Thursday, January 31, 2008
Since I just saved us $90 (heh heh - see how I just did that?) I could justify buying these two things. The Yukon Express 100-piece train set. Definitely not worth the original $80 price tag (to me) but the sale price of $16 it is a steal. It isn't Brio, but it is all wood pieces, comes nicely organized so we could open all the track pieces and leave in neat little ziplock bags the choking hazards (a.k.a. trees, signs, houses, etc.) We set up a circular track big enough to fit on our coffee table, and Pequita set to work dismantling it, then wanting help putting it all back together. We'll add the other bits and pieces in time - you get all this in the set.
We also bought this lovely tent and tunnel set. I'd have been happier paying $20 instead of the $30 it cost me, but all in all I think it was a good purchase for our house. With the dining room table pushed to the side a bit it fits right next to it, and welcomes in the realization that yes, our house has officially become All About the Kids. Damn. I'll just have to leave my table saw and some volumes of Proust out by the front door so the first impression visitors get is one of intelligence and industry before they are assaulted with the barrage of large primary colored toys. Fairly crappy quality, but it should last for two kids. Might need some duct tape here and there after a bit of hard play, but Pequita was immediately enchanted and lost no time diving in. Below, she is looking at Monito who I plunked down at the other end of the tunnel. She started rolling balls through it and chasing after them. Again, good purchase.Yesterday at the local kid's consignment store, we scored a ball sorter which Pequita loves, and a baby doll that she wouldn't put down the whole time browsing. And check out the little $4 vest on her and Monito's new $3 orange snowflake sweater. Both are way too big for my kids, and should fit next year too, but they don't care about fit and they are too cute to pack away.
Yeah, I know this isn't the most scintillating post, but I've not had time to write, really, what with all the playing we've been doing.
Found on http://www.sk-rt.com/, a site I'm still a little annoyed by. Their presentation is way too busy for me, but some of the links are interesting.
http://www.loveshakbaby.com/ and they are having a giveaway of a little chair for kids. Pequita loves all things miniature; I now understand why people are at least tempted to buy mini-furniture for their kids. She would love the little chair. We are very neglectful and make her sit in her booster seat on the floor - it is her throne, as far as she's concerned. A real upholstered chair would likely blow her little mind. If it made her sit still more while reading instead of continuing her laps around the house while we read to her, it would be worth the money in my mind.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Here is the shelf I brought home from a lab at my work. A motley piece of furniture, I admit. But it is a stable metal frame on wheels with plywood top and shelf. Imagine it once I've sanded the frame, painted it a matte black and installed oiled butcher block top and shelf. It will be quite gorgeous, and very functional. It has done a fine job of housing the big appliances for a while, and keeping my plants happy by the window. Below is the standard height cabinet that is too high for the window behind it. When we gutted the house, we installed new windows in the same locations as the old ones to maintain the historical architectural integrity of the structure; in 1851* they didn't care about 36" high work spaces, apparently. I'll be buying a very expensive specialty baking cabinet for this spot. It will make me very happy. We haven't exactly decided on what to use for counters in the kitchen. I prefer soapstone or making oiled wood counters from the wood that we salvaged from the interior of our house. It is almost 2 inches thick and from 18 - 24" wide. I have to see how it sands down before deciding. Homestead Mama likes the idea of granite with Adirondacks garnet in it. It is mined from very close to where she grew up. Since neither of us really want a hard cold counter like granite, as a compromise, we'll likely put the garnet granite on the baking center and something else for the rest of the surfaces.
So lots to keep me busy. I suppose starting by buying sound-muffling earphones for the babes would be a good idea, since none of this can be done without my power tools.
* It sometimes boggles my mind that our house was built when slavery was still happening. Other reference points: the U.S. was busy beating the Brits at their own game; steel begins to be mass-produced; the Origin of the Species is almost published. Remembering all that makes me happier with our uneven floors, original framing and somewhat drafty foundation.
Young Monito has truly embraced eating. He is in love with organic apple/apricot sauce. He loves to actually chew on a peeled apple, too. But his first love is the messiest option, the teething biscuit. Gluey brown flecks affix themselves everywhere and when dried, resist the washcloth. But they are wonderful for this:
Can you see them? Two little white nubbins poking up through his lower gums? I can FEEL THEM as he figures out how to nurse around the sore skin in his mouth. Ouch. I bellow when he nails me and it scares him and he cries. Every time. Better, says I, than letting him think it is OK to mash those buggers down on my nipple. An investment in long-term nursing.
