come to a compromise there. The dress could act better though in certain circumstances - like a little 'flare' in the middle it does just before I sit down, that disappears when I actually sit down... I think I know how to fix that. And the back is somewhere in between a pleat and a 'what happened there?' just below the zipper... so need to add or take away fabric there. Mark said it was a decent attempt for a first draft. Even better it is not 'granny dress' at all... which I was worried about it becoming.

The main things I need to do to the pattern : Extend the front skirt panel triangle out on the bottom a little... to reduce that 'flare' happening higher up. Heighten the back neckline about an inch in the center - because my back is cold! Add or trim some fabric from the back center skirt at the zipper area and probably reduce the back center bodice a bit as well (because I needed to take in an inch on each side on the second zipper run). That is probably where that extra fabric in the skirt came from.

Nark says hanging up the dress on a hanger and seeing that it is perfectly symmetrical might help, too... because frankly, I'm not perfectly symmetrical myself - so a tiny bit of pull the dress has to one side might be better served if the dress was tweaked on one side or the other.

There might not be pics of it for a good while though... I have alien monster doll orders and a bit of sewing I promised to do for a lady at work. And Esme's birthday is coming up! I haven't even gotten a full coat of paint on the little playhouse but it is put up on a table in the studio and Esme has not seen it yet.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I am so not motivated

... I have tomorrow off and I am so not motivated right now I'm not sure if I can be at all tomorrow. But, tomorrow is another day. I have several patterns I want to work on but there is so much else that should be done, too. ...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Little Ballerina Sleeper

'little ballerina sleeper'

Mark had a cartoon on for her (cat and mouse) and she fell asleep like this against the bed. She isn't allowed to sit ON the bed anymore because she lost that privilege - rolling and bouncing on it and falling off. That was several months ago. We told her she can try again after she is three *haha*.

I asked her last night when she was playing 'birthday candles' with her bath toys if she wanted a Shaun the Sheep birthday cake or a Clifford birthday cake. She said 'BIG RED DOG __birthday__cake__???' and said that was a wow idea. So.. I've got a bit more work cut out for me, maybe? I'll see.

She has been a very good little girl for the past few days - except for being a picky eater lately. She has been reading her books and Mumum hasn't been good about doing the storytime like usual. She really enjoyed the Cinderella cartoon and was talking to the Cinderella book we had gotten her a few weeks ago at the library. 'Hi mouses! Thank you mouses.' etc etc.

I want to get the zipper in the green dress. I've said it again. I'll see if I can do it tonight!

Bun dog update and bts

Bunny seems to be doing alright - she was knocked/bumped/crunched by the truck yesterday morning during the rain storm. I didn't know she was under the truck and after having it running for two minutes I thought for sure any cats that were under there had skedaddled... and then see her running away up the porch with a yelp. Mark says she is alright - mostly bruised muscles. She has been sticking to sleeping on the couch but getting up and down from it and the stairs to go outside alright... so his theory seems right on.

I bought Esme a purple chrysanthemum last night, it was clearance. She said it was a very pretty flower and 'sniff'. I do NOT want to go in to work today but I must. So off I trudge.

It has gotten pretty bad this week - I so want a day off - weekend off, six days on and one day off and then five days on and one day off is what we call 'hell week'. That's two weeks, isn't it? I've not wanted to be there even before I get there for two days in a row now. That is awful. I am even fielding stupid plumbing fixture questions IN MY DREAMS. Mark heard some of it this morning and said it was a dream - I should have said 'I'm off the clock.' HA.

I need to get the zipper into the green dress.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A day off with rain and chicken

I did laundry and mending this morning and liked how well Esme's clothes have been holding up in the wash. The one pair of pants I did a small repair to are more than six months old and just needed the bottom hem put back. I also repaired Esme's homemade Shaun the Sheep toy when we went to play at Grandma's. He had been damaged in the laundry and now feels much better (esp. since he was hugged all the way to the chicken place in the car). Also at Grandma's I laid out the muslin pieces from the last dress fitting and retraced them onto newspaper. That felt like an accomplishment. I have to find the green fabric now and get it prepared to be cut out.

Esme had fun playing with Grandma and talked her into making her popcorn while I went back home to get a cup of coffee and put away all the accouterments of the sewing plans. Then I drug Daddy back up to collect Esme for a chicken leg adventure just as it began to rain. I think this is the first rain in more than a week? Not sure, but it has been so dry lately it is rare to say that it is raining. We rented a 50 cent movie for her 'Cinderella' well as one for ourselves (Mark picked it out - not sure what, hmmm: Predators, ok.) a friend at work had recommended a second look at the kid's shelf in the place we rent new releases once in a while. They have a Clifford movie there too, but it was out.

Now we have collected our Suki kitten in from the rain and are getting ready to put a movie or two in. With everyone fed and ready to settle in for the afternoon/evening it is a nice day.

Friday, October 22, 2010


Esme likes this game on WordWorld: Dog's Letter Pit. She laughed at loud at the dog jumping and grabbing letters and somersaulting etc. She talked to all the characters and expected them to talk back to her :) I wish there had been more interaction in the animals' houses because Esme was really interested in those scenes. On the game it was NOT a surprise that she was able to point to any letter they asked (except 'E', which they say weird and she wagged her little finger at them and said 'no that is E' the first time as if they had tricked her). What DID surprise me was when she would hear a word she knew, like CAT or PIG and point out the letters on the screen that go to that word without being asked letter by letter. Yep - she's holding out, or just beginning to grasp certain ideas and uncertain if she has them right yet. She loved the game, and wanted to share the link.

