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Monday, March 31, 2008

Three Years Old!

Has it really been more than 3 years since I felt you fluttering behind my bellybutton?




Has it really been 3 years since you were so perfectly small?


Has it really been 2 years since you turned -- astonishingly -- 1?


And then you were 2. I could barely believe it!


I am daily amazed by you, my beloved 3 year old boy. (You would correct me: I'm a _____, Mommy! Fill in the blank with whatever you're pretending to be that day: letter, fish, number, bear, mouse, cricket...)

Happy Birthday, BJ! (Little i, Tiddler, Ten, Pooh, Chrysanthemum, Flora....)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Really Good Muck

I've been taking advantage of my parents' help with the kids to get going on the garden. Harvesting the worm bins has been one of those tasks that I just didn't want to undertake while having to watch both the kids in the backyard, and I didn't want to start my new raised bed without the Really Good Muck that I knew was waiting for me in the bin.

I use a Worm Factory worm bin with three bins, and it's about perfect for us. It had been a good six months or more since I'd harvested things -- the bottom two bins were full of castings. BJ had great fun "helping" me crush the eggshell leavings -- the worms don't actually break down the shells, but the shells provide calcium for the soil and excellent nesting areas for worms to lay eggs in the bin -- and he also "rescued" the few worms that had remained in the lower bins.

Since I didn't have to worry about keeping BB out of the muck (as I'd anticipated, she immediately wanted to climb into the middle of everything) I had a good time working with BJ alongside. Much as I enjoy BB's preverbal enthusiasms, and nice as it is to have some "Special Mommy BJ Time," I find myself looking forward to the day when she can join us for these kinds of things, when she can understand statements like "Don't eat the worm poo" and actually comply.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Little i

We had BJ's birthday party today, and all told it was a very nice day. I was grateful that he continued his "little i" persona; he's been pretending to be the little letter "i" all week, and when we ordered his cake he was quite insistent that it should say "Happy Birthday Little i" with no decorations, just words and the number 3. He chose the pink icing, the red lettering, and the strawberry flavor. Let nobody ever claim that this child doesn't know EXACTLY what he wants. I took him with me to the bakery and had him tell them what he wanted. I'm sure they are still chuckling about it.

We started the day on a good note, when I presented BJ with the shirt I'd decorated for him. Turns out it's kinda challenging to paint the little letter "i" on t-shirt fabric.


Unfortunately, he had a bit of a meltdown when he realized that some of his favorite friends wouldn't be able to join us. All but one of his playgroup pals stayed home once I told their mothers that there was a slight chance BJ might be contagious with roseola, even though he has no symptoms. (I don't really think he's going to get it.... touching wood!.... but it is possible, thanks to the 10 day incubation and the fact that roseola is contagious for the first day or two before any symptoms or fever hit.) I don't blame them at all; I would likely have done the same in their situation. At any rate, it was a much smaller affair than I'd planned for -- but considering that the rain brought us inside, it's probably for the best. We can handle a dozen toddlers and their retinues in our backyard, but having that sort of a crowd in our tiny house is an entirely different matter.

Even so, it was a very friendly gathering. My folks were there of course, along with Nana J, Uncle M., Aunt J., and cousin M. Tia M made a late and very welcome appearance, coming right after the departure of L and J, our neighbors and playgroup buddies. BJ and J had a grand time dragging helium balloons throughout the house. And we had enough folks for a rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday." So that counts for something.
video

When it was time for cake, BJ got right to work consuming his requisite amount of sugar. BB also thoroughly enjoyed the cake, insisting on "more" while eyeing her brother. She's really getting good at signing.



By the end of the day, BJ was no longer "i" but instead had become "Flora," one of the bugs from the clever children's book "Bean Thirteen." We'd read this at the bookstore some time ago, and Nana gave him a copy for his birthday. He also received an amazingly creative handmade book from his Tia M, titled "The Language of Love." He's still a bit young to get how cool it is that his Tia wrote him his own book, but I'm sure that very soon he will be able to appreciate it.



I'm so glad my parents were able to be here to share the day. It will be incredibly difficult to have them leave on Tuesday. I'm missing them already!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Oakland Zoo

We visited the Oakland Zoo -- finally! We've been meaning to ever since getting our Happy Hollow membership. Was really nice to have the company of my parents (not to mention the assistance with wrangling the kids). I'm especially glad we made the trip because we've not done much in the way of outings during my folks' visit this time.

