Jaded Optimist

Mothering, making, and generally blathering on

Random C October 31, 2008

Filed under: Personal — bonniep @ 12:30 am

C said today that Halloween is her favorite holiday “you get to dress up and go to a bunch of other houses!” Please, no one mention the existence of Jehovah’s Witnesses to her ok?

Thursdays are a favorite day as we go to the library and she is allowed to pick out one video, three fiction books, and one non fiction book. For about three months all her non-fiction choices have been about space. The fiction choices range pretty widely—we have read stories about the underground railroad, Jewish ghettos during WWII, and penny auctions in the Depression. I am undecided as to what is more depressing—those books, or Dora books.

She is getting pretty good at bike riding, except she continually stops with her feet in the up and down positions and then cannot get going again.

She absorbs language like a sponge, so I often hear myself parroted back. A favorite is “That is not one of the options I am offering.” She also repeats things that teachers say, so that when talking about a boy at the park who had been playing a shooting game she reported “He made a very poor decision.”

Driving home from school last week she suddenly asked “this thing is dark on the other side, right mommy?” “Uh…what thing? This CD?” “No mommy, this thing, this thing…this Earth thing that we are on!”

Someone pulled up next to us the other day loudly swearing at the woman in front of him, and then speeding off when the light turned. I told C that he had road rage. A few days later, she came home from school and reported that another girl had cut in front of her in line and as a result she had had “line rage”.

She only ate the frosting from her birthday cake, not the cake.

She has taken to singing The Age of Aquarius song…a lot. G has also attempted to teach her about non sequiturs, with the example “With the gates open”. Which leads to this little ditty…

She is a total cutie and a great big sister.  











She always wants someone to “keep her company”—on the potty, going upstairs to get something, etc. etc. Yet this week she has been pretty good about coloring by herself when I need to put Meadow to bed.

She refuses to eat crusts, including waffle crusts. She loves to eat out at restaurants, yet wants to get macaroni and cheese at every one (although will make an exception for chicken nuggets at McDonalds).

After grocery shopping today, she declared that she hates all shopping except for “toys and craft items”.


Busy…again October 27, 2008

Filed under: Personal — bonniep @ 11:00 pm

Sorry for the longish silence. What with birthdays, pediatrician appointments, grandparental visits, and Halloween preparations we have been a bit swamped (and the first thing to go was my computer time, in case anyone is awaiting an email).

C turned the big 5 last week, and I think today we finally opened the last of the presents. Wednesday was the big day, celebrated in the morning with a new sweater (the one I finished knitting ever so long ago only to find out that it is the finishing that takes forever):

The rainbow buttons were her choice.

She was allowed to bring muffins to school (much to her disappointment, as she had hoped to bring cupcakes) and Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything came to the rescue as usual—basic muffins with sour cream option plus orange peel and cinnamon added. G came with M and I to pick her up from school; snacks from the French Bakery were followed by the bike store to pick up her present:











Two wheel bike (complete with “stabilizers”—thanks British cartoons!) and a “crash helmet”. Positive thinker, my little C. She immediately wanted to start crossing streets, but until she gets a better handle on the coaster brakes I think we will be staying pretty close. Home to open the rest of her presents, and then off to Brix for dinner.

C’s birthday party was on Saturday—this year, we decided to focus a bit more on the kids and told her she could invite 5 friends. G was in charge of activities and cooked up an elaborate paper craft and a game involving miles of twine out in the garden. The kids seemed to prefer a game in which three of them hid in the closet and one in a chair, and then I called in our sole male guest by yelling “Help, help, I need a fireman it’s an emergency! I can’t find any of my party guests!” and he would point to the chair and open the closet door and everyone laughed. We played this game about 40 times in a row, and every time the steps were exactly the same. During this time, G, his parents, and three other parents attending the party LEFT ME ALL ALONE with those kids. In their defense, they did watch over M. Still. Later on one of the guests asked if we could go back upstairs to play the hiding game again. I could never, ever be a preschool teacher.

The girls at the party enjoyed trying on princess dresses and some got their faces painted. C did her own makeup. She also picked out her own cake from QFC—settling for Barbie Fairytopia when it was discovered they had every princess except Sleeping Beauty.











Sunday we had a Halloween costume dry run, with an event at C’s gymnastics studio. Again, she chose to do her own makeup. Please try to guess her costume.











Who guessed Angel? Yeah, me neither. Dress, wings, and wig (??) courtesy of G from a thrift store. Side note to Grammy—the black tights fit fine, and apparently go with everything!

G will not be with us for Halloween (another Boston work trip) but did a dry run of a possible costume anyway.











In other news, C and M both had pediatrician appointments last week. Both are mostly healthy. C had a growth spurt last year, and is now up to the 50th percentile for both height and weight. M’s weight was exactly 16 lbs (0.00 oz) which is around 50th percentile as well. Her height was clearly wrong again, as they had her back at the 97th percentile, and this is no tall thin baby:











The end of the appointment, where C had to get 5 shots and M got 3 was pretty brutal, and involved crying by all three of us. C said she would be “As brave as Christopher Columbus when he sailed across the ocean” but disintegrated into tears by shot three. She pulled herself together only to start crying again when M burst into tears at her shot #2.

I will close with some more shots of M, including one that shows the tradeoffs one must make to get kid photos.













This is important October 14, 2008

Filed under: Personal — bonniep @ 9:43 pm

If you haven’t read this yet (and especially if you haven’t read The Omnivore’s Dilemma) do it now: Farmer in Chief.

