Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Something Beautiful

Yes, E is still sick (but still happy!) However, I got SO little done yesterday, and I went to bed so VERY tired, that I just had to get something done today. So, we've done laundry, cleaned and tidied, and I did a little bit of yard work during her nap. In the spring, I ordered some very inexpensive, VERY small, lavender plants through the mail. They were really just about 3 inch high little wands, with roots attached. I was SO surprised when after I planted them in our newly-made flower beds along the walk way, they GREW! They thrived! They actually had flowers! Today was the day to harvest the lavender because:
a) a few bushes were growing over the sidewalk and
b) I needed to add something beautiful to my Kleenex and cuddle filled week. (On the sickie front, she slept until 9:00 this morning rather than 5:00, and she ate 2 chicken nuggets for lunch. She won't even eat ice cream! She MUST be sick.)

So, here are pictures of the lavender I harvested, and what I did with a few of the wands. The rest will be dried, flower buds rubbed off, and either made into sachets or lavender lemonade. Or ice cream. Or something else really good that I've always wanted to try, but never wanted to pay for someone else to make so I could purchase it at the grocery store! I'm looking forward to a much bigger harvest next year- I have about 10 plants. The craft instructions can be found here. Maybe I can make enough to use as Christmas gifts next year- it smells fabulous.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Fun....and not fun.

E had a great Saturday- we went for a walk, played games, and went to the ward's "Trunk Or Treat" This is our second one this year (first was Aunt Lolo's ward), and she has FULLY grasped that when we put this costume on her, she gets to grab her bucket and run around a parking lot collecting candy from every car. This outfit is now her favorite thing to see me pull out! That's a big improvement- at first, the only redeeming quality was the velcro I used to keep the back of the neckline shut- she could undo that, and have it all off in a flash. I didn't feel so smart about spending so much time picking out coordinating colors that would work with her complexion, cutting, sewing, ironing...didn't feel smart at all! May as well cut two holes in a pillow case and call her a ghost!

After the trunk or treat, there was still time before bedtime and Daddy craved gelato- how many people can say there's a gelato cafe 2 blocks from their house? (Un)fortunately, we CAN say that, and now the shop owners know us by sight! I ordered mango and berry, and Daddy ordered passion fruit and coconut. This was E's first time, and she loved it- she ate my gelato, she ate Daddy's gelato, then she danced around on the stage they use for the Friday night jazz-guitarist.

So Saturday was all fun, and Sunday was all fun (she loves Nursery now- pulls Daddy all the way down the hall after sacrament meeting!), but she woke up from her nap with a 101.7 degree fever, runny nose, deep cough, sore throat, runny must be almost November! She spent a few weeks last year sick last year, either sleeping, watching movies, or nursing. Almost no other food passed her lips, she didn't was so sad to watch. She's not quite that bad (fingers crossed), but this time we know: no cold medicine, use a humidifier in her room, and give her lots of liquids. I'm actually giving her juice, which I've never done before at home. Her hands and lips and skin are dry, her eyes are red...she's my little sickie, but she's such a trooper. She doesn't whine or fuss, and shows me what movies she wants to watch or just cuddles in my lap. She didn't sleep much the last few nights- waking up every 2 hours, then finally asking to get out at 5:00. BUT, she's been asleep for her nap for almost 2 hours now, which is promising! She hasn't eaten since eating lunch yesterday, but has drunk a glass of milk and a glass of juice.

I've canceled music lessons and play dates, canceled visiting our 87 year-old friend yesterday, and will probably cancel visiting my grandmother. So everyone, wish us luck...and we'll see you when this is over!

If you'd like to see more pictures from October, please head over to our Flickr account!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Getting Dressed

Ernie got to do more baking this week- our friend needed an outlet to use some freshly-ground wheat flour, and we needed something to fill our morning! The loaves turned out beautiful. Thanks, Kathy, and to her fabulous husband who just loved grinding the wheat so much he finished an ENTIRE bag!

We've been working on "getting dressed" this week. A few examples:

Ernie is diligently trying to put her shirt back ON, all by herself!

It's a tough go. But then again, she has a great role model in Aunt LoLo. Nice pants!

Ah well, she'll get it eventually. I hope.

Somebody looks faaahbulous!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Growing Up

Ernie is growing up so fast! Monday evening she learned how to play "Red Light Green Light." She was howling with laughter. She was so intent on stopping when Daddy turned around her feet stopped before her belly could and she went flying through the air, to land in a giggling heap at Daddy's feet.

