Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Nerdy Baby

I confess to falling to falling prey to that which all mothers fall prey. I think The Small One is a genius.

Perhaps I should clarify. As far as I am aware, not all mothers think The Small One is a genius. They may think their small one is a genius, but not The Small One. But, at any rate, she is. A genius, I mean.

Okay, maybe not quite a genius, but she comes pretty darn close. Smart kid. And smart kids, they are difficult. Primarily because they can outthink us sad adults.

Tonight, and Melissa, this is for you, I was playing flashcards with The Small One. My lovely and delightsome friend, the abovementioned Melissa, sent The Small One the most hysterical set of flashcards, ever. They are from The Nerdy Baby and I so love them. The motivation for this lovely gift, aside from The Small One's recent celebration of her birth, was my complaint that she liked to say smoke detector far more often than I like to hear it. All the time. Moke detecka. Larm go beep-beep. Yes, my love, I know. And do you know how I know? Because you have told me ninety five thousand times.

Bless her, she does like that word.

Anyhow, because she is kind, Melissa decided to rescue me from my plight. True friend, that. So, in an act of benevolence, she sent the flash cards in the hope that The Small One might learn a new word. Which she did. Ask her to say Particle Accelerator. It is awesomeness. This is what I am talking about, these flash cards rock my world. Especially because I was a total science geek in school. I wanted to become a doctor, you know. (I have decided to become a midwife instead, but that is for later.)

I will provide you with brief sampling of the words contained on said flash cards. A is for Atom, B is for Binary Code, C is for Cell Membrane, D is for Diurnal, E is for Electromagnet. And on down to the fave, P is for Particle Accelerator.

Now, Particle Accelerator coming out of the mouth of a two year old is hysterical. So, of course, we make her say it over and over. Small One! P is for? Pakikle celawata. Followed by giggles and laughs from her proud parents.

Are you wondering if there is a point to this story? One beyond my telling you how cute and clever my little girl is? There isn't, but the story does continue.

After our fun with flash cards, it was time for The Small One to get ready for bed. Off she went and climbed into her little bed. Okay, not really, The Man of the House had to put her there. Once there, the discussion commenced.

Need pias fores. What? Need pias fores! Um, I have no idea what you are saying.

I was called in to translate as The Man of the House was getting nowhere. Say it again, Boo.
Need pias fores! Wow, not a clue. I asked her to show me what she wanted and she pointed to the front room. Pias Fores! Exasperation sounded in her voice. I still had no clue. She climbed out of bed, motioned for me to follow her and went in to the front room.

Straight for her flashcards.

Aahhh! Realization dawned.

She needed her P is for...

Friday, May 22, 2009

Gender roles?

So, a few days ago, I discovered a delightful website. You can link to it there on the left, click on cupcake. The website is called conversations with a cupcake and it is the delightful blog of some girl I do not know. I found her through cjane. Who I do know. Sort of.
Anyhoo, on said delightful website, there is a recipe for wild strawberry cupcakes. I have wanted to try these since I saw the recipe. I don't have wild strawberries, in fact, the berries I do have are the opposite of wild. They are oh, so domestic, having come to me courtesy of the local Walmart. But, that is neither here nor there. I want to try this recipe. Don't wild strawberry cupcakes sound delightful? I think so.
I haven't tried this recipe for one reason, and one reason only. Mike hasn't had time. Yep, you heard me right. Mike. I don't bake. I can follow a recipe, but for some reason when Mike does it, it comes out so much better. Don't get me wrong, I am a wicked good cook, but baking is foreign to me unless it comes out of a box. Tonight, Mike is home, I have a box of strawberries and a bit of time. So I decided to give it a go. The conversation went like this.
Me: How do you make a cake?
Mike: What?
Me: Like how do you mix it, is there a technique? How long do you mix it for?
Mike: Well, mix it until it is well incorporated.
Me: Um. okay. Is that good?
Mike: Well, maybe a little more (adjusts the mixer and watches with an experienced eye.)
Me: Okay, now, do we have cupcake wrappers?
What about mini ones, do we have those?
Mike: No mini wrappers.
Me: So, how do I grease the tin? Do I pam it? Do I flour it?

