Jaded Optimist

Mothering, making, and generally blathering on

Fun things to do with a baby April 21, 2014

Filed under: Family,Kids — bonniep @ 10:33 pm

Bath time hair sculpture.

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Put her on a riding toy and race her around the house while mommy takes deep calming breaths.

 

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Easter

Filed under: Baking,Family,Kids,knitting — bonniep @ 10:28 pm

Easter is one of the major neighborhood holidays (an ever increasing list) and expanded this year from just being a group egg hunt and driveway brunch to an afternoon goat roasting. As the lone vegetarian in the neighborhood I brought an enormous couscous salad. Apparently the goat didn’t go so well so I didn’t miss out (although M happily ate her goat with some ketchup).

Anyway, Easter. There is the egg coloring.

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C likes to make hers look like people, well, babies. Causing conversations like “You can eat my eggs but not the babies!” “C, you can eat your own babies.” We did 30-1 eggs (1 lost to cracking in the pot and sacrificed to baby C’s lunch). Fun for everyone but I think next year I will hide the glitter now included in the Paas sets. There is a tiny smattering of glitter everywhere and it reappears no matter how much wiping and sweeping I do.

Easter morning there is a neighborhood egg hunt.

 

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Action shots! While the kids are hunting eggs, the adults are eating breakfast in a driveway and chugging coffee. This year I made a sour cream coffee cake with chocolate cinnamon swirl and rhubarb ginger scones.

 

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Someone made bacon, so baby C has been inducted into the club. As she plowed through G’s plate of bacon I said “Well, she is definitely your daughter!” and then had to awkwardly state that of course there was never any doubt about whose daughter she was, ha ha ha!

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Oh, cute sweater on that baby? Thanks! Knit it last summer and finally sewed the buttons on…yesterday. Thank goodness it still fits. You can tell she loves mommy-made as much as the other girls.

 

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last week April 17, 2014

Filed under: Family,Kids — bonniep @ 11:13 pm

Last week M turned 6. I brought popsicles to her classroom after lunch which were a big hit. Only time for a quick dinner and opening a few presents that evening (the Monster High obsession continues…).

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Because that night was the science, art, and book fair at school.

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M definitely worked on hers independently. We read some books together about volcanoes, and she picked photos from our visit to Volcanoes National Park to illustrate some of the concepts (steam vents, crater, a’a rock). She also drew the illustrations and all the labels (with Sharpie…aaagh) on her own. She can explain why volcanoes occur near the edges of the plates, and that Hawaii is a different kind of volcano formed by a hotspot. We were pretty proud of her work and thought it much better than the seeming hundred of kids who built foaming volcanoes.

Anyway, the next night we went out to dinner (where she wore the crown again…) and opened more presents and then on the weekend she had her birthday party. It was at a trampoline center and the kids were thoroughly sweaty and thirsty after an hour of jumping.

Her “theme” was Rainbow Magic Fairy which is a series of books. Big C and I made rainbow cupcakes with rainbow sprinkles and added fairy toppers, making for a very thematic birthday cupcake which the 5 and 6 year olds largely didn’t notice.

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Rainbow Fairy Magic books, rainbow bracelets, rainbow stickers, and rainbow lollipops for all and my work was done. M came home from her party and rode her scooter for another hour or two, so I guess the trampolines were just a warm up for her! All in all, a success. Plus the six year checkup doesn’t include any shots, so happiness all around.

In other news…

Baby C has taken to playing “bib bandit” during meals, as can be seen in the first picture above and better here:

 

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This, in conjunction with her belief that hair is the best place to wipe hands, has led to a big increase in baths as of late.

Last year we planted a bunch of fruit trees, although some are more accurately just fruit trunks.

 

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G is renting a bee hive to encourage tree pollination. Supposedly these bees don’t sting. We’ll see what our fruit output is like (although I suspect we need to mostly be pruning any fruit back until some of our trunks grow branches).

