Jaded Optimist

Mothering, making, and generally blathering on

Catching Up August 5, 2014

Filed under: Family,Kids — bonniep @ 10:15 pm

“My” computer (the one with all my photos and photo editing software, and a comfortable chair, and not in G’s office) has been on the fritz for months. Sigh. G is in the process of fixing it but to say it isn’t top priority is an understatement. In the interest of getting some of these photos and thoughts up before they are completely forgotten I am giving in and blogging from the kitchen computer—sans editing software, sans comfy chair. At least I have photos though!

Let’s catch up on baby C first. When we last met…baby C was a delayed walker and the doctor finally insisted we see a physical therapist. Well, it took a few weeks to get in and wouldn’t you know, baby C took her first steps a few days before our first appointment. She was about 16.5 months old. Basically, at the first appointment the therapist agreed she was a delayed walker. And at the next two appointments she confirmed that baby C had caught up and was walking fine. Kind of a waste of three appointments (but ever closer to reaching our insurance deductible) but better than the alternative I suppose. Now baby C is a walking machine—up and down stairs, on and off curbs, running, dancing, you name it.


Oh, and climbing. For instance, she can climb onto the counter in the bathroom and get stuck between the mirror and the sink. No pictures of that, due to panicked rushing to grab her.

Baby C has graduated to sandals, as seen (barely) in picture 7. As had M before her, she loves to take off her shoes in the car and then look very concerned when you arrive at your destination and open the car door to find a barefooted baby. She then gestures vigorously as if to say, hey! I need some shoes on here! However we do not have non-sandals for her due to the incredible tantrum she threw at the shoe store and her continued refusal to allow me to put such shoes on her (although she is kind of OK about the water shoes in picture 6. At least she wore them that day, although refused to try on at the store). She is also a hat lover.



Eating wise she continues to try new things. She prefers stone fruits with the stones in…not much fruit actually gets eaten but she likes to dig the stone out. No ice cream pictures but that is definitely a recent favorite. Popsicles however continue to elude her.



In addition to banged up legs and various scrapes baby C had one bad injury on the 2nd last day of school, during the playground portion of M’s kindergarten graduation. C was running while carrying a hula hoop on gravel (it was a crazy time) and in falling managed to tear off a fingernail. I am not sure if there was more blood or more screaming. Not sure if you can see the damage here:


She bounced back quickly but for weeks afterwards, if you said “C, do you have an ouchie finger?” she would look worriedly at each hand and then show you the bad finger with a sad face. The funny part of course was that she couldn’t tell without looking which hand it was! All has healed now.

She loves being outside, especially on our new deck (er, in the blog silence G built an enormous deck in the backyard) and is earning her baby explorer credits.



Her clear favoritism for G continues.



Current favorite things include all the Bear books by Stella Blackstone. Refusing to give kisses or hugs. Finding rainbow loom bands all over the house. Helping at clean up time (but who made the mess….)

We have officially transitioned to one nap a day….and it is a 3.5 – 4.5 hour nap. Seriously. I don’t ask why, I just count my lucky stars! (Non-napper dues quite paid up with the first two kiddos though thankyouverymuch). 15 teeth with that last one very close to breaking through.

Not much talking. Well, not much understandable talking. Lots of babbling but her words are fairly confined to maaa, daaa, hi, and boo. Opting for now not to stress about it. Much. Her head size is near the top of the charts, height is 75ish percentile and she is a solid 27 lbs. Feels like a good baby size.

She is our happy, fairly easy going little sprite and despite a penchant for getting into things she shouldn’t be getting into I think the whole family is enjoying baby C immensely.





Catching up May 12, 2014

Filed under: Family,Kids,Sewing — bonniep @ 5:08 pm

Some things I have sewn…

Geranium top for M (actually was for the Hawaii trip, but wearable hopefully all summer long!). Shown with firecracker pants I made…2 years ago? M says they match because they both “have white”.


Pants and a onesie spruced up to match for baby C. Pants are Big Butt Baby pants by the same pattern designer. Using leftover fabric from M’s piano bag. If that’s wrong I don’t want to be right.