Mike greased the tins for me, isn't he nice? Then he laughed at me and told that some folks might think we are weird and shouldn't I be the one telling him that he is making the cake wrong. Lol. We do not hold to gender roles in this household. We divide and conquer based on our strengths. I cook, I do not bake. Mike bakes, although, no lie, he is a wicked good cook as well.

He is also quite handy at cleaning the kitchen.

Which is a good thing, since there is only one chore I hate as much. Laundry. But I mostly do that, since I don't trust him with my laundry. I am super anal about how my clothing is laundered. He can do his, if he wants. I don't care. His is dirtier anyhow. ;)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Suburban Contentment

I have a nice life. A lovely, lovely life. This is not to say that it is without trial, because it isn't. We have them. But they do not make my life completely unpleasant. Occasionally unpleasant, sure. Worrisome? You bet. That is okay, though.
I consider this a sort of symbol of my nice life. My suburban contentment, if you will.

Are you jealous? You ought to be. Look at that adorable house, the picket fence, the lovely gardens. I can't, of course, take credit for it. Michael does all the yard work. With help from The Small One. Here is her contribution.

She was in charge of the hose. Lest you wonder what she is doing there, I will explain. In the first pic, she is trying to fill her croc with water so she can drink it. As you can doubtless see, there are holes in the croc, so she was unsuccessful in her endeavors. The second pic is fairly obvious. She gave up on the shoe and went straight for the hose.

The Small One is rarely ill, in fact, she hardly ever gets colds. I think the only time she is ever sick is when my friend Marianne tries to plan a get together. She refuses to plan them now. ;) These pics help illustrate why the child is never sick. The water which she is putting into her adorable little mouth is IRRIGATION WATER. Ewww. Don't worry, I put a stop to it. But she also licks rocks and kisses dogs. Sigh. Her immune system must be made of iron by now.

Here is a funny little story for you. Made me absolutely howl with laughter. I have a dear friend, who lives across the way from us. She has a boy the age of The Small One and they are great friends. She also has a 5 month old baby boy, Ryker. Cute as a bug, that one. Anyhoo, they came by for lunch and a visit a couple of days ago, and after we ate, my friend sat down to nurse Ryker. The Small One would trot over here and again to pat Ryker's head and say hi to him. So cute and friendly! Fast forward a couple of days. The Small One and I are getting ready to go over to friend's house to take baby Ryker some clothes. Small One says "We go Minnie's house?" Yes, we are going to Mindy's house. "See Baby Wykee?" Yes, we will see baby Ryker. "Wykee eat Minnie's boops. Ew, goss!" I died. I absolutely died. The Small One had no idea what I was laughing at and simply gave me the bemused look she uses when she thinks I have gone off my rocker. I am not sure why she thinks it is gross, but evidently she does. Thing is, when we went over, Mindy was nursing the baby again and The Small One didn't seem to mind!

And finally, here are a couple more pics to illustrate the Suburban Contentment.

These pics are from the family birthday party for April/May at my brother's house. I think The Small One may need a playscape of her own.


Memma came home from Vegas and The Small One nearly died of excitement.

I got my lovely Peg Perego stroller. Delightful. The Small One agrees.

It looks like the plan for me to work at home and not at the shop will come to fruition.

We are going to demo our kitchen and push it back 8 ft to the garage next year. I am very excited.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Time Off?