BJ, as usual, had his own ideas about where the priorities should be. He looked at the map and announced that we should see the bats first, and then the vulture. (Nobody told him there were bats or vultures at the zoo, so he must have read these off of the map. The boy is definitely positively reading, more and more every day.) My dad was on photographer's duty, as usual, and neither he nor my mom had any interest in the bat house, so we don't have a picture of BJ's gleeful expressions while watching the fruit bats hook their way along the ceiling in search of cantaloupe. I have to admit -- it was creepily fascinating. And the vulture, alas, was woefully unphotogenic. It absolutely refused to face the camera.... it's perched on rocks in the background, near the middle top of the frame, in the shot with the giraffe.

The elephants were a big hit, in spite of the trek necessary to see them. BB danced around, excited, as soon as she saw them. BJ loved watching one of them pick specks off of a rock with its trunk.

Both BJ and BB really enjoyed the goats and sheep. Serendipitously, just the day before, we'd been reading a counting book that showed six bighorn sheep up on a cliff. (Look Whooo's Counting by Suse MacDonald) And wouldn't you know it, but there were six sheep in the pen!
We did the rides section of the park last, which I think was the right choice. By that time, the kids were pretty tired with walking around and were better able to wait in line for the train. BJ was partial to the carousel, which BB wanted no part of. She did, however, have a great time watching us go round and round.
But BB's favorite part of the day may well have been discovering that she could climb around in the stroller. While we all gorged ourselves on cotton candy, she had great fun going headfirst from the "stand" area of the Joovy, over the back of the seat, into the "sit" section where she is usually strapped in.
And there's no doubt that BJ's favorite ride was the roller coaster. It was a very tame one, but from his reaction one might have thought it did several upside-down loops. I believe a roller coaster enthusiast has been born -- which makes his Giki proud!

Friday Feature -- My Cat Lulu

This week's featured Etsy Artist is Becca at MyCatLulu. Naturally, I heartily approve of naming your store after your cat! Aren't these animal cards charming? And I love the fact that she donates 20% of the proceeds to charity through Etsy for Animals Charity.



What do you sell in your Etsy shop?


Mostly I sell Gocco greeting cards. Gocco is a silk screen device from Japan. I also have invitations, also buttons, photography and design work. I welcome custom orders.


Tell me two (or more!) interesting things about you.


I have an Art degree from U.C. Santa Cruz and currently work as a desktop publisher and designer. I'm also an active photographer and am always on the lookout for ways to bring creativity into my daily life. Beyond being creative my current hobbies included playing Wii Sports (the only place I can win at golf), doing yoga and researching new places to travel to. I hope to go to Costa Rica by 2009 and Italy by 2010.

To which Etsy Street Teams do you belong?


I am a proud member of CCCOE, SFEtsy, Paper, Gooco, Etsy for Animals, Etsy for Charity


What inspires your creations?

Life is really my true inspiration. Things I hear, touch, see, smell, do all influence my work. Just recently I was able to do a pose in yoga that couldn't happen three months ago, so I am working on a design to show my joy about how far I've come.

Tell me a bit about your creative process and/or how you learned to do what you do.


When I recently found the Print Gocco machine -- looking for an alternative to store bought wedding invitations for my wedding (we got married in September and had a blast making our very personal wedding invites with the Gocco), I saw this device as a means to creating invitations that were original, personal, and without the cost associated with getting cards printed by a commercial printer.

For now, the Print Gocco device brings a lot of creative possibilities with it to make cards and other art objects. It satisfies my goal of leaving my workday behind me, and coming home to a creative process that is simple and fun.

What is your favorite item in your shop (currently for sale or previously sold)? Why is it your favorite?



I would have to say my lucky in love card is my current favorite. It is a design I came up with while driving home to my honey and listening to wonderful music. It's a bit little country with a whole lot of love.

What 3 words would you use to describe yourself?


Thoughtful, creative, lleno de vida (Full of Life)


What do you like about Etsy?
The sense of community you find in Etsy teams. After I finished art school I was stuck in a place where no one thought about the creative process -- life was so mundane for all. It is nice to communicate daily with people who have the the artistic drive. When you think artistically it amazing what you can see every day.

