I wrote last week about Mira's skepticism about Santa and about her need for empirical evidence of reindeers' ability to fly. She's suddenly on this scientific kick, and every other phrase is, "Let's test it." Naturally I find this adorable! She's also very suddenly taken to playing by herself (along with about a million stuffed animals), so I feel very oddly as if I don't have much to report about her this week. Last night, for example, I got home from work, turned on my new computer (a Mac! It's so nice!) and worked on it until Mira's bedtime. She happily played by herself for over an hour, just talking and making a giant quilt and "skirt" for Mama Bunny. I barely talked to her the whole evening!
Here she is tonight with her "quilt" that she is making using my scrap bag and the tin full of ribbon scraps and odd buttons that she gets to play with:
[She's in the midst of freaking out because Violet won't stop stepping on her masterpiece.]
I did a lot of sewing this weekend, with Mira's help of course. On Saturday I attended a lunch for my friend Doris, who is expecting her third child in December. My mom and I made this quilt for the baby a few weeks ago:
I finally finished the binding (it takes me so loonnnnggg), and I hand appliqued a heart on the back (no blood this time, Mom!). I also made this purse for Mira's teacher for Christmas:
[I love the fabric, but the design is a little boring--do I need a big fabric flower or something cheesy like that?]
I'm trying to make bags for each of my five "ladies who lunch" friends: Jen, Carissa, Doris, Oksana, and Kymm. They all have very different personalities, so it's been fun designing the bags. I've only finished Jen's, a kitty-cat messenger bag.
[I love the lining fabric! I interfaced the hell out of this bag, so it's nice and stiff. I'd made it more "landscape" than "portrait" orientation, somewhat by accident, but I like the shape and size.]
While I'm bragging about my sewing, here's the purse I made for myself for winter. I love it!
[Isn't the kitty fabric super cute? I paid $12/yard for it, so I'm using it in teeny tiny pieces in special projects.] I also finished two more Christmas projects, one for Anne and one for Devon, but I can't show photos yet since they read the blog. Work has been crazy lately, too, so I've just been guzzling the coffee at night!
There's nothing else exciting to report for the week. Mira and Michael had another trip to the park while I was at Doris's lunch. All of the fun stuff they've been doing on their own has really helped with Mira's weird preference for me. Several times this week she has rejected me in favor of Michael, a previously unheard-of thing. On Sunday we went shopping in Modesto, which was kind of crazy. We hate going to malls and won't be going again any time soon! Mira had fun, though. She and Michael took a strip of crazy photos while I was browsing through Baby Gap. She kept saying, "I'm NOT going to pee in the Gap!" (this is a reference to the one time that she peed in public, at the Gap in Lloyd Center. She has never forgotten it, and will probably feel a kind of Pavlovian urge to pee every time she visits the Gap now...) She also loves visiting the Build-a-Bear Workshop, since that's where Jen bought Mira's beloved Mama Bunny, and they have lots of Mama Bunnies in bins with no stuffing in them yet, and others stuffed and dressed up in bizarre outfits. It occurred to me that when Mira gets around to asking where babies come from, it would make total sense to her if I told her they come from Build-a-Bear in Modesto. I might just do that, actually...
Only one big accomplishment to mention this week, and that is that Mira can now completely dress and undress herself, with only the occasional backwards pants or shirt (although she gets her shoes on the wrong feet about 50% of the time!). She's very proud of herself, and she loves it when we watch her getting dressed and do play-by-play commentary, like "CAN SHE DO IT? Folks, she's going for arm #2! YES!" She'll even do her own play-by-play if we're being distracted. The fact that the dress-up bin is very close to her dresser is leading to some interesting choices. She emerged from her bedroom this morning like this (I immediately reached for the camera):
[This might be appearing in Mira's yearbook in about 15 years. Note Mira's sweatshirt. You can't see it very well, but we spent Saturday morning sewing about 20 buttons onto it, and she loves it. She calls it her "button wrap."] I made her leave the sunglasses in the car, but she wore the headband, Flashdance-style, to school all day. Mira got teased last week by her friend Olivia, who kept saying that Mira was a boy because she had short hair. This should put that to rest, I'd imagine.