This week, my nanny has gone to Vegas. She hasn't had an actual vacation in years. I know this because my nanny is my mother. Before you all go on about how cheap it is, let me inform you that I pay her. The last thing I want to do is burnout or take for granted my fabulous babysitter. What could be better than a nanny who can keep the baby overnight if need be? Or who understands without explanation that she should just take the child and not ask questions when she pops over in the wee a.m. to find me crying over a wedding gown? I am blessed, the nanny is worth every penny and then some. I would pay her more if I had more with which to do so.
That being said, she is gone. And The Small One misses her dreadfully. I cannot count the times during the day that I hear a voice behind me wistfully asking to go to Memma's and not understanding that she isn't there. She is always there when wanted by The Small One.
Due to Memma's absence, I am left without someone to watch The Small One. She has some sort of weird abandonment complex and will not stay with anyone that isn't Memma, Papa, Uncle Jamie or Aunt Korbie. As Papa and Memma are in Vegas and Jamie and Korbie work full time, this leaves me with no one to watch the baby. I am fortunate at work to have gotten an assistant not too far back and she is actually intended to take my place there at some point in the near future. (I should specify that she will be replacing me as alterationist, not as designer). Since she is supposed to replace me, we decided that this week would be an excellent trial week for her. I cut the number of fittings down to about 1/3 what we usually do and told her I would be available by phone. I would be staying home with The Small One and working from home and she would take care of the fittings and problem solving.
So, two days into it, I bet you are wondering how it is going. Well, not great, that's how. I got about 5 phone calls from work today, all with emergencies. Oy. I don't want to deal with it. Put me in a bad mood and gave me a headache. This was in addition to a bride of my own deciding she was NOT satisfied with her dress, which I rebuilt for her and wanted it changed. Things like this make me feel as though I am really not very good at my job. I know it is silly, but I can't help it. And these things seem to happen in bulk. So very frustrating.
But, problem solved. That is what I do, you know? Solve problems. Actually, I explained the problems to my lovely husband, who had some great advice. Which I took. I know, shocker, huh? Anyway, here is to hoping things will be better.

Better? They have to be. Having been home for a few days with The Small One has made me realize that this is, indeed, the place for me to be. Part time work is great, and I will continue to do it. I enjoy what I do, I think if I didn't do it, I might feel a bit lost and unlike myself, but I don't care to devote my whole self to it. If I have to devote my whole self to anything, it is going to be the child. I rather like her. Oh, that is such an understatement. She is my heart.

Yesterday was a very good day. The Small One and I cleaned up the house a bit, did some laundry and then went outside.

On a brief side note, I just heard this from the kitchen, which currently contains The Small One and her dad. Loud whiny noises from The Small One and this from her dad. "When did it become all about you?" HAHAHAHA! That is priceless. I believe it became all about her the day she was born. Possibly before that. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

On another, very delightful side note, The Small One is sitting on the floor in front of me, completely naked, eating a quesadilla, watching Deadliest Catch and singing Ring of Fire. What could be better than that? Okay, now back to your regularly scheduled program. I promise.

For those of you who know The Small One, you know that outside is pretty much where she always wants to be. It never fails to surprise me how much the child is like her father. Nature/nurture and whatnot. Anyhoo, outside is where we spent the large majority of the day. The Small One played and played. With the ball, with the dogs, with the dirt. I let her stay out until the dogs made her cry with frustration, which was my cue that she was ready for nap. I looked at my watch, and sure enough, 2:30. Naptime. In to bed she went with Blue (her dolly), blankley and binky. I kid you not, within 45 seconds, she was out. Sun and play make her VERY sleepy.

After nap (during which I worked), she let me cuddle her for a bit. Did I mention this is one of my favorite things about a sleepy Boo? She loves to cuddle when she is tired, I love to cuddle her. Daddy loves to cuddle her, but sometimes she won't let him because she just wants to go to sleep. As soon as cuddle time was over, up she got and out she went. Daddy arrived home from work and off we went to the nursery to buy plants. The Small One loves to go to the plant nursery (and church nursery and home nursery, but that is neither here nor there.) Plants were purchased and home we came. Daddy and The Small One did not want to go in the house (big surprise) so we stayed out in the yard and planted and weeded. It took an awful lot of effort to get those two to finally come in the house. They eventually did so, took their baths and BAM! Asleep.

Like I said. It was a good day.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Stroller Envy

I am suffering from Stroller Envy. Or Pram/Pushchair Envy to be a wee more precise. The Small One and I have been taking a daily constitutional round about our small town. It is highly enjoyable, gets my workout in and The Small One loves it. But, there are a couple of minor drawbacks. One, the sidewalks (where they exist) are quite bumpy. Wide cracks, root growth underneath, you know. Where they don't exist is even worse. Our road repairs consist mostly of chip and seal which is terribly rough.
Now, I am in possession of a delightful Jeep Liberty Sport stroller,

but it has a major drawback. The tires have a rather annoying tendency to go flat. Especially the front one which I have replaced 3 times. I have owned this stroller for about 5 years. Now, before you get confused, yes, The Small One is but two. Previous to her, however, I nannied a dear little boy, my nephew Tristan. The stroller was purchased for him and we used it quite a bit.

