Jaded Optimist

Mothering, making, and generally blathering on

Hobbies February 25, 2010

Filed under: Personal — bonniep @ 5:36 pm

C might be my biggest supporter when it comes to hobbies. She is (almost) always excited to have me sew things for her and suggested the other night that I get a job as a tailor so I can sew dresses at home for her all day long (we were unable to fully explain how that plan and “job” weren’t really the same).

I had grand plans (don’t I always?) to sew a whole wardrobe of things for Mexico. As it was, I made two outfits (top + skirt) and for one of the tops I was forced to buy buttons an hour before we left for our plane and do some handsewing while in Mexico. (Actually, I kept putting that off and C was forced to ask me every day when I was going to finish her outfit.) As we drove home from the fabric store with the buttons (the choice of which had involved much debate) C piped up that she “loves everything I sew for her and even the things I make for M and Daddy.” Ah.

All these items are from Japanese sewing books. The turquoise print top is style A from Girly Style Wardrobe and the other three pieces are from a book whose title I don’t know but which is part of the Heart Warming Life series.







I was quite happy with how this skirt turned out (using some organic canvas I think from Pacific Fabrics?) it has a mock fly and a fair amount of topstitching. C picked the button (glittery blue) which would not necessarily have been my choice.

This is a circle skirt in polka dot with the waistband in the butterfly material and a single on seam pocket. The pocket turned out pretty well; I will need to take some detail shots of that. The blouse is in the butterfly material with the undercollar in polka dot. My first collar. I got the turn of cloth pretty well but it doesn’t lay as nicely as I would like it to. I am not sure that tucked in is the best look for this outfit, but it is the look C prefers about 90% of the time. Not sure that I will be rushing to make another blouse anytime soon, but this one turned out well enough (i.e., the mistakes are all on the inside!)






C is also often (not always) willing to indulge me for photography practice. Flying through Charlotte, NC was a chance we didn’t want to pass up…

She had her hair done the day before at a spa birthday party and even after the five hour redeye and breakfast at the insane hour of 6:30 am east coast (don’t even think about what time Seattle that was) is looking pretty peppy.







But my favorite shots of the trip are from an impromptu session with a hammock on the balcony of our rental condo.















(PS. C had a recheck today and her jaw is healing nicely. Now allowed to eat slightly chewier foods like cut up meatball (good luck with getting her to eat that though) but still on restricted activity. Next check is in 10 days and we are al hoping for some running and jumping after that one!)  


Cozumel! February 24, 2010

Filed under: Personal — bonniep @ 5:09 pm

We’re back. Well, we’ve been back for a few days but the suitcases still aren’t fully unpacked so it doesn’t seem like very long. Coming down with a fever the night before leaving will do that to a person.

What do we have to show for a week in Mexico? Lots of bug bites, some “interesting” mask carvings that G and my father goaded each other into purchasing, one person with a sunburn (that would be Mr. I don’t need no stinking sunscreen before going on a diveboat for five hours) and three pale wonders, one black henna tattoo that will slowly wash off over 2 weeks (C), a stack of pesos that I forgot were in my wallet, and hundreds and hundreds of photos.

There were some wildlife sightings:













Rampant trademark infringement at Carnivale:













A few times, hijinks may have ensued:

















(Note that despite the obvious handicap, G did win the mini golf tournament. Let the record show however that we ended at hole 12 due to darkness and dinner time. And somewhere along the way missed either a hole or a recorded score. Not that that should detract from his win at all….) 

The kids soaked up some Grammy and Grampy time:

















Somebody spent as much time as possible the in the (unheated) pool while someone else mostly just dipped their toes in: 








The men experienced historic ruins, beer balancing senoras, and shopping stop after shopping stop (while the ladies opted to not drag the kids on a multiple hour bus trip which also involved two ferries, started before 7 am and didn’t end until after 9pm):








Hobbies were indulged (although no pics of Grampy with his “cuban” cigars):













There was ice cream aplenty (and chips and salsa as well). And a certain glamour queen:









What else…C got a few braids (she keeps calling pampering “hampering”), we met some neat people diving (somehow describing a dive as “f’ing brilliant” sounds so much better with an English accent), everyone enjoyed pumping their water and throwing their toilet paper in the trash can…., we discovered that the somehow no one uses measuring cups or spoons (or at least they don’t buy them from the local stores), and found that much to our chagrin the beach club next door allows wedding receptions to BLAST their music until 5am.

In the end…worth it.


C February 11, 2010

Filed under: Personal — bonniep @ 12:31 am

C came home from school last Friday with a scraped up chin, bloody lower lip, and swollen upper lip. She fell off the playground at recess about 90 minutes before the end of school. The cleaned her up and gave me an incident report at normal pick up time.