Yesterday was our first Story Time at the library- she was so intent on the story! I had her in my lap and tried to get her excited about things, clapping around her and whispering in her ear things like "Look! They're getting in the bus! Look, it's a plane!" She finally slid off my lap, took my face in one hand, put a finger to my lips and looking into my eyes very seriously said "Shhh." Story time is serious business! After that, she stood silently in front of me, totally intent on the stories our librarian told. We learned about things that go- cars, boats, planes, trains, tractors, and feet. At the end, all the children were handed a felt "feather' for Tom the Turkey, and we sang a song to call each color of feather up one by one to place on the flannel board. I was SO PROUD of my little girl when she walked up to the front of the room all by herself to carefully put her white feather on the board like she'd seen the other children do.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Angel Baby

Angel Baby. That's what we call Ernie when she's good, and today she was VERY good. Mama had to be gone for the morning, leaving Ernie with Aunt Lolo and BBJ. In the past, this has been Very Bad. And since today is Wednesday, Aunt Lolo has many piano lessons today and not much time for Very Bad situations, but she is a sweetheart and straight away offered to babysit when I called to ask her how to get through a morning with Ernie sitting in the car for 3 1/2 hours. (Which, by the way, is how long I was on the phone last night. Did I mention that EVERYTHING seemed to happen yesterday?)

I left Ernie at her house at 8:45, with a container full of hard-boiled eggs, her favorite food (yesterday.) She was so excited about that egg until she saw Aunt Lolo's centerpiece- a gorgeous, glistening, chocolate bundt cake sitting pretty in a cake stand. Ah. There goes the egg idea. I hear she actually ate half a banana before being allowed half a slice of wonderful cake. And that she happily watched a movie while piano lessons were taught, and bravely tried to ignore the small bug-girl who was grinning and swatting at her blanket.

She enjoyed her walk today with Aunt Lolo and little bug- we try and take a nice long one everyday, while the weather's good. We dropped some soup and pao de queijo off at a friend's house, stopped at the Vietnamese deli for a steamed bun filled with chinese sausage slices, a pork meatball, and a boiled egg quarter. (tai bao, Aunt Lolo tells me. It was Delicious, and for a buck seventy-five, I intend to go back!) The girls were great in the asian market we went to next, and didn't even fuss when we walked them the mile back home in the rain. What troopers!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Girls Have Fun

Today was a day of action and adventure! Well, at least a lot of telephone calls. I never knew so many things could happen on a Tuesday!

The most monumental thing to happen this week (so far) is that Ernie and Cousin BBJ can play together. Nicely. For the last few months it has been Ernie's mission to make her cousin cry whenever possible, and to back into a corner shrieking whenever said cousin comes near. She scared of her? She wants to dominate her? I think the closest I've come to the truth is that Ernie needs order in her life. She could spend 45 minutes stacking and unstacking yogurt cups when she was 1. Chicken nuggets must always be served on a plastic Ikea plate. We must sit on the second step to put on her shoes. Then along comes this moving, noisy BABY with antennae, ready to do who knows's a little unsettling! (Check out Cousin BBJ's hair on you'll see the said antennae!)

So, things Ernie and BBJ can do together:
1) Ernie can feed her cousin "treats." Like you would a dog.
2) Peek-a-Boo. Ernie hides, and BBJ and I pull off the covers. Picture above is Ernie, pre-Boo. Or "boy," as she likes to carefully say. I think it's just as scary!
3) Much like the first, but Ernie can share her snacks with BBJ.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

The Original Wonder Woman

This is my mother- the original Wonder Woman. Not only did she and my father raise 5 children to (nearly finished!) adulthood, she has a bounteous garden, is working on finishing her degree, and pulls out the 5-inch-thick "Webster's Dictionary" whenever someone asks "What is a...?" She ALSO babysits Ernie every Friday night- now THAT is wonderful!

By the way, for those who don't know, a cockle is a noun:
1.any bivalve mollusk of the genus Cardium, having somewhat heart-shaped, radially ribbed valves, esp. C. edule, the common edible species of Europe.
2.any of various allied or similar mollusks.
3.cockleshell (defs. 1, 2).
4.a wrinkle; pucker: a cockle in fabric.
5.a small, crisp candy of sugar and flour, bearing a motto.
–verb (used without object) contract into wrinkles; pucker: This paper cockles easily. rise in short, irregular waves; ripple: The waves cockled along the shore.
–verb (used with object) cause to wrinkle, pucker, or ripple: The wind cockled the water.
9.cockles of one's heart, the depths of one's emotions or feelings: The happy family scene warmed the cockles of his heart.