None of the other games on the site seemed quite as intriguing or educational for her. The 'pizza' game (pig character) she liked but couldn't understand why they only wanted the words beginning with the letter on the screen - she wanted ALL the words - and was very disappointed I was waiting for certain ones. It also moved just a little too fast for her - I'd love it if there was a 'still' option on that game - she could probably actually play it then - take time to think about what they are asking and not have to 'catch' words flying by.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

turning a box into a playhouse

I got a tall sturdy box at work today - and am planning to make it into a playhouse for Esme. It is hiding in the spare room right now. I'll have to sneak it up to Grandma's house after it is finished. I plan for Esme not to see it until it is ready, and/or until her birthday 'party' I'm thinking just to use a box knife to put a window, "working" doors and a little decoration on it so that it looks like a 'house'. Then she can put on puppet performances on one side and/or play 'house' on the other side. I don't know how long it will last - but that big empty box just cried out to be made into something for her :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

language spurts

More language spurts just coming out of the blue. She is making another turn round the bend in thinking skills - as well. I've been able to give her compromises and 'firm decisions' about things and she has understood what I've meant more than ever. Sometimes she just stares at me for a moment like she couldn't have understood - but if I stand firm she lets on that she DID understand and just didn't want to comply etc.. and then she either has a meltdown or more often now she will do what was asked and then meltdown unless I make it clear it was a great job and that she will keep privileges/promised things if she does as asked and lose them if she does NOT do as asked etc.

IE: we will read this book if you put those toys away and clean out your bed etc... if you do not, mumum will clean out your bed, drop you in it, and then put away the other toys. etc.. and this book will GO AWAY until tomorrow night etc. That last part has been the kicker - and it never used to work at all, before. She could have cared less if some toy or book went away. Now - she cares about some things very much!

When Daddy was making food he was asking me questions and she was answering them and butting in between sentences etc... She has asked to 'Esme show - come with to (fridge)etc...' me things and to 'put it in your hand mumum - take mumum'' and lots of other things that are a bit more than I've been used to! She said her hands were sticky yesterday from milk in her cereal bowl 'hands sticky with milk' and asked to wash her hands before she went upstairs to play with toys. *spock eyebrow* - a few months ago she wouldn't have cared about that.

I told her last night that the only food she was going to get was on the plate in the fridge - and that was IT for the night. Daddy had tried to get her to eat it all day and she was asking for candy - so he told her she would not get any more food except that. I took it out, heated it up and began to eat it - she came and had a big 'no no no' discussion with me about that being Esme food and she was going to eat it and Mumum better not eat that etc etc... bad fork - put away fork, Esme eat, this Esme food etc etc... Tonight, when she said she was all done I reminded her about that and she wanted her uneaten food put in the fridge.

I told her she would need to brush her teeth more so her mouth wouldn't stink and she told me no I was wrong her butt stinks her mouth does not stink - and then she got up on the diaper change station and asked to have a diaper change because Mumum must have been meaning that etc...

The kid has been holding out on us...

Kid's been holding out on me - last night I was writing out words from our bedtime books on the magnadoodle and not saying anything. If she didn't know it she would ask 'whats that?' or look around the book for something. BUT - if did know the word she would roll around and giggle and fidget and/or try to hide her face - then if I continued to say nothing she would say the word. Little monkey knows more than she is telling.

I made sure she knew it was a 'good job' to know the word, and she really liked that - so maybe she'll stop the monkey business now.

She read:
red, cow, tree, stop, in, out and I already know she knows 'cat', 'dog' and 'go' and from something the other day 'on' and 'off'.

I tried 'tree' because I was sure she didn't know it... and then she did.
We continued to read 'Go Dog Go' and 'Hop on Pop' and if she asked me to draw I would write a word out of the page and tell her what it was and then keep going with the next page etc.

She curled up next to me watching all of this and fell asleep so easily and quickly it was amazing. I didn't even get tears when I got up to go back to my own bed - just a 'fist bump please' sign, which is the last thing we do each night before I go to sleep - she reaches out her little hand - I touch it, and then go to my bed and lay down.

Extra Note: We have no idea how she got the black chairstool over the babygate and into her bed yesterday. She did it when Mark didn't see her - but she was very proud of it, and didn't want to take it out. Apparently it was quite difficult to get there!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Games and toys for a creative toddler

Games Esme plays - she is quite creative and it helps that she hasn't had much exposure to quick electronic type fun (video games, cellphone apps etc).

This one was Mark's idea the other day: handfuls of dry beans in egg carton bottom cups. I cut the egg carton bottoms into different numbers of cups and let her be creative do whatever she wants with sorting them around in there. She practiced counting and I tried to teach her 'two of each', 'three of each' etc. She lined them up like a 'choo choo train' and piled them all in one place on the table then in another etc. etc.. I'm wanting to add another color soon - haven't gotten around to it yet. White and red dry beans are very cheap and last very well... but may not be a good idea for some kids (of course) or when a younger child starts crawling around looking for things to mouth!

I know one person who has a six year old she still can't trust not to eat non-food unless she watches her like a hawk, so it varies highly from one kid to another. We have been able to trust Esme not to try to eat non-food since she was about two years old -- superballs have been one of her favorite toys and she has a goodly collection of them because our video store has a vending machine in it and that is her 'good girl' treat there - putting a quarter in the machine and getting a colored superball to play with. We still WATCH her while she is playing with small things, but she hasn't attempted to eat something like that for a very long time - she knows it is a toy and toys and food are very different. I do NOT think that is average - I think most people have to watch kids closely until they are about four or five.

PAIRS in PEARS toy - basically large scrabble tiles in a pouch. She sorts them and plays with them and then puts them all away.

Bells and tin can drums and sticks to make noise on them.

Paper cards with pictures on them and laminated with packing tape. She has to be in the mood for it though.