Have a great week! I'll be in Washington, D.C. this weekend, so I might force Michael to write about his long weekend alone with Mira. I'll be taking the car, too, so it's going to be lonnnngggg weekend!
Happy Veteran's Day! We've had a pretty low-key week here with nice chilly fall weather. Michael took Mira on a really long trip to the park on the weekend. It's kind of sad because it's a really nice park in the middle of a new housing project that's been all but abandoned because of the housing crash. The good news is, it's clean, new, and empty. Michael and Mira packed a picnic, including some tasty whole-wheat apple muffins that Mira and I developed for the pumpkin patch excursion--they were so yummy that we made them again on Sunday morning.
A close-up of the muffin:
Here are some sweet photos from the long afternoon:
[The teeter-totter was the first thing I heard about when they returned--they pretended they were riding horses.]
[Note the name of the slide!]
[The periscope was the other favorite.]
And here are the two adventurers snuggling up with Peanut the Frog:
On Monday morning we got up and ready for school, and Mira was very excited to bring along anAmaryllis bulb that we had potted over the weekend. However, the school was dark and closed up, much to Mira's interest (and endless comment). Once again we forgot to write down when the school holidays were! We knew Tuesday was off, but we "totally forgot" about Monday, as Mira would say. A reminder would have been helpful! So Michael got an unplanned day off, which was made all the more difficult since he'd already played "good dad" on Sunday at the park, and there wasn't a whole lot else to do! So Michael and Mira dropped me off at work and headed over the Super Target in Atwater. They ended up buying remarkably little, given how dangerous a bored trip to Target can be, but they did score this awesome t-shirt that Mira loves:
[Her first band t-shirt...sniff!] They also bought a grey hoodie that Mira and I spent all morning this morning decorating with buttons from my stash. She's going to wear it tomorrow, so I'll get a photo then. She keeps touching all the buttons and saying, "Oooohhh...this one's so gor-geous!" Of course she chose nearly all of the rhinestone buttons in my stash! We did a bunch of cooking and baking today, too, and so now we have a nice full fridge and freezer. Mira "helped" with everything and drove me crazy all day. She's been talking non-stop (really, as in not pausing for breath), and while it can be amusing, she's doing more of the "Why?" kind of questions that are just pointless, such as "Why is that pen blue?"
She was pretty funny at dinner the other night. Out of nowhere (I think Michael and I were chatting about work), she said, "Papa Mike is kind of old." We stopped, laughed, and explained that Papa Mike was a grown-up when Daddy was born, which weirded her out no end. Then she said, "Why does he have white hair? HAIR DOESN'T COME IN WHITE!!!"
She also cracked me up in the bathtub tonight. She had one cup full of water and another empty, and she said, "Mama, it's time to juice the lime!" And then she plunged the empty cup into the full cup and shot the water out. It wasn't too far off from what happens when I get overzealous with the juicer! She then said, "This is cookin' for naked people...and you." I immediately pictured Mira hosting a public-access show with that tag line, and could hardly stop laughing.
I need to mention something now so that I don't get in big trouble when we go home for Christmas. Mira asked us a few days ago whether we knew of any songs that have "Chestnut" in them (don't ask why...it's a long story). I mentioned "The Christmas Song," and Michael and I sang a lovely duet version of it (ha!). When we got to the line, "And every mother's child/ is going to try/ to see if reindeer really know how to fly," Mira broke in with her most incredulous tone and said, "Reindeer DON'T FLY!" This pretty much captures her skepticism with the whole season. We were shopping today and saw another reindeer, and Mira said, "See...reindeer don't know how to fly. I don't see any wings!" The saleslady laughed and said, "What a realist!" Really, though, she won't believe in Santa or anything else. She thinks Santa is funny, but doesn't think for a moment that he's real. Now we're just working on having her enjoy pretending about Santa so that she doesn't spill the beans to her cousins. I don't know what this says about her personality; it's probably just that we spent so much time emphasizing that all of the ghosts and goblins at Halloween were just pretend, so why should Christmas be any different? She still calls Santa "Christmas Guy" and skeletons "Halloween Guys."
Here's one last photo from the week. Mira is doing some arts and crafts for Christmas presents. Here she is working on a necklace that she was going to give to Kailee but decided to keep (she's my child, after all!).
