Jaded Optimist

Mothering, making, and generally blathering on

Miss C July 29, 2011

Filed under: Kids — bonniep @ 11:10 pm

Miss C has had quite the week, with drama camp culminating in a play today (she was Rosie, a witch princess, with inexplicably dark eyebrows)…


Lots of bike riding practice…


Family in town for a visit, swimming class, playing with friends, getting a remote controlled car as promised by her dad when she learned to ride the bike, and finally….


her tooth fell out! (She is not sickly, just a terrible bathroom picture!)

Way back in Cleveland her top tooth went from wiggly to halfway out, leading to a hanging tooth. It hung on through another two weeks populated by us begging her to let us pull it out and her crying. We tried teething gel, bribes, etc. etc. Tonight, we took turns wiggling it until finally I just yanked it out. Her fear instantly turned to jubilation and all was forgiven. Now, to see what the tooth fairy leaves…


Pond shots July 18, 2011

Filed under: photography,Travel — bonniep @ 10:55 pm

G’s parents live in Oberlin, OH now, a smallish town with a great college, some good restaurants, a yarn store and a separate fabric store, a soon to open artisanal ice cream shop, a long paved bike path, and a one screen movie theater that was showing Harry Potter in 3D for just $8/person on Friday night.

Also, a pond with both a white and a blue heron, which I admired mightily and finally dragged myself out with camera in tow to try to capture. I am not a heat person, so I was walking very slowly! Sadly, the white heron was not there, and the blue one flew off as soon as I was in the ideal spot to photograph it. Sigh.

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Cleveland Rocks!

Filed under: Family,Kids,Sewing,Travel — bonniep @ 10:32 pm

Just about back on the right time zone from our trip to Cleveland to visit parents/grandparents and various other relatives and friends. And experience 20 degree warmer weather. Hello sunburns and bug bites!

In a cruel twist, the one direct flight each way each day between Seattle and Cleveland are timed to exacerbate the time zone difference, such that we left Seattle at 3 am Cleveland time and then left Cleveland at 6 am Seattle time (so…waking up around 3 am Seattle time). Sigh. Day 1 three of us wisely took naps and one just played until collapsing on the living room floor…


…where two other nap lovers soon joined her.

We had one big goal for this trip…getting C riding a two wheeler. For various reasons, she has been very reluctant to try this around our neighborhood. A used bike and new helmet were acquired, and Grampy set out with a rigorous lesson plan.


Success! It was an amazing moment when she took that first solo ride, a mixture of relief and pride. C herself welled with happy tears. She continued practicing through the week and is able to do some turns and braking as well now. Her fears have returned slightly now that we are home (nervous around other kids for some reason) but hopefully will continue to progress.


OK, just had to post one more. Little M was so proud of her big sis—jumped up and down when she rode for the first time.

The girls spent a lot of time at the pool and “beach” at my parents house, but no pictures of that unfortunately. Nor of friends that we saw or the zoo trip we took. However, a trip to a kiddie amusement park is fairly well documented. C was right under the 50” height limit and seemed a little bored on some rides but overall I think M’s enthusiasm made up for both of them.


Would you even guess that at age 4 C refused to go on any rides at Disney after riding the Toon Town roller coaster??

C mastered looking cute for photos…


M yelled “whee!” on almost every ride….


We visited G’s parents as well at their new home in a retirement community. The girls had the pool to themselves for an hour of “child guest” swim time.


Of course, any trip is preceded by panicked sewing on my part, this time matching dresses (pretty easy actually, just hacked off Old Navy tank tops and a ruffle fabric bottom).


(Couldn’t resist saving that second phantom hand photo…)

And then there are the forced photos with the grandparents and mostly failing efforts on my part to get everyone looking forward with their eyes open at the same time.



(The girls got hair cuts during the trip due to extremely long bang issues. However, I was not close enough when C told the stylist how short she wanted her bangs. Hair grows though right?)

A few last favorites…



Summer Weekends July 5, 2011

Filed under: Family,Kids,Sewing — bonniep @ 9:53 am

Two weekends in and already I am exhausted! We kicked off summer with a bang, or perhaps more of a waddle, as I finished my second half marathon of the year. The Seattle Rock N Roll was huge (the 35 waves of starters took almost an hour!) which meant being surrounded by people the whole route—as well as half hour waits in the porta potty lines. Finished but did not meet my time goal. Sigh.

The next day I ambitiously took the girls to the Bothell Arts Festival and Bellevue Strawberry Festival. The arts festival did not have much of interest for the girls except for a chalking area, where C drew beautiful pictures and M got covered in chalk. Oh, M also ran through a special environmentally sound ground covering.



The strawberry festival included radically overpriced rides ($7 for the three of us to each go down a big slide once??) and ice cream cones. Sadly, we were too late for face painting this year.


The week itself was busy with dentist appointments, swimming class, sewing class, general hanging around in the neighborhood and art camp for C.


Her traced collage self portrait.

This last weekend was all about preparing for the insanity that is the Fourth of July in Bothell. As is typical, I added to the insanity by trying to make four different ice creams (made it to three—basil with honeyed pine nut praline; chocolate coconut curry; and beet with mascarpone cheese, orange zest and poppy seeds. Thank you Jeni’s Splendid ice cream cookbook!) and starting a new themed outfit for M. On Saturday. Sunday was a late night!

Anyway, first up was the kid’s parade with the necessary bike and scooter decorating.



M started off on her bike for the parade but quickly got tired legs.


After that was watching the main parade. Neighbors brought down our chairs on Saturday night to reserve a good spot, and except for the fact that someone moved the chairs to sit in front of us it worked out pretty well.


Back home for naps (M, and ok, me too) and final food preparations. And then…party!


Food, bouncy house, treats, and the newly popular RC car racing.


There were lots and lots of fireworks. (As the friendly Bothell policeman told us when he arrived, firecrackers are not legal so he confiscated those. But everything else is fair game!) A bit loud for some.


(I thought M’s outfit had a certain Sound of Music curtains fabulousness. It is shorts and a top.)

Most of the best fireworks were saved for after dark, but I chose to just enjoy rather than try to take pictures this year. This is the debris from very early in the evening…I think we had several wheel barrows full of remains by the end of the night.


Phew. Onwards summer!