Sunday, July 31, 2011

my child is a monkey

Our girl is a monkey. And Ninja the orange cat is not amused, much.

tomato vines hurt when rubbed on cuts and scrapes, who knew?

I was out in the garden and had a tangle in one area with a bean vine that was unexpectedly blocking the path. It left a little scrape across my arm, right in the crook. Then I went into the tomatoes and started picking them. My arm started to hurt right there by the scrape, which had not hurt that bad when it happened. I continued to work, and it still HURT - more and more. I really didn't think that should have hurt that bad. I gave up picking tomatoes and came in the house - washed it off and the soap turned bright green as I washed. When all of the green washed off I put peroxide over the area and the small scrape and an inch to either side of it turned bright red. It is still some bit red an hour later but is going down some. I really think it was an allergic reaction to getting the green tomato vine 'dust' into the wound.

garden feedback / hindsight

record a little bit about what I liked in our garden this year, as it is winding down a little now and I plan to pull out some things in a few weeks and plant the 'cold crop' set at the end of August.

We chose heirloom tomatoes for most of them to begin with - but the seedlings failed. We picked one greenhouse Brandywine, Mr.Stripey, Cherokee Purple and a Black Prince, along with hybrid Romas and yellow pear varieties. The yellow pears have been NUMEROUS, so many tomatoes from every plant. Mr. Stripey was late to ripen - but well worth the wait, huge yellow fruits with red stripes on the bottom. The brandywine has proudced pretty pink fruits that were a good moderate taste. The Cherokee purple threw quite a few 'ugly' twisted tomatoes at first, then started producing a good run of large fruits that were green on top and purple on the bottom. I didn't want to buy the Black Prince because it was so leggy and limp at the store - with little rootlet hairs everywhere. The ticket said to 'bury as much of the plant as possible.' Mark talked me into it and I was VERY glad he did. The tomatoes from it are slow to ripen to usable but excellent flavor. I have to admit they are my favorite prizes out of the garden, whether to cook with or slice up with mayonnaise on a sandwich. The pepper plants were sad - I did like the pimento variety the best for eating fresh and putting in soup. They were good small when the bell peppers were quite bitter when small.

The cucumbers were numerous, TOO numerous, although we thought at the beginning that they were going to fail. They did exactly what cucumbers should do, and we put up a gallon pot of pickles out of them.

The zucchini was 'black beauty' variety, which also was late to start for me - but has produced almost exactly as much zucchini as I needed. There were a few times I wished I had put out one more plant - and then days later I would find huge zucchini that had been hiding from me. The yellow crookneck squash was sad - maybe there were too many in the hill because no plant produced a fruit longer than four inches. The white scallop squash was unintended (seed from Grandma) but a good producer and it has contributed to many meals. I might plant one hill (three to six plants) of them again another year, but not two.

The pumpkins have done their job, and may do even more. Our garden is technically too small for pumpkins - but they have found other places to crawl to and haven't killed anything else mostly because of our vigilant pruning and redirecting. The blue Jarrahdale only has produced one fruit (four plants?). The Turk's Turban (three plants?) produced two fruits but both rotted on the vines.. being winter squash these numbers may increase as the summer squash starts to die out and more resources become available to the remaining plants. I have already seen the space where the big pumpkin came out of the zucchini has exploded with more leaves and is reaching for the opposite fence.

Sunflowers were unintended (seed came with something else) but have been nice. We already have two or three full heads of seed to plant for next year. They are drying in the garage. I intend to plant a lot more zinnias next year - they have been a joy both for hummingbirds and to pluck a blossom to give to Esme when she is playing nearby. The basil has been plentiful and we could have used to plant more herbs with it. I am thinking of a real 'herb garden' next year that Grandma and I can enjoy together.

The pinto beans were a joy - the Provider green beans were a good provider. Both have added to my soups for work nicely. The lima beans were an experiment - odd, very long to produce anything but a few nice beans for soup when they did. And now they are half of them dying and the other half putting on another set of pods. The other beans and field peas are still coming along.

The corn was great - but we needed to wire it all up. I didn't help Mark when he wired up the first set because we never wired it in Minnesota. It did need it. The half that was blown over would have produced twice what we put in the freezer. The peaches and cream variety was just as good as we rememebered. The few pieces of ornamental we got are drying with the sunflower heads and are very beautiful - not very good for eating.

Friday, July 29, 2011


still wandering through the maze of 'work a week to get a day off' that happens here every once in a while... one more day tomorrow and I get Sunday off. The really great news is that Esme has been using the potty by herself, without needing help, for several days in a row. It just took one really good 'yay I got it right' and she has been pretty good since. There haven't been any yet, but I'm prepared for the idea that there will be accidents, and we are keeping a diaper on at night for now.

