Monday, September 7, 2009

Shameless brag post

Okay, I have been way busy with work (and erm facebook) but I'll try to get a quick update in here at least weekly for a while. So here's something I was writing up as I pondered Sophie's recent explosion in a lot of areas... copy and pasted here, so yeah, brag brag brag!


We seem to be getting renewed interest in Starfall, maybe as she realizes its use as she gets more intense about sounding things out. DD is reading out words many times a day now. Tonight it was "Exit" at the restaurant where we grabbed dinner. After saying "There are four squares and that one looks like an I, and a C, and an E" (these were noodle illustrations, penne, curved, and really twisty... took me looking at it from her POV to see how the counter cut off hew view to make the rectangles all look like squares and cut off the twisted pasta picture so it did just look like a cursive sort of E to figure it all out). "And a fork! hahaha..."

She's also really into being read chapter books, and broadening out into books, movies, rides at Disneyland, etc with "scary parts." Not sure what this is all about; she was super timid and still is often, but then she goes on real rollercoasters and asks for scary books. But then some things randomly still scare her.

She's started asking questions, looking for us to reassure her that people/animals do not each ANIMAL fish/mice/chickens/what have you, but just FOOD fish/mice/chickens. I had to speculate today on whether some owls like to eat seeds, especially as she has been an owl all night (she is ALWAYS something). I wonder if this is just something for her to wrap her mind around, or if we'll be going veggy in our home soon....

She's been telling amazing stories about magical creatures and animals. I want to write them down for her just so she can enjoy them someday, but of course I just enjoy them right now. Tonight it was a purple cow was on her straw getting a drink, then it grew a little and sat by her plate to eat, then it grew wings and flew up through the air....

She's obsessed with distinguishing between rhyme and alliteration. She heard me and DH mention this term once (I'm an English teacher, he's a nice nerd, we were talking about how nice something sounded with it) and now she gets it really well. So everything with an echoing sound gets defined, rhyme or alliteration.

And she can suddenly, on her own, draw entire faces and then says "this one is mad because he has no legs!" and scribbles red all over her, and black all over another who is angry some other day... so I showed her some ways to make legs and stick bodies. She completely and perfectly traced a striped cat I had drawn for her. She has been drawing faces and then turning them into suns, saying this is a girl in a sun, this is Sophie in a sun (COSMIC b/c I drew a baby-her in a sun for a life map thingy I made for a model for my students at school). Today it was a girl, who then had fur b/c she was in a kitty costume, apparently. Then the other night she had a rage and methodically knocked every paper and crayon off her art table. I've never seen her like that, but it looked satisfying. It wasn't too hard to get her to clean it up, either. She said she just got mad. (I wonder if it was again cosmic and she KNEW I was having a rough management day and threw that back at me, lol-- the next day the freshmen and I clicked much better!) I want to laugh, it's so temperamental artist, so... me:o

S I guess as a teacher I'm just amazed at each step as she goes. Of course, as a teacher the hardest thing is for me to step out of the way and only help very rarely. She really drives herself, then hits a wall and only sometimes wants us to give her a little guidance.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

"Pit to Distress"

Everyone needs to know about this. The standard of care for mothers and babies in the US (and other countries I'm sure) is just abominable. That we allow the medical industry to get away with this kind of BS is terrible. This is why I will never birth with anyone besides Dr. Wonderful and his team, or at home (more and more likely as the pit-loving, cut-loving OBs at the hospitals around here try to run them out of town, because they actually help women birth, instead of just inducing and cutting).

What is WRONG with people?????!!!!!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

And while we're on the subject...

So, there are two bad secret ingredients of Hershey's chocolate...

First, most chocolate is on our don't-eat list (as I mentioned in my previous post) because it has artificial flavors. And, well, it tastes like crap. Luckily there's plenty of real chocolate available, even at the regular grocery store. It's just European and pricey. And there's even more choice at Jimbo's and the like. I remember what Hershey's chocolate used to taste like, how it used to melt in your mouth... it's just not the same anymore. It tastes fake and yucky. And of course Hershey's bought Cadbury and now the Cadbury we get in the USA is not the same stuff from England imported over here (which would be a dream-- yum!) but more of the same garbage. They ruined Cadbury Eggs! The gall.

