Sunday, May 29, 2011

bits of the garden and the weekend

Sometime after this weekend my vacation begins... we'll see when. My nephew called and asked if I would visit them in Minnesota when we could afford it... I told him that really was very hard for us not only because of the cost but because of how long it takes to get there and back, and how young Esme is still to sit still that long etc... His little sister is nearly the same age, so he kind of understood that last part.

I have gotten very little sewing done as Esme has been wanting to play outside and that has led me to the garden and other tasks out there during these past few days. I've actually read two books this week which is something I have not done in a long time. We've been spending a lot of time in our garden, and Esme has had a few playdates. We went swimming in the lake yesterday and it was MUCH too cold for that. Esme said 'I'm a fishie' and relearned how to swim with her lifejacket on - but I'm hoping she doesn't catch a cold from it. At one point she was laughing so hard at Daddy's shriek of 'COLD WATER' that she swallowed some lake water and returned some strawberry shake she had earlier back into the lake with the water.... *yuck*.. and then she wanted to swim to the other end of the lake and not get out! We did convince her we would come back sometime when it was not quite so cold...

Some days this weekend her mood was very good and at some times during today it was quite awful indeed, mostly because of the heat and Mama and Grandma both not wanting to be out in it while Esme was 'hot' on the idea to the point of tears. She is also not happy with Mama in general that I am asking so much of her with the PT. She HAS had some progress and is telling us when she needs to pee much more often. It's a start. I'm going to enforce it harder on my vacation again... but we're getting there slowly. She was throwing a doozy of a fit when we returned from Grandma's today so I convinced her into a bathtub full of warm water and eucalyptus soap and she felt much better after a bit. Then she got to play outside again while I was weeding the garden, which made her feel even better, until we came back in of course!

Daddy walked down to the lake with us and collected shasta daisy seeds. We've gotten a nice crop down there over the past few years, and have enjoyed them immensely. Esme loves to pick three at a time - one for her, one for Mama and one for Daddy. I've set them to dry in the garage and will try to resow them in other places out in the property. I've bought several other varieties of perennial daisy like seeds to see if they will flourish and bring some long-lasting effects. We also have marigolds, a geranium and some zinnias planted in the garden (all annuals) and I'll be trying to save the marigold seed to see how it will do in another round.

Our corn is getting very tall, the pumpkins and squash plants are HUGE, and the beans are starting to flower. We have flowers on the tomatoes and peppers, and a handful of radishes every few days. I keep planting more ;) Our cucumbers are not doing very well... they are very small while the squash planted at the same time is getting ready to flower. I've put a few small rows of different sunflowers and indian corn just to have some pretty things on the edges. It is so much that Mark says we have no more room for anything in there ;) And I still wanted to ask him to plant the potatoes that are in the kitchen sprouting on the bottom rack!

heard Esme say words like 'clover', and 'healthy' today. She also told me 'maybe' this morning when I asked her if she would try to put her hat on after we cleaned up a dirty spot she saw... obsessive little thing when she sees something she thinks needs cleaning! She will fret about it until it is made right. And she keeps telling me the road is 'danger' and that I have to stay off of it entirely WITH her and not cross it at all because we will get run over. This is difficult when we have to cross the road at the point to go to the garage... and I basically have to pick her up and CARRY her across the road while she has her freakout about getting run over and then when we are on the other side she calms down. But man... what a reaction. Daddy did a good job enforcing that idea on her when the loggers were out here with their big machinery. They're mostly gone now, but may come back for a bit to help with Grandpa's clearing from our road. I'm glad she understands there is potential danger (we are very very rural and it is OUR driveway, not the main highway) but she still has to learn that really she needs to look OUT for danger, and if there is none, she can cross that road and get to the other side.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sunbonnet, gardening and bits

Esme and Nova playing 'tug of war' with a stick on the bern

Mark working in the garden with me, helping put up a fence for the pinto beans to climb on. they were about to have a massive fight with the pumpkins.

Do you see all that squash and tomatoes growing there? We are getting some big plants, hopefully we will get fruit as well, as the season progresses.

