26 August 2008

Meow Meow cat witch, meow.

So I added a button to my blog. It's "Save Mister Rogers' Neighboorhood," because apparently PBS plans to pull it to weekends only in several markets. I don't think that's okay, so I want to try to help. Click on the button to find out more.

We watch more TV than I'd like at our house, and a lot of it is kid-friendly and fairly mild. Still, there is nothing on earth that I've found calmer than Mr. Rogers, and he isn't mind-numbingly stupid, either. The Big Comfy Couch? Rather insipid, really. Wow Wow Wubzy? Yeah, um, no.

But Mr. Rogers, with the tour of the teddy bear factory? Mr. McFeeley's Speedy Delivery? Trolley and the land of Make Believe? X the Owl and Henrietta Pussycat? Yes, thank you. It is an oasis in television land, and I want it to stay.

25 August 2008

First day of pre-school

Shaun said to V this morning, "Are you excited about school? You're going to meet so many new friends."

"And boys!" V said.

Maybe this preschool thing wasn't such a good idea.

Truly, though, I don't know what on earth made her think "friends" didn't include boys. Most of her friends ARE boys, actually.

When he picked her up, Shaun said, "Did you meet any boys?"

V said, "Yep. And girls, too." So I guess that's good news.

Today went really, really well. She waved us away as soon as she got to school, and though worn out afterwards, she seems really happy with the whole deal so far. I hope it lasts. As a bonus, I didn't cry, either.

But look at her up there on those lousy crumbling front steps of ours. I feel like in 10 minutes we'll take her first day of junior high photo there. I know it's that stupid parental cliche, but she's growing up so quickly. She'll be three years old in less than two weeks. How did this happen? I still feel like such a new parent: I have no idea how to do this right!

But most of the time, I just feel so lucky to know her.

21 August 2008

Front Yard Maple Tree

I had to be up and out of the house at 7:40 during inservice days. The good thing, though, was getting to see the sunrise for a change.
Good morning.

A couple weeks of catch-up

I know I've been gone awhile. Faculty inservice started this week, and it's always a shock to my system...and Shaun's, and V's. So let's recap.

V uses the big girl potty at Mexican Village South
Pile of kids in the bathtub, as their doting mothers look on.
A Mama Long Legs at the lake
My wounded finger from awhile ago (it doesn't look this bad anymore. Honest). There's a needle-sized hole all the way through there, under the skin.
V learned to love the lake. A lot.

The grandmas and the cousins. I love this picture because it's so chaotic...like life at a lake with two almost three year olds.
V had another Senior picture taken.
My beautiful girl. (less than an hour after this picture was taken, she had a total meltdown at a nearby restaurant and wouldn't stop screaming until they brought her ice cream. Nice. But she is still beautiful.)

14 August 2008

Questions I can't answer

V and I are on vacation. My in-laws are in Vegas, so she and I decided to guard their lakehome while they're away. It's tough work, but someone has to do it.

In the end, we'll have been here 2 nights and 2 1/2 days alone together by the time the family returns tomorrow night. The last time we were both away from V's daddy this long, he was in California and she was three months old. We've been pretending we're having a three-day party, where she can drink lemonade, and I can drink lousy pre-made pina coladas, and we can swim into the night and eat pizza on the dock. I'm not sure which of us is having more fun.

I didn't bring the camera cord to hook into the computer, so photos will need to wait. You'll have to use your imagination.

I've been trying to help her be excited to be outside (though the lake helps a lot in that department) so I've been talking to her about different trees, and loon calls, and anything else we notice outdoors. Today she pointed to a spider and looked at me expectantly, asking "What's THAT?" "That's a Daddy Long Legs," I answered, confident in at least this species of spider*. She totally stumped me with her follow up question, though."Where's the Mama?"

*confidence which, it turns out, was misplaced, as they aren't even spiders. Stupid internet, always proving me wrong.

11 August 2008


They often hold hands. If one is in the stroller and one is walking, they still hold hands. My heart grows three sizes every time that happens. They are each other's best friend.

09 August 2008

Two totally unrelated things worth blogging about

First, 30 minutes after that last blog post, V quietly went into the bathroom and then several minutes later called for my help. I thought maybe she'd dropped her circus book, but noooo....Ladies and Gentlemen, V has now successful used the toilet for both of its intended purposes. As promised, she got her cupcake as well as a ridiculous Happy Poop Dance her father and I made up for her. And no, I will not do the happy poop dance for you, even if you poop like a big girl.

Also, um, please don't tease her about this when she's 11. She'll have enough problems as it is.

The second blogworthy thing is a historic event in my sewing career. (I mean, 7th grade home ec was historic in that I missed the day we got instructions for our sewing project so bought a perfectly lovely jumper pattern and plaid fabric, not realizing that I would then need to MATCH PLAIDS...oh, the humanity). I have been using a sewing machine with some regularity for 17 years, almost half my life. I've lost track of the number of quilts I've made, and have shared here on this blog some of my adventures in softie, backpack, and diaper making, to name a few. This is not to say I'm an expert, by any means, but just to illustrate I am no stranger to my sewing machine.

Tonight, I was finishing my version of Amanda Soule's Gratitute Wrap (find the pattern on the lefthand side, under "For You!"), moving along at a good clip, and in putting the binding on the last corner, I moved my finger in to tuck in some fabric and ....ow....sewed through my finger tip.