And of course, another very important reason to avoid this stuff: The other secret ingredient is slavery. Yum!

It's not like I'm going to buy Hershey's if they switch to fair trade, unless they also switch back to selling chocolate and not just chocolate-FLAVORED bar food products. Or what have you. But I will still tell them to stop supporting slavery.


A great news release shared online by my friend:

"CSPI Urges FDA to Ban Artificial Food Dyes Linked to Behavior Problems"

The gist:
A comprehensive 2004 meta-analysis of the medical literature concluded that artificial dyes affect children's behavior, and two recent studies funded by the British government found that dyes (as well as the preservative sodium benzoate) adversely affect kids' behavior. Unlike most previous studies, those British studies tested children in the general population, not children whose parents suspected they were sensitive to dyes. As a result, the British government is successfully pressuring food manufacturers to switch to safer colorings.

The scary part:
Americans' exposure to artificial food dyes has risen sharply. According to the FDA, the amount of food dye certified for use was 12 milligrams per capita per day in 1955. In 2007, 59 mg per capita per day, or nearly five times as much, was certified for use. Dyes are used in countless foods and are sometimes used to simulate the color of fruits or vegetables. Kraft's Guacamole Dip gets its greenish color not from avocados (there are almost none) but from Yellow 5, Yellow 6, and Blue 1. The blue bits in Aunt Jemima Blueberry Waffles are blue thanks to Red 40 and Blue 2, not real blueberries.

The especially infuriating part--these companies can totally do without the dyes!
More than a dozen American varieties of Kraft's Oscar Meyer Lunchables kids' meals contain artificial food dyes, but not so the British versions. Starburst Chews, Skittles, and M&M candies—all Mars products—contain the full spectrum of artificial colors in the U.S., but not in the U.K., where the company uses natural colorings. Even foods that aren't particularly brightly colored can contain dyes, including several varieties of macaroni and cheese and mashed potatoes. Betty Crocker's Au Gratin "100% Real" Potatoes are partly not real, colored as they are with Yellow 5 and Yellow 6, both derived from coal tar. Remarkably, in Britain, the color in McDonald's strawberry sauce for sundaes actually comes from strawberries; in the U.S. it comes from Red 40.

I agree with the mom who is shocked at the FDA... except I'm not really shocked because the FDA notoriously allows all kinds of horrible things to go into and be done to our food... or should I say "food."

This is just like how toys made for the US often have had dangerous plastic parts, whereas the same toys made for Europe are safer. The USA is so crazy stupid about some things!

This is the one line I won't cross, when it comes to what we eat, and what Sophie eats. It's got to be actual food. Sometimes it can be processed, like refined white sugar (but not high fructose corn syrup, because how they process that is especially disgusting, and it's especially bad for you), or white flour, but it's got to at least start as food, not coal tar!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Favorite Parenting Books

Reading: "THIS is the end.  The. End."

Here's links to my favorite parenting books, because we keep chatting about this at playgroup and it's overwhelming. I'm looking for good tips on what to read next, too!

Something funny I noticed is that so many of these repeat the same idea: we need to change our ideas about "misbehavior" and make sure our expectations are developmentally realistic for our children. I know having set routines that work for ME and Sophie make both of us better able to enjoy the day, so that neither one of us runs out of internal or physical resources and crashes. Also, just reading books and articles helps me keep reminding myself that a lot of the time, all Sophie needs is a touch of connection and a few signals that Mommy and Daddy are indeed there to order the world, and she's cooperative and happy.

Two Sophies!

First, here's a list from Mothering's forums with a LOT of book and resource suggestions.

Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn
Amazing parenting philosophy; this captures what I already believe parenting and childhood should be. Not a lot of specific tips and tricks, though. Kohn's writing is very much based in solid research, and focused on enjoying our children as people right now, and helping them grow into independent and loving adults.