Esme wearing the 'sunbonnet' I made for myself. It is much too big for her. She said she wants a blue one so she can have blue hat like Pocoyo ;)

from the back

from the front

I made it with bias strip tie straps to keep it in this county when the wind blows it off my head. Esme told me it looked 'same way Grandma', and she thinks I'm pretending to be Grandma when I wear it. Grandma has a brown fishing hat that is about the same color but definitely not as curly ;)

I was sunburning the top of my head and Esme absolutely wants to play outside any day it is nice. So, I made a hat. I could have bought one, but it seemed an interesting challenge. I tried one out of yellow fabric and it did not work very well...a more daunting challenge than I had thought! I studied up a bit and made this one. Next time I would not add any seam allowance to the brim.. it made it 'curly' and ruffly around the edge. It looks like a cross between clownish or mid-century... haha. The biggest thing is it fits and works for its intent. I wore it in the garden weeding this morning and I could feel the sun beating down on my shoulders but not on my head.

I did buy some blue fabric for Esme's hat... but that was before she told me that she wanted a hat like Pocoyo's. He has earflaps on his hat... yet another challenge?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

dress ideas

We went and spent part of the day with Miss Diana, and Esme had a good time with the neighbor boy again. They ran all over the place - and Esme was a truly bossy cow all over the place. She needs to learn to quit that! Diana made a comment to me that I was a dressmaker, not a quilter... and I told her yes, I would never take the 'pains' with a quilt problem that I would with a dress problem. That definitely makes me a dressmaker. I'd even make the same dress eight times over (have done, yes I'm guilty) just to find the answer to something. A quilt is just a quilt.... patchwork is interesting sometimes, but still... it just lays there, and the binding stage irks the ire out of me, so I will often mash it down and do it haphazard just to be done and not feel any guilt over it. I guilt over shortchanging the stitching near a zipper on a dress that will be worn many times... I check it every time it comes out of the wash for damages, in order to know where reinforcements are needed next time. Yes. I'm a dressmaker.

Diana showed me a dress she really liked on Marimekko that was ultra-expensive, but she wanted to duplicate in some way to wear to a wedding this summer. I'm showing her a few of the patterns I have in my collection, maybe something will be alterable. And then she needs to find a similar print, as their fabric is also ultra-expensive (65.00 a yard!)... but I knew it was Marimekko as soon as she said 'dress from finland in a magazine.' ;) I've followed them for a while.. just in pictures, of course. They are excellent.

not that dress, but another one
I liked out of a magazine

This is a dress I tore out of a magazine last month. I've been keeping it in my stash of ideas because I love the waistline, how it is pleated and falls into soft waves under a crisp simple bodice.

I also found this pattern when I was looking for things that looked like Diana's dress. It doesn't look anything like it - but it truly is different. The wide square collar that goes back over the shoulders... very different indeed.

7302 McCalls

I guess all this means I'll have to make 'a' belted dress this summer. We'll see. I still have to remake the green dress from last year because it is no longer a good fit. It might take well to a belt!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

bits and green leaf dress

Esme called it the 'all green leafs, no flowers' dress
fabric from Mockingbird Threadworks, Huntingdon, TN
Timeless Treasures owls collection

This is the first non-pants item I've made her in months. This is the dress that was supposed to be a sleeveless 'sun' dress type.. but I miscut the facings and had already sewn them on. It looks okay as a short sleeved item, and she likes wearing it, so it isn't too thick at the seams. I also shortchanged the zipper sewing on it.... probably will need to be cut apart and redone in 3 to 6 months.


Two jumps (actually meaning, you come jump too!)

bit of a run by post with pictures of the 'green leafs' dress I made for Esme this weekend. I'll update it with more text later on in the day. I have two days off now, Friday 'on', and then the weekend off. That is a big thing, a mini-vacation of sorts. I'll get my real vacation (5 days in a row) in early June... I forget when, about the 6th or 9th. Time isn't my forté, especially when there isn't enough of it.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

knit girl

Still not feeling great, but at least I've kept something down. Went outside with Esme to watch her play. Then I went inside to get a glass of tea, and came out to see her with my knitting needles sitting in my chair. She said: 'I'm a mom. I make. I make a dress.'