Now calm down, all you non-sewers and sewers alike: it just went through the fleshy part on the tip of my left index finger (though I'm finding it quite painful to type right now...must stop using t, f, g, r, and v). I've heard horror stories of people hitting bone and/or the needle breaking off inside and being lost forever. Neither of those things happened, though the needle did break. Because I had an entrance and an exit wound, it was easy to remove the needle, as it was protruding. The thread, on the other hand, was rather disconcerting, because it was still attached to the spool, and had I not realized I needed to cut it, I would still be downstairs pulling thread through my finger.

I know. Gross. Sorry.

The good news is, the binding I was sewing on and the thread I was using were both red, so no one will be the wiser! Well, except now I can't give it to anyone who reads this blog. Stupid bloody gratitude wrap.

I have no pictures of the poop, the wound, or the wrap, though one of those three may well show up here tomorrow. If that doesn't make you want to check back in, I don't know what will.

Backpack, backpack

As promised, proof of the Backpack I Made Without A Pattern, modeled here by the lovely V, and V's assistant, Baby Head.
Note the straps: they're not adjustable, but I measured them to fit her, and barring a Robert Wadlow-esque growth spurt, they should last until kindergarten.

Here's the back: there's nothing in the backpack here, so it hangs kinda funny, but the bottom is square. V picked out the fabric, a vintage canvas-like cotton, by saying "The puppies. Woof woof." She originally said she wanted solid orange, but I didn't have any in an appropriate weight. She picked the green for the V, too, which I traced from a large scrapbooking letter and used lightweight heat n bond to stick in place, before zig-zagging around the edge. The photo makes the greens look more clashy than they are in real life.

Back to V's assitant (you didn't think I would just let her slip by us, did you?). Her full name is Plastic Baby Doll Head, but V generally shortens it to Baby Head, or just Baby. Baby Head came with us to the grocery store today, and had a drink of water in the water fountain, and tried a doughnut hole from the bakery. Baby Head has a very high voice and a dry sense of humor, as you might imagine.

I know that this is odd behavior. I swear I did not encourage her to seek out this strange plaything (as opposed to George Washington, which I kinda forced her to love). One day she was looking through some of my craft supplies, and said "Oh, can I play with her?" I was not about to say no. It's so very Wednesday Addams, isn't it? Or the opposite of Wednesday Addams, since she had a headless doll, and V has a bodyless head.

Parenthood rocks.

07 August 2008

Bob the Builder poops in the potty.

Sorry if y'all thought we were dead. We're here, we're mostly healthy, and we've been busy. We had Andy and Vanessa's wedding two weeks ago tomorrow, and Sara & Melvin's wedding on Saturday. My friends Nancy and K.C. moved 50 miles away earlier this week, and I helped. Oh, and V is potty training. Yeah. So I'm kinda busy making sure my kid pees in the potty and not on the sofa.

I know, you're saying "But, Jen, why are you potty training all of a sudden? What's up? You and Shaun are so lazy we figured V wouldn't get potty trained until she was 6 or 7." And I don't blame you for saying that, so I will explain.

V will start preschool August 25th, provided she learns to use the potty with some reasonable frequency. We found out about this on Thursday (we were waiting for an opening. Very college-entrance-y, kinda) and had plans Friday and Saturday, so this past Sunday was our first day of Toilet-eese.

Honestly, she's taken to it quite well. We let her be naked the first day, and if you were 35 months old and had worn a diaper almost every waking second of your life, naked would be quite a reward, apparently. Enough so that the first three times, she leapt up, peed in the potty, and was rewarded with hoots and hollers of her parents, and phone calls to both sets of grandparents as well as an enthusiastic aunt. After the third time, Shaun and I kinda looked at each other and were like, "Dang, this potty training thing isn't so hard. What was all that fuss about?"

Anyone who has potty trained a child knows we were fools. Within twenty minutes of that thought, I was cleaning poop off the bathroom floor.

Frankly, we ARE lazy parents, and we were kinda used to the girl going about her day while we went about ours, with 4 or 5 diaper changes and some meals mixed in. I mean, we talk to her and stuff. Now, though, we have to watch her all the time, leap up when she heads to the bathroom/grabs herself/starts squatting in the toybox. It's exhausting.

More information than you wanted to know? Too bad.

In slightly related news, I was so inspired by this preschool news that I ran down to my basement studio (I have a studio! Aren't I cute?) and made her a backpack. She picked out the fabric and the lining and the zipper, chose the fabric for the large V I emblazoned on the front, and offered lots of moral support. Did you catch that? I MADE a backpack. By myself. Without a pattern. From fabric I already owned.

I'll try to get pictures of it. Of course, if you live near me you've probably already seen it and been told I MADE IT WITH OUT A PATTERN. Because I'm excited, and I want you to be too. In related crafty news, I've been making bonnets from this pattern (click on "shop," then "bonnet"). It's the same one as this bonnet, but in summery cottons.

I had to tinker with it a lot to make one that would fit Emmy, since she is still the tiniest human I've ever seen (This version is actually #2 of 3. #3 fits better, but Jess is still beleaguered by pregnancy brain and lost #3. Temporarily, we hope...).

The photos are from yesterday, when we piled four grown-ups and three kids into a Honda Odyssey and drove to a zoo an hour south of here. Because we're optimists, I guess. Anyway, the drive was lovely (I want someone to give me a honda odyssey. please), and the company divine, but V is still not too interested in animals, and is recovering from her summer cold, and so she screamed. A lot. I swear I saw a mountain lion roll her eyes at me over it, and not in a sympathetic way, either. That's the last thing I need, to be judged by caged animals.

To sum up, we've been learning to use the potty, I've been really crafty, we've been to two weddings in two weekends, and we went to the zoo. What's gnu with you?