Baby C’ first haircut was this weekend. Most of the family has been sick over the last week but we tried to keep our hacking to a minimum at the child infested kids haircut salon. She refused to sit in the fancy truck chairs so was on my lap. But allowed her hair to be blown dry.

Before…shaggy town.


During….playing with a basket of toys. (Photos by big C)


After…cleaned up cutie!


Eating with baby C continues to be an adventure. For the floor.


She is starting to say “Boo!” and book, and signs for more quite effectively. The other day G was holding and snuggling her and handed her back to me so he could go into the office to work. Baby C burst into tears and turned towards him, frantically signing “more”. Aaawwww.

Mother’s Day happened. I am not sure the restaurant would have us back for brunch again (hey, take 50 minutes to make food for three hungry kids and you pay the price. Oh wait, based on the credit card receipt, we still paid the price). Quick attempts to take some mommy/daughter pictures afterwards were not so successful.


Baby C is transitioning to one nap a day. It is only going so-so, as several of our recurring activities are based around a schedule of two naps. And sometimes she does still take two naps. But this weekend she did one long 3 or so hour nap each day. I admit, I could get used to that. Now if she could go back to sleeping through the night and waking up later than 6 am? That would be heaven.


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.


I love my kids. Gosh, I love my kids. March 11, 2014

Filed under: Family,Kids — bonniep @ 9:47 pm

(But I need what I need and I need a lot of what I need and that’s C-O-F-F-E-E…Ralph’s World, The Coffee Song)


Things to remember…

1. Talking to big C a few weeks ago about why her dad doesn’t read very much. She ponders and then replies “Hmm…so I guess I got my intelligence from you then Mommy, and I got my looks from Daddy.”

2. In the car the other night, M pipes up: “You know that picture Daddy has of his mom in the family room? That is nice. When I grow up I want to take the picture of you at your wedding with me.” [This is a picture of me making a muscle in my wedding dress…]

Me and G: “Oh, that is so sweet M!”

Big C: “WAIT! What if I want to take that picture! You didn’t even consider whether I would want it!”

G: “No worries, we can make copies of the picture if you both want one.”

M, upset: “But a copy won’t have that fancy frame!”

Me: “Wait, do you care about the picture? Or the frame?”

M: “Er, the frame.”

3. M and big C made all their own valentine’s cards this year (I pretty much make them do this every year). M made hers on her own one day that G was working and I was at book club, and C was at a friend’s house. She put hours of time into them and decorated each one differently. However, I guess a little more supervision would have been good as at the end of Valentine’s day she told me, “Handing these out was not so fun for me as they kept falling apart.”

4. Falling apart or not, I will treasure the one she made for little C that says “Thank you for being my baby.”

5. Crazy hair day at M’s school the other day and she wanted colored hair all sprayed onto one side. We compromised on a rainbow on top of her head with stuffing clouds. Several attempts at a picture all required flash and all ended up with eyes closed. Since it was M, she also picked out a rainbow shirt, rainbow skirt, and rainbow leggings to wear. Wish I had a picture of the complete outfit!


6. Baby C was finally back on her schedule after our trip when Daylight Savings Time struck. Argh. She is going through a rough time lately—knows what she wants but cannot communicate it well, so a lot of screeching and upset. Here she is, taking blocks out of a bag….they were a little stuck.


But she did get them all out Winking smile

7. Baby C can pull up to standing quite well now and crawl, but won’t walk unless she is holding onto hands. She will walk on her knees behind push toys though—when she isn’t riding them or climbing into them. Still spends a majority of her time scooting—as the shredded butts of several pairs of pants will attest. You may notice a lump on her head in these pictures—she also likes to scoot down the stairs. 


In the last picture she managed to get one of C’s books off the bed and looks like she will start reading…she does love to read books and hands them to me very eagerly, listening to a page or two before slamming it shut, tossing it aside, and excitedly picking a new book.

8. I can’t resist this baby though.


9. Drove near the birth center where M and baby C were born the other day when M was in the car with me. “M, I always remember meeting tiny you and tiny baby C whenever I drive near that birth center. It makes me so happy. Do you remember when we brought home baby C?”

M: “Yes! That is the day I started hogging the baby.”

M can’t resist her either.