What makes your shop unique?


Handmade Goccos and custom orders. Each item is created with joy and love and of course inspiration from my cat Lulu.

What advice do you have for other folks selling or buying on Etsy?


For buyers be sure to have your correct address that matches up with paypal account. Also if you see something on a person's site but want it a little different then convo them to see if they can make you a custom one.

Sellers: If you have an item that is not custom ordered it should be made, and ready to go. This will get the item to your customer faster and make them happy.


Where else can we find out more about you and/or your creations?


I have a blog where I feature other artist and talk about my creative process. My blog is currently updated everyday. Currently I am participating in the "90 Day Challenge: 90 artist in 90 days" and "Thing-a-day.com" where I create a creative thing each day. Also if you have more questions just "convo" me on etsy.
Blog: http://mycatlulu.blgospot.com/

Here is my flickr address which has the creative process: http://www.flickr.com/photos/beccaphoto/
For more Mama's Magic interviews featuring Etsy artists, click here.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sprinklers

BB has officially discovered the joy of running barefoot through the sprinklers. Thanks to Pop-Pop for capturing the moment.

video

Shoes

When I taught creative writing, one of my most successful assignments was: Describe the shoes being worn by one of your characters. Time and time again, this brought out truly inspired results. Forget about eyes being the windows to the soul -- it's the shoes that tell a lot about a person. (And I'll resist the urge to spin a really bad soul/sole pun. You're welcome.)

On Friday, we went shoe shopping for the kids. We go to a wonderful, family-owned kids' shoe store, and it's always fun to make an outing of it. (Especially since this time we were able to combine it with a trip to the farmer's market!) Turned out BB had grown a size and a half since we purchased her first "real" (i.e. non-Robeez) pair of shoes, right after she started walking at the end of December. BJ also needed a new pair, though thankfully his growth has slowed a bit; he'd had his shoes since the fall, and the shop owner thinks he'll make it to September in his new ones. Considering that a good pair of kids' shoes are about fifty bucks a pair, this is really good news. (A detail that makes it especially generous for my folks to pick up the tab at the store. Thanks, Mom and Dad! Baby -- and brother -- really did need a new pair of shoes!)

I found myself thinking about my creative writing assignment as I packaged up the kids' old pairs of shoes. BB's were severely scuffed and even fraying in spots, while BJ's looked almost new. (And he'd had his for twice as long!) While removing BB's old pair, the store owner said, "Wow, she's been as hard on these as any boy I've seen." I had to laugh -- that's my girl!

Easter Pics

As promised, here are a few of the (many!) pics taken by Pop-Pop on Easter. It was such a treat to be able to share the day with my folks -- and an extra bonus to have another photographer on hand! Taking pictures of the kids can be like herding cats, especially if you have more than one of them in the picture. Amazingly enough, we managed to get a few decent group shots.
BB loves the whole bunny ear concept; she especially enjoys wearing them and doing the sign for "bunny." BJ, not so much -- probably because they barely fit on his big ol' noggin!

Check out BB's new shoes!
This has to be one definition of "a good dad".... willing to entertain his daughter by wearing bunny ears while feeding her breakfast. (Watermelon, natch.) And the fact that he's not only willing to have it documented, but also consenting to let me post it for all the world to see? That's a heckuva good dad, if ya ask me.

Several times on Saturday, BJ told us that the Easter Bunny would hide eggs in "the jungle" (the area under our lemon tree). When we went into the yard for the hunt, that was the first place he checked, and he was very happy to see that there were, in fact, eggs to be found. I have a feeling that the outdoor egg hunt is going to become a family tradition.

BB didn't need much of a learning curve at all -- I think she found as many eggs as her brother!


Sliding with a full basket of eggs? Why not?
Note the mouth full of jellybeans. He reminds me so much of myself sometimes; I have quite vivid memories of gorging myself on sugar when I was a kid. Ok, let's be honest ... it was just a few weeks ago that I was "borrowing" boxes of Nerds candy from my son's potty prize box. This is not a trait that I've outgrown, alas. Sorry, BJ! At least I've managed to keep myself from raiding the remains of his Easter basket. It's a small comfort, but it's something.

Happy Easter!