A pinwheel cost 1.00 at the store - she practices putting it places it will stand up and blowing at it.

Nothing. She hands me a piece of nothing - tells me what it is - and then wants it back. ?? She has a large imagination.

A large box of buttons - several pounds of them. Same problems as the beans, though, for some kids. She pours them over and over out of her hands and over other toys she puts in the box, sorts colors, pretends some are 'mean' buttons and some need to be saved etc etc... sounds like games I remember playing with acorns in my front yard when I was <5.

Hiding in boxes. Having her toys and (real) cats hide in other boxes. - making up games about hiding in the boxes and carrying the boxes all around the house with some intent I had no idea about.

Bubbles. Lots and Lots of bubbles - every day lots and lots of bubbles.

A newspaper with advertisement pullouts. I cut out pattern pieces from them and she reads things in them, plays with scraps, helps throw away bits we don't need etc.

A balloon pump and balloon animal balloons. We make her random things and she decides what they are and goes off to play with them. When they pop - she throws them away and says 'goodbye birdie - you popped, poor birdie' etc etc..

Heavy string, attached to a large button - she plays 'fish' with the cat (sometimes involves said boxes) ties a toy to the end and drags it around, pretends it is a swing for the toys, wraps it around her waist and asks us to play bungee cord with her etc etc... I have a brown velvet ribbon on my desk she was playing with yesterday.

We went for a long walk in the woods the other day, and examined and collected lots of things which all stayed outside when we got home. We also watch youtubes and play on pbskids and other computer places for fun. We still have multiple plastic animal performances per day, block towers and trains and 'cow houses', we are served wooden food often and she watches a lot of Clifford and other shows she asks for.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Dog Path afternoon

We walked through the woods down the regular path, to the lake, and back up through the dog paths in the valley. We found sand, leaves, the lake (with fish and minnows), acorns, bugs, frogs, grass seeds, a deep gully, a turkey feather and lots of other things. One of the dogs chased a rabbit into a dead log but it would not come out again. Mark pushed down a dead half-fallen tree at the end of the trip and Esme thought that was HUGE... told him he was being bad at first, but then agreed with me that it was a 'good job.' The dogs all ran to him to see if he had a squirrel *ha* Esme did a pretty good job, herself. She walked by herself some, walked with us when we asked - and rarely fell on her face. We're making pizza and other assorted small food items now and she is downing a lot of cold drink. Maybe she'll have a good nap this afternoon :)

Daddy just told her he had fish sticks ready for her, and she ran to him like a roaring lion MMMM FISH STICKS MMMMMM RARARRRR! Apparently, she is hungry after all that walking :)

LATER: Esme has been wolfing down the food today - just hungry every time I turn around. I'm not sure if it was the exercise or the change in attitude today... I kind of pushed food on her yesterday and she wouldn't eat much of anything ... and today I took the opposite approach after she ate her fish sticks and half my mini pizza at our normal lunchtime. Now I've been waiting for her to come to me, and she is begging for food loudly and insistently. I think she has already eaten three times the food she did yesterday. And that is saying quite a bit. I just fed her a full container of yogurt after she had ravioli and jell-o earlier to bursting amounts. And she immediately again asked for more 'food mumum make Esme the food'.... I'm usually the one 'overfeeding' her! I might give her a cup of milk and see if that fills her up some more.

I made an attempt earlier in the afternoon and FAILED at a dress alteration... but that was okay. I still felt I'd learned something during the attempt. I should invest in a full bolt of muslin! *j/k* At least it is 1.44/yd. at the store and can be reused very well. Esme and I had been watching 'Little Pim' videos online this afternoon and then lots of Youtubes about panda bears. She played the letter games on Super Why on pbskids and Clifford games as well. My brain was full enough at that moment. For a bit there I was happy/content to just drink coffee and then sit there watching Esme eat ravioli and not get into anything else for a bit. The laundry was washing... But, after a bit Esme was done with her ravioli and the dishes were in the sink. I finished the next stage of the dress fitting and am ready to cut the muslin copy in half, make small adjustments and dismantle it again to make paper patterns out of. Then I can try to make a new attempt out of some dark green fabric Gwen gave me a few yards of. The dress is a 'princess seam' very plain dress. For some reason the original did not have any shoulders to it and one of the side pieces was missing from the pattern. I approximated the missing piece, added on to the shoulders and neckline on both pieces, but need to do a tiny bit of adjusting to the main front seam so it follows my form a bit better without following it TOO closely.

Dog and Cat Morning

Esme heard the dogs go out and Daddy go back to bed. She got up and asked 'is it morning?' I said I didn't know yet - asked Daddy 'is it morning?' He said 'No, we sleep.' I told Esme 'No, Daddy says it is not morning - we go sleep.' Esme said - in a plaintive little voice : 'It's DOG morning.' and went back to her bed grumbling about dogs and playing and going outside and morning and bed. She sat there pretending to sleep for a little bit. In a few more minutes the cats started playing all over the house. She got up again and came to my bed: 'Mumum, what's that?' Me: 'The cats are playing.' Esme: 'Cats play... it MORNING? - STRETCH (stretches her arms fully out with sound effects), YAWN, It MORNING!' And at that point I had a hard time disagreeing with her, so I got up, too.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

red bravest dragon jacket

Esme and Bunny and I by the stairs

This is the gray and red jacket I made the other day. I even wore it to work as a shirt, although I intend to mostly wear it at home. The red fabric is named 'The Bravest Dragon' and was from Mockingbird Threads fabric shop in Huntingdon, TN.

Today I'm working on Esme's Clifford the Big Red dog shirt for her birthday - but only when she isn't looking. When she is looking I'm working on a 'mumum dress' - trying to reproduce some of the pieces to a dress pattern that has some missing.