I don't do pedicures, so that is the natural state of my very wide duck-like feet. I suppose I could have moisturized for the picture. And those red things peeking out from my jeans? I felted a sweater to use the wool for projects, and these are the sleeves that I just lopped off. Lovely, felted red wool cable knit leg warmers. It has been cold here, and in my defense, no one can see them when I'm upright.
Sadly, once we got the cabinet in place, our fears were confirmed. It is too deep for the location. All standard US base cabinetry is 24" deep; we need 18" deep for this location. Wall cabinets at 12" deep don't offer enough storage. So we will do what we always do (have you wondered why it is taking us years to renovate?) we will modify the cabinet to suit our needs. We will rip the depth down by 6 inches and then install it. It will house our trash can, recycle bin, and some appliances like the rice maker and blender, and still leave a nice wide aisle through which to walk.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Saturday, January 26, 2008
This morning we're off to meet a 7 month old Australian Shepherd who is up for adoption and will likely be too much dog for us with the babes. Tomorrow we go to meet a Labradoodle who is sounds perfect. In between, we hope to get Pequita's blood drawn again for her follow-up lead test. I'm terrified it will still be high and we'll have to get a hazmat team in here to decontaminate our house. H-Mama is just focusing on the cafeteria lunch we'll get at the hospital. She's a woman with odd tastes, assuredly.
I'll try to get a list together of words Pequita actually speaks now. She recognizes many, but has quite the repertoire. Her favorite is still MORE! MORE! MORE!
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Anyway, we are all on short ropes here. The boy is so heavy and so sick all he wants is to be carried and jostled. My back is going out - or I'm achy enough to feel like it is - and it is almost intolerable to have to care for other beings at this point. NOW is when all those lovey ditties I made up about the babies in nicer times are coming in handy and as I sing them reminding me how much I'll love them again once I am feeling better. Right now - well, right now I'd like to hand them over to someone trustworthy and have a day in bed. No one fits the bill on a work day in this town. My sister doesn't know how lucky she is to have my parents in the same neck of the woods as she is. Sigh. I want my mommy.
Now that I've whined a bit, I'll say that the kids are doing amazingly for as sick as they are. They are playing well, sweet to each other, and being very chipper in between bouts of discomfort. So much better than most adults! Homestead Mama and I are no longer sporting our usual full reservoirs of milk; we are relying on the 'fresh spring' effect of trickling in milk that the LLL woman explained. Despite rather deflated bosoms because of our own sickness and dehydration, we are keeping all babes hydrated. Thank goodness we have four boobs to share amongst them - neither of us could do it alone.
I'm off to do another load of laundry. I feel like the best planner in the world finally. I bought many waterproof mattress pads in the weeks before Pequita's birth, and have spare sets of changing table covers. After feeling as though I'd overstocked foolishly, I now know that I have just the right amount. We made it through ONE night of flu with ONE little 18" waterproof butt pad to spare. Phew!
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
If only Pequita can stagger her onset for a few hours from now, I'll be able to manage.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
H-Mama just tossed a bag of ginger ale onto the front porch - a drive-by kind gesture - on her way to taking the kids down town for amusement. I can only suggest that you run screaming from anyone who even looks peaked. This is a doozy. I now have to pump for the first time in months because I am afraid to feed the baby.
Oh, and one tip? If you are going to be experiencing your last meal over and over again, pick something more appetizing than Panang curry.
Friday, January 18, 2008
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
I remember my younger brother and I dancing like wild kids to "Build me a Woman Maker Her 10 Feet Tall" by the Doors at a very young age. We thought that was a riot, especially that Jim Morrison wanted to play ball all day with her. Of course, we also had to let the little bulbs warm up on the hi-fi stereo before the records could play.
Pequita has developed a love for small cozy spaces, and we've made her first ever fort. Joyous times afoot.
The growing bored candidate:
Life is soooo tiresome.
The growing in candidate:
My hair. All over my head, there is the longer straight hair that valiantly refused to jump on the hormonal bandwagon and fall out. Now, poking through it like pin feathers on a baby chick, is about 1.5" of new growth hair. It looks, hmmm, I'll go with amusing. At least it is coming back. This may be just the incentive I need to chop it all off again. No complaints, to be sure!