We had a very nice visit from the Easter Bunny today, complete with a backyard egg hunt and the traditional sugar rush (for BJ, at any rate; BB still isn't allowed to have candy). Lovely to have my parents here to share in the fun. Our dinner feast was an hour late, but delicious nevertheless. (Menu: orange honey glazed ham, mashed potatoes with lotsa butter, roasted brussels sprouts, steamed broccoli, fresh pineapple. My mom made an amazing lemon meringue pie for dessert, with fresh lemons from our tree.)

Pop-pop had a great time taking pictures all day; I'll post some as soon as I can. They are on his laptop, and he and my mom are in bed already. Truth be told, I'm pretty wiped out myself. BB seems to be still recuperating from her roseola bout -- even though the rash is all but gone, her sleep is a mess and her appetite is still very erratic. She seems to think she can subsist on watermelon and breastmilk. Last night she woke every hour and a half between midnight and 6 a.m. Wanted to nurse, and then -- surprise, surprise! -- she wanted to be back in her crib.

We'd tried everything to make her happy in our bed (switching positions, cuddling, putting her between us, trying to nurse some more... nothing was working) and finally S said to her, "If you don't stop crying, we're going to put you back in your crib!" She immediately pointed to the door, asking clear as anything for exactly that! We complied, and she curled up in her crib and went right to sleep. We could hardly believe it.

If she'd actually stayed asleep, it would have been wonderful. It's a frustrating cycle: if we could only get her to eat, I'd be more comfortable denying her night nursing. But she really does reject almost everything we offer. (Except watermelon, and tonight a little pineapple.) I know the frequent breastfeeding allows her to get away with not eating as much as she should during the day. But it's not even been a week since she was sick. These things take time. And hard as it is to be getting up so often during the night, I know that her wanting to be in her own bed is progress. We sure don't have any intention of cosleeping forever, but I have to admit that it was a heckuvalot easier when she'd consent to just roll over and go to sleep.

The really cruel irony is that one night, a few nights ago, she actually slept for 5 1/2 hours in a row, from about 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. or so. This is huge for her, even without the factual tidbit that the medical definition of "sleeping through the night" is sleeping for five hours in a row. It was such a tease: the best night she's had, followed by some of the worst. If I'd been able to ask, I would definitely have requested that the Easter Bunny bring us all a good night's sleep. As it is, I just hope tonight is better!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Friday Feature -- Juror2's Exceptionally Curious T-shirts

This week's featured Etsy artist is Jenifer at Juror2's Exceptionally Curious T-shirts. I can especially relate to her "Motherhood" design, and I love all her options for customization -- just look at all the different ways she can do this t-shirt!



Juror2 will even make your very own "Custom Stick" figure, working to your specs to make a design just for you. That's one of the things I like most about handmade artisans, and Etsy in particular: so many of the folks are really willing to work with you to make something truly unique.

And isn't this Pirate Vs. Ninja shirt hilarious?



Tell me two (or more!) interesting things about you.

Not only do I run my own business at the age of 26, but my list of ongoing projects is pretty obscene. On Etsy I also run SteamPunk Garage and I recently completed a children's book with shopknittybitty. We're currently having a contest to see who makes us the coolest plushie to sell alongside it!!!

What do you sell in your Etsy shop?
Hand silkscreened t-shirts of my original cartoon stick figure artwork.


What inspires your creations?
I like non sequiturs. The idea of walking into the middle of a situation and thinking: "Well... I wonder what's going on here?" All my art is stick figures in odd situations. It's meant to inspire a story in your head of what, exactly, is going on.


Tell me a bit about your creative process and/or how you learned to do what you do.
I've been doodling stick figures since 9th grade. When I finally finished college and went to the Culinary Academy I drew a chef on one of my notebooks. My teacher saw it and said "I'd totally wear that if it were on a T-shirt." So I bought a video on Craigslist on "How To Silkscreen" and taught myself everything from there.






What is your favorite item in your shop (currently for sale or previously sold)? Why is it your favorite?

My favorites change every time I have new shirts! I really love the angel and devil printed on the shoulders, but my favorite right now would have to be "Sheep, Sheep....Pig?" The pig is just so "Hee hee hee." The troublemaker...







What 3 words would you use to describe yourself?
Curiously punk rock.





To which Etsy Street Teams do you belong (if any)? SF Bay Area

What do you like about Etsy?