Kid Cooperation by Elizabeth Pantley
Wonderful specific techniques you can use immediately, that really work! Very gentle; I ignored the few bits on time out, and enjoyed the parts that remind us that we're really looking to help kids become responsible, happy adults, and that punishment doesn't work. Great advice for specific problem areas of parenting and life. A nice list of things you can try. I think she has a new "No Cry Discipline Book" to go with her No-Cry sleep books.

Adventures in Gentle Discipline by Hilary Flower (and published by La Leche League)
Much longer than Kid Cooperation, but similar in terms of giving you reminders about how to tackle each day, and lots of specific tips.

How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
It even has CARTOONS illustrating the techniques for engaging kids in positive interactions. Perfect for harried parents. I think this is more for older kids, though. I still am glad we have it on our shelf.

The Natural Child Project has many good articles about guiding children, what works and what to avoid. And just lots of interesting information about feminism, parenting history, breastfeeding...

I took her picture because an older woman asked if she could take her picture.

Some other books and resources I'm checking out in the near future:

Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles : Winning for a Lifetime by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, because my friend is finding it useful.

Becoming the Parent You Want to Be

Enjoy Parenting

Playful Parenting by Lawrence J Cohen Because I think we do a lot of stuff like he suggests, and I want more specific ideas, games, etc. Mary Poppins was a Playful Parent/Nanny, I think :)

Our Babies, Ourselves... Hold On to Your Kids... Reclaiming Childhood... Coloring Outside the Lines...

...Ah, and so many from the list on MDC above. I'm glad there's a lot out there, because like I said, it all helps keep me in a mindset that is open to seeing my daughter as a person and not just behaviors, and as a part of our larger family and not a child in a vacuum. I find it grants me patience and the resources to be creative, which is SO necessary.

So I'm looking forward to seeing what else people are reading or have found useful.

On the train-- the best one of many attempts to get us all together

Friday, June 19, 2009

Word Part II -- What IS Attachment Parenting?

Since I'm on garage-sale eve here, I have no time to write, so it's another fun link.

But this is a big one! PhD in Parenting is a great blog I recently added to my Google Reader, and here its author puts together what AP is NOT, which I thinks help explain what it is. So many articles lately seem to be conflating AP with the hothouse/helicopter/status-driven/trendy/be the BEST parenting style going on lately... and that's not true at all. I think APers tend to be more laid back. So here it is, in much better words than my price-sticker/newsprint/hauling furniture brain can summon right now:

Attachment Parenting: What it is and isn't

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Here's an article that says keeping your babies close their first few years results in their being happy and healthy.

Love the book, and this is just DUH! and yet, so radical these days in this culture, it seems...

Our first Mother's Day

Makes me happy to snuggle my happy baby :)


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

In Praise of Not Praising

So, everyone knows by now that Alfie Kohn is one of my favorite gurus. I just found an article summing up a lot of research and his writings on how praise is actually detrimental to children and developing skills.

Kohn's writings are all based on solid research, and his book (and DVD, which we should really watch, although we've read the book a lot) Unconditional Parenting is my favorite parenting book. Others have great specific tips I have found insanely useful, but this book is the bedrock of what it is we're trying to do with Sophie.

We have definitely stayed away from "good girl" with Sophie (because what's the implication? That if she didn't do whatever it was, that she would be a bad girl? There are no bad girls.) And we have tried to not say "good job," but I have found myself slipping into it like a lazy habit. Especially now that she is doing everything "by myself! by myself! Sophie do it!" --especially when she goes all day, even out and about, in panties -- it's too easy to blurt out some comment like "great job!" So this is my reminder to myself why we are so committed to avoiding this language trap. I vow to rout all "good jobs!" and other conditional statements from my vocabulary as much as I can.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Revenge of the Space Pandas

Sophie riding a D-something eagle

Apparently, that's a children's play by David Mamet. Awesome! Someday I'm sure Sophie will love it, seeing how it combines space and pandas. And who knows, it's not too late to develop a healthy taste for revenge.

Today we all went to the zoo (Dashing Daddy having worked all afternoon Sunday with the other business owners/family members who have jobs during the week, he came with!), and it was great fun. The best part might be that Sophie wore panties the whole time. We visited the potty once maybe halfway through our visit (after the drive down and nursing/waiting to assemble with some other parents and babies, plus plenty of animal sightings from the Beco), and once before we left. So we're giving her reminders, especially before leaving the house or going into, say, the library, but we have only used training pants at night for probably a week now. At 25.5 months, she's doing so well. I can't believe what a grown-up girl I have now.