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
His mobility is at an in-between place, and he's not quite satisfied to simply sit up on his own but shows little inclination to crawl or stand up; this can't be entirely his fault, as he is always in fleece and that acts like Velcro on the carpets. He flops over now onto his belly with a adept kick of the leg to reach for toys, and is pretty happy to remain on his belly doing press ups for a long time. He is definitely no longer reliable to leave on furniture unattended. He loves being thrown in the air, and chortles when held above our heads. He is completely in love with the remote control and the telephone, watching the lit buttons is apparently an unbeatable experience. He has some object permanence as well as definite ideas about what he wants. If someone, say (hypothetically) his sister were to snatch a toy from his grasp a loud screeching wail will be offered up by Monito. This is helping Pequita learn to share with him, and she is starting to approach him with a toy to trade for the one she is about to swipe from him. He isn't that easy to fool.
He is chatty and loves to giggle. He can pull a blanket over his head and then off again, and peekaboo is a favorite.
Monday, January 14, 2008
She's also very into hiding these days. She has a few favorite spots which we pretend to not know about, but if we see her scurrying off, we can be sure that she's tucked herself into the corner of the pantry or behind the MBR toilet. She will hover there, poised and quivering with excitement, for a very long time waiting for us to find her. Most delightful.
However, our Walk Score is zero.
The second choice of homes would have been downtown in a very urban but neighborhood-rich area with, I'm sure, Walk scores topping the 80s. Most days I'm happy with our decision, but with the snowstorm we are in, not so much today.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
We aren't in a hurry, exactly, to get a new dog. Goodness knows we are busy enough with the babies. I sure do hate to see bad placements happen, though. No dog should have to live as a 'yard dog' chained to a tree outside, which is all I can see this couple doing. I'll get over it. Sigh.
Chicory, another lesbian blogger, is not so lucky. Utah is a state I won't even drive through, let alone live in, for its homophobic laws. Here is a draft of a letter to her representative about her situation. Makes my heart cry even as my blood is boiling. I wish her the best of luck, and will continue to vote in ways that will do the most good.
Thanks for the supportive comments. As always, it means a lot to know someone else is out there sending empathy my way.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
The bright side? My sister is sending me more books from the series, and says Anna Paquin is to star in the movie.
Friday, January 11, 2008
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Sunday, January 6, 2008
I used to read a blog called In The Trenches of Motherhood. All of a sudden, at the turn of the new year, she changed her blog title and focus; it became 'A Year Off''. I am jumping on the no-buying bandwagon. I'll try to also jump on the handmade gifts for this year - with enough forethought I certainly can find time to make birthday and Christmas presents. It will feel great to slow the flow of stuff into the house, and increase the purging until we are down to a manageable amount of belongings.
I already know that the no-buying rule will be relaxed for daycare supplies - Pequita needs something to climb on in our house. She is not a sit-down-and-quietly-draw/ read/ *anything* child. She is an active physical kid who has to be moving when I read to her - if I stop a book early, she runs over to get me back on the right page. She IS listening, just not sitting next to me. As I write this, we have her slide set up in the living room and she started playing on it at 7:45 this morning. So I'll be buying, or making if I can't find what I want affordably, a set of heavy step stools with rubber bases for her to push together and climb over, push up against the couch to climb up, and use a a basis for a fort. I'll let you know how I do. It ought to be something I come smack up against frequently, as one of my backup kid entertainment activities is wandering around Target for an hour and leaving with the one bottle of infant Tylenol I went in for. The lure of the myriad items I don't need but could easily enjoy buying is strong.
How much could you save this year?
The card reads, among other things, "[Monito] finds the world around around him so exciting..."
Bloody spellcheck limitations.
Saturday, January 5, 2008
Monito has...I believe the kids today call them 'mad skilz'. Just look at what he can do with a maraca. He clearly has a future in films. I shudder to think what kind, though.
Yes, I dress the boy in orange and fuchsia. He looks marvelous, and perks up an otherwise grey day. Pequita also is cheery in her special snowsuit. Sadly, she cannot right herself once she falls after bending over to eat snow. Bad mommy, bad, for stopping to snap a photo before picking her up.
Friday, January 4, 2008
He is now 21 lbs and 28.5 inches long. He is on back on the charts for the first time since shortly after birth, at the equivalent of the 95th percentile in length and the 90th in weight. He jumps up and down in his high chair by thrusting his legs, he stands with assistance, he walks with help (if I walk behind him kicking his feet gently forward with each step) and he follows the sound of my voice as if his life depended on it. He has begun to cry when choice toys are removed from his grasp prematurely; his sister is learning this alarm sound he makes and hides with her booty if it was ripped loudly from his grip. His most favored possession? The cable remote control. How do children innately know what household totems equal power?
*Yeah, not her normal morning fare. They were both up frequently through the night. I am decidedly off my game today. Coffee is absorbing while I write.