 

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(No baby walking still. Copious baby car scooting around the house, but no walking.)

 

Updates April 7, 2014

Filed under: Family,Kids — bonniep @ 10:27 pm

Baby C turned 15 months old two weeks ago and was toted off to the pediatrician for her checkup. Weight and height in the 75-90% and head in the 90-95%. Molars are coming in. Words, or word like utterances, are appearing—she does a long drawn out “hiiiiiiiii”, says “mum mum mum” and has an all purpose squealed “NA! NA!” which I think means “I want that. That! Now!”. She waves hi, is starting to distinguish the sign for “all done” from the sign for “more”, puts her hands on her head if you say “Humpty Dumpty” (from a song in swimming class), pats her knees if you start in on “Welcome today” (from music class) and can point to her nose. All in all, a fine, healthy baby.

Who isn’t walking.

So, that sucks. Especially when attending said music and swimming lessons when all the other babies, including much younger ones, are walking. Or when someone says they read research that wearing shoes can delay walking (um, thanks, but this baby never wears shoes! I know the (*&@#$ research lady!) as if it were my fault. Plus the worry that not walking means a whole host of things could be wrong with her (which the doctor has never said).

However, she has made leaps and bounds in the last month—pulls up to standing all the time, has stood independently for whole seconds at a time (although not very often…maybe 3 times?), and will walk pushing a cart around the house. So we are going to encourage as much exercise and practice as possible and check in with the doctor again in two weeks or so…and then decide whether to start physical therapy. In our copious free time.

We would really like her to be walking, if only to stop the reckless destruction of shoes and pants that occurs when a baby scoot all around the driveway and sidewalk on warm days.

None of this bothers baby C of course. She is too busy trying to play the piano, sticking her tongue out in concentration, and wiping her hands in her hair.

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She has been taking a lot more notice of her sisters, and they in turn are seeking her out and enjoying her a lot more. Doesn’t really help with group photos though.

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(Sometimes C is overcome with the need to snuggle in the presence of blankets.)

Big C is reading up a storm, disappearing into the sewing room for hours at a time (although one wishes some of that time was spent cleaning up from projects…) and recently got an email account. These are two projects she sewed recently, in a still life with baby chub.

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M is flying through kindergarten, starting to read, showing great enthusiasm for playing piano (if not necessarily practicing piano), and turns 6 in a few hours. Also, if the weather is above about 55 degrees then she is immediately in shorts and a tank top.

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I know the latest release says differently, but these kids bring us joy AND fun.

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Send some “walking soon” vibes our way. Hopefully I will be back soon with some finished projects (a heavy wool sweater and corduroy pants just in time for spring!), pictures of our new bee hive, and video evidence of a walking baby.

 

I love my kids. Gosh, I love my kids. March 11, 2014

Filed under: Family,Kids — bonniep @ 9:47 pm

(But I need what I need and I need a lot of what I need and that’s C-O-F-F-E-E…Ralph’s World, The Coffee Song)

 

Things to remember…

1. Talking to big C a few weeks ago about why her dad doesn’t read very much. She ponders and then replies “Hmm…so I guess I got my intelligence from you then Mommy, and I got my looks from Daddy.”

2. In the car the other night, M pipes up: “You know that picture Daddy has of his mom in the family room? That is nice. When I grow up I want to take the picture of you at your wedding with me.” [This is a picture of me making a muscle in my wedding dress…]

Me and G: “Oh, that is so sweet M!”

Big C: “WAIT! What if I want to take that picture! You didn’t even consider whether I would want it!”

G: “No worries, we can make copies of the picture if you both want one.”

M, upset: “But a copy won’t have that fancy frame!”

Me: “Wait, do you care about the picture? Or the frame?”

M: “Er, the frame.”

