Tuesday, January 29, 2008
I'd anticipated a visit to the phlebotomist, since we did the same thing with BJ: our old house, which almost certainly has lead paint, means the kids need to get checked for lead. But other things I mentioned at the appointment led our doctor to suggest a few other blood tests (nothing too serious, I hope, but best to be sure.... BB had a bruise that took almost a month to heal, and she's had a month's worth of teething which has led to a lot of ibuprofen use). It sounds perfectly logical to say, "Go ahead and run them, since she'll have to get stuck anyway," so I did -- but what I neglected to realize at the time was it also meant she ended up having to have four vials of blood drawn. 10 ml. That's a lot of blood for a little girl, poor boo!
We are also anxiously awaiting a call from the craniofacial specialist to whom our pediatrician has referred us. I hope it turns out to be nothing more than the "familial macrocephaly" that BJ was diagnosed with when we took him to the specialist during his first year of life. Since birth, BJ's head has consistently measured off the charts, and it turns out that S also has a humongous noggin, hence the diagnosis (which is a harmless condition that basically translates to "your family has a big head"). I hadn't expected we'd need to worry about this with BB, because until today's visit there wasn't anything alarming on her growth chart. But today she showed a huge jump to 48.5 cm, way off the charts, when at her last visit three months ago she'd been in the 94th percentile at 46 cm. So off to the specialist we go.
The other vitals looked good. She's 29 inches tall and 20 lbs 12 oz. Right in the 45-46%. She had great fun while we were at the doctor, repeatedly bringing me my bottle of water from the diaper bag, handing it to me, taking it from me, and putting it back in the diaper bag. Ah, the joy of simple pleasures. And they mean even more when I'm anxious about the kids.
Monday, January 28, 2008
Not so excited about the hat concept, though. The hat says "One is Fun!" and she's having anything but. We have a similar pic of BJ for his first birthday, though he was more deadpan than upset. (And are we smart or just cheap for keeping the same hats and first birthday candle to reuse? Second child syndrome for sure. Sorry, BB. It's the kind of thing my dad would appreciate, though. The man saves everything, just in case it comes in handy someday.)
Friday, January 25, 2008
Thursday, January 24, 2008
BJ has decided he wants to learn how to write his ABCs and 123s. This from the child who wants almost nothing to do with crayons, chalk, or markers. His idea of "art" is stickers, and when prompted to draw he shows very little interest. He'd almost always rather watch us draw or write something.
This should be interesting, I thought. To practice, I set him to work at the chalkboard. Draw some lines and curves and squiggles, I told him.
In short order, he drew two lines and proudly announced, "I wrote eleven!"
"Take a picture of I with eleven!" he insisted. So there ya go: he's now written his first number.
I would have predicted that zero would have been the first one, considering his ongoing fascination with his "hero".... all day we've been listening to "My Hero Zero" (the updated Schoolhouse Rock Rocks! version by the Lemonheads) and reading "Chicka Chicka 123." But there's a charming little song about eleven on a recent favorite kids' album, called "When I Get To Eleven." (It's on If You Ever See An Owl, by The Terrible Twos, and you can get a free download here.). So it's not like there will be a soundtrack gap in this stage of his education. That's a comfort.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Over the weekend, we took advantage of a break in the rain to head over to Alum Rock Park with the kids, and while we were there BJ turned to me and said, "It's good to be away from home, Mama!"
This from the kid who is usually the ultimate homebody. Tells ya something about just how housebound we were! He's actually been known to ask to leave a playdate so that he can "go home and play with letters." But after more than a month of being stuck at home, sick, the cabin fever was pretty bad.
After all, there is only so much "letter art" that a toddler can do:
Thank heaven for those alphabet stickers. Few things are more reliable for keeping BJ busy, happily lining up his letters time and time again.
I know that I enjoyed being outside, even if it was just for a wee walk and a bit of a picnic snack, and BB was delighted to toddle around in the grass. It looks like rain for the next week or so, which means more cabin fever (alas) but at least we'll be able to do playdates again.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
And I just bought my first piece of clothing from her shop: a tiedye onesie that BB will be getting for her birthday next week. It's adorable and really seems to be made with care. I'm sure pics of Her Cuteness in the new duds will be forthcoming.