She made me dirt clod pies and piles of gravel for jelly beans, and insisted we eat, then said 'no that dirt - no touch, no eat.' What I was impressed by was her saying 'I made beans for you and a for me'... which is a step for her.

Another cute thing today was I was cutting out pieces for a dress after I was feeling better - and the fabric was a vertical ivy chain. Esme looks at it and says 'it all leafs, where the flower?' She has a very good point! I can tell I'm still not completely up to par as I made a mistake on the armholes of the dress. It was supposed to be sleeveless, and I cut the facings too short to cover the bottom of the armholes *dumb*... So I'll make it short-sleeved anyway. I have a pattern coming in the mail for a sailor-collar shirt/jacket, and just the fabric picked out for it. It is the neon purple damask Esme picked out at Mockingbird Threads months ago, and I bought more of during the sale.

sailor coat/shirt Simplicity #2986

Also got this pattern in the mail in a 'soon but not yet' size 5, which I was trying to 'duplicate' unsuccessfully in December of this last year. It will be nice to work with when that size comes!

Simplicity 3603, 1960s

Farm then flu

Stormy, the miniature horse, showing off

Esme with Mary-Ann
being shown how to feed the donkeys bread

Esme feeding donkeys

Mary-Ann said these were Jerusalem donkeys,
named that for the 'cross' pattern on their back

There were eleven, total...
many of them had been taken on from
one lady who had kept them until she had died.
She had fed them peanut butter sandwiches every day.
Mark said he knows these kind of donkeys can live 40 to 50 years each.

The alpacas were new acquisitions and they are still skittish. Esme had called them 'big bunny rabbits' at first

We took Esme to a farm of an acquaintance who rescues donkeys and horses. Esme really loved seeing all the animals and was very good and listened to the lady. We took some pictures and will get them up later. However, perhaps from the hot chicken house or just from not having coffee for the morning (it was a long drive, and it was hot out), I had a terrible night after we got home. Altogether, it feels like the flu. Esme crashed early yesterday, as well - and woke in the middle of the night. She seems to be doing better, probably within normal for her. I still feel pretty awful but nowhere near as bad as about eight last night - when I am glad there was a bucket nearby!

I've called into work today, which I never do... and will hope the rest of this goes away. Esme did let me sleep longer this morning, after she got back to sleep at 4. I still feel like I could sleep another few hours!

A pretty magnolia

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Finished Sweater and Truck Ninja Kid

I posted the other week about Esme getting up into our truck bed all by herself, and being so surprised about it. Here is some of the act, in action. Also--> click on this linked animated gif to see my photo montage of the action.

Our Ninja kid, in the back of the truck
Those are the 'gaucho' pants I made last week.

There was only just enough of the leaf pattern fabric to make this length and that width of pattern - made up the rest with some green fabric I had stashed and it worked out very very well!

The 'pivot moment' when she hauls herself up over the edge
She might get up here ten or more times in just a few hours... Doing that she is going to get some muscles on her, like her mama has, too. I caught the entire process on the camera but haven't strung them together into a 'video' yet.

Realizing I'm taking pictures and yelling about it

diving into the back of the truck to get something

I let her try on my new finished sweater
She was asking me where the rest of the buttons were as I snapped this picture.

a view of the side and some of the back pattern

Outside looking in
Trying to catch the sweater on me in the reflection, it fits me much better!

It is made of JoJoLand Rhythm merino 100% wool yarn, in the colorway 'Winter Ice', and knitted on size 6 and 7 needles. I have saved this yarn for several years and there was just enough to make this 'vest' out of, which had no pattern used for it. There are no sleeves and the buttonhole edging is wavy, but it is still very nice!

Pogo, taking her closeup

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

language developments

bits : I'm 'Mommy' now, and it has taken me as a nice surprise. I hear 'Mommy Mommy Mommmy' now when she is just sitting across the room and wants to know if I'm listening. She is also using other words I haven't heard before, like 'mad' (Daddy you MAAAAAAD, that not a cookie! for when Daddy pretended to be so hungry he could eat us instead of waiting for a hamburger.), 'cloud', 'what do you know', 'I am so happy', '-ing' forms of words (raining/walking/swimming), using 'am' properly instead of 'I the Esme' or 'I hungry', and the words DANGER and CAREFUL said to us a lot now. She says 'It will be alright', and 'I feel all better/you feel better' and 'we fix, get duct tape and fix' and other things that almost make us laugh. One of her favorite things to do lately is to say 'You are not a *doggie/tiger/dragon*' when we rar at her, or to pretend to bite and then say 'No puppy do not bite me I am not a cookie' or do not blow air at me, I'm not a bubble, do not pet my hair, I'm not a kitty etc etc.. taking all those different qualities of things and relating them to the action and vice-versa. She is paying attention to a lot of different versions of words and trying to repeat them - but not getting it all worked out correctly, yet.