[This was my first time breaking out the beads, but Mira surprised me by telling me that she does beading at school. Sure enough, she knew just what to do, and I was even able to leave her alone to do it. I was impressed with her patience and concentration.]
Oh, one more thing for my Dad. One of the children at Mira's school has been bringing her yellow lab puppy to school three days a week, and the children take care of him and walk him, etc. His name, inexplicably, is Sunday. Sunday comes to school on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and Mira thinks it's hilarious to talk about this. Anyway, she woke up this weekend and I said, "Happy Sunday!" She made a silly face and said, "You mean the dog Sunday? Happy Dog Day?!" She made up that joke herself, and I knew you'd be proud, dad!
It's that time of year, at least in the Thomas household. Time to start thinking about Thanksgiving meal planning? Nope! It's past time to be posting Christmas lists. So for those of you non-family readers, please do not interpret these lists as some sort of crass plea for Christmas gifts (unless you want to...).
Mira's Christmas List 2008 (with comments)
Play Doh (comment: ARRRGGGGGHHHH).
Beatles music (she is currently only missing Abbey Road and the White Album, I believe. The child is insane. She found out that her teacher, Miss Jan, once met the Beatles when she was 16 after a show in Spain. Now when Michael shows her online videos of the Beatles with all of the shrieking girls, Mira says, "Hey, is that Miss Jan? Is that her?" So funny!).
Books (please, for the love of Toby, keep them fairly short!)
A new kit-kat clock (the tail and eyes on ours stopped moving a few years ago, for unknown reason).
Bath paints. (Excuse me, that should read: BATH PAINTS!!!!!!! JUST FOR ME!!!!!)
Ideas for Mira from Me:
A digital watch. She would swoon if she had a real one of her own!
Her very own coconut lotion (Mom)
Slippers (size 6 or 6.5)
A little mug, like the tiny ones at New Seasons in the cute aisle.
Cool art supplies, like stencils.
Puzzles with 12-20 pieces or so.
Spring-themed napkins for school (15" square or so).
A dvd of "Pingu" the penguin short videos (available on amazon, I think).
Just a note if you can't resist buying clothes: Mira wears a 3T pant, 4T shirt. For dresses I go with 3T. She is "scared" of tights, so for now dresses are a bad idea!
Katie's Christmas Wish-List
"Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone" by Deborah Madison.
A clear glass pitcher for iced tea, etc.
An immersion blender (Note to sisters: NOT for making Slim-fast! Well, maybe just for snack...)
A new iron (Note: Faux suede is not iron-able! Also, do not drop iron on new bamboo floors!)
New brown boots for wearing with winter skirts, size 8. Don't have to be spendy (but could be, natch!)
Customized sewing labels for my purses, etc.
Anything hand-made! Anything related to sewing or quilting, including random scraps of stuff (I'm still having lots of fun with the stashes sent by Grandma Carol and Grandmom).
A real martini shaker (the tupperware shaker made me feel kind of lowbrow at our party!)
Clothes that you want to see me wear (in a good way, not in the "I'd pay to see someone wear that!" sort of way). Especially cardigan sweaters and magical bottom-shrinking pants.
A new bath pillow.
Michael has promised to post his list soon--I'll hold him to it, since I know he is one of the most difficult people to buy for on the planet. I mean, he married me, what more could he ask for ever? Maybe a new dust cloth, or a fresh set of kitchen sponges? (Just kidding, sweetie!)
I am getting so excited for Christmas season to start--this year Mira is old enough to enjoy all of the decorations and traditions. I also can't wait to bust out the adorable advent calendar that Grandmom made (photos soon), the Christmas music (which drives Michael crazy), and the egg nog (oops, we already bought some!).
Also, you may have noticed the half-finished entry from last week. Typepad kept crashing on Michael and he decided to leave it for "later." We shall see if we ever get another photo of the pumpkin patch trip...it was hard enough getting him to write the post in the first place! On the plus side, he finally got some photos from all of his theater productions, so I'll be posting a link to those soon!
Michael here. Katie is...I don't know why Katie isn't writing this post. Or rather, why she forced me to write it. I try to tell her the energy I expend censoring myself for the mixed audience is enough to power a large hovercraft all weekend, and that, you know, it's easier for her to write it. It's not that I dislike writing. It's just that, at this time of the semester, I speak almost exclusively in grunts, curse words, and really offensive semaphore code. I'm trying to protect the readers, is what I'm saying. But she says "gimme a break."