I am also the owner of a decent Graco (I think) travel system.

This one also has a drawback or two. The primary one being that it works best with a heavier weight towards the front. Now, for normal people with normal sized children, this is a non-issue. When normal children weigh what The Small One weighs, they are usually still in a baby carrier type carseat, which distributes the weight nicely. The Small One outgrew a baby carrier ages ago, which means her lightweight self sits in the stroller, well, by itself. And she doesn't weigh enough! The front wheels have a tendency to go a bit wonky and then it is so hard to push. Especially if there is anything at all in the basket.
The other drawback? Well, it it has your average small hard stroller wheels. Not fabulous on the uneven, smalltown pavement. In fact, the bumps are so obvious that The Small One likes to listen to her voice rattle whilst being pushed.

I also have my pride and joy, a beautiful vintage pram. Gorgeous. Lovely bassinet/carrycot style. A delight to push around. Large rubber wheels that never go flat. Spring suspension, perfect for the terrain. It's drawback? It is big. Great for walkies, not great for shoppies. It doesn't fit in my trunk. To be honest, neither does the Jeep, really.

So, to the point. I want a new stroller. Mike laughs at me because, well, I own four strollers (the fourth is a plain old umbrella stroller, not hardly worthy of a mention) Now, there are many beautiful strollers on the market. My dream? A Silver Cross Balmoral Pram. Don't worry, it only cost $3000.00. GORGEOUS! The Rolls Royce of prams. I covet. So very British. I will never own one, but that is okay.

My next fave? Well, probably Inglesina, but I can't afford one of those, either. But, in reality, I would take a Peg Perego. Not just any Peg Perego, though. I want this one.
Carrycot, pushchair seat, carseat. What more could you ask for? Big, beautiful wheels, great suspension, large basket underneath, height adjustable handle. (No, I do not work for Peg Perego). Carrycot is perfect in case I have another child someday, but in the meantime The Small One would love the stroller seat. And, in case of second child, the carseat fastens directly to the chassis frame, no sticking it in the seat of the stroller. Nice, huh?

Here is the thing. This set up, brand new, $1000. Hmmm. Tiny bit out of my price range. But....I found one in Vegas for $300! Oh, I want it. So nice for running about the small town. I have been walking to the grocery store, which is a mile away, and it would be delightful for it.

So, yes, here I am, coveting a very pricey stroller and actually considering dropping $300 on it! I could sell my other strollers and pay for about 3/4 of it...I have a couple of bears coming in that need to be turned into rugs. Those would pay for it. I have a wedding gown I have just finished alterations on. It would nearly pay for it. There is another wedding gown about to start that would easily pay for it. And, I haven't specified a Mother's Day present yet, so he hasn't bought one. That would pay for part of it. See how good I am at rationalizing the purchase. Hmmm. I have to think fast as my mom is going to Vegas tomorrow and will pick it up for me if I want.

What do you think? To buy or not to buy? Is it wrong to want a stroller that will make people look twice?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Gratuitous braggery

So, here for your viewing enjoyment are some gratuitous shots of The Small One. Not very many because most of the pics are on Mike's computer and I am on mine.

Here is The Small One at her birthday party at the grandparents.

And here is The Small One in her carseat on the very long drive to the Southern End of the State.

Knitting and whatnot

Wow, look, me again, already!

Today, my intent is to show you a few things I have been working on lately. So, if you are not interested in my enormous talents, do not read any further. Otherwise, carry on!
So, first on the list is this delightful little number that I just made for The Small One. It is called the Victorian T-shirt by Oat Couture. I made it of Rowan Cotton Glace that I found on major clearance at the ever delightful Black Sheep in Salt Lake. (Okay, honestly, I don't know for sure if it is ever delightful, as I have only visited once, but let me tell you, the lady running it is brilliant. She played with The Small One the entire time I was there, thus enabling me to purchase more yarn. Smart lady.) I made a size 18 months, which, of course was too big for The Small One, who is, well, small.

