Jaded Optimist

Mothering, making, and generally blathering on

Fun things to do with a baby April 21, 2014

Filed under: Family,Kids — bonniep @ 10:33 pm

Bath time hair sculpture.


Put her on a riding toy and race her around the house while mommy takes deep calming breaths.





Filed under: Baking,Family,Kids,knitting — bonniep @ 10:28 pm

Easter is one of the major neighborhood holidays (an ever increasing list) and expanded this year from just being a group egg hunt and driveway brunch to an afternoon goat roasting. As the lone vegetarian in the neighborhood I brought an enormous couscous salad. Apparently the goat didn’t go so well so I didn’t miss out (although M happily ate her goat with some ketchup).

Anyway, Easter. There is the egg coloring.



C likes to make hers look like people, well, babies. Causing conversations like “You can eat my eggs but not the babies!” “C, you can eat your own babies.” We did 30-1 eggs (1 lost to cracking in the pot and sacrificed to baby C’s lunch). Fun for everyone but I think next year I will hide the glitter now included in the Paas sets. There is a tiny smattering of glitter everywhere and it reappears no matter how much wiping and sweeping I do.

Easter morning there is a neighborhood egg hunt.



Action shots! While the kids are hunting eggs, the adults are eating breakfast in a driveway and chugging coffee. This year I made a sour cream coffee cake with chocolate cinnamon swirl and rhubarb ginger scones.



Someone made bacon, so baby C has been inducted into the club. As she plowed through G’s plate of bacon I said “Well, she is definitely your daughter!” and then had to awkwardly state that of course there was never any doubt about whose daughter she was, ha ha ha!


Oh, cute sweater on that baby? Thanks! Knit it last summer and finally sewed the buttons on…yesterday. Thank goodness it still fits. You can tell she loves mommy-made as much as the other girls.




last week April 17, 2014

Filed under: Family,Kids — bonniep @ 11:13 pm

Last week M turned 6. I brought popsicles to her classroom after lunch which were a big hit. Only time for a quick dinner and opening a few presents that evening (the Monster High obsession continues…).


Because that night was the science, art, and book fair at school.


M definitely worked on hers independently. We read some books together about volcanoes, and she picked photos from our visit to Volcanoes National Park to illustrate some of the concepts (steam vents, crater, a’a rock). She also drew the illustrations and all the labels (with Sharpie…aaagh) on her own. She can explain why volcanoes occur near the edges of the plates, and that Hawaii is a different kind of volcano formed by a hotspot. We were pretty proud of her work and thought it much better than the seeming hundred of kids who built foaming volcanoes.

Anyway, the next night we went out to dinner (where she wore the crown again…) and opened more presents and then on the weekend she had her birthday party. It was at a trampoline center and the kids were thoroughly sweaty and thirsty after an hour of jumping.

Her “theme” was Rainbow Magic Fairy which is a series of books. Big C and I made rainbow cupcakes with rainbow sprinkles and added fairy toppers, making for a very thematic birthday cupcake which the 5 and 6 year olds largely didn’t notice.


Rainbow Fairy Magic books, rainbow bracelets, rainbow stickers, and rainbow lollipops for all and my work was done. M came home from her party and rode her scooter for another hour or two, so I guess the trampolines were just a warm up for her! All in all, a success. Plus the six year checkup doesn’t include any shots, so happiness all around.

In other news…

Baby C has taken to playing “bib bandit” during meals, as can be seen in the first picture above and better here:



This, in conjunction with her belief that hair is the best place to wipe hands, has led to a big increase in baths as of late.

Last year we planted a bunch of fruit trees, although some are more accurately just fruit trunks.



G is renting a bee hive to encourage tree pollination. Supposedly these bees don’t sting. We’ll see what our fruit output is like (although I suspect we need to mostly be pruning any fruit back until some of our trunks grow branches).



(No baby walking still. Copious baby car scooting around the house, but no walking.)


Updates April 7, 2014

Filed under: Family,Kids — bonniep @ 10:27 pm

Baby C turned 15 months old two weeks ago and was toted off to the pediatrician for her checkup. Weight and height in the 75-90% and head in the 90-95%. Molars are coming in. Words, or word like utterances, are appearing—she does a long drawn out “hiiiiiiiii”, says “mum mum mum” and has an all purpose squealed “NA! NA!” which I think means “I want that. That! Now!”. She waves hi, is starting to distinguish the sign for “all done” from the sign for “more”, puts her hands on her head if you say “Humpty Dumpty” (from a song in swimming class), pats her knees if you start in on “Welcome today” (from music class) and can point to her nose. All in all, a fine, healthy baby.

Who isn’t walking.

So, that sucks. Especially when attending said music and swimming lessons when all the other babies, including much younger ones, are walking. Or when someone says they read research that wearing shoes can delay walking (um, thanks, but this baby never wears shoes! I know the (*&@#$ research lady!) as if it were my fault. Plus the worry that not walking means a whole host of things could be wrong with her (which the doctor has never said).

However, she has made leaps and bounds in the last month—pulls up to standing all the time, has stood independently for whole seconds at a time (although not very often…maybe 3 times?), and will walk pushing a cart around the house. So we are going to encourage as much exercise and practice as possible and check in with the doctor again in two weeks or so…and then decide whether to start physical therapy. In our copious free time.

We would really like her to be walking, if only to stop the reckless destruction of shoes and pants that occurs when a baby scoot all around the driveway and sidewalk on warm days.

None of this bothers baby C of course. She is too busy trying to play the piano, sticking her tongue out in concentration, and wiping her hands in her hair.


She has been taking a lot more notice of her sisters, and they in turn are seeking her out and enjoying her a lot more. Doesn’t really help with group photos though.


(Sometimes C is overcome with the need to snuggle in the presence of blankets.)

Big C is reading up a storm, disappearing into the sewing room for hours at a time (although one wishes some of that time was spent cleaning up from projects…) and recently got an email account. These are two projects she sewed recently, in a still life with baby chub.


M is flying through kindergarten, starting to read, showing great enthusiasm for playing piano (if not necessarily practicing piano), and turns 6 in a few hours. Also, if the weather is above about 55 degrees then she is immediately in shorts and a tank top.


I know the latest release says differently, but these kids bring us joy AND fun.


Send some “walking soon” vibes our way. Hopefully I will be back soon with some finished projects (a heavy wool sweater and corduroy pants just in time for spring!), pictures of our new bee hive, and video evidence of a walking baby.