That reminds me of the ultra-talented, underrated Nell Carter, and I feel the strength to finish the post.
So the post-Halloween post mortem involved a lot of clean-up, which happened when Mira was at school. This didn't disconcert her as much as you might think - when she got home, she merely asked where the spiders, skulls, and red lights went, but didn't seem sad. Maybe toting around that fake dead bird has given her an appreciation for the inevitable decay and rebirth of all things. Or maybe she's just looking forward to Christmas.
The big event for the week was a field trip - or "excursion," as Miss Jan labeled it - to Jan's ranch and the awesome pumpkin patch. (Check previous late October posts for previous trips to said patch.) We begin at 7:30am, loading the short bus:
Everyone gets a potty break, then we're off. As Jan accurately predicted, the best part was the bus itself. So many things to see out of the window, songs to sing, seatbelts to keep buckled (but really, this is probably the first time these kids have ever been in a moving vehicle sans carseat - it's gotta feel like the first time you legally buy beer. Or maybe illegally, since I'm still not sure 3-year olds with adult lap belts is entirely legit...).
Here's Mira on the Magic Bus:
The first stage of the excursion was a tour of Jan's ranch, which consisted of dirt, sand, trees, dead leaves, a ridiculously treacherous bridge over some swampy gray-green water that claimed the pantlegs of two children. Thankfully (I guess), Mira is the SLOWEST WALKER IN THE HISTORY OF BIPEDAL MOTION, so I had time to see the disaster and make sure Mira held my hand over the bridge.
Here's more photos of the Ranch Stage:
Oh yeah. A dog showed up. Jumped around, licked faces. I believe his name is "Party Animal."
It's not officially Halloween yet, but we are officially finished celebrating already! We had a blast last week dressing up for ZooBoo, our little zoo's annual trick-or-treat night, and then again for our third annual Halloween bash. Here are the photos of our little "fabulous pirate" (that's what she requested):
And here's the little pirate making a raid on the grocery store after ZooBoo-- notice how she's combing the ads for hidden treasure. We got so many "awwwwws" during this trip!
We spent all day Saturday getting ready for the party, to which we'd invited 60 people. We bought a ham, made dips and cupcakes, popcorn balls and pumpkin dip, and I readied the seasonal beer tasting station and the "Black Dahlia" station. I made up the latter cocktail after several weeks of "research." I should have taken a photo of one, because it used black vodka and was very festively black, and tasty, too! Here are the cupcakes:
[Those are ghosts and dirty old worms, in case you couldn't tell! Mira and I love decorating! I messed up one of the eyes on the ghost and she said, "It looks like a tear, like it's crying...I'll eat it!!" I told her that she could only eat the ones we messed up, and lo and behold, she started messing up really often!]
Here's Mira and "Elsa" eating a snack during our preparations. They were so cute:
Here are the two fabulous pirates ready to take on the hordes of guests:
[I'm pretty happy with how the costumes came out. There was a lot of belly-aching over my red skirt, which went through several iterations. I also melted the belt material onto my iron, blegh.] Michael worked really hard on his costume, and learned how to use my sewing machine in the process (and he learned how to use fusible webbing). I present to you Ming the Merciless from the movie "Flash Gordon":
[Oops--this is the real Ming...here's Michael]
[He even made his own facial hair! Wow!]
Here are some of the people who came to the party. The costumes were great this year, and several people made their own costumes using the contents of our "Costume Bin of Despair" next to the front door, sometimes with great results.
[Nella and Irenee as the Garden of Eden, with Elsa the Ladybug.]
[Kymm and Jon as the glamorous Nick and Nora.]
[Steve and Rick as escaped lunatics (their home-made buttons read "Insane for McCain.")]
[Jeremy on the left as the Insecure Sheriff (he kept saying, "You should see the size of my horse..."), Liz and Dawn as mad doctor and patient.]
[Staci as half of a "pair of blue Jeans" (her other half, Todd, had a nametag that said "Gene"), Jennifer as "Miss Understood," and Anna featuring a wig from the Bin of Despair.]
[Merideth as "Toga Slasher" and the inimitable Jared as Cerberus, Gatekeeper of Hades.]
