Jaded Optimist

Mothering, making, and generally blathering on

Halfway June 24, 2013

Filed under: Kids — bonniep @ 10:20 pm

OK, who stole the last six months?   

Oh right, this baby.


She has smiles for everyone! She is such a happy little bean. However, the smiles lately are often hidden behind…



a thumb. The last month or so baby C discovered that thumb and it is in there ALL. THE. TIME. In between bites of food. In the car. In bed (although, hallelujah, it means I can nurse her and put her to bed without waking her up!) I mean, I guess I am glad she can self soothe, but why does she need 20 hours of soothing a day??

If the thumb isn’t in there, a teething or other toy usually is, as birthday cat unhappily discovered today. Soggy paws, an unforeseen occupational hazard.


Baby C has also discovered rolling over back to front (an excellent opportunity to catch a hand underneath you with a thumb perfectly positioned for sucking), the cat (we are working on “gentle touching”), saying “ba-ba-ba-ba-BA-BA-BA!” and seemingly singing along to music in the car, and is getting quite accurate with her grabbing and object handling (see: discovered the cat).

Eating is proceeding nicely, she prefers to hold the spoon on her own (more opportunity to gum it). Butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and banana are all hits; jury is still out on avocado.


We have seen, um, evidence of actual ingestion. We see the pediatrician in a few days and will have info on weight and such. And perhaps more info on how to serve meat puree (currently a suggested first food for iron intake). Milky meat puree. Gah.

I also finally caved and purchased a jumperoo, which I avoided for the first two kids. Poor baby C, she just has to spend more time on her own as two bigger sisters need lunches packed, laundry done, etc. Sisters who can watch her for a minute in the jumperoo, while the cat remains a bit safer. No action shots, but rest assured jumping happens.


Baby C is the mellowest, happiest little baby, who sleeps 10-12 hours at night and takes some good naps, yet mostly allows herself to be dragged around to camp/school pickups and drop offs and errand running without complaint. Trying to keep to an overall routine of a morning nap two hours after she gets up, and then an afternoon nap another two hours after awakening from the morning nap, but trying to be ok with just hitting that goal most of the time. As long as that thumb is nearby, I think she can deal with anything—and with a smile to boot.


Highs and Lows June 23, 2013

Filed under: Family,Kids,photography,Sewing — bonniep @ 9:43 pm

Whew, made it through the last days of school. Big C’s school had multiple celebrations—pizza party! field day! ice cream party! and the feared and revered Crazy Hair Day.


M’s school ended on the same day, and they had both a Rainbow party during the day and an end of school picnic for families in the evening. The next day it poured all day—luckily we had the last day of nice weather for the picnic. There was a musical performance as well…where I caught this winning shot.


Somebody managed to pretty much sleep through the drama though.


M has been at her school for two years and we all loved it—and her teacher. Next year she will start Kindergarten at our local public school. Sniff. There is good and bad about that, but we will definitely all miss her teacher.


Let’s see…before all this big C had several Brownies events including a camping trip (no photos there…I couldn’t go overnight with baby C and the other moms weren’t too keen on having G in their tent Winking smile ) and then a bridging ceremony to become a regular Girl Scout. Her troop this year has been excellent, and we are looking forward to next year with them! No good photos of the ceremony, but my kids were excited to strike a pose afterwards with some of the decorations.


Today, the rain (mostly) held off despite dire predictions and we were able to catch the a super low tide at Carkeek Park. A family friend joined us too and the girls all had fun avoiding the geoducks, smelling dead crabs, and poking the anemones.



I have more to report on baby C, besides her inaugural backpack adventures shown above, but as she turns six months old tomorrow (!!) I will save that for her post.

I will note that I have managed to get in some sewing. This was supposed to be a last day of school dress for M, but since the last day of school was a rainbow party she wore something more appropriate. Still I love this fabric (hopscotches complete with tiny pieces of chalk) and dress—hopefully it will get some good wear. Making a bigger one with a more sophisticated print for big C next. Well, after I finish a quickie project for baby C.


(The only low I really mentioned in this post was low tide, but we have had a variety of bad news over the past few weeks. Here’s hoping the rest of the summer is mostly highs!)


growing up June 11, 2013

Filed under: Kids — bonniep @ 9:42 pm

I loved M’s high chair (and hated big C’s high chair). However, we sold it when we were done having kids a few years ago (ha, ha) at what turns out to be well under market value for the Stokke Tripp Trapp chair. Those suckers go for top dollar on Craig’s List. For some reason, things I was willing to lay out big bucks for with M I now hesitate with for little C (actually, can’t think of another example besides the high chair, but I am sure there is one…) Enter a slightly more affordable wooden chair, snagged for a good price on zulily.

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She likes it! Although perhaps puts her too much in M’s reach? Now she can hang with us when M and I are baking cookies (our “special activity” last weekend when big C was camping with the Brownies and G was working).

Once she was in the chair, little C could also hang with us at mealtimes, instead of either being held in a lap while she tried to knock things off the table, or relegated to the swing off to the side. And once she was at the table, it wasn’t long before I was inspired to cook some butternut squash and this happened:


She liked it! At least the first time, the second day seemed uninterested. I was going to hold off until 6 months (which is just two weeks away) but more recent recommendations are back to starting solids any time after 4 months and she seemed intrigued by what was going on at the table, so there you go. An eating baby.



Didn’t you use to make stuff? June 2, 2013

Filed under: Garden,knitting,Personal,photography,Sewing — bonniep @ 10:41 pm

Right. I do still make stuff. Really.


Pink sweater with kitty buttons. Put on several times but never makes it past breakfast, has never actually been worn to school. The blue sweater from the same pattern I think has not even been put on. Sigh.


Rainbow polkadot Ayashe blouse. With the perfect skirt from Land’s End! This has been worn a few times. Unfortunately the neck is quite tight (there are no fastenings, just that opening slit) and the way it is constructed you can’t find that out about the neck until it is too late to fix without literally ripping apart the entire blouse. The bottom of the slit popped a few stitches on first wearing but I think will make it through after I put some reinforcing stitching on there. I made this blouse after making a larger one for C in a gorgeous floral fabric; sadly, it was too small (although too large for M) but has been passed along to a neighbor.


Tiny tea leaves cardigan. Has never been worn outside of the house. Took forever, mostly because the sleeves were too short and I had to unpick all the garter stitch cuff and reknit the sleeves longer. I think the impasse here is with the wide neck. It was meant to go with C’s cardigan from the same pattern, which doesn’t seem to have as wide of a neck, but which also has gotten a bit small for C.

Plus, why would you be wearing sweaters when you could be wearing this?


(She is “walking like an Egyptian” here.)

C is finally able to wear a blouse and pants I made her ages ago; she is quite skinny so ill fitting waists are a problem.


They are supposed to be cropped pants, although perhaps not quite that cropped. This outfit has been worn a few times.

I used to take pictures too. I wandered the yard today with my macro lens on….



Got totally distracted by those strawberries though as I hadn’t realized we had a harvest already. The slugs realized obviously.


That was the biggest one…didn’t measure (and five girls in the yard made short work of that harvest) but maybe 2.5” across? It was a monster berry!


We left two peaches and two plums on the fruit trees (otherwise pinched back to encourage growth this year) and they seem to be doing well.

Well, back to the trenches. G has been out of town for 4 days and still a few more to go. I had a long list of projects that I thought I would get accomplished in his absence, a bit over ambitious. Where by “a bit” I mean completely insane.