Wednesday, February 28, 2007

More cleaning issues

I asked my husband to clean his side of our bedroom because the cleaning people were coming today. He said it was 90% cleaner than what it had been before so I shouldn't complain.

Should I be Worried?

Talia was looking at the pictures my sister sent of our trip to visit our new niece Marley. Talia was in the middle of coloring and asked if she could color a picture. I gave her one and this is the result. Maybe she's having some feelings about me holding babies that she is not expressing?

She's been really good about seeing me with Marley so far. Of course, we were only visiting for a few days. At first she just wanted to look at Marley (she seemed very curious) and after a day or two she wanted to touch her as well. She said, "Her hair is so soft!" The other day we were looking at pictures on the computer and she said Marley was so cute and "She wants me to come to her!"

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Princess Thing

So my kid is into princesses. All princesses, Disney princesses, fairies, girls with bows. Anything girly. How did this happen? I am a feminist, I went to Bryn Mawr College, a prestigious all women school known for strong academics (like women in the sciences) and militant feminists. I chose this school-- my parents did not choose it for me. It shaped who I am as a person. As a woman.

Sure, if I never let my kid watch TV she wouldn't know what princesses are. But we also go to the library and the bookstore (a lot) and they have princess books there. And we took her on a Disney cruise and to Disney World. Plus she goes to preschool and most of the girls there are into princesses and one or two can always be found wearing a princess shirt, or worse a crown or actual princess costume to school. I have a strict rule about no princess clothes to school but sometimes she will carry a princess ring in her pocket or wear a necklace or stick on earrings. It bothers me that the school doesn't have a "no princess dress" rule or a "no toys at school" rule for that matter but that's another post.

Anyway, the point is that she is exposed to lots of things, from animals to trains, to other TV influences. For a while she was into Pooh I guess but that was so long ago she wasn't such a fully developed person yet and really only liked to watch Pooh movies (it's hard to find movies that aren't scary and Pooh generally isn't) and read Pooh books or listen to Pooh CDs. She wasn't that interested in a Pooh stuffed animal or Pooh clothing or anything. but she embraced the princess thing full force.

The truth is, it doesn't bother me that much. It definitely bothers my husband. More so the Disney and commercial aspect of it and less the concept in general. I don't care what she likes. I'm impressed by the questions she asks when read princess stories. Even if we read the SAME story each night (that happened for a few weeks, I'm thankful she wants more variety these days) she asks different questions each time. It's clear to me that when she wears her princess dress she feels beautiful and special.

Originally I bought her a "generic" pink and purple princess dress that was not connected to anything commercial. She saw a friend with a Sleeping Beauty dress on Halloween and said that she wanted a Cinderella dress. I didn't get her one and then all of a sudden we were in Florida and she FREAKED out over a Cinderella dress in the big Disney store. It cost $60. I don't think I would ever have bought her that dress. Certainly I don't own any clothing that's $60, except maybe one or two pairs of shoes and maybe a dressy outfit (but the last one I bought on ebay for $25!). Anyway, we took her out of the store and she calmed down and we "talked about it" and truthfully, it was her father that bought her the dress. Probably if we hadn't spent $60 on the dress we would have spent $60 on smaller, less significant items while on vacation at Disney World. We ended up not really buying any other souvenirs.
But it's my husband that wants to limit the time she wears the princess dress. We hide it sometimes, tell her it's dirty and needs to be washed. Sometimes she'll wear it all the time and sometimes not for a few days. She is very careful about taking it off to eat or do anything messy. But she likes to wear it with a crown (generic), a wand (also generic), and princess shoes (Cinderella ones that are "glass slippers," make so much noise and are so big that she's going to break her neck).

She refuses to watch any of the princess movies and we have a bunch, since my parents used to own a video store back in the day. She's seen Cinderella a bunch of times but certainly not recently. She's seen The Little Mermaid once or twice and parts of Mulan. She *does* like to watch a Princess Sing-A-Long DVD, limited to once a day but she might watch it all the time if she could. The reason she won't watch the movies is because they are scary. One weird thing is that she is afraid of kings. I guess in Cinderella anyway, the King yells at the Grand Duke or something and she thinks kings are scary.

