Sunday, March 27, 2011

Thank you, Freecycle!

What? You've never heard of Freecycle?

This week I gave away an exersaucer for which we no longer had need. And I received a water table, which I was ready to buy. Two more large, plastic-y kid toys kept out of the waste stream.

New Water Table

That being said, the water table was emptied and left outside to enjoy the rains we've been having. It's about half full. We're pretty soggy here right now. *

Other than swapping cool kid toys, we've also received a microwave, crib mattresses, and have given away twin mattresses, beds, cat food, towels, soap, and lots more stuff I can't remember now.

*Revised post:  I wrote this on Wed. night.  By Thursday afternoon, the water table had filled to the top and has been overflowing.  We've received more than 10" of rain this last week.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Lil' Mama

Erin doesn't really realize it but she loves to play Mommy.  She loves nursing all manner of stuffed animals.  She's told me I'm a grandma because she has a baby Mousie Mouse and Pinkey Pink. (We are totally uncreative with animal names here.)  She pats and shussh's her lovies to sleep.  And she's taken to stuffing them down her shirt and walking around.

Well, she needed her own baby carrier.  So a bit of leftover fabric and a few minutes with a sewing machine:

lil' babywearer

Erin soothes her baby whale

I probably should have looked up a pattern because this sling has some serious flaws and would never come close to being OK for a real baby. But Whaley Whale likes it just fine.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Robin June 13 months

Robin started out her second year with lots of growth and change.

She's starting to walk and can make it half way across a room, unassisted. After which, she'll plop down on her bum and happily clap for herself.  She can talk about most things on her mind - points out birds, dogs, and cats, identifies shapes and objects, says "Please" and "Thank you".   She loves brushing her teeth, combing her "hair", and putting on her shoes.  She eats.  A lot.  And enjoys flavorful food.   No buttered noodles for this one - she prefers the meatballs, the palak paneer, the hummus, the miso soup.


She's fascinated with sorting things, stacking things, putting small things into boxes.  Water is a new obsession and she can sit at the sink for hours as long as Mama can tolerate playing with the dripping faucet.


Just like her sister, she loves books.  Loves them!  And can read for about 20-30 minutes at a time.  It's exciting to see what books turn her on - ones with animals, ones with babies, ones with flaps.  Goodnight Moon is, of course, a huge hit, as is anything by Sandra Boynton. And she'll always point out where the moon is.

Robin reads

She got her first bonafide cold, complete with conjunctivitis and an ear infection.  Lots of ooze coming from everywhere.  But she baffled the doctors office with her pleasant demeanor and her giggles as she enthusiastically waved "Hi."  Her curious nature could not be repressed by a mere cold, and she excitedly pointed to unfamiliar stuffed animals asking, "What's dat? What's dat?"

Robin sleeps in

She loves to accessorize and will put on any necklace in sight.
Famous baby

What a busy month!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

More Erin Art

I'm just fascinated at how Erin is expressing her view of the world.

This, depending on her mood, is explained as a rainbow and gold left by the little elves, or the planets.  And she'll tell you which one is Mars (the red one) and which one is Jupiter and which one is Earth, and which one is. . .

planets or rainbow'

Then there's this:


Which is her bones as seen by an x-ray.  The x-ray is on the left, the "window" of chalk smudge.

This is interesting as I try to see into the mind of my little sparkle girl. She can draw a person, quite well, when she wishes. She doesn't normally choose to. I look at the drawings by the other kids and there's the big head, minimal facial features, stick arms/legs, fingers, toes, sometimes a body mostly not. And there's this.  What I've learned is if I ask Erin the right questions she can point out to me what she intended - often accentuating the feature she's focused on.  Big tummy for when she has a bonk there, eyes when she's thinking about looking at something, etc.  Her vision is truly her own.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Crayon Project

We had a jar full of broken crayon stubs.  Erin and I set to work this morning peeling off the paper, putting chunks into a mini-muffin tin, baking for a few minutes, and were richly rewarded with new, chunky, Kandinsky-esque results.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Little beasties have my baby

Booger fang

We had a good run, but Robin has finally come down with her first visit-to-the-doctor-to-get-prescribed-medicine cold. 11 days ago I took her in with weeping yuck oozing from both eyes, emerging over 12 hours. No ear infection, just eye drops needed.  A week of those cleared it up, but then a few days later the yuckies started coming back. Not as much as before, but still there. Friday (yesterday) just before the Dr's office closed, they ushered us in for another check. Yup. Ear infection in one ear. I wonder if it wasn't there before but the Dr who checked her said there was lots of wax and it was hard to see.

The Dr., all the staff, and all the good pharmacy folks commented that she seemed so chipper, happy, and good-natured for having an ear infection. But that's who she is.  Engaging, social, happy.

She was a bit under the weather today and was quite clingy, so I bet we caught this one at the beginning. But no doubt she'll be back to her chipper Wiggles and Giggles soon.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Solar Prominence

Ever wonder what's going on up there 93 million miles above your head? Here's some radness.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Pen Pal

Erin has her first Pen Pal.

Love note

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Big family outing......

As in big outing, with the family.

Last Saturday we had an Adventure day.  We started with a hike up Vollmer peak in Tilden Park, atop the Berkeley hills.


Cool hand Robin

Then we went to the Berkeley Marina to picnic with some chums and let the kids run wild and free.  First we hit the plain playground. Then we went here.  Really, places where kids can freely wield hammers, saws, paintpots, awls, and vice grips should be the norm.

Erin wields a hammer

Erin wields a saw

Admission to this wondrous, imaginative playground?  Free.  Well, Erin had to do some chores to earn her tools: pick up stray nails or large splinters and the like.

This playground is #1!

Even Robin agreed it was #1 cool.