We went to the library book sale today and a garage sale. I found a very cool flowered shirt at the garage sale and Esme got to play with a few children there. She had a 'grand ol' time' with the kids although she once again called them 'baby' when they were older than her! They drove around in a ride-on toy and Esme acted like she had known them for years, but then was right up and ready when we said 'library.' She played more Reader Rabbit Toddler at the library and did the shape puzzles on there. She is really good at them - but sometimes the mouse falls off the table and she gets mad about that. Mark found some really cool 'Van Nostrand Scientific Encyclopedia's and a few novels. I found several classic Disney books for Esme and a few foreign language books for myself. Then we were home to visit Grandma and Grandpa and have jell-o and fishsticks.

I'm enjoying the BBC French lessons :) It makes me want to listen to my 'Great Big Sea' CD again and find the French they sing - and the little French mystery I picked up today is about 40% understandable. Mark cracked: 'So, that's why it's a mystery, eh? You only understand half the words?' HA. HA. HA.

note: I think I've gained or lost some weight... as that last picture looks odd to me - but it is a good shot of the jacket so I'll keep it :)

LATER: Esme was being mean to the Suki kitty so Daddy put her in her room... and she fell asleep quite quickly. The mumum dress needs a LOT of alterations to work for me... glad I'm working in muslin. Ran out of bobbin thread and need to go back down there, fill another bobbin, and finish Esme's Clifford shirt while she is asleep. I got a third of it done earlier when she was watching Tom and Jerry cartoons (she calls it cat and mouse on TEE). Might work more on the dress tomorrow...

Other notes Esme has made another subtle but noticeable change in her speech... Now she says things like this: 'I talk to the Daddy NOW. I said I talk to the Daddy. I SAID - I talk to the Daddy. Come in, Mumum, come talk to the Daddy. Come in Daddy, come in sit down. Wait me, I come in! (even when you are just across the room from her) Be Quiet Daddy. Stop it. No Sing Mumum, quit it. Stop it HOT, ow my eye (stop shining in my eye sun(HOT), it hurts my eye). No draw the pretty mumum, I sit the pretty (don't draw on the fabric mom I'm sitting on it)' etc.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The language mouse in my head

The language mouse in my head seems to remember much more than the rest of me does... it just doesn't really tell the rest of me about it. Some part of my brain seems to remember 'whole bits' of languages I have heard and then spit them back at me in my sleep. It was Japanese a few weeks ago.. probably from the lessons I was listening to about six years ago, and anime DVDs. I understood only little bits and had to look up what I could when I woke up. It's odd - it's my OWN BRAIN and I have no idea what she said! Last night it was French, but I understood more. The lady was asking me to look for her little cat in a large house. I thought she was saying 'una la petit' (the little one) and I thought she meant a child so I walked right by the cat - and she came back and told me she had found it. I was unable to respond in French to her to ask the questions I wanted - and I couldn't see all the words I was hearing (I usually and almost exclusively 'see' words in dreams in some inner eye.. it's hard to explain and no one I know has the same experience).

I found this online french steps course where I can hear more actual spoken French and maybe fill in some of the holes.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sewing change of venue and Red Bravest Dragon jacket

For the record Esme was very good at our meeting this morning. She got a lollipop just as we sat down in the office and she played with her book, markers and a notebook and a paper dog I had made her. Except for being a terrible dictator to little baby kitty she has been a VERY good girl today. Cross your fingers - don't jinx that one ;)

For the past few nights I've been sewing in the kitchen downstairs - and haven't moved the sewing machine back upstairs in between. I'm about to do it for a permanent change - move the Singer table down there and sew down there all of the time. Esme can amuse herself in several ways down there and it is a more central location to what she is doing than the sewing corner is upstairs now.

The red fabric (labeled 'The Bravest Dragon' on the selvedge) went into a project for myself, another housejacket from the same altered McCalls pattern. I used the same alterations as last time but omitted the stand-up collar. It was altered from a size 14 sleeve and a size 10 body then those two items worked together to meet in the middle with more room in the arms and back shoulders. The grey fabric is what one fellow blogger calls 'television' (see right through it) with the red fabric trimming the facings and cuffs. It is very Japanese compared to the last one - with large sweeping cuffs. I'm not really sure where all the differences came from... sometimes that just happens. I think it actually might be a good enough job to wear it over a tshirt into work tomorrow... just until I switch out to my usual work zipped hoodie. Esme could care less that Mumum made herself a shirt... she didn't want me to use her buttons on it *ha* she wanted all her buttons to herself.

I think this jacket took about four hours. I was working on it for a good while before I went to see Grandma and Grandpa at six, and then it took me not quite until 8:30 to finish up the last sleeve and bottom hem. Hope to get pictures tomorrow and will post them here. go here for pictures!

Also a side note: Several times while I was sewing tonight I was thinking : 'I wish they made a LEFT HANDED sewing machine'... where the controls were on the left and the needle and fabric 'open working space' were on the right. I'm sure they probably do. I'm not sure why I think it would be any better for me, really.... but everything I put up on the machine seems to be 'backwards' from the side I want facing towards the outside of the working space, and I have to turn it around funny to get it in a good position to sew. I wonder if I'd just have the same problem half the time on a left-handed machine... since I'm actually ambidextrous :)

I just looked it up. Sewing machines are actually left handed by nature - so I'm using the left-handed version and wanting the right-handed version for the first time in my life *ha*. Sewing machines used to be right-hand crank according to this article that is why everything else is done on the left-hand side. I'd rather have the controls on the left and the working space on the right. Apparently, I'm not the only one!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Day out with Grandma

Esme was all over the board today out with Grandma and me in town. She sang, she laughed, she cried, she screamed, she drug her feet, she was happy - then she was crying etc etc... *sigh* Mumum was exasperated, a little - especially when I could not reverse the car on a downward incline the first five times I tried it *felt very dumb - but somehow got it worked out*.