Mommy and Sophie smiling about something, by elephants

Pictures from the zoo coming soon I hope. I'll slap them on here after uploading them.... Okay, they're here! :)

That camel totally came over to pose for us!

Sophie checking out the tusks on that elephant!

And look at this adorable bunny we saw in the rabbit habitat:
What is THIS?! I'm sure she was saying

Monday, June 1, 2009

This is Miss Ivanna DeSweet's Blog


So, a couple weeks ago Sophie was still doing the "I need to be contrary and reject anything presented to me, even if it's nonsensical" two-year-old thing she was doing, and she didn't want to get in the car after visiting the store. She said it wasn't our car. So I said, "Oh, it is Miss Ivanna DeSweet's car?" and Sophie agreed, and Miss Ivanna promptly got in.

Here they come!!!

Now we frequently leave the house saying we are going to the moon in a rocket, and we get in the car as Miss Ivanna and her friend. Sooooo cute to hear Sophie glurble Miss Ivanna DeSweet.

Up in the sky-- Daddy showed up!

Today she had no diapers, no training pants, no nakey bum (except a few minutes in the morning when she caught herself in the mirror and just had to dance for a few minutes while I got dressed-- "I have to DANCE! I'm naked! I have no shirt to-day!") and no accidents. We took a nap with panties/pants for the first time, and rode in the car and did the grocery store and returned home. We'll see what happens when she really NEEDS to go while we're out, but we tried before and after walking through the door, and I had prefolds, potty, clean pants, etc....

Oh gotta go, baby girl calls... erm, Miss Ivanna DeSweet calls....


Finally out.  I can't believe I got her down with Tigger dancing twenty feet away.

My favorite ride! ;)

My sleeping beauty

Sunday, May 31, 2009


Today Sophie wore training pants just for a trip to Costco, and did use them, but also went right when we got home. Otherwise, she was in panties and pants all day, nakey bum a little, and NO ACCIDENTS!!! No nap, either. Whew!

She even had one time that she said she had to go, and we got her up there, and she took her time taking off her panties and tutu (naturally) and then went in her potty. I think that might be the first time we KNOW that she realized on her own she had to go, and she went, with no pee on her pants, while wearing panties and not nakey bum.

She also went poo in the big potty last night!

Gotta go get her to sleep now. Then hopefully I can get some stuff done. I'm feeling all adrift somehow.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Potty Learning

Smiling fairy

((Here is Sophie posing at the fairy on the postcard from her Auntie M. Of course we have Santini Organic Condensed Milk, but she was pleased as punch to imitate it all. She LOVES imitating.))

Sophie was in panties and shorts/pants for almost the entire day (one stint nakey-bum, including her nap) and she only had two accidents. One time we'd tried the potty twice with no luck, and very shortly afterward she started to go and dashed to the potty. Got a good amount in the potty, not just on her clothes and a bit on the tile by the potty. One time we had tried but I knew we should try again... and she peed. It was all contained in her panties/pants, none on the floor, but also none in the potty. She's been fine nakey-bum for months now, even through naptime. But she's prone to fiddling with her bum, which leads to a scratched-up bum and yucky hands. So we're pressing on to full potty learning, with clothes. I really believed it would just take a few days, like with the naked learning worked out, because she was reacting as soon as she went in her 7th gen training pants. And it seems to be heading that way! We'll see what happens.

Fabulous morning playing with the old Boggle Jr Nonna passed along to us, dancing like maniacs to Thoroughly Modern Millie tunes, making tents and reading books. Nice early nap she did with just one nursing interlude and fun afternoon with the grandparents over while Gpa and Dashing Daddy worked on the new family business.