Tell me two (or more!) interesting things about you.
Hmmm. I am an ordained minister (nearly 12 years now) working full time; I didn't know I could paint until I tried last year~ I had done lots of decorative stuff, but had no idea I could paint anything else!
To which Etsy Street Teams do you belong?
Etsy kids, Etsymom, TransCanada and Esty Southern Ontario
What do you sell in your Etsy shop?
Mostly infant and toddler clothing (hand dyed and painted), also natural toys (silk and wood).
What inspires your creations?
My daughter (age 2) and her wonder and imagination.
Tell me a bit about your creative process and/or how you learned to do what you do.
I have always been 'crafty' and done a bit of this and that. I love color and texture and have always been drawn to creative arts that include these elements most strongly. I am 'self-taught' in dyeing and painting, reading, learning, improving (I hope) as I get more work under my belt. I often go into dyeing an item with a general idea and once the item is finished, let it sit until the right idea emerges for that piece, and then I get to work.
What is your favorite item in your shop (currently for sale or previously sold)? Why is it your favorite?
Tough one. I really love the pieces that surprise me~ this one for example:
But sometimes it is the simplest designs I favour:
And the playsilks really feed my need for color and texture:
What 3 words would you use to describe yourself?
silly, compassionate, obsessed
What do you like about Etsy?
The shopping! And the support for creative endeavors~ encouragement to create, to price things at their worth, to share ideas.
What makes your shop unique?
My artwork, colors and items are each one of a kind. It is a little different than your usual children's clothing, and very much driven by vision and values for childhood.
What advice do you have for other folks selling or buying on Etsy?
Stay connected, keep things fresh, provide excellent customer service.
Where else can we find out more about you and/or your creations?
Our new website: http://beneaththerowantree.com has it all ~ Gallery, newsletter, blog link, other shopping links etc.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
BJ knows he's not supposed to play with the mail or with the mail slot. But toddlers will be toddlers. To make a long story short, yesterday BJ decided it would be a good idea to start "mailing" his letters from his alphabet puzzle. Funny as a pun, not so funny in reality.
I was in the next room, taking care of BB, so I didn't catch what was going on. I only discovered the problem when he came and asked for my help finding the letter "G." I asked where it was, he pointed to the mail slot, and my heart just sank.
Turns out he'd somehow crammed it up into this small channel. I squeezed my fingers up inside the wall to try to find it. It was balancing up inside the wall on a small ledge, and just as I brushed it with my fingertips, it fell. It is now inside the wall, and the only way to retrieve it would be to break a hole in the baseboard.
It was all I could do not to yell at him that "G is for Gone! G is for Goodbye!" As it was, I let him know how unhappy I was about this, and he had a total meltdown. "G will show up!" he kept insisting between sobs. "G will show up!!" I just about started crying with him.
I did not, however, get out a prybar and hammer to lift up the baseboard and smash through the plaster. G is still inside the wall. For now at least, it is an object lesson in What Not To Do With Your Letters.
I'd sent out my blog address with Christmas cards this year, so I'd like to officially apologize to all the new readers who have been recently tuning in. I have every hope that in the very near future the Jen Complains About Being Sick posts will cease. I'd like to think that things around here are usually more interesting than the repeated posts about snot and illness would indicate.
In other news -- BB will be a year old in a week. How did that happen? She started nodding "Yes" yesterday, which is a happy development. She is so proud of herself that we understand what she means; she gets her head bobbing so enthusiastically that her entire body bounces up and down. Pretty stinkin' cute.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
She's looking a little lopsided, since only three of her bottom incisors have come in but she has four on top. It's looking like she's going to hit 12 months with 11 teeth. Her brother ended up with 12 teeth before he was one year old and had his own teething difficulties, but never did he have four coming in at once. Four big, swollen, bruised-looking spots on her gums. She's gnawing on everything and anything.