Esme really likes to stick to the same routine - it makes her comfortable. She likes to tell me what she thinks is coming up next but also gets upset when the expected doesn't happen. She can meltdown into an unreasonable lump of screaming child if she thinks she messed up the routine... brought the wrong shoes, expected to go in one door and we went in another etc.. It is not always that those meltdowns happen (less now than a year ago) but they still happen. Today was entirely off 'normal' routine - going to the store without Daddy was a big one. I even felt myself that there were some bits of the routine that were really hard to do by myself without Mark to pass Esme to -- like getting the groceries in the car on the driver's side and Esme in the car on the passenger side without leaving her alone etc... Esme loved having Grandma with us, but was upset when she couldn't see her.... was not willing to listen to Grandma, or to me once she was already upset etc.. When she was struggling and being difficult in a small and cramped store she would not listen to my reasons for needing to hold her -- she kept saying "see Grandma, Esme see Grandma, talk to Grandma!' but then she wanted Grandma to carry her. She is too heavy for Grandma to carry her very far. She is almost too heavy for ME to carry very far. And she was doing a lot of dragging her feet because she didn't want to walk, and yelling at me because she didn't want me to carry her either.

She needs a lot more practice in public with new routines.. she just doesn't get a lot of it. She is usually an angel when Mumum and Daddy are doing the same thing we always do (Store, bank, co-op, mumum's work, french fry etc)... Daddy said I should have bought her a french fry. He had taken her out with Grandpa yesterday and she was about to throw a full out fit then but it was fixed by french fries... Really I should have brought a lollipop in my purse. That might have at least occupied parts of her when I would expect it to be difficult for her to behave. ie: give it to her BEFORE we go in the place, while she is still being good - and then let her open it and maybe she would act nicer or have the threat of losing it etc...

The biggest point is she was cranky almost since the moment we woke up this morning. She has been contrary and demanding. That's a bad mix - because she demands something, then doesn't want it, then is mad if I take it away - and on and on and on.... It adds up to what is really a good day to try much 'new' anyway! Or maybe it is the best day - as her attitude is constantly off-key and there is no pleasing her for long anyway...? But we got it all done - the stores and filling gas cans and groceries and Daddy got all the work he wanted to get done here at home on the tractor.

I bought a very small amount of fabric at the fabric store - just enough to line two shirts and to add on to a remnant I already have but was upset about it not being enough to make a shirt out of. I've gotten the items I wanted to get done and packaged up... now to finish the laundry and get to bed early for our meeting tomorrow.

I'm wondering if I should use the red fabric I bought more of today could make the face lining and cuffs of another one of these:

I've been wearing that jacket a lot around the house and to bed etc... it keeps my shoulders nice and warm when the blanket slips away in the middle of the night etc. I have a thinner gray fabric that might convince me enough to do it... but maybe not. My 'that's selfish' gene kicks in there because I originally intended to make Esme another dress out of it (she likes her red one a lot)... and then she told me NO RED PRETTY during her contrariness today and I'm rethinking it. It has the same kind of 'eyestar' pattern as the brown fabric I used then.

LATER: Esme is out of the bathtub, eating her fish sticks and getting ready for bed. She is being quite a bit better since the bath - even though I washed her hair and put the other conditioner in it (needs to be rinsed out at the end of the bath - which she HATES). She has done nearly everything I've asked since coming out of the bathtub... hopefully when she is done eating she will come get in her bed and read a book with me so we can all go to sleep. We have an early meeting tomorrow. Mark says I'm stressing too much about it... but that is normal for me.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Esme blowing bubbles - Look out I'm going to try science!

These pictures show her 'little scientist' mind at work.

Peering at the wand to see the soap in it


Karate bubble catcher!

Look out! I'm going to try science!
(Popping the bubble she caught, so she can blow again)

NOTES: Those are the Alexander Henry "Tatsu" dragon fabric pants I made her the other night, and the lilac short sleeved shirt from last month. She wore them to pick me up from work today and several coworkers said the pants were awesome :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Not much to say but quite a lot to be thankful for

Reading some really old workbasket books from quite before I was born. There are some good patterns in there and ideas of things to make. It was a simpler time then... at least it seems so from those articles and advertisements. And they were all very thrifty - making everything the family would need. Last night I made two pairs of pants out of the Tatsu dragon fabric. Esme is wearing a pair today and they definitely work well. She missed her reading time last night but I hope to do it with her tonight. I have more ideas for books to make Esme but after making three of them I will hold off and see how she reacts to them - so I know which words to use and what subjects she will want to read next. Esme is still dragging the baby kitty around everywhere with her - forcing her to sit in boxes and on her bed with her. It looks like she is carrying a toy with no stuffing in it when she carries the kitty - she goes limp and hangs there on her wrists like a fur stole. I was/am getting quite stressed out at work by the 'every day on' schedule I've been on. But it could be worse -- I keep saying that. Beautiful family and snug home to come home to, even though I have to leave again every morning. I have a job that I do fairly well and a paycheck coming in every few weeks. And, I have enough presence of mind to tell myself, even in a dream, that my bottom jaw and all of my teeth were not falling out *ha*... that it was only a dream and everything would be okay. I think that is the Universe telling me to 'chin up'.. things could be worse.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Reading at bedtime and missing the big cow