That's what the dictionary said!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Get it While You Can!

Ernie has FIRMLY learned the sign for "candy" (fist with the pointer finger extended, rotating the finger tip on your cheek) and she knows where every scrap of candy is in this house. She makes her rounds- ice cream in the freezer? No. Hard candy in the baking cabinet? No. Vitamins in the spice cabinet? Only one. Lift me up on the counter so I can see what's in the snack basket? Uh-uh. Making dinner is always fun, because she figures if I'm in the kitchen, I must be there to get her a snack! This is how I kept her occupied- see all those dishes? She loaded them ALL by herself. Very firmly and decidedly. She knows a good job when she see it.

Something else she knows is good: cookies. Our house has been baked-goods free for 3 weeks now. In those three weeks I've lost 6 pounds...I think it's safe to say it's a good thing I've stopped baking! However, last night was J's Teacher's Quorum presidency meeting, and snickerdoodles were in order. Feast your eyes, because you won't be seeing these again for a long time!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Suckers, Strollers, and a Mall Walker

Ernie has a bit of cold, and so is on the cranky side of lovely this week. She did however manage to cheer herself up yesterday- I was so glad she was entertaining herself quietly while I worked on a project, I didn't think to wonder what she was doing. My house is almost Ernie-proof when I shut all the child-locked doors, so I don't worry much about what she gets into.

She found a sucker, and slowly wandered in to show me after 15 minutes or so. Notice the sly, "What are you gonna do about it?" look, the dribbles down the shirt, the quiet aura of contentment surrounding her tummy....truly, a content child!

We discovered something else that makes her a content child- after picking Daddy up from work yesterday, we decided to go out to dinner at the local "buffet-style" restaurant. There are lots of food choices, quick food delivery to the child, and soft-serve ice cream. Perfect! Afterwards we let Ernie run off her steam in the mall halls, and we just followed her around her shopping excursion. She was a girl on a mission! She wandered into a "lotions and potions" store, just to check out what's in their bins, then into a clothing "big box" store- that was hilarious! She's a mall walker extraordinaire- the faster she went, the faster her arms and knees pumped. She doesn't run, she trots quickly with knees pumping towards her tummy, fists clenched, sometimes with a low "aaaaaaaah" just to hear her voice bounce in rhythm with her shoes. She wandered down the purse aisle, took a left to the bikes, found a baseball and threw it towards the skate boards, and checked out the strollers (that was exciting- "Baba! Baba!", naming them after Grandpa A's stroller, Bob.)

To cap the night off, she got a call from Nana! She was pretty excited to hear her voice, and Grandpa J's, too. Unfortunately, Grandpa J wanted to pass the phone back to Nana and said goodbye to she brightly said "ai!" and hung up, so pleased with herself to have mastered the art of phone conversations.

Monday, October 1, 2007

It's a new day, it's a new life

First day of a new week! We love Mondays- it's cleaning day, after the busy weekends, and it's the first day to try out new ideas. Last week, I tried to counter-balance my toddler- the louder she yelled, the quieter I spoke. Seemed to work pretty well!

This week, we're trying to be "green." I've been buying my produce from fruit stands and farmer's markets, we use canvas bags for shopping, and try to line dry as much as we can. It's not perfect, but it's a start! I am also trying to get chemicals out of our house. Baking soda or vinegar will clean almost anything around the house, and I've found a recipe for washing detergent that is free of chlorine and phosphates (they travel into the waterways and promote algae growth, which chokes out the fish and native plants.)

Mix together 1 cup grated Fels-Naptha bar soap, 1/2 cup washing soda, and 1/2 cup borax. Use 1 Tablespoon per load, and I like to throw some OxyClean into the wash as well, to help with protein stains, and vinegar into the rinse water to cut down on static cling and and residue left behind from the minerals in the water. Works great! The clothes smell so clean- I'm really excited.

My daughter, Ernie, isn't so excited. The laundry hanging over her changing station really irks her- a girl needs her space!

Welcome to the Wondering Life!

Welcome to my life as Wonder Woman! I spend a lot of time wondering- why does soap work, why does my daughter do what she does, what am I supposed to do next... and thought this would be a good way to keep everyone updated on what we're up to, now that the family is getting more spread out. Enjoy!