[Tom as Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols, along with his band-mate and manager:]
[Manager Malcolm Maclaren (Anne) and tiny Sid Vicious (Sam).]
[Shawn the Rastafarian.]
[Paul and Susan, making innovative use of the Bin of Despair.]
[Evan as another pirate--there were many pirates!]
The entertainment for the evening (aside from that ensuing from the Black Dahlias and Steve's magnum of Cook's) was fortune-telling, which was sort of based on mad-libs, only using made-up quotes from famous people who died in 2008. It was pretty silly. Here are Michael and I working the magic:
[My hair was a big hit. Evan asked "hey, did you dye your hair?" I think he actually may not have noticed that it was also about a foot longer than usual! So now the joke around campus is for people to walk up to me and say, "Hey, you should stop wearing that ugly brown wig...I like your natural hair better!" Har, har, har!]
The children had fun at the party, too, although I didn't get many photos of them. Mira's room was completely destroyed, with all the puzzles taken apart and all the food from the kitchen scattered around the room, but it was all contained in the room. The children had apples and pumpkin dip and special "swamp juice" made out of orange juice and kiwi juice. Mira conked out around 11pm in my bed and woke up the next day still wearing her dirty pirate shirt and tutu--what a party!
After about 1am, the photos on my camera all start to look like this one:
Everyone had a good time, and luckily things ended before I made a total fool of myself! Sunday morning at our house was a little rough, since I don't usually drink much! It was actually really funny since Mira and I woke up at the same time, and she just laid there touching her tutu and finally sat up all sticky and disheveled and said, "Where are my pajamas?" It was so funny, in kind of a disturbing way.
Tomorrow Mira and Michael are going to the pumpkin patch with Mira's preschool, and I volunteered to bake a treat, so I'd better get going. I hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween--we'll be at home eating tofu and brown rice and being nice to our poor abused stomachs!
This week can only be classified as one of Mira's "weird" weeks. She's cut down a bit on the tantrums from last week, and replaced them with wackadoo songs and bizarre non sequiturs. We spent most of the weekend preparing for our Halloween fun, and we inadvertently caused Mira to become fascinated with death. I'd better explain...it started when we were at the craft store and noticed some Halloween ravens on clearance. Mira chose one and was holding it in the cart like a baby, feet sticking up in the air. I commented that it kind of looked "like a dead bird." Mira embraced that idea and started calling it Buttercup, her dead bird. Here she is with it:
And here she is putting Buttercup to sleep:
She told us the whole story in great detail, which went something like this: "I was just walkin' downtown, and I saw the fountain, and Buttercup FELL in and DIED!" I thought maybe she was getting confused with the word "dived," but when I asked her whether she meant "dive," she patiently said, "No, Mama, he BONKED his head on the side of the FOUNTAIN and DIED." Okie-dokie! I'm pretty sure she doesn't really understand what "died" means, but that's okay for now!
One reason that I don't think she understands what death is comes from a random song she made up in the car, which goes, "I will catch you...when you die." Michael and I were trying really hard not to laugh the whole time. Here's another song that I quickly jotted down as she was singing it:
"I have a cheetah in my bedroom /
it is an icky one!
Come and see it!
I have a leopard /
it's in my bedroom with the cheetah /
they are icky /
Come and see them!
I think you really have to hear them to appreciate them, since she is pretty melodic and very earnest. Another hit from this weekend that got sung over and over again (and keeps getting stuck in my head, too, since it's got a catchy tune) is "You can chase the dog to me-ee." I suspect Michael and I will still be able to sing that one in 20 years when we look back on this entry.
Aside from Mira's morbid obsession with Buttercup the Dead Bird, she also spent a lot of time with Barbara Bunny, who she is calling Elsa this week. Here she is reading to Elsa the Bunny in the "bathtub":
And singing one of her original compositions:
Mira's Anti Jen has had a rough couple of weeks, and when Michael and I were talking about her Mira wanted to know (as always) what was up. I told her Anti Jen was feeling sad, and Mira said, "I really like her. She has gorgeous hair." I suggested that she call and tell Anti Jen how much she likes her, and Mira said, "Yeeeesss. Maybe she will be happy if I tell her about Daddy coming to get me on his bike." I'm sure that would cheer Jen up immensely! I was out of town last Friday, and so Michael picked up Mira from preschool on his bike, which I suspect made Mira an instant celebrity.