Besides the fact that it's SO CHEAP to list items?? I like that since it's a community, people will randomly surf onto your store. It's not full of crap like ebay where everything is horribly mis tagged and you have to wade through 5 pages of cell phone chargers to find a dress. I LOVE having access to so much one of a kind stuff. I'm the kind of person who prides herself on having accessories that will make people jealous because they've never seen anything like it and can't get the same one.

What makes your shop unique?

My jerry-rigged system of printing and my artwork. I don't jack other pictures and alter them. I spend hours drawing up each little stick figure, I burn all my own silkscreens, and I print everything on my ironing board. No machinery, no outsourcing, no $7,000 equipment... I do everything except sew the shirts.

What advice do you have for other folks selling or buying on Etsy?

When you first open your store, spend at least 15 minutes a day posting on the forums. Get feedback on your shop and make it the best it can be. Etsians love noobs and you'll get a lot of good advice as you go along.




Note from Jen: Juror2 even has baby bibs! This devil one would be perfect for BB.... after all, she was a devil for her first Halloween! It's the same devil as the one on Juror2's "angel vs. devil" shirt, and the image just cracks me up.


For more Mama's Magic interviews with featured Etsy artists, click here.

Happy Spring!

A very happy Ostara to all you folks -- so nice to be able to tell BJ (finally!) that it is officially Spring. Can hardly blame him, given the temperate California climate. It's been gorgeous, in the 60s or even 70s, for weeks. He's been saying it is spring for at least a month.

We've been planting seeds, and if we're really with it, we'll get some more in the ground today. This morning we'll be making a farmer's market run. Not quite the same as doing my own gardening, but better than nothing. Doubt we'll do more than that to mark the day. BB is still quite cranky (canines are coming in, on top of everything else). But it's definitely roseola. My mom said I had roseola as a kid, and she was able to confirm the characteristic rash which showed up last night and has spread today.

It's funny the things you end up being grateful as a parent: I'm actually happy my daughter's skin is turning splotchy, relieved to know it really was roseola and not some mysterious fever. And since she's been fever-free for more than 24 hours now, she's no longer contagious. Just have to worry about BJ now.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Gender Bender

This evening, BJ made the classic childhood declaration, announcing that he was going to be married to me. He even produced a "wedding ring" -- a big orange ring from his wooden stacking toy. (This detail isn't too surprising, given the recent emphasis on my own rings.) When I gently explained to him that I was already married, to Daddy, he hardly hesitated. If I was unavailable, he reasoned, then he would marry Pop-Pop.

He didn't get too fazed when Pop-Pop, laughing, informed him that they couldn't marry. "I'm married to Giki," Pop-Pop said.

"Then I will be married to Daddy!" BJ declared, running into the kitchen where S was putting away his dinner dishes.

When S said that he, too, was already married, BJ decided that he would marry one of his playgroup buddies, A's son E.

"Well, he's in the right state for it," S said, chuckling. And I have to say that I found myself feeling very, very grateful that my family isn't rigidly bound to notions about The Way Boys And Girls Should Be. BB loves trucks and cars? Fine. (Besides, it's stinkin' cute how she makes a "bbbbrrrrr!" sound as her way of "talking" about cars and trucks.) Likewise it isn't a problem that BJ likes pretending to be Chrysanthemum -- complete with emphasizing that he is a girl. It does my feminist heart good to see this, and I'm in no hurry to squash either of my children into rigid gender roles.

Though I do confess that it gets a bit confusing at times. For the last day or two, BJ has taken on the persona of the little letter "i" from the book Alphabet Adventure. In the book, the letter is female. So if I refer to BJ as my son, or say that he is a brother, he is likely to protest. It can be difficult to keep it all straight. I've taken to asking, every morning, "So, who are you today?"

In other family news, BB continues to be under the weather, though her fever has finally subsided. She didn't get over 99.5 today. She might be showing signs of a rash, and she's continued to be pretty cranky, so things have not yet resolved themselves. I just really hope that it doesn't end up with BJ catching whatever she has just in time to be sick for his birthday party. Fingers crossed for a healthy household this time next week!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Monkey Bread

It had been a long time since I even thought about Monkey Bread. I used to make it with some frequency back in college, when I was roommates with S and E. I was rather proud of the sugary concoction, though I can't claim the recipe as my own. Somebody gave it to my mother, who passed it along to me.