Anyhoo, here it is in all its glory.

Do you see the look on the child's face? So her. Just looks like she is going to get in trouble. Mischievous, I believe is the word.

Secondly on the list, is my ever delightful Maude Louise. This is my second actual sweater to knit and I LOVE IT. It is a great cozy cardigan. Not beautiful, but oh so comfy. This one is constructed of Kashmira, which is a lovely yarn to knit with. This yarn was purchased at Joann for $.75/skein. I should have bought all of it. I assume they clearanced it because it is kind of a not fabulous color and I fully intend to dye this one. Probably red.

I have also made a cute little shrug from Stephanie Japel's Fitted Knits, but I don't have a pic of that yet.

Right now I am working on the Somewhat Cowl by Wendy Bernard. This is a fabulous sweater, super cute, super easy top down construction. This particular delight is made of Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport in Tornado Teal. I don't have a pic of it either, as it is still under construction. This one I am making as part of the May knitalong on Ravelry, CESOB group. I found this great company in Wyoming that sells Brown Sheep yarns at a clearance price. LOVE IT. Super cute dark teal yarn. Although, it is a bit hard to count my rows because the yarn is so dark. I am very excited about this one, I have wanted to knit it for awhile, but haven't had the right yarn, or couldn't afford enough yarn.

Now, here are a couple of things I have sewn lately.

This dress is a beauty, but was a huge pain in the butt to make. It was very difficult to get the right fit on the girl and it had sooooo many details that had to be exactly right. I love how it turned out though.

And here are the bridesmaids outfits that go with it. Quirky, but cute as well. I think I will make one for myself, but not two toned. I am thinking just white would be delightful

I think that is all the projects of late. Well, all the projects I want to remember anyway.

I also need to get to work on redecorating my front room. I have put the summer cover on the couch but that is as far as I got before things went nuts. Hopefully, I will have time this month to finish that project. I would rather it got done before it is time to change back to the fall decor. ;)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Long Time

As has been noted by my readership, all what? 4 of you? I have been rather absent from my blog of late. Perhaps you are wondering why. Perhaps not. Regardless, I will tell you why. It is because the month of April is prep for marriage month here in Happy Valley. We have two universities here and Mormons being what they are, they like to get married as soon as school lets out. Which means hell on earth for those of us in the wedding business. Marriage is supposed to be a joyous time, a binding of two people forever. But, whatever joy the lovely people may or may not be experiencing, the majority of them do not choose to share it with me. Instead, they choose to share their worst side. I don't really understand why I am still in this business, but I am. Oh well.

On top of the regular workload at the bridal shop, I have had several emergencies, as well as my usual side work. Now, the side work has actually gone fairly well and my brides were quite pleasant for the most part. The people involved in the emergencies were also pretty nice. It waws the others that make me want to tear out my hair. Them and their moms. Heehee. That sounds like a childish insult. Oh yeah? Your mom!

Brides think that they are the most important person in the world at any given time. I could be half dead with swine flu and they will still be angry with me if I have to postpone their fitting for a day or two. See, that is another problem with brides in Utah. They don't plan things in advance. In the rest of the world you have to plan for a good 6 months or so to get a dress and have it altered. In Happy Valley, some of them wait until a week or two before the wedding to take care of things. I have had brides pitch some serious fits at me because I charge them a paltry rush fee if they want their alts done in less than two weeks. Most weeks this month I have had in excess of 30 gowns to alter. They don't care. I still have to get theirs done or all hell breaks loose and they think that I am horrible if I don't. Ergh. So annoying. I hate brides right now. Here are some of my side brides, though. I like them.

The Small One loves to help with the wedding gowns. She sticks lots of pins in that I occasionally forget to remove.

In other news, a few weeks ago we took a trip to St. George to visit the in-laws. Michael's grandmother and uncle were coming in for a visit and, quite franky, I seriously needed to get into some warmer weather and sunshine. As always, Southern Utah delivered. Hoorah! I did NOT want to come home. Whilst there, we celebrated The Small One's second birthday. Can you believe that? Second birthday? Where the heck did the time go? Here are some pics from the delightful event.