I'm winning the battle of the overly chaotic and dirty house, but it's fighting me the whole way. Our dishwasher is leaking copiously, a glass smashed over by Sophie's little table, and there's still plenty to do. I'm determined to get it in shape and start going through the place for STUFF for the garage sale in three weeks. Dashing Daddy's been working almost nonstop and the total lack of breaks, besides a shower here and a bedtime story there, has resulted in accumulated chores. It's never ending! Also, wanting to sit and watch Sophie to help her catch pees means less running up and down the stairs and out to the laundry and into the kitchen. But it seems to be worth it! How awesome would it be for her to be fully diaper-free before I go back to work in August?

She has three molars still working their way through, one canine that's been poised to pop for AGES, and then there will be just one last top back molar to go. She might even be done with teething before I return to work! THEN can I get a LITTLE morsel of sleep? She still very much wants to be in the family bed, and we want her there too, so long as we're not disrupting her sleep...but a more settled sleep after the oral pain is GONE would be loverly :)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Oh, the Things You Can Think!


So I'm going to try to post more often (again!) and to kick things off, a two-second totally random tidbit of our day:

At the library today, while reading some Seuss, Sophie decided that BLOOGS blowing by are the funniest thing ever. "That's hilARious!" she pronounced. And then she decided they must be coming through a tunnel in the rock in the water. And laughed and laughed and laughed.

Love my girl.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

It's Getting Crowded...

There are all kinds of articles like this one about how Americans are getting oh-so-thrifty. I think it's great, because turning away from materialism and excessive consumption and competitiveness is going to be better for our world and maybe nudge a few folks closer to contentment.

But dangit, the library is so crowded now! And I'm not the only mom up early at garage sales and thrift stores anymore. Everyone is now doing what we've already been doing. I'm happy for them, I really am... I guess I'm just going to see myself as an incredible trendsetter.

I still laugh at all the "ways to save" that are really ways to still spend money on STUFF, just like "going green" pushes for slightly better STUFF that still puts demands on our resources.

We shopped for Sophie's birthday party supplies today, and MAN the plastic junk we had to wade through to find the few things we needed (we use cloth napkins at home, but for an outdoor party with this many people, we needed a few napkins and recyclable cups). I HATE SHOPPING. No matter what the task or trip, by the end I'm totally weary and headachey. It's the stimulation of the stores I think. And the miles of STUFF.

Sophie sure had fun playing with the Schleich animals and a few other really nice things in Target. It's amazing what's becoming more and more available at mainstream stores. I'd still rather hang out at Magical Child, and most of the time I find I have to go online for our oh-so-necessary STUFF, lol, but it's still nice to see the options opening up at places like Target, because not everybody lives in cool crunchy places.

Tomorrow we go for more STUFF (okay, food, and real food even) at Costco and then the new farmer's market that's opening up just around the corner from us! I hope Sophie takes an early nap so we can hang out there and show our support all day. And get lots of tasty produce!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Just Imagination

Smiling for the camera

So I wanted to jot down a bunch of the cute games Sophie loves to play lately. I think it was around 14mo she started doing real pretend play, putting her little baby dolls down on the couch pillows and saying sleepy or night night or something like that. Soon she was saying that EVERYthing was sad or happy, like, her baby was sad, sad, sad, boohoo (and tilted it down to the floor) and then gave it hugs and kisses and said now it's happyhappyhappy (and bounced it around). We played this out with dolls, water bottles, my boob, you name it. Pretty funny.


She's been doing more and more intense make-believe in the last few months. The playmobil nativity set made her obsessed with playing with tiny dolls, acting out circle time, going to the bookstore, jumping up, climbing and sliding. We had one day where we made up stories with sock puppets and her ugly dolls, and she's always got her "finger babies" at the ready (we use our fingers to be legs, and they swing, climb, jump, say Hi! hi! Hi! to each other, and sometimes now one is Sophie and one is Uma).

Super awesome

Sophie is ALWAYS coming up to me saying "This is the baby This is the mommy" and it's like the big hairbrush and the little one, or the big water glass and little one, or a bottle of soap and a wooden playfood jam jar. And she started putting in Daddy a lot, too. She decided her big toe is the daddy, the next is mommy, and the pinky is baby. Then she pointed to the two left and said, "and who are THESE guys?" And then the mommy and baby have to say Hi! hi! to each other, and then play on the playground (my leg or book makes a good slide) or jump or dance or ice skate or go to the library or eat different food or something.