I pulled ANOTHER small pumpkin out of the garden (no that is not a repeat), and there is the only blue Jarrahdale getting ready to be done one of these days very soon.

I found a list of dentists that will take my insurance that are NOT an hour's drive away. Will have to call around to them next week and see who can get me in on Friday. That is a long time, but I've been dealing with it for over two weeks already. I can wait that long, I think.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


I want to remember: Esme sitting under the kitchen table with her little monkey/lion/elephant noisy toy pretending it is a piano and bashing the 'keys' singing 'Everybody, Everybody..... Everybody wants to be a cat.' over and over. Then she drags the toy vacuum cleaner over to me and says 'you get the violin' and expects me to make 'boom boom boom' base noises for the song using the vacuum as a base cello. HA. She is such a cool kid.

Work has been slamming me mentally and time-wise lately... which is obvious with my nearly five day hiatus. I got a small pumpkin out of the garden this morning and an assembly of squashes. Things are getting a little overgrown out there, and I don't have any more time off until Sunday. Esme is asleep now when I get home, and it is really too late for me to do much. It has been that way all week. I do have some soup on the stove with all the leftover bits from the garden and the last of the pumpkin pulp from last week.

Monday, July 25, 2011

more bits

Esme can bring her sports bottle down to the sink, take the top off, use her stool to climb up to the faucet, turn the faucet on, fill the bottle, and put the screw top back on. The clinch comes when she wants to put a small amount of orange juice or peach juice as flavoring into it, as we do for her. She can get that out of the fridge, but she needs help with pouring the container into the tiny hole in the top of the bottle. That is completely understandable. But, she is 90% of the way there. And she hadn't told Mama about it, just Daddy. I got to see it last night. :)

She also confused me terribly last night. We were watching an episode of the Simpsons and I was attempting to nap. During the intro she says 'Shakespeare. Shakesepare right there.' I had Mark roll it back expecting maybe she was seeing the bust of Beethoven in the saxophone scene... but no, she was saying Shakespeare when Maggie goes across the checkout lane and is handed back to Marge. ??? I have no idea. But, I think I'll put up a 'bust' type image on her computer another day and see if she calls it Shakespeare. Her timing might have just been off when she said that - as the Beethoven bust is in the next scene. Other than that, I have no clue.

Our Bunny dog came in hurt again last night. It isn't major but she isn't comfortable either.

LÔ @ la folie emilie : I did get my drawing done in the sketchbook, and will post it soon.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


This is Esme on her new laptop computer.
"No, I am NOT cute", she says

Well, it's not a NEW laptop.. it's an old laptop, but it is new to her. Daddy has put several games on it for her that are appropriate and blocked other things. And, because she can't spell well (she spelled cat as 'cvd' today) she can't get anywhere in the URL box yet, only click on icons in the toolbar and click on things from there.

In our super geeky computer office,
all of the rest of the keyboards and monitors in
the background belong to Daddy's ONE computer!

Mark canned up six pints of thick homegrown tomato sauce last night. He was up half the night. We plan to use it on a pizza soon. We had to go to town to get some plumbing things, the pie plate I wanted and a few other things. I replaced our kitchen faucet, which was difficult as the connections had corroded on hard enough to require some serious elbow grease to get them off. It all seems to be solid and not dripping etc.

I have some fabric washing and drying to make another pair of drawstring pants for myself, and trim out the green dress I was wearing again yesterday. The sleeves are still unfinished, and Esme kept trying to put tomatoes in the pockets which were non-existant. So, it needs pockets in the skirt!

Esme is looking very cute in her braids, playing Sushi Cat and eating multigrain Pringles chips she chose for a treat at the store. She was quite unhappy earlier as she wanted to help me with all of the faucet things and I tend to get a little 'go away until I'm done with this' when a hands-on project isn't coming easily. But, as soon as I got it finished it was all good. We have Jell-O in the fridge and another pumpkin to harvest from the garden, soon!

More: As I was up under the sink earlier tonight I was feeling more respect for the huge plumber types who squeeze into tiny spaces and reach far up over their heads at awkward angles. I had not realized just how wide my shoulders are until I tried to get in and out of the cabinet doors over and over again. I had also not thought about how difficult it is to lay on your back and reach up with a pair of heavy pliers again and again to try to loosen supply lines. I was using muscles I didn't know I had, and wishing they were more developed ones! Between that and shaking a tupperware container to mix the strawberry pudding (Esme thought it was yogurt!) up consistently, all sorts of tiny unexpected muscles were overused today. Esme has been introduced to MSPaint on the computer, and is creating quite impressive color block and line drawings. The third pumpkin, about a six pounder, was brought in and put in storage. The 'lasagna' type pie we made for dinner was not quite what we wanted it to be - but it wasn't a whole loss, either. I need to experiment with different kinds of pie crust recipes, as the boxed version I used tonight was brittle and oily. The drawstring pants have a slight pull to one side - needed to trim the reversed pieces to match each other perfectly after they were cut out of the main pattern - and I did not do that step. The resulting pants are wearable but just very slightly strange in both look and feel. They are a modern size twelve which means there is not as much room for error as there had been when I was making size sixteen and just using the drawstring to keep them tight.