For some reason, the other night S asked if we could make it. Of course it was 9 pm, and I didn't have the ingredients on hand. Nor did either of us feel like going to the store. So when I was at the Safeway today with my mom, I decided on a whim to get the biscuits we'd need.

I felt a little guilty -- it's hardly healthy -- but it's easy and would be fun to make with the kids. Besides, what child wouldn't be tickled by the name? (Though I predict my literal son will either ask if it contains monkeys or insist that it is only fit to be eaten by monkeys. After all, this is the boy who saw Frosted Flakes at Costco, got all excited about "Tiger Cereal! Tiger Cereal!" and when I said, "No, we don't get that kind of cereal," he replied without hesitation, "Yeah. Tiger Cereal is only for tigers to eat." And was totally content with that rationale.) At any rate, with my folks in town, we actually have enough adults in the house that it won't end up being me and S splitting the thing between us.

Here's the funny part: when we were sitting at dinner, I mentioned to S that I'd gotten the stuff we'd need to make Monkey Bread. He gave a generally pleased but distracted response -- he was in the middle of trying to feed BB and eat himself. Seconds later, he blurted out, "Oh! I just remembered!" After asking my mom to take over with BB, he darted from the table, got something from the bedroom, and when he came back to the dining room he got down on bended knee, grinning, with a box in his hand.

It seems he had just then recollected that my parents brought with them my wedding rings, which were being resized back on the East Coast. Monkey Bread equals marriage vows? Fond memories of the early days in our relationship, when I courted him with home-cooked meals? Perhaps a bit of both. At any rate, I found it quite amusing.

It feels really good to be wearing my rings again. It had been more than 3 years since I'd been able to wear them. I'd left them in December with the silversmith (a family friend who did the handcrafted design). I'd feared they'd be too big by the time I got them back, because when we got home from our trip I ended up losing 15 pounds in 6 weeks, thanks to a few rounds of the "Catch the Flu and Breastfeed while Vomiting" diet (not a method I'd recommend to anyone). I'm actually back where I was before I got pregnant with BJ. But apparently my knuckles didn't slim down, so the rings fit great.

Anyway, here's the Monkey Bread recipe. I'll probably make it as part of Easter breakfast. Enjoy!

Four 7.5 oz pkgs buttermilk biscuits (the value pack is perfect for this recipe)
1/2 c. sugar mixed with 1 tsp. cinnamon (or add more cinnamon to taste)
1/2 c. butter
3/4 c. brown sugar

Raisins and nuts (optional; I omit)

Cut uncooked biscuits in 1/2 and roll in sugar mixture. Place in greased bundt pan. Add raisins & nuts if desired. Melt butter with brown sugar just till boils. Pour over balled biscuits and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

104.6 Degrees Fahrenheit

Poor boo BB continued to feel pretty rotten today. She was clingy and cranky for most of the day, refusing to eat but breastfeeding like crazy. It's a nuisance, sure, and I confess that at times I grit my teeth when she wants to be on the boob, again, not even an hour after her last nursing. But it's also enormously reassuring to know that she's at least getting a good amount of breastmilk, and it's clear that she gets a great amount of comfort from it. So for all my talk about being ready to wean, it's times like these that I'm especially glad we're still breastfeeding.

Early this evening, her temperature hit 104.6. I swear, I should put the Kaiser nurse line on speed dial. As usual, they were great. We'd dosed her with ibuprofen as soon as we saw the fever was that bad, and just as the advice nurse predicted, about 45 minutes later she was a totally different baby. It's amazing to watch drugs kick in so visibly. She was playful, cheerful, even flirting with her grandparents and consenting to eat a bit -- her first solid meal in the last two days.

She was great for her bath and bedtime, went to sleep no problem at about the normal time, 7 pm, waking again at 9:30. It had only been about 4 hours since the ibuprofen dose, but she was very warm when I went in to get her. We nursed and did a temperature check: 104.2. Back on the phone to the advice nurse, who suggested that BB might have roseola. When I got off the phone, I checked my faithful "baby bible," the Dr. Sears Baby Book. Sounded about right to me -- fever has been high, it's the main symptom we're dealing with, and the part about acting "almost well" when the fever is down rang especially true. If it is indeed roseola, we probably have another day of high fever tomorrow, and then the characteristic rash. And then we'll see if BJ gets it.