Showing off gorgeous daddy-doll
Or getting his hair done, LOL.

She loves to make her dolls have birthday parties, and acts it all out, and picks one whose birthday it is and sings to them. And she has played with her play kitchen, cooking and saying "wait wait wait DING! It's READY!" since last fall. But she gets more involved now, and it's cute to see her roll out her dough and bake a cake for her dolls' party.

Red Baby was picking off the sticky dots

Okay, there's enough stream of consciousness writing on that. I really wanted to get some of the details down so we don't forget her cute games. It's too much; lately she's started making up these complex stories her fingers or dolls are going through.

Happy with her bunny

Other things going on imagination related: I know this is just in my head, but I'm pretty sure the universe gave me a nice ironic kick in the butt today.

To the two women who chatted at lunch today: Thank you for being so sweet about Sophie looking at you and waving and saying hi and being interested in all around her. Thank you for admiring her manners and cuteness and thank you for saying lovely things about my mothering. That made my day.

Kissing her bunny.

Unfortunately, that was the highlight of the day. Hubris smack-down awaited. Sophie wouldn't take a nap until pretty late, and she was fragile afterwards... she started SCREAMING and crying for endless repeated bouts for an hour or so after her nap. And honestly, I am sick of nursing her like a newborn. She's been sick twice in a row here and is now teething FOUR teeth, two molars and two canines!!! But it's hard to nurse and play and nurse and play and then listen to sudden screaming cries. So I got to feel like world's worst mom by 4pm. I'm not sure if Sophie or I won the house drama queen title for the day.

With her new golf clubs she requested (as surly as she looks here)

Poor Sophie did better after a little while with Daddy. And she DID pee in the potty again this morning, and sat on it again later willingly.

Finally, we're off to the land of imagination once again tomorrow: we had to delay our trip when Sophie puked all over me (that's what I get for trying to dress like a put-together wife ONE TIME: puke all over me!!!), but David spent a bit of his birthday money to upgrade our Disney tix to an ongoing pass. So we get to go any time we want now (weekdays and not big holiday times). So that's where we'll be tomorrow! Yay!


Friday, March 27, 2009

Sick, sick, sick

Three days of almost no sleep caught up with me. My poor Sophie girl went from playing happily with her friends to sickie-poos and throwing up and hanging limply on her mama. I was really impressed that she stopped throwing up by the time we went to sleep for the night, and then she just had yucky poos and sat on me and nursed/napped/watched PBS kids all day. She got up and played a bit each day, even, and was almost back to normal yesterday... enough to not even nap!!! so by 8pm when she was FINALLY down (she had slept in til 8am b/c of waking once or twice in the night), I felt totally burned out. For the past couple nights, I was either waking up a lot to settle her down, change sickie-poos, or sit on the couch with her nursing/sleeping on my lap, b/c it was the only thing that made her feel better (and cooler I think! Smart girl!) Of course, by the time Dashing Daddy was home, it was clear I was getting sick. And when I awoke in the night to see him propped up, not sleeping, I guessed correctly that he was, too.

We both felt sooooo gross this morning, but we are doing all right. We had to send Sophie to Grandma's house all day. I missed my girl! But I know we needed the rest and after a week cooped up inside, she was probably better off with a good playmate at a new house. She wasn't nursing much yesterday anyway. Oh yeah, last night I realized she has at least two of her last molars coming in-- got a glimpse of the bottom back of her mouth. Add that to the one upper canine coming in right now, and wow!

I hope we all get some good rest tonight. I am tired of feeling so lousy. Whine, whine, whine.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Itsy Bitsy Yogi

Butterfly pose

So for V-day Nonna got Sophie a Yoga Kids DVD, and we watched it again this week and that night Sophie had fun showing Daddy all the poses she remembered.

Warrier pose

She also goes around singing, sometimes pressing her hands together, "Namaste, namaste, namaste" like a song on the DVD. So cute!

Triangle pose

Volcano pose exploding!

Turtle pose (saying "Hello!")

