Jaded Optimist

Mothering, making, and generally blathering on

2009 tally January 1, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — bonniep @ 10:03 pm

2009 was the year of kids and hobbies. I continued knitting, re-started seriously lifting weights after joining the Y, started sewing, and kept taking photographs. I also cooked more, especially in the summer when we were able to make a real effort to eat locally, often hitting up to three farmer’s markets a week, growing several items ourselves, and having all our dairy/eggs delivered from a local farm. I didn’t grown much as photographer and in fact had many events where I just wasn’t very motivated to take pictures. But I am starting an online class in a few days and hopefully that will kick me into gear.

Knitting wise, I completed: three pairs of adult socks, one scarf, two sweaters for M, one sweater for C, two hats for C, one hat for a C friend, one random hat, and one surprise project which I still may gift to someone and so am not sharing. Most of these haven’t been blogged, which I hope to remedy soon. But I do have a picture of C in her sweater and one hat. The sweater is from the same pattern as one of M’s sweaters, but C’s is wool and silk after all the complaining about her wool sweater last year. The hat took me two days and might be one of my favorite projects from this year. The saleslady at the Hermes store complimented it, which I was pretty proud of. First projects for the new year are a shawl and a sweater for G (yikes! lots of plain grey in my future).









Sewing wise, I completed two dresses and a pair of pants for M, one set of placemats and napkins, two kind of shoddy journal covers as gifts, three pouches for C and a friend, six skirts for C and two for her friend, five dresses for C and two for her friend, and some doll clothes (sleeper set, dress, two pairs of pants). Not bad. I started two quilts but neither of those are finished yet, and I have a dress cut out for M that has been languishing during holiday time. Plus, C needs a big green fur costume for a play at school (is there any worse handout to get from school than one that says “Costumes will be supplied by parents”?) and time is running short on that. Again, I am lacking pictures of everything, particularly the final dress I made for C, which was from a Japanese pattern book. Always interesting to follow directions that you can’t read. C is pretty good about wearing the things I make for her, although the skirt I made for her birthday she wants to keep a “secret” and she did mention once that although she loves the things I make her, they aren’t as nice as things from the store. Out of the mouths of babes, right? Here is the penultimate dress, which has a pleat in the skirt that isn’t quite visible. I made a rookie mistake in cutting out the top and the bottom in opposite directions on the corduroy, such that the nap runs up on one and down on the other. We decided to add some lace ribbon at the waist which helps hide that a little. One might also note that C does her own styling, hence the interesting choice of shirt and pants here.








I think my favorite sewing project is a tie between the patchwork skirt for C and the pants for M. The pants fit so well and have lots of cute pockets, which don’t necessarily show up in the photo.








As for the rest of the year, it was a pretty good one for us. G travels a lot to Boston but he managed to change his schedule so that he is usually gone Sunday night – Friday night which is much better than when he would miss a weekend day. C is loving kindergarten and starting to read. She has also improved as a swimmer by leaps and bounds. M is growing up faster than any of us could imagine, and we have very interesting conversations now (although don’t ask me what we are talking about).

C picked “Christmas, Halloween and my birthday” as her favorite part of 2009. G and I were tied with picking our trip to San Francisco as our favorite, with a day at the beach in Cleveland over the summer as a close second. M I believe picked “Dog”. 

From here:






to here:









Can’t wait to see what 2010 brings.


My own brand of weirdness August 6, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — bonniep @ 11:42 pm
I am a short term planner–for the short term, I really like to have a plan. I like routine (Tuesdays are library day! Wednesdays we go to the Farmer’s Market! Mondays I do the lower body workouts from 10 minute solution Pilates on the ball and 10 minute solution tighten and tone pilates, etc. etc.) I like having vacations planned months in advance. I would rather have a bad plan than no plan at all…and a change to the plan makes me break out in a sweat even if the change is for the better. (G would be laughing now, or maybe crying…if he read the blog.)

So, decision making can be tough for me, because I really don’t like to change the plan later, so the decision has to be the right one the first time. But, and this is too bad, I also have a tendency to overestimate my capabilities. Witness countless dinner and party plans that had me up at midnight making pastry crust, or screaming at G "it is 12:03 and I need to be chopping basil from 12:01 to 12:04 and there is no freaking basil!" That type of thing. I have the feeling that if I just try harder and am more perfect, then there really will be 26 (or 40) hours in the day.

Sigh. Can you say controlling first born??