Upon closer inspection, the top gum was quite torn up and her frenulum torn. Two top teeth (baby teeth) are loose. By Saturday morning the right side of her face was more obviously swollen. Spoke with the dentist and he thought things were ok. Didn’t want us to come in, and cleared her for swimming and our afternoon ballet visit (M stayed with a sitter—G was out of town—and C and I went to see the Sleeping Beauty downtown. It was princess dress up day.)









The right side is clearly swollen, but she is in high spirits (as we walked to our seats said “We are going to have a high old time Mommy!”) and almost able to cram a brownie into her limited mouth opening. I am still thinking lots of soft tissue bruising.

Sunday still swollen. However spirits also still high.









By this point though I am pretty sure something is amiss and resolve to insist on the dentist seeing us Monday morning. Still thinking it is the teeth/gum issue. Call the dentist Monday morning, he refers us to a pediatric dentist who has us come and sit in her waiting room until she can squeeze us in (actually, didn’t have to wait that long). And then they freaked out. X-rays, follow the finger tests to judge for concussion, etc. etc. She fell much harder than I realized. The top teeth may fall out sooner than expected or may die, but since they are baby teeth it isn’t too big of a deal. The real problem was that swelling.

She broke her jaw on the right side, high up near the ear.

I still can’t quite say it without sounding shocked (or feeling incredibly guilty). We had the diagnoses confirmed at the Seattle Children’s Hospital Dental Clinic. She is on a restricted diet (soft food and drinks only), curtailed movement (No balls, No bikes, and feet always on the ground) and hopefully the jaw is going to heal without surgery or wiring. We go back on 2/25 for follow up. She is on regular doses of ibuprofen (which she loves) and has a special mouth rinse (which she hates) since flossing and brushing when she can’t open her mouth very far aren’t easy.

At the pediatric dentist on Monday they gave her a token to trade in for a prize and she picked a bouncy rubber ball. As we walked to the car to drive downtown to Children’s Hospital she asked if they would have prizes too, and I said they probably would. “Today is my lucky day!” she declared. That is my girl—excited about a rubber ball and small stuffed cat (they did have prizes there too). Excited that she gets lots of milkshakes. Hasn’t really complained or cried at all except for right when I picked her up from school on Friday. “I am quite a trooper aren’t I?” she brags. If you could hear how she squeals when M pulls her hair you wouldn’t peg her as a kid with a high pain tolerance. So I am not sure what to think.

Monday night she got a much needed bath and G finally followed through on a promise.







The only six year old with punk rock hair. G even reports that he used aluminum foil when doing the highlights! (Although he also left the tub stained blue…)

Things could have been much worse (concussion, permanent teeth instead of baby teeth, two breaks in the jaw instead of one) than they were. But I still feel just terrible about this. I guess better for me to feel bad and C to still have a smile on her lovely, swollen face.  








(All pictures from between the accident and the Monday exams.)

Now, if only I could find some soft foods that she would eat. So far bananas, pudding, and overcooked noodles are a yes. Applesauce, soup of any kind, jello, avocado, mashed potatoes, polenta are all no’s. She also requests milkshakes over smoothies. Might be a long few weeks.


M February 10, 2010

Filed under: Personal — bonniep @ 11:24 pm

M hit 22 months on Monday (also my birthday…but who’s counting?) but we were a bit, ah, preoccupied (see next post) so no documenting then.

She has been having lots of tea parties lately, including suggesting the “milk” and “sugar” and blowing on her cup before drinking it with a loud slurp. I have also caught her pretending to change her baby dolls diapers, patting them to sleep, and other pretend behaviors which I didn’t quite realize would kick in so soon. It is a joy to watch, although I kind of wish she hadn’t found the china tea set. (Note to Aunts B and G: the do it your self doll has become a favorite companion.)









The other day M started talking about potties a lot so I went out and got her a little one. And lo and behold…yesterday she used it four times and today 3 times. Yesterday included at the library (holding her on the big potty) and today included depantsing in the kitchen and then running to the stairs shouting potty so that we could take her up. Each day has also included some wet diapers, and right before we go on a trip isn’t the best time to train…but this is all M-driven so we are following her wherever she wants to go! (Ask me how happy I would be to have this one out of diapers before she is 3.5…..)

She has been talking up a storm lately, including some word combinations. Copies everything we say (declared herself “super sog” the other day). Likes to identify all the parts of the body on herself, anyone coming close, and dolls if need be. At a restaurant the other day a little boy was hanging into our booth and M stared and stared at him and then finally hid in my arms and said “I shy”. She and I have been having so much more fun communicating with each other now that it isn’t all screaming. Although I still am not so excited about hearing a little voice pop up in the back seat “shoes and socks, off”.