Downward dog

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Baby's First Simile

So we're driving down the 101, having just scored some See Kai Run shoes (super soft yet protective rubber and leather shoes, good for developing feet) at 50%, and Sophie is happily wearing them, ready to show Daddy and Grandma as soon as we get home. We stick to the 101 instead of the 5 so we can enjoy the ocean. We're chatting about the ocean and what we see, and the new shoes... and then Sophie says her "shoes blue like the blue ocean." Now, I don't know for a fact that this is her first simile, but I do know that I had said nothing about blue beyond "new blue shoes!" She went on to say her shoes were blue like the blue houses (we were passing lovely beach bungalows), and blue like blue flowers! Wonderful.

These are magic shoes.

Showing me her new shoes

New blue shoes

Sunday, March 8, 2009


I am so totally doing this! Soon you'll see little figures pasted onto all of my family's clothing.

I've actually wanted to do this, to make my own super-cute (but very very cheap) clothes for Sophie, but I didn't know how. Now I do! Yay!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Calm Weekend

The kitchen is clean, the fridge is cleaned out, the towels are in the dryer and the diapers in the wash, and dinner is maybe cooking in the slow cooker... the knob broke off a month ago, but it was still working if you used a towel to turn it... now the seasoned chicken and carrots we were going to eat all weekend are simmering incredibly lightly. Hmm! First my rice cooker died on me, and now this?! Granted, the crock pot sat for the first five years of our marriage unused (sorry, Brian! it was a lovely gift) but we have adored it and used it once or twice a week lately. And it dies?! It's at least incredibly sick, it seems. Boo!

Sophie found a golf ball at the park this week, and asked me if she could throw it. I advised her it was heavy and hard and better for rolling on the ground. She told me she needed a bat. I told her it would actually be a golf club, and to ask Daddy to share his when we got home. She remembered, and so now they are swinging a huge club around the living room taking gentle whacks at the ball and trying to get it in her monkey cup. Pretty cute.

I still have quite a bit of cleaning to do, but I also want to get some writing in today and tomorrow. It's nice to settle in for a long stretch knowing that I'm not delaying Dashing Daddy's work hours.

Sophie just said, "Let's go get it!" re: the golf ball. Her sentences keep getting longer and more complete. She also gave us quite the dramatic performance today at lunch, crying a little but mostly eating the scenery rather than the pizza, complete with hand gestures. I mean, raised hand, fingers splayed, shaking up and down, returning to cover her face, streak down her cheeks, back out in dramatic flourish... we applauded her when she was done and she seemed to appreciate that.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

So what's going on...

I just heard I'm being transferred to a different high school next year, where every class meets daily. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed for perfect scheduling so I can go for 3-4 hours daily and not get stuck with periods 1 and 4 and be totally screwed.

A few other moms and I finally started a writing group and had our first meeting. We're going to keep each other motivated and share our individual areas of expertise. I got back into my novel finally, after a week or more, and realized (after pounding out two new scenes and reworking some messy info dump about midway through) that I've added over 7,000 words since starting revisions. Not bad! So now it's like 57K and closing in on 58K. I bet I add a LOT of words with the new side adventure I'm planning to add to the second half, and the big expansion of the final showdown with the big bad of book #1.

Then all I have left is writing the rest of book #2, and writing all of book #3, including slogging through three notebooks of passionate and crazy notes. And getting readers. And revising. And editing. And writing queries and summaries and getting 1,000 rejections. Yay!

I would write these novels even if no one else could ever read them. I have to write them. But it's nice to dream about getting published some day.

And it's particularly gratifying to listen to my sweet Sophie start to make up stores. "Once upon a time... Sophie! and... Icebat! AAANNNNNDDDD... Peako! shoes and socks! Go to park. Playyyyy. Play and Play and Play. Saaand. Swing." (The End)

I love it! I asked her questions and modeled a few things one time through, and after that she just went and made up all these little stories about her or her two Ugly Dolls going on daily adventures.