It has been a long day!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Even bigger pumpkin!

The second pumpkin from the garden

This one is huge! There are also three or four more coming that are much smaller. This one was our 'hiding' pumpkin, all the way over in the middle of the zucchini!

Esme insisted on wearing this HOT long sleeved dress today after she came in from a brief attempt to sit outside in the heat advisory type weather. She brought it to Daddy and said she had to have this on. He thinks it is because after she came in from outside she was COLD in the air conditioning and wanted something warm. She has been inside since then, so it hasn't been a terrible choice.

She is still having a very good time with her computer, which has several thinking skill games loaded on it besides her Starfall. We have turned a corner with her in the imagination department, I feel - as I listen to her saying 'What you red one why you kill my bubble?' on one game, and saying 'no no kitty not that way you not supposed to go that way bad kitty ARGRGAH.. here kitty...' on the other. It is quite funny. I also heard her in the bathtub last night saying 'ICE. I got you now. You got ICE, so slippery! You fall down! HAHAHAHAHAAHA I got you in ICE.' She was pointing with her finger then saying 'that is ICE' and rubbing soap down the side of the tub wall and making her toys 'fall' on it. She has been watching The Incredibles and she loves the ice spraying character Frozone - and I could tell by her body language she was pretending she was him!

Simplicity 1936

I'm on the lookout for one of this pattern in size 4 or 5, at a not insane price. By the looks of the market at the moment I'll need to look a bit longer! I know the pattern is made up to size 6, and saw a few of both of the other sizes 'out there' but they were either combined with other patterns I don't need or had an insane price/shipping combination.

NOTES: I was down in the valley playing 'Jane of the Jungle' checking on all the seeds that were planted on my birthday and also on Esme's 'experiment' beans. The beans are starting to produce a bit, and it will be nice if they produce some mature seeds to save to plant next year - make Esme and I a 'wild bean' package ;) I also collected some of the marigold and zinnia seeds to save for next year. It felt like I was a kid myself to running around the valley looking at semi-hidden plants and watering them bit by bit.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Esme has her own computer now, with her own games - and she is playing and 'Sushi Cat' to her heart's content. She shows understanding for some things we have never described, like the volume controls and opening and shutting programs. Other little things that would make us nuts, like playing the intro of her game ten times in a row before playing a level... well, that is why she got her own computer. So we don't have to disagree with her on HOW to play a game, or fight for personal use of our own computers over the din of a toddler crying 'NO I PLAY MY GAME' etc.

I also harvested the other large pumpkin from the garden, and it is more than ten pounds! I'm thinking that I will buy a stoneware pie plate (pie pan, Mark says, difference of syntax) at the store to experiment more pie recipes in. There is a storebought dry crust mix that I want to try and make a shepherd's or lasagna type pie. I have not had any time for sewing lately... hopefully soon.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Tips to myself on the next pumpkin pie

Three pumpkin pies just came out of the oven, and they are better than I thought they would be. I had two slices! It was all from the one pumpkin from our garden, and it was more than six hours from pumpkin to plate. When it went into the oven it was an uncertain soup of spiced glop. The pumpkin pie was so soupy that I thought it could never firm up at all. And some sort of miracle happened.

Tips to myself on the next try... sieve the puree MORE. I spooned off all of the extra juice I could, but there was so much more in the puree sieving it would have done a wonder. Also, it was supposed to be two cans of evaporated milk. I did not have two cans of evaporated milk but had MUCH more than 2 cups of puree... so I mixed another can of whole milk into the evaporated milk. It worked, but probably only because I put the soupy mess in a pan on the stove and cooked it on VERY LOW for about a half hour stirring it every minute. And only then did it look like something that was less than water to put into the shortbread crust.

The shortbread crust was also a very good idea - it works so very well with the pie filling, which is already sweet in itself and did not need a sweet graham cracker crust on top of it.

Grandma and Grandpa will get their promised pie tomorrow! Having never done it in my thirty-plus years, and having a newfound interest in growing pumpkins, it was about time to try. Mark said just think of what thirty years of experience would do to the recipe ;) Eeep!