The only other thing to report from this week is that Mira and I got to go see a new baby tonight. Our friends Alex and Oksana had their first baby 12 days ago, a chubby little cutie named Oliver Lloyd. We made beef stew, mashed potatoes, and bran muffins for the new parents. Our group of friends always coordinates meals for new parents, and we are usually able to keep it up for almost two weeks after the baby is born! It's such a useful and fun thing to do for people, and a good excuse to make tasty comfort food too. Mira acted really oddly around Oliver, as if she didn't like the idea of me holding another little baby. She perked up when he did a big poop while sitting in my lap, though.
Here's one more photo from tonight, of Michael being crafty with the glue gun and Mira supervising and enjoying a nightcap (in my favorite mug from the Moose Dropping Festival in Alaska, which Mira has already practically stolen from me and which she calls the "Moose Poo-Poo Party" mug):
Michael once asked my mom and I if we wanted to work at a sweatshop, since our idea of a fun weekend together is to design, cut, and sew into the wee hours of the morning. My mom came down again this weekend and we didn't even make any pretense about going to see any sights or doing anything other than working on projects. Michael was very kind to us and entertained Mira much of the time. The finishing touches were put on the Great Spider of 2008. It looks fantastic, and extra scary at night, when the Black Widow hourglass and the scary eyes light up!
[Wow--it sure scared these two!]
We also had a low-key birthday celebration for my mom on the first night of her visit. I asked Mira what she'd like to buy for her Gammy, and after the inevitable suggestion of "a new clock, since that clock upstairs is broken," she suggested bath paints. Mira experienced the magic of bath paints last summer at Gammy's but also experienced the tragedy that was running out of the bath paints, so this seemed like a logical choice. It was pretty funny because on the first day she was here, my mom suggested going to Target to buy some bath paints for Mira--great minds think alike, I guess! Here's Mom opening the bath paints, which I'm sure were just what she wanted:
[The days-of-the-week monkey socks on the table were a gift from Gammy to Mira, and she loves them. She wore the Sunday socks to bed on Sunday night, and the very first thing she said on Monday morning was, "I have the wrong socks on!"]
Here are the bath paints in action:
[Am I the only one whose first thought here was "Redrum"?]
Mom and I didn't get as much accomplished as we would have, since we spent a lot of time playing with Mira and making emergency trips to the fabric store. We did get one of her quilts stretched and pinned, an entire baby quilt made for me to give away to a friend, a fall purse for Mom, a messenger bag (our own pattern!) for me, a slouchy over-the-shoulder bag for Aunt Patty (also our own!), a pattern drafted for a bag for Julie, and a design for a fall table runner. Not bad for two days! Mom brought her machine, which helped. The baby quilt was kind of amazing--mom cut and I pieced, and since it was a simple pattern, I had almost finished piecing by the time she was done! I'll photograph the messenger bag soon, as it turned out pretty cute for a practice run.
In between sewing, Mira managed to secure her position in Mom's will:
[If she keeps this up, she'll be getting a trust fund, I'm sure! This was actually a great setup--my mom loves foot rubs, and Mira loves coconut lotion. She kept saying, "I'm just going to get a lee-tle bit more lotion..." I tried to get her to say "symbiotic relationship" but she wouldn't.]
On Monday morning Mom and I went to Mira's school for a visit. We sat in the "visitors' chairs" for an hour and watched the daily routine. It was really cute. Mira made us tea and actually brought it to us one at a time on a little wicker tray. It was kind of scary watching her walk across from the kitchen with scalding hot tea on a tray, but the look on her face was so cute!! Michael went on Tuesday for his own visit and had a similarly nice time.
Mom had to leave on Monday afternoon, but we were frantically sewing and copying patterns right up until she had to go. She kind of looked like a bag lady heading off to the airport, with the machine, a suitcase stuffed with sewing projects (she forgot a toothbrush, but not her stitch regulator!), and the industrial sized dustpan hanging off of her carry-on that Michael got her for her birthday. After she left, I had to quickly switch to work-mode, since I was giving a talk to the university and community about the financial crisis. It went well, but it was so odd to have to switch gears so quickly--I looked down at one point during my presentation and noticed about half a dozen threads stuck to my pants! I was a bit disappointed, though, because the local ABC affiliate had scheduled to come by my house to interview me and I had hoped to get the Great Spider on TV. Sadly, they had to cancel, but hopefully our spider will eventually achieve the fame it deserves.
