Friday, October 28, 2011

A new endeavor

This past week we celebrated Granny's birthday with lunch and cake. 
She accidentally got trick candles that re-light themselves on her cake! Julia thought this was the most amazing thing. 
A few days later, we celebrated Joe's 16th birthday. Only one trick candle for him. While I don't usually like giving money as a gift, Dave and I gave him money to help buy a new pair of skis for the downhill racing season coming up. 
Halloween activities abound here. We went to "scarecrow row," a downtown festival. My favorite scarecrows were the nerdy one (with packing tape suspenders!!)  
and the one with a baby pumpkin strapped to her front in a sling. (Ghost Olaf is sanding next to the scarecrows)
Olaf's favorite one was at the computer store, made entirely of computer parts.
Joe taught Julia how to open the screen of an ipod in church
She was very pleased with the knowledge. 
I finally replaced my favorite sweat pants with a new pair! the old ones saw me through my pregnancy with an incredible ability to expand, but were finally getting holes in the crotch. Waste not, want not, so I turned them into toddler sweats and baby sweats. My new sewing accomplishment with these was to use grommets for the waist string holes.  
This summer I garage sale-d a lovely knit sweater, but I hated the buttons (below) so I finally got around to replacing them with buttons I liked.  
mother of pearl. ick. anyone want 6 of them?

and I made some folded paper stars in anticipation of Christmas 
We needed to bring the worm bin inside for the winter, so we dumped most of the worms and black gold compost out onto the outdoor compost pile. The chickens had a feast! You can see that the white one is looking much better now that the feathers are growing back in. We'll add more food scraps to the worm bin throughout the winter and they will have worm babies and fill the bin up again. 
Julia got to wear her wings again at Jungle Gym, which was having a Halloween party on Thursday. 
I've brought several new moms to Jungle Gym to try it out and have earned free sessions for doing so! So far, everyone who tries it has loved it. 
Julia is still in love with the ball pit
but has also discovered the joys of a rocking boat. 
She also discovered rubber balls covered in suction cups. She had a great time sticking them to the mirrored wall. 
That night was the Halloween party at the library too! Julia cuddled up to Olaf for the stories. It only lasted a minute or two, but I thought it was adorable. 
At home, Julia's new best toy is the mop bucket. She loves filling it up with various objects and pushing it around the house or yard.  
Check it out, a potty! We're giving it a try. A week or so ago, Julia informed me "tee-tee" and then peed on the floor, and I saw that as a sign that maybe she'd be ready to give it a try. She likes to sit on it, and she likes to carry it around the house and disassemble it and we've had a few successes, but they are mostly because I see that she is acting like she's about to pee or poo and run her over to the potty. When she succeeds, we make a big deal out of praising her and she gets a couple m and m candies. If she's wearing a diaper, she'll pee without indication, so while we are home, she's generally without one and I am trying to train myself to ask her if she needs to go potty often. Out and about, she's in a diaper and I don't worry about it. Our best successes seem to be first thing in the morning. When she's tired in the evening she is much less interested in sitting on the potty. 19 months seems maybe a little young, and I'm trying not to get my hopes too high, but Mom says that she got us girls potty trained around that age, and that the boys in the family took a little later. She's against the concept of 4 and 5 year olds still in pull-ups, so I hope we succeed before we reach that stage! We have family friends, The RB's who told us about their daughter who just HATED to wear diapers. They finally just told her one day that if she wasn't going to wear diapers she had to use the potty, and she was potty trained from that day on. I both love the story and hate them for it!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Apple Stars

From the blog freeflowingways I found this great little story. Someday I'll tell it to Julia. Perhaps next fall. 

The Apple Star story. (author unknown)

Once there was a little boy who had played almost all day. He had played with all his toys and all the games he knew, and he could not think of anything else to do. So, he went to his mother and asked, “Mother, what shall I do now?”
His mother said, “I know about a little red house with no doors and no windows and a star inside. You can find it, if you go look for it.”
So the little boy went outside and there he met a little girl. He asked, “Do you know where there is a little red house with no doors and no windows and a star inside?”
The little girl said, “No, I don’t know where there is a little red house with no doors and no windows and a star inside, but you can ask my daddy. He is a farmer and he knows lots of things. He’s down by the barn and maybe he can help you.”
So, the little boy went to the farmer down by the barn and said, “Do you know where there is a little red house with no doors and no windows and a star inside?”
“No,” said the farmer, “I don’t know, but why don’t you ask Grandmother. She is in her house up on the hill. She is very wise and knows many things. Maybe she can help you.”
So, the little boy went up the hill to Grandmother’s and asked, “Do you know where there is a little red house with no doors and no windows and a star inside?”
“No,” Grandmother answered, “I don’t know, but you ask Brother Wind, for Brother Wind goes everywhere, and I am sure he can help you.”
So, the little boy went outside and asked Brother Wind, “Do you know where I can find a little red house with no doors and no windows and a star inside?”
And Brother Wind said, “Ooooohhhhh! And it sounded to the little boy as if the wind said, “Come with me.” So the little boy ran after Brother Wind. He ran through the grass and into the orchard and there on the ground he found the little house – the little red house with no doors and no windows and a star inside! He picked it up, and it filled both of his hands. He ran home to his mother and said, “Look, Mother! I found the little red house with no doors and no windows, but I cannot see the star!”
So this is what his mother did (cut the apple across the middle from side to side, not top to bottom) . “Now I see the star!” said the little boy.