In the past few days a plan that I was holding onto became obviously wrong. Obvious to people around me, obvious to G, but not really obvious to me. So we talked at length last night, and came to a decision, and this morning I double checked that that was really the decision (poor, incredulous G who thought deciding once would be enough!) and I just feel sick about it. (Although that might be the shameful number of Junior Mints ingested tonight.) The plan had some points that were unresolved, which I was studiously ignoring because there was no good resolution and acknowledging that would have meant that the plan wasn’t going to work…but it was the plan! (I know, you are thinking that you never, ever want to go on vacation with me. The plus is that I panic about finding rental houses and such and get those details all worked out and solidified early…and I make excel spreadsheets to exactly divide all the costs of a group vacation…I’m not helping my case am I?)

I know that once I have made and settled into the new plan, I will be ok–because there will be a plan. That’s how I ended up ok with and even excited about things like up and moving to Seattle from Boston, or having a second kid. But this between plan part really really stressed me out.

Funny for the day…in the car with C we listen to "her music"–right now, Elizabeth Mitchell’s You are My Sunshine. The one verse contains "when I woke up I was mistaken please don’t take my sunshine from me." C pipes up–"Do you know why she was mistaking mommy? Because the sunshine belongs to everybody!"


On Fire! December 6, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — bonniep @ 11:05 pm

I am sometimes a little bit competitive. No takers on my challenge thus far, although I see that the link to the test was broken–it has now been fixed. And the ante has been upped.


Thankful for November 27, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — bonniep @ 10:15 pm

Feet that still look like little baby feet. That never smell and are always warm and cuddly after a nap.

Daddies and the little girls that love them.

Sunlight and silly faces.

Warm hats.

Lingering autumn colors, and the surprise of autumn sunshine.

Kids who are still young enough for public hugs and cuddling (and shiny pregnancy hair).

Hope and optimism despite all evidence to the contrary.


Cutest darn lion ballerina you’ve ever seen October 31, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — bonniep @ 10:30 pm

Costume of her choosing. Did not see any other lion ballerinas out there tonight. Credit to Target for the lion vest/hood combo, Gymboree for the tutu skirt, and G for the face painting. She lasted much longer trick or treating this year than last, although still wouldn’t approach the house in our cul de sac with the taped moaning and person hiding in the bushes (not that I blame her). She happily handed out candy to the rest of our trick or treaters (reminding them to say thank you) and passed out in a sugar fueled daze before her goodnight songs were even finished. [Sorry for the poor photo styling and quality, just the built in flash.]


A level of excitement that I guess I am just not missing in my life. October 22, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — bonniep @ 11:49 am

I am more of a, shall we say, "ground dweller".


What I have been… October 11, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — bonniep @ 5:39 pm

Calculating: Due date for the bean. My original guess from online calculators was April 1. The midwife’s little circle chart gave up April 4. The ultrasound tech calculated April 3, but after the ultrasound revised it to March 27(!!). Today, the midwife and I agreed that that is way too early and compromised on…April 1. And that’s no joke.

Reading: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. Picked this one up at a bargain price at Powell’s a few months back, but needed to find a time to fit in its massive thousand pages. Turns out my copy was so cheap because about 30 pages towards the back were cut wrong, with the bottom 3/4 inch or so of the pages missing. I thought about getting it from the library, but put it off and put it off, and then couldn’t wait once I got to that part so just read right through it. Luckily, there are a lot of footnotes, so even missing the last few lines of each page the story was easy to follow. Very creative, good writing, interesting historical (if not factual) tidbits, overall really liked it. At 1k pages though it takes some commitment!

Craving: Soup. I hated soup as a kid (I also didn’t like pizza or potato chips. Just an barely interesting fact about me). My kindergarten class once went to the Cleveland West Side Market to buy soup ingredients, prepared them, and then ate soup as an activity. I ate Ritz crackers with peanut butter. Anyway, in college when I started cooking more, I came to discover that soup is one of life’s joys. My absolute favorite is probably a tie between three bean curry soup from this cookbook and the pumpkin soup from Au Bon Pain, which sadly is not to be found in the state of Washington.

Missing: Sushi and margaritas. You just can’t eat a whole meal of california rolls, it isn’t the same. And does anyone really bother with the plain cucumber roll? Lunchmeat-yuck. Chevre–love it, but am fine eating other cheeses instead. But I miss my sushi. Margaritas I assume require no explanation.

Buying: New water bottles from Sigg. I know the jury is still out phthalates but why risk it? I use a reusable water container every day at work and ditched my Nalgene for a happy looking, lightweight Sigg. And ordered some more for C and G in anticipation of our Disney trip. If you too have admitted the evils of bottled water, consider the Sigg (also available at WholeFoods).

Waiting, and waiting, and waiting for: 18-200 VR blah blah blah Nikon lens. I love this lens–and G broke it on our first day of vacation wayyyyy back in August. Badly. By accident, of course. At that price point I wasn’t running out to buy another one and instead it was shipped off to Nikon for repair. It had better get here before we leave for Disney!

Pondering: The inclusion of belts at maternity stores. If you don’t have a waist, what do you need a belt for?