3. M and big C made all their own valentine’s cards this year (I pretty much make them do this every year). M made hers on her own one day that G was working and I was at book club, and C was at a friend’s house. She put hours of time into them and decorated each one differently. However, I guess a little more supervision would have been good as at the end of Valentine’s day she told me, “Handing these out was not so fun for me as they kept falling apart.”

4. Falling apart or not, I will treasure the one she made for little C that says “Thank you for being my baby.”

5. Crazy hair day at M’s school the other day and she wanted colored hair all sprayed onto one side. We compromised on a rainbow on top of her head with stuffing clouds. Several attempts at a picture all required flash and all ended up with eyes closed. Since it was M, she also picked out a rainbow shirt, rainbow skirt, and rainbow leggings to wear. Wish I had a picture of the complete outfit!

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6. Baby C was finally back on her schedule after our trip when Daylight Savings Time struck. Argh. She is going through a rough time lately—knows what she wants but cannot communicate it well, so a lot of screeching and upset. Here she is, taking blocks out of a bag….they were a little stuck.

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But she did get them all out Winking smile

7. Baby C can pull up to standing quite well now and crawl, but won’t walk unless she is holding onto hands. She will walk on her knees behind push toys though—when she isn’t riding them or climbing into them. Still spends a majority of her time scooting—as the shredded butts of several pairs of pants will attest. You may notice a lump on her head in these pictures—she also likes to scoot down the stairs. 

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In the last picture she managed to get one of C’s books off the bed and looks like she will start reading…she does love to read books and hands them to me very eagerly, listening to a page or two before slamming it shut, tossing it aside, and excitedly picking a new book.

8. I can’t resist this baby though.

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9. Drove near the birth center where M and baby C were born the other day when M was in the car with me. “M, I always remember meeting tiny you and tiny baby C whenever I drive near that birth center. It makes me so happy. Do you remember when we brought home baby C?”

M: “Yes! That is the day I started hogging the baby.”

M can’t resist her either.

 

Hawaii, quickly February 24, 2014

Filed under: Family,Kids,Travel — bonniep @ 9:28 pm

Back from a week on the Big Island. I am an inadequate sunscreener, as well as having packed crappy sunscreen. Swimming, volcano hikes, whale watching, snorkeling, diving, food, body boarding, family visiting…fun all.

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Baby C turned 14 months old today but between being off her schedule, strange foods, a red eye flight, a day without mommy and daddy when they (er, we) went diving, sunburn, and face rash…well, there was a lot of crying. Hopefully her best travel days are yet to come.

 

Snow! Like, entire centimeters of Snow! February 9, 2014

Filed under: Family,Kids — bonniep @ 12:33 pm

So…my birthday party was last night. Also known as the one snowstorm in Seattle this winter (now, in Seattle, a snowstorm just equals “any snow”). Which meant that about 1/3 of the guests didn’t make it to the party and another big chunk had to leave early to make sure they could drive home. More cake for the rest of us!

In anticipation (this was a big one…4-0!) I got about a foot of hair chopped off. I also applied actual makeup and purchased a new outfit. It helps to have other people dress me. Made the big step of buying clothes from a store nice enough that the size isn’t on a big clear sticker spanning the length of the item.

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The music was loud (G hired a VJ to play all our 80s and 90s favorites. He wisely played popular, dancey hits most of the time instead of my morose, emo selections) and the dancing was as lamely awesome as I hoped.

This morning we awoke to…last nights snow. The kids were eager to explore and baby C spent a long time scooting up and down the driveway and on and off the curb. The girls kept trying to feed her snow.

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Also, baby C has discovered that standing and walking are actual possibilities for her and spends a lot of time squealing for help attempting them. Yay! She may get upright yet.

It has been mostly a mild winter here. A few weeks ago we went for a walk in the neighborhood to a local café for lunch. Of course, the girls wanted to make sure they looked fabulous.

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(C is wearing a cape that G scored for her at a craft fair. I swear, her clothes are better than mine…well, except for that birthday outfit I just purchased.)

 

 
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