This was the pumpkin!
from our garden last week

Double-recipe, actually made 3 pies

1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2/3 cup white sugar
1 tsp salt
lemon zest approximated from one small lemon
3 teaspoons cinnamon (maybe a bit less next time, but the recipe asked for 4!)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (used a tiny bit less)
12 oz. can evaporated milk
12 oz. can refilled with whole milk
4 eggs and 2 extra yolks
4 cups pureed pumpkin mixture, not packed

mixture on stovetop on LOW for 30-40 minutes until it began to congeal just a tiny bit, then poured into shortbread crusts (purchased) and put in oven at 425 for 15-20 minutes, then at 350 for more than an hour until the knife came up clean.

Recipes to use more of the pumpkin with:
Pumpkin bread
Cream cheese pumpkin muffins

And, next year I am planning on planting some 'sugar pie' type pumpkins. I already had the seed but did not plan it this year. The pumpkins I am using are 'field' type pumpkins, which are heirlooms, but are not considered the right type for making pies.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Blue yoke shirt jacket, sunflowers and more

The first of the sunflowers is starting to open. They are 'Lemon Ice' heirloom breed, gotten free with one of our squash seeds.

The other tremendous pumpkin in the garden is starting to turn orange

The pattern is Simplicity 6121.

I received it in the mail yesterday, and worked one up last night. I'm not happy with the collar :( Collars are definitely something I will have to work on. The pattern had no 'stand' or small band that goes between the collar and the shirt... but I might have to make one for the second try. I might also have cut the collar on the bias.. but didn't. The yoke's points will need to be worked on better, too... but considering the medium amount of care I placed on making them last night they turned out better than expected.

She swears it is not too long for her and that it is a jacket for *brr* cold. I did think the sleeves were extremely well designed. They were easy to set in and also move nicely when she does.

It goes down to her knees and she wore it for about fifteen minutes until I told her it was too hot for it outside

The yoke fabric is an Aunt Grace scrapbag print.

I'll have to practice the sort of pattern quite a bit more - but making the buttonhole by hand worked much better than any work on the machine has done.

Bunny, our Staffordshire, finds a duckie in her water dish and is amused.

The fence is being 'eaten' by the other squash plants. See the one growing right ON the lightweight fence? I think it is a Turk's turban, but it might be a Jarrahdale. I hope it survives. It might rot there, though :(

//NOTE// : More imagination antics today. Esme found a pink puppy watch that was a Happy Meal item a friend at work gave her - and she held up one little finger and said 'Oh, I got 15 minutes - I have to go to work!' and went out the door. She came back in (because we didn't follow) and said 'OH NO! There is a monster out there.' We said 'oh, okay.. , out on the porch? Maybe you shouldn't go out there, then.' To that, she grabbed a 'bazooka' type toy that was in her toybox and said 'This will work.' She went back out on the porch and pretended to have a fight with the monster. Mark said 'that's my girl - don't settle for hiding in the house, get that monster!' Later she was filling a small wagon up with water in our bathtub and saying 'I got my coffee.. oops! I dropped my coffee! It's all gone! I need more!' over and over... I am pretty sure it was a comment on Mama for drinking so many cups ;)

She also was a half-terror at her grandparents, asking for all food under the sun after she had already eaten. She did eat some of it.. which was decent. The visit ended in embarrassment for her. I was most upset that she did not even SAY anything at all... we have been working on it but it is just going to take heaps of patience, mostly on Mama's side of the issue. I marched her home, got her cleaned up and gave her a cup of milk to drink while she watched Clifford. That worked as sneakily planned. She went to sleep on our bed and we went downstairs to can our tomatoes and get ready to jar up the pickles which have been soaking in brine and vinegar for 8 days. There are eighteen half-pints sitting on the table and more in the pressure canner starting to heat up.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Large Harvest with little helper

Two pumpkins
the orange one will become a pie ;)

Large harvest!

We are getting ready to can the tomatoes. Mark got out the pressure canner and we are reading up what to do. I cut up a LOT of zucchini and other squashes and put them in the freezer.

helping open pinto beans

A bean!

Esme was more help than I thought in opening and shelling the beans. I had to start each one and make sure she didn't put any 'bad ones' into the good pot - but she had fun and was sad when they were all done.

A tantrum, non productive!

pinto beans

Over the past few weeks I've been eating most of the pintos and drying a few at a time. The ones already dried are in the ziploc bag. I put some more from this larger harvest into the pint jar with rice to dry. The jar gets covered with a coffee filter and a rubber band to keep air in and everything out. I shake the jar every day or so to circulate the dry rice around the beans as they dry. I have already used the rest of the beans to make soup. There is still another harvest or two in the garden!