Michael Pollan is why we started eating more organic foods, frequenting the local farmer’s market, have most of our dairy and eggs delivered from a local source, and I stopped eating meat.

From the article:

“After cars, the food system uses more fossil fuel than any other sector of the economy — 19 percent…[Industrialization] transformed a system that in 1940 produced 2.3 calories of food energy for every calorie of fossil-fuel energy it used into one that now takes 10 calories of fossil-fuel energy to produce a single calorie of modern supermarket food.”

“Four of the top 10 killers in America today are chronic diseases linked to diet: heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes and cancer. It is no coincidence that in the years national spending on health care went from 5 percent to 16 percent of national income, spending on food has fallen by a comparable amount — from 18 percent of household income to less than 10 percent.”

“…if all Americans followed suit [having one meatless day a week], would be the equivalent, in carbon saved, of taking 20 million midsize sedans off the road for a year.”

It is an incredibly thought provoking article that touches on climate change, energy independence, job growth, and individual health.


Another weekend, another pumpkin patch October 13, 2008

Filed under: Personal — bonniep @ 11:06 pm

This time, Remlinger Farms. Halloween/pumpkin outfits courtesy of Grammy.












Halfway Mark October 8, 2008

Filed under: Personal — bonniep @ 9:30 pm

Six days to six months…quite a difference isn’t it?












That’s right, M is a whopping six months old today. I have been taking a picture of her every month with the “birthday cat” and couldn’t resist a little visual comparison today! At six months, M is…

…sleeping OK. She goes down easy at night between 6:30 and 7 wakes around 1 am-ish and then starts waking up regularly starting around 5 am, and is up for the day between 6 and 7. Her spitting up is WAY reduced, so we have been staying in the bed at night (instead of getting up to nurse in a chair). This way, I don’t wake up as much. M seems to be actually nursing more (based on morning diapers which used to be bone dry and are now soaking wet) but I must be sleeping better since I wake up now without swearing and no longer spend the first hour of the day filled with a seething bitterness.

…not really napping though. Ugh. Seems to take a 30-45 minute nap in the morning, a 40 – 60 minute nap in the afternoon, and a few catnaps (around 11 am and again in the later afternoon, especially if we are in the car). I have been trying everything—swing, swaddle/no swaddle, in the bed with her, on her own, etc. etc. Every now and then she will take a two hour nap, and I am filled with hope (and plans for my free time) but she rarely does a repeat performance the next day. I remain (stupidly) hopeful that some day she will take longer naps. I am however getting a lot of reading done (she mostly wants to nap in my lap).

…eating solids. This is all new for us, after all the trouble C had. M literally grabbed my arm and started chewing on it one day, so we were pretty sure she was ready. She has had sweet potatoes and carrots so far, and loves them.

…continually mistaken for a boy. It happened again this weekend by an elderly couple who gave the standard “Oh, it is so hard to tell at that age.” Well, it might be—if she hadn’t been dressed all in pink flowers!

…sitting up quite well. She hasn’t rolled from back to front yet, but this could be because she wants to spend all of her time sitting. She reaches for toys, shakes them in the air, even bounces up and down (which has led to two face plants…one of which was onto a book, leading to her first little face bruise 😦 ) Maybe she will be an early crawler? She loves her toys—especially ones that she can chew on. However, I must be in eye sight at all times!

  …happy to be a part of our family. C can make M laugh and laugh in the car, or really anywhere, in a way that none of the rest of us can. M also loves to catch sight of her daddy, grab his glasses, and especially touch that funny feeling beard. She just might have him wrapped around her little finger. M loves to wrap her arms around my neck (or sometimes grab a hank of hair on each side of my head with her hands, and then chew on my cheek or chin. I guess it isn’t all good and cute stuff). 

…quite the babbler. She can also veer more towards screeching, which  has its uses I guess. Sometimes she seems to be singing along with C’s CDs when we are driving in the car.

…still the queen of the crazy hair.

…baby chubbed out. A lot in the cheeks, but those arms, belly, and legs are also nicely rounded. Just moving into 6-9 month clothes—the legs are a bit long. No idea about official height and weight—her appt. this time is a joint one with C for her 5th birthday (!!) so the appt. isn’t for another two weeks. I will update when I know! I am guessing her weight will come in right around 16 lbs. though.












…the boss of the birthday cat. You want a piece of me birthday cat? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

…just a great, great baby. She doesn’t cry much, loves her bath, loves to hug and cuddle, is super alert and engaged with life. I often look up when we are out to find her smiling away at some stranger and just making their day. We’ll finish with some other shots from today that I love from her first ride in the playground swing!


Week in Review October 5, 2008

Filed under: Personal — bonniep @ 9:31 pm

This past week I (silently) participated in a creative challenge called “A week in the life” (run by life artist Ali Edwards). All week I documented our routines and our lives (well, not G so much—only so many pictures of someone sitting in front of their computer are needed) and this next week the plan is to get them in an album. I have been way slacking on my scrapbooking as of late, so hopefully this last part will happen.

In any case, the week was filled with events and activities big and small. M’s first “solid” foods, our 9th anniversary, gymnastics class for C, trips to Whole Foods, the library, the farmers market, and Borders, a pumpkin patch visit, etc. etc. Here, in no particular order, are some of my favorite photos from the week.

It’s a good life.

(As always, in case you weren’t aware, you can click on an image to see it bigger.)