She plays Princess Polly Pockets all day long when we're home. She really plays nicely with them without any adult intervention. I know, if we don't support the whole Princess Culture, how did she end up with almost all the Disney Princess Polly Pockets? Pretty much because I'll buy anything that seems to occupy her. It's hard for me to hold back buying her something that I think will make her happy. If Ron wasn't so against purchasing/ acquiring/ having so much shit in the house I could be in trouble. The truth is we have more toys than a toy store anyway and that's with me holding back.

As I said before, I don't REALLY care about the princess thing. I think I feel more like I'm SUPPOSED to care about it. But I think it's a phase that is age appropriate and she'll grow out of it in a few years if not sooner. I fully support imaginative play in all forms. It's fun to watch her play princess. It has almost nothing to do with princes, that's for sure. They rarely come into her play, although she does talk about going to the ball in the beautiful dress. She will play out the Cinderella story about the sisters ripping the dress etc. I've amended the story when I read it I stress that prince wants Cinderella because she is so nice and smart as well as being beautiful and at the end I say she gets married, becomes a doctor and lives happily ever after.

All this being said, I'm making her a princess quilt next (a simple easy quick one hopefully-- I feel bad that I spend so much time quilting and not for her) and she's having a princess cake at her 3rd birthday party next month. I'm holding back making the party really princessy but I have to say it would be VERY easy for me to pick up princess decorations, find a princess craft activity and let all the kids come in their princess dresses. I still might.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Snowy Day aka Best Mom in the World Award

It snowed a bit yesterday and that's my excuse for not leaving the house today. Tomorrow I will have to find another excuse but today that's it. Had a bad night. Talia and I took such a good nap yesterday that I wasn't tired at my usual 9 or 10 pm. So I stayed up until after 1 am. Talia went to bed before 10, a miracle, and also Ron put her to sleep-- another miracle and something we just started doing because I can't handle the new crying "I don't want to sleep in my bed" thing. She definitely cried and said "Mommy Mommy" but I have to say, it's losing its effect on me!

Anyway, Talia woke up a few times overnight-- another new thing this past week and of course I couldn't sleep after sitting in her room for 10 minutes so I was up from 4-6 am. Then T woke up at 8, which is a good time for her but I was, of course, still tired. Coffee, however, is a wonderful invention. I'm glad I don't believe in that "no caffiene while you're pregnant" thing.

We did some usual stuff this morning, like watch a little tv, skip breakfast as usual and play Polly's and tea party (well, T played tea party, I checked my email and spoke to my sister on the phone). Somehow I convinced Talia to come upstairs (oh yeah, I told her we were going to wash all the fabric for her Princess quilt) to the third floor and she played pretty nicely while I started cleaning out the office and packing stuff up for our move in July to Madison, WI. She colored, played with stickers, and then actually played on the computer for the first time by herself. I had bought a Pooh toddler game way back when and found it while cleaning. I figured out if you press the arrow keys on the computer the game pretty much plays itself so I let her do that. We tried a lesson in controlling the mouse but that didn't work. I guess that takes some serious hand-eye coordination.

I packed up all my nursing books and most of my scrapbooking supplies and mosaic books and other crafty projects. I know I'm not really going to be using them in the two months before the baby comes and I'm certainly not going to be using them in the two months AFTER the baby comes but before we move so... in the box they go. It's sad because there is so much stuff I could sell on ebay but I just don't feel like I can be bothered at this point. I made a box of stuff to put out at the curb to give away once springtime comes, a box of stuff to just give to the thrift store, and a box of specific stuff to give to friends. I listed one thing on ebay. my sister told me it's easier now to list stuff and that's true so maybe I'll be inspired. I just can't deal with the post office and stuff. I could use some extra cash to buy gifts for my new niece or fabric or other quilty things. Or clothes for the new baby. Or toys for Talia.

It's kind of freeing to just throw shit away. I keep asking myself, will I use this before the move? Will I use it after the move? And then I toss it. I did find Talia's baby book, which made me feel pretty damn guilty. I barely filled any of it out. I should really print out some pictures from the external hard drive of Talia's first months and stick em in. The book is mostly just empty with some papers stuck in and a list of milestones.