Monday, July 11, 2011

No naps for the sniffly

6782 Simplicity 1974
got this one in the mail the other day

Esme is a size 3 or 4, but she requires added length and I always have to alter based on her measurements. This pattern is a six... but hopefully I can work it down or use the next one already coming (size 3/4 duplicates of a different number) AND this one to keep making this style for her for a longer period of time :)

5875 Simplicity, 1970s
Isn't the illustration adorable?
I don't own this one *yet*, but it is
the type of pattern I should be working with for the next year or so!
UPDATE: Found one for two bucks - ordered it!

I stayed home today from work with my sinuses.. after working through yesterday in misery and waking up in even more. I want to avoid it going to my chest like it did last time... probably no avoiding that. I had hoped to nap more, but each of my short naps have ended with my head being rolled on... and there was some snuggling, lots of rolling on Mama's head and back. *sigh* I did brush her hair which was physically exhausting *ha* and Mark held her on his lap so I could rebraid it as she was wiggling everywhere! Off and on she has been playing a lot on Starfall, which has also been when I wander off to my bed. I finally realized a word she has said for months 'da-four' is not play dinosaur, it is play Starfall. It finally hit me today.. and she has always been telling me no dinosaur, da-four. There IS a dinosaur in Starfall, though... so Mama had her reasons.

I have cruised some sewing patterns for ideas - but could not bring myself to start anything. I did fold up all the pattern pieces that were lying loose, did the laundry and walked to the mailbox to see if my other pattern came in the mail. It hadn't. The one that is coming in the mail is a duplicate size 3 and size 4 in a similar style to the first one posted above. Mark said I could indulge my curiosity to see if the 3 and 4 are that much different proportionally and how... and it was the same seller with combined shipping. I caved.. and ordered both of them even though I was feeling guilty about ordering one!

Other note: We picked our pumpkin today! When I was in the garage trying to get the clippers for it Esme had refused to follow me and was screaming and crying about not wanting to go but wanting to go back outside etc... I told her 'fine' I'll go get the clippers and come right back out.. and she got her hair caught on something just out of my sight and started screaming 'for real'... I didn't come right back until I had gotten halfway there... turned around and realized it was 'for real' and she had pulled herself loose just before I got back to her. Poor kid. She was so mad at me, but perfectly fine other than a broken lock of hair, which she showed me quite prominently. I couldn't even find a red spot on her scalp etc... I told her very sternly then when Mama says COME WITH don't be a brat and say I'm staying here... unless you are responsible. Of course she doesn't understand, but she is nearly four! But that has never happened to her before, either... so why could she think that when she was being snarly and unhappy and thrashing around near something it would reach out and grab her hair and not let go? I am glad she had the common sense to get free without hurting herself more.

I hate it when I am sick sometimes I get in that 'don't cry wolf at me' mode - and it isn't good... that is when the worst can happen. Yesterday morning a dog nearly killed one of my cats because I felt so awful I didn't want to respond to a 6 am 'odd bark'. They bark and howl and cry at 5 or 6 every morning and demand to be in and out three or four times around sunrise. Mostly we sleepwalk during these outs and ins. This was a bark not near the door, but out by the fence, and constant but not 'danger'. Mark said it sounded like they had a snake - but snake sounds like 'danger'.. and that is what got me moving - they had something, but not a snake. I was getting shoes but finally got out there to ask them what the *blank* was the issue and they had a kitten held down against the fence and were not letting her go. That, I think, is how they killed Suki - with a bark that we didn't respond to because we didn't think it meant 'danger' and had no idea why they were excited. Suki was scared to death against the fence when we found her. And for the record, we have seven cats and this had never ever been an issue before Suki.. the correlation is that Suki had gotten doused in a pond the day before they killed her, and this kitten was thrown into Esme's baby pool (by Esme) the day before they were doing this to her... I think there is a link in that they couldn't 'smell' who they were anymore. This kitten is fine, was a little dirty and a little out of breath and sore muscles.. by tonight she is jumping on shelves in the house and just looks like she hurts a tiny bit. It could have been so much worse if I hadn't snapped out of my 'I am sick please don't make move that fast' mode and gotten to it anyway. :(

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Esme's stick figure drawings

To be correct they are 'tadpole' people, because the arms are coming out the side of the head. She's never really been interested and/or coordinated before - but tonight she shot of a few in a row after being given a whole new drawing tablet for herself.

face with 'ponytail'

added arms and legs

started out on another new sheet and added lots

This is the first time I've witnessed her drawing 'people'... and I think it was influenced by the Starfall snowman building game she has been playing the past few days... at any amount, I'm elated to see her thinking in progress :)

Friday, July 08, 2011


Two things that made us go 'uhhh.... whoa hold the phone there!' with Esme the past few days.