Here is The Small One holding her much younger cousin, Adyn. The camera angle makes Adyn look a lot bigger than The Small One, which she isn't. But nearly as big. ;)

Speaking of The Small One and St. George, she made friends with Mike's Uncle Larry and likes him VERY much. The Small One is extremely picky about the people she chooses to friend, so this is a minor miracle. In fact, she continues to talk and sing about him with relative regularity. Although, she calls him Grandpa Larry, but he said that is okay.

Small One also got to go horse riding with Aunt Kaytee and Uncle Josh. That was terribly exciting and a little frightening for her, at first. Then Aunt Kaytee got on the horse with her and all was well. The Small One is an adorable little horsewoman, but heretofore had only ridden ponies. The largeness of the horse was a bit off-putting for one so wee. I think I will make her a little pair of jodhpurs and get her some proper English riding boots. We are not cowboys, you know. I would happily post some pics of the adventure, but they are on Mike's camera, which is currently not in my possession. (Speaking of Possession, have you seen that movie? Excellent bit of cinema.)

The Small One retains her humour. Or at any rate, still makes me laugh. She is quite naughty, as usual. I think that will likely never change. Lately, with me working so much and Mike being gone to Super Sekrit Scout Camp two weekends in a row, she has been more fractious than usual. Bless my mother, she is without a doubt earning the paltry salary we pay her for watching The Small One. A few days ago, we (meaning me, Small One, my mom, my stepdad and my nephew, Small One's BFF, Ethan) all went to The Pizza Factory for dinner. Small One was oddly wired, not sure why, maybe because I came home at a decent hour. Anyhoo, during dinner she was all over the place and I was constantly telling her to sit down, turn around, be quiet, eat your dinner. You know, the usual. All to the entertainment of the older couple seated nearby... I was very tired and overworked and rather short on patience. Finally I grabbed her arm and got right in her face to tell her if she didn't start to behave there would be some serious consequences. Well, right as I got to her face, what do you suppose she did? She LICKED me! Just stuck out the tip of her wee little tongue and licked my nose and lips. Well, that did it. I couldn't stay annoyed. Being the bad mamma that I am, I dissolved into giggles. As did everyone else at the table. Sigh. I can't win.

The Small One went in for her two year well baby checkup earlier this week. I had high hopes for her weight gain, but as usual, they were dashed. She weighs just over 20 lbs. Seriously. She is still right on her curve, growing at a normal rate, just well below the chart. Height-wise, she is still a tall little thing. Right around the 50th in height. Her head? Yep, still ginormous for her size. 75the percentile. Still deserves the nickname lillypop. She is a stick with a big round ball on top. Her gross motor skills are about average, meaning she can run and jump with no great agility. Part of the lack of gross motor skill stems from a Tibial Torsion. Sounds bad, but isn't really a big deal. Just means her tibia is slightly twisted, which makes her foot turn in as she runs. You can actually watch it happen, as she runs along, her right foot slowly turns further and further in until she actually falls over it. Doesn't seem to bother her, she gets right back up and carries on. But it does mean she doesn't run and jump as well as she could. At any rate, she will outgrow it.

Check this out. She is too lazy to hold her bottle, (is that a gross motor skill?) so she propped it on kitty so kitty could hold it for her.

Her fine motor skills are well ahead, as usual, as is her mental development. Nurse April asked if she could use two word phrases and I laughed. The Small One speaks in sentences. She also likes to use big words. Last week, daddy installed new smoke detectors in the house and inadvertantly set one off. It scared the goodness gracious out of The Small One and when I came home from work, she told me all about it. "Moke Detecka, mamma." Uh, what? "Moke Detecka make sad! I cry!" Mike translated. The Smoke Detector made her sad and she cried. Now, it is her favorite word. When we went over to Memma's to see Ethan, she bent down in front of him and said "E-e, moke detecka. Say it. Moke de-teck-a"' She made sure to enunciate very clearly so he could learn to say it as well. I got tired of hearing the word and am trying to teach her hippopotamus instead, but she doesn't seem interested. Apparently, hippopotamus is just not as cool. I could try to teach her pneumonultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis, but it might be a bit beyond her. (Are you impressed? I learned how to spell that in seventh grade science as the bonus word on all spelling tests for the year. It is a lung disease.)