Of course, now the office just looks ten times worse than it did before but in some ways that's progress, right?

What gives me the "Best Mom in the World Award" is that I'm letting my kid play with a big tupperware filled with rice, barley and bulghar and basically using it as a sandbox. She has asked a few times for me to bring in her sand table from outside and obviously, there is no way I'm going to do that but I've seen her play so nicely with the sand table at school that I thought I would give it a try. I filled a big tupperware with the aforementioned materials (after asking myself, am I really going to be cooking any of those items again in the next 4 months-- NO), put it on a cookie sheet that has sides and gave her some spoons, cups, a funnel (that may have been a mistake) and some plastic animals to bury. So far she's been playing for over an hour and I've been on the computer. She says she is planting flowers and making food for the mice. Of course, the cleaning people are coming in two days (after skipping two weeks ago due to snow, sickness on our part and the arrival of my new niece) so I'm not going to have to do the most stellar job of cleaning it up but how hard is it to sweep up barley anyway? Better than sand, I suppose. So here we are, sitting together in the kitchen, not watching tv, and we're both getting stuff done. Innovative idea on my part, if I do say so myself!

I decided to document our day by taking a picture every hour or so. Here are the results:

The Snow

My Coffee
T drinking milk and watching tv
Upstairs doing laundry

Playing with the homemade "sandbox"
Taking a nap (notice how she takes up an entire king sized bed and must sleep with a blanket over her head and then wakes up crying because she's so sweaty!)

Playing with stampers and playdoh

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Things to do before I leave Philadelphia

lancaster - done
rice's flea market
longwood gardens / dansko outlet
butterflies at academy of natural sciences - done

Friday, February 16, 2007

I'm an AUNT!

Marley Rebecca Silberman was born 2/12/07 at 9:08 pm. I was so honored to be in the delivery room. As a nurse who thought about going into OB/Gyn or Midwifery it was wonderful. As a mother who will be doing it again in a few weeks it was fantastic to see it from the other side. As an aunt and a sister it was truly exhilarating! Mom and baby are doing great! We're going back up to New York to see them again for the weekend.

Fabric Obsession Compulsion

AKA I am part of the Kay family!

I bought ALL OF THIS today at Joann's. I've been waiting for their snuggle fabric to go on sale and it finally did. I spent less than $100. People looked at me like I was crazy. Maybe I am. This is really only for two or three small baby quilts but... Joann's is far and I can't go there everytime I run out of something so I may as well get it all now. Plus, at $2 a yard instead of $5 it's a real bargain... Right?

baby toy

Toy I made for Baby Penelope

New quilt for Marley

Qulit I'm currently working on.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

THE bookshelf quilt

This is the quilt I made for my mom's 60th birthday. It took me about 2 months and is by far the biggest (and best) quilt project to date. I LOVED working on it. I basically saw something kind of similar online somewhere and searched for "bookshelf" or "library" quilts. I printed out a few pictures and then designed this quilt myself. I added family pictures and appliqued a puffy kitty near my daughter's picture, which incidentally she doesn't seem to like. I chose novelty fabrics to represent my mom's interests and filled it out with a set of fat eighths I bought a few years ago and had been saving. It was the first time I chose not to quilt in the ditch. My biggest challenge was probably deciding a design. I have a hard time picturing how the quilting is going to ADD to the quilt and not take away from the piecing. I ended up following the wood grain from the bookshelves and using that motif (basically wavy lines) throughout most of the quilt. I didn't know what COLOR thread to use, as the front of the quilt was dark but the back was cream (although I would use the maroon border fabric if I could do it again.) I was in a really big hurry to make this quilt because I hadn't realized it was my mom's 60th until about a month before her birthday. I did take the time to fix some of the little mistakes and I feel really good about that. The back has some tucks, so I guess I didn't baste it as well as I could have but I'm basting a new quilt more carefully now and STILL see some potential for tucks. How do I avoid them?!? I'm currently using the smallest pins (size 1) and pretty much putting them every 2 inches (ow, my finger hurts!). I basted half the quilt on the floor and the second half on the table, which seems to be going a little more smoothly (did I mention I'm 7 months pregnant and can't really get down on the floor to baste?)