We ran out of popsicles the other day and Mark found Esme sitting at the kitchen table with a small frozen apple pie box in front of her and a fork in one hand. She had just given up trying to stab it incessantly and was about to start crying about it. Daddy did calm her down and cook one for her... but she got it out of the freezer herself, knew what it was and understood something was 'wrong' with it but not what was wrong!

She was on my computer and hit the Google icon on my toolbar. She was typing in random letters, hitting the GO button and clicking on random links. YIKES. She has been going through my facebook as well and clicking on people's picture streams and looking at all of their pictures - which is almost all pictures of dogs and little kids, crafts and vegetables etc... and she hasn't done that unsupervised. The Google part was unsupervised as I thought she was just on her Starfall game and didn't dream she was interested in and/or could actually GET anywhere on Google.

scrap shirt

Amy Butler scrap fabric and two similar green scraps

dog hug
crooked buttonband, but it works

She is officially inches taller than the doorknob

Comparison: Last September 21
several inches below it!

Her added height is showing everywhere - needing lots of new pants, being able to sit on the potty unassisted, reaching the kitchen sink faucet handles when standing on her stool (she couldn't do this last week, but surprised me today by turning it on, washing her hands and turning it off before I crossed the room to help). She will probably be getting her own breakfast before the end of the year, complete with milk in the cereal bowl.

I have hopes that these shirts might teach her in the future how to button her own clothes on... Most of her clothes up until now have been back zippers, which is not easy for a child to 'self-help' on.

Another camp shirt from the wardrobe pattern. It was made with scraps of several fabrics. The actual buttonband was added on afterward because the facings were too narrow to provide reinforcement for the buttonholes. The machine-made and hand-reinforced buttonholes still look awful up-close, until the buttons are actually buttoned, then they look serviceable. This one is a little short ...probably because of the seam on the front pieces. I will need to try to extend the length to make something that doesn't show her belly when she is running around!

Other: We went to the donut shop, hardware store, a shoe outlet and the drug store trying to make up time to get to the health food store when it opened at ten. That was a lot of wandering around... and Esme was very good during most of that... After I picked up my red lentils at the health food store (so glad they had them as no one else did!) we went to the library. Esme copied what another girl did on the computers bit for bit for a while, and it impressed me, too, as she had not been able to do some of those operations in that game before. She got pretty upset after some young boys came in with a grandma that did not want them to play but wanted them to sit and read. Esme got the youngest boy in big trouble when the grandma went to get another book, so we had to leave too, in a ruckus of tears and screaming on Esme's part. *sigh* And it had been going so well up until then! I really wish we had a children's library where the rule wasn't "inside voices." It is so very hard to keep them there when they don't get to see other children very often.

We are home now, and hopefully the rest of the day will be more relaxing!

pattern used:

Simplicity 4969, 1950s era, undated

Thursday, July 07, 2011


The sketchbook project arrived today. I'll see what I can do with it tomorrow, which is a day off. It is so beautiful already...

Esme has a kiddie pool from Grandma and is enjoying it. She was so set on having it made up for her last night, at least got her to wait until today! Right now she is amusing herself with a small log floating it around the pool and throwing it in and watching it float again. Simply amused, but there are scientist tendencies there. She threw every outside toy (including the electronic one, which I saved at the last minute and may dry out) into the pool to see if THEY floated. *headsmack* Daddy wouldn't mind if that toy died, he doesn't like the noise it makes. I picked the garden and watered the plants down in the valley. Mark's birdhouse gourds are huge - weighing down the plant so much that the fence it is crawling up is sagging as well. There was one ear of sweet white/yellow corn that had a purple kernel in it from the ornamental corn crossing. That was interesting.

I have green beans and blackeyed peas, carrot, zucchini and more simmering in a pot downstairs. I've taken something like that to work most days the past few weeks, and it has always been delicious. Now to drink some coffee and get ready for the late shift tonight. I need to finish a shirt tomorrow as well, and replant a few things that didn't survive the past few days.

notes: for Grandma and Grandpa 'penguin water' or 'penguin juice' is cranberry pomegranate juice mixed 1/5 with water being the other 4/5. I don't know why we call it this. We just do, Daddy can't say pomegranate as quickly and Esme can't either... If Esme asks for it, at least you'll know what she is asking for! There is some name brand called 'penguin juice' but it is in no way affiliated.. just a nickname.

I was just given a sandwich made of two plastic plates dipped in the swimming pool and then she washed dishes and put them away under her slide. She told me she had went 'hiding' in the water, underneath the water, even though her hair was dry and it is about five inches deep. Now, I am bringing her lunch outside and she is telling me she has swimming foots that are cold. She has tried several times to drag one of the dogs to the pool to give them 'showers'... but they have good sense and get away long before she gets them near it!

