Jaded Optimist

Mothering, making, and generally blathering on

Fremont November 30, 2010

Filed under: Kids,knitting,Sewing — bonniep @ 12:19 am

Thanksgiving was spent at a local restaurant with G’s cousin W, his girlfriend, and some other friends. A good time was had by all, especially the one (ahem) who would have otherwise done most of the cooking and cleaning up.

The next day dawned bright sunny minimally raining, and so we were off to Fremont for what I consider to be our personal Black Friday tradition of eating brunch at a vegetarian/cult restaurant, walking to see the under the bridge Troll, and poking around the used clothing stores and boutiques of Fremont.

We also took the kids to see Santa.



Ah, I amuse myself.

Some family+ photos outside the used clothing store, where G buys a new used coat every year and C begs me to buy her various vintage hats, gloves, etc. etc.


(Apparently G’s cousin’s girlfriend was recognized by patrons at the nearby coffee shop, having unknowingly appeared on some fashion blogs. Just the kind of thing I am happy to not have to worry about in my own life.)

The girls love the troll.


Incidentally, C and M are wearing a jumper and pinafore (?), respectively, that I made them last year. M really needs a pair of matching pants to complete the outfit, and hopefully I will get around to that before she outgrows the top. It is from an Ottobre pattern.

C’s hat is one I knit last winter. Yay me.

The day was finished by dropping off the relatives at the bus station and taking C for her 7 year checkup. Both girls then got flu shots. Perfect way to cap a day don’t you think? Incidentally, the next morning I woke up with pink-eye, so karma got me back I guess.


Snow Thanks

Filed under: Kids — bonniep @ 12:02 am

As you may have heard, Seattle was hit with a huge storm right before Thanksgiving. School was closed for two days, G’s office was closed, folks had 10 hour commutes and there were “countless” accidents (including a freight plane sliding off the runway). Having lived in Minnesota and Boston, I must say I was…


…underwhelmed by the amount of snow. (Admittedly, these are from Thursday, there was slightly more snow on Tuesday and low temperatures leading to ice issues. Still. School closed for two days? Seriously?)

We suited up and got outside several times to play in the snow…


Snow angels… (and driveway angels as seen above)


Snow ball fights… (poor M is a bit dwarfed by C’s old 3t snowpants)


A righteous snowman…





Treacherous driving conditions…


And the always fun, shoveling and sweeping of snow. They picked this one themselves.

I gotta say, these girls of mine are pretty cute.



Behinder November 29, 2010

Filed under: Kids — bonniep @ 11:48 pm

So, um, November. Yikes.

Seattle November temps have ranged from 20s to 60s I believe. When the weather is nice, I try to get the kids outside for some bike and scooter riding. They are both a couple of hams.


(Sorry, C was wearing her school sweatshirt that day, so can’t show a lot of her photos.)

We keep the handle on M’s bike for driveways. But she knows the instant she crosses to flat ground and immediately stops and insists that you stop helping her. Strong-willed and independent, that one.


Speaking of hams, C was doing some paper crafts one day and came up with this look…


We were going to hang out with the neighbors and I told her to tell them that she had been to the salon that day to have her eyebrows done (har, har). “No, mom, I am going to tell them I cut out paper eyebrows and taped them on my face!” Oh, right.

The two of them are also heavily into a joke phase right now, although neither shows any recognition that jokes are only really funny the first time (if then). C tries to make up her own jokes, and M flips between mangling knock knock jokes (her telling of the “orange you glad I didn’t say banana” one is pretty funny) and just saying over and over “Knock, knock, who’s there, poopy stinky underwear.”

We have done some cooking lately, they helped with chocolate chip cookies (orangette claimed to have found a better recipe than the NYT chocolate chip cookies, but I remain unconvinced), chocolate brioche doughnuts (would have gone better if there wasn’t a typo in the recipe such that it called for only half the amount of flour), and pumpkin pie. They both love putting on aprons, fighting over who gets to empty each cup of ingredients into the bowl, and cutting up butter.


(M knows where we keep the spreaders, so she chose to use that for cutting up butter.)

The two of them are getting to be quite the homemade snobs, with C claiming that our pumpkin pie (made from sugar pumpkins) was only OK because I used a Trader Joe’s crust. M has started asking for each article of clothing, and sometimes other items as well, whether I made it for her or “boughted” it.

The hour of 5-6 pm has been deemed “art and homework hour” ‘round these parts, where everyone is home from playdates/friends kicked out, I cook dinner, C does a homework worksheet, and both girls can draw. Some days go better than others. This was a good day.


OK, this post is running on so I will close with three M pictures…


1. Eating a sucker (we make the Halloween candy last and last), making funny faces, and requesting photo documentation.


2. The saddest little vampire.


3. One of the more interesting vignettes discovered after M had been playing alone for a while. Serial-killer Ken? Mack daddy Ken? Not sure what the story was here, but added a few dollars to the M therapy fund just in case.


Backtracking to a birthday… November 11, 2010

Filed under: Kids,Sewing — bonniep @ 10:18 pm

C turned 7 way back in October (how is not still October??) and had quite the birthday celebration. G is an art docent for her class, so he volunteered the day of and brought in confetti cupcakes (made by me) and taught an art lesson. When C came home she was able to open presents, and then we went to dinner at Preservation Kitchen (a local favorite) where I had scored us a private room—and they even prepared cupcakes for us as a special treat.


Grammy and Grampy came through with the Barbie house (which currently has its own room and gets played with every day by C and M):


Some clothes, some craft items, some Polly Pockets…

M very surprised to see what she had gotten for C…


(incidentally, it was a small telescope/microscope and a book).

G and I had planned two big gifts for C, one was a hit and one was a miss. We had been super excited about the new gyrowheels. Sadly, the available size was not correct (shame on me for just verbally asking G instead of going down to the garage and looking at the bike myself) and doesn’t seem at all stable enough to replace training wheels. [Backstory: C is a bit unsure on her bike and does not like to practice as the younger kids in the neighborhood have all gotten rid of their training wheels already.] Sigh.

The hit was an American Girl doll, which C quickly named “Esmeralda”. (Actually, it was “Alice Meralda” but thankfully the name has gotten shortened.) Knowing that I had ordered one for her, I took C to the fabric store one day and asked her to pick out two flannel prints without telling her what they were for. Minutes before she returned home from school I finished a matching set of nightgowns for her and the doll…


Admittedly, not the fabric print I would have picked 😉

C and I have plans to do some more sewing for her doll during her week (!!) of half days that precedes Thanksgiving break. Fingers crossed that that goes well. I tried to sign her up for a “sew for your AG doll” but the class apparently fills right away. C has already requested that I make a lot of outfits for Esmeralda, noting that she needed a Halloween costume (skipped that one), dress and apron for Thanksgiving, and holiday wear for Christmas. I might have opened a can of worms with this gift!


Whoo boy, this one is going to need braces November 8, 2010

Filed under: Kids — bonniep @ 9:42 pm










(Just kidding of course, but we did get some laughs today from the neighbors.)