Jaded Optimist

Mothering, making, and generally blathering on

Ugga Bugga Wugga January 21, 2010

Filed under: Personal — bonniep @ 9:58 pm

C had her school play last night and it was quite the production. Pretty much what you would expect with about 60 Kindergarteners in an adaptation of “Where the Wild Things Are”. Several forgotten lines, songs not quite with the music, some whisper quiet recitations. I think all of us were proud as heck. Can’t wait to get my DVD in the mail! (C was thinking we would get it on the way out of the show, so she could immediately start reliving the good old times. Technology isn’t quite that fast yet.)

C was a “woogie”, which was one of the four types of wild things. She nailed her songs and dance moves, and even picked up a second line the night of the play due to another child’s illness. They have been rehearsing since the beginning of the school year and a note about making costumes came home fairly early on. C and I discussed options (only requirement from the school was “green”), narrowed down our fabric choices in early December and then I started sewing in early Jan. Might have left it a bit late. I made her leggings (Ottobre magazine pattern), a fur dress (modified at Ottobre mag pattern), a fur hood (Ottobre again with some modifications and self-drafted horns) and webbed feet with fur cuffs (G and I drafted these together). I was pretty glad with how it came out and C’s dress is made such that she could probably wear it for years (serged, bias bound edges, etc). She is also wearing some green leather gloves we found at a used clothing store.









As it turned out, a lot of the mom’s brought their “A” game to costume making (including one who reportedly spent $250 on a woogie costume) and ours was not the slam dunk I had hoped for. Of course, that is a totally selfish thing to have wanted. However she eschewed some of the louder decoration suggestions we had which would have added flash and looked better on stage. (And we denied her request for face makeup which was going to consist of “big red lips”.) Anyway, although my costume making pride was a bit tarnished, C seemed quite happy with the costume, the play, and perhaps especially the trip to Dairy Queen afterwards. And I am eager to sew something that is not fur soon 😉

In other news….

M continues to make interesting fashion choices, preferring things such as C’s much larger gloves or wearing two jackets at once, with the bulkier one underneath.









Caught this cute shot the other day of C reading to M (she isn’t always willing to read, and M isn’t always willing to listen to her, but when they will…a few golden minutes for me!)







We all came through some sort of stomach flu last holiday weekend, which has put everything at home behind. Finally catching up on laundry and mail and hoping that M gets over her sickness induced clinginess soon. Because she brooks no dissent.


2009 tally January 1, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — bonniep @ 10:03 pm

2009 was the year of kids and hobbies. I continued knitting, re-started seriously lifting weights after joining the Y, started sewing, and kept taking photographs. I also cooked more, especially in the summer when we were able to make a real effort to eat locally, often hitting up to three farmer’s markets a week, growing several items ourselves, and having all our dairy/eggs delivered from a local farm. I didn’t grown much as photographer and in fact had many events where I just wasn’t very motivated to take pictures. But I am starting an online class in a few days and hopefully that will kick me into gear.

Knitting wise, I completed: three pairs of adult socks, one scarf, two sweaters for M, one sweater for C, two hats for C, one hat for a C friend, one random hat, and one surprise project which I still may gift to someone and so am not sharing. Most of these haven’t been blogged, which I hope to remedy soon. But I do have a picture of C in her sweater and one hat. The sweater is from the same pattern as one of M’s sweaters, but C’s is wool and silk after all the complaining about her wool sweater last year. The hat took me two days and might be one of my favorite projects from this year. The saleslady at the Hermes store complimented it, which I was pretty proud of. First projects for the new year are a shawl and a sweater for G (yikes! lots of plain grey in my future).









Sewing wise, I completed two dresses and a pair of pants for M, one set of placemats and napkins, two kind of shoddy journal covers as gifts, three pouches for C and a friend, six skirts for C and two for her friend, five dresses for C and two for her friend, and some doll clothes (sleeper set, dress, two pairs of pants). Not bad. I started two quilts but neither of those are finished yet, and I have a dress cut out for M that has been languishing during holiday time. Plus, C needs a big green fur costume for a play at school (is there any worse handout to get from school than one that says “Costumes will be supplied by parents”?) and time is running short on that. Again, I am lacking pictures of everything, particularly the final dress I made for C, which was from a Japanese pattern book. Always interesting to follow directions that you can’t read. C is pretty good about wearing the things I make for her, although the skirt I made for her birthday she wants to keep a “secret” and she did mention once that although she loves the things I make her, they aren’t as nice as things from the store. Out of the mouths of babes, right? Here is the penultimate dress, which has a pleat in the skirt that isn’t quite visible. I made a rookie mistake in cutting out the top and the bottom in opposite directions on the corduroy, such that the nap runs up on one and down on the other. We decided to add some lace ribbon at the waist which helps hide that a little. One might also note that C does her own styling, hence the interesting choice of shirt and pants here.