6583 Simplicity

I'd like to get this pattern to use when it is cooler again. I like the back neck yoke and think it is a challenge.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

imagination antics

I don't know where she gets some of this from...

The bus asked the baby doll to come ride because it was brown bear time (dark outside) and it was dangerous. Come quick baby, come ride! It dropped the baby off at a house, and then started across the room again. The bus was crying because it crashed and all of the people fell out. Then all of the people were okay, but she said that the bus hurt it's foot and we needed to fix it, so I had the Grandpa 'change a tire'... and we told the bus not to get hurt again. The bus did not want to be driven by anyone else after that - or give any rides.

She saw a picture of a little girl looking at candy in a store and told me the girl was 'grocery shopping' (I've never heard her say that before!) and that she needed fifteen dollars to go shopping for building blocks. I said we had blocks in the box and she said oh.. no fifteen dollars, not want to have. She has a little trunk with pretend money printed on the inside of it and is calling it the fifteen dollars oh wow look...

When she was blowing bubbles again she told me she needed a 'bubble map'. She caught a big bubble in both hands and held it up close to her face and said 'ooooohhh.. I see a house. I find my way home.' UH oh.. map popped! Need another map. ??

Grandma got her a baby swimming pool for the yard and the package has ladybugs and butterflies on it. She says it is a 'bug swimming' and we need to cut it (open the package) and is trying to blow it up without it being out of the package. I told her we have to wait until morningtime to use it... and she finally said okay.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

The things they say and do....

Here are some things I've collected the past day or so. Hilarious, at least to me. And mostly, she is being serious and doesn't understand why mom is snickering so VERY much.

to Grandpa Playmobil from Grandma playmobil and two dogs: "go away we play dogs. Right now. Go over there." (I take him and start dancing him around on the desk). No dancing. I SAY NO DANCING. GO AWAY from doggies we play." (the playmobil goes over to the other side of my computer) "Ok. You be sad now. SAD. NOW. Ok. be better." (lets him come back and play with the others)

In the bathtub with her bubble wand: "I build. I build bubbles. (She starts to blow bubbles and push them together to make stuck-together bubbles.) There, I build a house! (She gives me the wand and I blow bubbles onto her arm) "AAAHHHHHHH bubbles. I've GOT SPOTS. (said at the top of her lungs as if it was the end of the world, then softly and with sneakiness) I'm a kitty. (her kitty puppet we made last night had spots) Oh no! SPOTS! (waves arms around, the bubbles pop) "whew. I saved. I'm ALIVE." There was more after this, too.. about her hand needing a bubble which was big so it could be a house and she could go in it from under the water. "Oh, I have a house. Thank you, I go in. OH NO MY HOUSE it fall down.. "

In the garden this morning after I asked her to go out because she was not listening about where to step. I told her to go out because she was stepping on babies (plants). "No, I no go away, I LOVE YOU, I'm the baby girl your mama (comparing herself to the plants, she is the baby, not them), I STAY! please give me hug? (I hug her) give kiss? (kiss her forehead) 'Oh thank you. I help you. I HELP. I throw not a radish." I tried to give her the hoe and she said it was too heavy for her. She did go out after the next time she stepped on something, then came back and said she was scared, and she needed to help me again.

Other: We ran out of popsicles the other day.. so she has found other candy she can reward herself with for the potty. She is still trying to go use the potty like a big girl, but she fell asleep for a nap on our bed (instead of hers) and we had to clean up :(

She is also asking me every once in a while for 'fifteen dollars.' I have no idea where this is coming from.. but she apparently has big plans to buy some 'eatings' with it. It is always fifteen dollars.. which, coincidentally, is the highest number she usually counts to before she starts to stumble and need help.

Corn harvest

This is our corn harvest. It is all in the freezer now.

We did nothing for Fourth of July. I had to work until late and it is too far and too crowded around here to go to any of the events once it is already late.

We pulled all of the cornstalks except a few of the ornamental corns out of the garden. It is very bare now in the back end. We had a good soaking rainstorm, so maybe the soil will be good enough to work in and see if there is anything else we want to put in there. Or I might just work it out over time and plant the next set of things in August.

The big pumpkin has started to turn orange. There is another one about half that size now and several smaller ones trying to make it. Someone at work said I should save one of them for Esme's jack-o-lantern. I think that is a good idea.

Another note: It is nice when Esme gets up and wants to go to pee first thing in the morning. However, it is not nice when she takes forever doing it and I have to pee, too!