There are also a few things she says that are just WEIRD, but do make sense, if I think hard about it.

'I can't reach this potty, no water' for meaning 'I don't have to pee.'

'That's too far.' for something she doesn't want to do. (was 'too ball' before and I think she just wasn't using all of her sounds).

'POP. That bubble is raining.' describing the small bits of water that mist out of the air when the bubble pops.

'You need another one socks.' for meaning 'You had socks on and now do not, but need some.'

I put flower pattern underwear and a whale pattern shorts and t-shirt on her tonight after her bath and she cries out 'I am the beautiful. I got whales. I am beautiful.' *very cute* She told Daddy as he plays his Minecraft game 'Look, you find your garden. You find your garden. You find your way home. Look, it's morningtime! (he came out of a tunnel into 'sunlight'). And she likes to watch his 'garden' grow in the game - 'look it grow up, grow up!' Every time he walks into a thing of fire she says 'ouch ouch burn butt!', told him to go take a bath and go to sleep when he came to his 'house' in the game and when it is raining on him she said he needed an 'umbrella'.

Monday, May 16, 2011

dream and sweater knitting update

last night in my dream I saw a few things that would be nice to do with Esme. Finger paint on plexiglass outside with the hose this summer, and also large cardstock letters like the small ones she used to have in her pink suitcase kit, but glued to magnets or velcro so she can stick them up on a place on the wall. I think our whiteboard in the room would be great for that - maybe make her some bears and a 'house' and trees that stick up, as well -- things to think about for my vacation coming up. In the dream Esme was playing with another girl and I was talking to her mom - we were sharing what the girls liked to do and she showed me the letter squares strung on a piece of ribbon and also sticking up to a felt wall in the room. I have the weirdest 'realistic' dreams sometimes, that have good things to teach me. Esme and I have been 'playing toys' as she calls it often lately - and she is using her imagination all over the place, so I'm just tuning in to that ;)

I'm making some progress on the sweater - have the front and back all done and sewn together and it seems to fit 'ok', not perfect, but this is the first one I've made for myself that got this far. I made the buttonhole band for the front last night before I went to bed - but I may need to cut it off and try again, as I forgot that when binding off to use much larger needles to avoid the edge getting so tight :( I was trying to stretch it but I think I'll really need to just redo it. I am down to ONE ball of that yarn left and still have armhole edges and neck edge to do.... not sure if it is going to make it.... maybe I can find some more stashed around here but that might be 'it' and have to use something else.

Out of an entire page of sewing thread colors - Esme picked this one as being her very favorite color. And black. She said she wears this and black. I'm VERY certain I would never have picked that out for her myself. I tend to dress her in baby blue or middle greens quite often, and that goes well with her eyes. The last fabric she chose at the fabric store that I HAVEN'T got a clue what to use it for - was just about this shade.

Madeira brand thread, color orchid
oddly.. it is about the same color as my blog background! And I don't have that as my blog color because it is MY favorite... but because it is the easiest on my eyes as I read and look at the varied colors in pictures. Very odd how some things just fall together.

I almost forgot this - but a week ago when we made a 'FREE PUPPIES' sign on the floor with markers we gave Esme a green marker and she traced over every letter pretty accurately. I haven't seen her have much interest in writing for a while - but she was interested then and did a good job following the black lines we had drawn.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Tiny PT update and reading

Two nights after we have settled in and are not going anywhere for a while I've put Esme in underwear and a t-shirt and she has used her potty most of that time with just needing a few reminders. I can sometimes get her to use it in the morning when she wakes up before putting on a new diaper or sitting around in pants without one for a while. We're making some progress.