This is a hard one for me. I know it is something I should be doing, especially with as much interest Esme shows in the concept. She knows a few little sight words from Electric Company and her Starfall. But - she isn't a big fan of physical books, sometimes. I'm trying it again, starting with small books and small words and her Richard Scarry book and Dr.Seuss... she gets bored easily and there are many things (not her Richard Scarry book) she gets frustrated with quickly and doesn't want to cooperate for more than a few pages. And sometimes, true to her age, she is downright violent with physical books. And during the day - she is on the go... so hard to slow down for anything that takes patience. Again, that is true to her age. So to read during the day it has to be either together with Daddy as an 'event' (all of us on the bed, short book YAY at the end etc.) or at night when I want to settle her down and we get into her bed. It's also HARD for me to get into her bed *ha* and she wants me to sleep there when we are done reading. I don't of course - I told her I would fall out and go OW on the floor, so sorry I am going to go sleep in my big bed. She still wants me to go to sleep right after we get done reading. Now THAT is hard. *sigh* and it keeps her on her 16 hour schedule that some days just tires us plumb out!

last page from the book I made her at work last night

We read about Frances and her airplane last night. Esme likes airplanes a LOT. I'm thinking of making her a new book about another rabbit in an airplane, with smaller words. We read the otheer new book I made her 'Good dog Good cat', She liked that so much I had to pry it out of her hands after she was asleep. I'm taking it back to work with me again today to add a page to it and 'edit'. Mark says it is bad when you both write your child's early books and edit yourself later on them *ha* Esme didn't think the cat was good because she didn't see it get off the bed. That should have been a 'bad cat'. Then there must be another page where the cat is being obviously good, with the dog, and they can be good dog and good cat.

Mark also has me checking into printing costs on some of these little books... of course, a more polished version. Not that we can print them right now, but it might be a good idea to know if/when we can do it. Somebody on Esme's forum suggested I sell those.. as works of art in original, on Etsy. It's a thought... since they don't take much to make.

We took Esme for a rare french fry yesterday when Mark picked me up from work. Sometimes she gets a small shake, and she asked for one. The shake machine was down for cleaning - I told her it was broken and they couldn't make one. The lady said 'no it's not broken, we just have to wait.' YIKES.. Esme knows that one - don't say that! She'll want us to wait, without knowing how long it takes etc. I told the lady to just say it was all done for the night and she would have to have something else.. she winked and got it. We got her a very small 'cold' (slushie) and her french fries. The lady gave her a hat. She acted very shy after that.

When we stopped at a store before that there is usually a very large cow statue there. Esme asked 'Where cow? Cow where are you?' It has been gone for months, but she remembers it. I told her the cow went home, and we would have to miss the cow until maybe it decided to come back, but maybe it wouldn't come back. She said in the backseat 'We miss you cow. Sorry you gone cow. Come back cow!' etc etc over and over again.

She is REALLY getting more and more conversational and understanding. This was our 'mime' last year about this time. I'm really enjoying it and wide-eyed about it at the same time.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Go Cat - blow bubbles


One of the kind of little books I have made for Esme in the past - except this one is centered around a few words we were working on with her Pairs in PEARS toy. 'CAT', 'POP' and 'NO' were words she actually responded to this morning, so I tried to use them in the book. She is also VERY interested in bubbles lately (bubble wand) so that was a natural inclusion, as well.

I have more to make for her again - but put them up somewhere she can't get to them and make it a special thing to read with Daddy and Mumum both? She seems to get easily frustrated with books and puzzles that are 1.) long and/or 2.) seen often. I hope these books will help around that a little :) Plus, they are fun for me to make and cost virtually nothing but time. We already have the tape, and the construction paper I bought a while back and have been using sparingly specifically for Esme's homeschool. So - two more big points!

bits to remember and pinwheel pics

Some good examples of how different she is in attitude and language since a few months ago....

I was woken this morning by a little face standing in front of me saying her drink cup was 'not found' where is it? Find drink cup mumum, where? I told her if she couldn't find her drink cup on the floor - she would have to look under all her blankets. She did. She finally found it under the corner of her bed. It was an interesting discussion, full of 'NOT HERE' and 'not found - find mumum!' etc. I was impressed she understood to pull out all her blankets that it could be tangled in there.

She is trying to pull the pinwheel out of the hole in the side of the desk Daddy put it in. She was trying to pull DOWN hard on it and it was being stuck firm because of it. I told her to stop and pull OUT and she would get it. She did. And it came out. She was so proud of herself 'I did it! OUT. pretty - *blow and make it spin* It spin I blow!' And now she is practicing putting it back on the desk and taking it back off.

We had just come up with her cereal from the basement kitchen - and she decided to tank her cereal on the desk and go play with buttons. I put the buttons up high and said she would lose the cereal AND her buttons unless she ate the cereal. I got a teenager 'DO I HAVE TO?' expression and attempt to argue while hanging over the chair on her belly and crying. But, after she realized I was serious and the buttons were not down anymore - she sat down and ate all of it. After a bit she got back down from her chair and went over to the shelf and asked for the buttons. I asked her if she was all done - and she said YES mumum .. it all done. I checked it and it was true, so she got to play with the buttons again.

I'm being asked to sort through the buttons with a teaset plate and find blue ones, put them on the plate and then toss them back in. Try MUMUM, buttons BLUE (give plate) TRY!'

On her Clifford show 'Kibble Crook' the doggie arrives at the backyard and the other dogs have not shown up yet. Esme: 'They not here doggie - not here!' And there is a bowl of food. Esme: 'No eat Doggie - no EAT DOG FOOD!' The dog later gets in trouble because he ate all the food but he doesn't want to tell anyone that he did it etc... and she talks to the characters like that all throughout the show!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Random midweek off day - and looking at grocery carts

Esme is being fairly good today - she got ravioli a few minutes ago and is now watching Alien Shaun Sheep as Daddy finishes a hamburger for us, which she has went on a strike about eating lately (thus the separate meal for her with half the can put in the fridge). She also has a pinwheel we bought her for a dollar that she thinks is an excellent toy.