Add pinkeye, her cough and cold -- and no wonder the poor boo has been so cranky. (Not to mention a mommy who's pretty cranky herself these days.... that could have something to do with it too. Duh.) At least her pinkeye is mostly cleared up. One more day of drops for each of the kids.
I'd forgotten just how nasty pinkeye is. I woke up this morning with both eyes crusted shut and feeling like they were on fire. I have a new appreciation for BJ's description last week: when we were at the doctor's, he volunteered that it felt like he had "crystals" in his eyes. That's exactly right. (And heck, I didn't even know he knew the word crystal, much less that he was able to use it so accurately.)
Saturday, January 12, 2008
S was giving me one of those kinds of hugs this morning, and BJ came over for his share of affection. (I've been needing more hugs than usual, what with all the yuckiness going on around here -- turns out that on top of everything I've now got pinkeye too. Sigh.) BJ squeezed in right between us, the way that only a little kid can. There's something iconic about a child getting a sandwich hug from both parents, isn't there?
He then looked up and announced, "I'm hiding in Mom and Dad's love!"
This definitely makes the list of My Favorite BJ Quotes To Date.
I chuckled and said, "Well, that's where you came from, so I suppose it's a good place to hide!" And when he said, "Name what Mom said!" (demanding an explanation) I just smiled. I must be feeling at least a little better today to be making that kind of joke. Or at least I'd like to think so.
If I slip and accidentally call him by his own name (which often happens) he immediately corrects me by stating who he is supposed to be. As in:
"Time for dinner, 'BJ'," I say.
"D," BJ calls back.
I then must say, "Time for dinner, D," if I'm to have any luck at all with compliance.
No, "D" is not another initial. My son has been spending a good deal of time pretending to be the fourth letter of the alphabet. In this game, he also usually insists that I'm the letter W. This comes from the D and W pair in the They Might Be Giants kids' album.
The list of characters to date has also included many from children's books. This week, he's been Christopher Robin, Tiddler, and Owen. Today and yesterday he was Chrysanthemum. "I have a very long name," he informed me. He also said, "I'm a mousie. Mousies are very, very small. They are too small to share."
Given our recent emphasis on the importance of sharing, especially with BB, it was pretty funny to see him say this with a totally straight face.
The other day, after BJ had told us he was Baby Bear, then D, then Christopher Robin, S turned to me and said, "Our son is a regular Fletch."
Which led to the apparently astonishing confession on my part that I'd never seen the movie. My husband found it almost impossible to believe that he's known me for nearly 18 years and didn't realize this omission in my pop culture education. I guess it's good to know I can still surprise him every once in a while.
Friday, January 11, 2008
For more Friday Feature interviews, click here.
Tell me two (or more!) interesting things about you.
I had both of my babies at home. That's something about myself that I'm proud of and that some people may find interesting. Both of their births were incredible experiences and I'm so glad I made that choice for my little guys. Another thing is that I'm really into health and learning new things about nutrition and healthy living.
What do you sell in your Etsy shop?
I mostly sell crocheted toys and accessories for kids and women.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Today the kids and I still have wretched colds and are now developing coughs. S is well enough to care for us all, and thankfully didn't have to go into campus until 8:30 p.m. tonight.... but the moment he left, BB decided she didn't want to sleep in her crib for more than 10 minute at a stretch. She's dozing in my lap as I type.
Oh, and this morning the annual invasion of the ants occurred. Happens every winter rainy season at least once, but every time I'm shocked and appalled by their appearance. This time it was a dribble of honey in the baking cabinet that drew them in, so I spent the morning clearing all that out and hacking up phlegm.
What was that I was saying about 2008 being a good year....??? Enough already!!!
Friday, January 4, 2008
We were lucky. No power outages, just a few flickers. One big branch came down from the tree across the street, and our canvas gazebo out back is somewhat the worse for wear. I was glad that I didn't have any need to leave the house with the kids. S went in to campus for the day, so I just hung around with BJ and BB and made a big crock pot of soup.