This week is starting out just as busy as last week. I was gone on Monday night for my talk, and Michael is gone tonight and tomorrow night at theater events. Somehow, though, there's always time for silly dancing:
[These pictures give me such a warm and fuzzy feeling!]
In terms of Mira's development this week. Good news and bad news. The good news is that she's been saying a few cute new phrases, such as "for a change" which she used for the first time tonight. The bad news is that she's been throwing multiple fits the last few days, and I mean fits. She cried so hard in the car on the way home from school yesterday that she wet her pants in the carseat! She was up screaming her head off at 3am this morning, too, for no good reason, and again at 6am (although Michael heard her tossing and turning and talking about something that suggested a bad dream). Since it's so far outside the norm, I thought at first that she was sick, but now I think it's just one of those behavioral things--who knows? Tonight she was happy as a clam, though, so *maybe* it was a short-lived phase. That would be good, because I'm exhausted!
I'll end the post this week with some photos from this summer, when Mira got to ride Pawnee the Horse. Pawnee has achieve the status of a legend in our house now, with lots of stories told about him and lots of pretending that dad is Pawnee, etc. Here she is walking up to him with absolutely no fear:
[Mira didn't actually get to ride Pawnee much, since Pawnee is 30 years old and had no intention of coming out of his retirement. Chris pulled and pulled on his bridle, but he only budged a bit. I was totally fine with that!]
Well, that's what Mira would say. I wrote a long post on Monday night and lost it just as I was about to click "publish." I was so annoyed that it's taken me until today to re-post. Thanks for the comments about the ba-bum cinnamons--Mira especially likes "badonkadonk," and I can't believe I forgot the classic "booty." Since she's also interested in poop cinnamons, we hear things like "I've got a dingleberry in my posterior!"
We had a fun weekend. On Saturday we went to the annual Arts Festival on Main Street, which was pretty cute. Mira made a puppet at the Playhouse booth, which she enjoyed:
[It actually rained during the festival, which was so great! People in Merced talk about rain in the same way that Portlanders fantasize about sunshine.]
On Sunday we ran around town buying costume stuff for Halloween, and then went home and got to work. I worked on sewing and fitting Mira's costume (and she worked on Barbara Bunny's costume), and Michael and Mira worked outside on paper mache eyeballs and a giant 8 foot spider made out of garden stakes. Here they are hard at work:
And here's Michael installing the spray-painted spider the next day (it will have a garbage-bag-wrapped balance ball for a body soon]:
After Mira saw the costume I made for her (a secret for now), I asked, "Are you proud of me?" She thought for a second and said, "I'm a little bit proud of you, but not too proud." I guess she doesn't want me to get a big ego. She has also started saying "in fact" once in a while, which is hilarious (along with "furious" and "ridiculous" and other adorably adult words). Miss Jan was laughing at her last week because she walked up to the picnic table where Jan and Samantha (Jan's assistant) were talking, sat down, and said, "Now what are we talking about?" Soon after, a child came up to complain about one of the other children, and Mira chimed in "You can go get that child, and tell that child how it is you are feeling!" Jan could hardly keep a straight face.
But lest you think that Mira is getting to be too serious, here she is singing a very earnest song:
She also wore a glittering pink knit headband around her forehead to school today. It was very disco.
Well, that's the abridged version of this week. Gammy's coming to visit on Friday, and we are all excited. Mira is going to ask her about the broken clock in her upstairs, which she continues to be obsessed with.
First off, thanks to Michael for his "guest post" from last week. We had originally intended this blog to be a 50-50 joint effort, but somehow it's become my task (I'll take bragging about my kid over dishes any day!). Anyway, it's nice to get a different, weirder perspective on things once in awhile! It's been a very busy few weeks, and it will probably only get busier as the semester continues as it usually does. Before getting to my usual Mira updates, here are the promised photos of Michael's parking strip project:
[From the front.]