We went to town and looked at alternatives to heating the whole house this winter. We'll keep thinking about it. Especially if we don't have to heat the downstairs during the night to higher than 55 degrees... while still keeping warm upstairs. That would save quite a bit with the right equipment.

Then we bought groceries. This is not politically correct at all - and I know I'll offend someone. I don't want to - but I have to say it. I was horrified by a lady in front of us with a backside wider than her shopping cart - and her cart filled with food to the very top (all processed stuff in boxes - FOUR pizzas and numerous other things besides that!) as she waddled slowly in front of us out the door. And she was talking with another lady nearly the same size pushing another cart that stuffed full of food. And we see the same thing every time we shop - every day when I work (although we don't sell food there) etc etc... It hits home harder right now with our limited resources - HOW are these people paying for that much food in this economy and staying that large? I know I'm a little biased - I came from a family background which made me VERY scared of becoming fat. I went through a period of anorexia because of the fear... and still find myself thinking that way sometimes. Growing up, I saw what becoming obese (much more than the standard 5-10 lbs variation) did to people - spent large amounts of money they didn't have on terrible food, and how they stopped being capable in many circumstances, and that scared me most of all. They still needed to take in that many calories - but were not able to work and support the output to pay for it .. so it fell on other people around them. They actually couldn't walk across the house or to the mailbox without breathing heavily. They stopped cleaning or taking animals outside or other things they really needed to do to keep the house healthy. Nothing got done except when other people came to help. So - not sure what I'm trying to say - except that it still scares me. The two of us and Esme, with our little cart with bare essentials in it and this lady in front of us the size of all of us put together and then some, with more food than we could eat in a month.... and obviously she (or somebody) is paying a lot of money and resources to be that size - does she realize it? Can she help it? I'm just not sure. I'll never really know, I guess... or be able to really mask my fear of it either, which I know is not politically correct at all...*growl* At least I'm honest about it. And I don't mean ANYONE that size - as some are very productive people.. but seeing it becoming more and more prevalent does make some part of me want to crawl inside and hide... old fears and wondering how much suffering could be avoided etc...

But anyway, I do have things I want to get done, and I will get them done. I hope to clean and organize a bit more in the house - want to find out how much muslin I have in my pile and make another lined shirt or two for Esme before I go back to work on Friday.

Monday, October 04, 2010

35 months

(this follows the format from a development board 'Early Milestones' I've belonged to since Esme was 13 months old)

That board takes a more 'realistic' view of milestones in that they happen whenever the particular child is ready for them, especially when one or more of them is before the 'average' and other moms would be hard to talk to about that particular thing without feeling competitive. And not everything has to be 'ahead' - Esme was ahead in physical but not in language when we joined. She was 13 months and had been walking for months, had started running and was really into everything just as other moms were posting 'first steps' on my 'same-age' board. The forum we belong to also varies and suggests ideas for activities based on things the child already does and is interested in, not on the 'age-appropriate' scales. The kids there are 'all over the board' in a very good way. For me, it cuts down 'competition' by putting everything back in the perspective of 'What is SHE interested in? What does SHE want or need more help with?'

Age : 35 months - three next month! Wow where did that time go!?

Physical abilities: Still terrifically strong for her age, lifts heavy toys etc. Climbed the metal slide ladder at the park over and over a few weeks back and the round-rung ladder as well. Can do a lot more for herself now, pull off pants, shoes, socks and get halfway out of shirt etc... get into and out of the vehicle without help and a lot of other 'big girl' things. Is willing and able to do a lot more things like wash and dry her hands mostly by herself (she gets on her chair and we turn on the water, but she does the rest), carry a mostly full cup across the room, find socks and other clothes and bring them to me in the morning while I collect drink cups and find my shoes etc. Pulls her wagon with Daddy when trash bags are in it on Monday mornings.

Language: Much more descriptive language and phrases. Uses her name and all the names of people and animals she knows. Was passing out french fries to the dogs the other day and used her 'version' of each name correctly. Has more adjectives and verbs now. Goes from general to specific: 'Want FOOD. Applejacks, in a bowl, with milk.' etc. Will ARGUE now about things. Can say things when asked instead of refusing outright. Asks us 'what is it' to everything. Wants the dogs and cats to talk to her, too.

Letters/numbers: : Has less interest in the idea that letters make up specific words than she did three months ago - still trying to encourage it again. Plays 'PAIRS IN PEARS' (letter pear) with me often matching letters, finding letters, working with some sounds etc. Better recognition of all the numerals. Counts more accurately now up to six and sometimes beyond. Still plays 'birthday' with three candle type items.

Puzzles, reasoning, etc: A lot more independence and confidence in her own abilities is creeping in: Will climb up on the changing table herself when she needs a new diaper. Will go and climb into her bed when she wants to sleep or rest on her pillows to watch TV etc. Can/will fetch items from other rooms that she would never actually try before. Example: drag a chair to the bathroom, get up on the chair to pull a towel off the towel rack in the bathroom to bring into the kitchen and clean up a mess etc.. Or going upstairs to get herself a new pair of pants or socks when she spills something etc. I find that really useful!

She is understanding and making more connections between things she observes and the outcome etc. Already learned that she could SEE if there was soap in the bubble wand and know if it would blow a bubble or not. She learned that from watching us peer at the wand and telling her if it had soap in it or not. Then she learned all by herself that the bubble wand will blow out like usual- but if she catches a bubble and blows it off, she gets another 'free' bubble blow without a dip. She has been doing this one over and over and then finally will dip again 'now the soap' etc.. I thought that was pretty smart!