We also had some preliminary 'functional' reading yesterday. I was driving and Esme was finally being good for once during the day. We had promised her if she was good at the last place we went she would get a 'tiny french fry' as she calls them, to discern them from hash browns, which are 'big french fry' to her. She was good, so I went to stop at the McD for her, which is across the street from the Burger King. Esme starts saying 'Buh-kuh Mama, Buh-kuh!'. That is where Daddy usually stops. I was already turning so I said we were going to get french fries there - and she says 'no mmmmmm.... Mmmm? French fry? fourteen sixteen? a Puh and an Aaaaa and a Kuh(C) and E (trying to pick out letters in the playplace sign)'. She is trying to pick things up but interpreting them in her own way. 'fourteen sixteen' is what she says whenever she sees a lot of numerals and doesn't take time to pay close attention, and also the drivethrough #s 1 and 2. Then she called them letter 1 and letter 2. Very silly, but worth recording for when she really does blow out picking things up accurately I can go back and look and see how it progressed :)

For Grandma: Here is where Esme first drank from a cup, back in July, 2010.. so it has been longer than I thought. She just recently has started asking for that kind of cup more and more often. She also asked Grandma to 'put cold' in her soup the other day, which meant cold water from the faucet because she thought the soup was too hot.

Friday, May 13, 2011


She was eating her chicken noodle soup and drinking her milk. This is how she eats her soup. She also, at one point, informed me that the noodles in the broth reminded her of tadpoles at the lake 'babies at the lake, right here.' Today, she told Grandma the same thing when they had soup at her house.

We're about to go out in the mud now... we all walked to the lake earlier and then she came in to eat strawberries.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Is it Wednesday yet? Or Friday?

I lose track of time when they work me back to backs! Esme went with us to the flea market this morning as well, so my close the night before, flea market, close tonight, open tomorrow is feeling like I've been on-the-go since Sunday.

Esme found a little helicopter toy at the flea market and I bought it for her. She liked it, but hadn't really latched on to how it worked (pullback car wheels) even when we got home. She marched up to the table where we keep Mark's radio control toy and she pointed at the control. 'Push the right button Daddy, make fly!' and held up the new (non radio-control) helicopter toy. Poor girl! She thought she was on to something. She was fairly good at the flea market until we had to leave - then she cried her little eyes out because she wanted to go back to the puppies and ducks and did NOT want to go back in the truck.

I made ramen soup for lunch before I went to work. Esme, who was supposed to be eating an apple and drinking her drink, promptly stole my bowl and put it on the counter in front of her. This is not the first time the soup thief has struck. It is funny to see her standing on a chair with a large spoon pulling noodles out one by one, slurping them down and then going for more. She said she needed to go get a 'tiny spoon' and 'this will work' when she got a plastic spoon out of the drawer.

I have not had time to get my sewing machine to get its act together and fly right. We do appreciate the clothing sent by friends in North Carolina. Thank you. Esme is enjoying it, especially a certain Mickey Mouse shirt. It was so hard to peel that off of her!

tiny knit note: Blanket still chugging along, no pictures for a while. The sweater I'm working on during lunch hours is getting close to decreasing for the armholes on the back. The fronts are done, but will need shoulder extensions like Esme's sweater was designed with.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Mothers Day and blurb

I was woken this morning by 'Happy Mumum's birthday' by Esme, age three and a half. Well, that is pretty close ;) She has the right idea. I was met last night with a big present when I came home from work that said 'Happy Mom's Day' on it - and had a bunch of stripey towels in it and candy buried between the layers. Mark was very sweet :) I've been looking for stripey towels for a few months now, but haven't brought myself to get anything because of one thing or another. I love them and washed them and put them on the shelves immediately :)

Last night Daddy blew up two balloons, both of which popped soon after - one VERY loudly enough to make all of our ears ring. She said her ears ... (couldn't find a word for it) kept putting her hand to her ear and back off of it. I said mine hurt and she said yea, hurt. 'My ears HURT.' Then once she got a balloon that didn't blow up immediately, we asked her to find all the pieces of the old balloons and throw them away. She did - saying 'I did it. Ears saved! Now ears all saved!' Apparently she thought she was rescuing us all from the terrible balloons that hurt our ears. Also, yesterday, I was brushing out her hair and asked her to tip back her chin so I could brush it better from the position she was in. She said loudly 'Mom, I am NOT a frog!' and tapped her throat and put her chin back to level. She looked very upset about the idea that tipping her chin up and showing more throat would make her look like a frog?