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Esme and my dad, and a camp shirt

My dad made a surprise visit last night, and had been playing with Esme all afternoon when I came home from work. They had a lot of fun.

I had this shirt down to needing sleeves and buttons at that time. I finished it around midnight and she wore it to bed.

camp shirt with buttons

from the back

Overall I'm happy with it as a first try. It needs more handsewn reinforcement on the buttonholes and I had to bend the front facings underneath and sew them down 'blazer' style because the neckline was up around her chin at first. She likes it. Mark says it looks 'professional.'

Simplicity 4969, 1950s era, undated

NOTES: The lima beans are beginning to pod, following several days of HOT weather. The squash looks absolutely miserable today... can't wait for the sun to go down so I can water it extra long. I forgot to put a diaper on Esme the last time she went to the potty last night... and she slept through the night - got up, went potty again and only then did I realize she had went through the night without peeing the bed. She has had several accidents during the day... but at least there is huge progress going on.

We harvested about 8 gallons of corn, blanched and froze it! We put a diaper on Esme after her bath and she came up, took it off, and went potty! She is making it, slowly.

Friday, July 01, 2011

44 months

Playmobil having dinner with the pig in the dollhouse

It's a few days earlier, but she has had a big cognitive leap this month in a couple of stages. The difference from the beginning of the month to the end of the month is large! She has learned to use my computer mouse (the kind with the little button in the middle of the keypad and the click keys elsewhere) and get on her own Starfall game from an open browser using the star icon in my bookmarks toolbar. She plays all the games on there mostly without help and closes it back up when she is done. I am very impressed by that. She can also open the front door much better, the refrigerator and freezer using a chair for the freezer, and can poor a half-gallon of milk by herself although of course, with supervision as it gets away from her.

She can put on her pants when sitting down on a bench, but still needs help with it. She can balance on the big potty even though she is not yet tall enough for her feet to hit the ground. She takes off her pants completely but holds her long dress skirts up with one hand and balances... which is pretty impressive to me as well especially because she figured it out herself. She got her own popsicle out of the freezer once as a reward! While I was washing my hair earlier she came down to the bathroom and said she needed to pee - wasn't wearing a diaper and wouldn't come downstairs with me because she was playing a game. She was not wet. She did what she needed to do. I helped her put on her pants and she went back upstairs and went back to play.

She is also talking in a much more complex way, and I feel more comfortable using different and 'odd' words around her and explaining what they mean to her. She actually listens to the explanations instead of demanding I use the words she is used to. That is a big leap for her. She allows me to call her 'child' and 'slowpoke' and 'little monkey' and other things when she used to demand loudly 'I am not a *adjective*, I am the ESME, I am the little girl!' etc... She wants to know why I said that word instead and then may accept or deny it after talking about it. She told me 'no mirror, that a window' one night, and I told her it was a reflection, like a mirror, see yourself in it like a mirror - and she has been using the word reflection now. She told Pollywog kitten she was 'really soft kitten' today. She told a bubble it was a 'really dead bubble' in the bathtub. Both of those are putting together more than she usually has in the past. She is also actually listening to choices given instead of saying yes or no on tone of voice or saying yes or no to just the first thing she hears. She asks us 'what do we think' about things and also says 'I'm thinking.. I'm thinking about colors...' while pacing with her hands behind her back. Then she says 'I know! A lollipop.. a purple and a green lollipop!' The 'wow, that's really cool' vibe continues. I am holding my urge to giggle when I hear that much better than before!

Her imaginary play has catapulted into the weird and the wonderful. Things go to the moon, they make food, they do laundry etc.. Sometimes aliens or dragons or dinosaurs come, or things fall down, or other animals misbehave and she puts them 'in line.' Her playmobil grandparents just had dinner with a pig and a dog that were allowed on the table, then they weren't, then she gave in and gave the pig some pie again. They stopped to do laundry and wear imaginary crowns and dance around. They told the pig and dog to go to bed in another room and be quiet because they were oinking and woofing at each other trying to look at moons and read books and look in 'junks' (treasure chests). They went downstairs and did dishes and fed a dragon monster that was at first not allowed in the house and then they gave it a place it could look at moons and read books and go to sleep with his cereal bowl. I love it.

new words in the past few hours I've perked my ears at: stay, leave and left, soft, love/like used much more and differently before, child, grow and garden used daily, want to have, don't want to have, alive/dead for things existing when she thought they were gone and things that won't move when she thinks they should, laundry, wash/make dishes, make food / sandwiches/ fish sticks etc... lunchtime, dinner I am hearing a lot of 'it is *adjective or activity* day' Come - it is blocks day, play blocks.

Dollhouse and a kitty

Petting the cat, she is 'really soft'
Pollywog the kitten likes Esme!