[From the street. This project went through about a dozen different plans before completion. The big obstacles were very uneven light because of the house and tree, and tons of roots from a large tree that was just removed a few months ago from the grassy patch to the right of Mira. After sweatily digging at the dirt for over a month, we gave up on the idea of getting all of the roots and weeds out and just paved over it with some shrubs and a Crape Myrtle tree.]
Michael was also busy last week making a little bed for Mira, or rather re-attaching the legs to the one he built last year that broke. Here's Mira enjoying her new big-kid bed:
[She is enamored with the idea of being able to put things under her bed now. The horse in the photo was not just tossed there as it may appear--instead, Mira deliberated about which animal should go there.]
We've also started in on our fall gardening. As it is still in the upper-90s here, we aren't doing much, just deadheading and pulling out annuals, etc. Mira was a big help with the watering, as usual:
[The butterfly garden is SO pretty, and does attract quite a few butterflies, as well as the occasional hummingbird and the world's largest black bumblebees.]
Mira had a pretty good week last week, especially with the sleeping. She's been completely potty trained for weeks now, and has only had a couple accidents in the night (although she's started waking up regularly at 4am to use the potty, which somehow has to involve waking me up first). Now that smookie is also gone, it feels like her babyhood is officially over. For the most part, I'm fine with that!
Mira's vocabulary is still expanding all the time, and we are constantly laughing at her odd constructions and attempts to sound grown-up. Some new words are "totally," as in, "I totally remembered to put that pen in there!" She has also started to use the word "art" as a verb, as in "Daddy and I are arting outside with the paints...do you want to art with us?" Another amusing one is her use of the word "borrow" instead of "lend," as in, "I'm going to borrow you my boo-boo buddy for your headache, Mom." So sweet! The other thing she's been doing that's funny (and was mentioned by Miss Jan one day to my embarrassment) is a totally over-dramatized appreciation for her food. She'll open her lunch, or look at her plate, and say, "MMMMM.....this is gonna be taaa-sty!" For some reason she says this with a southern-like accent, so it's more like "this is gun ta be tay-stee." Sigh.
Finally, Mira is enamored with "cinnamons" (synonyms), as Michael reported last week. Her very favorite word to collect cinnamons for is "ba-bum," of course! So far, she will tell you the following synonyms: rear end, butt, bottom, tush, heinie, derriere, and tuckus. The latter was suggested by Michael's friend Monica from The Dalles, who visited us last week while she gave a talk at UC Merced. Mira told me that Monica said, "Get your tuckus out of my face!" I have no idea if Monica actually said this, but Mira thinks it is hilarious, says it all the time, and always cites her source (as in, "Get your tuckus out of my face, said Monica! Ha ha ha haaaaaa!"). Feel free to contribute more cinnamons in the comments!
Okay, a quick break from the commentary to post some photos of Michael and Mira dancing to some Indian pop music:
[I love weekends! We were just cracking up the whole time, for no particular reason (actually, we did have a reason--Michael's ridiculous "Indian" dancing)].
On Friday night I went over to my friend Carissa's house for a Women's Night, where we sat around eating lasagna, drinking wine, and talking about the upcoming elections. Michael stayed at home with Mira and invited a bunch of friends over for the debates. When I got home, we played poker with the remaining guests...and Mira, who refused to leave the party. Mira got so loopy that at one point she stopped the game by embarking on an impressive Beatles medley, including the first stanza of each of her favorites. We were all practically in tears by the end, since she was so cute and so earnest about it, with dramatic facial expressions and hand gestures. It was very Quinn-like (think "Barracuda").
We've also decided to go ahead with our third annual Halloween costume party, and we have commenced planning in earnest. We made a trip to Goodwill on Saturday to scout for costume ideas and materials. Mira really loved Goodwill, and played with tons of the things she found in the toy bins and on the "pretty" shelves. We continued to discuss costumes that afternoon over lunch. Mira told me that she wanted to be a frog, that I should be John Lennon, and that Daddy should be "a woman." Interesting! Then she suddenly stopped and said, "Wait a minute. I can't be a frog...I'd have to be naked!!!" She's now trying to decide between being Miss Jan, being her friend Olivia, or being a pirate. She's probably enjoy suggestions in the comments!
Well, that's it for this week. I'll leave you with two cute, random photos from the camera. Have a great week!