I think my favorite sewing project is a tie between the patchwork skirt for C and the pants for M. The pants fit so well and have lots of cute pockets, which don’t necessarily show up in the photo.








As for the rest of the year, it was a pretty good one for us. G travels a lot to Boston but he managed to change his schedule so that he is usually gone Sunday night – Friday night which is much better than when he would miss a weekend day. C is loving kindergarten and starting to read. She has also improved as a swimmer by leaps and bounds. M is growing up faster than any of us could imagine, and we have very interesting conversations now (although don’t ask me what we are talking about).

C picked “Christmas, Halloween and my birthday” as her favorite part of 2009. G and I were tied with picking our trip to San Francisco as our favorite, with a day at the beach in Cleveland over the summer as a close second. M I believe picked “Dog”. 

From here:






to here:









Can’t wait to see what 2010 brings.


Christmas and other activities

Filed under: Personal — bonniep @ 9:30 pm

I think Christmas and assorted activities kept us quite busy this year. One day it was Thanksgiving weekend and C was heard at a friend’s house saying “Why do you have your tree up so early?” (much to my embarrassment) and the next it seemed like it was Christmas day. G was gone for a week before Christmas (the 14-18) so that didn’t help either.

Leading up to Christmas we did several activities, including trips to a reindeer zoo/Santa visit, Santa pictures, Pacific Science Center/Winter Carnival at the Seattle Center (with a craft show visit for me), and C and G went to the Nutcracker. It was pretty cold the day of the zoo visit but that didn’t stop the girls and their friend from running around, writing letters to santa, and hamming it up.














Not too many pictures of other activities. Some cute shots of C pre-Nutcracker visit (I know—she picked G to go with her! I was a little sad/jealous, but they went out to lunch as well and did some Xmas shopping and G got so many compliments on C that he came home just beaming) but they are featured in our (hopefully) soon to arrive New Years cards (yeah, a little behind again this year) so I don’t want to spoil that. Although I guess I can show her Christmas dress (purchased with a Macy’s gift card that she got for her birthday—this is what she chose back in October!)









I also managed to squeeze in a fair amount of baking with two marathon sessions on nights that G was out of town, turning out Ginger Chocolate chews (the best, from an old MSL cookie issue), lemon cornmeal shortbread (old Fine Cooking [I think] cookie issue), and homemade marshmallows. C and I followed up with Peanut Butter Kiss cookies and she and G took plates around to several neighbors.








Later in the season C and I made cut out cookies (again from the Fine Cooking issue) both alone and with a friend of hers. In addition, I made cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning which were amazing. (Shown here pre frosting which didn’t look too good as I didn’t let the cream cheese soften enough. Tasted good though.)  






In C’s honor we had Chocolate C for dessert on Christmas Eve and again for a dinner party a few days later. The former was waaaaay to alcohol rich (should you see stars after eating a piece of cake? I am thinking no. Also, depressing for G to be asked at the liquor store whether he wanted “nips or the flask”) but the second was pretty great (and the lady fingers didn’t stick to the pan as much). And although C didn’t eat much of either, she was quite proud to serve chocolate C to her friends. Kind of weird, I know. Although rumor has it that her friend M has been trying to make up a dessert named after herself now as well.

Christmas itself was kind of quiet and weird, as our first holiday on our own on purpose. (Last year we were at our house for Christmas day, but it was due to travel woes and we had no presents to open.) The girls left cookie and milk for Santa but did not wake up early (well, not extra early). We opened gifts in several waves, trying to include various relatives by Skype. At some point though M really cottoned on to this present opening thing and tore through all of hers and several of other peoples. I have just a handful of pictures from the day…









The latter picture shows C opening her Barbie Fairytopia Mermaidia playset, a plastic monstrosity that was the only thing she asked for from Santa, and which Santa (due to some miscommunication with a certain uncle) had to find on ebay at the last minute and pay exorbitant shipping fees to get one time…however she did almost weep with joy upon opening it, and then stared at the box with a glazed look for much of the day. Her seemingly favorite gift however is a megaphone like voice changer which makes one sound like a loud robot. Thanks for that Grampy. No really. M hasn’t played with all her toys yet (although C has played with most of M’s) but I think we really scored with a dog stuffed animal (she adores the concept of dog, hence the dog pajamas which she wore for Christmas).

All in all, I think everyone got what they wanted the most, we had a ton of time together as a family (C off of school and not attending any camps and G took time off of work) and did about 50% of my planned activities which puts us ahead of most years. Now, to just get those New Year Cards from the developer and address and mail them…next year I am thinking Happy MLK Jr. Day cards might be the way to go.