It's been such a help to have my parents here. We had to skip our playgroup egg hunt this morning, since there was no way I was taking BB out with that kind of fever, so the arrival of Pop Pop and Giki was a welcome substitute. We'll do an egg hunt of our own in the backyard this weekend. Won't be the same, of course -- he's still talking with great enthusiasm about last year's hunt and all the kids who were there -- but it's something. At least this year we have a backyard in a fit state for such a thing! Last year it was a total weed pit.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Less Than Two Minutes

That's how long it took BB to climb up on the dining room table this morning. I'd gone to get something from the kitchen, and when I came back into the dining room, she was kneeling on the table top with a huge grin on her face. I'd figured it would only be a matter of time, but nevertheless I was quite surprised both to see it happen so soon and to realize she could climb up there so quickly.

She was after the felt board pieces, which hold a special allure for her -- the little felt puppy and kitten, in particular. Hard to say if she always asks for these simply because she knows the signs for dog and cat, and thus can communicate the wish, or if she truly thinks they are the coolest bits of fabric in the house. Or perhaps it's just that they are so ridiculously small, the perfect size to chaw in her cheek. She "asks" to see these several times a day, so we have to keep them out of reach. And now we have one less place to do that, in a house with few really good out of reach spots to begin with.

My folks arrive tomorrow morning -- YAY!!! -- so now I have one more reason among the many to look forward to their visit: two more pairs of eyes to keep my daughter from scaling every possible climbable surface!

Actually, I'd be happy if she felt like climbing again tomorrow. As the day progressed, she was clearly feeling more and more lousy. At first I thought it was teething, since her canines are coming in, but eventually she was running a 101 fever and wanting nothing more than to snuggle and nurse. Seems viral to me. Sure hope she's well again soon, and keeping fingers crossed that we don't end up with a household full of sick folks.

So far, I feel fine... aside from the usual pains and problems with the sciatica that has been flaring up for the past 6 weeks. Started PT for that today, though, so hopefully things will be feeling better again soon.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Friday Feature -- Baby Fish Mouth

This week's featured Etsy artist is Danielle, the genius behind Baby Fish Mouth -- Fashion for Future Film Fans! She reminds us, "Remember, 7 out of 10 children are below grade level in movie literacy. You can help change that." Her designs are clever and memorable, perfect for the budding cinephile and sure to amuse.

Tell me two (or more!) interesting things about you. (Hobbies, achievements, favorite something-or-other, family situation, jobs, etc)
I am an avid tennis player and I also freelance copywrite for cable TV channels. I am married and have a delicious 2 year old son, Owen. Launching this business is my biggest achievement - after giving birth to Owen, of course!


What do you sell in your Etsy shop?
Infant and toddler t-shirts that take famous movie lines and put a "baby" spin on them



To which Etsy Street Teams do you belong? Etsymoms and Swankymoms (etsy baby application pending)

What inspires your creations?
My gorgeous 2 year old son Owen and my love for film


Tell me a bit about your creative process and/or how you learned to do what you do.
I have a business partner and we collaborate on everything. We are both creative types but also work in the corporate world so have strong business sensibilities. My extensive marketing background prepared me for this venture in ways I am still thankful for. I used my connections to get everything from screenprinter recommendations, to a place to create our shirt labels.


What is your favorite item in your shop (currently for sale or previously sold)?
My favorite slogan shirt is "He made me a bottle I couldn't refuse."
Why is it your favorite? Who doesn't love the Godfather? The line is so iconic, yet the clever twist makes people just smile when they see the shirt.


What 3 words would you use to describe yourself?
determined, sarcastic, out-going


What do you like about Etsy?
I love the variety of people and items. There is a true love for what people do, and anyone can succeed if they have a passion for their products.


What makes your shop unique?
Our 2 biggest differentiators are our movie slogans and the fact that all our shirts come packaged in a popcorn box.
What advice do you have for other folks selling or buying on Etsy?
Stay determined. Just because sales don't happen overnight is not a reflection of your items. Chat with members, use the forums and join some street teams. Help others and you will help yourself.


Where else can we find out more about you and/or your creations?


For more Mama's Magic Friday Feature interviews, click here.