I made Mexican Black Bean soup, which has become a standby recipe in the past year. Super easy and yummy. Even BJ will eat it. He likes "helping" me make it, too. (Turns out he really enjoys peeling onions.)
Here's the recipe:
1 32 oz carton broth (chicken or vegetable)
1 onion, chopped
1 or 2 bell peppers, chopped (green and/or red)
2 tsp. minced garlic (or to taste)
Olive oil to saute (1-2 tsp)
2 tsp chili powder (or to taste)
1 tsp. cumin (or to taste)
3 cans black beans, drained & rinsed
2 cans Rotel tomatoes
1 pkg. frozen corn
1 tsp. lemon juice
Saute onion, pepper, and garlic in olive oil until onion starts to turn transparent. Add spices. Combine with broth in large crock pot. Add beans, tomatoes, corn & lemon juice. Add water or more broth depending on how "soupy" you like it. Cook on low 6-8 hours.
I like to serve it with cornbread, a salad, shredded cheese, and sour cream. Tonight I made a spinach & citrus salad since I'd been craving one and had most of the stuff on hand. (Baby spinach, mandarin oranges, grapefruit chunks, carrots, cranberries, with poppyseed dressing. I usually put in some sort of cheese -- gorgonzola, feta, or even mozzarella chunks -- but we were out. I'd also include nuts for crunch and protein but we were out of them too. Anyway, I would have left them out so BJ could have some. )
As I was sitting down to feed BB her dinner, my very good friend M called and asked if there was time for her to drop by, and she ended up joining us for dinner. We (finally!) exchanged our holiday gifts, which was fun -- she gave us all T-shirts. BJ got an alphabet shirt, S got a clever pirate shirt, I got a very cute one that says "Moms Rock" with a rocking chair, and BB got one that says "My Mom is a Hottie." (Can I even bring myself to put that on her? We'll see! Definitely made me laugh, though. Maybe S will take the lead on that one.)
I was rather proud of my gift to M: an Etsy creation of a custom made sign for her garden. M had asked for a copy of a poem I'd written some time ago, a pantoum I wrote about weeding. She said she wanted to frame it for the garden in her new house, so I decided to have it painted on a sign she could keep outdoors. Bittymoose was really great to work with for this project, and M seemed to like it very much. (I only felt a little awkward with how big it ended up being, and how large my name seemed to be on the sign. But that's just my shy self, I suppose!)
But even nicer than presents was the simple pleasure of her company. I don't get together with her nearly enough these days, and it's so much fun to see her with the kids. She calls them her UGKs (unofficial Godkids) and she's their Tia. And an excellent Tia she is, too!
Before kids, it would have been the perfect day to curl up with a cup of tea and read. There's nothing quite like a cozy afghan, a hot mug and a cat in your lap, and a good book. The luxury of extended reading time is one of the things I long for most since becoming a parent.
I think I miss only two things more than reading time: sleep, followed closely by writing time. And tied with reading time would be time with S and time with friends.... seems it's all about time, these days. Never enough of it. (I am reminded that M once threw a reading party. Now that's my kind of gal, hosting a shindig that combines good reading time with the company of good friends!) But hey, at least both my kids are showing a love of books. I look forward to a day (probably sooner than I can imagine) when the whole family can spend a rainy afternoon reading together, each lost in our own little literary worlds, all of us snuggled up safe from the storm.
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
We had a nice and quiet New Year's Eve. BB posed for the requisite picture, and we kept our expectations for the evening very low. We've never been much for major revelry, so we were quite content with sparkling apple cider and hanging out with our dear friend L. She made us a delicious dinner, which was a real treat, and after the kids went to bed we chatted and played a few rounds of Baffle Gab.
None of us had any illusions about actually making it to midnight, so we called it a night about 10:30 p.m. Of course, thanks to BB, S and I were indeed awake at the turning of the year, but for nursing and coaxing back to sleep instead of for kisses and champagne. And that's OK. There's always next year for champagne, and S is still pretty snorky for kisses.
So here's to a Happy New Year -- in spite of beginning with snot and sleepless nights, I have a feeling that 2008 is going to be a very good year.