I always say she is my 'physics child' because of the 'experiments' she does constantly with water, sand, rocks.. anything that can be picked up, thrown, manipulated, built with, dropped on something else, organized and reorganized, and/or combined with the elements of mud and/or wind. I saw her do some impressive instinct things with bubbles while she had her bubble wand in a full bathtub of water today. She wet her hands, caught bubbles in midair, transferred them to another hand, put them back in the water, put a wet finger through the bubble to the water below etc etc.. She told me it was 'amazing' and that the bubbles were bouncing and 'swimming' in the water. She kept trying to split a bubble she caught over both of her hands by putting it back down to the water level and trying to break it in half. It almost worked once.. but every time it broke. The poor kid! If she keeps this experimentation mindset, she will have a very interesting science career, perhaps ;)

LATER : I am suitably and entirely impressed. That is saying a lot, because she has impressed us constantly over her 3.5 years and I'm REALLY impressed at this one. Esme can get up into the bed of our truck with the tailgate up. HOW? She uses a two step process, the first of which includes grabbing the wheel well and pulling herself up to stand on the hubcap, and then she switches from an underhand grip to an overhand grab of the two tie-down points on the edge of the truck bed and hauls herself the rest of the way up. Who would have guessed she could figure that out? And she has also shown us she can open the back window, get in the truck, roll up and down the windows and open and close the wing windows.

Mark told me she could do this sometime last week, maybe? But I had misunderstood exactly what he meant. It was even more impressive to actually see what he was talking about. Today was the first time I witnessed all of it. After Grandma and Grandpa left she did it four more times unprompted and complete, while I sat and knit on my blanket.

AND!: This is where she has been getting the loose change we had no idea where it was from, to operate her jellybean machine in the house. She always seems to have change in her pocket that we didn't give her that much... We have an unused ashtray in the truck full of change Daddy watched her stow some inside the truck into her pockets.

Friday, May 06, 2011

42month language

Esme's turned up a notch again this morning, these are some quotes.

'Daddy: Go kiss and hug a mom' Esme: 'No, she's busy. She's on the computer'
I hand her a paper towel while she is holding a ball in one hand. 'This is mine, this is yours. This is mine, you gotta take that.' "Someone dropped that. Someone dropped that on the floor." A q-tip from when I was cleaning my sewing machine last night and the bag split. I had a cereal bar and she thought it was for her. 'Thank you' (reach out for it, doesn't get it) 'THANK YOU.' (still no cereal bar) 'Is that for me?' Yes, thanks for asking. (gets offered it, takes it) 'THANK YOU!' PANTS! I putta my leg in that hole. Look at that! A choo-choo train. It got doors. YEA. (a truck from the loggers went by carrying a trailer that had doors on the side of it.) Two puppies. Why are you a two puppies? I said, why are you a two puppies!? (expects them to answer). I'm also hearing 'WOW' every few minutes, which started some time last night.

A conversation
'Bread Mom, yea, bread, it downstairs.'
You like bread?
'Yea, I like bread. I gotta chew that bread. (gets a thoughtful 'oh yea' look on her face as she remembers something) gotta chew an orange. CANDY? (orange slice candy).'
No, go eat your apple jack bowl first.
'OK (does)'

Daddy not here. (No, Daddy is at work (grocery store and bank)) 'Daddy *pout lip*', No, Daddy is at work, he'll be back soon. 'No, he back. Look. He back with truck' (he isn't) 'No, he isn't but I'm here.' (sigh). 'Shoes! Shoes. I get a shovel, we go look at trucks.'

We bought her a tiny broom at Rural King the other week - she was playing 'baby broom' and 'mama broom' with the regular size one - and they were hunting dirt and meeting puppies and having adventures all over the house.

note: A lady at work that sees Esme every few months said this: 'Wow - she went from barely saying anything at all to having a full conversation with me!'. Esme had been talking to her about a shirt she was wearing while standing in the breakroom of my work. The lady asked her if I made the shirt she was wearing and she said 'YEA... my mumum. I like. It a PRETTY shirt. It has buttons, one, two, three.'