Creativity: Makes impressive block patterns with alternating colors and repeats patterns she remembers we have done hours or days earlier... thinks in balance and symmetry relationships easily and loves to pretend things are houses, cars, food, bathtubs etc.

Imagination: Plays with her animal toys and little people and makes up stories and reasons for them to do things. Increasingly thinks up 'abstract' ideas like a set of blocks being a 'choochoo' because they are close together rectangles, or a balloon on a string being a doggie she is walking on a leash etc.

Social: Played with lots of kids at the park nicely but called them all 'baby'. Wants to see Grandma and Grandpa daily, and often tells me all the things she'll do up there and when she wants to do it etc etc.. Downright bossy with some of the animals, a 'puppy' to a few others of them following them around like she does us etc etc.. Carries the cats into her room and forces them to participate in watching TV and conversations etc... Is really understanding social relationships in her TV shows as well - understanding and being happy/sad/worried/scared etc for them.

Character/personality: Shows more annoyance and demanding us to cooperate than ever lately -- expressions of disappointment and arguing etc etc... Tells me to do things she used to do cheerfully when asked (find her drink cup, throw trash away, etc..) No MUMUM do it, etc.. I'll ask her a question she doesn't like and get a new 'not that NOW Mumum' expression from her lately. But she is also once again very very sweet when she wants to be and always full-on energy always busy.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

more raglan shirt and blocks

No matter how many I make, it is still satisfying to start with uncut fabric and come out three hours later with a completely finished shirt. It's like I'm hooked or something ;) I used the red and white flower fabric I bought the other day - it is pretty and simple and looks great. Esme likes her red shirt. I also lined the top of it with extra muslin, so it will be warmer. It makes the front look a little stiff sometimes, but that is well worth the difference.

New red raglan shirt and patting Bunny dog on the head

This is in the entryway to our living room area where there is an entry closet, coats, assorted 'junk' (swimming stuff, outgoing mailbox, wire for the fence, dog toys, boxes of stuff from the flea market etc) and of course, 'Bones', our lab skeleton hanging there by the window. Esme wanted to play blocks here under the light tonight and even coaxed Daddy into playing with her.

Daddy plays blocks :)

Daddy built this huge tower, then asked her to add to it
She's not sure how!

A rare capture of 'uncertainty' from Esme
I'm only THIS tall!

So Daddy picked her up :)

This is a 'choo choo train' of blocks, according to Esme

I'm really happy with this pattern now - except maybe adding another inch to the sleeve length for this year and maybe another inch to the skirt as well... she is growing so much!

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Why we bought her blocks

This is why we have bought her blocks for her birthday *shhhh don't tell her and glad she can't read it yet!* :)

She gets to doing these patterns and then she runs out of materials... and gets sad, but starts over again with something new. I don't often catch them, because of this. I asked Mark to hand me the camera before she knocked them all over and got upset. She has lots of cylinders and blue squares and more of these red and green blocks exactly like these waiting for her to open in November. I know she'll be thrilled :)

For the record - I tried to make a pair of footed pants last night and failed :( I'll have to try again with a few modifications. I took the feet off them entirely and made a hem at the bottom. She is wearing those in the picture above 'clown pants' Mark calls them. I need to make a pair of footies for HIM - as he got cold last night. He says perfect them for her, then triple the size ;)

Friday, October 01, 2010

Finished footed pajamas

Made from 1940s version Simplicity 3493 footed pajamas pattern, size 4.

I took my glasses off to use the camera.. she found them

There is _QUITE_ a lot of room in the seat!

And about two to three inches are bunched up at her ankles, as well.

But it didn't impose much upon her playing while wearing them

As you can see, they are QUITE large, but usable :) I wonder if the fact they didn't have disposable diapers in 1940 had something to do with it? And a size too big to start with... but I can make some adjustments and make a newspaper pattern to try a second one. And she will grow into these. Even though they are too big she said 'mine - with socks' and grabbed the front of them and hoisted them up - walking away to go play... I take that as a good sign!

They are officially 'sock pants' to Esme - she asked for them off for a 'butt change' a few minutes ago and said 'sock pants off - no sock pants - need butt change.' ha!

A modern example for this pattern is Simplicity 5874, and it comes in multiple sizes. I might need to remember that later.

Friday morning

I have the day off, but do need to take some paperwork to town. Esme is up eating her cereal and watching Clifford the Big Red Dog. It is the tape we bought on clearance last year, and she loves it to death - talking to the characters and has it memorized! She was quite sweet this morning, but getting her to go to bed last night was a chore. She was backtalking 'no bed! no no no no frog, no bed! *flop on floor next to bed*' I put her back in and sternly told her to 'stay there in bed NOW Do NOT get out of that bed. I mean it.' Mumum does not often get 'stern' with her voice. I don't often have to, as she usually follows all the 'rules' we expect of her albeit with some "discussion."

She whimpered, then flopped and went right to sleep, and didn't get out all night. And she didn't want to get out this morning, even to fetch her drink cup from the shelf nearby, until she was sure Mumum said it was 'morning.' I saw her hesitate and then sit right back in the place she was last night when I told her to stay there - and look at me with that certain 'remembering' look. She didn't have to say a word - I knew exactly what she was remembering and worried about. I said 'yes it morning!' and smiled - then she was up and out of that bed in a milisecond asking for all the regular things (diaper change, applejacks etc). She gets the 'rule-following' genes from me... but sometimes I have mixed feelings about them :)

I have some little details left on the footed pajamas and then hopefully try them on to see if they are the right size. I hope so! I don't want to try them on her unfinished and make her take them off right away again if she likes them - but don't want to wash them without the details finished etc etc... They feel warm on my lap while I'm working on them, so they should keep her warm, too.