Eats sushi, saag from the Indian restaurant (ok, just once), spoonfuls of hummus, lotus bun from the chinese bakery, and just about anything else you offer her. Also has discovered ketchup and will eat it on anything (i.e., grapes).

Collects together a wide variety of toys (a bag of measuring cups, small folding chair, two dolls, and a headband) and then wants me to carry it all upstairs when we go for her nap. And then back down afterwards.

Has figured out how to climb in and out of her highchair and only fallen once. Ahem.









Suddenly was doing swimming strokes and kicks at the kitchen table but in the pool for her swimming class looks at the other kids with barely disguised amusement and has me carry her around with a minimum of participation.

Has definite opinions about outfits and shoes. Likes to put on any and all hats and accessories found about the house. Often seen with socks on her hand and someone else’s (much bigger) slippers on her feet.







Has gotten used to the Thursday sitter and has even taken naps for her (!!!!!) In fact has in general been taking a 1.5 hour nap without too much fuss. And…has been allowing me to put her to bed drowsy but awake. Sometimes we hear her talk to herself for a bit, but in general she doesn’t even do that. Now, this is just a few times, but still an amazing change from her old behaviors.

Still mostly refuses to hold a hand while walking anywhere, including parking lots, although will occasionally hold your hand and then go limp so that you have to pick her up by an arm. Great fun when one is walking in a crowded parking lot carrying bags. 

At the gym today (she likes to climb on scales) she was an even 25 lbs, although that is with clothes, shoes, and diaper on. She seems to finally be over the three week lingering cold and the little round belly that had quickly disappeared during the earlier flu has returned. Thank goodness. She still has little bursts of anger and tries to push C a bit too much, but overall is happy as can be and always enthusiastic. And I know that she really does love that big sis.


Relentless forward progress? February 2, 2010

Filed under: Personal — bonniep @ 11:21 pm

Tuesday, 11 pm. Garbage and yard waste out. Finally demolished the evergreen Christmas wreath that was still on the front door, putting all the branch parts into the yard waste. Gathering a bunch of books to take to the used book store and a bunch of other stuff to give to the Community Services to the Blind during their pickup on Friday. Way, way behind on my photography class. Caught up (enough) on laundry, except for the folding part. Ugh. Living and playrooms straightened up enough that the cleaning lady (or as we call her, the “good person”) can get her job done tomorrow. Dishes washed and/or loaded. And now my free time starts [pause for laughter]. Man, I kind of hate it when G is out of town.

However, have just about finished a shirt and skirt for C for our Mexico vacation, and in fact she has requested to wear the shirt tomorrow to school for “beach clothes” day. I have another shirt and skirt and two or more dresses planned to make, and we leave…well fairly soon. So, maybe, maybe not. C is finally healthy and M just has a runny nose and intermittent cough after three weekends in a row of someone (or all of us!) being sick.

Oh, and because we are so not busy, and because it is such a great time to sell a house…we bought a new house and are moving next month. Surprised? Me too. Excited as well. I mean, between the panic parts. Luckily it is just about 15 minutes away, so moving shouldn’t be too crazy. [pause for laughter] We will be walking distance to a public school for C to start next year, several restaurants and coffee shops, bank and post office, two grocery stores, the library, a sweet bike path, playground, and public space which hosts art fairs and music concerts, and even my gym (well, that one is about 1.5 miles away). So pretty excited about that part. I would however like to then NOT MOVE for some extended period of time. This will be C’s 4th lifetime house which seems a bit much.

Today the sun came out so M and I took advantage. Her language is taking off and she understands an incredible amount. She also is very, very much a do-it-yourself type kid—wants to pick out her own outfits, tells me when her diaper needs changing, has specific ideas about which baby dolls are required for her to go to sleep, etc. etc. etc. She also likes to climb in and out of her own high chair, and worse, sit on the back of it. Which accounts for the bruise you may notice in some of the pictures. Today we took a tiny doll stroller on our walk and M insisted on bringing two dolls with us, despite the fact that only one fits in the stroller. She was pretty sure that one could fit in the other’s lap. Evidence to the contrary could not dissuade her. “NOOOOOOO! Lap mama!” (repeat until ears ring) Sigh. She drives me a little bit crazy but her cuteness saves her (that, and the fact that she has started saying “sorry, mama, sorry”. Not when she is naughty, but still…cuteness.) She will be 22 months next Monday.















Oh, and finally got a picture of C in her “birthday skirt”—I made this as a birthday gift for her, but while she claimed to love it she refused to wear it for several months because she “didn’t want to make the kids at school jealous”. Hmm. From a Favorite Things pattern with the pink “piping” added by me and pockets from a Made by Rae tutorial









(Yep, that is the sweater I made too.)