Thursday, May 05, 2011

gardening surprise

mature plants bought at garden center,
front had been seedlings that were washed down by the heavy rains

I returned home from work yesterday all ready to plant our many tomato plants that were sitting in the garage. Mark let me get all ready to go to the garden - although he did say he didn't think it would be necessary to change into work clothes, he didn't say why, so I thought he was just kidding me about expecting to get dirty in the garden. ie: Last time I just rolled my pants legs up of a pair of work jeans and they still got terribly wet and muddy. BUT! When I got to the garden, all the tomatoes had already been planted and he was giggling at my surprise. What a sweet guy :)

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

3.5 or 42 months

Pulling a weed and falling on her tail

She was out all day today with Daddy working in the yard, playing in the dirt and getting all topsy-turvy in the hair department.

showing her conquered weed to Daddy

Esme is 3.5 today. She has changed SO much even over the last 6 months. First off, because I have so many pictures, I notice how much her face has lengthened out in the bridge of the nose, and how her arms and legs have lengthened out, as well. Her language has jumped to a much more understandable level and she is making 'grown up' sounding sentences sometimes - 'I like-a that hair, that hair's nice.', 'Come Daddy, we go in, we make-a dinner, eat food.' For her, those are a real step up. She can open some doors in the house now, which she could never do before. She also can get entirely out of the truck without having someone to catch her, which she was close to doing a few months ago when she learned to climb UP without help, but she would still often fall down on her face unless I had at least one hand there to help her slowly slide out. She can take off her own shoes without ANY help and put them away, get them and nearly put them on for herself. She can take down and get off her pants entirely for taking a bath or trying to use the potty.

She continues to be interested sporadically in letters and numbers, and in knowing her name, her parent's and grandparents' names, and where she lives. She asks me once in a while about the time on the tick-tock, still. She can count to five on her fingers and sometimes to ten in words, but not using her fingers. She still 'approximates' counting things instead of slowing down and counting one-by-one, unless I stress it to her. She can recognize some words when she concentrates but other times says that all words are whatever she wants them to be. She sings more songs with the accurate words. Her imagination is quite deep and varied, yet she will very firmly tell you (just after pretending to be a puppy) that she is NOT a doggie, but a little girl, and an Esme, and scowl as if we should have known and told her that when she was pretending. She 'gets' a lot of what goes on in movies and cartoons now and tries to make it relate to the world around her in a way deeper and more intense than ever. For example - she saw a Ren and Stimpy cartoon where the one character tells the other he STINKS and needs a bath before he goes to bed. 1.) Esme has tried to tell Mom and Dad that we need to go have a bath before we go to bed. and 2.) When she is in the bath she has tried to do the same soap-underarm and washcloth routine the character does, which she would never do on her own before and would make me do it while whining. Now she grabs the soap and hums and pretends it is all part of a game she wants to play. That, is kind of nice. And it shows she is trying to organize her world according to all of the examples she sees -- well, at least the ones she thinks are good ideas ;)

This past month we passed a milestone that I know other parents get sometime within the first year - Esme has started telling us that she LOVES us. It is not that she didn't mean it before, but she just wasn't interested in telling us with those words. She has always said 'give hug' or 'give kiss' as her way of saying she loves us. Now I may get as I come in the door - 'Mom, I am SO glad to see you, I love you Mom *hug*' or she will come to me with a flower or bubble wand and say 'I got a PRESENT for you Mom, I LOVE you, here, take it, PRESENT.' It makes me beam from ear to ear.

One thing she did the other day that surprised me was matching an old toy we had forgotten she had (a Duplo character buried in her toys) with a new Duplo truck Daddy had bought for her. We pulled out the character in the truck that had been tied down with twist-ties, and she looked at the shape of the bottom and ran off immediately -- coming back with the other character which then introduced itself to the new one and they have been 'fast friends', 'little girl and little buddy' (he is a knight figure) ever since. They go walkies, and they play and jump and share food. It is so VERY cute it is hard to keep a straight face.