She also took one of her socks and invented sock puppets :) And made me do one, too, because whatever she finds can be turned into a baby and a mama (finger-babies, leaves, rocks, poles, napkins, water glasses, toes, whatever!) and often daddy and "who are these odder guys?" when there are extra toes, lol. So she prompted me to make a mama sock puppet and they went on adventures all around the park, too. They climbed trees and ran across the lawn to the path, and searched and searched for their friends Peako and Icebat.

This is the kind of thing I could do all day, every day.

(I'll post pictures of Sophie wearing her Uglies in my silk sling all bundled around her tiny torso as soon as I get them!)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Picking Right Back Up...

Can't cover the months of backlog... can't dwell on what I should be recapping... must just write what's going on NOW!

We went to the zoo today. Sophie enjoyed petting some goats. "Go to the zoo. Pet some goats!" was her plan, she told us. We found some awesome apes thanks to our mama friends.

Happy on her tortoise

Niiiiiice goat

Sophie enjoyed her very first trip to Disneyland on Daddy's birthday. She was a bit unsure about the rides in general, but enjoyed the submarine, pirates, tiki room, and small world a lot. She was sooo excited and not scared at all at meeting Mickey Mouse!

Mouse ears!

Meeting Mickey Mouse!

Mommy and Sophie with the castle

Looking at some idol

Funny clock!


Did you see this yet on flickr? Thanks to the Queen of Hearts, Sophie fell in love with Valentine's Day...
Cozy with the Queen of Hearts

K, that's all I've got. I'm out!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Long-Overdue Sophie Update

For all of you reading along for your Sophie news fix, I apologize. We've been so BUSY playing and baking and sewing and everything, I have let this slide. And then it got to be a big thing I had to catch up on, so it was harder and harder to get to. Now I really need to just ramble on for a few days and hope I record for baby book-dom all the wonderful things Sophie has been up to lately. This will be horribly vague and out of order. But it's all Sophie fun, which is great!

So, starting recently... Sophie can sing the entire chorus of "Mama Mia" by herself, but typically asks me to sing it with her (in the grocery store, repeatedly, of course!). It is something beyond cute when she sings "something broke-en heart-ed, bluuuuuue since the day we PART-ed..." LOL. We watched the movie with Nonna and Grandma for a special after-Christmas treat, and she got really into the ABBA music. We've been dancing along to Mama Mia, Dancing Queen, and a few other classics, since then.

Sophie is definitely into music and movement right now. She can climb to the top of the couches now, by herself, pretty consistently. "Way top!" she exclaims with glee. She can sing along with dozens of songs, getting pretty much all the lyrics, but she tends to peeter out when I ask her to do it on her own. When I catch her singing to herself, she can do it well but tends to get into loops and just do snatches. It's really endearing all the time, though. Some of her favorites are Chicken Soup with Rice, Baby Beluga, the Library Song, Goodnight My Angel, Goodnight My Someone, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Zipidee Doo Da, Skinamarinki Dinki Doo, and of course many Christmas carols she is still asking for a bit. "Christmas carol?"

She has also become quite a dancer. She loves to dance along with ballet we've watched on TV/youtube (it all started with a few minutes of the Nutcracker for the Christmas experience), and also techno like "I like to Move it" from Madagascar. And of course ABBA, and anything else fun and fast. We leap and spin and shake around the living room! She likes to use her new ribbom streamers Mama made her for Christmas (thanks to Nonna for the old curtain rings for the handles!).

We got a toddler yoga book out of the library yesterday, and she's been obsessed with it. She keeps asking for "yoga"-- so cute. We get down on the floor and flop around, although for many poses she's quite good, and with a bit of guidance she can do most of them, and gets this VERY proud look on her face. I think my woes about not being able to do a workout for more than three minutes are over for now, as long as I include her!

Oh, lordy, I started THIS post three weeks ago!

I'm going to go ahead and post it, and add more later!

Friday, January 2, 2009

So behind...

I have been meaning to write up a huge what Sophie's doing now post for months, but we've been sick over and over for months, too, so it's still coming...

I just had to share a great idea I just heard--now, this is just for mamas of toddlers-- keep remote controls in plastic baggies so that if they get dumped in the toilet, they don't get ruined. They'll work thru the bags and are safe! If I ever have a kid who is into everything like that, I want to remember that tip.