Inside every apple sleep five seed babies in their star beds, waiting for Mother Earth to give them life.

How great is that story! I remember my Mom showing me an apple star when I was young. Pretty amazing when you've never seen one. Then we used the apple star to make apple star prints on big sheets of paper or cut apart paper bags to make wrapping paper for Christmas!
thanks to freeflowingways for this great story. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pirates and doves and Italian Plums

This week, I've been working hard at meeting new people! I've started a local google group website for parents who want to network for playgroups and other kid friendly activities, and to spread the word, I'm carrying around small slips of paper inviting parents to join and handing them out to everyone I see with kids. This makes me way more outgoing then I normally am, and I've met at least 4 other mothers who are brand new to the area and/or around for a rather short time. Everyone seems pretty excited about the website idea, so I hope it takes off. 
in other happenings:
This week a neighbor with an empty house next door invited us to pick all the Italian plums we wanted! They are super good fresh, and super good roasted! I've baked trays and trays and then frozen the fruit. It is great on oatmeal! I also just halved and pitted a bunch and froze them just like that. 

While picking plums, I saw that someone had emptied a fish tank, including the sparkly gem rocks into the grass. I collected a bunch and tossed them in the sandbox for Julia and Olaf to have fun with. Olaf likes to bury them for Julia to unbury. 
Our poor chicken is molting! this is an event wherein they loose their feathers, then regrow bigger, better ones. The poor chicken looks like she's about to croak, but I think she's over the worst! I've been collecting some of her nice downy feathers, and decided they would be lovely in clear glass ornament balls. 
and lovely they are. I've also made ones with tissue paper doves and ones filled with lavender. 

From the blog we bloom here, I got the tissue paper dove idea. It's a Martha Stewart craft punch. To get a clean tissue paper punch, I sandwiched it between regular paper and I cut tiny hearts out of tissue paper by hand for the doves to carry, and then modge-podged it all onto candle cups. This candle cup is for a Christmas ornament swap! They are getting a feather ornament and some folded stars and some Klamath Plum jam too!
Julia's had fun with trains lately. 
and Olaf is ever improving on his pirate ship

Julia has suddenly fallen in love with the book Goodnight Moon. "Mah Meh Mene" she calls it, and she wants to read it over and over and over again. She will bring me other books to read if I ask her, but this is definitely the favorite right now. She woke up yesterday and announced "Olaf" but kind of backwards "Aowf-o". It's pretty cute and Olaf is super pleased with it. She's been saying Joe's name for awhile now "Do-do" but Olaf is a much harder name to manage. She is also into shoes, picking them out, and trying to put them on herself. This usually ends with screams of frustration from her but sometimes she succeeds and sometimes she consents to help in getting them on. Inevitably, she wants different shoes 3 minutes later, so I look forward to the day she doesn't need my help to change shoes.
Also, Ron is home from the hospital! I went next door and said hello yesterday for the first time since the accident. He's up and about, but moving slowly. I knew he was home because the hood is up on the truck! He can't do much, but he's definitely on the road to recovery. He was pretty happy to say thank you to me for helping save his life, and I'm pretty happy that everything worked out as well as it did in a terrible situation.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


Julia and I have been making friends! We met Lisa and her daughter Aila at the library's story hour and hit it off. She's in town for a couple months too, while her husband does some training, so we don't feel guilty getting to know each other as we're both temporaries! Her daughter is two, so she and Julia (now 18 months) get along quite well. We took them to the town's children's museum last week, and they really loved it. 

Aila and Julia check out the cockpit of a plane

future pilots

and firewomen

we also took them to Jungle Gym

Julia was pretty into the bin of shakers

In craftyland, I turned a moth eaten merino sweater  into shorts and a hat! The tulips cover up moth holes.
The hat is just a sleeve, cut off and hemmed, and knotted at the cuff.  I made one for Aila too. 

I also made a little fabric memory game for Julia (when she gets to that point) 

Even though fall is heavy upon us, there are crocuses blooming out in the yard!

Julia having quality uncle time. 

Julia got impatient waiting for her bath and climbed in clothes, shoes, book and all. 

I took Julia and Olaf to a pumpkin patch!

Olaf's still posing but Julia has lost interest in smiling. 

Julia was quite pleased with mittens

but it only took her two minutes to master taking them off!

I sewed Julia wings!

Perhaps for halloween, or perhaps just for dress-up.

I used this tutorial