Mark notes that today Esme was watching the Halloween episode of the Simpsons where Homer goes 3D, and at the end he pops out on to a Los Angeles street as a 3D cartoon against a live-action background. Mark said Esme sat up and pointed at the screen and said 'movie! Simpsons... but in a movie, that's neat!' She noticed that those two types of things aren't usually together and got really excited about it. She has seen that clip probably at least a dozen times in her life... and never been that interested.

42 months

Monday, May 02, 2011

fabric ideas

Making Esme's clothes means I never have to step into a department store and hold up expensive but cheaply-made garments to the child and wonder hmm... what would this look like on her? Instead I get to do all the fun parts, choose the style, estimate what size based on measurements, choose the fabric, and then make it real.

I have requested these two fabrics to be listed for me on a shop - and I have clear intentions for both of them, perhaps mixed with coordinating solids to make up the skirt on the dress (blue) and collar and sleeve cuffs and facings on the coat (pink). Below are some of the pack of twelve patterns I received from an auction listing. The smallest size is 5, which are chest size 24 inches. Esme is 22 inches now, which means it may be this time next year before these patterns actually fit her. But... hmm, does that mean I shouldn't try one of them anyway? I do have a similar size '3' breast 22 inch in the coat pattern... which I might make up out of some fabric I already have. If it looks like there is no room to grow, the pink coat will be the larger size!

The two that grabbed me immediately...
The blue coat on the left (but in pink) and
the pink dress on the right (but in blue) *haha*

Someone at work today saw Esme in her navy blue dress and said she looks just like a little dolly. I know part of that is because I make her dresses that, in this modern day and age, are not usually seen on children except at special occasions - but it is better than that, because I make them out of fabrics that wash and wear hard, which lets them be worn every day and not be ruined by an occasional trip to the mudhole.

Another lady at a park asked if I would make her daughter a dress like Esme's... but I had a hard time saying much more than where she could find me at 'usually' (workplace), because 1.) the dress Esme was wearing was made out of remnants (seen below) and I did not have any more of that fabric and 2.) most people can't understand that the dresses are made on chest measurement, and not on 'size'.

The dress made (in March) out of half yard remnants

I doubt I'd ever find that combination again, as the fabric was from a deep stash and done up as a stress buster project.

I still make size 3, 4 or 5 patterns for Esme - it all depends on how they are cut and what chest measurement they are recommended for. And sometimes even my 'best guess' is wrong. I made a pair of pants for Esme out of a pattern that she fit the dress for, and the inseam in it was too short to fit her for very long - I will need to make the next size up (that is also in the pattern) on my next pass.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Yarn blurb, knitting rant and eye candy

Sock Garden / Sock Memories yarn - Morning Glory, 2 skeins worth

I made this into balls the other night, as the skeins were very twisty and hard to work with. Since then, I've been trying to figure out what to do with it. It is a discontinued yarn and a fairly small quantity. When the yarn quantity is small, it is good to try to find another yarn the same fiber content (100% wool, in this case) and weight to 'extend' it with... like adding more flour to a cooking recipe. As I no longer had any of the packaging for the sock yarn, I found the information about it on yarndex. There are a few others out there of similar gauge, probably even one at Knitpicks... will look again now that I know the specifics. The sock yarn says it is 'Fingering' weight 28-32 stitches per inch on size 2 or 3 needles, while the Rythym calls itself worsted and 19 stitches per inch on size 7 needles (I have it on size 6 in my project and am getting 21.5 stitches per inch). They still make this 'Rhythm' yarn, and in a few good colors (this one is 'Winter Frost', shown on the needles), but it is more expensive now than it was when I bought it, which was in a bagged lot on Ebay 2 or 3 years ago. It is fairly unique among yarns I've worked with - smaller than regular worsted but not too small, changing color as it goes, slight change in size here and there and very soft wool.

the sweater project so far

A box of yarn candy in my workshop... things I've been working with recently whether balling up or knitting with

Esme striking a pose before she ran off to play with kittens

Elizabeth: you're right - that is the shirt you sent Esme way back when, 2 years ago!

from July, 2009

It was a bit big on her then, and it is getting almost too small now.. what a run!